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25 House members back marijuana banking act

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SAFE Banking Act, gay news, Washington Blade

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) is a sponsor of the SAFE Banking Act.

25 House members back marijuana banking act

More than one-quarter of U.S. House members have signed on to newly introduced legislation to facilitate greater access to banking for state-licensed cannabis operators. The 2019 version of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act was introduced last Thursday and now has 113 co-sponsors — the most ever for a marijuana law reform bill. Under federal law, banks and other financial institutions are discouraged from entering into relationships with marijuana-specific businesses. This has led to the industry operating on a largely ‘cash-only’ basis. Last month, members of the U.S. House, Consumer Protection and Financial Institution Subcommittee heard testimony in favor of federal banking reform. NORML submitted testimony to the Committee, opining: “In short, no industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions and it is self-evident that this industry, and those consumers that are served by it, will remain severely hampered without better access to credit and financing. Ultimately, Congress must amend federal policy so that these growing numbers of state-compliant businesses, and those millions of Americans who patronize them, are no longer subject to policies that needlessly place them in harm’s way.” The SAFE Banking Act is one of several marijuana-related bills introduced in Congress in recent days. Other legislation includes The Ending Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019The Marijuana Justice Act, The Next Step Act, and  The Marijuana Data Collection Act of 2019.

Cannabinoids associated with anti-cancer activity

STOKE-ON-KENT, U.K. — The administration of cannabidiol (CBD) is associated with anti-cancer responses in human subjects, according to a pair of recently published case studies. In the first study, British investigators reported on the use of CBD in an 81-year-old lung cancer patient following his decision to decline chemotherapy treatment. Authors reported that the patients’ tumor size was reduced following the use of CBD extracts. They concluded: “[T]he data presented here indicate that CBD may have had a role in the striking response in a patient with histologically proven adenocarcinoma of the lung as a result of self-administration of CBD oil for a month and in the absence of any other identifiable lifestyle, drug or dietary changes. Further work is needed both in vitro and in vivo to better evaluate the various mechanisms of action of CBD on malignant cells, and its potential application in the treatment of not only lung cancer but also other malignancies.” In the second study, Brazilian investigators described the use of CBD in two 38-year-old patients with brain cancer. Their use of CBD in additional to traditional anti-cancer treatment was associated with a “significant improvement” in clinical outcomes and a lack of disease progression for two years. Authors concluded, “These observations are of particular interest because the pharmacology of cannabinoids appears to be distinct from existing oncology medications and may offer a unique and possibly synergistic option for future glioma treatment.” A 2017 study assessing the concurrent use of CBD and Temozolomide (TMZ) in 21 patients with glioma reported that subjects provided CBD lived, on average, 45 percent longer than those treated with TMZ only. Although cannabinoids have well-established anti-cancer activity in preclinical models, scientists have generally failed to assess these properties in controlled, clinical trials.

S. Dakota guv vetoes hemp licensing bill

PIERRE, S.D. — Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has vetoed legislationHouse Bill 1191, which sought to comport state law with newly-enacted provisions of the 2018 Farm Act. The measure sought to permit state regulators to license farmers to commercially cultivate industrial hemp and sought to regulate certain products derived from hemp, including CBD-infused extracts. In December, Congress enacted legislation descheduling hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids from the federal Controlled Substances Act and making states the primary regulators of the plant. Gov. Noem stated in her veto: “Our state is not yet ready for industrial hemp. … [T]his bill supports a national effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use.” Members of the House voted to successfully override the governor’s veto, but Senators failed to obtain the two-thirds majority necessary. Noem received an ‘F’ grade in NORML’s 2019 Governors Scorecard.   Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. For more information, visit NORML.org or contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at [email protected].
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Highstream 420 Festival Livestream

Join us on 4/20 at 4:00pm EST for a full day of music performances, online workshops, demos, and interactive panels.

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America’s largest cannabis gatherings, National Cannabis Festival and The Emerald Cup, combine forces for a coast-to-coast online 420 festival benefiting Coronavirus relief charities.

Join us on 4/20 at 4:00pm EST for a full day of music performances, online workshops, demos, and interactive panels.

The Los Angeles Blade will be live streaming on this page and on our Facebook page HERE.

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Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture

Two-thirds of Latinos back legalizing marijuana

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Two-thirds of Latinos back legalizing marijuana

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — More than two in three U.S. Hispanic adults support legalizing marijuana, according to nationwide polling data compiled by the digital media firm H Code.

Pollsters surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 1,300 English- and Spanish-speaking U.S. Hispanic respondents. Sixty-eight percent of those polled said that they are favor of legalizing marijuana in the United States.

That percentage is consistent with other nationwide polls of U.S. adults, such as those here, here, and here, finding that two-thirds of respondents believe that the adult use of cannabis ought to be legal. By contrast, prior polls of Hispanic-only voters had often reported that Latinos were less likely than the general population to express support for legalizing cannabis.

Smoking cannabis is most popular method of ingestion

SEATTLE — Adults who consume cannabis are most likely to smoke it, according to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Researchers analyzed data from over 6,100 adult cannabis consumers in 12 states. Ninety-one percent of respondents acknowledging having smoked herbal cannabis, with 59 percent reporting that inhalation “was their only mode of marijuana use.” By contrast, only 25 percent of respondents reported having ever used cannabis-infused edible products, and only 20 percent reported ever having vaporized cannabis. Five percent of subjects reported exclusively consuming marijuana edibles, and two percent said that they only vaped cannabis.

The data is consistent with prior studies, such as those here and here, showing that the majority of people who self-report consuming cannabis do so by methods that involve smoking the substance.

Medical cannabis is Maine’s 3rd largest economic market

AUGUSTA, Maine — Patients purchased an estimated $112 million worth of medical cannabis-related products in 2019, according to newly released Maine tax data.

The annual revenues related to medical cannabis are more than the total revenues generated by the sales of blueberries, maple syrup, apples, herring, and oysters combined. Only the state’s lobster industry and potato industry bring in more annual revenue.

Some three-quarters of the revenue generated from medical cannabis (85.3 million) came from sales by caregivers to patients. Although the state’s medical cannabis access program has been operational for some two decades, Maine officials only began tracking caregiver-related tax revenue in February of 2019.

Licensed retail adult-use marijuana sales are anticipated to begin in June.

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

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Cannabis Culture

Cannabis Culture

ABA calls for marijuana banking access

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SAFE Banking Act, gay news, Washington BladeABA calls for marijuana banking access

CHICAGO — The American Bar Association has adopted a resolution urging the passage of federal legislation facilitating banks and other financial institutions to legally interact with licensed cannabis businesses.

The resolution calls for the “enactment of [federal] laws to ensure that it shall not constitute a federal crime for banks and financial institutions to provide cannabis-related services.”

Under existing law, banks are discouraged from engaging with state-licensed marijuana businesses. In September, members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 321 to 103 in favor of HR 1595: The SAFE Banking Act, amending federal law so that financial institutions may work directly with state-legal marijuana businesses without fear of federal repercussions. The bill now awaits action from the Senate Banking Committee. However, Committee Chair Mike Crapo (R-Ind.) has expressed opposition to the measure.

In 2019, the ABA adopted a separate resolution urging Congress “to enact legislation to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.” With over 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is among the largest voluntary organizations in the world.

More seniors turning to cannabis

NEW YORK — Cannabis use is increasing among those ages 65 and older, according to data published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers affiliated with the New York School of Medicine assessed trends in self-reported cannabis use among seniors. They reported that 4.2 percent of seniors acknowledged engaging in past-year cannabis consumption in 2018, up from 2.4 percent in 2015 and 0.4 percent in 2006.

The study’s findings are consistent with those of prior papers similarly reporting an uptick in marijuana use among older Americans. According to a 2019 study published in the journal Gerontology & Geriatric Medicine, marijuana use among seniors is associated with self-reported improvements in pain management, day-to-day functioning, and in their overall health and quality of life.

Employers’ attitudes shifting on drug tests

SUNNYVALE, Calif. — A growing number of companies are either abandoning marijuana-specific drug testing programs or reducing the frequency with which they test, according to nationwide survey data compiled by the online recruitment website Simply Hired Incorporated.

Fifty-five percent of hiring managers polled in the survey said that their companies do not test current employees for off-the-job marijuana use. Among those hiring managers who work for companies that do engage in testing, 40 percent said that “they do it less often than in the past.” Larger-sized companies (1,000+ employees) were far more likely to utilize pre-employment testing for cannabis than were smaller-sized companies.

Nearly 70 percent of hiring managers said that their company would be “okay” with an employee using cannabis while away from work “as long as the company remains unaware of it.” Among employees surveyed, 75 percent said testing positive for marijuana should not be grounds for automatic termination.

 

Cannabis Culture news in the Blade is provided in partnership with NORML. Visit norml.org for more information.

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