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EPA Announces Review Of Pesticide Applications For Hemp

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Wednesday that it is seeking public input on 10 pesticide applications for hemp.

While the crop and its derivatives were federally legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill, hemp farmers are still facing certain barriers as different agencies develop regulations. EPA’s review of the pesticide applications, and its opening of a 30-day public comment period, represents a move toward lifting one of those barriers.

“EPA is taking the next step toward registering crop protection tools for hemp in time for use during the 2020 application and growing seasons,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a press release. “We hope this transparent and public process will bring hemp farmers and researchers increased regulatory clarity in time for next growing season—something they have asked for since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill and the legalization of commercial hemp.”

The pesticides under consideration are already approved for use on other crops, but that approval does not yet extend to hemp. In a draft notice set to be published in the Federal Register, EPA said providing hemp farmers with this tool “will likely be essential to supporting the success of this industry going forward.”

Though EPA is not required to open a public comment period on pesticide applications, it said it was doing so “because of the potential significant interest from the public in these initial applications and in furtherance of being completely transparent about these applications.”

Wheeler made the announcement during the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture farm day. A decision on the applications will be made by the year’s end, EPA said.

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who championed hemp’s legalization late last year, cheered the EPA move in a tweet, calling it “an important step by the Trump Administration towards providing #Kentucky #hemp farmers the crop protection tools they need.”

“As one of the original proponents of legalizing hemp, I’ve continued to advocate for the success and growth of this budding industry,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said. “I’m glad to see EPA Administrator Wheeler taking comments on pesticide applications for hemp, and I’m excited this announcement is being made at the Hemp Production Field Day at UK.”

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) added, “I commend EPA for recognizing the significance hemp has in our nation’s agriculture economy, particularly in the state of Kentucky” and that the pesticide approvals will be “a tremendous help to our farmers.”

While EPA has been less vocal about its efforts to develop hemp regulations in recent months than the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration, it has expressed interest in the crop. For example, the agency announced in March that it was providing a grant for research into hemp concrete.

An EPA representative said during a congressional hearing in July that due to the “strong economic forecasts for hemp production” post-hemp legalization, requests for pesticide approvals were increasing.

While the agency said it would be denying pesticide applications for marijuana as long as the plant is federally illegal, it said in 2017 that it would consider hemp applications because of the crop’s tentative legal status for research purposes under an earlier 2014 version of the Farm Bill.

“Given the strong economic forecasts for hemp production in the United States, it comes as no surprise that we are beginning to see pesticide registrants intensify their interests in gaining crop protection approvals for use on hemp,” Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said. “EPA is committed to helping hemp growers obtain the tools needed to support and increase commercial production.”

“This step recognizes that innovation in pesticide use is critical to the success of our strong and vibrant agricultural sector,” she said.

The EPA announcement comes two days after the National Credit Union Administration, another federal agency, formally clarified that credit unions can service hemp businesses—another signal that the federal government is supporting the industry’s maturation.

Credit Unions Can Bank Hemp Businesses, Federal Agency Announces

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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Congressman Tells Joe Rogan He Backs States’ Marijuana Rights But Actually Voted Against Them

Joe Rogan debated the merits of marijuana legalization on Tuesday with a Republican congressman who ultimately conceded that medical cannabis should be federally legal and states should be empowered to set their own legalization policies.

But neither Rogan nor Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) mentioned the fact that he recently voted against a House amendment to shield state marijuana laws from federal interference and has not added his name as a cosponsor of several pending medical cannabis bills.

The congressman, a former Navy SEAL, didn’t rule out the possibility of coming around to endorsing adult-use legalization but voiced several concerns about the prospect, including underage usage, the lack of technology to detect impaired driving and reduced productivity.

“I can be convinced, but I’m not there yet,” he said on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “I’m definitely more open to just the federal legalization of medical marijuana and all the benefits that come with that. On the recreational side, I’m happy to leave that up to the states.”

“My issue with recreational marijuana still—and this is not a strong opinion I have, this is not a hill I’m dying on by any means—but if we’re going to change it, I want to understand what the point is, what the benefits are of it recreationally,” he said. “I understand the benefits medically very well, but I want to understand the recreational benefits and I want to see how this data plays out in places like California and Colorado.”

Rogan emphasized that alcohol is federally legal despite risks to young people, but Crenshaw, an avowed scotch fan, said his “counter is simply this: the alcohol issue is out of the bag” and that we’re “never going to put that back in.”

“My point is this: there’s a normalization that occurs when you legalize something,” the congressman said. “What you’ve done though is you normalized it for teenagers. There’s a lot of people who can just live their lives extremely productively and smoke pot a lot. And there’s a lot of people who can’t and there’s a lot of people who don’t.”

“Those people are lazy bitches,” Rogan said.

“Don’t you have to drink way more scotch to get even close to the basic cognitive incoherence that you’d be with just one bite of a brownie?” Crenshaw asked.

“You would, but not me,” Rogan said. “I smoke pot all the time. I could have smoked pot before this podcast and had the exact same podcast. I could have had several hits. If I gave you several hits, you’d be obliterated.”

“On a personal level, I’m just not opposed to what you’re saying at all,” Crenshaw said. “From a policy level though I just look at things different.”

That stance is reflected in the freshman congressman’s record. Despite voicing support for medical cannabis and leaving recreational legalization up to the states, he’s declined to cosponsor any legislation on the former issue and proactively voted against an amendment to protect states that legalize marijuana for adult use from federal intervention.

(On another drug policy issue near and dear to Rogan that didn’t arise during the interview, Crenshaw also voted against an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) that would have removed barriers to research on the benefits like psilocybin and MDMA.)

Crenshaw said his perspective wasn’t formed out of naivety and that he tried marijuana and didn’t like it. He also argued that cannabis “does reduce productivity I think more than alcohol does.”

“As a policymaker, I have to look at the whole situations. I see people like you and you’re like you’d be fine, why not?” he said. “But I do have to take into account the entirety of the situation and ask myself, ‘well, what is the benefit to society doing this?’”

Rogan said that marijuana facilitates community bonding and makes people happier—to which Crenshaw responded “I don’t know, I think alcohol is much more of a social lubricant—it definitely makes you meaner too—but I mean as far as getting along with people and interacting with human beings.”

“I’m not dying on this hill. I have questions, and those questions are unanswered,” he said, adding that the “bottom line is that’s a state decision” to legalize recreationally.

“As far as the battles that we should fight at the federal level, we’ve got to start with the medical side. I think the science is clear there,” he said.

“Another reason I’m a Republican is because I believe in somewhat slower policymaking too. These conversations have to play out in society and we don’t always need to solve the problem right away. I think the medical conversation is the one we should be fighting for. I think the recreational side is a few steps beyond that. We’ll get to know and we’ll know more.”

Later in the podcast, Crenshaw defended the broader war on drugs and argued that “you might feel like you’re losing all the time, but you’re mitigating” drug use through prohibition enforcement.

GOP Congressman Will Meet Attorney General To Discuss Expanding Marijuana Research

Photo courtesy of YouTube/Joe Rogan Experience.

The post Congressman Tells Joe Rogan He Backs States’ Marijuana Rights But Actually Voted Against Them appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

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Federal data shows teen cannabis use not up after legalization (Newsletter: August 21, 2019)

GOP congressman to discuss marijuana licenses with AG Barr; Warren backs legal safe injection sites; NY & CT govs discuss legalization on fishing trip

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.


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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The latest results of the federally funded National Survey on Drug Use and Health continue to show that youth marijuana use in the U.S. is lower now than when states began legalizing cannabis.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says he will soon meet with Attorney General William Barr to discuss expanding the number of federally authorized growers of marijuana to be used in scientific research.

A new criminal justice reform plan released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, includes legalizing marijuana and safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) discussed their states’ pushes to legalize marijuana during a fishing trip.

/ FEDERAL

The National Credit Union Administration tweeted, “#creditunions that choose to serve hemp-related businesses in their field of membership need to understand the complexities & risks involved. @TheNCUA latest guidance outlines what credit unions should consider.”

A federal judge held the opening hearing in a case in which the Department of Justice is seeking to block the opening of a safe consumption site for illegal drugs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida said he won’t focus on low-level marijuana cases or prosecute medical cannabis businesses that comply with state law.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The business model of Wells Fargo is fraud. Yet how many people at Wells Fargo are going to jail? Zero. But if you smoke marijuana in this country, you get a criminal record. That is unacceptable.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke about the benefits of hemp.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted, “Cargo screening is one of the most effective tools we have to bolster national security. It pays off: @CBP officers at Otay Mesa stopped nearly four tons of marijuana from being smuggled into San Diego last week.”

/ STATES

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) signed a marijuana regulation bill into law.

An Illinois House of Representatives report on allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct in the legislature found insufficient evidence for claims that a former representative sexually harassed and bullied a medical cannabis advocate.

The North Carolina House Rules Committee voted to ban smokable hemp as of May 1.

Michigan regulators announced they will unveil the adult-use marijuana business license application at educational sessions next month.

Colorado officials announced a work group meeting and public hearing on the state’s regulated marijuana sunset accelerator program.

An Indiana senator who has sponsored marijuana reform bills is running for attorney general.

California activists filed a proposed ballot initiative to allow individuals to grow up to 99 marijuana plants.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator discussed efforts to roll out legal home delivery.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

The Livingston County, Missouri prosecuting attorney said he will no longer pursue misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.

The Little Rock, Arkansas Board of Directors rejected a measure to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority.

Two Jacksonville, Florida City Council committee rejected a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Mexican judge granted two people the right to possess, transport and use cocaine.

Jamaican regulators have issued at least 40 marijuana business licenses and are currently seeking bidders to provide seed-to-sale tracking software.

/ ADVOCACY

The National Foundation for Women Legislators tweeted that the organization’s “Evolution of Marijuana Policy Summit was a success! Our efforts were even featured in Marijuana Moment!”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD may benefit dogs with osteoarthritis-associated pain.”

A study involving LSD use by healthy subjects is slated to begin in New Zealand next year.

/ BUSINESS

The boards of the ten largest publicly traded marijuana companies are less diverse than the boards of Fortune 100 firms.

BigCommerce is rolling out a suite of tools to make it easier to sell CBD products.

BDS Analytics announced it has raised the first $7 million of a $10 million funding round.

/ CULTURE

Former boxer Mike Tyson’s Tyson Ranch will reportedly fund research on using CBD to treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

GCH, Inc., a company co-founded by Willie Nelson and his wife, is launching a line of hemp products for dogs, cats and horses.

Golf.com looks at CBD’s popularity among professional golfers.

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The post Federal data shows teen cannabis use not up after legalization (Newsletter: August 21, 2019) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

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New York And Connecticut Governors Talk Marijuana Legalization On Fishing Trip

The governors of New York and Connecticut went fishing and talked about marijuana legalization on Tuesday.

The conversation comes after lawmakers in both states were unable to pass legalization legislation before their respective sessions’ ends this year, despite having the support of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D).

“We talked about policy issues like the marijuana issue, which is obviously also relevant to contiguous states,” Cuomo said at a press conference following the fishing trip. “What Connecticut does on marijuana is relevant to New York, what New York does is relevant to Connecticut so we talked about that and a lot of issues. So we had fun.”

Watch Cuomo’s marijuana comments at about 5:00 into the video below:

Cuomo had described legalization as a top legislative priority for 2019 and included it in his state budget proposal. But after months of negotiations with lawmakers, the plan fell through, due in part to disagreements about how to allocate tax revenue and whether to allow individual jurisdictions to opt out of allowing cannabis businesses.

The governor did sign legislation in July that expands the state’s marijuana decriminalization policy and provides a pathway for expungements of past marijuana convictions.

Over in Connecticut, Lamont campaigned on legalization during his election bid last year and described it as one of his administration’s “priorities” after he took office. But as with neighboring New York, the legislature failed to advance a legalization bill beside multiple successful committee votes and hearings throughout the year.

The specifics of what the governors talked about during their fishing expedition on Lake Ontario aren’t clear, but both are presumably gearing up for another round of legislative efforts marijuana over the coming year and could take lessons from each other as reform talks continue.

Another East Coast state, New Jersey, has also struggled to move legalization legislation forward, with lawmakers saying that the issue should be taken up by voters in 2020 rather than pushed through the legislature, though there has been discussion lately about another try at moving a bill before year’s end. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) did sign a decriminalization and expungements bill in May, however.

Federal Data Shows Youth Marijuana Use Isn’t Increasing Under Legalization

Photo courtesy of CBS 6.

The post New York And Connecticut Governors Talk Marijuana Legalization On Fishing Trip appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

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