USDA Approves Hemp Production Plans For Maine, Missouri, The Cow Creek Band Of Umpqua Tribe Of Indians

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the approval of hemp production plans under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program for Maine, Missouri and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, bringing the total number of approved plans to 58.

USDA continues to receive and review hemp production plans from states and Indian tribes. To review approved plans or check the status of a plan, visit the Status of State and Tribal Hemp Production Plans webpage.

State and tribal plans previously approved include:

States Tribes
Delaware Blackfeet Nation
Florida Cayuga Nation
Georgia Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes
Iowa Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe
Kansas Chippewa Cree Tribe
Louisiana Colorado River Indian Tribes
Maryland Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Massachusetts Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe
Minnesota Fort Belknap Indian Community
Montana Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska
Nebraska Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians
New Jersey La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indian Tribes
Ohio Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
Pennsylvania Lower Sioux Indian Community
South Carolina Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
Tennessee Oglala Sioux Tribe
Texas Otoe-Missouria Tribe
Washington Pala Band of Mission Indians
West Virginia Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma
Wyoming Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation
Puerto Rico Pueblo of Picuris Tribe
U.S. Virgin Islands Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians
Rosebud Sioux Tribe
Sac & Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa
Santa Rosa Cahuilla Indian Tribe
Santee Sioux Nation
Seneca Nation of Indians
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Tribe
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska
Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo
Yurok Tribe

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill) directed USDA to develop a regulatory oversight program for hemp and include provisions for USDA to approve hemp production plans submitted by states and Indian tribes. Accordingly, on Oct. 31, 2019, USDA issued an interim final rule establishing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program and the provisions for USDA to approve submitted plans. State and tribal plans provide details on practices and procedures that enable hemp producers in their jurisdictions to operate according to their individual plans and in compliance with federal laws.

For additional information about the program, visit the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program webpage.

Missouri: Voter Initiated Medical Cannabis Law Takes Effect

MISSOURI: Amendment 2, the state’s voter-initiated medical cannabis access law, took effect on Thursday, December 6th. Sixty-six percent of voters approved the measure in November, while rejecting a pair of competing initiatives.

State regulators have 180 days from the law’s enactment date to make available application forms to patients seeking to register to grow and/or possess medical cannabis.

Under the program, physicians may recommend cannabis therapy at his/her discretion. Qualified patients may obtain cannabis from licensed dispensaries or grow their own. Retail cannabis sales will be taxed at four percent. Tax revenues are earmarked to fund programs to assist state veterans.


For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500 or visit Missouri NORML.

 

War Veteran Non-Profit Hosts Inaugural Medical Cannabis Conference Days Before Missourians Vote on Medical Cannabis Ballot

Nation’s Cannabis Experts Address Consumers, Healthcare Providers & Emerging Trade at October 27 & 28 St. Charles-based Forum

MISSOURI: The inaugural Missouri Medical Cannabis Conference will be held Saturday & Sunday, October 27 and October 28, and will provide voters, potential patients, caretakers, varied healthcare providers and those interested in the associated business and trade of medical cannabis broad access to experts and expert resources.

The event features medical cannabis healthcare providers, researchers and patients, as well as renowned leaders in various aspects of America’s medical cannabis movement.  Conference activities include keynote speeches, panel discussions, networking sessions and multiple food-based hospitality events.  The cost of attendance begins at $75; additional higher priced attendance packages are offered, with cost based on extent of conference access, special events and amenities included.

Held in St. Charles at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, conference organizers have structured Saturday’s session to focus on patient and healthcare subjects.  Sunday’s conference addresses the medical cannabis trade landscape and emerging business opportunities.  Saturday activities begin at 9 am, Sunday sessions begin at noon.   For a complete schedule, speaker information & pricing options, visit www.mocannacon.com

Screenshot 2018-10-18 09.22.48HOSTED BY WHO & WHY

The conference is organized and hosted by Missouri based Project 4-22 Foundation, a volunteer community initiative committed to mitigating the American military veteran suicide epidemic by seeking safer treatment options while raising awareness of the staggering death rates reported by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Project 4-22 organized this informative and educational forum with broad appeal to various constituents — from voters to healthcare providers — in advance of Missouri’s medical cannabis vote because every day at least 22 veterans commit suicide. With diagnoses ranging from post-traumatic stress to traumatic brain injury, veterans face limited and inadequate treatment that includes addictive opiates.  In November Missouri voters will make history, passing judgement on three separate medical cannabis initiatives on the ballot.  Project 4-22 advocates the medical benefits of cannabis and its use as an effective treatment for many veteran diagnoses, and designed the conference as an opportunity for Missourians to educate themselves before voting in November’s historical election.

Study: Adjunctive Cannabis Use Improves Treatment Retention In Opioid-Dependent Subjects

MISSOURI: The intermittent use of cannabis can play a positive role in opioid-dependent subjects undergoing treatment, according to a review published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis assessed data evaluating the relationship between the use of cannabis and opioids.

They reported, “Adjunct cannabis use alongside current treatment strategies could help to improve the number of individuals engaging in OUD (opioid use disorder) treatment, as well as increase treatment retention rates.”

Specifically, authors acknowledged that the use of CBD is associated with reduced opioids cravings and relapse, and that cannabis acts synergistically with opioids to provide analgesic benefit at sub-therapeutic doses. Authors also suggested that “cannabis may be an efficacious tool” in the treatment of symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal.

They concluded: “The opioid overdose epidemic is arguably the worst public health crisis in U.S. history. … A continental crisis of this magnitude warrants the immediate implementation of novel strategies that prevent opioid misuse, overdose, and death. Growing pre-clinical and clinical evidence appears to support the use of cannabis for these purposes. The evidence summarized in this article demonstrates the potential cannabis has to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, reduce opioid consumption, ameliorate opioid cravings, prevent opioid relapse, improve OUD treatment retention, and reduce overdose deaths.”

Separate clinical data published online last week in the journal Addiction reported that daily cannabis users undergoing therapy for opioid dependence are far more likely to complete their treatment regimen than are non-users


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Emerging evidence for cannabis’ role in opioid use disorder,” appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. NORML’s fact-sheet, “Relationship between marijuana and opioids,” is online.

Marijuana Legalization Could Come To These 12 States This Year

By Eric Weisbrot

Despite strong efforts to maintain the criminalization of marijuana use in the United States, many individuals and lawmakers have taken a step in the direction of legalization over the last several years. Currently, there are 29 states that allow for medical marijuana use, under particular limitations, and a smaller percentage that give residents the ability to use marijuana on a recreational basis under state law. The federal government has been slow to end prohibition of the drug, but recent research shows growing support for legalization on a state level for many reasons.

One of the strongest components of marijuana legalization support revolves around the well-documented success of states that have eliminated prohibition for residents. The states that allow for recreational use of marijuana have systems in place to ensure the tax revenue and economic growth is regulated, mostly through the use of bonding and licensing requirements for dispensaries, growers, and distributors. Based on the positive outcomes legalized states have generated, there are 12 more states considering legalizing marijuana use on some level in 2018.

Michigan: In the state of Michigan, there is a current initiative to gather the 250,000 signatures needed to include a marijuana legalization bill on the ballot in the 2018 election cycle. If approved, the bill would allow for recreational use of the drug for those over the age of 21 who are also residents of the state.

Delaware: In late 2017, a legislative task force was formed in order to analyze the impact marijuana use has on state residents from a recreational standpoint. A bill was shot down in 2017, but the hope is that an opportunity remains in 2018 after the findings of the task force are made public.

New Jersey: With a Democratic-led legislature, New Jersey is poised to legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes in 2018. A skyrocketing criminal justice cost along with proven racial injustices in the state are the prime motivators behind passing such legislation this year.

Vermont: A bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana was approved in Vermont in May 2017, but it was vetoed by the governor at the time. A commission tasked with studying the issues surrounding recreational marijuana use, including health concerns and driving impairment statistics, was created at that time. Based on the results of the commission’s work, legislation is set to pass in Vermont in 2018 allowing adults over the age of 21 to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivation of two mature plants.

Oklahoma: During either the June or November elections, Oklahoma is set to add a bill to the ballot for medical marijuana use legalization for state residents.

Ohio: Lawmakers in Ohio failed to get a bill passed to legalize recreational marijuana use in the last three years, but a ballot proposal is intended to be included during the midterm election cycle this year.

Connecticut: Thanks to local efforts from lawmakers in Harford, Connecticut legislature is set to include a statewide ballot vote for recreational marijuana legalization in November 2018.

Rhode Island: After forming a legislative commission in 2017, Rhode Island may be one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2018. The commission sought to research the impacts of the drug on its community, based on neighboring studies in Massachusetts and Maine.

Kentucky: A bill for the legalization of medical marijuana may be on the docket in 2018 for residents of Kentucky. Although there is little support from the current governor, advocates for the drug’s medical use may beat the odds during the midterm election cycle.

Utah: Medical marijuana may be legalized in Utah, following in the footsteps of several other states nearby. The ballot for the midterm elections should include a bill for Utah voters to weigh in on in 2018.

South Dakota: South Dakota may also be close to legalizing medical marijuana, as signatures are currently being gathered for a ballot initiative slated for 2018 election inclusion.

Missouri: Similar to South Dakota, signatures are currently being collected for a medical marijuana bill in Missouri which would allow voters to make the decision in this election cycle.


Eric Weisbrot is the Chief Marketing Officer of JW Surety Bonds. With years of experience in the surety industry under several different roles within the company, he is also a contributing author to the surety bond blog.  

Study: Marijuana Decriminalization Leads To Decreased Arrests, No Increase In Youth Use

MISSOURI: State laws reducing minor marijuana possession offenses from criminal to civil violations (aka decriminalization) are associated with dramatic reductions in drug-related arrests, and are not linked to any uptick in youth cannabis use, according to data published by researchers affiliated with Washington University and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Investigators examined the impact of cannabis decriminalization on arrests and youth cannabis use in five states that passed decriminalization measures between the years 2008 and 2014: Massachusetts (decriminalized in 2008), Connecticut (2011), Rhode Island (2013), Vermont (2013), and Maryland (2014). Data on cannabis use were obtained from state Youth Risk Behavior Surveys; arrest data were obtained from federal crime statistics.

Authors reported: “Decriminalization of cannabis in five states between the years 2009 and 2014 was associated with large and immediate decreases in drug-related arrests for both youth and adults. … The sharp drop in arrest rates suggests that implementation of these policies likely changed police behavior as intended.”

They further reported: “Decriminalization was not associated with increased cannabis use either in aggregate or in any of the five states analyzed separately, nor did we see any delayed effects in a lag analysis, which allowed for the possibility of a two-year (one period) delay in policy impact. In fact, the lag analysis suggested a potential protective effect of decriminalization.” In two of the five states assessed, Rhode Island and Vermont, researchers determined that the prevalence of youth cannabis use declined following the enactment of decriminalization.

Investigators concluded: “[I]mplementation of cannabis decriminalization likely leads to a large decrease in the number of arrests among youth (as well as adults) and we see no evidence of increases in youth cannabis use. On the contrary, cannabis use rates declined after decriminalization. … These findings are consistent with the interpretation that decriminalization policies likely succeed with respect to their intended effects and that their short-term unintended consequences are minimal.”

Thirteen states currently impose either partial or full decriminalization. Nine additional states and Washington, DC have subsequently amended their decriminalization laws in a manner that fully legalizes the use of marijuana by adults.


For more information, contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.orgFull text of the study, “Cannabis decriminalization: A study of recent policy change in five states,” is available online. Additional fact-sheets regarding the societal effects of decriminalization policies are available from NORML online.

Missouri Could Decide Medical Marijuana Issue In 2016

MISSOURI:  Missouri’s 2016 ballot could be filled with weed.

Competing proposals, bolstered by growing national support, are seeking to put medical marijuana legalization on the statewide ballot. If approved, Missouri would join 23 other states that have done so.

Proponents have an uphill battle. First they need to collect 168,000 valid signatures from at least six of the state’s nine congressional districts. Then they need to win approval from the state’s conservative-leaning voters. Only a handful of states that have legalized medical marijuana are in the Midwest (Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan). And there’s not one in the South, the region with which Missouri has been more politically aligned over the past decade.

In addition, two competing efforts could confuse voters and create an additional hurdle for gathering signatures.

Past efforts to get such a measure on the ballot have languished and failed. This time proponents say things will be different, citing internal polls showing significant statewide support for medical marijuana along with a presidential election year that will drive a larger turnout yielding the best chance of success.

The States That Don’t Want To Legalize Marijuana

Public Service Announcement: 7 states are the party poopers of America. Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Idaho are the only states—of those where residents were polled—that don’t support legalizing marijuana.

The majority of people in 26 out of 38 states where people were asked about marijuana legalization since 2012 said they supported it, according to a report by The Washington Post. Other states were either divided in opinion or mostly opposed it. For a handful of states, no data was available.

While marijuana legislation mostly happens at the state level, Americans on a national level smoke pot a lot: Nearly 20 million of them said in 2013 that they had used marijuana at some point a month earlier, according to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That year, a poll found that 38 percent of Americans have tried marijuana while 7 percent said they were marijuana smokers, Gallup reported.

Missouri Marijuana Campaign Hires Top Political Consultant

MISSOURI: A campaign committee in support of medical marijuana in Missouri has hired a prominent political consultant and started raising money for the cause, signs that a medical pot proposal might have a serious chance of making it on the 2016 ballot.

Jack Cardetti, who worked on successful campaigns for Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and Secretary of State Jason Kander, debuted in his new role as a consultant for New Approach Missouri during a game-day fundraiser for the marijuana advocacy group Show-Me Cannabis this week at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

New Approach Missouri was established in April and the committee had about $26,000 to spend on a campaign as of the end of June, campaign finance reports show. Show-Me Cannabis executive director and treasurer John Payne said his group plans to donate money and time to New Approach Missouri.

Fundraising is key.

Judge: Missouri Right-To-Farm Doesn’t Cover Marijuana

MISSOURI:  A new constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to farm doesn’t protect a woman who reportedly grew marijuana in her home, a Missouri judge ruled this week.

Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ruled against a woman Tuesday whose public defender tried to argue that cultivating marijuana falls under the farming-rights amendment, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported.

Public defender Justin Carver argued that Green should set aside a grand jury indictment against Lisa A. Loesch. She was charged in 2012 after Jefferson City police arrested her for allegedly growing pot in her basement.

“The conduct alleged in the indictment, even if taken as true, does not give rise to an offense in that the conduct is protected by the Missouri Constitutional right-to-farm,” Carver wrote in an April motion.