The Week in Weed: March 13, 2020

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

FEDERAL NEWS

The big news this week was the FDA’s report to Congress on CBD.  The report did not set out a timeline for usage guidelines, citing the need for more data.  Commissioner Stephen Hahn did indicate he thought it would be a “fool’s errand” to ban over-the-counter sales.

In other federal action, the House Veterans Affairs Committee passed two bills related to medical marijuana.  One allows doctors at VA hospitals to prescribe medical cannabis in states where it is legal.  The other increases research into the efficacy of marijuana in treating chronic pain and PTSD.

As for banking, banking associations around the country sent a letter to Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), asking that the Senate Banking Committee vote on a cannabis banking bill.  Regular readers will doubtless recall that TBT has expressed doubt on this legislation before.

STATE NEWS

In tribal news, the Oglala Sioux voted to legalize medical and recreational marijuana on their reservation in South Dakota.  Contrast this to the South Dakota state government, which has just worked out a hemp legalization deal.  If it seems as if South Dakota is proceeding at a glacial pace, they’re moving faster than Idaho.  It’s unlikely that the state will legalize hemp this year.

Virginia passed legislation decriminalizing cannabis, and the governor is expected to sign the bill.  Some supporters would like to push for full legalization.  The legislature has directed the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission to recommend ways in which the state could establish a marketplace.

In Ohiothe drive to legalize marijuana suffered a setback this week.  The state’s Attorney General rejected summary language proposed by the group supporting the plan.  This means that the group will have to redraft the proposal, collect signatures and resubmit.  Nevertheless, advocates are confident they will be able to get the initiative on the November 2020 ballot.

ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

And finally, hemp has launched into outer space.  Front Range Biosciences sent some hemp off to the International Space Station this week in order to study the effect of microgravity on cell cultures.  If there’s a plan to make those cultures available for sale, perhaps they’ll market them as “out of this world.”

See you next week!

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