Borat Star Sues Massachusetts MJ Biz, Schumer Federal MJ Legislation, & Tennessee Solicits Feedback

On the #domestic front, #Senate Majority Leader Chuck #Schumer, along with fellow #Democratic #senators #CoryBooker and Ron Wyden, unveil their highly-anticipated, comprehensive federal #marijuana legalization bill amid increasing calls for nationwide reform. The extensive, 163-page Cannabis Administration and #Opportunity Act, which the trio of lawmakers have been teasing since #February, would remove marijuana from the Controlled #Substances Act, leaving it up to states to implement their own policies in an approach similar to how #alcohol is regulated. It would further transfer regulatory authority from the DEA to the FDA, ATF, and the Alcohol and #Tobacco Trade and #Tax Bureau, permit interstate commerce among legal #markets, and establish a gradually increasing retail sales tax rate, starting at 10 percent and reaching 25 #percent by the program’s fifth year. The proposal also addresses social #equity concerns by including expungements of past #cannabis-related convictions and resentencing provisions, as well as the creation of 3 new federal #grant programs to invest in small #businesses and those affected by the war on drugs. While the #plan attempts to appeal to conservatives with funding and mandates for several cannabis #research studies, and #MMJ prescription authorization for #veterans, most analysts agree gaining #bipartisan support will be an uphill battle. Other aspects of the #bill, like its ban on added vape flavors and failure to eradicate marijuana screening practices for #federal employees are garnering criticism from advocates and industry stakeholders. Though the legislation is unlikely to pass in its current form, experts see the proposal as a jumping-off point for future negotiations. In fact, the senators are seeking feedback on the proposal during a public comment period ending #September 1st. Even if the bill manages to eventually advance, it’s unclear if #President Joe Biden would sign such a measure, as he continues to favor more modest reform, and recently reconfirmed his opposition to full-on federal cannabis #legalization.

In #Massachusetts, Sacha #Baron #Cohen sues a local #cannabis #cultivator and #retailer for 9 million dollars, over their use of his “Borat” character on a billboard ad. #Somerset-based #Solar #Therapeutics, which #promotes itself as the country’s first #energy-independent #marijuana grower, utilized the #British actor’s image in their interstate highway advertising, showing his #famous alter ego giving a thumbs-up alongside the phrase “It’s nice.” A complaint filed with a #US district court in the state accuses the #marijuana company of willful copyright infringement and false #advertising, claiming they never received authorization to use the character’s image. Despite previously poking fun at cannabis culture with his #Ali G Show on #HBO, the lawsuit further alleges that Baron Cohen has never personally consumed marijuana and would never endorse its use. He isn’t the first celebrity to get caught up in fake cannabis advertising, with stars such as Clint #Eastwood, Oprah #Winfrey, and David Attenborough also finding their names connected to fraudulent campaigns. Though Solar removed the “#Borat” billboard three days after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from Baron Cohen’s lawyer back in April, the suit is still seeking 9 #million #dollars in damages from the marijuana company and its #CEO, as well as a permanent injunction preventing them from using his likeness again in the #future.

In #Tennessee, new legislation aims to gather feedback from #voters on #marijuana reform, as part of the #2022 ballot. #House Bill 1634, which was introduced by #Republican Rep. Bruce Griffey, would ask three questions of Tennessee residents: whether they believe #medical #cannabis should be legal in the state, whether they believe a #recreational market should be legalized and regulated, and whether #possession of less than an ounce of marijuana should be #decriminalized. Though the results of the mandated public opinion poll would be non-binding, and therefore separate from actual policy change, #Griffey hopes they would put pressure on #state lawmakers to enact corresponding legislation. The proposal builds upon a measure signed into law recently by #Republican #Governor Mike Lee, which modestly expands Tennessee’s limited medical #CBD program and creates a nine-member commission to study potential #future #MMJ legalization. Their first report will be due at the start of next year. In fact, some #advocates argue Griffey’s bill is an unnecessary stalling #tactic, as 2018 #polling already indicates 81 #percent of residents support some form of cannabis legalization. The measure’s chances of passing are unclear, as it has not yet been referred to any legislative committees for further advancement.

Distributed by: Cannabis Broadcast Station/ Infinity Broadcast Network
http://www.cannabisbroadcaststation.com

@cannabisbroadcaststaion
#cannabisnews #news

William Bradley

William Bradley

Editor and webmaster.

Leave a Reply