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Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill (New Zealand 2020 Referendum)
The overarching objective is to reduce the harms associated with cannabis use experienced by individuals, families, whānau, and communities in New Zealand. The harm-reduction objective is reflected in measures to— • raise public awareness of the risks associated with cannabis consumption and improve access to health and other relevant support services; and • restrict young people’s access to cannabis and limit public visibility to cannabis; and • provide access to a legal and quality-controlled supply of cannabis for adults (aged 20 years and over) who choose to consume cannabis; and • place controls on the potency and content of licensed cannabis and regulate the whole supply chain to deter the illegal supply of cannabis; and • provide for the limited home-growing of cannabis for personal use; and • encourage compliance with the legislation and ensure that responses to breaches are proportionate and incorporate a focus on reducing overall harms. The purchase, possession, and consumption of cannabis will remain illegal for people aged 19 years and under.
Twenty-nine States have enacted laws that allow patients access to medical marijuana and its derivatives, such as CBD oils. 61% of Republicans and a whopping 76% of Independents favor making medical marijuana legal and available to their patients who need it. 80% of Democrats feel the same way. Despite this overwhelming shift in public opinion, the Federal Government continues its hard-line oppression against medical marijuana. Some people are suffering and if a doctor feels that he needs to prescribe something to alleviate that suffering, it is immoral for this government to get in the way, and that is what is happening. The State governments have recognized that a doctor has a right to treat his patient any way he sees fit, and so did our Founding Fathers.
USDA Hemp Regulations: What Was Expected, Unexpected and Unanswered
On October 29, 2019, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its long-awaited hemp cultivation regulations, marking the first federal hemp farming regulations in the United States since the crop was banned in 1937. These regulations implement provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill and are effective October 31, 2019. What provisions were unexpected? 1. Transportation - Given all of the on-going interstate transportation issues (major issues - including multiple seizures of lawfully grown hemp, arrests of drivers, and criminal charges) and the need for businesses, regulators and enforcement agencies to clearly identify legally grown hemp and transport it without risk, the USDA previously hinted it would create a uniform shipping manifest. Instead, the USDA simply repeated the interstate transportation protection outlined in the 2018 Farm Bill, clarifying that states, tribes, and territories cannot prohibit the transfer of hemp across their borders. 2. “Acceptable hemp THC level” - While many were optimistic that the USDA would allow for a reasonable margin of error in testing, we were surprised by their approach. The USDA incorporated the margin for error inherent in potency testing, (termed the “Measure of Uncertainty”) into the potency calculation for a given sample, specifying that a cannabis plant is legal hemp for USDA purposes if the tested THC level plus or minus the Measure of Uncertainty is 0.3% or below. Notably, this level has no impact on potential CSA liability. 3. DEA-registered testing facilities - In what feels like a throwback to prohibition and reefer madness, the rules require that all laboratories testing hemp must be registered with the DEA. USDA is also considering adding a USDA approval requirement for labs testing hemp. ISO 17025 accreditation is not required at this time but is being considered. Most testing labs currently testing hemp do not have a DEA registration. 4. Zero tolerance for “Hot Hemp” - We anticipated law enforcement agencies wouldn't allow the USDA to give much leeway in the remediation of plants that test hot. Still, we were hopeful that some reasonable re-testing or remediation would be permitted, as many states have allowed, given the numerous factors that can result in a hot crop without malfeasance by a farmer. However, the rules are clear that “Hot hemp” is considered marijuana as defined in the Controlled Substances Act and must be disposed of in accordance with the CSA and DEA regulations by a person authorized to handle marijuana (a DEA-registered reverse distributor, federal, state, or local law enforcement officer)... meaning opportunities for remediation or “alternative means of destruction” are non-existent. 5. Third-party sample collection - All samples of “cannabis” intended for delta-9 THC concentration testing must be collected by designated third-party samplers, such as approved federal, state, or local law enforcement, within 15 days prior to harvest. This will potentially require state departments of agriculture to stop sampling hemp crops unless they are included as authorized third parties.
Amendments to Chapter 9 to add Medical Cannabis Uses (Transporation Distribution Testing)
At issue is whether the City desires to require that testing labs, transporters and distributors be subject to the same CUP process as other medical cannabis uses, or to consider an alternative process such as allowing the businesses as a use by right, with appropriate conditions, in areas where similar uses are allowed. Other localities, such as Oakland and Santa Rosa, have taken, or are considering taking, this approach. Since the potential impact to these businesses is likely less than the other license types, and these license types are not pre-existing in the City, allowing them as permitted uses may be appropriate and efficient to administer. Testing laboratories, for example, could be allowed in zones where medical offices or laboratories are currently permitted (PPO, PLC, MXC, NBP), and distribution/transportation facilities could be permitted uses where storage facilities and/or warehouses uses are currently permitted (CPB-2, I-1). These license types could also be permitted as conditional uses in zones where similar uses are only allowed as conditional uses (PCC).
City of Cathedral City RFQ: Expert Legal Assistance in Cannabis
The City of Cathedral City, California is seeking expert legal assistance in the development of an ordinance allowing and regulating medical marijuana cultivation, processing and testing operations and potentially as Council considers possible amendments to the existing dispensary ordinance.
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