Cannabis news briefs: Congressman tells Fox News of Trump's pro-pot stance, despite evidence to the contrary
In an interview with Fox, Representative Dana Rohrabacher claimed that the Trump administration plans on looking into federal cannabis reform sometime after the midterm elections.
“I have been talking to people inside the White House who know and inside the president’s entourage… I have talked to them at length. I have been reassured that the president intends on keeping his campaign promise. I would expect after the election we will sit down, and we’ll start hammering out something that is specific and real. It could be as early as spring of 2019, but definitely in the next legislative session.”
Although President Trump hinted at his support for ending federal prohibition both during his election campaign and while in office, the White House recently admitted to the existence of an anti-marijuana committee. Reports in BuzzFeed discovered the committee’s purpose is to propagate an anti-marijuana message.
Meanwhile, Rohrabacher, a 30-year incumbent is in danger of losing his seat in Congress this year over new allegations of his ties to Russia.
“It looks like a toss-up seat,” said Bruce E. Cain, a Stanford University political scientist in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “The question is, has he been hurt by the Russia stuff?”
Regardless of his ties to foreign governments, claims of marijuana reform so close to the election should be taken with a grain of salt, according to some experts familiar with the situation.
Ontario to become the world’s biggest wholesale cannabis buyer
As Canada prepares to launch legal weed, the government of Ontario is about to become the world’s biggest wholesale buyer of cannabis products. Both liquor and cannabis are controlled by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and its subsidiary the Ontario Cannabis Store.
The Canadian province is already the largest wholesale buyer of wine. In Ontario, cannabis will only be sold through the government-run website. There will be no storefronts for the first six months. On October 17, pot smokers in Ontario will be allowed to light up anywhere where cigarette smoking is legal.
Canadian cannabis industry people welcome in US
In a reversal of policy, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that it will not ban Canadians involved in the cannabis industry from entering the U.S. “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S.,” the update reads. “However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for [a] reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection had previously issued a policy stating that “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for [a] reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”
Cannabis measures on hold until after Thanksgiving
Congress will be taking leave for the elections before continuing work on pending cannabis bills. Still awaited is a final agreement between the House and Senate on the hemp language within the 2018 Farm Bill. The issue is expected to be taken up after Thanksgiving. Also, a bill co-sponsored by Senators Cory Gardner and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will see no action (other than additional sponsors signing on) at the committee level. The same goes for the expanded marijuana research bill being promoted by Senator Orrin Hatch, and Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (both Republicans).
State-by-state cannabis news
Nate Webb, president of the Oklahoma Credit Union Association, has urged the state’s banks to avoid getting tangled up the state’s developing medical marijuana market until Congress legalizes or permits states to regulate marijuana. “Until federal guidelines are changed, our guidance is steer clear,” Webb warned. Oklahoma banking commissioner Mick Thompson echoed his concerns. Roger Beverage, CEO of Oklahoma Bankers Association, claims that around 400 of more than 6,000 federally insured banks offer services to marijuana-touching companies.
Washington state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board announced last week that it would reverse its earlier approvals of marijuana-infused candies and ban their sale because they are “especially appealing to children.” LACB told cannabis companies “all production of hard candy, tarts, fruit chews, colorful chocolates, jellies, and any gummy type products should cease.” The new regulations go into effect Jan. 1, 2019. However, stores will be allowed to sell such products until existing inventory is depleted with April 3, 2019, being the final cutoff date.
Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, the Commission to Study the Legalization Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana will deliver its final report to Gov. Chris Sununu by Nov. 1. The report will include recommendations for a legal marijuana market including regulatory framework, licensing processes, tax rates, and revenue projections.
In Nebraska, state police seized more than 1,600 pounds of edibles, THC wax, and marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 80 near Milford. The take included 488 boxes containing 50 THC candy bars in each box, 465 units of THC wax, and 11 pounds of marijuana with a total estimated street value of more than $550,000. Two people were arrested and charged with possession of controlled substances with intent to deliver.
Just in time for Election Day, the National Cannabis Industry Association has compiled a medical marijuana access scorecard for each member of Congress. With important elections ahead in Michigan, Missouri, North Dakota, Arizona, Florida, and several local races, the NCIA compendium will give voters strong and comprehensive guidance. Find the report here.
A working group appointed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to draft the state’s legalization legislation is taking public comments on this initiative until the end of October. Email comments to email@example.com.
Upcoming cannabis events
Oct. 12-13: SW Cannabis Conference – Phoenix
Oct. 11-13: New West Summit – Oakland
Oct. 14-16: 3rd MJ for Medical Docs – Denver
Oct. 16-17: 5th CBOutLook Conference – Denver
Oct. 18-20: CWC: World Congress - Boston
Oct. 22-23: CCIA: Calif. Cannabis Ind Assn – Anaheim
Oct. 26: Cannabis Sustainability Symposium - Denver
Oct. 31- Nov. 2: Marijuana Management – Denver
Nov. 2-4: Hemp Industry Assn. – Los Angeles
Nov. 14-16: MJ Business Expo – Las Vegas
Dec. 15-16: Emerald Cup - Santa Rosa, CA