CA Passes MJ Reform Bill, NV Athletic Commission Lifts MJ Penalties, & Australian Lab Receives Grant

In #California, lawmakers approve sweeping reform to the state’s #cannabis regulatory system, including an extension of temporary #business licenses. Assembly #Bill 141, which was initially proposed by #democratic #Governor Gavin #Newsom and acts as supplementary #legislation to his previously passed #budget plan, will allow provisional business permits to be renewed until 2025, instead of the upcoming deadline at the start of next year. The move builds upon the 100 #million #dollars in grant funding appropriated in the original budget to ease licensing backlogs and transition the more than 8,000 #marijuana companies, representing approximately 83 percent of the state’s cannabis businesses, from temporary to permanent permits. Because some California counties, like #Sonoma and #Mendocino, are exempt from the rules and could still shut down provisional licensees in 2022, the California Cannabis Industry Association opposed the bill, claiming it doesn’t go far enough to stabilize the sector. #Lobbyist for the organization Amy #Jenkins, and other advocates, say legislators have committed to fixing the issue when they come back from their recess in #August. Among other technical changes, the measure will also accomplish one of Newsom’s other goals, to consolidate the California Bureau of Cannabis Control with the marijuana regulatory branches of the departments of Public Health and #Food and #Agriculture into a single agency called the Department of Cannabis Control. The merger is intended to simplify various marijuana industry issues while reducing bureaucratic red tape. 10,000 dollars has been designated from the general fund to implement the changes outlined in the legislation.

In the #sports sector, the #Nevada #Athletic Commission eliminates their ban on #marijuana use for #fighters. The NAC, which regulates #combat #sports such as #boxing and mixed #martial arts, #voted unanimously to lift penalties, like #athlete suspensions, based on a positive cannabis test. Visual impairment checks will still be employed to ensure fighters have not consumed marijuana directly before a match, and cannabis screening will continue for the next six months as part of the NAC’s head trauma inquiry, though athletes will not be punished for the results. This comes after the commission questioned state officials last month regarding their authority to implement the #policy #change, prompted by the statewide legality of cannabis in Nevada, as well as skepticism of its performance-enhancing effects. The move is expected to have major implications for athletes engaged in combat sports, as many major boxing events and #UFC matches are held in Las #Vegas, and follows the #Florida State Boxing Commission’s May decision to end marijuana testing. While other #American leagues have also loosened cannabis penalties over the past few years, like the #NFL, #NBA, and #MLB, #international attitudes are shifting at a slower pace, as evidenced by #US runner #Sha’Carri Richardson’s recent suspension from the #Tokyo #Olympics. Despite generalized assumptions on the subject, most scientists agree more research is needed to determine if marijuana is beneficial or detrimental to athletic performance.

Overseas, MediPharm #Labs #Australia receives 352,000 #dollars in #government funding to upgrade its cannabis extraction facility. The grant will go towards the company’s 1.4 #million dollar #Manufacturing Innovation and Capacity Optimization Project, which aims to improve #MMJ product development and output at the 10,000 square foot, GMP-certified plant in #Wonthaggi, #Victoria. According to a spokesperson for the wholly-owned subsidiary of #Ontario-based MediPharm, the investment will support current operations focused on #raw material #extraction and #cannabis oil purification for #pharmaceutical purposes. The project will also advance initiatives to bring the #marijuana producer’s line of soft-gels to market, as well as explore the possible manufacture of #vape and #topical products. MediPharm was the only cannabis company to receive money from Australia’s Manufacturing Modernization Fund, which distributed a total of 76 million dollars to nearly 300 small and medium-sized #businesses, in industries ranging from #solar #energy to beer brewing. This comes after the marijuana producer’s #April announcement of a two-year cannabis oil supply agreement with a distributor in #Malta. The deal is part of MediPharm’s #global expansion plan to access strict international markets, like #Brazil and #Denmark, by leveraging their GMP-certification. Since its founding in 2015, the #Canadian company has completed exports to more than 9 countries, including #Germany, #Peru, and New #Zealand.

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William Bradley

William Bradley

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