The Digital Dime: 10/24/2019

Following important cannabis news articles every day can be a real burn-out, we know. That’s why the Emerald rolls up a chronicle of the headiest news hits, and passes them to you at the end of each week. We Bring You: The Digital Dime.

Tri-State Area Talk of Legalization

The scheduled cannabis policy meeting between New York, New Jersey and Connecticut officials took place last week, offering hope for the future of legalization across the tri-state area. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, assured sources that cannabis is a high priority conversation between government officials in the North East, especially with so many states in close proximity moving toward legalization. A Marijuana Moment article details their talking points, with emphasis on the vape crisis and public safety, with the overall goal of unifying regulations between states. A key point was ensuring that industry taxes would not weigh on small businesses.

Weedmaps Drops Over 100 Employees

Marijuana tech company Weedmaps dropped 25% of its employee base last week, resulting in over 100 lay-offs. The job cuts follow the drastic number of injuries and deaths resulting from the vape crisis, which isn’t just a coincidence. Weedmaps’ website featured ads for unlicensed retailers from businesses that were linked to ailments found in victims of vape-related illnesses, MJBizDaily reports. They agreed to refuse advertisement services to such companies, which would inevitably lose them money, but conveniently, they now they have 100 less employees to pay.

Hemp, Hemp, Hooray?
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is scheduled to verify regulations around hemp use and sales within the month, but only after having delayed the original date. Hemp Industry Daily reported discussions of proposal release dates back in August, but USDA has been near radio silent since then. Anticipation of USDA decisions stem from their involvement in individual states’ abilities to choose how they want hemp production to go. Yes, it’s up to the states, but only after receiving approval from the USDA, based on how closely the mandatory federal regulations are followed.

Bernie Backs Bud in Canada

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, tweeted respect for Canada’s one year legal-versary last week. His support for our favorite flower does not come as a surprise at this point, as Sanders has publicly endorsed legalization since announcing his running in the 2020 presidential election. To The American Prospect, he wrote, “We will take executive action to de-schedule and legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge as many prior marijuana-related convictions as possible.” Legalization has been a significant and consistent component of his campaign for presidency, and honestly, for as far back as we can remember.

Pennsylvania Up to Bat

Pennsylvania lawmakers presented a legalization bill that will favor small businesses, Cannabis Business News reported last week. The bill laid out new growing regulations, including licensing pricing and policy for multiple industry areas like distribution and delivery. It also included guidelines for home-growers. While Republicans do not have a strong record of support for bills this progressive, legislators do seem to have covered a ton of typically underrepresented bases here. They even planned educational opportunities for students interested in the cannabis industry, which is something that could make it easier for the GOP to get behind.

Emerald contributor since September 2019

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