Inside Cannabis - September 23rd, 2019

Inside Cannabis (Sep 23rd, 2019)

Banking Vote Wednesday / EU Approves CBD Drug / Bernie and Beto Talk Pot

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1. The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the SAFE Banking Act Wednesday. The landmark law that would protect banks from federal prosecution for doing business with cannabis companies will get a vote on the full House floor this Wednesday, according to a staffer for House majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The vote will come in a somewhat unusual parliamentary move called a “suspension of the rules,” requiring a two-thirds majority for passage, and the bill’s author Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is making some last-minute amendments to broaden its appeal to Republicans. But opposition to the bill could come more from the liberal flank of the House, as a growing movement of Democratic representatives think the bill doesn’t have enough of a social justice component. — MARIJUANA MOMENT 

2. The European Union has approved the CBD pharmaceutical drug Epidyolex for the treatment of epilepsy. The first great hope for cannabis as a prescription pharmaceutical drug, Epidyolex, has been shown to be effective at treating epileptic seizures among children (the approved U.S. version of the drug is spelled a little differently, as “Epidiolex”). The European Medicines Agency just approved the drug for use across the European Union, though a sticking point remains in that Britain’s National Health Service will not reimburse for its use. GW Pharmaceuticals’ stock went up, albeit modestly, after the approval news. — BBC NEWS 

3. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited an Oakland dispensary, while Bernie Sanders hosted a star-studded marijuana panel. O’Rourke chose Oakland’s pot shop Blunts and Moore to hype his legalization plan, which focuses on clemency for past possession charges and boosting minority-owned cannabis businesses. His campaign tweeted out some 2009 videos to highlight O’Rourke’s longtime legalization support. Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, held a South Carolina marijuana panel with rapper Killer Mike, actor Danny Glover, and Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen. — HUFFINGTON POST

4. Utah has the highest per-capita rate of vaping lung illness victims. Utah’s 42 cases of the still-unexplained vaping lung disease give that state a 13.3 per million people rate, far higher than the next-closest state of Wisconsin. While 90 percent of Utah’s affected victims say they had used THC vape cartridges, university doctors insist that a few of the victims had no THC in their system and had only vaped nicotine. — SALT LAKE TRIBUNE   

5. The first cannabis cafe in Israel opened last week. It’s actually the first cannabis cafe in the entire Middle East. Users can light up on-site, but cannot buy cannabis on the premises. — JERUSALEM POST 

6. A law enforcement group claims Colorado is seeing more car crashes because of legalization. The four-state law enforcement collective Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released a study saying marijuana-related crashes have increased 15 percent since the state legalized recreational cannabis. — KDVR 

7. Three Wisconsin lawmakers have introduced a medical marijuana bill for that state. While it is a bipartisan bill introduced by two Democrats and one Republican, conservative opposition has killed previous attempts to legalize medical marijuana in the Badger State. — ASSOCIATED PRESS 

8. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has pushed the FDA to permit more hemp CBD commerce. The Kentucky senator added language to a measure that obliges the Food and Drug Administration to give guidance on creating hemp-derived CBD products that would be legal to transport across state lines. — HEMP INDUSTRY DAILY 

9. New Hampshire lawmakers have overridden their governor’s veto of medical cannabis restrictions. Gov. Chris Sununu’s July veto of a measure that would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients they’ve seen for fewer than three months was undone by both houses of the state legislature. — MJ BIZ DAILY

10. Singer John Legend has partnered with a CBD gummie firm. While the singer lent some nice, favorable quotes about California’s Plus gummies in a press release, it’s unclear whether he has any financial involvement. — THE FRESH TOAST 

Joe Kukura has been the cannabis writer for SF Weekly since 2016, and his work has appeared in Thrillist, the Daily Dot, and NBC Bay Area. You can follow him on Twitter at @ExercisingDrunk.

Edited by: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside).

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