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This Week in Cannabis: FDA Schedules a Public Hearing for Cannabis Policy

The cannabis news and updates never seem to slow down with so much happening.

News highlights from this week include a big FDA announcement, Guam making a splash, Oregon voting to export, and more!

Below is Green Flower’s recap of all the big happenings from this week:

FDA schedules a public hearing for cannabis

What happened: This week FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a statement regarding cannabis policy.

In the statement, Gottlieb announced that a hearing is scheduled for May 31 to let people ‘provide the FDA with additional input relevant to the agency’s regulatory strategy’ regarding cannabis and CBD.

Why it matters: For many decades the federal government, including the FDA, staunchly opposed cannabis reform in virtually all forms.

We’ll have to wait and see how this hearing plays out, and it’s likely to be packed with pro-cannabis testimony, in addition to cannabis opponents who will likely be in the minority.

Guam says yes to cannabis progress

What happened: The Governor of U.S. territory Guam signed a cannabis legalization measure into law this week.

The legalization measure makes cannabis legal for people 21 years old and older and will result in a legal cannabis industry for the territory that has an estimated population of 165,000.

Why it matters: Guam is the second U.S. territory to legalize cannabis for adult use, with the Northern Mariana Islands being the second.

Legalization in Guam expands legalization in the United States and its territories, and regardless of how large or small the territory’s population is, it’s a victory that’s absolutely worth celebrating!

Oregon passes cannabis export bill

What happened: An effort has been underway this legislative session in Oregon to pass a cannabis export reform measure (SB 582).

Today an Oregon Senate committee voted to advance the bill with bipartisan support (5-2).

Why it matters: Transporting cannabis between states is currently illegal in all states, but it’s a phase of legalization that will be starting sooner than people may think. Oregon may end up leading the way.

Legalization effort is still alive in New York according to the Governor

What happened: In New York State cannabis advocates had been hopeful that cannabis legalization would be a part of the Governor’s budget. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

However, this week New York Governor Andrew Cuomo indicated that he will continue to push for legalization, but via the legislative process instead of the budgetary process. 

Why it matters: New York is a big state, and not just from a population standpoint. New York City is a major media market, and adult-use legalization there would go a long way to push cannabis reform.

Just because the Governor wants its legislature to pass legalization doesn’t mean that it will happen, which we are seeing in New Jersey. But regardless, at least legalization isn’t dead for the year in New York State!

Denver Mayor claims the feds are using cannabis employment to deny immigrant citizenship

What happened: According to Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock the federal government is denying citizenship to legal immigrants in Denver due to their employment in the cannabis industry.

“Claiming these immigrants are not of “good moral character” under federal law, immigration officials are denying their applications to become naturalized U.S. citizens,” the mayor’s office stated.

Why it matters: President Trump has made pro-cannabis comments on a number of occasions, which has been praised by many cannabis advocates.

However, federal cannabis policy in action has been a mixed bag under the Trump administration, with this type of enforcement being a recent example if the Denver Mayor’s claims are true.

PGA Tour issues a warning about CBD use

What happened: The PGA Tour issued a warning this week to golfers who use CBD products.

“If a player decides to use a CBD product, they assume the risk that the product may be contaminated with higher levels of THC than claimed on the label, potentially increasing their risk of a positive result on a drug test,” the warning said.

Why it matters: Cannabis prohibition is a harmful policy, whether it’s in society or professional sports. The PGA Tour warning seems to disregard the wellness of golfers who may need medical cannabis.

A big talking point that sports leagues use in defense of continued prohibition is federal cannabis prohibition. Hopefully, with federal reform efforts picking up, leagues will reconsider their policies.

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