On Thursday, The United States House of Representatives reintroduced a critical cannabis banking bill. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Warren Davidson (R-OH) brought the SAFE banking act back to the House along with the support of over 100 additional cosponsors. The bill, which is expected to effortlessly advance, previously passed the house in 2019 and 2020 but was squashed by the Republican-controlled senate. However, now that Democrats control both the White House and Senate, the bill has a real chance of passing.
What Is The SAFE Banking Act?
The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act would allow legitimate cannabis businesses acting within the confines of the law access to the same banking services as other companies.
Currently, despite the industry generating millions of dollars in tax revenue, cannabis entrepreneurs are seen more like criminals in the in the eyes of major financial institutions. Not only are cannabis operations effectively barred from traditional lending, but it’s also nearly impossible for these businesses to legally open a bank account. As a result, dispensaries and other cannabis businesses are obligated to deal primarily in cash-only transactions, making them prime targets for criminals. According to Representative Perlmutter,
“Thousands of employees and businesses across this country have been forced to deal in piles of cash for far too long. It is the responsibility of Congress to step up and take action to align federal and state laws for the safety of our constituents and communities.”
The bill remains largely the same as it was in 2019 and 2020, but with added language that explicitly includes hemp and CBD businesses as well as additional clarification on safe harbor laws and cannabis insurance.
The SAFE Banking Act’s Path Forward
In 2019, The SAFE Banking Act was introduced as a stand-alone bill. Despite overwhelmingly passing the House, it would never see the Senate floor. A year later, House Democrats attempted to embed the bill in part of their larger Coronavirus relief package, pointing out the inherent dangers of operating an “essential business” in a cash-only capacity during the height of a catastrophic pandemic. After considerable criticism from Republicans, the House eventually dropped the SAFE Banking Act from the relief bill’s final draft. Perlmutter harkened back to this subject in his Thursday address, saying,
“In many states, the industry was deemed essential yet forced to continue to operate in all cash, adding a significant public health risk for businesses and their workers. As we begin our economic recovery, allowing cannabis businesses to access the banking system would also mean an influx of cash into the economy and the opportunity to create good-paying jobs.”
The Senate is expected to introduce its own version of the bill this week. For the last two years, this is where the SAFE Banking Act has predominantly run into challenges. However, this time around, the Senate has a more favorable makeup—split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris acting as the tiebreaker. Perlmutter remains optimistic the bill will make it all the way to President Biden’s desk. He said,
“I think this is going to get a full legislative review, and we’re going to get a good product, a good piece of legislation, and send it to the White House.”
TSA (Transportation Security Administration) now allows CBD (Cannabidiol) in airports and on flights. TSA clarifies that the CBD products must be hemp-derived “under the Agriculture Improvement Act 2018.” They recently updated a section of their website “What Can I Bring?” regarding medical marijuana shown below.
Possession of cannabis and “certain cannabis infused products” are still prohibited, but the wording opens up the possibility of some cannabis infused products being allowed. TSA has made it clear several times that their security officers are not searching for illegal drugs, including marijuana, when screening luggage. This tweet from February illustrates that, though their policy on hemp-derived CBD oil has changed.
The Cannabidiol (CBD) industry is so hot right now that everybody from Martha Stewart to Montel Williams is trying to get in on a piece of the action. Now the creator of the original Jelly Belly jelly bean can be added to the list of CBD industry hopefuls.
Candy maker David Klein, the self proclaimed Candyman, created the Rolls-Royce of jelly beans in 1976, and now that CBD is no longer restricted in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act, he had the idea to combine the two to make a come back.
Klein sold his rights to the Jelly Belly name in 1980 in exchange for less than $2.5 million, which he received in the form of $10,000 per month for 20 years. This means that he is not able to label his new CBD-infused-beans with the Jelly Belly name. Instead, Klein’s new jelly beans are branded under the name Spectrum Confections.
“Everything I’ve done in my life was to get me to this point, and I truly believe I’m supposed to help people with my CBD jelly beans,” said Klein.
According to the Spectrum Confections website, they are currently sold out of pre-made product, but wholesale orders will still be accepted. Wholesale orders can be white labeled for self-branded packaging.
CBD Not Included
Spectrum Confections only manufacturers wholesale orders at this time, and unlike many other CBD candy distributors, they do not supply the CBD. Anyone interested in ordering the CBD infused jelly beans must first ship CBD oil or isolate to Spectrum Confections along with certified lab-test results displaying exactly how much CBD and THC is in the product.
Klein then uses the CBD that has been provided by the purchaser to infused his jelly beans. CBD isolate is preferred over the oil, according to Klein, and CBD containing more than 0.30 percent THC will be returned to the purchaser. They will only manufacture products that are legal in the United States, and anything containing more than 0.3 percent THC remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act.
Original, Sugar Free, and Sour
There are three different types of Spectrum Confections Jelly Beans available in 38 different flavors according to the website: Original Jelly Beans, Sugar Free Jelly Beans, and Sour Jelly beans. One of the sour flavors is called “Sour Cherry Goosebumps.”
In order to “mask the CBD flavor,” the original and sour varieties are mixed with dextrose and malitol is used for the sugar free ones. According to Klein, CBD doesn’t taste great, so it is important to mask the taste of it.
10 Milligrams Each
The recipe used to make Spectrum Confections CBD Jelly Beans produces 10 mg of CBD in each bean. Purchasers are instructed to eat one if they want to consume 10 mg of CBD, eat two if they want to ingest 20 mg, and so on. Compared to many other products, that is delivering a solid dose of CBD in a tiny package. Many other candies containing 10 mg of CBD are eight times the size or more of a jelly bean.
Two pounds of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans go for about $10.50 on Amazon, but the price of the Spectrum Confections Jelly Beans remain a mystery until you contact the company to place an order.
The Come Back…Again
This is not the first come back that the Candyman has attempted in recent years. Klein turned to Kickstarter in 2016 to crowd source funding for his new Coffee House Original Jelly Beans which were infused with caffeine and came in flavors like Chai Tea. He successfully raised $13,650 from 232 contributors.
Klein is also currently working on a creation he calls Polar Corn, a popcorn treat that you “freeze and eat.”
Cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive cannabinoid praised for medicinal powers like reducing the severity and frequency of seizures in children suffering from rare and otherwise untreatable forms of epilepsy, may not be the most medically beneficial molecule found in cannabis, according to new data.
The U.S. government and people who are uncomfortable with the high that is produced by the main psychoactive cannabinoid occurring in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), have accepted CBD with open arms in recent years by adding it to coffee, skincare regimens, and personal lubricant. Meanwhile, THC remains federally illegal under the Controlled Substance Act.
A new study published in the journal Scientific Reports on February 25, 2019, compared data submitted to the Releaf App between June 6, 2016, and March 5, 2018. During that time, 3,341 users of the app reported results from 19,910 different cannabis-use experiences.
This data study is the first to measure how different characteristics of cannabis produce different effects in users.
During the reporting process from the app, users record details like what type of product they are using, what the reported cannabinoid content is, and which method of delivery is being utilized per experience.
The different types of cannabis products reported include:
The different methods of delivery include:
Smoking or combusting
The Releaf App was designed with new medical patients and cannabis users in mind, aiming to help them understand what works best to treat their specific symptoms or condition by tracking how different strains and methods of delivery affect them. The app also records the lab-reported level of each cannabinoid, like THC and CBD, that is in each product. Adverse side effects, like dry mouth and paranoia, are also reported by users.
Users record how they feel before consumption and then again immediately following administration to understand which method provides the most relief.
CBD VS. THC
While the levels of CBD in a product did not correlate with the symptom relief that was reported, the products with higher levels of THC were strongly linked to symptom relief, according to the Releaf App data.
Dried flower was the most commonly used product during the period of time studied. Dried flower with higher levels of THC was the only product reported to provide the greatest overall symptom relief.
Unlike the relief related to levels of THC, higher CBD content did not correlate with symptom relief, according to the data.
While cannabinoids can still be medicinally beneficial when only one is administered at a time, those aware of the entourage effect understand that cannabinoids work most effectively in conjunction with one another.
This data is a prime example of why cannabis should be removed from the Controlled Substances Act so that scientists can finally have access to the plant for research and studies.
The queen of entertaining and retail, Martha Stewart, has her eye on a new realm to rule: the hemp-derived CBD industry. Partnering with Ontario-based Canopy Growth, Stewart’s name will be behind a new line of hemp CBD products designed for humans and animals.
“I am delighted to establish this partnership with Canopy Growth and share with them the knowledge I have gained after years of experience in the subject of living,” Stewart said in a statement. “I’m especially looking forward to our first collaboration together, which will offer sensible products for people’s beloved pets.”
Canopy Growth, the largest cannabis producer in Canada, is expected to benefit greatly from the lifestyle and merchandising expertise of an advisor like Stewart who has been a well-known and trusted name in households throughout the United States since the 1990s.
Just having Stewart on the team will increase the consumer’s trust and acceptance of Canopy’s CBD products when they become available.
“As soon as you hear the name Martha, you know exactly who we’re talking about,” said Canopy Growth’s chairman and co-CEO Bruce Linton. “Martha is one of a kind and I am so excited to be able to work alongside this icon to sharpen our CBD product offerings across categories from human to animal.”
The homemaking guru’s name is already behind a variety of products including shoes, cookware, wine, premium meats, and books, and she is not shy about her use of cannabis. “Of course I know how to roll a joint,” Stewart proclaimed in 2013, sparking an internet frenzy.
Entering the hemp-derived CBD industry is the natural next step for a successful businesswoman like Stewart. The line of Stewart-advised CBD products for pets is expected to be released first, and then the one for humans will follow.
This is not the first time Canopy Growth has recruited a celebrity collaborator. Snoop Dogg partnered with Tweed, a Canadian subsidiary of Canopy Growth, in February of 2016.