Former Mexico President calls for adding Cannabis to NAFTA, Mexico Legalizes Medical Cannabis, as Senators and States progress the Medical Cannabis Industry in the U.S.

World News

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox supports Cannabis NAFTA reform during Keynote speech at the NCIA Business Summit

Last week, the National Cannabis Industry Association held its 4th Annual Business Summit in Oakland, California. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox gave the Keynote speech, addressing the tremendous progress made by the individual States and the professionals within the Industry who have kept the sky from falling.

He points out how the progress that Canada, Mexico and other Countries have made at reforming Federal law in order to regulate Adult Use and Medical Cannabis. Conversely, he directly criticized the Trump Administration’s attempt at renewing the War on Drugs, underscoring the lack of progress toward ending the Federal Prohibition in the United States.

President Fox also identified ways in which legal trade between all three countries could occur, specifically through NAFTA reform, to allow for regulated international commerce in the future. While this vision may be a long way from reality, each Government will need to address these regulations individually before this opportunity is available.

 

Mexico legalizes Medical Cannabis

Passed by the Senate in December 2016, and passing the Mexican Lower House of Congress earlier this month, President Nieto signed into law the Country’s Medical Cannabis Program; the measure directs the Ministry of Health to draft rules for “the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol.”

The law allows for low-THC cannabis in non smokable form, including the development of a research program to study the drug’s impact before forming broader policies. Despite a majority of Mexicans opposing federal decriminalization of cannabis, the Country is hoping to refocusing their priorities on the War on Drugs.

Even with the progressive move, advocates believe more can be done to protect society, as Sen. Armando Rios Peter calling it a “tiny step away from a failed drug policy.” While this legislation can help to addressing Mexico’s drug issue as a public health problem to help with prevention, rather than perpetuating the War on Drugs through prohibition of the plant, time will tell how significant an impact the legislation will make.

 

Polish lawmakers vote to legalize Medical Cannabis

On Thursday, Poland’s Lower House voted in favor of legalizing medical cannabis in specific circumstances. With a vote total at 440-2, with one member abstaining their vote, the legislation would make cannabis-based medicine available through prescription-only at pharmacies using imported ingredients.

An opinion survey conducted in January 2017 found that 78% of Poles believe medical cannabis should be made legal. Although this is a the first step in allowing medical cannabis for patients in Poland, the legislation will need to be passed by the Senate and President to be passed into law.

 

United States News

CARERS Act filed with Bipartisan support

The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act was introduced in the Senate last week by co-sponsors Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Al Franken (D-MN), and Rand Paul(R-KY). Originally introduced in 2015 but stalled in subcommittee, the bipartisan bill would effectively end federal prohibition of medical cannabis.

The Bill would exempt medical cannabis from the CSA, allowing States to set their own medical cannabis policies, preventing the Federal Government from prosecuting individuals in States with medical cannabis laws, and enable the VA to recommend medical cannabis for veterans in States with medical cannabis laws.

Additionally, it would establish a process for the Attorney General to manufacture medical cannabis for research by the FDA, despite the Attorney General Sessions’ considering ending the Obama implemented guidelines that protect medical cannabis laws. The effect of passing the CARERS Act will make a considerable impact in legitimizing the medical cannabis Industry and respecting State’s Rights and Federalism to State Drug Policy in our Country.

 

Medical Cannabis on the 2018 ballot in Oklahoma

Voters in Oklahoma will have the opportunity to legalize medical cannabis in 2018 as State Question 788 will be on the ballot to legalize marijuana for medical purposes with a state-issued license. The proposed legislation would allow qualified patients to possess up to three ounces (up to eight ounces in their residence) and grow up to six mature plants, although currently the law does not list the qualifying medical conditions, as the Department of Health has the authority to determine which conditions qualify.

Additionally, the Department of Health will be in charge of establishing rules for dispensaries, growers, processors and transporters, implementing a 7% tax on retail sales. A special research license would also be made available to provide the DOH with research data into the program.

 

NYS adds PTSD

As one of the Country’s most restrictive Medical Cannabis Markets, the State legislature recently approved adding PTSD to the list of qualifying medical conditions to its Medical Cannabis Program. After revising the State’s Medical Cannabis laws, such as adding Chronic pain to the list of qualified conditions and allowing home deliveries, patient counts continues to lag behind other medical cannabis markets.

While the legislation still requires Governor Cuomo’s signature, lawmakers hope that broadening the qualifying condition list will help bolster patient counts and stand up for the needs of patients suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other debilitating medical conditions.

 

Upcoming Events

MMLB holding initial public meeting

The Michigan Medical Marihuana Licensing Board (MMLB) will hold its first public meeting in Lansing, MI next week. After the Governor recently released his list appointments to the MMLB, the Board meets on June 26 to consider public comment regarding the proposed regulations for the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act  (MMFLA). Topics of discussion may include zoning rules, cultivation, infused products, and retail establishment rules, residency requirements, testing rules, and more.

 

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