MLB removes cannabis from list of banned substances
Thursday morning, the MLB Players Union announced their plan to remove cannabis from the current list of banned substances the league is regularly testing for.
In the announcement, the league also shared its revamped mental health and wellness policies, which place a greater focus on the dangers of opioids and prescription drugs. Instead of facing punishment that would require a player to be fined and miss a number of games, players will now be allowed to openly share their drug-related problems without facing severe consequences – and will be provided with adequate mental health and education resources instead.
The new league policies are expected to be implemented before Spring Training begins in 2020, and are considered to be a direct response to the recent passing of Tyler Skaggs’, a standout starting pitcher who suffered from an opioid-related accidental overdose.
Following the news, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones made his own pro-cannabis statement, saying “We’re excited about being in step with the social and legal scene as it goes forward…I think that you should expect and will expect an adjustment of the contemporary way or the present way that marijuana is being thought about.”
QR codes coming to California
Earlier this week, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control announced a new plan to help locals and visiting residents ensure they’re shopping at legitimate dispensaries.
Licensed California dispensaries will now all feature an enlarged QR code on their front-facing windows, allowing visitors to scan the code to ensure its legitimacy. Consumers without a smartphone will also be able to use CApotcheck.com to access license information relating to all operating retailers.
In 2019 alone, nearly 3,000 unlicensed dispensaries and delivery services were reported by the United Cannabis Business Assn, compared to just 873 fully licensed, legal operations currently in business. The new QR-rollout is regulators attempt at creating a more transparent market that is easily distinguishable from black market retailers.
A small African country is betting on cannabis
Lesotho, a small, mostly rural African country, has a rich history of cannabis, with its native Basotho people using it for medicinal purposes for centuries.
Political figures are now hoping to legitimize its industry, and are under the process of distributing grants and issuing licenses that would create large cultivation farms, where locals could be employed.
“We have first-mover advantage in Africa and we think the market is huge,” says Andre Bothma, CEO of one of the countries new cultivation farms.
Creating new export laws with neighboring countries has been rumored to be a top priority heading into 2020 – and is a realistically possibility as Lesotho is producing the most cannabis within their region.
Indiana lawmakers gearing up for eventful 2020
The Hoosier state is one of the few states still enforcing strict prohibition, offering neither a medical or adult-use cannabis market. But if it were up to Senator Karen Tallian and other leading cannabis reform lawmakers, that will soon change, potentially as early as 2020.
A detailed plan to decriminalize cannabis, as well as a measure that would introduce a medical cannabis market, are expected to come to fruition during 2020’s first legislative session.
With two neighboring states, Michigan and Illinois, implementing blossoming adult-use markets, the need for pro-cannabis reform has never been greater in Indiana. Currently, 8 in 10 residents are in favor of legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes, with less than 30% opposing an adult-use market.
To learn more about Indiana’s evolving legalization efforts, listen to our recent interview with Senator Tallian through our podcast The Vault: