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U.S. Senate Panel Approves Cannabis Accessibility Amendment For Military Veterans

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Today in cannabis news: Cannabis activists in the state of Arkansas push for a ballot measure to legalize cannabis in 2022; U.S. senators in a prominent panel approve an amendment to broaden medical cannabis accessibility for military veterans; and a recent survey indicates that four of every five Canadians supports legalization of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes.

It’s Friday, August 6 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: Recreational cannabis legalization may be on the state ballot in Arkansas in 2022, as activists work to gather sufficient signatures for the proposal.

Arkansas True Grass is calling for a controlled retail system for adults 21 years or older, letting them buy a maximum of four ounces of cannabis and cultivate a maximum of 12 plants for private consumption. There would be no restriction on possession if hidden from public view.

The operation would be overseen by officials from the state Agriculture Department and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division, who would also be in charge of giving cannabis company permits.

The proposal calls for expungements for everyone who has previously been convicted with cannabis charges, as well as the releasing of everyone who has been jailed for offenses that will be legalized under the legislation. Recreational cannabis items would be subjected to a 6.5% sales tax, an 8% excise tax, and a 5% local tax. The state government would be in charge of allocating tax revenue, but they would have to prioritize funding the system’s implementation needs.

Next up: This week, a prominent U.S. Senate panel passed an amendment aimed at improving military veterans’ accessibility to medical cannabis by enabling Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to provide cannabis referrals in areas where it is legalized.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sponsored the amendment, which cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee with a voice vote. It would also bar the VA to interfere with or refuse treatment to veterans who enroll in a state-authorized medical cannabis system.

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed measures allowing VA physicians to offer medicinal cannabis referrals to their patients numerous times, but it has never become law. Some legislators are concerned that, even if the VA funding measure is included, government doctors could face disciplinary consequences from the Justice Department if they completed cannabis files while the plant is still illegal under federal statute.

Last up: As per a recent survey, four out of five Canadians back psilocybin-based treatments for those with terminal illnesses and believe the government must create a legislative structure to authorize it.

The poll was conducted by the Canadian Psychedelic Association (CPA), which claims it would reinforce legislation suggestions it has produced for politicians.

Of the respondents, 82% favor medicinal utilization of psilocybin for terminally ill patients, and 78% back the government developing a regulatory framework to enable such therapy.

Psychedelics should be made accessible for eligible patients within Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) regulations, according to another 64% of respondents.

The next stage, according to the CPA, will be to present its Memorandum of Regulatory Approval (MORA) to Parliament. Previous meetings with politicians indicate that the campaign to authorize psilocybin-based therapies for select individuals has bipartisan support.

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