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GOP Congressman And AOC Team Up On Marijuana Bill To Incentivize State-Level Expungements

GOP Congressman And AOC Team Up On Marijuana Bill To Incentivize State-Level Expungements

As congressional lawmakers work to advance federal marijuana legalization, a bipartisan duo on Thursday filed a bill that would incentivize states and local governments to expunge cannabis records in their jurisdictions. Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are sponsoring the legislation, titled the Harnessing Opportunities by Pursuing Expungement (HOPE) Act. It would encourage states to provide relief to people with non-violent marijuana convictions through federal grants—the State Expungement Opportunity Grant Program, run through the Department of Justice—that would help cover the administrative costs of identifying and clearing eligible cases. The bill proposes to appropriate $2 million in funding to support the program for each fiscal year starting in 2023 and ending in 2032. Specifically, the grants could be used by states to purchase technology used to facilitate expungements at scale, automate the relief process, fund legal clinics to help people get their records cleared and support “innovative partnerships” to provide mass relief. “Having been both a public defender and a prosecutor, I have seen first-hand how cannabis law violations can foreclose a lifetime of opportunities ranging from employment to education to housing,” Joyce said in a press release. “The collateral damage caused by these missed opportunities is woefully underestimated and has impacted entire families, communities, and regional economies.”

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/02/2021 12:38:00

Open article: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/gop-congressman-and-aoc-team-up-on-marijuana-bill-to-incentivize-state-level-expungements/

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Top Federal Drug Official Personally Hesitates To Study Marijuana Because Of Schedule I Research Barriers

Top Federal Drug Official Personally Hesitates To Study Marijuana Because Of Schedule I Research Barriers

The top federal drug researcher says even she is reluctant to conduct studies on Schedule I drugs like marijuana because of the “cumbersome” rules that scientists face when investigating them. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), made the comments during a Wednesday forum moderated by The Hill and sponsored by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) that also featured congressional lawmakers, state regulators, and industry stakeholders. Volkow has repeatedly talked about barriers to marijuana research in the U.S., where scientists must jump through bureaucratic hoops to access cannabis for study purposes. That’s because the plant is designated as Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act, the most restrictive category. But it’s not just your average researcher who struggles to navigate the complex application process. Volkow—who runs America’s top drug science agency—said she personally avoids studying Schedule I substances because of the federal red tape.“One of the barriers that has actually been noted is that cannabis, marijuana, by being a Schedule I substance, requires certain procedures that actually can be very lengthy,” she said. “In some instances, it detracts researchers who want to investigate it because it’s just much more cumbersome than doing studies with other substances.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/02/2021 08:13:00

Open article: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/top-federal-drug-official-personally-hesitates-to-study-marijuana-because-of-schedule-i-research-barriers/

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USDA Announces Hemp Policy Changes To Improve Insurance Coverage For Producers

USDA Announces Hemp Policy Changes To Improve Insurance Coverage For Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday announced that it has taken steps to improve insurance policies for hemp businesses, making them more flexible in response to stakeholder feedback. USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) said it is making it so hemp producers are no longer mandated to deliver their crop “without economic value for insurability.” It further amended policy to clarify how the “amount of insurable acreage is determined if the processor contract specifies both an acreage and a production amount.” “This change was made in the policy to ensure producers know how their insurable acreage is determined for those contracts,” the agency said in a press release. RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger said that hemp is “an emerging crop, and we are working with hemp producers to provide insurance options that make sense for producers and for insurance providers.” “RMA has worked to expand and refine our offerings to be responsive and dynamic,” she said. The department also said it has added a requirement for producers who grow hemp directly from seeds that are planted in the ground.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/02/2021 15:56:00

Open article: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/usda-announces-hemp-policy-changes-to-improve-insurance-coverage-for-producers/

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Missouri GOP Lawmaker Files Joint Resolution To Put Marijuana Legalization On Ballot As Activists Launch Separate Campaign

Missouri GOP Lawmaker Files Joint Resolution To Put Marijuana Legalization On Ballot As Activists Launch Separate Campaign

A Republican Missouri lawmaker is again making a push to place marijuana legalization on the ballot. But some activists aren’t waiting on the legislature to take action to refer the issue to voters, with one campaign officially launching a signature-gathering on Wednesday for a separate reform initiative. Rep. Shamed Dogan (R) on Wednesday pre-filed his joint resolution to place a constitutional amendment on legalization on the 2022 ballot. He introduced a similar proposal last year, but it did not advance. Under the lawmaker’s plan, adults 21 and older could purchase, possess and cultivate cannabis for personal use. It does not specify allowable amounts. A 12 percent tax would be imposed on adult-use marijuana sales, while medical cannabis products would be subject to a four percent tax. Revenue would go to a new “Smarter and Safer Missouri Fund” to support veterans services, infrastructure programs like expanding broadband access and drug treatment programs.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/03/2021 09:36:00

Open article: https://www.marijuanamoment.net/missouri-gop-lawmaker-files-joint-resolution-to-put-marijuana-legalization-on-ballot-as-activists-launch-separate-campaign/

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Marijuana Company of America Inc. (MCOA) Leverages Strategic Partnerships to Facilitate Growth Within the Industry

Marijuana Company of America Inc. (MCOA) Leverages Strategic Partnerships to Facilitate Growth Within the Industry

The cannabis industry just celebrated its second-largest holiday of the year – Green Wednesday, the industry’s very own “Black Friday.” According to software company Akerna’s figures, the sale of legal cannabis products during the four-day holiday (November 24-27) is likely to have topped $251 million. The forecast also estimated that sales would equate to a 78% spike from normal daily sales on Green Wednesday, resulting in $90 million worth of legal products being sold (https://cnw.fm/waqEm). The Green Wednesday sales increase reflects a growing trend of the industry as a whole. The global cannabis market was valued at $22.10 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.9% during the 2021 to 2026 forecast period. Much like other industries around the world, the marijuana market was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The limitations placed on brick-and-mortar establishments presented many setbacks and forced store owners to seek other methods to sell products, like on social media platforms and e-commerce sites (https://cnw.fm/aGyef). In the interest of global expansion, Marijuana Company of America (OTC: MCOA) has taken steps to extend the company’s reach into new regions, including Latin America, and to leverage current strategic partnerships with several companies and its wholly-owned subsidiaries to facilitate growth in an industry that continues to expand despite recent setbacks. 

CannabisNewsWire, 12/02/2021 09:00:00

Open article: https://www.cannabisnewswire.com/marijuana-company-of-america-inc-mcoa-leverages-strategic-partnerships-to-facilitate-growth-within-the-industry/

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Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Businesses Demand Steps To Combat Illicit Grows

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Businesses Demand Steps To Combat Illicit Grows

News Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Businesses Demand Steps To Combat Illicit Grows By As of Nov. 10, the OMMA had issued 13,281 marijuana business licenses Concerns over expanding illicit cannabis operations in Oklahoma are putting pressure on regulators and law enforcement to take action to stamp out the alleged criminal activity some argue is hiding behind the state’s booming legal medical marijuana industry. To aid in this, medical cannabis companies in Oklahoma are calling on state regulators to move ahead with: Implementing a seed-to-sale tracking system. Increasing inspections of licensed marijuana businesses. Refining testing rules to ensure product safety. Raising the price of a business license. The demands come as the state’s Bureau of Narcotics in November declared Oklahoma the No. 1 supplier of illicit cannabis in the country.

Mj Biz Daily, Marijuana Retail Report – News and Information for Cannabis Retailers, 12/02/2021 14:55:00

Open article: https://marijuanaretailreport.com/oklahoma-medical-marijuana-businesses-demand-steps-to-combat-illicit-grows/

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