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Congresswoman Asks National Botanic Garden To Grow Marijuana Plants Outside Of The U.S. Capitol

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A congresswoman is asking for marijuana plants to be displayed at the U.S. Botanic Garden near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. in recognition of state and federal efforts to legalize cannabis.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) wrote a letter to the executive director of the living plant museum, which is run by Congress and located near the U.S. Capitol Building, on Wednesday, requesting that both male and female marijuana plants be added to the national garden.

Norton expressed appreciation that the Botanic Garden recently started displaying federally legal hemp as part of its collection, which she and other lawmakers had requested in an earlier letter in 2021. Now, she says, it’s time to feature marijuana, despite ongoing federal prohibition.

As the country moves towards legalizing cannabis, I asked the Botanic Garden to display marijuana plants for the first time, esp given its impact on the economy.

This follows my request that the Garden display hemp, which I’m pleased it now does.

More: https://t.co/rrfsXgcHiF

— Eleanor #DCStatehood Holmes Norton (@EleanorNorton) May 11, 2023

“More and more states, as well as the federal government, are beginning to legalize various forms of cannabis,” the congresswoman said, adding that the House has twice

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California Officials Award More Than $50 Million In Marijuana Tax-Funded Community Reinvestment Grants

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California officials have awarded more than $50 million in marijuana tax-funded community reinvestment grants, the state announced on Thursday.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) said that the funds are being distributed to 31 different local health departments and community-based nonprofit organizations that support economic and social development in areas disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

This marks the fifth year in a row that the office has provided the grant funding. And the cannabis tax dollars that are supporting the program increased by about $15 million compared to last year.

The funds will be used to support efforts such as job placement, mental health and substance use disorder treatment, legal services and linkages to medical care.

Here are some examples of the organizations that are receiving the grants

Goodwill of the San Francisco Bay: $2,998,487.50 Los Angeles Conservation Corps: $1,933,467.60 County of Los Angeles Department of Public Health: $3,000,000.00 Uncommon Law: $3,000,000.00 Monterey County Health Department: $3,000,000.00 Pro Bono Project Silicon Valley: $600,000.00

GO-Biz said that they “anticipate issuing our next grant solicitation in August of 2023.”

Funding levels for the program have been consistently increasing year over year. In 2021, for example,

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Maryland Officials Release Draft Marijuana Rules To Prepare For Legalization This Summer

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Maryland officials have released draft regulations for the state’s adult-use marijuana market that’s set to come online in July in accordance with a legalization ballot referendum that voters approved last year.

Weeks after Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed cannabis sales legislation into law, the Marijuana Cannabis Administration (MCA) submitted a first batch of rules for the industry on Friday to the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR).

That panel will need to review and approve the emergency regulations, which will also be published in the Maryland Register before they’re enacted.

But the relatively quick turnaround with the proposed regulations is another sign that Maryland intends to have a recreational market up and running in time for the implementation of voter-approved legalization on July 1.

The 41-page draft rule sets definitions, codifies personal possession limits, lays out responsibilities for regulators, explains licensing protocol—including for social equity applicants, clarifies enforcement authorities and penalties and outlines packaging and labeling requirements.

There’s significant focus on converting current medical marijuana businesses to dual licenses to start serving adult consumers, which they would be effectively forced to do in order to continue operating. The rules also cover the processes and fees for different

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Marijuana Lobbying Firm Apologies For ‘Misguided’ Letter Referencing ‘Chinese-Backed Investors’ In Push For Banking Bill Amendments

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A major marijuana lobbying firm has apologized after sending a letter to Senate committee leadership concerning a bipartisan cannabis banking bill that contained “inappropriate” references to investments from China in a “misguided attempt” to push for amendments expanding the legislation.

The original letter that was sent to Senate Banking Committee leaders last week took some by surprise—in part because it advocated for a significant revision to free up all financial services to the cannabis industry, including representation on major U.S. stock exchanges. But controversy also swelled around its argument that the expanded reform is necessary in order to compete against an illicit market funded by “Chinese-backed investors.”

The language was read by some as racially inflammatory, playing into xenophobic concerns over China and Chinese people in a way that risked alienating Asian advocates in the community.

Now The Liaison Group (TLG), which led the letter on behalf of SAFE Banking for Equity, is walking it back and apologizing to the various organizations that were listed as signatories but which did not receive an opportunity to review the draft before it was sent.

“The Liaison Group acknowledges that language referencing ‘Chinese-backed investments’ was a misguided attempt and poor judgment,” the statement

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