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This Week in Cannabis: History is Made in Oregon & Hemp May Lower Pharma Use

It’s not every day that cannabis policy history is made in the United States, but it happened this week in Oregon.

When you add what happened in Oregon with the other cannabis news from the week, it’s easy to see that this last week was a big one. Below are the highlights.

Oregon lawmakers become the first in the nation to pass a cannabis export bill

What happened: Senators in Oregon passed a bill this week which would give discretion to Oregon’s Governor to authorize cannabis exports.

The bill will now go to the Oregon House of Representatives where cannabis advocates feel the bill has a great chance of passing.

Why it matters: Cannabis has been legally imported into the United States from Canada, however states with legal cannabis industries in the U.S. are prohibited from exporting cannabis to another legal state.

Oregon is the first state to ever have a legislative chamber pass a cannabis export measure to lay the groundwork for future exports. It’s fitting because Oregon was also the first state to ever decriminalize cannabis.

New Jersey lawmakers pass on legalization, will let voters decide

What happened: Lawmakers in the state of New Jersey announced this week that they would not be able to legalize cannabis this year.

Instead, the matter will be referred to voters in the 2020 election, according to New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney.

Why it matters: When Phil Murphy took over as New Jersey’s Governor it was widely expected that New Jersey would legalize cannabis fairly quickly.

The effort to legalize in New Jersey has hit a number of roadblocks and the matter appears to be dead for this year. Hopefully, that changes in 2020.

New York City prohibits employment drug testing for cannabis

What happened: A measure was passed in New York City which prohibits most businesses from drug testing for cannabis as a condition of employment.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to sign the measure into law, but he ultimately did not. The measure took effect this week without the mayor’s signature.

Why it matters: Workers who choose to consume cannabis responsibly need to be measured by their skills, results, and moral character, and not by how much THC metabolites they have in their system.

This measure is a significant one regardless of the city, but the fact that it’s happening in such a prominent city as New York City makes it that much better.

Study finds that access to low-THC hemp flower may be associated with lower pharma use

What happened: Researchers looked at pharmaceutical prescription data in Italy after low-THC hemp flower, or ‘light cannabis,’ became widely accessible.

Researchers concluded that “local market accessibility of light cannabis led to a reduction in dispensed packets of opioids, anxiolytics, sedatives, anti-migraines, antiepileptics, anti-depressives and anti-psychotics.”

Why it matters: Hemp reform is sweeping the globe, and hemp cultivation is spreading rapidly across the United States after the recent Farm Bill was passed.

As more and more hemp flower hits the market in various forms, we will hopefully see a reduction in the use of pharmaceutical drugs that can be harmful to the patient population.

Cannabis conviction waivers to be allowed in Washington State

What happened: Washington State’s Governor signed a bill this week that will make it easier for some cannabis convictions to be vacated from people’s records.

Judges will be required to grant requests to vacate misdemeanor cannabis possession offenses that occurred before cannabis was legalized as long as the defendant was at least 21 years old at the time.

Why it matters: Washington State was one of the first two states to legalize cannabis for adult use. However, many people still have old cannabis convictions on their records.

Having a cannabis conviction on someone’s record can hinder them from getting all types of opportunities such as with jobs or housing. This bill is going to help a lot of people.

– This article was originally posted at Green Flower

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