Cannabis Group Weekly Alert – May 2019 #4 | Dentons – JD Supra

States continue to push forward hemp legislation and measures to facilitate access to cannabis, while also working with federal authorities to curb black market operations.  An expanded medical cannabis program may be approved by NJ lawmakers this week, creating a “back door” path to recreational cannabis legalization. Hemp bills make significant progress in TX and LA, as the Lone Star State’s legislature approves a hemp bill and the hemp bill in Louisiana clears a key hurdle by passing out of the Senate Agriculture Committee.  FDA is still seeking public comment regarding a regulatory path forward for CBD products while the CA State Assembly passes a bill allowing for sale of CBD products.

Federal

Working together, federal authorities and Colorado officials raided hundreds of black market operations, seizing more than 80,000 plants and 4,500 pounds of harvested cannabis. A Colorado district attorney stressed that the investigation was a joint state-federal operation and not the US Department of Justice imposing its will on the state. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom had recently deployed the state’s National Guard to crackdown on illicit pot growers and has asked for more federal funding to add another 150 National Guard service members to the effort.

Support for federal cannabis banking legislation continues as the National Association of State Treasurers adopted a resolution endorsing “common sense federal laws and regulations to provide essential banking services to state legalized cannabis businesses, promote public safety and financial transparency, and facilitate local, state and federal tax and fee collection.” This endorsement follows letters of support issued earlier this month by state attorneys general and state treasurers.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert has criticized federal lawmakers for the “lack of action and attention” to cannabis policy reform.  The current Schedule I drug classification of cannabis interferes with research efforts into medicinal uses

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