Federal Oversight Needed to Improve Cannabis Industry, Advocates Say – The Washington Informer

About two months after lawmakers held hearings on Capitol Hill to discuss laws on cannabis reform, more conversation focused on its future Thursday at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in northwest D.C.

One recurring sentiment at the Washington Convention Center during a two-part panel hosted by Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands): federal oversight must be instituted.

About 33 states and the District of Columbia approved medical marijuana usage, but only 11 and the District offer its for adult recreational use. Laws are slightly different depending on the state.

Residents in the states of Illinois and Washington are prohibited to cultivate cannabis for personal use, but can for medical use. In Nevada, residents can own six plants but must be at least 25 miles from a retail location.

“We have with a patchwork of laws from state to state,” said Neal Levine, CEO of Cannabis Trade Federation and who testified before lawmakers in July.

Hope Wiseman (center), who owns a cannabis dispensary in Capitol Heights, Maryland, participates in a panel discussion on the cannabis industry during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference in northwest D.C. on Sept. 12. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

Cannabis advocates said the fact that marijuana is being discussed in Congress and at the CBC conference is a sign of changing times.

In terms of higher education, Southern University and Louisiana State University are the only two public schools in the nation to research and grow cannabis at their campus centers.

The University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy began its online graduated course last month to study, research and analyze cannabis. It’s the first school in the nation to offer such as course, but state law doesn’t allow the plant to be studied on the campus.

Students will focus

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