Hints That Congress May Tackle Federal Cannabis Legalization as More States Consider Medical and Adult-Use Legislation: Week In Review

Hints That Congress May Tackle Federal Cannabis Legalization as More States Consider Medical and Adult-Use Legislation: Week In Review

We’ve rounded up our top 10 articles to keep you up-to-date on the latest industry news.

February 9, 2018

In the past week, a U.S. senator indicated that Congress may take up federal marijuana legalization this year; Pennsylvania urged the feds to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances list; Virginia and Ohio made progress toward legal medical marijuana; New Mexico, Maryland and Georgia moved to legalize adult-use; an Oregon U.S. attorney convened a cannabis summit to address overproduction and diversion to the black market in the state and more.

  • A bill that would allow physicians to broadly prescribe non-hallucinogenic marijuana or cannabis extracts known as cannabidiol oil or THC-A received preliminary approval in the Virginia House of Delegates on Feb. 1. Its sponsors say the legislation seems likely to become law after years of failed attempts. Read more
  • Ohio regulators awarded a $1-million, three-year contract this week to a New Jersey-based company to operate a toll-free help line for patients, caregivers and doctors accessing the state’s new medical marijuana program. The center will offer fact-based information but will not give medical or legal advice. Read more
  • New Mexico Rep. Javier Martinez (D-Albuquerque) and four other urban Democratic representatives filed the Cannabis Taxation and Regulation Act bill on Jan. 31, which would create a Division of Cannabis Control to “regulate and administer” the sale of cannabis and collect fees in connection with commercial and medical cannabis programs. This is the fourth year in a row that the state legislature is being asked to consider taxing and regulating the sale of small, personal-use amounts of marijuana. Read more
  • Oregon U.S. Attorney Billy Williams convened Oregon’s first “cannabis summit” on Feb. 2 amid concerns about overproduction and diversion to the black market. The all-day meeting included presentations from members of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), FBI, Port of Portland, IRS, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), the Oregon Health Association(OHA), the governor’s office and a spectrum of district and U.S. attorneys from California, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Nevada. Read more
  • U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, a powerful Republican from North Carolina, suggested in a letter that the Senate Judiciary Committee is “likely” to discuss marijuana legalization this year. The letter was addressed to Rod Kight, a North Carolina lawyer who works with companies in the cannabis industry. Read more
  • Maryland legislators introduced bills to advance adult-use legalization, hoping to put the matter on the November 2018 ballot to let voters have their say on the issue. The bills’ co-sponsors joined Maryland cannabis advocates in presenting details of a possible constitutional amendment to the House of Delegates. Read more
  • A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators issued a resolution urging U.S. Congress to remove cannabis from the Schedule I Controlled Substances list and “recognize the proven medical purposes of marijuana.” Five Democrats and a Republican have sponsored the Senate resolution, which centers on a federal law that makes it illegal for marijuana users—even in sanctioned medical marijuana states—to own firearms. Read more
  • Georgia Sen. Curt Thompson (D-Tucker) introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The move is gaining some traction in the state capitol, but Thompson admits it won’t be easy. Read more
  • U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) is standing firm in his vow to jam all appointments to the Department of Justice until Attorney General Jeff Sessions softens his stance on marijuana. So far, his siege to protect both Colorado’s cannabis industry and the state’s sovereignty has prevented as many as 11 nominees from getting a Senate floor vote, and he and Sessions are not any closer to finding common ground. Read more
  • A bill that would allow people who have been prescribed opioids to apply for a temporary medical marijuana card passed an Illinois Senate committee Feb. 7. If signed into law, it would amend the state’s medical marijuana program to allow those prescribed opioids to apply for medical marijuana instead. Read more

Top image: © aleksandar kamasi | Adobe Stock