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Former Attorney General Says US is On The Path To Federal Marijuana Legalization

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A former U.S. attorney general says that the country is “clearly on the path to decriminalizing marijuana” at the federal level as more states continue to advance reform.

Eric Holder, who served as the nation’s top law enforcement official under President Barack Obama, spoke on a drug policy panel hosted by Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law on Thursday. He said he felt encouraged that the U.S. is trending toward more lenient laws on drugs that treat addiction as a public health matter, and he also argued that federal cannabis reform is increasingly inevitable.

Banking: “Most experts agree the ultimate legalization of marijuana at the federal level is a foregone conclusion—at this point it’s a matter of when, not if. Taking action to clarify banking rules for the legal cannabis industry now, rather than standing by while states construct an ad hoc system of conflicting banking rules, will go a long way toward easing that transition.”

By Rodney E. Hood, National Credit Union Administration

The evolution of a legal marijuana industry over the last decade is among the most striking social and cultural changes in recent memory. After decades of prohibition, today 36 states have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes, with 18 states permitting recreational use for adults. BDSA, a leading industry research firm, reports that in 2020 legal cannabis sales in the United States topped $17.5 billion, a 46 percent increase over the previous year.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday signed a bill that stands to dramatically expand the state’s hemp industry by legalizing retail sales of a wide range of consumable products derived from the plant.

Until now, the lack of explicit regulations has inhibited the hemp market, stakeholders say. The governor’s signing of AB 45 means that non-intoxicating cannabinoids, including CBD, can be sold as dietary supplements and as ingredients in food and beverages.

Oklahoma activists on Thursday filed a pair of 2022 ballot initiatives to legalize adult-use marijuana and remodel the state’s existing medical cannabis program.

The measures were formally turned in to the secretary of state’s office, a key step that sets the stage for signature gathering to qualify the proposed constitutional amendments.

As Democrats rally around marijuana legalization, President Joe Biden remains hesitant to fully embrace the idea, which some advocates say may be wasting an opportunity to appeal to a wide variety of voters. “It’s an enormously powerful public policy lever,” said Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate in the key swing state on a platform of marijuana legalization.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center has been awarded a $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to define economic opportunities for hemp in the western United States.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman said there’s “no downside” for politicians who embrace marijuana reform.

Missouri’s Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for hep fiber processing grants.

Questions are being raised about why Georgia medical cannabis regulators are exempt from the state’s open records law.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “Ohio is in a rut, and it’s going to take big, bold ideas to get us out of it. I’m running for governor to write Ohio’s comeback and I’ve got the plans to do it. We’re going to legalize marijuana, invest that tax revenue back in our communities, create new jobs, and more.”

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