420 with CNW – Congress to Consider Several Cannabis Amendments this Week

The House Rules Committee of Congress is set to hear almost a dozen amendments related to marijuana this week. This crucial committee will decide which of those amendments are cleared for a vote by the whole House. The amendments are being considered this week because those that pass will form part of the appropriations bill for funding sections of the federal government in the next fiscal year.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) have reintroduced an amendment intended to prevent the Department of Justice from using its budget to get in the way of states which have enacted their own marijuana laws. An existing spending rider only covers medical marijuana, but the proposed amendment takes this further and seeks to protect state-level recreational marijuana as well. This new amendment is similar to another which failed by just nine votes in 2015.

Another amendment before the committee was introduced by Rep. Stacy Plaskett (D-VI). This measure is intended to correct the inadvertent omission of the U.S. Virgin Islands from the list of states and territories whose medical marijuana programs are protected from Justice Department interference by a spending rider.

Rep. Blumenauer didn’t stop at the amendment he co-authored with McClintock. He also brought several other amendments on his own. One amendment seeks to bar the Department of Justice from interfering in the tribal medical marijuana programs even if the states in which those tribal communities are found haven’t enacted medical cannabis laws. Three other amendments filed by the legislator also protect tribal marijuana programs in various ways.

Two other amendments by Blumenauer touch on the Department of Veteran Affairs. One protects VA workers from being penalized for filing paperwork in compliance with state laws regarding medical marijuana. Another aims at protecting VA doctors from being penalized for any marijuana-related work they do in states where medical marijuana is legal.

The Rules Committee will also consider a measure tabled by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) seeking to divert $30 million from the funding allocated to the DEA. This money should go towards the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program. In this way, the DEA will fall in line with the current thinking that drug addiction is a public health concern rather than a crime.

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA) has also tabled an amendment containing a spending proposal for the FDA to undertake a process through which CBD (cannabidiol) will become legal as an additive in food supplements and conventional foods.

It is interesting to note that many of the amendments seem to be geared at introducing marijuana policy reforms using the appropriations process. The success of the spending rider placed on the DOJ years ago appears to have provided an example that advocates want to use to initiate incremental changes to the existing marijuana policies.

Analysts wonder what major cannabis industry entities like Net Element Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) think about this change in strategy.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Bipartisan Governors Write to Congress Calling for Marijuana Policy Reform

The governors of 12 states across the U.S. penned a letter to leaders in Congress on Monday (June 3) urging Congress to pass bipartisan legislation which will make it possible for states to pass their own marijuana laws and implement them without any fear that the federal government will interfere in their jurisdictions.

In their letter, the Democratic and Republican governors noted that the majority of the states in the country have taken steps to legalize marijuana either for recreational or medical use. The governors also stated that state legislators had gone to great lengths to draft and pass regulations which would protect consumers, eliminate illegal marijuana sales, promote public safety and regulate the nascent marijuana industry.

Despite those great lengths to which states have gone to ensure that the emerging cannabis industry grows in a responsible way, those states only have Congressional funding riders as safeguards against federal interference in the marijuana industry. Such riders aren’t sufficient, and the governors want Congress to codify those protections into law.

The governors make specific reference to the STATES (Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States) Act. The governors describe this bipartisan bill as a logical step for the federal government to take since the bill would protect marijuana businesses which are operating in accordance with state law.

They also write that the STATES Act doesn’t seek to take sides regarding whether cannabis should or shouldn’t be legal. The Act simply recognizes that states have a right to pass and implement laws which respond to the needs of their people.

In short, the governors write that the STATES Act would make the federal government a partner of the constituent states which make up the union instead of being an impediment. The governors would wish to see the federal government constantly seeking to be a partner of the different states.

The governors of Colorado, California, Maryland, North Dakota, Massachusetts, New York, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Washington State signed the letter.

This letter is similar to another which was also signed by 12 governors. The version sent last year didn’t have Vermont and Utah as signees but it included New Jersey and Alaska (whose governors didn’t sign this latest letter).

The letter from the bipartisan governors adds to the long list of groups which have written to Congress calling for federal marijuana law reform. The other groups include the association of banking institutions, the association of cities and local authorities as well as attorneys general.

For how long will the federal government remain impervious to all these calls? Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) and MustGrow Biologics Corp. hope it doesn’t take much longer than it already has for the federal government to listen and act upon the voices calling for cannabis law reform.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – New Jersey Legislators Approve Several Marijuana Bills

As plans to legalize recreational marijuana seem to have hit a dead end, lawmakers in different New Jersey legislative committees have advanced the expansion of the medical marijuana program, marijuana criminal expungement and marijuana decriminalization bills.

On Monday afternoon (May 20), the Appropriations Committee of the Assembly debated and advanced a decriminalization bill. This bill seeks to make the possession of less than two ounces of cannabis a civil offense punishable by a $50 fine. The same committee also passed a bill to expunge marijuana convictions.

The version of this bill passed by a senate committee didn’t mention decriminalization. The intention was to include this provision at a later stage of the process after the different bills make their way through the different committees just before they are combined into one bill ready for presentation to the entire Assembly or Senate.

The Health and Human Health Services Committee of New Jersey’s senate also passed a bill to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. This bill proposes several changes to the existing law. For example, health professionals would now issue a prescription for medical cannabis for an entire year instead of just 90 days as has been the case under the current law.

The bill also allows patients to buy medical cannabis from any dispensary they choose within the state. Previously, patients could only buy medical marijuana from the dispensary where they were registered as they joined the medical marijuana program.

Patients will also be allowed to buy up to three ounces of medical cannabis at a go. The current law imposes a limit of one ounce, and this forces patients to make several trips to a medical cannabis dispensary to replenish their medical cannabis supply. This bill had earlier on been approved by the Appropriations Committee of the state Assembly.

While medical marijuana advocates see the bill to expand the medical marijuana program as imperfect, they recognize that it is far better than the existing legal framework so they will be happy to see it pass into law.

Patients and advocates were becoming increasingly frustrated by the delay to pass the expansion of the medical marijuana program even if it enjoyed universal support. The delays were intended to build consensus on the legalization of recreational marijuana, but there is a growing resignation to the possibility of putting the matter to a vote next year since lawmakers show no sign of agreeing on how full legalization should be implemented.

Steve Sweeney, the Senate President, also seems resigned to the fact that recreational cannabis is still a long way from being legalized legislatively. He revealed that while the bill to expand the medical marijuana program will soon be passed, he could not say the same for the bill to legalize recreational cannabis.

Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) and MustGrow Biologics Corp. hope that the bills approved by the various committees are cleared by either House quickly so that patients can enjoy better access to medical cannabis.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – 38 Attorneys General Urge Congress to Open Banking System to Marijuana

Thirty-eight attorneys general have written a letter to Congress asking the lawmakers to pass legislation which will enable the banking industry to receive money from legitimate marijuana businesses. The attorneys general are from different states and territories where marijuana is legal in some form.

While more than 33 states have legalized medical marijuana and 10 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized recreational cannabis, the federal government still regards marijuana as an illegal substance. This federal government position means that banks face a risk of federal enforcement action if money from the cannabis industry finds its way into any bank.

Consequently, most banks have been reluctant to accept marijuana companies as clients, and those that do charge high fees which make it very costly for cannabis businesses to access the most basic of banking services.

The attorneys general say this situation has created a public safety nightmare since the large amounts of cash held by cannabis businesses are an attractive target to criminals. They therefore call on Congress to pass the SAFE Banking Act or any other similar legislation so that the $8.3 billion cannabis industry can be admitted into the banking system.

Once all this money goes through banks, it would be easy for tax authorities to trace it in order to confirm that the cannabis companies are paying taxes as they should. Public safety will also be enhanced because the chance of robberies will have been reduced if cannabis businesses aren’t holding a lot of cash in their premises.

Towards the end of March this year, the Financial Services Committee of Congress advanced the SAFE Banking Bill and it now has 175 bipartisan co-sponsors.

The letter from the attorneys general shows how much support such a practical requirement attracts from state authorities who are at the forefront of this legal gray area in which legitimate cannabis businesses are entitled to all services like other businesses but federal law looks at them as pariahs.

Insiders say that the major stumbling block to the enactment of the SAFE Banking Act seems to be the senate leadership that don’t see the matter as a priority even if the bill may have sufficient votes to pass.

Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) and MustGrow Biologics Corp. hope that the voices of different groups, such as the attorneys general, finally get Congress and the Senate to pass this commonsense law to allow states to make and enforce their own marijuana laws, which include giving banks assurances that they will not be sanctioned for working with the legal marijuana industry.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Marijuana Investor Donates Millions to Harvard and MIT for Cannabis Research

Charles R. Broderick, a cannabis investor, has donated $9 million to his alma mater (Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology-MIT) so that the two institutions can conduct research into the health effects of cannabis.

The two academic institutions described the donation that they had received as the largest ever private funding into marijuana research.

Speaking about his donation, Broderick said that the absence of sufficient scientific research on cannabis has allowed some players in the industry to make claims that may be hard to verify. He added that since prohibitionist laws are collapsing around the world, the time has come to study the plant so that people have accurate information rather than having to rely on old science or anecdotal evidence.

One of the areas that will be focused on during the research funded by Broderick is the psychological and cognitive effects of marijuana.

Charles R. Broderick has been investing in the cannabis industry since 2015. He got his feet wet in Canada and then later expanded his interests into the U.S. marijuana industry.

The investor reveals that Harvard was initially reluctant to accept his donation due to Broderick’s involvement in the cannabis industry. However, his offer was accepted after brain chemical researchers at the university were excited by the opportunity.

MIT and Harvard insist that the findings of the research will not be influenced in any way by the interests of the donor. The institutions vowed that they would release their findings to the public regardless of whether the findings indicate that marijuana is harmful or helpful.

Meanwhile, interest in cannabis research is growing in academic circles. Additionally, the boom in marijuana industry jobs has prompted many universities to start offering some form of cannabis courses.

For example, Colorado State University offers students a minor in the legal, social, health and political impact of cannabis. Harvard, Ohio State University and the University of Denver all offer courses on marijuana law and policy.

The jobs that students expect to get after taking those cannabis courses vary in accordance with the range of products and services created by the cannabis industry. These include the medical uses of cannabis, the manufacture of fabrics from hemp, the processing of cannabis-infused foods and beverages, making of recreational cannabis products, etc.

Currently, recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states and more are queuing to join that list. Medical cannabis is permitted in 33 states across the U.S. For this reason, MustGrow Biologics Corp. and Nabis Holdings (CSE: NAB) (OTC: INNPF) (FRA: 71P) welcome the donation made by Broderick since the research done will make more information available about cannabis so that the excuse of insufficient research used by detractors will be no more.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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