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U.S. House Panel Passes Conflicting State Cannabis Program Protection Measures

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Today in cannabis news: In a new advisory, Florida state officials criticize hemp goods coming from the state of Oregon and urge residents to shop locally; the Governor of Colorado announces the creation of a new cannabis business office with an emphasis on social equity; and a new amendment to safeguard all tribal and state cannabis operations in the U.S. from federal intervention will receive a vote in Congress.

It’s Friday, July 30 and TRICHOMES.com is bringing you the top cannabis news from around the web. You can also listen on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify–search TRICHOMES and subscribe!

First up: Florida state officials are criticizing Oregon state hemp enterprises for selling items that they claim contain pebbles and sticks and fail to match legal THC concentration limits.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) issued a public notice recently to caution Floridians about concerns regarding low-quality hemp goods imported from Oregon. Additional new guidelines were released on the psychoactive cannabinoid delta-8 THC, which is rapidly being commercialized and attracting authorities’ notice.

These worries are divided into three categories. Plants having “rocks, sticks, and other foreign material,” false certifications for lab testing, and goods with over 0.3 percent THC, which is the permitted maximum within federal regulation, have all been mentioned in the complaints with hemp goods coming from Oregon.

Buyers should search for items from USDA-approved firms and look for goods with the “Fresh From Florida” mark for quality assurance, according to officials.

Next up: Colorado state authorities announced the opening of a new office this week to promote the state’s cannabis industry economically.

Gov. Jared Polis (D) noted in a press statement that the Cannabis Business Office (CBO) “shows our administration’s focus on growing this thriving industry that supports jobs and our economy,”

Cannabis tax income is used to finance the department, which was established as part of a measure enacted into law in March. It will concentrate on “new economic development opportunities, local job creation, and community growth for the diverse population across Colorado.”

It would also prioritize social equity, providing resources to those from communities hardest hit by cannabis prohibition, such as loans for equity companies, grants to stimulate employment, and technical assistance.

“This office will offer tools like technical help and improve access to money for businesses,” Gov. Polis said. “Where the federal government has fallen behind, Colorado will lead. Colorado is, and always has been, the best place to live, work, grow and sell cannabis.”

Last up: A crucial panel agreed this week that the U.S. Congress will vote again on a measure to safeguard all state and tribal cannabis operations from federal intervention.

The House Rules Committee approved a bipartisan amendment to appropriations legislation that would establish the safeguards, which would build on a current provision that prohibits the Justice Department from meddling with the establishing of state medical cannabis statutes. Since 2014, that more narrow safeguard has been extended every year as part of federal statute.

Conversely, Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) proposed a rival amendment that would repeal the present medical cannabis protection, regardless of the fact that it protects the operations established decades ago in the representative’s own state of California. That amendment was also approved by the panel.

Considering the Democratic Party’s majority in Congress and the more bipartisan trend of backing for cannabis policy reform in general, supporters aren’t worried that LaMalfa’s amendment will succeed. LaMalfa has a history of being a fervent reform adversary, even going as far as to help local law enforcement bulldoze illegal cannabis growing facilities in California.

The full House might vote on the competing cannabis bills as early as this week.

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