Inside Cannabis - August 14th, 2019

Inside Cannabis (Aug 14th, 2019)

Barr Association endorses end of prohibition / Evicted for MMJ / NYC seals pot convictions

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1. The American Barr Association is urging Congress to end federal cannabis prohibition. The organization passed a resolution in support of ending prohibition as well as removing the substance from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Though the organization made it clear that it was not taking a position on cannabis legalization generally, the resolution states that conflicting federal and state cannabis policies have created problems for state-legal cannabis businesses, including a lack of access to financial services. The resolution also recommends that Congress pass legislation to “encourage scientific research into the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” – NORML

2. A top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official slammed the federal drug scheduling system for inhibited much-needed research into CBD. In the wake of federally legalized hemp, the FDA is scrambling to conduct research into the benefits of CBD as it aims to regulate hemp-derived products and introduce CBD into the food supply and dietary supplements. But, says FDA Principal Associate Commissioner for Policy Lowell Schiller, "there's a lot we still don't know" about the compound,  which "is part of the legacy of almost all CBD being a Schedule I controlled substance.” Schiller also said the agency is focusing its efforts on getting more research. – MARIJUANA MOMENT

3. A Massachusetts couple has been evicted from their home for smoking medical cannabis, bringing up questions about where and how legal cannabis can be consumed. After a neighbor complained about smoke, Francine and Timothy Weinandy were served an eviction notice in late July, which stated that the couple signed a no-smoking clause in their lease. “The fact that you have a prescription for marijuana…does not negate the no smoking policy,” attorney Lawrence Farber wrote in the eviction notice. The couple is contesting the eviction and will go to court in September. It's unclear which side of the issue the law favors. – MASSLIVE

4. A New York City court has agreed to seal over 300 low-level cannabis possession convictions. Seeing the burden placed on people involved in small-time cannabis cases in finding employment and housing, New York prosecutors and lawmakers have made various efforts to eliminate these convictions. While the cases are not completely cleared, the court granted a request from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the Legal Action Center, and several other groups to seal 360 cases. On Aug. 27, state legislation that softens penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis will take effect, which will automatically seal low-level pot cases. – LEAFLY

5. As cannabis companies push to go mainstream, many are releasing ads with misleading or unproven claims. Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA, ran tests on vaping products from the company Diamond CBD, which markets its products as "100 percent natural." In four of nine samples, the lab discovered a synthetic compound, 5F-ADB, which has been linked to anxiety, convulsions, psychosis, hospitalization and death. – NYT

6. U.S. Attorney General William Barr says he does not approve of progressive prosecutors. In a speech to a group of police officers this week, Barr said that the new crop of reform-minded district attorneys at the state, county and city level is "demoralizing to law enforcement and dangerous to public safety." "Some are refusing to prosecute various theft cases or drug cases, even where the suspect is involved in distribution," he said. "And when they do deign to charge a criminal suspect, they are frequently seeking sentences that are pathetically lenient." – REASON

7. Though cannabis is legal across Canada, nearly half of workplaces in the nation still hold zero-tolerance policies when it comes to consumption, according to a study. The study found that the zero-tolerance policy does refer strictly to use on the job but at all times, with some stipulating that in order to get the job, potential employees can't use cannabis. These policies are more common in "safety-sensitive" industries where heavy equipment is used, such as transportation or warehousing. – CALGARY HERALD

8. U.S. farmers planted four times as much hemp in the past year, according to data from the Department of Agriculture. “There are a lot of things you can do on a farm, but there aren’t a lot of things you can do to make money,” said a Kentucky farmer who recently started growing hemp. He said an acre of soybeans could only get him about $500, but an acre of hemp could yield as much as $30,000. – QUARTZ

9. In three states, doctors can prescribe medical cannabis instead of opioids, despite a lack of scientific evidence supporting this practice. With opioid overdose deaths on the rise, policymakers in Colorado, Illinois and New York passed legislation to ease the recommendation of cannabis, but many physicians and medical experts strongly oppose such policies, pointing out that science hasn’t yet shown that cannabis can deliver the same pain-killing properties as a prescription drug, or that it can help people kick an opioid addiction. – PEW

10. Thailand plans to roll out its medical cannabis program in the next few days. The Government Pharmaceutical Organization delivered a batch of cannabis oil to the Ministry of Public Health last week, eight months after Thailand became the first country in Southeast Asia to legalize the drug for medical use. The oil will be distributed to 12 hospitals across the country that will dole out doses to the first 4,000 registered patients. – VOA NEWS

Tessa Love is a Berlin-based freelance writer hailing from California's weed country. In addition to writing and curating Inside Cannabis, Tessa has written about cannabis, culture, and tech for the BBC, The Outline, Racked, Slate, The Establishment and more. Find her on twitter at @tessamlove.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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