Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces 2019 Hemp For Victory Act

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) introduced H.R. 3652, the Hemp for Victory Act which lays the foundation for the emerging hemp industry in a manner that incentivizes family farmers and small businesses, protects against corporate monopolies, and studies the benefits of hemp cultivation and hemp-based products while ensuring safe agricultural practices, and environmental and labor considerations.

“The hemp industry is poised to grow rapidly, having a billion dollar impact on the U.S. economy and creating thousands of jobs. Hemp-based materials have the potential to transform industries from health care to domestic manufacturing to affordable, sustainable housing construction, and more. Studies have shown it can play a role in helping remove toxins from our environment and prevent soil erosion, as well as provide alternatives to single-use plastics, which pollute our lands and ocean,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “My bill will lay the foundation for how we can optimize the hemp industry’s potential and ensure this opportunity benefits family farms and small businesses across America — from Hawai‘i to Kentucky and beyond.”

“Congresswoman Gabbard’s commitment to re-energizing the American farmer and delivering on the economic and planetary healing promise of the versatile, valuable hemp plant is exactly what our nation needs, and the time is now to support her bold efforts,” said Joy Beckerman, a board member with the Hemp Industries Association.

“We commend Congresswoman Gabbard for her leadership on introducing the Hemp For Victory Act,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. “The fledgling hemp industry can create thousands of farming and manufacturing jobs but needs research and the same support given to other crops which the bill helps provide.”

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Background: H.R. 3652, the Hemp for Victory Act of 2019, named after the World War II-era effort to revitalize the U.S. hemp industry, broadly addresses many aspects of the re-emerging U.S. hemp industry. The legislation’s objective is to build and encourage a national hemp industry, but to ensure that is done correctly, meaning that there are proper labor, consumer, and health standards; investment incentives; safe agricultural practices; environmental considerations; and more. At its core, the bill is aimed at providing opportunities for small businesses, family farms, indigenous populations, and veterans to participate in and prosper from this industry.

The bill will engage the expertise of several U.S. agencies, as well as land-grant universities, in order to lay the foundations of and generate the demand necessary for our hemp industry to ensure domestic economic potential is met across several sectors. Recognizing the potential for this commodity to grow into a multi-billion dollar industry, the bill directs the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Defense, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Affairs, Environmental Protection Agency, and Small Business Administration to conduct research and develop studies on the uses and benefits of hemp. This includes preservation and rehabilitation of our environment through toxic site cleanup and soil erosion control, sustainable and affordable housing, nutritional benefits to our children in school lunches and healthcare benefits to our veterans, alternatives to single-use plastics to reduce our ecological footprint, and the creation of thousands of jobs, among so many more.

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3530, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, a stand-alone bill in the 115th Congress which would have reclassified hemp as an agricultural crop. She supported H.R. 2, the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 — more broadly referred to as “the Farm Bill” — which passed both the House and Senate with strong bipartisan majorities and was signed into law. Among its many provisions, the bill legalized the production of industrial hemp and put its regulation under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Rep. Gabbard supports empowering local farmers and expanding their opportunities. She also joined a bipartisan amicus brief asking the Court to recognize and uphold the Congressional intent of prior legislation that allowed states to grow, cultivate, and research industrial hemp under specific conditions.

Israel’s Tikun Olam Continues U.S. Expansion

Deal with DC Cultivator Alternative Solutions Brings Renowned Cannabis Products to the Nation’s Capital 

NEW YORK:  Tikun Olam, a leading Israeli cannabis brand and pioneer in cannabis research, continues its U.S. expansion by partnering with Washington DC cultivator Alternative Solutions. The just-inked licensing deal allows Alternative Solutions to grow, manufacture and distribute Tikunbranded products to all five District of Columbia dispensaries.

Tikun Olam’s award-winning premium cannabis products are backed by years of peer-reviewed scientific research and unprecedented clinical data collection, which has shown to deliver symptomatic relief to those suffering from specific conditions such as cancer, PTSD, epilepsy, Crohn’s Disease/Colitis, chronic pain and neuropathy, to name a few. At the  held November 30 in Toronto, Tikun strains took First place in three categories: Top High THC Flower (Eran Almog), Top High CBD Flower  (Avidekel), and Top High CDB Oil (Avidekel), in addition to placing Second in Top Hybrid Flower (Midnight). Tikun’s full line of proprietary strain products–from flower, vape, topicals and tinctures–will be available in Washington DC  beginning in 2018.

“Alternative Solutions is thrilled to be Tikun Olam’s exclusive partner in DC,” says Matt Lawson-Baker, COO of Alternative Solutions. “We look forward to making Tikun’s products available at all DC dispensaries, giving access to these clinically proven strains to the more than 5,600 registered MMJ patients in Washington DC.”

The new five-year deal with Alternative Solutions is the latest in a series of licensing agreements struck since Tikun’s U.S. launch in 2015 in Delaware. The recent announcement with the MariMed cannabis network will introduce Tikun’s exclusive strains and products in medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts and Illinois in 2018. Tikun™ products also launched in Nevada in March 2017 and in Washington State in November.

What Medical Cannabis Could Look Like For Our Veterans Forum

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  In recent months, Americans nationwide have been faced with a startling awakening regarding opioid related overdoses and deaths. State legislatures and Congress alike are desperately seeking measures today that will address this unfolding epidemic. Meanwhile, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is tasked with addressing near epidemic levels of not only Opioid related overdoses, but also opioid related suicides by America’s elite fighting forces and valued community of veterans.

“Within the US one person every 20 minutes dies of either an accidental and or intentional overdose to prescription pain medication. Doing the math that’s 3 every hour, 72 a day and so forth. It has been reported that our Veterans are overdosing at twice the rate of civilians….in other words 2 of the 3 causalities within the above hour time frame are Veterans,” says Jeffery Staker, a Marine veteran, DOD Firefighter, and founder of Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis.

In a joint effort to address and cull this epidemic, several members of the Veteran Affairs Staff, the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis have aligned to attend an intimate educational forum with the nations’ leading physicians. The forum will be held September 13th, from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room, RM #2168.

“With veterans representing 7% percent of the American population, yet accounting for 20 percent of the national suicide rate, these numbers are unacceptable, and it is ‘all hands-on deck’ for all Americans to learn together and do more for those who selflessly serve our country,” said Brandon L. Wyatt, attorney and Army disabled combat veteran.

“We are excited to partner with the country’s top medical minds Donald Abrams, MD; Ziva D Cooper, PhD; Darryl Hudson, PhD; Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSH, CARN; and Jordan Tishler, MD; to raise awareness of the veterans’ suicide epidemic, explore arduous drug policies, and engage leaders in the government sector to professionally explore safer medical alternatives, in hopes to save lives every day,” said Staker, forum organizer.

“Veterans from all 50 states and US territories have fought tirelessly for freedom, in an academic setting, we are honored to address our injuries to continue to be of service to All Americans with the sincere hope of ending the opioid crisis”, Wyatt noted.

Joining the forum will be top Veteran advocate groups from across the country to include: Veterans Cannabis Group, Marijuana for Trauma, Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis and Operation EVAC, along with the Veteran founded cannabis educational organization Patients Out of Time.

To RSVP Contact Hoosier Veterans For Medical Cannabis: hoosiervetsformc@gmail.com

 

Jan. 6 National Press Club Newsmaker Explores How Acts of Civil Disobedience Will be Used To Challenge The Trump Administration

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Civil disobedience has been an important part of the fabric of this country and key to social change from the earliest days of the country’s development, through the Vietnam War protests, to the work of the civil rights movement and beyond.

As a new administration is set to begin its work within a divided country, acts of civil disobedience are on the horizon – some being organized now to be held before, during and after the inauguration of President Trump.

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In a large country with a clutter of messages and a widening mix of media, are acts of civil disobedience even more relevant today?  Will civil disobedience be used to disrupt a new administration that sees itself as disruptive? When is civil disobedience morally justified? Does the means justify the ends? Can it go too far?

A panel of activists at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference will discuss these and other issues at 10 a.m.Fri., Jan. 6, in the club’s Zenger Room.

Speakers at this news conference include panelists who have been directly involved in acts of civil disobedience, including the co-founder of Occupy Wall Street, Micah White; Attorney Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a non-profit constitutional rights legal organization that has litigated landmark free speech matters, works towards the elimination of discrimination and prejudice, and challenges government and police misconduct; and Adam Eidinger, local D.C. activist who has led civil disobedience acts related to the International Monetary Fund, genetically modified food and the legalization of marijuana.

The National Press Club is located on the 13th Floor of the National Press Building at 529 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C. Like all Newsmakers events, this news conference is open to credentialed media and NPC members, free of charge. No advance registration is required.

 

Wanted: A DEA top cop who doesn’t blow our money on pot | NJ.Com Editorial

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Good riddance to Michele Leonhart, chief of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, on her very timely retirement. Not because of the prostitute parties paid for by local drug cartels, though that was handled badly — the DEA agents who admitted to participating were suspended for only a few days, not fired.

Leonhart says she isn’t permitted to do anything more under civil service laws, not even recommend their firing. Is that ridiculous? Absolutely. But not necessarily her fault.

No, the real reason we’re glad to see this longtime DEA administration official go is her antiquated and unreasonable views on marijuana. We don’t need our nation’s top drug enforcement officer to be wasting any more taxpayer dollars on totally pointless pot prosecutions.

Public Hearing Shows Overwhelming Support For Reform Of D.C.’s Medical Marijuana Laws

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  At a joint committee hearing of the D.C. Council today, several public witnesses testified in favor of two new bills they believe would greatly improve the city’s medical marijuana laws.

The Committee on Health, chaired by Councilmember Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), and the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, chaired by Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), held a joint public hearing to let the public weigh in on the proposed amendments. The first bill proposes an amendment that would allow any medical marijuana cultivation center to possess up to 500 living marijuana plants at any given time. Currently, cultivation centers are only allowed to grow 95 plants. A second bill would expand the list of qualifying conditions able to receive a medical marijuana recommendation to “allow physicians to determine whether a patient would benefit from medical marijuana treatment.”

Under D.C.’s current medical marijuana laws, only patients suffering from HIV or AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, or severe muscle spasms are eligible to receive recommendations. Under the new amendment, which was introduced by Alexander and Councilmember David Gross (I-At Large), there would be no restrictions as to what conditions are eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation, instead leaving it to a doctor’s judgement to determine if that’s the best course of treatment.