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Justice Dept: local California officials took bribes • Wisconsin Republicans strip adult use from budget • Kansas House sends medical cannabis to Senate • & more…
May 7, 2021 · 3 min
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. ...
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Justice Dept: local California officials took bribes • Wisconsin Republicans strip adult use from budget • Kansas House sends medical cannabis to Senate • & 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.

With days left in the legislative session, Kansas’ House lawmakers passed a bill to legalize and regulate medical cannabis use and sales, though it does not allow for home cultivation or sales of smokable (or vape) products. 

Whether the Senate takes up and passes the bill remains to be seen, but the timeline is tight. Nonetheless, this paves the way for cannabis legislation in future sessions. Also, Gov. Laura Kelly supports medical cannabis.

While it was a long shot, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers pushed for cannabis legalization this year. As Cannabis Wire reported, Evers included legalization in his budget, and devoted an entire virtual forum to the issue last month. 

As expected, the Republican-controlled legislature pushed right back. On Thursday, they struck cannabis from the budget. Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes tweeted, “Today, Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee voted to remove nearly 400 initiatives from our budget—including items like BadgerCare expansion, marijuana legalization, and bold steps to address the climate crisis. They’re putting our economic recovery and our future at risk.”

Earlier this year, Cannabis Wire covered a bill to expand access to medical cannabis in schools, as it was sailing through the legislature. This week, Gov. Jared Polis signed that bill into law. 

The US Department of Justice announced this week that it has taken action against David Romero and Bruno Suarez-Soto, a former City Council member and a former Economic Development and Financial Advisory Commission member, respectively, of Calexico, California.

They “accepted $35,000 in cash bribes from an undercover FBI Agent who they believed represented investors seeking to open a cannabis dispensary in Calexico,” offering to push through the agent’s application. 

One of them even told the agent, according to the DOJ, “This isn’t our first rodeo.” 

Cannabis research is on the rise, and this is especially true at colleges and universities, where cannabis-specific centers have been cropping up in recent years. (Cannabis Wire has even devoted an entire resource page to these centers.)

Nonetheless, it appears that a fear of running afoul of federal law is keeping some at bay. Or, at least that is the message in a letter recently signed by more than a dozen members of Congress, calling for explicit protections from a loss of federal funding for these institutions that want to work with cannabis.

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