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Hemp and CBD Could Be Marketed as Dietary Supplements Under Bipartisan Congressional Bill
A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced a bill in Congress on Thursday that would allow hemp and CBD derived from the crop to be marketed and sold as dietary supplements.
The Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act is the third piece of cannabis legislation to be filed so far in the new 117th Congress—and it would provide the hemp industry with critical regulatory clarity as federal agencies develop rules for CBD marketing.
Under the proposal from Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), who filed an identical bill last year, “hemp, cannabidiol derived from hemp, and any other ingredient derived from hemp shall be lawful for use under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act as a dietary ingredient in a dietary supplement.
New York Lawmakers Slam Governor’s Marijuana Legalization Plan While Touting Legislature’s Own Bill
New York lawmakers had some choice words for the governor’s marijuana legalization proposal on Thursday, describing it as “watered down” and “all wrong” because they feel it inadequately addresses social equity and instead values revenue generation over justice.
During a press conference, Senate and Assembly members and reform advocates took Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to task over the legalization plan he outlined in his budget request last month. Legislative leaders said the proposal shows that the governor isn’t serious about enacting the policy change and called for the passage of a bill out of the legislature instead.
This is the third year in a row that Cuomo has included a legalization proposal in his budget plan. The last two times, negotiations with the legislature stalled amid disagreements over certain components such as the tax structure for the market and funding for social equity programs.
Maryland Marijuana Legalization Bill Sponsored by Senate President and Other Top Lawmakers
Maryland Senate Finance Committee Vice-Chair Brian J. Feldman (D) has filed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis and pump funding into communities that have been adversely impacted by its current criminalization.
In a phone interview with Maryland Matters, Feldman described the bill plainly: “It’s a cannabis legalization bill that would tax and regulate cannabis sales,” he said.
But it does a lot more than decriminalize: several measures in the bill look to address socio-economic and criminal justice inequities experienced in Black and Brown communities.
Under Feldman’s legislation, businesses in the state’s existing medical cannabis industry would pay fees into a social equity fund to be used for low-interest loans for minority business owners to enter the industry.
He asserted that his bill, which he warned will have amendments, will put Maryland at the top of the list in terms of social equity provisions.
New Jersey Governor Signs Psilocybin Bill to Immediately Reduce Penalties for Possession
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a psilocybin reform bill into law on Thursday, immediately reclassifying possession of up to an ounce of psychedelic-containing mushrooms as a disorderly persons offense.
The new classification means individuals caught with small amounts of psilocybin are now subject to a maximum $1,000 fine, up to six months in jail or both. Previously the offense was a third-degree crime and carried a penalty of between three to five years behind bars and fines of up to $15,000.
The change puts mushroom possession on par with simple assault, harassment, shoplifting or resisting arrest in New Jersey.
Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D), who first introduced the mushroom amendment, said Thursday of the change that mushrooms are still illegal in New Jersey, “but it’s not going to ruin lives for a first offense.”
Washington Lawmakers Introduce Long-Awaited Bill to Decriminalize All Drugs and Expand Treatment
Washington State lawmakers on Thursday introduced landmark legislation to decriminalize possessing small amounts of all drugs and expand treatment services for people with substance use disorders, part of a growing trend of U.S. states backing away from a crime-control model of drug enforcement and instead treating the issue as a public health matter.
The proposal would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of so-called “personal use amounts” of controlled substances and direct the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) to craft a plan under which “continual, rapid and widespread access to a comprehensive continuum of care must be provided to all persons with substance use disorder.”
Voters next door in Oregon passed a similar policy change in November’s election. That law took effect this week.
Possession limits under the proposal, dubbed Pathways to Recovery Act, are not yet specified. They would be determined by September 2022 by an HCA workgroup.