Democrats’ 2020 platform excludes cannabis legalization • FDA wraps CBD policy draft • & more…

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DNC votes overwhelmingly against legalization amendment. 

The Democratic National Committee’s platform committee held a long meeting via video conference on July 27 and, in the end, voted down an amendment to legalize cannabis 50-106 (with three abstaining). It was the expected outcome, given that the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force recommendations didn’t include legalization, either, nor did the Dems’ draft platform released last week. 

Instead, the Democrats chose to support decriminalization, rescheduling at the federal level, and legalization of medical cannabis. The Democrats also support expungement of past cannabis convictions, and are against the Department of Justice interfering in cannabis activity that is legal on the state-level. 

Delegate Dennis Obduskey, who spoke from Pueblo, Colorado, introduced the amendment by highlighting how cannabis-related charges disproportionately affect people of color, adding that people of color are “unfairly and disproportionately six times more likely to be arrested than other citizens.”  Obduskey also talked about the states that have already legalized cannabis, fueled job creation, and contributed to state budgets. 

“In 2016, I offered, and this body accepted, an amendment to create a pathway for legalizing marijuana. Four years later, I’m again offering an amendment that reflects the views of the American public,” Obduskey said.

The FDA has finalized its long awaited CBD product policy.

On July 22, the US Food and Drug Administration submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget what is titled “Cannabidiol Enforcement Policy; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.” This is the final stage in a months-long process that has kept industries interested in CBD on their toes. It isn’t just hemp farmers, but mainstream food and beverage companies as well. Once the OMB signs off, it should not be long before the policy is published. 

Cannabis Wire has been following the process from the beginning, and you can catch up on all of our reporting here.

The US government wants to help differentiate “hemp” and “marijuana.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, within the US Department of Commerce, has announced a new program, as part of its Cannabis Quality Assurance (CannaQAP) program.

The goal is “to help laboratories accurately measure key chemical compounds in marijuana, hemp and other cannabis products including oils, edibles, tinctures and balms.” Specifically, they want to “increase accuracy in product labeling and help forensic laboratories distinguish between hemp, which is legal in all states, and marijuana, which is not.”

As NIST research chemist Brent Wilson put it in the announcement, “When you walk into a store or dispensary and see a label that says 10% CBD, you want to know that you can trust that number.”

While the program will start with hemp oil, NIST plans to move toward cannabis plants, and will also explore terpenes. Further, NIST is working toward “hemp reference material” so that labs have a baseline. No such national standard exists for cannabis, leading to significant inconsistencies among labs. 

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