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Cannabis Wire
Cannabis Wire
USDA R&D on hemp “cosmeceuticals” • Will U.S. Botanic Garden display hemp? • Florida Supreme Court strikes down adult use ballot measure • & more…
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USDA R&D on hemp “cosmeceuticals” • Will U.S. Botanic Garden display hemp? • Florida Supreme Court strikes down adult use ballot measure • & more…

The Cannabis Wire Daily newsletter is sent to C-Wire Plus subscribers every weekday morning at 7 a.m. Excerpts are published here later in the day. Don’t miss the full picture. Subscribe now.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) is partnering with the Illinois-based Midwest Bioprocessing Center on “cosmeceuticals” with an eye toward “expanding the market for hemp seed oil.”

The partnership, a “cooperative research and development agreement,” will “focus on bio-catalyzing hemp oil to make ‘cosmeceuticals’—skin-care ingredients that perform specific functions, like protecting skin from UV light, retaining moisture, or stabilizing other active ingredients used in skin-care formulations.”

Congress members Eleanor Holmes Norton, Barbara Lee, and Earl Blumenauer sent a letter to the executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden asking that they include hemp, which is defined as cannabis with .3% THC or less, alongside other “medicinal plants.”         

“Hemp has a long history of cultivation in the U.S. Hemp was grown by most of the Founders, and in 2018, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate harvested its first hemp crop since 1799. All ships in every war prior to World War II had ropes and sails made from hemp grown in the U.S. Until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which was found to be unconstitutional in 1969, hemp was a major agricultural commodity in the U.S.,” they wrote.

“Given that hemp is legal and enjoys national, bipartisan support, now is an appropriate time for the Botanic Garden to display hemp plants.”

Last year, Cannabis Wire reported that an adult use ballot measure, backed by Make It Legal Florida, didn’t qualify for the ballot, and its backers instead set their sights on 2022. Even then, it was clear that the measure would face some pushback.

In December 2019, the state’s Attorney General Ashley Moody, who submitted a brief opposing the measure, asked the state Supreme Court for an opinion on the “validity” of the measure. Specifically, whether it fell within the Florida Constitution’s “single-subject requirement,” and “whether the ballot title and summary comply with the clarity requirements.”

Other entities that submitted opposing briefs include: the Florida Senate and House, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, and the Drug Free America Foundation, along with other anti-legalization groups. Only Make It Legal Florida wrote in support.

On April 22, the state Supreme Court finally issued its opinion on the measure, writing “we strike the proposed amendment on the ground that the ballot summary is affirmatively misleading.”

This is the second time that a “single-subject” challenge led to the defeat of a cannabis push. In Nebraska last year, as Cannabis Wire reported, the Supreme Court stripped a medical cannabis measure that had already qualified for the ballot, a first.

+ More: Read Cannabis Wire’s past coverage of legalization efforts in Florida, by ballot and by bill.

Canopy Growth announced that it will distribute its CBD sparkling water in partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the largest wine and spirits distributor in the US.

David Chaplin, Southern Glazer’s Chief Growth Officer, said of the partnership that there is “strong consumer interest in the CBD-infused beverage category and our distribution network is uniquely positioned to deliver the most efficient and effective route-to-market for CBD suppliers and retail customers.”

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