Cannabis news briefs: U.S. House passes cannabis reform measures, ArcView projects $15 billion sales for 2019, NY recreational legalization effort fizzles

Jun 25, 2019

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U.S. House passes federal cannabis reform measure

The United States House of Representatives approved a bipartisan measure late last week which, if passed by the Senate and signed by President Trump, will protect state cannabis programs from federal interference. Under the proposed measures, the United States Department of Justice would be prohibited from using funds to interfere in cannabis operations within any U.S. state, U.S. territory, and also Washington, D.C. The language authorizes the use, distribution, possession, and cultivation of marijuana as long as it is permitted by the state in which it takes place. The measure was inserted as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill. You’ll find more on this story here.

ArcView projects 2019 marijuana sales of $15 billion

In its 7th annual report, “The State of Legal Markets,” BDS Analytics and ArcView Group, are projecting 2019 global cannabis sales north of the $15 billion mark. Moreover, the cannabis industry analysts are projecting upwards of $30 billion in sales by 2024 — a compound growth of 20% per year. The report also predicts the top 10 states who will have the highest grossing consumer demand for both recreational and medical marijuana with California leading the pack. 

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Unlike other prior year reports, the new ArcView/BDS report includes the sales of CBD along with the global sale of legal cannabis.  

Hope for recreational measures fizzles in New York

Hope for passage of a last-minute recreational-use bill finally fizzled out in New York last week. However, as the New York session ended, legislators did pass a bill to further decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and set up rules for the expungement of convictions for over 300,000 low-level marijuana offenders. Also, longtime marijuana advocate, New York State Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island), was able to push improvements to the state’s medical marijuana program.

The US flag is shown with cannabis leaves in place of the stars.

As many as 20 states expected to consider cannabis policy reform in 2020

The 2020 election year is likely to see recreational marijuana bills proposed in as many as 20 states, either via acts of legislature or voter ballot initiatives, appearing on November 2020 general election ballots. Voters in Florida, New Jersey, Arizona, and Connecticut are expected to vote on recreational use, while legislatures in Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Hawaii, and New York are expected to take up adult recreational-use proposals. Lawmakers in both New York and New Jersey failed to pass such measures in 2019. 

Vegas pledges $6.1 million in marijuana taxes for homeless

In Nevada, The Clark County Commission has voted to earmark marijuana tax revenue to help homeless families in the metro Las Vegas area. The $6.1 million package was awarded to HopeLink of Southern Nevada, HELP of Southern Nevada, and Lutheran Social Services of Nevada. The revenue is expected to add 594 beds in mostly short-term rentals. Three years ago, Aurora, Colorado pledged $1.5 million in cannabis taxes to improve services for the homeless, including opening a "daytime service center" for citizens to shower, clean their clothes, access computers, and obtain minor medical treatment. 

Canada releases edibles rules

Health Canada has released its long-awaited rules for expanding marijuana sales to include cannabis-infused beverages and edibles. Expansion into these new products is expected to more than double the first 7 months of consumer sales, which has only allowed gelcaps, cannabis oils, and flower. Under the proposed edibles rules, gummies, non-alcoholic beverages, and low-sugar chocolates will all be approved for production with any combination of CBD, THC or other cannabinoids. 

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Health Canada said it does not want to control innovative approaches by product makers but underscored its warning "not to make these products attractive in any way" to minors. The proposed rules also allow flavors to be incorporated into a wide range of vaping products but prohibit vape oil makers from adding "sugars, sweeteners or coloring." CBD and THC (non-flower) products will be accepted for review by Health Canada starting July 17th. Makers can begin selling some time in the fall of 2019. Read more on this story here. 

FDA again extends CBD fact gathering deadline

The FDA has once again extended its deadline for comments on the safety and efficacy of CBD and its use in food products. Interested parties now have until July 16 to submit comments. The previous deadline was July 2.

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