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It’s been quite a rut. The shares of Curaleaf Holdings, Green Thumb Industries and Trulieve Cannabis have plummeted more than 30% this year — much worse than the declines posted by benchmark indexes such as the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average. Much of cannabis companies’ slide is due to the failure of reforms that investors had hoped for to materialize so far under U.S. President Joe Biden.
BTIG analyst Camilo Lyon calls it a “regulatory recession,” given that the stocks still trade at low multiples to their earnings, and many companies have seen growth rates of 60%.
The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday approved a bipartisan marijuana research bill that’s meant to streamline studies into cannabis, in part by allowing scientists to access products from state-legal dispensaries.
This comes days after the chamber separately approved a bill to federally legalize marijuana for the second time in history. And it also follows the Senate’s unanimous approval of a similar cannabis research bill last month.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez confirmed Thursday the introduction of a bipartisan marijuana insurance bill.
This new piece of legislature — The Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act of 2021 — proposes enabling insurance coverage for cannabis and related businesses.
Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, is also chairman of the subcommittee that supervises the insurance industry. The CLAIM bill is co-sponsored by Senators Rand Paul and Jeff Merkley.
Menendez and Paul also co-sponsored the SAFE Banking Act in 2019.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) discussed marijuana decriminalization and other drug policy reforms during their first joint interview as a ticket this weekend.
Harris was pressed on her prosecutorial record, specifically as it concerns her previous call for more law enforcement officers in the streets. She talked about policing reform but went on to state that, under a Biden administration, there will be a “policy that is going to be about decriminalizing marijuana.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Thursday unveiled proposed rules for hemp and CBD to put the federal agency officially in compliance with the 2018 Farm Bill.
While DEA stressed that the policies laid out in this interim final rule have already been in effect since hemp was federally legalized, it said the new filing to be published in the Federal Register on Friday will codify those regulations. These “conforming changes to DEA’s existing regulations” will be open to public comment.
Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) talked up her new marijuana legalization bill during a speech on racial justice that she delivered on the Senate floor on Thursday.
The senator, whose “Substance Regulation and Safety Act” was introduced late last month, said that ending cannabis prohibition could help law enforcement devote more resources to serious crimes, rather than continue to criminalize people in a racially disparate manner.
Now, reform supporters want to add in an expansion to the current medical cannabis protection rider, which was first enacted in 2014 and has continually been renewed by Congress on an annual basis, so that it would cover recreational marijuana laws as well.
The state protection amendment, filed by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Tom McClintock (R-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), reads as follows:
One court in New Jersey has enforced that provision to compel a mental health treatment provider to continue providing medical treatment. In the case of L.G. v. High Focus Centers, after the defendant informed the patient that it would stop providing intensive outpatient mental health treatments for his anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts because he had obtained his medical marijuana card, the Morris County Chancery court, relying on the clear protection in the CUMMA, issued an emergent temporary order compelling the facility to continue to provide the life sustaining treatments.
Today, talk of legalization knows no bounds. Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have reportedly flirted with the idea of forming a "bloc" that will legalize adult-use marijuana at the same time and by imposing the same statutory scheme. Activists are pushing measures to put legalization on the ballot in 2020 in Arizona, Arkansas, Montana, and Oklahoma.
A congressional committee will debate two bills to federally legalize marijuana and several other pieces of cannabis research legislation next week, according to a briefing memo obtained by Marijuana Moment on Friday.
A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on various reform proposals on Wednesday, with witnesses from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) set to testify.