[author: Susan Ryan]
Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
The House of Representatives passed this year’s version of the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. Senator Mitch McConnell expressed his opposition to protections for the cannabis industry. The World Health Organization’s recommendations on rescheduling cannabis met some opposition at the United Nations. The European Commission said that hemp is a drug. The Idaho medical marijuana ballot initiative appears to be dead. Marijuana sales in Maine may start by the end of 2020. And Uncle Bud has a new celebrity sponsor.
As we predicted last week, the House of Representatives passed the Blumenauer-McClintock-Norton-Lee amendment by a vote of 254 to 163. The amendment would protect state legal marijuana companies, both medical and recreational, from federal interference. For a detailed examination of who voted how, see Marijuana Moment’s rundown here.
The House is one thing; the Senate, of course, is another. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) opposes marijuana legalization, so the chances of this surviving a Senate vote seem slim. Recently, McConnell has been quite vocal about his unhappiness over the inclusion of cannabis banking provisions in the latest COVID-19 relief bill.
The World Health Organization recommended some changes to cannabis scheduling, including adding a footnote to the cannabis entry in Schedule 1 of the 1961 Single Convention to clarify that preparations containing predominantly CBD and up to 0.2% THC are not under international control. Opposition to the measure came from some members of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, but the cannabis industry remains hopeful that the measure will ultimately pass.
Meanwhile, things are looking grim for the European hemp industry. The European Commission released a preliminary conclusion that industrial hemp extracts are drugs under EU legislation. Obviously, the European Industrial Hemp Association opposes this conclusion and will be lobbying hard against its confirmation.
A measure that seems doomed to failure is Idaho’s medical marijuana ballot initiative. The United States Supreme Court reinstated Idaho’s restrictions on signature collection, nullifying a lower court decision. The court prohibited a school funding group, Reclaim Idaho, from using electronic signature collection in order to get enough signatures for their initiative. The Idaho Cannabis Coalition had hoped that Reclaim Idaho’s success would lead to their own, but it was not to be.
In other state news, recreational marijuana sales in Maine may begin as soon as the end of 2020. The Maine Office of Marijuana Policy stated that a formal announcement would come later this month and that they expect tax revenues from adult-use sales this year.
Regular readers will doubtless recall our report that Jane Fonda is now a spokesperson for Uncle Bud’s Hemp and CBD products. She’s now been joined by Magic Johnson, who swears by their lotion for pain relief.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!