The Advocate: Weekly Cannabis News

California counties leaning on new-tech to help expunge cannabis-related arrests

When Prop. 64 legalized adult-use cannabis in 2014, it did little in offering extensive criminal justice reform policies. In the past few years, locals seeking expungement could only do so by applying through a handful of lofty fees & applications.

But thanks to a continued effort of constituent-led political pressure, a handful of counties are now beginning to partner with non-profit Code for America – an app-based technology that is dedicated to implementing government services that are simple, effective, and easy to use.

More than 10,000 eligible convictions could be wiped away in Los Angeles and San Joaquin County, two of the first districts to partner with the non-profit.

Adult-use bill introduced in Illinois

This week, state Sen. Heather Steans introduced a “shell” legalization bill, registered as Senate Bill 7.

The move comes in preparation of a full amendment expected later this month, when lawmakers and community stakeholders are expected to debate the potential law change.

Regulatory licensing is at the forefront of current issues as the state continues to study current demand. Speaking to the press, Steans highlighted the potential inclusion of smaller, craft-grow licenses. “We are really hoping to create more avenues of entry into the industry for a much more diverse set of players to participate,”  said Steans

With the help of lawmakers like Steans and fellow cannabis-reform partner, Kelly Cassidy, Illinois has the potential to become the first Midwestern state to sell adult-use cannabis – as Michigan continues to struggle with finalizing recreational rules and regulations.

Wisconsin voters approve medical cannabis referendum

The Badger State is one of the few US states offering no legal access to cannabis; but state representatives and local advocates are hoping to soon change that through a handful of upcoming county referendums scheduled this Spring.

Tuesday morning, voters in Wood County overwhelmingly supported one of 2019’s first initiatives to legalize medicinal cannabis – in total, 11,579 people voted yes on the question “should marijuana be legalized for medical purposes only and available only by prescription through a medical dispensary”, while just 4,757 opposed.

Voter demands are in-line with current-standing Governor, Tony Evers, who released a detailed cannabis reform plan in January that included the legalization (of MMJ) and decriminalization of cannabis. But for reform to happen, advocates will have to surpass a Republican-controlled House that has been historically staunch on any form of legalization.

FDA announces CBD hearing

In December, U.S. congress confidently approved 2018’s US Farm Bill, legalizing hemp in all 50 states.

While the bill legalized the production of hemp, it failed to provide detailed regulations for interested business operators; rules relating to testing, marketing, and public-consumption were specifically lacking.

In hopes of providing a more transparent & detailed market, The Department of Health & Services, under the guidance of the Food & Drug Administration, announced a public hearing scheduled for May 31, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“The goal of the hearing is to obtain additional scientific data and other information related to cannabis and cannabis-derived compounds, both from botanical and synthetic sources, to inform our regulatory oversight of these products,” states the official memo.

Follow this link to submit a request to attend or join the hearing via webcast: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/MeetingsConferencesWorkshops/ucm634550.htm.

John Kuster

As Social Media Coordinator, John oversees all things related to getting Revolution Enterprises' unique message out. An Iowa native, John joined the Revolution team to help educate, and inform the public on cannabis and all it has to offer. Prior to joining Revolution, John helped multiple companies grow and expand their reach, ranging from the tech industry to the world of international football. He is thrilled to be working in a rapidly expanding market, and is proud to represent Illinois patients and cannabis advocates across the globe.