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News Briefs – June 24, 2019

Congress Votes To Block Feds From Enforcing Marijuana Laws In Legal States

The House of Representatives approved a far-reaching measure on Thursday to prevent the Department of Justice from interfering with state marijuana laws, including those allowing recreational use, cultivation and sales.

“This is the most significant vote on marijuana reform policy that the House of Representatives has ever taken,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal.

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California Urges Cannabis Users to Get #Weedwise

California regulators last week launched the “Get #weedwise” digital advertising campaign because the recent legalization of marijuana failed to make much of a dent on the black market. Eradicating illegal sales was a key goal of Proposition 64, which was approved by voters in 2016 and went into effect last year, that requires growers, producers and sellers to be licensed.

The campaign encourages consumers to check the state’s online database to make sure the place where they’re buying their marijuana is legitimate.

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Congress Puts Spotlight Small Business in Cannabis Industry

Cannabis business in legal states face obstabcles in obtaining banking services or participating in government programs.

The House Committee on Small Business, “Unlocked Potential? Small Businesses in the Cannabis Industry,” explored options last week for lifting those restrictions.

Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velázquez in her opening remarks said she called the hearing to draw “needed attention to an industry that is rapidly evolving” with “small businesses at the forefront.”

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Is Google Going to Allow CBD Ads?

According to Shedrack Anderson, co-founder of the CBD-infused skincare line Chilyo LP, Google approached him to be part of a “trial realm” of companies that could purchase advertising on the site through its Google Ads portal.

Under the program, Anderson said Chilyo has been able to submit ads for review for a number of Google’s platforms, from paid search to YouTube, but there are some restrictions. Advertisements for CBD can’t use the word “CBD,” for example. Anderson said Google encouraged him to use phrasing such as “full-spectrum hemp” on his all-topical products instead.

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New York Decriminalizes Marijuana After Legalization Fails

Efforts to legalize marijuana in New York state have failed, so lawmakers did the next best thing: Decriminalize it.

The Staten Island Advance reports the New York State Senate passed a bill Thursday to decriminalize small amounts of recreational marijuana in the Empire State. The legislation decriminalizes possession of less than two ounces of pot and establishes procedures to expunge most criminal records for marijuana-possession misdemeanors.

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Nevada Marijuana Retail Licensing Process Labeled “Fair”

The head of Nevada’s marijuana enforcement division said last week that mistakes could have happened during the state’s cannabis retail licensing process last year.

“Licensees weren’t promised perfection. . . there’s a human element at play,” said Jorge Pupo, who answered dozens of questions from attorney Ross Miller about the fairness of the Department of Taxation’s grading system for the state’s second round of retail cannabis licensing.

“I think everybody had the same opportunity to request clarification,” Pupo said. “I think everyone had access to the department and I think everyone had the opportunity to attend one of 70-plus public meetings and workshops regarding this issue. The application process was a fair process.”

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