SXSW: Which political party will legalize weed nationally?
“We’re at a critical crossroads in the cannabis community right now. A lot of good people are still locked up for cannabis trading. The legal industry is collapsing under the weight of bad regulatory frameworks at the state level and a lack of any legalization plan at the national level,” writes Andrew DeAngelo for Forbes.
DeAngelo highlights however, that for the first time ever, both major political parties have bills to end cannabis prohibition in the House of Representatives.
- The MORE Act from the Democratic Party, which has passed the House two times but has languished in the Senate where the Democrats have not been able to get it passed.
- The States Reform Act from the Republican Party, which has been submitted by Representative Nancy Mace but not yet voted on by the House.
Representative Nancy Mace and Congressman Don Young will be joining DeAngelo on a panel at SXSW, where they have an in-depth conversation on the path forward for federal cannabis legalization.
With a cannabis shop on ‘every corner,’ Oklahoma rejects full legalization
On Tuesday, Oklahoma rejected a ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational cannabis use by adults 21 and over, reports The New York Times. The vote saw 63% vote no, while 38% voted yes, with about 90 percent of ballots counted as of Tuesday night.
The publication highlights the vote is a setback for legalization proponents in Oklahoma, where 10% of the population already has a medical cannabis card.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau, which opposes recreational legalization, has said the existing cannabis industry in the state is already straining rural infrastructure, and Conservative leaders in Oklahoma and in other states have voiced concern about ballot initiatives on cannabis.
Mayor David Holt told The New York Times: “I feel like we already have recreational marijuana. It just doesn’t seem like there are any barriers. Right now, I’m well aware there’s a dispensary on every corner.”
CANNABIS SCHEDULING REVIEW
Top federal health official tells lawmakers cannabis scheduling review is ongoing, but DEA makes final call
Marijuana Moment reports that the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the agency remains committed to “expeditiously” carrying out a scientific review of cannabis.
However, he has emphasized that the final decision is up to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Marijuana Moment points out that the findings from that review are binding, but only insofar as the science is concerned, and the DEA could ultimately decide to keep cannabis in Schedule I.
Meanwhile, the publication also notes that Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is now circulating a letter asking lawmakers to join him in demanding transparency from the Biden administration with respect to the rationale for whatever scheduling decisions are made following this review process.
Expanding into Europe in 2023?
This month, Prohibition Partners will be launching Edition 8 of The European Cannabis Report, our flagship industry report and the most widely-read resource in the European cannabis industry.
Later in May, Cannabis Europa 2023 takes place in London which will see over 1,500 delegates inside the iconic Barbican Centre to share learnings, network, and move the industry forward. After last year’s success, we will once be holding a small, curated expo alongside the conference.
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