420 with CNW – Two Cannabis Bills to be Voted on by Congressional Committee this Week

Two bills dealing with access to medical marijuana by veterans are slated to be voted on by a congressional committee today (Wednesday, May 8). This vote comes barely a week after the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee of Health conducted a hearing on the bills.

One of the bills up for a vote has to do with allowing VA doctors to prescribe medical marijuana. This bill also seeks to codify into law an existing policy which protects the VA benefits of veterans who use medical cannabis in accordance with state law.

The second bill that will be voted on seeks to compel the VA department to conduct research about the medicinal effects of cannabis for the common conditions which veterans suffer from. These include post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain.

A third bill which isn’t going to be voted on focused on allowing VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis for veterans who can be helped by the substance. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Earl Blumenaeuer, will not be voted on because its contents are already included in another bill that has been scheduled for a vote.

The broader bill also includes a clause which stops VA doctors from making medical records that state that a veteran suffers from “substance abuse disorder” if that individual uses cannabis in a state where marijuana is legal.

Another clause which was added to that bill asks the VA secretary to generate new diagnostic codes tailored to cannabis use.

Advocates have urged the Veterans’ Affairs committee to take action now so that veterans no longer have to go underground to access medical cannabis to relieve their symptoms. The advocates added that medical marijuana is here to stay, so there is no point in continuing to think along prohibitionist lines.

These bills to be voted upon mark yet another step in the push to reform federal marijuana laws. In March, another House committee passed a bill which intends to protect banks from federal prosecution resulting from the banks’ dealings with state-legal marijuana companies.

These bills being fronted in different House committees are in line with the “blueprint” designed by Rep. Blumenaeuer last year. In that blueprint, the congressman urged different committees to push through marijuana law reforms that fall in the ambit of their committees so that at the end of that process, the overall federal marijuana policy will have been overhauled.

Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) hope that the bills are passed by the House committee and the entire Congress so that the men and women who have served this nation in the armed forces access medical marijuana in their time of need.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Mexico Set to Legalize Recreational Marijuana by October

When Mexico legalized medical marijuana in June 2017, few ever imagined that the country would legalize marijuana for adult-use a couple of years later. Drug cartels have so much influence in the country that one would be led to believe that those cartels would never allow any policy that threatens their illicit business to be passed. However, the tide has turned and according to reports coming from across the border, a legal framework for the legalization of recreational cannabis will be in place by October this year.

If that plan comes to pass, Mexico will be the third country in the world to commercialize recreational marijuana after Uruguay paved the way and Canada followed suit on October 17, 2018.

The legalization of adult-use marijuana now seems to be a logical step if you consider a number of factors.

First, the hand of the legislators has been forced by the judiciary after the Supreme Court made its fifth ruling to the effect that criminalizing recreational marijuana for adults was unconstitutional.

According to Mexican law, once the Supreme Court makes five similar rulings on a matter, then all courts are obliged to take the same position on that issue. This, in effect, means that the Supreme Court indirectly “legalized” recreational marijuana and it is now up to the lawmakers to pass a law to regulate recreational marijuana in the country.

Additionally, the Supreme Court gave the government an October 2019 deadline by which an appropriate law should have been passed to regulate recreational cannabis.

Opinion polls also indicate that an overwhelming 80 percent of all Mexicans favor cannabis legalization. This is a huge tide to ignore!

The lawmakers in Mexico now plan to use their legislative recess (May 1 to August 31) to draft a law to operationalize the ruling of the highest court in the land.

Once the recess ends, the legislators will have approximately one month to debate and pass the law so that the deadline given by the Supreme Court isn’t missed.

If the bill is enacted, Mexico is likely to be a force to reckon with in the cannabis industry. Currently, Canada is seen as the dominant force, but Mexico may upstage it given the huge population difference between the two countries. Canada has approximately 37 million people while Mexico has approximately 130 million people.

The Mexican population offers a huge market for recreational cannabis, and that market will be an irresistible magnet to foreign cannabis companies eager to get a slice of that pie.

Generation Alpha Inc. (OTCQB: GNAL) and Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) hope that the legalization of marijuana in Mexico will mark the turning point for the suffering that has been visited upon the people by drug cartels in the country.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Canadian Army Veterans Switch to Cannabis Instead of Opioids

Veterans Affairs Canada has revealed that marijuana use among veterans in the country has skyrocketed so much that $65 million was spent on weed for veterans last year. This rise in medical cannabis use not surprisingly coincides with a decline in the use of prescription opioids by the veterans.

Previously, injured veterans had to take a cocktail of medications for the different conditions they were suffering from. Major Mark Campbell (Rtd) is one such former soldier who lost both legs during a tour to Afghanistan.

The retired major calls cannabis “magic” because it was the only remedy that could give him some relief from the chronic pain he felt since his final tour of duty. He reveals that he has reduced the prescription opioids that he takes by half from the time that his doctor recommended that he tries medical marijuana.

He added that the fact that so many veterans are turning to medical cannabis shows that it works for them. They aren’t taking it just to be high 24/7, Major Campbell joked.

The statistics of cannabis use among Canadian veterans are staggering. For example, 10,000 veterans used medical marijuana in 2018 alone. This is much higher than the 1,700 who used weed in 2015.

That surge in number explains why the department of Veteran Affairs forked out $65 million last year to reimburse medical cannabis dispensaries that dispensed marijuana to vets. That expenditure on cannabis comes as the reimbursements for prescription painkillers are dropping.

For instance, reimbursements for the prescription opioid fentanyl have reduced by 85 percent in just five years while the reimbursements for oxycodone have registered a 75 percent reduction in the same five-year duration.

Veteran affairs experts say that they have witnessed firsthand the switch by veterans from prescription opioids to marijuana without the accompanying depression and other symptoms of withdrawal from the addictive opioids.

The experts, such as Zachary Walsh (a University of British Columbia psychology professor), say that cannabis also holds massive promise because of its ability to combat different health challenges simultaneously. For instance, the veterans who use cannabis say it helps them fight pain, anxiety and sleep disorders.

While the department of Veteran Affairs in Canada has been spending record-breaking amounts of money on medical marijuana for veterans, advocates say a lot still needs to be done. The advocates say the department has a huge backlog of disability benefits to process and they are woefully understaffed.

Addressing those concerns would go a long way in assuring the former members of the armed forces that their contribution to the nation is valued. Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) call on the federal government in Canada to fix the kinks in the Veterans Affairs department so that the injured former soldiers can access medical cannabis without any needless hassles.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Ireland Finally Selects a Medical Marijuana Supplier

The Irish government has revealed that it has finally identified and issued an import license to a Danish medical cannabis firm. The license was reportedly issued back in January.

Slightly more than two years ago, Simon Harris, the Irish Health Minister, announced that Ireland would create a medical cannabis program for its patients who couldn’t be helped by the existing conventional treatments for their health conditions.

However, little seemed to happen from the time that announcement was made. The revelation that a medical marijuana supplier had been found and licensed is therefore welcome news to the medical cannabis advocates in the country.

The government explained that it delayed to secure a supplier because it wanted to be convinced about the ability of that selected firm to deliver medical cannabis of verifiable quality, but many firms wouldn’t be able to export medical cannabis to Ireland.

The Ministry of Health has also confirmed that its staff is working tirelessly to finalize drafting the enabling legislation that will operationalize the medical cannabis program. The draft law may be ready by mid-April.

The medical cannabis that will be imported is intended to treat patients with nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, patients suffering from multiple sclerosis as well as patients suffering from severe epilepsy.

These qualifying conditions are part of the recommendations that were made by HPRA (Health Products Regulatory Authority) when it looked into the viability of medical cannabis and wrote a report in favor of setting up the medical cannabis program.

As the country waits for the operationalization of the medical cannabis program, doctors are allowed to prescribe medical marijuana to the patients that they are convinced can benefit from these products.

These patients are then required to apply to the Minister of Health for a license that can allow them to travel abroad to buy medical cannabis and bring it into Ireland.

As you may imagine, this process is a tedious and expensive one. It is therefore no surprise that in more than a year, the ministry has only granted licenses to just a dozen people. Most of these individuals obtained their medical cannabis from medical cannabis pharmacies in the Netherlands.

The enactment of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation bill will bring a sigh of relief to the patients who desperately need medical cannabis but cannot afford to travel abroad frequently in order to obtain it. Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and FinCanna Capital Corp. (CSE: CALI) (OTCQB: FNNZF) hope that the authorities in Ireland speed up all the necessary processes so that patients can access medical cannabis locally.

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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420 with CNW – Lawmakers in Connecticut Unveil Marijuana Legalization Plan

At the end of last week (March 14), lawmakers in Connecticut’s Assembly held a press conference at which they outlined a plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Rep. Michael D’Agostino, the chair of the General Law Committee, led the proceedings by giving a brief outline of the legalization plan.

He revealed that three major areas would be looked at when pushing the legalization plan forward. These are regulation, monetization and decriminalization. These three areas would be handled by different committees that are mandated to legislate in those areas.

D’Agostino added that the different committees would formulate various bills covering the cannabis legalization areas within their mandate before all those different bills are merged into one comprehensive bill. This will be after the committee bills are modified and agreed upon by all or most of the committee members.

The chair of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. Steve Stafstrom) was next on the microphone and he talked about the three bills in his committee. One was focused on legalizing cannabis possession by adults 21 or older while also laying out how marijuana misdemeanor crimes would be expunged from the criminal records of residents.

A second bill in this committee looks at issues of impaired driving. One notable provision of this bill would see resources ring-fenced for training law enforcement to be experts at recognizing and screening drivers who may be under the influence.

The third bill for this committee will absolve employers from making any exceptions for employees who use weed. This means that if the bill becomes law, an employer may refuse to hire anyone who tests positive for marijuana, or fire an employee who is under the influence at work.

Rep. Jason Rojas, who sits on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee spoke about the tax structure that Connecticut may adopt once recreational marijuana is permitted. He revealed that they were cautious and would propose a 20 percent tax so that Connecticut’s weed doesn’t cost more than what is available in Massachusetts where adult-use cannabis retails sales are already a reality.

Otherwise, people may buy recreational cannabis out-of-state instead of spending their money on Connecticut’s supply. The details of the tax structure would be made clearer in due course, Rojas added.

What came out strongly during the press briefing was that it is still early days to start talking timelines to the availability of recreational cannabis. A lot of work needs to be done to get the law in place, and this fact is brought home by the memory of what happened last year when legalization by legislative means failed after a bill that had been passed by a slim majority in the Appropriations Committee was stalled by the House Speaker until the end of the legislative session.

Hope is high this time round since Democrats control both chambers. Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) wish the cannabis advocates good luck as they try to get the people of Connecticut to enjoy what the residents of 10 other U.S. states are already enjoying.

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CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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420 with CNW – The UN Announces Yet Another Delay of its Cannabis Reclassification Vote

First, the World Health Organization (“WHO”) delayed and postponed the release of its recommendations after an expert committee studied proposals for the reclassification of cannabis in international treaties. Now, yet another delay has hit that activity and the UN has announced that the March sitting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the one in December this year, will not have marijuana reclassification on its agenda.

The recommendations of WHO had initially been scheduled to be voted on in December last year, but this was inexplicably postponed.

Some of the 53 members of the Narcotic Drugs Commission reportedly claimed that they needed additional time to study the recommendations made by the World Health Organization before they can decide how to vote when a vote is called.

Other members, such as Uruguay and Norway, were disappointed that no timeline was set for when the recommendations will be considered and voted upon. There are fears that the matter may be put on the backburner for an indefinite amount of time, for political reasons.

The recommendations were widely seen as a way for many countries to be free to embark on medical cannabis research and legalization, with others taking it a step further and decriminalizing adult-use marijuana.

The WHO had recommended that whole-plant marijuana and its resin should be removed from the strictest category (Category 4) of the 1961 International Drug Convention and placed in a less restrictive category.

To put this into perspective, the U.S. system of categorizing controlled substances is different from that of the UN. For example, in the U.S., Schedule 1 is reserved for the substances that deserve the strictest controls and the restrictions reduce as the schedule number gets bigger. This is unlike the UN where the smaller numbers have fewer restrictions while the bigger numbers, such as Category 4, have more stringent restrictions.

Meanwhile, as the UN is still playing hide and seek regarding its position on the calls for marijuana rescheduling, Europe is taking a different path. The EU Parliament approved a resolution calling on member states to avail support and funding for medical cannabis research. While the decision isn’t binding, it could pave the way for widespread research and legal reforms in EU member countries. This will leave the U.S. further behind in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.

Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) call on the UN to stop dragging its feet and make the decision for which the world has been waiting.

About CannabisNewsWire

CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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420 with CNW – South Carolina Medical Cannabis Bill Stalls Until Concerns are Addressed

The members of the subcommittee on Medical Affairs in the South Carolina Senate have decided to stall moving a medical cannabis bill forward to the full committee until all the concerns of the different stakeholders have been taken into account. This decision was made on Wednesday (February 27).

One of the proposed changes that may be made to the bill is to include language that makes it clear that smoking medical marijuana will be outlawed. Those interested in this wording say that nothing that may create an impression that marijuana is being legalized for anything other than medical use should be permitted in the bill.

Another issue that needs further consideration is the matter of the qualifying conditions which will be listed in the bill. The legislators want more time to be taken to study the different conditions which can be alleviated by the use of cannabis. Under the current bill, terminal or debilitating conditions, such as chronic diseases and cancer are currently listed as qualifying conditions. Could other deserving conditions have been left out? The legislators want to hear from stakeholders on this before moving forward.

The members of the subcommittee also want to hear more about the fiscal implications of the proposed six percent sales tax that will be imposed on the medical cannabis sold. Will that tax make medical cannabis too expensive for some patients to afford? Are there other ways to collect revenue from the industry without imposing a sales tax? Stakeholders need to inform the members on all these financial implications before the bill is sent to the whole committee.

In its present form, the bill will allow patients enrolled on the medical cannabis program to buy up to two ounces of cannabis (or its equivalent) once a fortnight as long as a doctor has prescribed it.

Representatives of the law enforcement agencies in the state, such as the Association of South Caroline Sheriffs, have said that they would like to review the bill in order to understand the details it contains and the implications of those details. The devil is always in the details, they say.

Such sentiments give further credence to the decision of the subcommittee to wait and hash out all the concerns of the stakeholders so that the bill forwarded to the whole committee reflects the input collected from everyone concerned.

This proactive way of drafting a legalization bill is good for the cannabis industry, including Choom Holdings Inc. (CSE: CHOO) (OTCQB: CHOOF) and Earth Science Tech, Inc. (OTCQB: ETST).

About CannabisNewsWire

CannabisNewsWire (CNW) is an information service that provides (1) access to our news aggregation and syndication servers, (2) CannabisNewsBreaks that summarize corporate news and information, (3) enhanced press release services, (4) social media distribution and optimization services, and (5) a full array of corporate communication solutions. As a multifaceted financial news and content distribution company with an extensive team of contributing journalists and writers, CNW is uniquely positioned to best serve private and public companies that desire to reach a wide audience of investors, consumers, journalists and the general public. CNW has an ever-growing distribution network of more than 5,000 key syndication outlets across the country. By cutting through the overload of information in today’s market, CNW brings its clients unparalleled visibility, recognition and brand awareness. CNW is where news, content and information converge.

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