Inside Cannabis - August 15th, 2017

Inside Cannabis (Aug 15th, 2017)

Cannabis 2020 / UN to classify CBD / States curb smuggling / How to kill the black market

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Cannabis legalization may be a central issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Between a sweeping new package of legislation introduced last week by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of the top Democratic presidential prospects, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ opposition to the recreational use of marijuana, the debate over legalization could dominate the presidential campaign trail. – POLITICO

The Justice Department has effectively shut down cannabis research at the Drug Enforcement Agency. A year ago, the DEA began accepting applications for more cannabis for research and had 25 proposals to consider this month. But the DEA needs the Justice Department’s sign-off to move forward, and so far, the department has not been willing to provide it. – WAPO

A looming crackdown on cannabis in the U.S. could be a boon to Canada's legal market. Because cannabis is illegal at the federal level in the U.S., investors are wary of jumping on board, and cannabis companies can't get involved in the international market. Canadian companies, on the other hand, are finding it easier to function as conventional companies, and are being asked to participate in markets from Germany to Denmark. – GLOBAL NEWS

The Food and Drug Administration has declared CBD beneficial and is seeking citizen input to help the United Nations figure out how to classify it. FDA officials put out a call for comments in this morning’s Federal Register, seeking information about the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, and how the UN’s World Health Organization should designate it under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. The deadline to add comments Sept. 13. – LEAFLY

Wikileaf, a price-comparison app for the legal cannabis market, is running an in-flight ad on Virgin America's domestic routes. The campaign will run through mid-September and is expected to reach nearly 8 million passengers. "We wanted to get somewhere more mainstream," Wikileaf CEO Dan Nelson said. "We had ads in various magazines and online places where it's cannabis-focused, but we wanted some out-of-the-box ideas." – AD AGE

Legal cannabis states are trying to curb out-of-state smuggling to avoid fanning the flames of a federal crackdown. Fearing that legally grown cannabis is making its way to other states and jeopardizing the industry, states like Oregon and Washington are implementing tracking laws, which make tracking the plant from seed to sale a requirement of state regulators. – AP

A judge in San Francisco has blocked the federal prosecution of two Northern California cannabis growers in a first-of-its-kind ruling. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg suspended proceedings because Congress has prohibited the Justice Department from interfering with states’ medical marijuana laws. The restrictions forbid department spending on interference with the implementation of a state medical marijuana law. – SFGATE

How to kill the black market? Loosen regulations, says an economist at Harvard. In an op-ed for the Denver Post, director of economic studies at the Cato Institute and Department of Economics at Harvard University, Jeffrey Miron, argues that stricter rules on cannabis consumption and taxation push both consumers and entrepreneurs to the black market, effectively lowering tax revenue and upping enforcement costs. "Legalization without excessive regulation or taxation is the only way to eliminate the black market," Miron writes. – THE CANNABIST

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