In case you missed them, here are the cannabis-related stories that caught our attention this week.
Canada legalizes recreational cannabis use
After a busy few weeks in Parliament, Canada has become the first G7 country to legalize cannabis for adult use. Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act, has been in the making for the past 18 months, bouncing back and forth between different parliaments of the Canadian government.
On June 18th the House of Commons voted 205-82 in favor of passing the bill, which was immediately passed back to the Senate where legislators overwhelmingly supported the bill 52-29. The year-long debates, hurdles, and barriers are no-more, as the bill is expected to receive Royal Assent later this week.
In a tweet, PM Justin Trudeau stated “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana – and for criminals to reap the profits. Today, we change that.”
STATES Act would provide protection for legal cannabis industries
US Congress recently launched a bipartisan bill led by Senator Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) which hopes to better protect states that legalize cannabis. Contradiction in federal vs. state law has created a difficult operating landscape for cannabis businesses.
The STATES Act would create an exemption to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, which would allow states to craft their own policies regarding cannabis without fearing federal interference. In addition, the legislation would allow cannabis business to operate using safe banking practices, currently unavailable due to federal restrictions.
President Trump was recently asked if he would support the bill, in which he replied “I really do, I support Senator Gardner, I know exactly what he’s doing. We’re looking at it, but I probably will end up supporting that, yes.”
Texas GOP endorses cannabis
Republicans in the Lone Star State gathered at the Texas Republican Convention in San Antonio to vote on over 300 proposed platforms for the upcoming legislative session in January 2019. For the first time ever, the party moved to support progressive cannabis policies, such as the endorsement of decriminalization. In addition, the more than 8,000 delegates also backed removing cannabis as a federal schedule 1 drug, and the legalization of industrial hemp.
Florida announces first drive-thru dispensary
Patients in the state of Florida will now have a new option to get their cannabis. Curaleaf, who operates in Miami-Dade and Lake Worth, recently announced a new store with a drive-thru option – the first of its kind in the Sunshine State.
Although convenient for everyone, the idea was created for patients who suffer from physical disabilities. “We are piloting the drive-thru concept in Palm Harbor to provide our patients, several of which have physical disabilities, with another option for access and convenience,” said Lindsay Jones, president of Curaleaf Florida.