Subcommittee announces federal cannabis hearing
Next week, the House subcommittee on Energy and Commerce’s Health is scheduled to hold a cannabis focused hearing titled “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade.”
The majority of talks will surround potential law changes that could allow US-based researchers to freely study the plant; descheduling or removing cannabis from the Schedule I Drug List will likely be the top priority of pro-cannabis congress members in attendance.
“We’re particularly interested in examining the implications of changing marijuana’s schedule listing, the potential of cannabis research, and federal efforts to review and approve cannabidiol products,” said Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ)
In the U.S., the University of Mississippi is the only institution to posses a federal grant for the research of medical cannabis, but that could soon change with swift policy reform.
Tennessee lawmaker reintroduces MMJ bill
Tennessee Senator Janice Bowling has reintroduced a bill that would open a medical cannabis market in the state of Tennessee.
A conservative who once voted against legalization, Bowling says she’s changed her platform because of new research, now proudly boasting that there are likely “hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans that could benefit from medical cannabis.”
Tennessee has been one of the few states to fail to introduce pro-cannabis law changes, mostly due to a conservative stronghold that has long expressed the need for more research until any serious law changes are made.
Bowling’s most successful attempt fell short in one of the first few hurdles of a bill, failing to secure enough support in a small Mental Health and Substance Abuse Subcommittee in February. But with recent polling suggesting Tennesseans are beginning to increasingly shift their ideologies surrounding cannabis, Bowling is likely to receive more support from her colleagues in 2020 and beyond.
Impending legalization vote is official in South Dakota
Monday morning, the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office made a major announcement; a cannabis legalization ballot has secured enough signatures to be placed on voters presidential ballots in November.
If approved, the measure would legalize adult-use cannabis and require legislatures to craft detailed regulations for statewide cannabis and Hemp markets.
Also included on voters ballots will be Measure 26, a medical cannabis initiative that was previously approved in December.
A vast majority of North Dakotans support medical cannabis legalization, and recent polls suggest that more than 50% of the population now supports an adult-use market; in November, it’s possible prohibition entirely ends in the Peace Garden State.
Adult-use sales & medical cannabis program surging in Illinois
The first week of adult-use cannabis sales in Illinois ushered in nearly $11 million dollars in sales. Together, 37 dispensaries totaled for more than 271,000 individual transactions.
While long wait lines plague the recreational market, more Illinoisians are are becoming medical patients; in less than one month, the state will likely exceed 100,000 patients as the program currently features more than 98,000 residents.
With two blossoming markets, and a dedication to the social causes surrounding the advancement of communities most impacted by the War on Drugs, the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago will be at the forefront of Midwestern and National cannabis headlines for years to come.