New Study Finds People Turned to Cannabis During the Pandemic to Feel Happier

COLORADO: A 2021 survey finds a positive correlation between the number of COVID-19 cases and demand for medical cannabis; more than half of patients said they used cannabis “to feel happy.”

— 55% of medical cannabis patients primarily use to feel ‘happy’

— Patient desire to feel ‘happy’ via medical cannabis use grew 46% in the past year

— Study suggests exogenous shocks like COVID-19, elections, protests and riots positively influence medical cannabis demand

Did the stressors of COVID-19 drive more Americans to use medical cannabis as an alternative tool for managing their mental health? A new national study exploring this question found a positive correlation between national demand for medical cannabis and the national number of COVID-19 cases; in other words, as cases increased, so did medical cannabis use. And whereas the most common reason for obtaining a medical card has historically been for chronic pain, the majority of medical cannabis patients who applied for medical cards over the past year cited psychological purposes, with 55% of patients saying their main reason for using cannabis was “to feel ‘happy.”

These findings are part of a national study conducted by Veriheal, the healthcare enterprise behind the nation’s largest medical marijuana application platform, in partnership with graduate research scholars from the London School of EconomicsUniversity of Southern California and University of Maryland; and the CREA (Cultivating Research Education and Advocacy) Group, a business development and research firm dedicated to psychoactive drugs like cannabinoids, psychedelics, and entheogens. The findings were officially presented to the American Chemical Society, a congressionally chartered non-profit leading research in the global chemical enterprise, at their April 2021 national conference.

Conducted between January 2020 and March 2021, the study investigated medical cannabis interest and adoption by desired effect across region, sex and age group, in relation to COVID-19 cases in America as reported by the official COVID-19 CDC data tracker.

Patient data was obtained from surveys on the Veriheal telemedicine platform, which connects prospective cannabis patients to state-certified cannabis doctors to facilitate and streamline the medical marijuana (MMJ) card application process.

Clarifying Statement Regarding WSLCB Rule Making Authority Re THC Isomers Other Than Delta-9

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board issued the following clarifying statement regarding its rule making authority re: THC Isomers other than Delta-9.

Issue

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive compound naturally occurring in very low levels in cannabis. With the recent federal legalization of hemp, delta-8 and other THC compounds other than state regulated delta-9, can be chemically derived from CBD that was originally generated from hemp.

Delta-8 derived from hemp has emerged for sale nationwide, including small amounts within the regulated Washington State supply chain, as well as in unregulated convenience stores and commercial internet websites. It is an emerging issue nationwide with concerns surrounding it that include: youth access, health effects resulting from the extraction process, and the impact of a product that is generally unregulated competing with a tightly regulated state cannabis marketplace.

Research

In recent months, the LCB has been researching delta-8 through multiple channels. Discussions are ongoing with state public health officials, cannabis industry representatives and other state regulators through the national trade organization the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA). Most states are currently fact finding and communicating with Washington and other states. Some have moved quickly to prohibit delta-8 through rule or legislation.

Reason for Policy Statement

On April 28, 2021, LCB issued Policy Statement Number PS-21-01 regarding: The regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than Delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. The LCB’s policy statement is in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concerns for clarification.

Through PS-21-01, the LCB is notifying the public and stakeholders that the agency will be addressing the issue. State law encourages agencies to advise the public of its current opinions, approaches, and likely courses of action by means of interpretive or policy statements. Current interpretive and policy statements are advisory only. To better inform the public, agencies are encouraged to also convert long-standing interpretive and policy statements into rules.

LCB Intent

The LCB’s intent is to open public discussion around this issue. While the Board has broad rule-making authority to act quickly when the public health, safety or welfare is at risk, the Board’s intention is to approach the issue conservatively and transparently, collecting input and actively collaborating with stakeholders. Until the LCB has reached a conclusion through the public rule-0making process whether to adopt rules to create enforceable requirements regarding products that contain delta-8, this policy statement is advisory. The LCB will continue to enforce existing rules pertaining to packaging and labeling reviews to ensure there is not an excess of 10 mg of any type of THC in edible products.

The policy statement represents the Board’s continued effort to make the public and stakeholders aware of our intentions and invite participation. The Board will soon approve a CR 101 to make the process public and begin standard rule-making. As always, interested parties may sign up for email notifications or check the LCB website at lcb.wa.gov for updates.

Tilray & Aphria Announce Closing of Transaction That Creates the “New” Tilray – a Global Cannabis Leader

Operational Efficiencies Expected to Generate Approximately US$81 Million Annual Pre-Tax Cost-Saving Synergies for New Tilray Within Eighteen Months

NEW YORK & CANADA: Tilray, Inc. and Aphria Inc. today announced the completion of the previously announced business combination, ushering in a new era in the global cannabis industry. The combined company, which will operate as Tilray (the “Company”), brings together two highly complementary businesses to create the leading cannabis-focused consumer packaged goods (“CPG”) company with the largest global geographic footprint in the industryThe combined company had a market cap of approximately US$8.2 billion based on the closing stock prices on April 30, 2021.

 

The Company’s class 2 common stock (“Tilray Shares”) will continue to trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Exchange under the ticker symbol “TLRY” and will commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “TLRY” on May 5, 2021. As previously announced, each Aphria shareholder received 0.8381 of a Tilray Share for each Aphria common share (each an “Aphria Share”) held on April 30, 2021, the effective time of the transaction. Holders of Tilray Shares prior to the completion of the transaction continue to hold their Tilray Shares with no adjustment as a result of the transaction. An early warning report in respect of the Company’s acquisition of all of the outstanding Aphria Shares pursuant to the transaction will be filed on SEDAR and will be ‎available under Aphria’s issuer profile at www.sedar.com.‎

Irwin D. Simon, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “Our focus now turns to execution on our highest return priorities including business integration and accelerating our global growth strategy. Covid-19 related lockdowns have presented unique challenges across Canadian and German markets. As these markets begin to re-open, Tilray is poised to strike and transform the industry with our highly scalable operational footprint, a curated portfolio of diverse medical and adult-use cannabis brands and products, a multi-continent distribution network, and a robust capital structure to fund our global expansion strategy and deliver sustained profitability and long-term value for our stakeholders.”

Mr. Simon continued, “Our global team is laser-focused on turning potential into performance and addressing consumer and patient needs for safe, innovative, and high-quality products. We are eager to get to work and want to thank both the Aphria and the Tilray Boards of Directors and especially Brendan Kennedy for his spirit of partnership and irrepressible belief in the art of ‘what’s possible.’ We will benefit enormously from his legacy and continued service on the Tilray Board.”

We expect that the business combination will provide, among others, the following financial and strategic benefits:

World’s Largest Global Cannabis Company. The combination of Aphria and Tilray brings together two highly complementary businesses to create the leading cannabis-focused CPG company with the largest global geographic footprint in the industry.

Strategic Footprint and Operational Scale. We believe that the Company has the strategic footprint and operational scale necessary to compete more effectively in today’s consolidating cannabis market with a strong, flexible balance sheet, strong cash balance, and access to capital, which we believe will give the Company the ability to accelerate growth and deliver long-term sustainable value for stockholders.

Low-cost, State-of-the-Art Production & the Leading Canadian Adult-Use Cannabis Producer. The demand for the Company’s products will be supported by low-cost state-of-the-art cultivation, processing, and manufacturing facilities, and it will have a complete portfolio of branded cannabis 2.0 products to strengthen its leadership position in Canada.

Positioned to Pursue an Accelerated International Growth Strategy. The Company is well-positioned to pursue international growth opportunities with its strong medical cannabis brands, distribution network in Germany, and end-to-end European Union Good Manufacturing Practices (“EU-GMP”) supply chain, which includes its production facilities in Portugal and Germany.

Enhanced Consumer Packaged Goods Presence and Infrastructure in the U.S. In the United States, Tilray has a strong consumer packaged goods presence and infrastructure with two strategic pillars, including SweetWater, a leading cannabis lifestyle branded craft brewer, and Manitoba Harvest, a pioneer in branded hemp, CBD and wellness products with access to 17,000 stores in North America. In the event of federal permissibility, the Company expects to be well-positioned to compete in the U.S. cannabis market given its existing strong brands and distribution system in addition to its track record of growth in consumer-packaged goods and cannabis products.

Substantial Synergies. The Company expects to deliver approximately US$81 million (C$100 million) of annual pre-tax cost synergies within eighteen months and plans to achieve cost synergies in the key areas of cultivation and production, cannabis and product purchasing, sales, and marketing, and corporate expenses.

Tilray’s new leadership team and board of directors will provide a strong foundation for the Company to accelerate growth and capitalize on the business combination’s many benefits.

Effective on closing, the senior management team and Board of Directors of the Company were reconstituted as follows:

  • Irwin D. Simon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
  • Carl Merton, Chief Financial Officer
  • Denise Faltischek, Head of International and Chief Strategy Officer
  • Jim Meiers, President, Canada
  • Jared Simon, President, Manitoba Harvest and Tilray Wellness
  • Rita Seguin, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Dara Redler, Interim Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary
  • Berrin Noorata, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer
  • Lloyd Brathwaite, Chief Information Officer
  • Freddy Bensch, Chief Executive Officer, SweetWater

Board of Directors:

  • Irwin D. Simon, Chairman
  • Renah Persofsky, ICD.D, Vice-Chair (Lead Director) and Chair of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Independent Director
  • Jodi Butts, Nominating & Governance Committee Member, Independent Director
  • David Clanachan, Newly Appointed Independent Director
  • John M. Herhalt Chair of the Audit Committee, Independent Director
  • David Hopkinson, Nominating and Governance Committee & Compensation Committee Member, Independent Director
  • Brendan Kennedy, Current Director and Former CEO, Tilray
  • Tom Looney, Audit Committee & Compensation Committee Member, Independent Director
  • Walter Robb, Chair of the Compensation Committee & Audit Committee Member, Independent Director

New Tilray Branding

The new Tilray logo blends both Aphria and legacy Tilray’s branding into a design that reflects the new Company’s growing portfolio of brands across cannabis-lifestyle and wellness product categories, including medical, adult-use, hemp foods, and beverages. The continued use of “Tilray” as the Company’s name evokes hard work and hope – til shortened from tilling the soil and ray as in a ray of sunshine. Tilray is a pioneer navigating toward the end of prohibition and built to deliver on the collective wellbeing of the Company’s employees, consumers, patients, partners, and local communities.

The Emerald Cup 2022 Moves to Los Angeles & Adds “Harvest Ball” NorCal Event

CALIFORNIA: The iconic cannabis competition, The Emerald Cup, is proud to announce they are moving the ECA’s (The Emerald Cup Awards) and legendary festival for 2022 to Los Angeles. This news follows a historic 2021 event where the pandemic-proof event went virtual – via hundreds of hours of new and existing content – becoming “The Emerald Cup Channel” on cannabis’ first TV network Social Club TV. A full director’s cut of the event debuted for video-on-demand on 4/20/2021.

Staying connected to their roots the traditional December dates for the Cup will live on as the Emerald Cup Harvest Ball and the beginning of the Road to the Cup.  The event will be the opening of submissions for the Spring 2022 contest and the beginning of the Road to the Cup.  The event will be more intimate than the past and focus on the fresh harvest and genetics.  Tickets will be limited so don’t wait and miss out.  Described as a global gathering of the Emerald Cup tribe in celebration of the traditional harvest time, the event will take place in Santa Rosa, CA over 2 days and will continue to offer education, entertainment and community to their international family and fan base.

“The tribe has spoken and we are making the move to bring our Cup to the world’s largest cannabis community and industry  – Los Angeles” says The Emerald Cup founder and CEO Tim Blake. “Following our most recent, and largest event ever, our community has exploded and we are transitioning to a venue closer to the epicenter of California’s cannabis market. This evolution continues as we cement our place as the most recognized and attended cannabis competition in the world.”

Named the “Academy Awards of Cannabis” by Rolling Stone, The Emerald Cup, has celebrated excellence in organic, sun grown and now indoor cannabis with over 35 catagories and awards across the product spectrum from flower, concentrates, topicals and edibles. Attracting countless attendees and special guests over the years, including top talent including The Roots, Ziggy Marley, Michael Franti, Rebelution, Chelsea Handler and SantiGold. Joining the calendar and complementing The Emerald Cup, the new Harvest Ball is an opportunity for the community among the cannabis industry to serve as a first opportunity to submit entries for the 2022 Emerald Cup Awards, but will also host a diverse marketplace, high-wattage musical performances and expert panel discussion on trends and innovation and in the industry.

Key elements of The Emerald Cup Harvest Ball will include:

  • Featuring the fresh harvest of the growing season with a focus on new genetics

  • Marketplace

  • Emerald Concert Stage

  • Kickoff to the 2022 Emerald Cup Contest

  • A Sanctuary Space honoring plant medicine with educational and entertainment programming

  • Area 101 (Where it all started)

  • Regenerative Agriculture Garden Activation

  • VIP Parties

  • Food, Beverages and Cannabis

“With over 17 events, starting with our first in 2004, the Cup has always been a fixture on the cannabis and festival calendar with our early December presence,” shared Tim Blake.With the pandemic forcefully changing, and evolving us, we moved this year’s event to April. The response from our community, entrants and audience was resounding, this new timing was better for growing and cultivating the most optimum entries for competition. Our new event the Harvest Ball  continues to open the space for our community to bond and share information in the wake of a time of massive change across all parts of cannabis. What this experience is teaching us is that our industry thrives on communication and collaboration. We are confident the Harvest Ball will quickly blossom into a must-attend in all our calendars.”

Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board Actions: Vitamin E Acetate in Vapes & Tier 1 Canopy

WASHINGTON:Yesterday, during a regularly scheduled meeting, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board took the following action:

Approved a rule proposal (CR 102) to expand the plant canopy square footage allowed for licensed Tier 1 cannabis producers.

Adopted emergency rules (CR 103E) to enforce the requirements of WAC 246-80-021 prohibiting the use of vitamin E acetate in vapor products, within the context of chapter 69.50 RCW. This emergency rule allows the Board to take disciplinary action against any cannabis processor licensed under WAC 314-55-077, or any cannabis retailer licensed under WAC 314-55-079 that fails to comply with the provisions of WAC 246-80-021 under the authority of chapter 69.50 RCW. The emergency rules took effect immediately yesterday upon filing with the Code Reviser’s Office.

Rescinded Emergency Rules WAC 314-55-1065 and 314-55-1055, regarding the LCB Vitamin E Acetate Prohibition and Cannabis Product Disclosure Form

Columbia Care Brings Scale To New York Cannabis Program Through Acquisition Of One Of The Largest Operating Greenhouse Sites On East Coast

New site expands Columbia Care’s cultivation and production footprint by approximately 1M square feet; offers flexibility to scale with increasing market demand; supports potential use for future social equity partnerships and adult-use sales

 

NEW YORK: Columbia Care Inc. announced today it has acquired a 34-acre cultivation site in eastern Long Island, New York. The Company’s first harvest and sales from this property for the state’s medical marijuana program is expected in Q4 2021, pending regulatory approvals.

The Long Island location offers supplemental cultivation and manufacturing capacity for Columbia Care’s existing Rochester facility that has served New York’s more than 120,000 medical cannabis patients since 2015, to meet the demand of a growing medical market, which, subject to regulatory approval, will include a number of newly approved additional form factors, including flower, in 2021. The new site also allows the Company to diversify its operations and open opportunities to create potential social equity business partnerships; a dedicated, federally-licensed global medical cannabis manufacturing and research hub in Rochester; and support the company’s entrance into the state’s adult-use program.

This facility currently has approximately 740,000 square feet of operational greenhouse space, which the Company plans to acquire upon phase two of the transaction, with 200,000 square feet of incremental grow capacity, situated perfectly for both retail distribution to Columbia Care’s three NYC and Long Island dispensaries and wholesale distribution to the most densely populated metropolitan area in the United States. The property’s infrastructure is fully developed for industrial scale and throughput and is currently used for growing ornamental flowers. Additionally, the existing owners have previously planted and successfully harvested industrial hemp on-site.

“As a company whose roots are in New York, it has been incredibly important that we build a scalable, vertically-integrated operation in the state that not only delivers the very best quality and prices to our patients and partners today, but also ensures that we can continue to deliver on our mission to New Yorkers through future legal cannabis programs. This is a commitment to our patients, communities, regulators, elected officials and social equity partners that we are here for the long term and intend to be the leaders who define cannabis in New York State – made in New York, by New Yorkers for New Yorkers,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia Care. “We are eager to see New York’s regulated market emerge as one of the top global cannabis markets, with some market size estimates exceeding $5B by 2025 and more than 75,000 jobs created by 2027. We intend to continue to invest in opportunities that support this growth for all.”

Columbia Care will pay a total purchase price of $42.5M, which includes $15.0M in cash and $27.5M in Columbia Care stock. The initial payment of $30.0M has been made. The remaining $12.5M in stock payment will follow in August 2021 upon completion of the second phase of the transaction.

WSLCB Issues Policy Statement On Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Compounds Other Than Delta-9

WASHINGTON: Consistent with RCW 34.05.230, the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has published a policy statement concerning tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) compounds other than delta-9 and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both. 

Policy statements are agency-level documents declaring plans or intentions of an agency. Policies are different from procedures, standard operating procedures, or guidance because they apply to the entire organization and are primarily intended to set direction. In contrast, procedures or guidelines typically include specific instructions used to accomplish defined tasks that may be described in a policy.

Notice of WLSCB Policy Statement #PS21-01 was filed with the Washington State Code Reviser on April 28, 2021 as WSR 21-10-045. The policy statement is offered in response to multiple stakeholder requests and national concern for clarification regarding the regulation of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), other than delta-9; and the conversion of CBD, hemp, or both to delta- 8 THC, delta-9 THC, or any other cannabis compound that is not currently identified or defined in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), the Washington Administrative Code (WAC), or both.

Additional information can be found on the WSLCB Policy Statements webpage.

USDA Agency And Company Partner To Explore Personal Care Products From Hemp

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Expanding the market for hemp seed oil is the goal of a new cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) involving Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and the Midwest Bioprocessing Center (MBC), a Peoria, Illinois-based firm specializing in organic chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing.

At the heart of the 24-month agreement is a patented process that a team of chemists with the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Peoria developed, called “bio-catalysis.” In short, it involves using enzymes and heat rather than harsh chemicals and solvents to catalyze reactions that bind natural antioxidants like ferulic acid to lipids in soybean and other vegetable oils.

In prior research, the team used the process to create a class of compounds called feruloyl soy glycerides (FSGs) from soybean oil. These were subsequently licensed and commercialized for use as ingredients in skin- and personal-care products because of the ultraviolet (UV) absorbance and antioxidant properties that they offered.

Now, under the cooperative agreement with MBC, the team will explore creating similar ferulic-acid-based ingredients from bio-catalyzed hemp seed oil, potentially broadening the market for this commodity from an estimated 90,000 U.S. acres of industrial hemp, a type of Cannabis sativa that was legalized under the Farm Bill of 2018.

Hemp seed oil today is popularly used in cannabidiol-containing products for perceived health benefits. However, like soy or corn oil, hemp oil also contains a variety of nutrients, fatty acids (including omega-3 fatty acids) and bioactive compounds that can be transformed into specialty chemicals offering useful new properties.

Toward that end, the ARS-MBC team will focus on bio-catalyzing hemp oil to make “cosmeceuticals”—skin-care ingredients that perform specific functions, like protecting skin from UV light, retaining moisture, or stabilizing other active ingredients used in skin-care formulations.

“Collaborating with industry partners like MBC, which has expertise in enzymology and the infrastructure for scale-up, is critical to exploring expanded uses for our original technology,” said Compton, with the ARS center’s Renewable Technologies Research Unit in Peoria.

The research unit is one of seven comprising the NCAUR that collectively specialize in researching value-added uses for agricultural commodities as well as the byproducts of their manufacture into other processed goods.

The NCAUR has also played a lead role in devising sustainable approaches to processing these commodities with an eye towards expanding economic opportunities for growers of both established crops like corn, wheat and soybean, as well as emerging ones, like cuphea and industrial hemp.

In addition to opening the door to the cosmetics and personal care markets, NCAUR scientists are researching ways to better process hemp into fuels, lubricants and adhesives, as well as functional food ingredients and fiber products.


The Agricultural Research Service is the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $17 of economic impact.

Congressman Blumenauer Lauds House Passage of Federal Legislation to Give Cannabis Businesses Access to Banking Services

Under SAFE Banking Act, cannabis businesses would not have to operate in cash, which has made Portland-area stores and workers a target for violent robberies.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On April 19th, 2021 the U.S. House of Representatives passed federal legislation to provide legitimate cannabis businesses access to banking services, an issue that has long been championed by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The bipartisan passage of the Secure And Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in the 117th Congress comes as Portland-area cannabis businesses and their workers continue to be targeted with violent robberies that have been linked to a system that forces cannabis businesses to deal almost exclusively in cash.

“Cannabis will soon be a $20 billion industry and is overwhelmingly supported by the American public. The insane prohibition on banking services serves no one’s interest, except for money launderers, tax evaders, or those who are going to rob these cash-rich businesses,” Blumenauer said. “As we continue to push forward with full legalization, addressing this irrational, unfair, and unsafe denial of banking services to state-legal cannabis businesses is a top priority. This is a critical element of reform that can’t wait, and I urge our cannabis champions in the Senate to take up this legislation as soon as possible.”

Under the federal prohibition on cannabis, banks and credit unions are currently prohibited from serving cannabis businesses, even with financial products as simple as savings accounts or payroll checks. Notwithstanding the financial and practical hardships facing legal cannabis businesses, forcing these businesses to operate on a cash-only basis creates a public safety risk and makes tracking revenue more difficult for tax purposes.

The cash-only nature of cannabis businesses also makes them easy and frequent targets for robberies, which puts workers at risk. According to a March 2021 report by Willamette Week, in the preceding 10 months, Portland cannabis shops were robbed, burglarized, or looted 95 times – often at gunpoint – resulting in one tragic fatality.

The legislation passed in the House would prohibit federal regulators from taking punitive measures against depository institutions that provide banking services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses and ancillary businesses like the electricians, plumbers, and the landlords that serve them. The SAFE Banking Act also requires a GAO study and annual regulator reports to Congress to ensure equal access to credit and to reduce barriers to marketplace entry for potential and existing minority- and women-owned cannabis-related businesses.

Full text of the SAFE Banking Act can be found here.

Congressman Don Young Introduces Legislation to Protect Second Amendment Rights and Personal Liberty

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Alaska Congressman Don Young, Co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, has introduced the Gun Rights And Marijuana (GRAM) Act, legislation to secure the Second Amendment rights of Americans living in jurisdictions with legal adult-use and medicinal marijuana. Congressmen Brian Mast (FL-18) and Rodney Davis (IL-13) have joined Congressman Young as original cosponsors of this legislation.

Under current law, an individual using recreational or medicinal marijuana in legal jurisdictions can be disqualified from exercising their Second Amendment rights. When attempting to purchase a firearm, individuals must fill out U.S. Department of Justice Form 4473. Question 21 (e) requires the individual to attest that they are “not an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” The form clarifies that “The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized,” potentially disqualifying individuals who use state-legal marijuana from gun ownership, or forcing them to risk perjuring themselves.

The GRAM Act provides a simple exemption for those who use marijuana in states or on tribal land where it is otherwise legal. Alaska legalized adult-use cannabis in 2014, and the overwhelming majority of Americans now live in a state with some level of legal use, yet Federal prohibition means their fundamental rights may be revoked. No law-abiding citizen’s Constitutional rights should be threatened by outdated federal policy. The GRAM Act not only protects Second Amendment rights, but also defends a state’s Tenth Amendment right to set their own cannabis policy.

“When I was sworn into Congress, I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. That oath does not mean picking and choosing which Amendments to defend; it requires us as Members of Congress to protect the ENTIRE Bill of Rights. I am very proud to introduce the GRAM Act, which takes a critical step to protect our Constitution and secure individual liberty. There are two main pillars that make this legislation important. First, it protects the Second Amendment for individuals seeking to exercise their Constitutional rights. It also defends the Tenth Amendment right of states to determine their own cannabis laws, as Alaska did in 2014,“said Congressman Don Young.

“Gun ownership is a significant part of Alaska’s culture and lifestyle. When my constituents chose to legalize adult-use marijuana, they were not surrendering their Second Amendment rights. At a time when more individuals have been purchasing firearms for self-defense, sportsmanship, hunting, and countless other reasons, we have experienced a surge in state-level cannabis reforms. While we make progress in some areas, it is vital that we do not roll back progress in others. Throughout my career, many pundits and talking heads have described me as one of the most unique Members of Congress, to put it politely. As both Co-Chair of the Cannabis Caucus and a board member of the National Rifle Association, in addition to the fact that I represent a state with legal cannabis, I believe this fight was tailor-made for my experience. The federal government has no business unduly restricting responsible citizens from exercising their rights or restricting states from listening to their constituents and reforming marijuana laws. The GRAM Act bridges this gap. Given that it deals with both gun and marijuana rights, there really is something for those on both sides of the aisle to support. I want to thank my friends, Congressmen Mast and Davis, for their partnership on behalf of our Constitution, states’ rights, and individual liberty. I call on my colleagues in both parties to join us in this important effort.”

“It should be up to individual states to determine their own marijuana laws, not the federal government.  The Constitution says nothing about marijuana but the Second Amendment clearly outlines every American’s right to bear arms,” Congressman Mast said. “This legislation makes it so individuals who use marijuana in a State that permits legal adult-use are still able to purchase firearms.”

“State-legal marijuana use should not be used as a pretext to bar individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms, which is a clear and well-defined Constitutional right,” said Congressman Davis. “I’ve long believed that laws regulating the production and use of marijuana should be left to the states, not the federal government. With more and more states legalizing marijuana each year, we have to make sure that we are protecting the Second Amendment rights of Americans who reside in those states and use marijuana legally based on their state’s laws. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Congressman Young and look forward to working with him to move it through Congress.”