Cannabis Reg. Update: MN Gov.'s Bill Allows Small Amounts Of THC In Food & Drinks, Cannabis Legalization By End Of Summer & More

Cannabis Reg. Update: MN Gov.'s Bill Allows Small Amounts Of THC In Food & Drinks, Cannabis Legalization By End Of Summer & More

Morocco’s Agency To Regulate Medicinal Cannabis Holds First Meeting

The upper house of Morocco's parliament approved a bill to legalize the cultivation and commercialization of cannabis for medicinal and industrial uses last year.

Now, the country’s regulatory body which will oversee the use of medical cannabis from the import of seeds to the marketing of cannabis products met  for the first time last week.

The National Agency for the Regulation of Cannabis Activities, which is chaired by Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit, green-lighted its organization chart and budget for 2022, reported Macau Business.

Interestingly, Morocco is the world's largest supplier of cannabis to Europe, although illicitly. According to BBC’s calculations, the country’s illegal trade is worth roughly €8 billion ($8.57 billion).

Moreover, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s data suggest that this North African country is the world’s biggest producer of cannabis resin or hashish.

Austria’s Alternative Approach To Rec Cannabis Legalization

Recreational cannabis is not legal in Austria, however, the possession of small amounts of the flower has effectively been decriminalized since 2016, punishable in the form of fines.

While there’s not yet a clear legislative approach to cannabis reform, the issue seems to keep arising in the courts.

A private petition was brought by a 26-year-old man in Vienna who was caught in Vienna with a joint by the two undercover police officers in 2020, High Times wrote.

Paul Burger’s case which is currently pending at the country’s Constitutional Court could be a game-changer, as the court now must evaluate whether the country’s Narcotics Drugs Act is constitutional.

Minnesota Gov. Signs Bill To Allow Small Amounts Of THC In Food & Beverages

Minnesota-based hemp businesses can now legally market CBD-infused foods and drinks after Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed the large-scale legislation that included provisions that provide permanent protections, reported Marijuana Moment.

Besides CBD, the measure allows all hemp-derived cannabinoids to be legally sold in food items, beverages and topicals, to name a few. The products must contain less than the federal limit of 0.3 % THC.

The new bill also allows up to 5 mg of hemp-derived THC to be legally sold in edibles and drinks to those 21 and older.

Cannabis Coalition Kicks Off New Campaign To Support Cannabis Banking Reform, Rep. Perlmutter Grateful

Several marijuana advocacy groups have joined forces to raise awareness around the benefits of cannabis banking reform.

Marijuana Matters, Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) and Women Grow created the “SAFE4Equity” campaign with the goal to push for the passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in Congress.

Last month a quarter of voting members of the U.S. House sent a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to enact the banking provisions into law as part of the large-scale manufacturing bill - America COMPETES Act.

So far, the SAFE Banking Act, introduced by Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), has managed to pass the U.S. House six times in the last three years. The bill, which Rep. Perlmutter attached as an amendment to the America COMPETES Act earlier this year, still needs to pass the Senate.

Perlmutter thanked advocates in a press release for the campaign launch.

“I appreciate SAFE4Equity’s support of the SAFE Banking Act and their ongoing advocacy for federal cannabis reform,” he said in a Tweet. “SAFE Banking is only one piece of the puzzle but it is a critical piece of reform that underserved communities and small businesses need now.”

Oregon To Create Network Of Addiction Treatment, Prevention Services After All

It seems that the implementation of a drug prevention and treatment network to provide help to people with addiction problems in Oregon is back on track after the process has stalled for months.

Ian Green, performance audit manager for the Secretary of State’s Office, shared that message during a presentation on Thursday to a state House committee. Oregon Health Authority was to be partially blamed for delays, according to the ongoing audit of the implementation of Measure 110, as it didn’t show support to the state review committee, reported Oregon Capitol Chronicle.

Voters in Oregon have green-lighted a measure that marked an unprecedented change in the history of U.S. drug policy in 2020.

Measure 110, which was passed by 58.8% positive votes, decriminalized the possession of small amounts of all illegal drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, methamphetamine, and LSD, to name a few. That measure also created a support program for drug abuse and addiction as well as set aside roughly $150 million a year in marijuana tax revenue for addiction prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Unfortunately, the state’s addiction crisis intensifies with an increase in fentanyl positivity of 58% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to all of 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data.

People Of Color Continue To Be Disproportionately Arrested For Drug Use, New Report Reveals

A new report from the Reparations Task Force released on Wednesday revealed that people of color continue to be disproportionately arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned for drug use, even though Blacks and Whites use cannabis at nearly identical rates.

“Although the majority of illegal drug users and dealers nationwide are white, three-fourths of all people imprisoned for drug offenses are Black or Latino,” the report says.

The 500-page document highlights the fact that police have intentionally targeted Black people for political and racist reasons.

The task force’s nine members “are drawn from diverse backgrounds to represent the interests of communities of color throughout the state, have experience working to implement racial justice reform, and, to the extent possible, represent geographically diverse areas of the state.”

Interestingly, the report emphasized that “many African American Olympic athletes are discriminated against [by] being suspended for legal marijuana use,” something recently seen when Sha'Carri Richardson was suspended for one month following a positive marijuana test and lost her chance to attend the Olympics.

Marijuana Legalization By End Of Summer, Attorney General Says

Attorney General Ryan Pinder expects that marijuana legalization will be wrapped up by the end of the summer, reported The Tribune.

“Our external council who’s been working with us on the legislation is working hand-in-hand with law reform,” he said last week at a community legal aid project press conference. “Now since the budget exercise is now concluding with respect to legislative events that’s back on stream and they have specific recommendations on how we should address it. Law reform is in the process of amending the legislation that was in place to address those concerns so that is back in the process. There was a slight delay because of a shift in priorities but we’re certain, again by the end of the summer, that legislation should be concluded.”

Photo: Courtesy of David Gabrić on Unsplash

Posted In: billCannabis Usedrug decriminalizationEd PerlmutterIan GreenMacau BusinessRecreational MarijuanaRyan PinderSAFE Banking ActCannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneral

BENZINGA CANNABIS CONFERENCE

Meet the biggest cannabis industry players and make deals that will push the industry forward.

Featuring live company presentations, insider panels, and unmatched access to networking, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is where cannabis executives and entrepreneurs meet.

Join us September 13-14, 2022 at The Palmer House in Chicago, IL.