A good Reason to reschedule

How Libertarians are thinking about Schedule III

Good morning. 

Close your eyes and imagine a day where you can order cannabis through your favorite food delivery app. Say, Uber Eats. Well, Uber is actively imagining that right now, too. Federal lobbyist filings show that Uber is actively lobbying the US federal government on issues that the cannabis industry cares a lot about – like SAFE/R Banking. 

A 6.5-minute read from JB and JR

💡What’s the big deal?

Libertarian insight into Rescheduling

Driving the news: It isn’t just cannabis nerds (like you!) that are following every nook and cranny of the possible rescheduling of cannabis. It turns out the Reason Foundation is also taking a deep dive and have put together a research paper on the topic.

The Reason: In their own words, “The Reason Foundation advances a free society by developing, applying, and promoting libertarian principles, including individual liberty, free markets, and the rule of law.” 

So, in addition to this research paper on what rescheduling would mean for the industry, for government, and for society, you can also buy a t-shirt featuring Ayn Rand from the 1973 cover of Reason Magazine.

The good: Reason’s thoughts about the short and long-term implications of rescheduling include the industry and research community being able to operate more freely, reduction in federal penalties for cannabis-related crimes, and an easing of banking and finance regulations for the sector.  

The bad: Reason also notes that there will be potential downsides to rescheduling, like a failure to address the ills of the failed War on Drugs.

Importantly, one of the key call-outs from the Reason Foundation is that rescheduling may “stimulate regulatory interest in the medical cannabis market, possibly subjecting cannabis to greater oversight from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

Our take: Libertarians have long been advocates for reforming drug policies. And cannabis is no different.

In fact, the Editorial team at Cultivated just went down a deep rabbit hole exploring more from the Reason Foundation on Drug Policy. If you have some time, have a look

Our editor-in-chief Jeremy Berke has also written widely on the consequences, and lack thereof, of the proposed Schedule III change. Read that here

📈 Deal or no deal

Cultivation management platform Neatleaf landed a $4 million funding round, led by Agfunder, a venture fund that invests in food and agricultural businesses. 

Cannabis tech startup LeafLink is partnering with the New York Cannabis Retail Association to lower costs for dispensaries that want to use LeafLink’s platform across the state. 

Seth Rogen’s cannabis accessories company, Houseplant, is partnering with OCB, a rolling paper company, to launch a line of Houseplant-branded papers.

New York regulators set to vote on Empire State home grow rules

Driving the news: Like everything else in New York’s adult-use cannabis roll out, the rules governing growing cannabis at home have been slow in their development. But, that may change this week, according to Marijuana Moment, with an Office of Cannabis Management meeting scheduled for this week. 

Here we grow: The rules are straightforward but could be difficult to enforce. 

Some highlights: folks over 21 can grow three mature and three immature plants - with no more than six mature and six immature plants in one residence. If you grow at home, you can have up to five pounds of trimmed cannabis that you grow, or the equivalent if converted to concentrates. 

What’s next?: The OCM will vote on these rules at this week’s meeting, just in time to plan your 2024 seasonal home grow.

Adding flower up for discussion in the Hawkeye State

What’s happening: Iowa has a relatively small, restrictive medical cannabis program. 

One of the unique aspects of the program is that there is no flower allowed. Meaning that only extracts (oils, topicals, etc.) are available to the 18,000 or so Iowa medical cannabis patients.

And…: There is a move afoot to add flower to the offerings for patients in Iowa, both because extracts are more expensive to produce and because that’s what patients want and need through the program.

But…: Some Iowa lawmakers and regulators think flower is a dangerous and bad idea. Concerns range from an increase in impaired driving if flower is added to the program, to how to fund an increase in police costs.

Some context: The notion that medical cannabis programs can exist without flower available and be successful in having patients access their medicine is… outdated.

Minnesota tried to have a non-flower medical cannabis program. But when they added flower to the mix, the patient numbers skyrocketed from about 20,000 to about 100,000 patients, according to Iowa’s General Counsel with the Iowa Department of Public Service.

Iowa also isn’t alone. Last week, Wisconsin Republicans proposed a medical cannabis program that doesn’t include flower

Our take: A medical cannabis program without flower is a good way to make sure the illicit market thrives. Patients looking for pain relief or other benefits of medical cannabis are often seeking flower products. If the medical cannabis program in a given jurisdiction doesn’t offer those products, patients will find cannabis elsewhere.

🎒 What we’re reading

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