Federal Legislation to Facilitate Interstate Marijuana Commerce Introduced


WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced legislation to allow for interstate commerce when it comes to state-legal cannabis programs.

“Interstate commerce is good for both patients and consumers, as it will decrease the amount of time it takes for recently enacted medical programs to see products on the shelves and increase the variety of consumer options in both the adult-use and medical marketplaces,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said.“Just as Americans around the country enjoy Kentucky bourbon, so should they be allowed to enjoy Oregon cannabis.”

“In short, it’s the future and Congress ought not deny it,” Strekal concluded.

According to a statement from Senator Wyden:

Wyden and Blumenauer’s State Cannabis Commerce Act would make these existing protections permanent and expand them to include all cannabis producers and consumers in compliance with state law. The legislation would also protect producers or consumers who transport cannabis between cannabis-legal states, provided that both states have legal cannabis programs and that both states affirmatively agree to the transportation.  

“As more and more states legalize cannabis, the gap between state and federal laws will only grow more confusing for both legal businesses and consumers,” Wyden said. “The solution is clear: the federal government needs to end its senseless and out of touch prohibition. As we fight for that ultimate goal, however, Congress can and should immediately act to protect the will of Oregonians and voters in other states from federal interference—and that should include interstate cannabis commerce.”

“The federal government is hopelessly out of touch with the American people on cannabis,” Blumenauer said. “Last week, the House agreed and passed my amendments to forbid the federal government from interfering with cannabis programs in the states, D.C. and tribal communities. This week, we are turning to a top priority for Oregonians—allowing for interstate sale of cannabis. It’s past time we protect the states, like Oregon, that have gotten it right.”

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Maine Governor Signs Legislation Finalizing Rules for Retail Marijuana Sales


Maine Governor Janet Mills (Twitter/@GovJanetMills)

Maine’s Democratic Governor, Janet Mills, on Thursday signed legislation finalizing regulations governing the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults.

With the passage of the new rules, it is estimated that marijuana retailers may be operational by March 2020.

Under the rules, commercial licenses will initially (until 2021) be granted only to state residents. State employees, active members of law enforcement, those with felony drug convictions, and those who have been denied licenses in other states are ineligible to participate in the retail cannabis industry.

The regulations impose limits with regard to THC content and the appearance of cannabis-infused edible products. Retailers will not be permitted to sell customers more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and/or five grams of concentrate in a single day. Retailers will need to first receive local approval prior to applying for a state operator’s license.

Maine voters initially approved the legalization of cannabis sales in November 2016, but lawmakers – led by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage – repeatedly took steps to delay the law’s implementation.

“Over the course of the last several months, my Administration has worked quickly to implement the law regarding Maine’s adult-use recreational marijuana market as Maine voters asked the state to do two and a half years ago,” said Governor Mills. “The rule development demonstrates what can be accomplished when state government works with lawmakers, industry stakeholders, and the public to accomplish a shared goal. With this law, we are one step closer to honoring the will of Maine voters.”

Governor Mills has previously signed legislation into law this session explicitly permitting the retail sales of hemp-derived CBD products (LD 630), and allowing those with out-of-state medical cannabis registration cards to access Maine dispensaries (LD 538).

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Chairwoman Velázquez Introduces Bill to End Marijuana Prohibition and Promote Small Businesses


Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), chair of the House Small Business Committee (Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON, DC — House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) along with Representatives Jared Golden (D-ME) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) introduced a package of legislation, (H.R. 3540H.R. 3543, and H.R. 3544, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to extend several Small Business Administration (SBA) initiatives to small businesses operating in the cannabis sector.

“Chairwoman Velázquez is now the first Committee Chair ever to introduce legislation that would end the federal marijuana prohibition,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “As this nascent industry begins to grow, federal policy should strive to reduce roadblocks for those qualified entrepreneurs who have historically been the targets under the criminalization of cannabis. Enterprising individuals who would benefit most from the critical resources that the Small Business Administration provides must not be discriminated against as a matter of principled fairness and opportunity.”

“As our society continues to move the needle on this issue, we must recognize that legal cannabis businesses are often small businesses that fuel local economies and create new jobs,” said Chairwoman Velázquez.“That is why I am pleased to introduce legislation to extend affordable lending options to small businesses that operate in the cannabis space, while simultaneously recognizing the structural disadvantages facing entrepreneurs from communities of color.”

This legislative package is introduced on the heels of a Committee on Small Business hearing which discussed the positive impact that the SBA could have if it were able to engage with small businesses in the rapidly growing, state-legal cannabis marketplaces.

“Starting a small business is never easy, so we need to ensure entrepreneurs have access to the resources necessary to succeed, no matter the industry,” said Rep. Golden. “Continuing to turn some Maine small business owners away from crucial SBA programs and resources holds our economy back and keeps those businesses from creating jobs. My bill would address this problem by helping small business owners directly or indirectly associated with the cannabis industry get their small businesses off the ground and grow.”

Thirty-three states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted legislation specific to the physician-authorized use of cannabis. Moreover, an estimated 73 million Americans now reside in the ten states where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. An additional thirteen states have passed laws specific to the possession of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for therapeutic purposes.

To date, these statewide regulatory programs are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and created hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue.

Specifically, a 2019 report estimates that over 211,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.

You can read more in the release issued by the Committee on Small Business here.

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Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. Channels Resources to Advance Evolution of Business Model

Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. Channels Resources to Advance Evolution of Business Model

Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. expands efforts into direct cannabis operation ownership in addition to its national premium, branding and licensing model


News provided by

Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc.

Jul 11, 2019, 09:07 ET

SEATTLE, July 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc., (OTCQB: DPWW) the premium marijuana brand and retail company, today announced that it has shifted expansion and ownership priorities to states that allow for direct public company ownership in cannabis licenses and operations.

As part of the focused efforts, DPWW has sold the Seattle leased location, providing $550,000 in capital and executive resources for expansion which the company plans to allocate to its efforts in a new location and cannabis grow facilities in Colorado. Through the conditions of sale in Seattle, DPWW regains the branding rights in the state of Washington – the only state that had been granted exclusive rights to the brand.

“For DPWW to advance and the Diego brand to grow, it’s necessary to pursue direct cannabis operations and ownership,” said Ron Throgmartin, chief executive officer, Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. “DPWW can now advance the company’s business model from a real estate lease-based landlord model to a more profitable, direct ownership in cannabis model. This, in addition to the national premium branding, licensing and royalties model.”

Legislative Advancements in Colorado
At the end of May 2019, Colorado Governor Polis signed into law House Bill 1090. It is generally referred to as the “Public Company” bill because it allows public companies to own Colorado marijuana licenses for the first time. This law goes into effect on November 1, 2019. Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division will establish a working group to meet over the summer and develop regulations.

“We have been working on another Diego location and grow facilities in Denver,” added Throgmartin. “Now, with this latest legislation and full ownership of branding rights in all 50 states, we’re implementing upon a more profitable system for the company in the short and long term.”

About Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. (OTCQB: DPWW)
Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc. is the premium marijuana brand and retail company. The company actively seeks to develop and manage high-end, turnkey cannabis retail stores in addition to cannabis operations and products. When federally legal, DPWW is positioned to become a national, vertically integrated marijuana company. To learn more about how to become a branded Diego Pellicer retailer, cultivator or investor visit www.Diego-Pellicer.com.

Safe Harbor Statement
Certain statements contained in this press release may be construed as “forward-looking statements” as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act”). The words “estimate,” “project,” “intends,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “believes” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are made based on management’s beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information currently available to, management pursuant to the “safe-harbor” provisions of the Act. These statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected on the basis of these statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. The Company also undertakes no obligation to disclose any revision to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

CONTACTS:

Suzanne Herrick, Fedoruk & Associates, Inc., 612-247-3079, suzanne@fedorukinc.com

Nello Gonfiantini, Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc., 775-690-2188, nello@diego-pellicer.com

WEBSITE:

www.diego-pellicer.com

SOURCE Diego Pellicer Worldwide, Inc.

Cannabis Safe and Effective in Fibromyalgia Patients


PETACH TIKVA, ISRAEL — The administration of herbal cannabis is safe and effective in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine.

Israeli investigators assessed the use of cannabis over a six-month period in 211 patients with the disease. Eight-one percent of subjects reported “at least moderate improvement in their condition … without experiencing serious adverse events.” Patients were most likely to report overall reductions in pain and overall improvements in their quality of life following cannabis therapy.

Twenty-two percent of subjects “stopped or reduced their dosage of opioids,” and 20 percent reduced their use of benzodiazepines – findings that are consistent with those of other studies.

“In the present study, we demonstrated that medical cannabis is an effective and safe option for the treatment of fibromyalgia patients’ symptoms,” authors concluded. “Considering the low rates of addiction and serious adverse effects (especially compared to opioids), cannabis therapy should be considered to ease the symptom burden among those fibromyalgia patients who are not responding to standard care. … Future studies should aim to compare medical cannabis to the standard therapy of fibromyalgia, to establish the proper place of cannabis in fibromyalgia therapeutic arsenal.”

Full text of the study, “Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in fibromyalgia,” appears in the Journal of Clinical Medicine. Additional information on cannabis and fibromyalgia appears online.

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USDA Intends to Finalize Federal Regulations Governing Commercial Hemp Cultivation by Late Summer


WASHINGTON, DC — The United States Department of Agriculture is aiming to finalize regulations governing the licensed production of industrial hemp by this August, according to a notice filed this week in the Federal Register and first reported by Marijuana Moment.

The USDA notice emphasizes that such regulations must be in place in order to facilitate commercial hemp cultivation in a manner that is compliant with the provisions of the 2018 Farm Act.

Under those provisions, states that wish to license commercial hemp cultivation must submit their plan to the USDA. However, the agency is not reviewing any state-specific plans until it has finalized its own federal regulations.

The agency had previously announced its intent to have regulations in place prior to 2020.

In December, Congress enacted legislation removing industrial hemp (defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC) and products containing cannabinoids derived from hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

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63 Percent of Adults Support “Legalizing Marijuana on a National Level”


NEW YORK, NY — More than six in ten US adults believe that the personal use of cannabis ought to be legal in every state in the country, according to nationwide polling data compiled by Survey Monkey and the news portal Axios.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said that they support “legalizing the recreational use of marijuana on a national level.” Eighty-seven percent of respondents said that they support “allowing adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes.” Both percentages are consistent with other recent national surveys.

Though nearly two-thirds of respondents favored legalization, only about one-quarter of those surveyed expressed interest in using marijuana themselves.

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CBD Holds Promise in Treating Alcohol Use Disorder


BRON, FRANCE — The use of cannabidiol (CBD) holds promise in the treatment of alcoholism and may offer protection against alcohol-induced liver damage and brain damage, according to a review of preclinical data published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology.

A team of French scientists reviewed experimental data finding that CBD administration reduces alcohol intake and cravings in animals. Separate findings also demonstrate the compound to mitigate alcohol-related steatosis and fibrosis, and to possess neuroprotective effects against alcohol-related brain damage.

Authors concluded: “[E]xperimental data underline that CBD offers multiple therapeutic prospects in patients with AUD (alcohol use disorder). CBD seems to facilitate drinking reduction, making CBD an interesting pharmacological option in AUD treatment. Moreover, CBD might provide idiosyncratic protection to the liver and the brain. … In this perspective, CBD treatment could be proposed to subjects who are unable to reduce or to stop alcohol consumption, in order to prevent or reduce the effects of alcohol on the brain and the liver, thus opening new and original therapeutic options for harm reduction in AUD.”

The administration of CBD in human trials has previously been shown to reduce cravings for both heroin and tobacco. Population-based studies have also shown that those subjects who report consuming cannabis are less likely than non-users to suffer from either fibrosis or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Full text of the study, “Therapeutic prospects of cannabidiol for alcohol use disorder and alcohol-related damages to the liver and the brain,” appears in Frontiers in Pharmacology.

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Virginia’s New Medical Marijuana Laws Take Effect


Three new laws intended to expand patient access to and the therapeutic value of Virginia’s medical cannabis program take effect July 1, 2019.

“Patient access is critical to the success of Virginia’s medical cannabis program,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, NORML’s development director and executive director of Virginia NORML. “These bills help ensure that all patients are able to obtain and use the necessary therapeutic doses of their cannabis medicines regardless of location or physical ability.”

PRODUCTS AND PRACTITIONERS

Virginia medical cannabis patients can now look forward to a greater range of products available in full therapeutic strengths thanks to Senator Dunnavant’s SB1557. Previously, Virginia’s five licensed medical cannabis providers, called pharmaceutical processors, would have been limited to dispensing only oils when they open their doors later this year. Now, patients can expect to see products typical of compounding pharmacies, like capsules, topicals, lozenges, lollipops, and suppositories, with an allowance of up to 10 milligrams of THC each.

“The historic passage of my Let Doctors Decide bill in 2018 allows practitioners to recommend medical cannabis for their patients as they see fit,” said Senator Dunnavant, a medical doctor from Henrico. “This year, my focus was on program improvements to further expand both access and therapeutic value to benefit the health and well-being of all Virginians.”

SB1557 also allows nurse practitioners and physician assistants to register with the Board of Pharmacy to issue the necessary written certifications for medical cannabis to patients.

REGISTERED AGENTS

Senator Marsden’s SB1719 adds “registered agents” for those patients physically unable to pick up or receive delivery of their medical cannabis, like those in hospice, assisted living facilities, and those who rely on home healthcare providers. SB1719 ensures that patients will have greater access to the medicines they need, a key element of continuity needed for the success of any health system.

It is patients like Tamara Lyn Netzel, a teacher from Alexandria who suffers from multiple sclerosis, who stand to benefit from this legislation.

“Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease with severe symptoms that come and go, so I’ve accepted at some point I may not be able to drive a car safely or leave my home,” said Netzel. “It is comforting to know I will still be able to send my husband to get the medicine I need.”

“We continue to tweak the law regarding cannabis oils. This year, we created the ability for registered agents to receive the medicine in the name of the patient as many people are disabled and unable to come to the door to receive a delivery. We will continue to make use of these oils more user-friendly now that members of the General Assembly are confident in the safety of these products,” said Senator Marsden, of Fairfax County.

SCHOOL-USE

Companion bills by Delegate Chris Hurst, HB1720, and Senator Glen Sturtevant, SB1632, aren’t just progressive for Virginia, they’re progressive for the nation. Today, Virginia becomes the fourth state to allow school healthcare providers to administer medical cannabis to registered student patients just as they would any other medication.

“Virginia is moving in the right direction to ensure patients and doctors can choose treatments that are right for them. I’m proud that HB1720 will allow students on campus to legally and safely access their medication” said Delegate Hurst of District 12.

Virginia NORML has worked diligently alongside these legislators in their continued efforts to advance patient-focused medical cannabis policies.

“These common sense clarifications to the regulations will make for a smoother system, and better outcomes for patients, providers, and the community at large,” Pedini said of their success in the 2019 General Assembly.

For more information on Virginia’s medical cannabis program visit Virginia Medical Cannabis FAQs.

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