What’s going on in the cannabis industry lately? Don’t fret! Our inaugural round-up of legal news will fill you in on the latest and greatest (and sometimes most depressing) cannabis headlines from around the world.
DEA Announces Cannabis to Remain Schedule I Substance
The biggest piece of news to come out of the cannabis industry in the last month is a bummer, to say the least. On Aug. 10, the DEA announced it will be recommending that no change be made to the status of cannabis via the Controlled Substances Act. DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said that this decision “isn’t based on danger,” but rather “whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine.”
The industry has reacted to the news with a mix of incredulity and expected disappointment. The bit of good news to come out of the announcement is that federal authorities say they are increasing the amount of cannabis available for legitimate research, opening up new avenues for more people and institutions to manufacture marijuana for scientific purposes. Currently, the University of Mississippi is the only such site in the U.S.
9 States Voting on Cannabis Initiatives in 2016
This November, an unprecedented nine states will be voting on ballot initiatives related to legalizing and regulating cannabis in some form.
Recreational initiatives include:
California, Proposition 64, “Adult Use of Marijuana Act.”
Nevada, Question 2, “Initiative to Regulate and Tax Marijuana.”
Arizona, Proposition 205, “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.”
Massachusetts, Question 4, “Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.”
Maine, Question 1, “Marijuana Legalization Act.”
Medical initiatives include:
Montana, I-182, “Montana Medical Marijuana Act.”
North Dakota, Measure 5, “North Dakota Compassionate Care Act.”
Arkansas, “Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act” & “Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment”
Florida, Amendment 2, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Conditions.
Currently, polls are showing promise for all of these initiatives – save for Montana and North Dakota, where no polling data is available.
Washington to Allow Private Companies to Apply for Cannabis Research Permits
Way to stick it to the man, Washington. The state has a new marijuana research license that will allow private laboratories to grow cannabis for scientific study. State officials expect to start accepting applications for the new license by January.
Supporters hope the state licensing helps provide new evidence of cannabis’s effectiveness as a medical treatment. The state Liquor and Cannabis Board is currently setting up a review panel for the scientific applications. The panel will include officials from Washington State University and the University of Washington who will evaluate the efficacy of the proposals, and whether applicants have the experience and facilities to carry out the research.
Oregon Collects $25.5 Million In Recreational Cannabis Taxes During First Six Months
Oregon has processed a whopping $25.5 million in tax payments from recreational cannabis from January through the end of July this year. Medical marijuana dispensaries are currently selling the drug with a 25 percent tax as the Liquor Control Board finalizes rules for recreational infrastructure.
According to the Oregonian report, an estimated $102 million in recreational cannabis has been sold since Jan. 1. State economists predict the state will collect $44.4 million in marijuana taxes this year.
Jamaican Tourism Officials Planning Cannabis Tourism Attractions
We’ve all run out of excuses not to visit Jamaica: National officials are developing health and wellness tourism plans that include cannabis, part of an overall strategy that could generate $5 billion by 2021. “Cannabis-infused tourism” has a place in Jamaica’s product mix, alongside all-inclusive resorts and mass tourism, said Edmund Bartlett, Jamaica’s tourism minister.
Despite popular misconceptions, cannabis was illegal in Jamaica until the 2014 legislation that decriminalized small amounts of the drug.
Medical Cannabis Approved for Use in Australia
G’day, mate! Medical cannabis will now be available to patients in Australia beginning in November after approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The drug will be “strictly controlled” in the nation and the government is still forming a formal regulation structure. Changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act will allow for cannabis to be grown and produced in Australia for medicinal purposes only.
Check back next month when we round up the most interesting cannabis headlines of the last 30 days once again!