Hemp hangs in balance as Farm Bill talks stall

Entrepreneurs hoping for a long-awaited hemp expansion from Congress are nervously watching as the end-of-the-month deadline nears. Hemp farmers hoped to see quick action on the 2018 Farm Bill, including a provision to take hemp off the Controlled Substances Act that was included in the Senate version. Here’s what you need to know: The current […]

Capitalizing on CBD: How hemp businesses are shaping the market and winning new customers

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears in the September issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.) Dr. Priyanka Sharma had a thriving global business in chemical pharmaceuticals, traveling the world setting up factories extracting fish oil for nutritional supplements. But Sharma and her husband, Pulak, left their home outside Chicago and moved to Colorado […]

Aurora makes big move into European hemp, CBD market

Continuing its global acquisition spree, Aurora Cannabis acquired two Lithuanian hemp companies for 6.3 million euros ($7.3 million) in cash and stocks. Edmonton, Alberta-based Aurora acquired hemp grower and processor Agropro UAB, which has some 4,000 acres growing hemp, and Agropro’s sister company, Borela UAB, which processes and distributes organic hulled hemp seeds, hemp seed protein, […]

Oregon marijuana growers eye opportunities in hemp

(This is an abridged version of a story that appears at MJBizDaily.com.) As Oregon cannabis prices continue to sink to new lows amid a product glut, outdoor marijuana growers are turning their sights to MJ’s cousin: hemp. The pivot allows growers to diversify their revenue stream and capitalize on a crop that could soon become […]

Nevada: Governor Signs Hemp Expansion Law

Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Senate Bill 396, expanding the state’s hemp law to permit broader commercial cultivation of the crop.

The new law permits regulators to license growers to engage in hemp cultivation and to produce edible products derived from hemp.

Under a 2015 law, hemp could only be produced as part of a university-sponsored pilot program.

Illinois: Legislation Pending To Expand Industrial Hemp Cultivation

Update: SB 1294 passed the Illinois Senate on May 4 and is now pending in the House
Legislation is pending to regulate the commercial cultivation of industrial hemp.
The Industrial Hemp Act, SB 1294 seeks to license farmers to “grow, process, cultivate, harvest, process, possess, sell, or purchase industrial hemp or industrial hemp related products” for commercial purposes. It expands upon a 2014 law permitting hemp cultivation for agricultural and academic research.
Please use the prewritten letter below to urge lawmakers to support this legislation.

Federal: Protect Lawful Medical Marijuana Programs

Update #2: The House Appropriations Committee released its 2018 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill, which determines the funding levels for numerous federal agencies, including the Department of Justice. Predictably, the bill does not include language — known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — limiting the Justice Department from taking action against state-sanctioned medical cannabis producers, retailers, or consumers.
Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher released the following statement in reponse: “The policy championed by Representatives Blumenauer and Rohrabacher that prevents the Department of Justice from interfering in the ability of states to implement legal medical marijuana laws (previously known as “Rohrabacher-Farr”) has never been included in the base Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Subcommittee Appropriations bill. Rather, in previous years, Congress has amended the base CJS bill to include these protections.
We are exactly where we thought we would be in the legislative process and look forward to amending the underlying bill once again this year to make sure medical marijuana programs, and the patients who rely on them, are protected. Voters in states across the country have acted to legalize medical marijuana. Congress should not act against the will of the people who elected us.”
Update #1: House and Senate lawmakers have signed off on the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017. The measure reauthorizes and updates the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, as well as a similarly worded amendment protecting state-sponsored industrial hemp programs. Both amendments will remain in effect until September 30, at which time members of Congress will once again need to either reauthorize the language or let the provisions expire. Non-medical retail marijuana businesses operating in the eight states that regulate adult use sales are not protected by this act and still remain vulnerable to federal interference or prosecution.
Since 2014, members of Congress have passed annual spending bills that have included a provision protecting those who engage in the state-sanctioned use and dispensing of medical cannabis from undue prosecution by the Department of Justice. The amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Amendment, maintains that federal funds can not be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” 

Congress re-authorized the amendment as part of a short term spending package. This bill extends federal funding through September 30, 2017, at which time the measure — and the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment — will expire.

According to recently released nationwide survey data, the majority of Americans are on our side. A whopping 94 percent support the medical use of marijuana. Perhaps most importantly, 71 percent of voters — including strong majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — say that they “oppose the government enforcing federal laws against marijuana in states that have already legalized medical or recreational marijuana.”

Please enter your information below to contact members of the incoming Congress and urge them to include these important patient protections as part of any future, long-term appropriations legislation. 

This amendment is strongly supported by both voters and lawmakers and ensures the safety of millions of patients. Congress must not turn its back on those millions of Americans who rely on these state-authorized programs for their health and wellness. 

West Virginia: Legislation Introduced to Legalize Marijuana

Legislation by Delegate Hornbuckle of Cabell, House Bill 3035, to legalize and regulate the adult use, production, and sale of marijuana is before members of the House Health and human Resources Committee.
House Bill 3035, allows adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis and to cultivate up to six cannabis plants for their own personal use. It also regulates the commercial marijuana market and allows for the production of industrial hemp.
The West Virginia Center for Budget and Policy projects that the state could generate between $45 to $194 million dollars a year in tax revenue by regulating the commercial cannabis market. 
Eight states, encompassing some 20 percent of the US population, have enacted similar adult use regulations. 
Enter your information below to contact your elected officials and urge their support for this important measure. 

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