DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, today applauded the passage of the Blumenauer, McClintock, Holmes Norton, Lee amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science Department funding bill. The measure, which would prevent the Department of Justice from using its funds to impede the implementation of cannabis programs in states, territories, and tribes, passed in a 254-163 vote.
“For far too long, our federal cannabis policies have been rooted in our discriminatory past and have continued inflicting harm on communities of color. As the public’s views toward cannabis have evolved, Congress has a responsibility to ensure that our policies follow suit and move toward restorative justice,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “I’m proud to have worked alongside Reps. Blumenauer, McClintock, and Holmes Norton on this crucial amendment to protect the progress states, tribes, and territories have made toward ending the discriminatory war on drugs.”
“The American people are demanding a change to our outdated cannabis laws and I am glad to see my colleagues heeding their calls,” said Rep. Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. “As we work to ultimately end the senseless prohibition of cannabis and the failed war on drugs, these amendments will help ensure the protection of legal state, territory and tribal cannabis programs.”
OKLAHOMA: The OMMA has received multiple inquiries regarding the processing and dispensing of marijuana-infused slushies on-site at medical marijuana dispensaries. It is the OMMA’s position that marijuana-infused slushies are unlikely to meet requirements set forth in Oklahoma statutes and rules, including, but not limited to:
- All products must be in child-resistant packages. Generally, this means the package must be difficult for a 5-year-old to open; opaque; and, if intended for multiple uses (for example, containing multiple servings), capable of being resealed while remaining child-resistant. [See 63 O.S. 427.2 and OAC 310:681-1-4]
- The medical marijuana production batch that must be tested is the finished product. In this instance, the finished product is the slushy mixture to be dispensed to patients/caregivers, not the syrup. If water, ice, or any other substance is added to the product, additional testing is required to ensure the product is safe for consumption and final-product labeling is accurate. [See OAC 310:681-1-4 and OAC 310:681, Subchapters 7 and 8]
- Dispensaries are not allowed to alter, package, or label products. In addition, dispensaries must refuse to accept or return any medical marijuana products that have not been properly tested, packaged, and labeled by a licensed processor. [See OAC 310:681-1-4 and OAC 310:681-7-1(b)]
Additionally, slushies are considered food products and must be compliant with the Oklahoma State Department of Health food regulations. For more information, please visit the OSDH Consumer Health Service Food website.
NEVADA: This week the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board (CCB) held its first board meeting at the Grant Sawyer Building. Led by former Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Douglas, who serves as Chair, the CCB moved to approve its core set of regulations, the Nevada Cannabis Compliance Regulations (NCCR 1-14).
Moving forward, the NCCR 1-14 will guide regulation of the cannabis industry in this State. Within those regulations, some highlights include: -An increase to all civil penalty categories (NCCR 4). -A more expansive and comprehensive licensing and approval structure for cannabis companies, owners and employees (NCCR 5). -Enhanced requirements for cannabis testing facilities, including more transparency of results (NCCR 11).
Additionally, the CCB voted to lift the extended review period, now allowing for the processing of transfers of interest. The extended review period was put into place last year, at the recommendation of the special task force, formed by Governor Steve Sisolak, to ensure a more thorough and appropriate vetting process within the cannabis industry.
Lastly, the CCB approved a disciplinary settlement with CWNevada, which held 14 licenses and certificates in this State. The settlement includes the revocation of six licenses, a fine of $1.25 million, remittance of all taxes owed in the amount of $1.5 million, and the forced sale of all remaining licenses to pay back owed employee wages and other financial obligations.
All registered owners of CWNevada will not be allowed to collect any proceeds from the sale and could face additional discipline. The full board meeting can be viewed here. The final NCCR 1-14 can be found here.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, secured an amendment to the annual national defense bill that would ensure that the U.S. Department of Defense may not prohibit the possession, use, or consumption of hemp products — in compliance with applicable Federal, State, and local law — by servicemembers. This would apply to hemp that meets the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 definition (amended by the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018). The Gabbard amendment was included in the final version of the bill which passed on Tuesday, 295-125, and now goes to the Senate for consideration.
“There is great research being done around hemp, resulting in new products coming to market that are proven to help with ailments like insomnia, inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Post-Traumatic Stress and more. Hemp products provide a form of treatment that serves as an alternative option for those who would rather pursue natural remedies rather than prescription drugs. This amendment passed with strong bipartisan support, ensuring our servicemembers have access to the same over-the-counter products that Americans all across the country benefit from today,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
The 2018 Farm Bill, known as the Agricultural Improvement Act, legalized hemp, defined as cannabis (Cannabis sativa L.) and derivatives of cannabis with extremely low concentrations of the psychoactive compound delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis). Currently, many over-the-counter products are sold that meet these parameters.
OREGON: The next OLCC Marijuana Advisory Committee Meeting will take place Thursday, July 9, 2020
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, we are holding our meetings virtually. An audio recording of the meeting will be posted on our website.
You can listen live using your phone: 1 (872) 240-3311 Access Code: 786-241-877
State’s new adult-use cannabis industry generated more than $37 million in sales in April
ILLINOIS: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced preliminary numbers show statewide adult-use cannabis sales in April totaled $37,260,497.89. Dispensaries across the state sold 818,954 items over the 30-day period. Sales to Illinois residents totaled $29,735,650.41, while sales to out-of-state residents totaled $7,524,847.47. These figures do not include taxes collected. A portion of every cannabis sale will be reinvested in communities harmed most by the failed war on drugs.
Medical and adult use cannabis dispensaries remain open as part of the essential businesses and operations named in Governor Pritzker’s executive order signed on March 20, 2020. Both sides of the cannabis industry were included to ensure the cannabis supplier industry protects medical cannabis patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the revenue generated by adultuse cannabis sales funds the important social justice and equity goals at the core of Illinois’ adult-use law.
“Our top priority is to ensure consumers are safe when they go to a dispensary to purchase cannabis,” said Toi Hutchinson, Senior Advisor for Cannabis Control to Gov. Pritzker. “The steps we’ve taken to increase social distancing at dispensaries are accomplishing that, while also enabling this new industry to continue to grow. As such, curbside pickup will remain an option for medical cannabis users to obtain the product they need through May 30.”
Dispensaries are permitted to sell medical cannabis outside of their limited access area on their property or on a public walkway or curb adjacent to the dispensary. Medical cannabis patients will be able to continue to utilize their designated caregiver to purchase medicine for them. However, dispensaries may not deliver medical cannabis to a patient or caregiver’s home. These rules do not apply to adult-use cannabis sales; those must still take place inside the limited access area. A complete list of the rules extended may be found here.
NEW JERSEY: The New Jersey Department of Health issued last month a permit to Justice Grown in Ewing to begin growing medical marijuana. The permit was issued after a comprehensive review including several site inspections, background checks of its corporate officers and a review of its security operations and cultivation facility.
“As our program continues to grow, the Department wants to ensure that we also continue to increase access for all patients,” Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said. “This new permit brings the total number of operational medical marijuana cultivation sites in the state to 12.”
Justice Grown is the last Alternative Treatment Center (ATC) to receive a cultivation permit among the awards made by the Division of Medicinal Marijuana in December 2018. Earlier this year, the Division issued cultivation permits to Verano in Readington, MPX NJ in Pleasantville, TerrAscend in Boonton Township, and Columbia Care NJ in Vineland.
Once Justice Grown receives its permit to dispense, the Division will notify the patients and caregivers by email of the opening date. Justice Grown’s dispensary will also be located in Ewing.
There are nine ATCs currently dispensing medical marijuana: Greenleaf Compassion Center of Montclair, Compassionate Care Foundation of Egg Harbor, Garden State Dispensary of Woodbridge and Union Township, Breakwater Alternative Treatment Center of Cranbury, Curaleaf NJ, Inc. in Bellmawr, Harmony Dispensary in Secaucus and Rise in Paterson and Compassionate Care Foundation of Atlantic City.
Program participation continues to grow. There are now 75,468 patients, 2,949 caregivers and 1,149 physicians participating in the program.
Patients and caregivers can visit the Division’s website if they choose to change their preferred ATC. The change can also be made by calling the Customer Service Unit of the Division of Medicinal Marijuana at 844-419-9712 and does not require changing ID cards.
Patients can refer to the FAQ section of the Division of Medicinal Marijuana website for additional information. Active physicians enrolled in the program are listed by county and medical specialty.
New Jersey residents interested in registering for Medicinal Marijuana can click here.
For more information, visit our homepage at nj.gov/health.
Lawmakers voted 208-199 (23 not voting) in favor of coronavirus “HEROES” relief package
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: On Friday evening (5/15/20) lawmakers in the United States House of Representatives passed additional coronavirus relief legislation to provide continued economic and government support to the country. The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act includes the language of the SAFE Banking Act, which would prevent federal financial regulators from punishing financial institutions that provide services to state-legal cannabis businesses.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, cannabis businesses across the country have been deemed essential and continue to operate. However, many of these businesses still lack access to the same financial services that are granted to every other industry in the United States. Because it is possible that coronavirus can be transmitted on currency — placing private industry and government workers at risk when handling large amounts of cash — allowing the cannabis industry to access banking services is now more crucial than ever. This policy change would also ensure that small and minority-owned businesses can access the financial assistance designed for them in many state programs.
The HEROES Act, which includes provisions to allow banks and financial institutions to provide services to the cannabis industry without fear of criminal prosecution, will now head to the Senate for consideration. In September 2019, the House of Representatives voted in favor of the SAFE Banking Act, but the legislation has since stalled in the Senate.
Statement from Steve Hawkins, executive director at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“I’m encouraged that the House recognizes the urgency of this issue and has taken this strong and necessary position. We thank Chairwoman Maxine Waters and Rep. Ed Perlmutter for their leadership on the issue.
“Continuing to exclude the cannabis industry from accessing basic and essential financial services during this time will result in more harm than good. Not only will it make the country’s economic recovery that much harder, but the provisions intended to help minority-owned businesses would continue to be absent within the industry.”
Statement from Don Murphy, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project:
“In light of the public health and public safety benefits of this specific change in policy, the Senate has good reason to pass this language into law. This is a change in policy that the banks are asking for even more than the cannabis companies. We urge the Senate Banking Committee to adopt the SAFE Banking provisions to ensure financial institutions can provide basic banking services to businesses that are compliant with state law.”
OHIO: The State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy today published updated patient & caregiver numbers for April 2020. These numbers include: