Cannabis Alert

Author:Ms Kathryn Ashton, Eric P. Berlin, Ausra Deluard, David C. Quam, Joanne Caceres and Troy Housman

In this week's edition:

Congress introduces bills to reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III and to expand cannabis businesses' access to insurance coverage. New York expands the state's cannabis decriminalization law, Missouri approves a cannabis legalization ballot measure for signature gathering, and Ohio legalizes hemp and CBD. Saint Kitts and Nevis announces legislation to legalize cannabis, New Zealand files legislation enabling a 2020 referendum on legalizing cannabis, and Dominica indicates its intent to file legislation that would decriminalize cannabis. Federal

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Senate's second highest-ranking Democrat, filed a bill to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III and to expand research on its effects, which would include tasking the National Institutes of Health with creating a cannabis agenda that formalizes top research priorities.

Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Steve Stivers (R-OH) filed a bill to expand cannabis businesses' access to insurance coverage. Unlike similar legislation recently filed in the Senate, this bill would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to "carry out a study on the barriers to marketplace entry, including in the licensing process, and the access to financial services for potential and existing minority-owned and women-owned cannabis-related legitimate businesses."

More than 100 organizations wrote to urge Congress to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, a bill introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that would deschedule cannabis and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs. Maritza Perez, senior policy analyst for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress, stated that the bill is "the most far-ranging marijuana reform bill introduced in Congress to date."

A new US Coast Guard order bans personnel from visiting cannabis businesses or participating in "any event or with any entity that sells, promotes, celebrates, encourages, or seeks to further the use of marijuana and illegal THC-based products," saying that doing so would be "contrary to our Core Values and our role as a federal law enforcement agency."

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is giving the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) 30 days to explain its failure to respond to an application submitted by the Scottsdale Research Institute (SRI) for licenses to grow cannabis for...

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