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U.S. Congressional Committee approves Bill to Allow Researchers to Study Cannabis from Dispensaries

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Cannabis News Update June 14, 2021

Today in cannabis news: The Delaware state Legislature delays a vote on cannabis legalization; the Libertarian Party of the state of Wyoming submits two cannabis ballot measures for the 2022 midterm elections; and a U.S. Congressional committee approves a bill to allow researchers to study cannabis obtained from dispensaries.

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** First up: Regardless of efforts by the bill’s sponsor to make revisions to attain the three-fifths supermajority required to approve it, a vote on a Delaware cannabis legalization measure slated for last week in the state House of Representatives has been shelved.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Edward Osienski (D), said legislators require additional time to evaluate a number of potential amendments before finding an agreement and continuing on, with the possibility that the bill will be rescheduled for review this week.

“House Bill 150 is an extremely important piece of legislation with many complicated moving parts,” Osienski said to WDEL. “In recent days, a number of amendments have been filed by myself and other legislators that would make significant changes to the bill as written. Accordingly, my colleagues and I need time to consider the implications of these various amendments before bringing the bill to the House floor for a vote.”

** Next year, Wyoming residents may have the opportunity to vote on two distinct cannabis ballot measures. The objective, according to a news release from the state’s Libertarian Party, is to “legalize medical cannabis and decriminalize cannabis for personal use.”

In March, a proposal to legalize recreational cannabis statewide passed a House committee, but it did not proceed farther through the legislature before the session ended. Therefore, state Rep. Marshall Burt (L) is collaborating with the head of the Libertarian National Committee as well as advocates to leave cannabis policy change up to the voters.

The medical cannabis bill includes a regulatory framework for manufacturing and distribution, while the decriminalization bill would merely make it so that people who obtain, consume, or cultivate cannabis incur modest penalties rather than jail sentences.

On Friday, the bills were officially filed to the Secretary of State. By February 14, proponents must gather at least 41,775 petition signatures from eligible voters in order to qualify for the ballot.

** Last up: A U.S. House panel has passed a measure that would allow analysts to study cannabis goods from state-authorized retailers instead of relying on an extremely narrow cannabis stock from the sole federally sanctioned supplier presently available. Last Congress, a variation of the bill passed the House with comparable cannabis measures but failed to progress in the Republican-majority Senate.

It would permit researchers to perform impaired driving studies with the same cannabis items that individuals buy and use, as well as the interstate delivery of cannabis to researchers in states that have not yet legalized the plant. The study must be completed within two years of the legislation’s adoption.

A secondary portion of the bill would mandate only the states with cannabis legalization to investigate means of teaching residents about cannabis-impaired driving and preventing it. Activists object to that phrase because it singles out legalized areas while neglecting the reality that cannabis-impaired driving occurs nationwide irrespective of its legal status.

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