Cannabis news briefs: Banking bill headed for vote, NJ delays MJ vote, CVS to sell CBD, and more
The U.S. House of Representatives is slated to vote on a bill that would allow banks to provide services to legal marijuana businesses. Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters is pushing ahead on the measure, despite calls from the panel’s top Republican, Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina to delay the vote.
Introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter with 132 Democratic and 12 Republican co-sponsors, The SAFE Banking Act would allow banks to offer banking and other financial services to cannabis operations. For more on this story see PotNetwork's marijuana stocks weekly investor roundup.
CVS to sell CBD
The big news in the world of hemp and CBD last week was the announcement that CVS intends to sell CBD products made by Curaleaf in 800 stores in eight states. The national drug store chain will also be partnering with a company to test and verify the quality of the CBD topicals sold in its drug stores. CVS has at least 9,800 stores nationwide.
CBD items will be sold in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Tennessee. According to a report by Marketwatch, CVS is selling non-edible CBD products in the form of creams, sprays, roll-ons, lotions, and salves. The FDA has stated that it is unlawful to add CBD to foods.
UPS files lawsuit against three cannabis delivery services
UPS has filed suit against three medical marijuana delivery services. The shipping giant claims that three companies — United Pot Smokers, UPS420, and THCPlant — are ripping off their brand. According to the complaint, filed February 13 in the Los Angeles District Court, UPS alleges that the United Pot Smokers branding copies the signature UPS shield logo and the famous ‘UPS’ acronym.
UPS also claims the other two defendants are using language on their websites which borrows from company talking points. For example, United Pot Smokers site claimed to be a “nationwide logistics expeditor” and “operational courier." PotNetwork’s Sean McCaughan has more on this story.
Jelly Belly inventor offers CBD jellies
In an interview with Cannabis Aficionado, David Klein, the inventor of the famous Jelly Belly brand candy beans, announced a line of CBD-infused jelly beans. Klein’s company, Spectrum Confections, is producing the CBD-infused jelly beans in 38 different flavors, including toasted marshmallow, pina colada, strawberry cheesecake, and mango. Sugar-free varieties will also be available.
NFL may end cannabis ban
The National Football League is reportedly considering “major concessions regarding the substance-abuse policy, especially as it relates to marijuana,” reports NBC Sports. According to the national news outlet, a source from within the NFL claims that the concessions are part of negotiations with the NFL Players Associations and might be implemented in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. According to NBC Sports’ source, restrictions against players’ marijuana usage could be removed altogether.
Tom Brokaw endorses medical marijuana
Every time a high profile celebrity comes out of the closet on marijuana, more Americans consider giving it a try. NBC News senior correspondent Tom Brokaw is the latest to try medical marijuana to relieve pain related to multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer. The 79-year-old NBC correspondent is in remission from multiple myeloma.
PotNetwork Holdings sponsors prizefighter
PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. (OTC Pink:POTN) subsidiary Diamond CBD, (full disclosure: PotNetwork Holdings is the parent company of PotNetwork News) a hemp extraction and CBD products producer for the wellness market, hailed the return to the ring Saturday night of their widely celebrated prizefighter Jessie “El Peligroso” Magdaleno, who won the NABF Featherweight Title. Magdaleno, a former WBO super bantamweight titleholder bested Rico Ramos, winning a unanimous decision while sporting the Diamond CBD logo on his trunks to improve his already impressive record to 26-1-0, with 18 KOs.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of Jessie Magdaleno’s team and proud to sponsor what we think is one of the most exciting sports out there today,” said Kevin Hagen, CEO of Diamond CBD parent company PotNetwork Holdings, Inc. “Millions of people have turned to all-natural CBD products to help with things like pain and inflammation, and we know that if it’s powerful enough for someone who takes a beating in the ring, then it will work wonders on everyday aches and pains.”
New Jersey lawmakers called off a planned vote on a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Advocates of the bill say they don’t yet have enough votes to pass in the Senate—yet.
Shortly after the bill was shelved, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney said, “anybody who thinks this is dead, they’re wrong. This is an issue that’s not going away. The legalization of adult-use marijuana will get passed in the state of New Jersey, one way or another.”
Lawmakers are expected to schedule another vote, perhaps as soon as May. Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Murphy canceled plans to expand New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana program. Murphy agreed to hold off on the expansion after lawmakers expressed concern that the plan would hurt their ability to gather votes for adult use measures.
The Michigan Bureau of Marijuana Regulation has announced that draft rules should be ready by this summer. Bureau Director Andrew Brisbo told state lawmakers on Wednesday that he anticipates draft rules to be ready by June; however, the issuance of emergency administrative rules may not occur until later in the year.
In a 5-2 vote, the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee in Texas has approved a marijuana decriminalization bill that would replace jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana with a fine. Under the measure, possession of one ounce or less of cannabis would be punished with a $250 fine for the first two offenses.
Former Alabama Bureau of Investigation official and current State Representative, Mike Ball, has introduced legislation to extend Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law. Carly’s Law, which allows the University of Alabama at Birmingham to conduct research on the use of CBD will expire on July 1, 2019. Leni’s Law provides protections for CBD patients with specific debilitating medical conditions. The bill proposes to repeal Leni’s Law on November 1, 2020. PotNetwork’s Meg Ellis has more on this story.
Way up in North Dakota, lawmakers in both houses unanimously passed a measure intended to “align the state and federal definitions of hemp and establish a program to regulate production,” according to AG Week. The bill requires hemp growers and processors to apply to the state Department of Agriculture for a license.
Lawmakers in Maine have signed off on a bill allowing the production and sale of CBD products in the state. The bill was introduced after state regulators stopped sales of CBD edibles due to FDA guidance, stating it is unlawful to add CBD to foods. The proposal now heads to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills for a signature and will go into effect immediately upon signing.
Florida-based SunTrust Bank has notified the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida (MBAF) that it will close the industry lobbying group’s account on April 18. MBAF Executive Director Jeffrey Sharkey told Marijuana Business Daily the association has been banking with SunTrust since 2014.
The Iowa House passed legislation that aims to replace an existing 3 percent cap on THC, and allow the dispensing of 25 grams over a 90-day period. Other provisions in the bill include rewording “untreatable pain” to “severe or chronic pain” as a qualifying condition.
A Connecticut house committee has approved a bill to legalize marijuana. The General Law Committee voted 10 to 8 to advance the bill, according to Marijuana Moment. The measure aims to legalize marijuana and implement a number of social equity provisions aimed at encouraging participation in the legal industry by individuals from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the drug war.” Learn more here.
Lawmakers in the U.S territory of Guam recently voted in favor of a bill to legalize marijuana allowing the possession of marijuana. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero is expected to sign the measure.
Across the globe
In Argentina, Canadian LP, Aphria is working with Argentine children’s hospital to collaborate on CBD treatments for refractory epilepsy. The study, which will last 2.5 years, aims to develop accurate CBD oil dosing for patients with refractory epilepsy. The two companies also work with Universidad Nacional De La Plata on research and medical cannabis education initiatives. This and other Latin America cannabis news can be found here.