Medical marijuana sales in Arizona up 41% in 2018, report says
New figures from the state Department of Health Services show that Arizonans smoke, ate or otherwise consumed nearly 60 tons of the drug in 2018. Put another way, it’s the equivalent of nearly 122,000 one-pound bags of Oreos.
The figure is a 41 percent increase over 2017 sales figures reported to state health officials.
Arkansas Issues First 6 Licenses To Sell Medical Cannabis
Arkansas has issued its first six licenses for companies to sell medical marijuana in the state.
The Department of Finance and Administration on Friday said six of the 32 dispensaries the state Medical Marijuana Commission had announced it would license have paid the $15,000 licensing fee and posted the $100,000 performance bond. A DFA spokesman said the department anticipates the remaining companies will continue to pay and post the bond over the next week.
Florida Will Announce Legalization Of Medical Cannabis Flower
Forbes Report..” New governor, Ron DeSantis, who took control on January 8, is expected to announce his administration has decided to drop his predecessor’s appeal, which will allow for medical marijuana flower sales by licensed dispensaries in Florida.
Marijuana Legalization Will Be A Top Priority For Hawaii Legislature In 2019
Michigan Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Reopen Following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Recommendation
Lathrop introduces bill to legalize hemp in Nebraska
Industrial hemp would be legalized in Nebraska under Legislative Bill 457, introduced by State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha.
The proposal would define industrial hemp the same way it is defined under the newly passed federal farm bill — as strains of the cannabis plant that are less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol. That chemical, commonly known as THC, produces marijuana’s high.
The farm bill gives a green light for hemp sales and production in states that allow it. Under LB 457, Nebraska farmers would be able to grow hemp, and entrepreneurs could process and sell products made with the low-THC plants.
North Dakota began issuing medical marijuana cards this week to patients and caregivers after nearly two years of work developing and implementing a distribution system for the drug approved by voters in 2016.
Medical marijuana could become available in eastern North Dakota within a few weeks, with dispensaries operating statewide by early fall.
South Carolina Medical Cannabis Legislation Introduced
Two Republican state Senators in South Carolina have introduced the Compassionate Care Act to the state legislature, according to a WIS News report.
The Act would allow doctors to prescribe medical cannabis to patients for an approved list of conditions. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) told reporters during a press conference that South Carolina’s proposal would create the most socially-conservative medical cannabis legislation in the nation. “Each step of the process – from the growing to the processing to the dispensing is monitored in real time constantly,” he said.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. signed the Medical Cannabis Patient Care Act into law Tuesday, making the territory the latest U.S. jurisdiction to adopt an effective medical marijuana law. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Positive T.A. Nelson, received final approval from the Legislature on Dec. 28.
Letters are going out to retailers and manufacturers of CBD and other hemp-based products, telling them to register with the state.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food sent the letter out on Thursday, notifying hemp product manufacturers and sellers that the products must also have proper labeling to notify consumers what is in them.
Bipartisan Home Grow Bills Introduced In Washington
If passed, the bills would allow Washingtonians over 21 years old to grow up to six cannabis plants at home.
Judge ‘increasingly doubtful’ of feds’ lawsuit against hemp farm
A federal judge voiced doubt this week over the U.S. government’s civil prosecution of a Mason County hemp farm and related parties.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers lifted a stay in the case caused by the partial federal government shutdown and dissolved an injunction that prevented the farmers from transporting or selling their hemp.
But after U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart and his office made a motion seeking to test the hemp, Chambers delayed his lifting of the injunction until Wednesday, to give defendants a chance to respond to Stuart’s request.
While Chambers noted that his Thursday order is not a final judgment, he said he has “become increasingly doubtful of the government’s case on the merits” and mentions the passage of the federal Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp.
“Despite being enacted after the issues in this case arose, the 2018 Farm Bill expresses congressional intent that current public policy supports states exercising primary control over hemp production,” the order states.
West Virginia legalized production of industrial hemp for research purposes in 2017 under an earlier iteration of the farm bill.
Stuart and his lawyers argued previously that the passage of the farm bill had no impact on the case because it happened after the alleged offenses. They also argued the farmers “created the problems of which they now complain” regarding contractual deadlines to process the hemp because they did not adhere to their original project description.
In a shift from the original thrust of the lawsuit, Stuart also argued that the injunction should remain in place because the defendants plan to use the hemp to produce CBD, which is generally illegal unless it comes in the form of Epidiolex, an FDA-approved drug.
Chambers brushed aside the CBD argument.
“The mere potential of a downstream use that may violate certain federal regulations does not entitle the government to an injunction on producing and selling the CBD isolate here,” the judge wrote. “In fact, there is no evidence before this court that defendants will be adding the CBD isolate to food or health products or making unsubstantiated health claims about the benefits of CBD without approval of these agencies.”