In this week’s edition:
- Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force releases 110-page unity platform that includes cannabis reform but stops short of federal legalization
- FDA provides Senate results of study on extent of CBD mislabeling and adulteration
- Illinois recreational cannabis sales hit record highs in June
- Ontario’s private cannabis stores must stop delivery and curbside pickup when state of emergency is lifted
- And more…
- Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force Recommendations Include Cannabis Reform – The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force released its 110-page unity platform recommendations, and they call for, among other things, federal cannabis reform to reduce incarceration and promote fair sentencing. The task force recommends six specific reforms: (1) decriminalize marijuana use and legalize marijuana for medical purposes at federal level; (2) allow states to make their own decisions about legalizing recreational use; (3) automatically expunge all past marijuana convictions for use and possession; (4) lift budget rider blocking DC from taxing and regulating legal marijuana; (5) remove marijuana use from list of deportable offenses; and (6) encourage states to invest tax revenue from legal marijuana industries to repair damage to black and brown communities hit hardest by incarceration.
- Bipartisan Push From 16 State Treasurers for Cannabis Banking Protections in Next COVID-19 Relief Legislation – In a letter addressed to leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate, a coalition of state treasurers joined forces, across party lines, to request inclusion of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act of 2019 in the next phase of COVID-19 relief funding. The SAFE Banking Act would address economic and safety concerns faced by legitimate cannabis and ancillary businesses during the public health crisis, including allowing “cashless” transactions and access to federal relief funds, such as the SBA lending programs and employee retention tax credits.
- Wirecard Facing US Department of Justice Scrutiny After Alleged $100M Bank Fraud Conspiracy – The US Department of Justice is investigating whether German fintech Wirecard AG participated in an alleged $100 million bank fraud conspiracy connected to cannabis marketplace Eaze Technologies, Inc., which has not been charged or directly cited in the investigative documents.
- CA – The California Bureau of Cannabis Control published a Branded Merchandise Fact Sheet reiterating existing regulations that allow licensees to sell “branded merchandise” (e.g., “clothing, hats, pencils, pens, keychains, mugs, water bottles, beverage glasses, notepads, lanyards, or cannabis accessories with the name or logo of a state licensed commercial cannabis business”) without prior approval from the Bureau.
- IL – Despite (or because of) the global pandemic, Illinois recreational cannabis sales hit record highs in June of $47.6 million in total sales, shattering the state’s existing records since legalization took effect on January 1 of this year. In other news, the Illinois Department of Revenue adopted a new rule clarifying that cannabis-infused foods cannot be taxed at the 1 percent rate that applies to most groceries, but must be taxed at the general merchandise rate of 6.25 percent.
- MO – The City Council of Kansas City, MO approved an ordinance to end all penalties for cannabis possession under the municipality’s local laws, repealing the provision in the City Code of Ordinances that makes possession of 35 grams or less a violation punishable by a $25 fine and penalizes possession of more than 35 grams with a $500 fine.
- NV – Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board, the third consecutive agency to oversee the state’s cannabis industry, is reforming its process for issuing licenses, vetting applicants and enforcing laws governing cannabis. The Board is considering its first set of regulations this month, which, if promulgated, will drastically change the process of vetting and background checks.
- OH – The Ohio State Medical Board approved the addition of cachexia (wasting syndrome) as a medical cannabis qualifying condition, while rejecting anxiety and autism spectrum disorder.
- OK – The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will begin enforcing its laboratory testing requirement for all medical cannabis products sold by growers or processors.
- US Patent and Trademark Office – A USPTO Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruling in In re Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises LLC determined that a CBD company could not register a mark for hemp oil extracts, indicating that it violated the Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act.
- US Department of Agriculture – The USDA added hemp to a list of seeds in the Federal Seed Act Regulations that are subject to certification standards.
- Food and Drug Administration – The FDA sent Congress a report on its efforts to test CBD products and evaluate the accuracy of their labels. The report states that “[o]f the 102 products that indicated a specific amount of CBD, 18 products (18%), contained less than 80% of the amount of CBD indicated on its label, 46 products (45%) contained CBD within 20% of the amount indicated, and 38 products (37%) contained more than 120% of the amount of CBD indicated.”
- IN – The Seventh Circuit vacated an order of the US District Court of the Southern District of Indiana prohibiting the State of Indiana from enforcing a right-to-farm law banning the sale of “smokeable hemp” products, arguing that federal law allows states to regulate hemp production and to “prohibit cultivation or production of industrial hemp.”
- Canada – Effective July 15, when Ontario’s public health declaration of emergency order expired, private cannabis stores in Canada’s most populous province were no longer allowed to offer customers delivery or curbside pickup.
- Vireo Health International Inc. – Vireo Health International signed an exclusive licensing agreement with eBottles420 to manufacture and distribute the Vancouver, CA company’s terpene-preserving packaging system, which it says keeps cannabis potent and flavorful for longer. Terpenes are natural compounds found in cannabis that are responsible for the plant’s aroma and flavors, and influence its effects by interacting with cannabinoids.
- Steep Hill – Steep Hill, a Berkely, CA-based cannabis testing and analytics company, is accusing its former CEO of improperly revealing a previously confidential transaction with EVIO, Inc., Henderson, NV, involving a proposed complex asset transfer between the two companies.
- Cannabis and Sports Performance – Sports Medicine – Open published a CBD and sports performance review, which found that “preclinical studies have observed robust anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and analgesic effects of CBD in animal models”; that “[p]reliminary preclinical evidence also suggests that CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage associated with inflammation and promote healing of traumatic skeletal injuries”; and that “early stage clinical studies suggest that CBD may be anxiolytic in ‘stress-inducing’ situations and in individuals with anxiety disorders.”