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Will Gov. Desantis’ Weed ‘Strategery’ Work on the Florida Pot Industry?



Chess vs. checkers by Gov. Densantis

Desantis votoes hemp bill

Gov. DeSantis Vetoes a New Bill That Would Regulate Intoxicating Hemp As He Bashes Cannabis Legalization Amendment

“Statergery” as said by Will Ferrell playing George Bush on SNL will forever be remembered by a generation as a politician who was “punching above his weight class” in acumen and vocabulary.

Now, Gov. DeSantis of Florida, appears to be playing a game of chess vs checkers with the marijuana industry, as he battles his voters for the right to have legal, recreational cannabis.

DeSantis is vetoing the bill to protect the Florida hemp industry and the jobs it creates, as well as giving a zinger to the marijuana compananies of Florida who very much wanted to see intoxicating hemp removed from the state so that when the time comes, they are the only cannabis dealers in town.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been adamantly opposed to a proposed constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana for recreational use, gave prospective rivals in the cannabis industry a victory on Friday when he vetoed a bill that would have severely limited the manufacturing and distribution of goods derived from hemp and recognized for their euphoric properties.


The measure (SB 1698) was approved by lawmakers in March, with proponents pointing out safety issues as a result of the rising usage of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.


The measure sought to restrict the quantity of delta-9 THC and outlaw the sale of goods containing delta-8 THC. Hemp contains two cannabinoids that can give users a high: delta-8 and delta-9.


DeSantis Cites Overregulation Concerns in Veto Message


DeSantis noted the “commendable goals” of the measure in a veto letter on Friday. Still, he maintained that it would “impose debilitating regulatory burdens on small businesses and almost certainly fail to achieve its purposes.”


The law was fiercely opposed by hemp farmers and companies that manufacture and market goods derived from hemp, who said it would essentially shut down the sector, costing the state millions of dollars in lost income and thousands of jobs.


Despite these reservations, the Senate unanimously adopted the measure and passed by the House in the closing days of this year’s legislative session by a vote of 64 to 48.


DeSantis encouraged lawmakers to take a fresh look at the matter during the 2025 legislative session and to collaborate with all pertinent parties to create a thorough regulatory framework that would govern the production and distribution of hemp and goods produced from it.


“Commonsense, non-arbitrary regulation will safeguard public health and safety, allow legitimate industry to grow, and remove bad actors from the market—providing much-needed stability for businesses and consumers alike,” DeSantis wrote.


Hemp Industry Applauds DeSantis’ Decision


The Florida Healthy Alternatives Association, representing the hemp industry, praised DeSantis’ decision.


“The Legislature heard our concerns but didn’t fully grasp the impact of their legislation. Governor DeSantis understands that everyday Floridians rely on hemp and CBD products to avoid harmful and addictive medications and that thousands of Floridians have built local businesses to serve this critical need,” the group stated.


The veto letter provided a roadmap for a revised bill, advising lawmakers to focus on quality control, retail sales, and labeling, marketing, and packaging.


Future legislation should include “random, unannounced inspections, standardized and repeated testing, and dosing, packaging, and unit purchase caps that better correspond to the character of the products and their intoxicating capabilities,” DeSantis wrote.


“Upon review, Senate Bill 1698’s effort to address those limitations misses the mark,” he added.


Additionally, the governor recommended that lawmakers ensure “hemp-derived cannabinoids are sold behind the counter” and that hemp retail shops be located away from schools, religious institutions, and other places where children and families gather.


“These shops should not present themselves as medical offices, and the Legislature should consider measures to prevent the ubiquity and concentration of these retail locations in communities across the state,” his letter said.


DeSantis also urged the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services “to continue using its full, existing authority to root out products that violate Florida law.” Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson has prioritized eliminating hemp-based products that target children or induce euphoria.


In a statement on Friday, Simpson said his department “will continue to aggressively implement the law.”


The Florida Healthy Alternatives Association gathered some of the state’s most powerful lobbyists to oppose the proposal, and opponents initiated an anti-veto effort even before the law passed.


According to state lobbyist registration data, the group was one of the largest spenders on legislative lobbying during the first three months of the year, paying an estimated $155,000 to lobbyists between January 1 and March 31. The 60-day legislative session ended on March 8.


Two key lobbyists for the association, Evan Power and Bill Helmich, have worked for the group since 2022 and are leaders of the Republican Party of Florida. Power was elected chairman of the state party in January, and Helmich was appointed interim executive director in April.


The governor’s office received thousands of emails urging DeSantis to veto the bill, vastly outnumbering the few dozen messages in favor of the measure.


Florida’s Hemp Boom and the Path Ahead


Since the Legislature authorized hemp production to comply with federal agricultural legislation, Florida’s hemp business has grown significantly during the last five years. Although both hemp and marijuana are cannabis plants, they have different amounts of THC. THC content in hemp “does not exceed 2 milligrams per serving and 10 milligrams per container on a wet-weight basis, whichever is less,” or 0.3 per cent or less.


DeSantis signed legislation last year that forbade the selling of hemp products to anyone under the age of 21, outlawed goods made of hemp that were appealing to minors, and mandated that facilities that processed hemp adhere to safety regulations.


The bill targeted euphoria-inducing products that compete with the state’s medical marijuana industry, which generates an estimated $2 billion annually.


DeSantis’ veto bolsters the hemp industry ahead of the November election when Floridians will vote on a constitutional amendment to allow recreational marijuana.


If approved, the ballot proposal would permit the state’s currently licensed medical marijuana firms to sell recreational pot. Amendment 3 would also allow “other state-licensed entities” to enter the market, potentially increasing competition for the hemp industry.


DeSantis is adamantly against the proposed constitutional change, and his resistance is anticipated to intensify—possibly with assistance from the hemp sector.


The 2016 voter-approved medical marijuana amendment is the precursor to the recreational marijuana proposal. There are already more than 600 medicinal marijuana shops in Florida.


“I see marijuana businesses everywhere in Florida, not just in South Florida, but do we need to do more with that? Should there be more marijuana in our local communities? Although it is a very, very wide amendment, I don’t think it will work out well,” DeSantis stated.


Bottom Line


The rejection of SB 1698 by Governor Ron DeSantis has brought much-needed relief to the hemp sector in Florida. The industry was facing strict new rules that may have hurt small firms and the overall market. By voting against the measure, DeSantis expressed worries about excessive regulation and its possible effects on the economy, as well as the need for more sensible and practical laws. This ruling benefits the hemp industry as Florida gets closer to a crucial vote on legalizing marijuana for recreational use, which might further influence the state’s cannabis environment. Despite the expanding economy and public interest in marijuana, DeSantis remains opposed to its broader legalization, as seen by his stance.





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90% of People over 50 are Using Cannabis for One Reason




cannabis for chronic pain and arthritis

Tilray Medical, a division of Tilray Brands, Inc., unveiled its latest scientific publication titled “Medical Cannabis for Patients Over Age 50: A Multi-Site, Prospective Study of Usage Patterns and Health Outcomes” on Tuesday.


This new research expands upon an earlier Tilray study revealing a rising number of older patients seeking medical marijuana. The study identified chronic pain (27.8%), arthritis (14.9%), and anxiety (9%) as prevalent conditions prompting cannabis use among older adults. Pain emerged as the primary symptom, followed by anxiety and insomnia/sleep disorders.


Known as the Medical Cannabis in Older Patients Study, this multi-site, prospective, observational research investigates how medical marijuana, guided by healthcare providers, affects patients over 50. It underscores the impact of medical cannabis on health outcomes, particularly focusing on pain relief, sleep improvement, and overall quality of life.


With 299 participants averaging 66.7 years old, the study found that 90% used medical cannabis primarily for pain management, notably chronic pain and arthritis. The results indicated that medical cannabis correlated with better pain scores, improved sleep, and enhanced quality of life among a growing subset of patients, along with a notable reduction in concurrent medications.


José Tempero, the company’s medical director, emphasized their commitment to advancing medical research and supporting products aligned with comprehensive findings. He underscored the role of medical cannabis in enhancing therapeutic options for an ageing population.


Study Focus and Methodology


Leading the way in examining the effects of medical cannabis use on the health of older adults, Tilray Medical’s “Medical Cannabis for Patients Over Age 50” study included 299 participants, most of whom were female and averaged age 66.7. The study was conducted at several sites and used a prospective, observational design to evaluate the effects of medical marijuana under the supervision of a healthcare provider on actual health outcomes.


The study’s central focus was on the efficacy of medicinal cannabis in treating chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, and other diseases common among the elderly. Participants were followed to determine changes in pain ratings, sleep patterns, and general quality of life, offering information on cannabis’ medicinal potential in addressing age-related health issues.


The findings underscored a significant trend: approximately 90% of participants reported using medical cannabis primarily for pain relief, with notable reductions in co-medication observed. This research not only highlights the growing acceptance and application of medical cannabis among older adults but also underscores the importance of continued scientific inquiry into its benefits and implications for ageing populations.


Key Findings on Patient Demographics and Conditions


The study by Tilray Medical provided insightful demographics and conditions prevalent among older adults using medical cannabis. Among the 299 participants, the average age of 66.7 years reflects a cohort squarely within the ageing demographic seeking alternative therapies. Notably, over 62% of the participants identified as female, indicating a significant gender distribution in the study sample.


Of the participants, 27.8% cited chronic pain as their major reason for seeking medical cannabis treatment. This made chronic pain the most prevalent primary symptom driving medical cannabis usage. This result is consistent with more general healthcare trends, which show that older adults continue to have significant concerns about managing chronic pain. After chronic pain, arthritis was shown to be another common ailment that led to cannabis usage, as 14.9% of individuals used cannabis to treat this inflammatory chronic illness. With 9% of research participants suffering from anxiety, it was also a major ailment, underscoring the variety of therapeutic uses of medicinal cannabis among older persons.


The study’s emphasis on these particular disorders highlights medicinal cannabis’s growing potential as a therapy for illnesses that are typically linked to ageing. By clarifying the characteristics and ailments that are common among elderly medical cannabis users, the study offers a significant understanding of the incorporation of alternative treatments into geriatric healthcare procedures.


These results provide insight into the health problems and demographics of older adults who use cannabis medicinally. They also lay the groundwork for future research on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis-based treatments for age-related health disorders. Studying medical cannabis’s impact on conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety is becoming more and more crucial for lawmakers and healthcare professionals as it gains acceptance as a therapeutic option.


Key Findings on Patient Demographics and Conditions


The study by Tilray Medical provided insightful demographics and conditions prevalent among older adults using medical cannabis. Among the 299 participants, the average age of 66.7 years reflects a cohort squarely within the ageing demographic seeking alternative therapies. Notably, over 62% of the participants identified as female, indicating a significant gender distribution in the study sample.


Chronic pain was identified as the most prevalent primary condition driving medicinal cannabis usage, with 27.8% of patients indicating it as the major reason for therapy. This conclusion is consistent with wider healthcare trends, in which chronic pain treatment remains a major problem among older populations. Following chronic pain, arthritis was found as another common reason for cannabis usage, with 14.9% of participants looking for treatment for this chronic inflammatory illness. Anxiety was also identified as a significant problem, impacting 9% of research participants, illustrating the broad therapeutic uses of medicinal cannabis in older persons.


By clarifying the demographics and conditions common among older medical cannabis users, the research adds important insights into how alternative therapies are being integrated into geriatric healthcare practices. The study’s focus on these particular conditions highlights the evolving role of medical cannabis as a potential treatment option for ailments traditionally associated with ageing.


As medical cannabis becomes more and more popular as a therapeutic option, legislators and healthcare professionals will need to understand the effects of medical cannabis on conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety. These results shed light on the health issues and demographics of older people who use medicinal marijuana. They also serve as a foundation for future studies on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis-based therapies for age-related health issues.


Bottom Line


The Tilray medicinal research emphasizes how important medicinal cannabis is for older persons’ chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety. According to the findings, cannabis can enhance pain ratings, sleep quality, and general quality of life, as indicated by the fact that 90% of the 299 participants used it primarily for pain relief. This study highlights the necessity for further research into the advantages of medicinal cannabis and its incorporation into geriatric healthcare, supporting its increasing recognition as a therapeutic alternative for older adults.





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What Does the Corporate Transparency Act Mean (CTA) for the Cannabis Industry?




On January 1, 2024, the federal Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) took effect. The CTA requires a host of both domestic and foreign entities to disclose their beneficial ownership to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Compliance with the CTA is required for all businesses, including those in the cannabis industry. In this post, I’ll overview some (but not all) key requirements of the CTA, and some of the implications for the cannabis industry.

What is the CTA?

The purpose of the CTA is to combat illegal activities like money laundering by disclosure of information concerning “beneficial owners” to FinCEN. Beneficial ownership essentially means the individuals who own or control a company (more on that below). FinCEN and other domestic governmental authorities can use this beneficial ownership information in certain contexts for law enforcement purposes. Detailed FAQs on the CTA are available here.

Who must report?

Corporations, limited liability companies, and other business entities are considered reporting companies for purposes of the CTA. Certain sole proprietors may not count as reporting companies, and CTA exempts 23 classes of entities, such as governmental bodies, banks, and certain large operating companies.

Figuring out whether a business qualifies for an exemption can in some cases be complicated, and businesses can flow in and out of exemptions over time. So it’s a good idea for businesses to confer with counsel to determine whether they are compliant.

When must reporting happen?

Reporting is done by submitting an initial beneficial ownership report (BOIR) with FinCEN via an electronic portal called the Beneficial Ownership Secure System, located at, free of charge. There are some key reporting deadlines, which change based on when a company was formed (for domestic companies) or registered in the US (for foreign companies) as follows:

  • Entities created or registered before January 1, 2024, must submit their initial BOIR by January 1, 2025.
  • Entities registered in 2024 are required to file within 90 calendar days of their registration becoming effective.
  • For registrations from January 1, 2025, onwards, the deadline is 30 calendar days post-registration notice.

CTA also has requirements to periodically update beneficial ownership information after changes occur. Failure to comply with CTA can lead to monetary penalties and even criminal liability.

What must be reported?

Reporting companies must disclose individuals with substantial control or those owning at least 25% of the entity. Substantial control includes abilities like appointing or removing directors, making significant business decisions, or other forms of major influence. For example, question D8 on FinCEN’s FAQs addresses how management companies could be considered beneficial owners of a reporting company. Sound familiar?

Disclosure itself is not dissimilar to state-level cannabis regulatory disclosures. Beneficial owners must provide their legal name, date of birth, address, and an identifying number (e.g., SSN).

How will this affect the cannabis industry?

In case you were wondering, CTA applies to cannabis businesses. There is no exemption for reporting by state-legal cannabis companies.

A lot of cannabis companies will probably get squeamish at the thought of making detailed beneficial ownership disclosures. That’s especially the case where CTA by its terms allows FinCEN to share beneficial ownership information with other federal agencies engaged in law enforcement activities, or federal agencies that supervise financial institutions.

So, expect to see owners of cannabis businesses engage in all kinds of corporate changes to obscure beneficial ownership or reduce equity and control rights to get out of disclosures. In some cases, this will not work and people will face penalties.

Also expect to see a lot of cannabis companies (and non-cannabis companies for that matter) make a good-faith effort to comply with CTA initially but fail to update information as required by law. This is just going to happen, the way CTA is set up. Whether or not people are actually penalized for late disclosures or updates absent some kind of misfeasance remains to be seen.


CTA is complicated and has already been a headache for many businesses – so much so that at least one group of businesses brought a challenge to its constitutionality and won. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) the court did not issue a nationwide injunction but only enjoined enforcement of CTA against the specific plaintiffs. It’s possible that in different litigation or future appeals, the law itself is enjoined on a nationwide level. But for the time being, it’s the law of the land.

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Could the Smell of Marijuana Ever Be So Strong That It Knocks You to the Ground?




knock you over marijuana smell

Ohio’s New Miami Village Council unanimously voted on June 27 to fire Police Chief Harold Webb after Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley accused him of having an office that smelled of marijuana. This information, reported by the New York Post, was based on a letter from the mayor’s office obtained by Ohio’s Fox 19.


A ballot initiative approved in November 2023 completely legalized cannabis in Ohio.


On June 20, when Hayes-Hensley and another council member went to Webb’s office to pick up his daily logs, they noticed a strong marijuana smell. This is when the incident started.


“When I first said, ‘Who has been smoking weed in here?'” The mayor of New Miami Village, a hamlet of 2,226 people in southeast Ohio, stated, “The smell of marijuana could knock you off your feet.”


Cananbis with a strong odor is known as “loud” or “dank” in the cannabis community.


Marijuana Odor from a Bust Four Months Ago?


In the same letter regarding the marijuana odor, Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley accused Police Chief Harold Webb of multiple infractions, including stealing hot dogs from a gas station where only free soda was allowed on duty, refusing to respond to 911 calls, “theft of office,” falsifying timesheets and daily logs, and “cashing his paycheck knowing he was required to show proof of his being at work.”


The mayor suggested that the marijuana smell might be linked to a bust that occurred four months prior, implying that Webb could have been smoking the confiscated cannabis. However, experts note that the smell of cannabis smoke typically lingers in a room for only four to six hours and does not cling to furniture or curtains like tobacco smoke. This casts doubt on the idea that the odor from a previous bust could still be present in Webb’s office months later.


The allegations against Webb extend beyond the marijuana odor, painting a picture of misconduct and unprofessional behavior. The claim about stealing hot dogs suggests a disregard for department policies and ethical standards. Refusing to respond to 911 calls is a severe accusation, indicating a failure to perform critical duties that could endanger public safety. The “theft of office” and falsification of timesheets and daily logs imply deceit and misuse of taxpayer funds.


Whether Webb’s dismissal was based on the marijuana smell, the stolen hot dogs, or the accumulation of these allegations, the situation underscores the importance of accountability and integrity in law enforcement. The controversy surrounding Webb’s behavior has undoubtedly affected the New Miami Village community, emphasizing the need for trust and transparency in public officials.


Ultimatum Delivered: Take a Drug Test or Face Consequences


On June 24, the New Miami town attorney delivered a letter to Police Chief Harold Webb at his home, informing him that he had until 5 p.m. the following day to take a drug test at the request of Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley or face “disciplinary action.”


Chief Webb arrived at the testing site on June 25 but refused to provide a urine sample in front of a nurse, describing the process as “belittling.” This refusal was a critical turning point in the situation, further complicating his position and raising additional concerns about his conduct.


Following his refusal to complete the drug test, Webb texted the mayor, expressing his frustration and feeling of being unfairly targeted. “You know what, you win,” he wrote. “This is the third time you have questioned my integrity.” This message highlighted the escalating tension between Webb and Mayor Hayes-Hensley, suggesting a breakdown in communication and trust.


The mayor responded decisively, instructing Webb to resign. “Sorry things didn’t work out,” Hayes-Hensley wrote. “Please turn in all your New Miami Village properties along with your resignation and leave all access to video cameras and computers turned over to me.”


This interaction highlights the greater confrontation between Webb and the village leadership, marked by claims of misbehavior, refusal to comply with directions and personal animosities. Webb’s unwillingness to take the drug test, exacerbated by the other claims against him, finally led to his dismissal. The event shows how difficult it is to uphold professional standards and responsibility in law enforcement and emphasizes the importance of following clear procedures and treating misbehavior claims with respect from one another.


Fallout and Community Reaction


The dismissal of Police Chief Harold Webb from New Miami Village has triggered a wave of reactions and repercussions within the community. Residents, caught off guard by the sudden removal of their police chief, are divided in their responses. Some express concern over the allegations leveled against Webb, particularly regarding the integrity and conduct expected of law enforcement officials. They emphasize the importance of accountability and transparency in local governance, calling for thorough investigations into the accusations made by Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley.


Conversely, others in the community rally behind Chief Webb, questioning the timing and validity of the accusations. They argue that Webb’s contributions to public safety and his tenure should be taken into account before any hasty decisions are made. Supporters of Webb highlight his past achievements and dedication to the village, urging for fair treatment and due process in resolving the controversy.


Meanwhile, the broader implications of Webb’s dismissal extend beyond local sentiment. The incident has raised broader questions about leadership and governance within New Miami Village. It underscores the challenges faced by small communities in maintaining effective law enforcement and ensuring public trust. Moving forward, community leaders and residents alike are seeking clarity and resolution, hoping to restore stability and confidence in the village’s administration amidst the ongoing controversy.


Bottom Line


The case of Police Chief Harold Webb in New Miami Village serves as a stark reminder of the complexities and responsibilities involved in local law enforcement. The allegations, ranging from a peculiar marijuana smell to serious accusations of misconduct, have deeply impacted both the community and its leadership. While some residents advocate for accountability and transparency in addressing these issues, others stand by Webb, questioning the fairness of his dismissal. As the village navigates through this controversy, the need for clear protocols, mutual respect, and adherence to professional standards remains paramount. The outcome of this case will likely shape the future governance and public trust in New Miami Village, underscoring the importance of due process and ethical conduct in all levels of public service.





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