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Hemp News: 03/19/21

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Earlier this week, representatives from some of America’s largest corporate players in the alcohol industry, the tobacco industry, and the insurance industry announced the formation of a new federal lobbying group.

The major stakeholders pushing Congress to enact sweeping federal marijuana reform just got bigger with the formation of a new band of businesses and industry experts who believe legalization is a foregone conclusion and that the real prize will be shaping a nationwide MJ regulatory framework.

While these industries have been raking in billions of dollars over the past decades, we have been fighting for your rights to possess and consume cannabis legally. Now that we have made so much headway, these corporate interests are seeking to swoop in and shape the landscape in a manner that works best for them, not for you.

We’ve already seen the influence of these corporate interests. In some instances, many of these same people have lobbied against consumer-friendly legalization provisions, such as the right for adults to cultivate marijuana in the privacy of their homes. These corporate entities also have pushed for statewide limits on the number of licensed cannabis producers and retailers, in an effort to keep prices and supply artificially limited — and to keep the economic benefits of legalization largely out of the reach of average Americans, especially people of color.

According to a news release, the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation is a combination of major players from mostly outside the traditional marijuana space but includes some that already have a financial stake in the industry.

Members include:

Altria Client Services, the producer of Marlboro cigarettes, a major investor in Canadian marijuana producer Cronos Group. THCF Medical Clinics was robbed by this group, the Cronos Group.

We’ve seen how big corporate money and influence have corrupted and corroded many other industries. We can’t let the legal marijuana industry become their next payday. We’ve fought too hard for far too long together to accept such an outcome.

Winning the battle against corporate influence won’t be easy. These entities have limitless supplies of cash at their disposal. Nonetheless, we’re positive we can overcome them — just like we defeated the ideological prohibitionists of yesteryear. Why? Because we have something they will never have; we have the power of the people. We have YOU.

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At the federal level this week, Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-02) introduced legislation (HR 1614) to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by removing marijuana offenses as grounds of inadmissibility or consideration in a good moral character determination, among other legal changes.

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We urge you to join us to oppose recent calls to re-criminalize cannabis products containing elevated levels of THC in several states, usually at 10 percent THC or less — including in Colorado, Florida, Montana and Washington — We stand united in opposition to these proposed legislative efforts.

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The Mississippi House of Representatives defeated a bill that would have established a medical cannabis program in the state, an alternative to the one approved by voters in November, but the effort was then revived when House members tacked an amendment onto a separate bill.

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Legislation in South Dakota seeking to delay the implementation of Measure 26, the voter-approved medical marijuana access law, was defeated on Wednesday after lawmakers failed to reconcile difference between House and Senate proposals. Meanwhile, the proponents behind Amendment A, the adult use ballot measure, officially filed an appeal in attempts to reverse the decision by the circuit court that the measure is unconstitutional.
As a result, Measure 26 will go into effect on July 1, 2021, as voters intended when 70 percent of South Dakotans decided in favor of the ballot measure during the 2020 election.

Meanwhile, the fate of Amendment A, the separate voter-approved adult use marijuana legalization measure, remains unclear. Earlier this month, a Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of litigation backed by the Governor’s office that seeks to nullify Constitutional Amendment A on the basis that it encompasses more than one topic and therefore violates the state’s ’single subject rule’ requirement. Proponents of Amendment A filed an appeal today in hopes that the state Supreme Court will reverse this decision.

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Lawmakers in Mexico’s lower chamber voted 316 to 129 in favor of amended legislation to legalize and license the adult-use marijuana market. Because House lawmakers made changes to the language of the bill, it must now go back to the Senate for reconsideration.

Under the proposal, those ages 18 and older would be permitted to legally possess personal use quantities of cannabis (up to 28 grams). Home cultivation of up to six plants is also permitted. Corporate production and retail sales will be allowed under a commercial licensing scheme.

Medical cannabis production and distribution, which is already permitted on a limited basis, will continue to be regulated separately by Mexico’s health ministry.

In 2018, justices on Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down Mexico’s marijuana criminalization laws and ordered lawmakers to enact legislation regulating the plant’s production, sale, and use.
If approved, Mexico will join Canada and Uruguay as the only other countries to have formally adopted marijuana legalization nationwide.

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A recent study found that a two-week course of high doses of CBD can restore the function of two different proteins that are key in reducing the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

A two-week course of high doses of CBD helps restore the function of two proteins key to reducing the accumulation of certain plaques in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease – and improves cognition in a mouse model of early-onset familial Alzheimer’s, according to a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Familial Alzheimer’s in an inherited version of the disease in which symptoms begin to occur in people in their 30s and 40s. About 10-15% of patients suffer from the inherited version.

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According to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Sustainability, an eighth of legal cannabis comes with up to a 41-pound carbon footprint, Gizmodo reports. The Colorado State University researchers found that the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions created by one indoor cultivation warehouse was between 5,033 pounds and 11,428 pounds of carbon-equivalent per every 2.2 pounds of dried flower.

In an interview with Gizmodo, Jason Quinn, an associate professor of the mechanical engineering department at Colorado State University and the study’s lead author, said that neither policymakers nor consumers are “paying much attention to environmental impacts of the cannabis industry.”

The researchers suggest that were indoor cannabis cultivation fully converted to outdoor operations, Colorado would “see a reduction of more than 1.3% in the state’s annual [greenhouse gas] emissions,” an equivalent of 2.3 million tons of carbon.

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