May 2021 News

White House Staffers Suspended for Marijuana Use 


Several White House staffers were asked to resign, were suspended or are working remotely after revealing past marijuana use during their background checks, sources familiar with the situation tell CNN.  

Five people are no longer employed at the White House, while additional staffers are working remotely. In many of the cases involving staffers who are no longer employed, additional security factors were in play, including for some hard drug use, the official said. 

White House officials justified the actions, stating that while marijuana use is legal in many states, it is still illegal on the federal level, which can present a hurdle in the federal security clearance process. 


Reefer Madness in the Heartland 


Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has launched an aggressive campaign against the legalization of medical marijuana in his state, going as far as to warn residents that legalizing the drug — which has never been linked to a fatal overdose — would KILL their children. 

“This is a big industry that is trying not to be regulated, to go around the regulatory process. And that’s going to put people at risk,” Ricketts told reporters. 

Erik Altieri, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws responded that Governor Ricketts’ comments are so outlandish that they border on pure parody.  

“Upon seeing them, I had to check my calendar to make sure it was still 2021, and not 1950,” Altieri said. “His claims are not backed up by science or the real-world experience of the over a dozen states which have already legalized marijuana for adult use, they seem to exist only in his troubled imagination.”  


And That’s’ the Wayyyyyyy the News Goes  


You might want to reconsider selling products that unofficially use cartoon characters in their branding and packaging.  

In March, U.S. Customs and Border Protections officers in Chicago seized more than 77,000 counterfeit Rick & Morty vape pens with a total value of $1.55 million. 

The Rick and Morty Vape Pens arrived at O’Hare’s International Mail Branch originating from Shenzhen, China, and heading to a distribution company in Georgia. Warner Bros. Entertainment confirmed that it had not licensed the Rick and Morty characters to be used on the vape pen packaging. 

In the fiscal year 2020, customers seized 26,503 shipments containing goods that violated intellectual property rights. 


Bill Aims to Insure Cannabis Business Protection 


US Senators Jeff Merkley, Bob Menendez and Rand Paul have introduced a law aimed at making sure that legitimate cannabis-related businesses are afforded basic business insurance protections. 

Named the “Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana Act of 2021,” the bill is intended to ease federal restrictions around insuring businesses related to cannabis growth, processing and dispensing. 

Under the proposed CLAIM Act, cannabis businesses would be allowed full and legal access to insurance products such as worker’s compensation, property, casualty and title insurance. Currently, state-authorized cannabis businesses are often denied access to the insurance market because the businesses could be prosecuted or face penalties under the federal Controlled Substances Act. 


No Freedom for Phili Paraphernalia Sellers 


The Philadelphia City Planning Commission endorsed a City Council bill that aims to curb the rise of “convenience stores” that primarily sell paraphernalia. 

The move to advance the legislation comes one year after a zoning overlay to effectively ban all new convenience stores after several shops that sold mainly cannabis-related products opened near a school. Since then, other neighborhood groups have approached city council members seeking similar overlays, sparking concerns of patchwork regulation. 

Instead, Council members presented legislation that would update and broaden the city’s definition of a “drug paraphernalia store” to include both more shops and products. 


Advocacy Group Calls Delta-8 Marketing Irresponsible 


Delta-8-THC has created a buzz. But the US. Hemp Roundtable (USHR), a national industry business advocacy organization, says that’s not a good thing. 

The organization recently released a statement against “marketing products, under the guise of the hemp name, for any intoxicating value or euphoric effect,” calling it “irresponsible.” 

While USHR did not explicitly name delta-8-THC in its statement, the press release linked to two articles that detail this so-called loophole—one in the New York Times, and another in Rolling Stone. 

The organization recently released a statement against “marketing products, under the guise of the hemp name, for any intoxicating value or euphoric effect,” calling it “irresponsible.” 

In its statement, the USHR added that adult-use cannabis products that are intoxicating “should not be marketed as dietary supplements and should be subject to a distinct regulatory pathway.” 

“We look forward to working with Congress and federal agencies to develop responsible laws and regulations to provide separate pathways and proper guardrails to distinguish these products,” USHR said.  


Medical Marijuana Accessibility Does Not Lead to Increased Use  


Neither the enactment of medical cannabis legalization or the establishment of dispensaries are associated with higher odds of adolescent or heavy marijuana use, according to new data published in the journal Substance Abuse. 

Commenting on the study’s findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “These data, gathered from 46 states over more than two decades, show unequivocally that medical cannabis access can be legally regulated in a manner that is safe, effective, and that does not inadvertently impact young people’s habits. These findings should reassure politicians and others that states’ real-world experience with medical cannabis is a success from both a public health and a public safety perspective.” 









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