New safety regulations take effect in California
As of July 1st, all California cannabis must be tested for pesticides, potency, and microbiological contaminants, in addition to new labeling and child-proof packaging regulations. The emergency regulations were announced after multiple studies revealed high pesticide percentages present in legally sold product.
Dispensaries across the Golden State have been hosting fire sales to offset potential losses, but projections still predict a $100 million market loss. Despite the blow to the market, the new regulations are safer for consumers and will ultimately serve to legitimize the market.
Opioid bill reaches Rauner’s desk
The Alternatives to Opioids Act was recently approved by Illinois state legislators and is pending action from Governor Rauner. If approved, patients with physician approval can receive a temporary license to purchase medical cannabis as an alternative to opiate medications.
Sen. Don Harmon, sponsor of Senate Bill 336 hopes the new legislation will reduce the number of opioid-related deaths in the state of Illinois. “The only things I know for certain is: Opioids kill people, and marijuana does not,” said Harmon. The governor’s office has yet to comment on the bill, leaving it unclear if Rauner intends to sign.
Jamaican government taking a closer look at cannabis
The National Foundation for the Development of Science and Technology recently received a $2 million grant from the Jamaica Medical Cannabis Corporation. The funding is intended to help expand the scientific research on local strains by fully mapping the DNA of individual plants.
Following the news of the grant, multiple Jamaican state ministers have outwardly spoken on expanding the cannabis market. As of now, adult-use is still illegal, but that may change in the future as the Caribbean island looks to further increase their exports.
Legislation introduced to federally decriminalize cannabis
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would remove cannabis from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, freeing up states to decide how they want to personally handle the possession and cultivation of cannabis.
The bill has received co-sponsorship from popular representatives, including Senators Bernie Sanders, and Tim Kaine. In a press release, bill sponsor Senator Chuck Schumer claimed that pushing this new legislation is the “right thing to do.”