Pennsylvania Poised to Become National Leader in Psychedelics Research

Pennsylvania is set to become a national, and possibly global, leader in psilocybin research, thanks to a new bill that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The bill passed a Health Committee vote in Harrisburg and is on its way for votes in the house and senate.  

Titled the Public Health Benefits of Psilocybin Act, the purpose of this legislation is to lay the foundation for researchers within the state of Pennsylvania to begin clinical trials on psilocybin, the predominant psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, as well as other natural psychedelics in the future. As it currently stands, with psilocybin categorized as a Schedule 1 narcotic on the DEA’s list of controlled substances, anyone trying to do any worthwhile research on the psychedelics has been massively hindered by a seemingly endless list of cumbersome and overbearing regulations.   

Just like cannabis, psychedelics are beginning to take hold in the Western World. Not only are they being used recreationally at much higher rates, but the world is becoming familiar with their many benefits, especially in the field of mental health. For more articles like this one, make sure to subscribe to our Psychedelics Weekly Newsletteryour top source for everything related to this growing industry. 

What are psychedelics? 

Psychedelic drugs, are a subset of hallucinogens which contain compounds that can alter mood and perception. They are also referred to as entheogens, a Greek term that can be roughly translated to mean “building the God within”. The active compounds in psychedelic drugs can be found in nature, like psilocybin or mescaline, but they can also be man made, like LSD or Ketamine. 

The high experienced when taking these types of drugs is known as a ‘trip’, and can include visual, auditory, and sensory hallucinations. The intensity of a trip will vary dramatically based on the specific compound, dose consumed, and tolerance of the user. Sometimes, a person will experience no hallucinations at all, but rather a sense of general well-being, spiritual connectivity, and euphoria.    

If you’ve ever heard someone mention a ‘bad trip’, this means the person had some type of negative side effects, or maybe even frightening hallucinations. Physical symptoms of a bad trip can include but are not limited to irregular heartbeat, nausea, chills, sweating, and anxiety. Bad trips, due to their negative nature, can seem more intense than good trips but this is not always the case. 

Dosing and setting, among many other factors, can significantly impact a psychedelic trip, so you want to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to ensure that your high is uplifting and eye-opening, not scary and traumatizing.  

Surrounding yourself with familiar people that make you feel comfortable, go low and slow with dosing, and picking a location that you know you’re safe in – these are all steps you can take to foster a good trip. Many present-day, medical (not recreational) users of psychedelics consume the drugs in micro-doses to avoid the risk of bad trips and other negative side effects altogether.  

More about the bill 

The Public Health Benefits of Psilocybin Act is primarily sponsored by Tracy Pennycuick, an Army veteran and Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving her first term, along with 20 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill, which has does not come with any funding, would place the state’s Department of Health in charge of clinical trials and other research efforts, starting with studying how psilocybin could help treat PTSD in military veterans.  

“I have PTSD, so it interests me,” Pennycuick said. “Not every treatment works for every veteran. So, you have to be always leaning forward into treatment.” 

What’s unique about this bill compared to other psychedelic research initiatives is that this one authorizes at least two state-licensed growers to cultivate psychoactive mushrooms to use in the clinical trials. Most research, like that conducted at Johns Hopkins University, is done using a synthetic form of psilocybin.  

This distinction is important because we will have legitimate, clinical information about how the varying naturally occurring compounds work together in the human body and how different mushroom/truffle strains could be used to treat different conditions. The entourage effect of psychedelic fungi.  

Another adamant supporter of this bill is Brett Waters, a Pennsylvania-native currently practicing as an attorney in New York. “It’s very clear at this point that current treatment that we offer people is not effective,” says Waters. “It has limited efficacy for some people and no efficacy for many people. We need to do better.”  

Waters is also the founder of Reason for Hope, a nonprofit organization that advocates for psychedelic-assisted therapy. Waters, who grew up in Merion, lost both his mother and grandfather to suicide. His organization is also working with politicians in New York, North Carolina, and Florida to push for more progressive legislation regarding psychedelic research.  

Another supporter and industry expert, Mason Marks, a professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce School of Law and head of the Project on Psychedelics Law and Regulation at Harvard’s Petrie-Flom Center, feels this bill should be a top priority in the minds of lawmakers.  

“For two decades we’ve seen rising rates of suicide, rising rates of drug overdose deaths, and so there is a certain amount of urgency on this issue, so I think increasing access is really important,” he stated.  

The race to legalize and study mushrooms 

If you’ve been following industry news lately, you’ve probably noticed that numerous cities/states are updating their psilocybin regulations. For the most part different regions are decriminalizing their possession. This has happened in several large cities across the US including Detroit, Seattle, Oakland, and Denver.  

However, a handful of states are approaching these new policies from the paradigm of research and medicine. On November 3rd, 2020, Oregon passed Measure 109, making it the first US state to legalize the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy, and lawmakers are currently working on developing the necessary regulatory framework.  

Early last year, Florida House Representative Michael Grieco introduced a bill that would legalize psilocybin medicinally for people with mental disorders, to be microdosed in licensed clinics. Late last summer, Texas passed House Bill 1802 calling for the state’s Health and Human Services Commission to do a human clinical trial on mental health disorders and psilocybin treatments, using a synthetic version of the compound.  

Where Pennsylvania differs, aside from the fact their programs aim to use natural psilocybin, is that this bill will be focused on university studies, clinical trials from medical research institutions, and hospital research and data.  

Even more research 

Last month, the National Institute of Health awarded nearly $4 million to Johns Hopkins researcher Matthew Johnson, who is looking into the benefits of pairing psilocybin-assisted therapy with traditional talk therapy. Given the introspective and sentient nature of psychedelics, microdosing with shrooms before a therapy session could definitely help one be more honest, open, and transparent. 

Recently, a publicly traded British firm known as Compass Pathways, released the results on their larger-scale psilocybin trial completed late last year. Researchers examined 233 patients who were given different doses of synthetic psilocybin, and they found that a one-time, 25-milligram dose was able to substantially reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression for up to three weeks.  

“The trial is encouraging being a larger sample of patients with a control group than earlier [treatment resistant depression] studies and having a significant effect for a clinical need,” said William R. Smith, a fourth-year psychiatry resident at Penn Medicine. “Treatment-resistant depression is a major challenge for contemporary psychiatry, we need more options.” 

Further research has found the psilocybin can even help regenerate brain cells. Yale researchers released this study: Psilocybin induces rapid and persistent growth of dendritic spines in frontal cortex in vivo. The research was conducted using synthetic psilocybin on mice, and it was was published in the journal Neuron in July, 2021.  

At this point, even the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) published a statement saying they need more cannabis and psilocybin produced for research purposed, and they want it as soon as the middle of this year. 

Final thoughts 

The Pennsylvania bill is expected to pass, but even if it does not, it shows how far public opinion on this subject has progressed. It’s a sign that curiosity about psychedelics is flourishing in the US and around the rest of the world. Despite what federal regulations might say, when you talk to people, you see that there is a general acceptance of these compounds, especially naturally occurring ones like psilocybin, mescaline, or DMT. Keep a close eye on Pennsylvania in these coming weeks, and check back here for updates on this important bill.  

Hello readers! Thanks for joining us at, the #1 internet location for the most recent and interesting cannabis and psychedelics-related news from around the globe. Visit the site everyday to stay abreast of the quickly-moving landscape of legal drugs and industrial hemp, and sign up for The Psychedelics Weekly Newsletterto ensure you always know what’s going on.

Disclaimer: Hi, I’m a researcher and writer. I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. All information in my articles is sourced and referenced, and all opinions stated are mine. I am not giving anyone advice, and though I am more than happy to discuss topics, should someone have a further question or concern, they should seek guidance from a relevant professional.

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Cannabis Testing Prohibited for Most Philadelphia Job Applicants Starting 2022

When the calendar flips to 2022 in a few days, most job applicants in Philadelphia will no longer have to sweat out a drug test for cannabis.

As of January 1, the city will prohibit most employers from conducting a cannabis drug test for new hires. The new ordinance, passed easily by the Philadelphia city council earlier this year, will be “the first of its kind in Pennsylvania,” according to local television station KDKA.

Recreational pot is still illegal in the state, but medical cannabis is not. The latter was the impetus for Philadelphia City Councilmember Derek Green to author the ordinance, telling KDKA that his chief focus was on medicinal cannabis.

“Cannabis is a unique product. Unlike alcohol and others, it metabolizes in your system a lot differently,” Green said, as quoted by the television station. “We’re having this conversation across the commonwealth and in the general assembly about whether we allow adult-use cannabis. But for me, those who really need medical marijuana, especially to improve their quality of life, shouldn’t be restricted from getting a job because that’s what we all want to see.”

There are a number of exemptions for the new ordinance, “including law enforcement, employees who need a commercial driver’s license, many health-care workers, and a broad category that includes ‘any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public,’” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

The city council approved the ordinance in April by a 15-1 vote, with the lone vote against coming from David Oh, a Republican.

The legislation was signed into law by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney shortly thereafter.

While Philadelphia may be the first city in the Keystone State to enact such a measure, it has been done elsewhere—including in nearby New York City, which had its own ban on pre-employment cannabis drug testing go into effect last year.

Lawmakers in Nevada, where recreational pot is legal for adults, implemented its own ban last year, and earlier this year, not long after it ended prohibition on pot, New York made the ban statewide.

Much like in Philadelphia, New York City’s ban on pre-employment marijuana drug testing came before recreational pot was made legal.

The measure passed the New York City council in 201 after it was brought by Jumaane Williams, the city’s public advocate and a candidate for governor of New York.

“Marijuana testing isn’t a deterrent to using the drug, it’s an impediment to opportunity dating back to the Reagan area—one that disadvantages low-income workers, often workers of more color, many of whom we now call essential but treat as expendable.” Williams said after the ordinance took effect last year. 

“Particularly now, as we are grappling with how to recover from the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the worst levels of unemployment in a century, we need to be creating more access points for employment, not less—and if prospective employers aren’t testing for past alcohol usage, marijuana should be no different. This is an economic recovery issue, a worker justice issue, and one that New York City must lead the way on.”

Green, the Philadelphia city councilmember, said that it didn’t make sense for employers to screen for something that is often recommended by doctors in the state.

“We’re using pre-employment testing for a product that is being recommended by physicians, for individuals within the city of Philadelphia, that’s authorized for them to be used,” Green said after it was approved in April, as quoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer. “That seems very contradictory.”

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Pennsylvania Bill Receives Bipartisan Support for Patients to Grow Medical Cannabis

A pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers—one a Democrat, the other a Republican—joined forces this week to put their support behind a bill that would permit medical cannabis patients in the state to cultivate their own cannabis plants at home.

State Sens. Sharif Street, a Democrat, and Dan Laughlin, a Republican, said Wednesday that they will introduce legislation “in the near future”  to allow patients “to grow a limited number of cannabis plants from their home for personal use.”

The two legislators said that since the state’s medical marijuana law was established by a bill passed in 2016, the program “has offered lifesaving medicine to communities across the Commonwealth.”

“However, there are still inefficiencies around MMJ that are well known, especially as it relates to cost and access,” Street and Laughlin wrote in a memo circulated to other legislators in order to draw more cosponsors for the bill. “This year’s quarterly Pennsylvania MMJ Advisory board meeting revealed significant disparities in accessibility. The PA Department of Health indicated that patients in some counties must travel more than two hours in order to reach a dispensary. This is simply not feasible for many Pennsylvanians. In addition, patients have also been vocal on the fiscal challenges around the rising costs of medicine and affordability.”

In a statement announcing his support for the bill on Wednesday, Laughlin’s office cited the Marijuana Policy Project in saying that “15 of the 19 states that have legalized adult-use cannabis and about half of the medical cannabis states allow for personal cultivation.”

“In the states that have reasonable safeguards—such as limiting the number of plants per household and requiring plants to be secure and out of the public view—home cultivation of cannabis simply hasn’t been a problem,” Laughlin’s statement said. “No state has repealed home cultivation, and there has never been a serious push to do so.”

Laughlin, who said earlier this year that he is mulling a gubernatorial run in 2022, said that it “is critical that policy meet people where they are, and by allowing medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis plants at home, we can help ease the cost and accessibility burdens for this important medicine.”

“This legislation would go a long way towards helping everyday Pennsylvanians meet their health needs and ensuring everyone is treated equitably and fairly under [the state’s medical marijuana law,” Laughlin said.

For Street, who represents parts of Philadelphia, marijuana advocacy is nothing new. (His Twitter bio contains a call to “legalize cannabis.”) 

Last month, he and Laughlin introduced a bill, SB 473, to legalize recreational pot for adults.

In announcing the bill, Street called legalization “an issue whose time has come,” and described prohibition as “an expensive failure of public policy which has criminalized patients, personal freedoms and impacted generations in a failed war on drugs that continues to burden taxpayers with growing costs to our criminal justice system.” 

“This bill makes both moral and fiscal sense and prioritizes the people of Pennsylvania,” Street said in a statement at the time.

“After almost a year of working with Senator Street, advocacy groups and constituents we have introduced SB 473, which we believe is the best option to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania,” Laughlin said in his own statement last month. “Through bi-partisan support, Senator Street and I believe that we have found a way to get this important legislation to the finish line. With most of the surrounding states passing legalization bills, it’s time to act now before we lose revenue due to border bleed. While the increase in revenue could raise around a billion dollars a year, the most important thing to me is that the industry will create thousands of family sustaining jobs that we so desperately need.”

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Philadelphia Votes in Favor of Cannabis Decriminalization Measure

A ballot measure calling on state leaders to decriminalize marijuana in Pennsylvania enjoyed strong support from Philadelphia’s voters on Tuesday, receiving more than 72 percent of ballots cast in a citywide election. 

Philadelphia’s Question 1 amends the Philadelphia Home Charter to call on the governor and the Pennsylvania General Assembly “to pass legislation that would decriminalize, regulate and tax the use and sale to adults aged 21 years or older, of cannabis for non-medical purposes.” The measure does not by itself change state law or substantially impact the residents of Philadelphia, which effectively decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis seven years ago.

A ‘Loud Message’ for State Lawmakers

As of early Wednesday afternoon local time, Question 1 had received more than 129,000 votes, or 72.73 percent of ballots cast, with more than 96 percent of precincts reporting results. 

Pennsylvania Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who is currently running for U.S. Senate, and has been an outspoken proponent of cannabis policy reform, visited all of the state’s 67 counties in 2019 to hold town hall meetings exploring issues surrounding the legalization of adult-use cannabis. He believes that it is time for state lawmakers to heed the continuing calls for marijuana legalization, including those expressed by Philadelphia’s voters in this week’s election.

“Philly sent a loud and clear message for legal weed, and so has Pennsylvania,” Fetterman wrote in a text message. “It dovetails perfectly with the first Republican sponsored bill to legalize weed in PA history,” referring to a bipartisan proposal from Democratic Senator Sharif Street of Philadelphia and Republican Senator Dan Laughlin of Erie. 

“To borrow their phrase, ‘it’s inevitable,’” Fetterman added.

Possession Decriminalized in Philly in 2014

Pennsylvania lawmakers legalized the use and sale of medical marijuana in 2016, but recreational cannabis remains illegal in the state. Under a pot decriminalization measure passed in Philadelphia in 2014, those possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis are subject only to fines rather than facing criminal charges. 

Philadelphia resident Damian Jorden, the CEO of Phynally, a national employment search engine that features jobs that do not require drug tests for marijuana, says that it is great to see his native city taking steps to decriminalize cannabis.

“Marijuana criminalization and the stigmas behind it have marginalized so many people for such a long time,” Jordan wrote in an email. “It’s clear Philly and its leaders want change and I believe the people do too. Cannabis is the future and with the passing of time, I believe history will reflect that we are headed in the right direction.”

Two Adult-Use Bills Pending

In addition to the adult-use cannabis bill cosponsored by Street and Laughlin, another measure from Democratic state Representatives Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel, House Bill 2050, would also remove the prohibitions on recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania. Both proposals, however, have so far failed to advance in the state legislature. Brian Vicente, founding partner of national cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP, believes that the approval of Question 1 puts additional pressure on state lawmakers to make progress on marijuana policy reform.

“The vote in Philadelphia reflects the growing sentiment across Pennsylvania and around the nation that it is time to end the failed policy of cannabis prohibition and establish a regulated market for adult consumers,” Vicente said. “It should lend to the momentum that has been building in the Legislature, where support is growing among Republicans as well as Democrats.”

The approval of Question 1, while overwhelming, came on light voter turnout in this week’s off-year election. Patrick Christmas, policy director for the nonprofit city government watchdog group Committee of Seventy, told Axios Philadelphia that Tuesday was “one of the most quiet elections we’ve had in a long time.”

“The main driver of turnout anywhere is going to be a competitive election,” Christmas added, “and we did not have that in the city of Philadelphia today.”

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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Unveil Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Bill

Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday that would legalize recreational cannabis for adults and create a regulated market for adult-use marijuana. The legislation from Democratic state Reps. Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel, House Bill 2050, also includes social equity provisions to encourage participation in the legal cannabis industry by members of communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs.

“I’m once again championing the effort to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania. We’ve heard from residents across the state, and the overwhelming majority agree it’s time to pass this initiative,” Wheatley said in a joint statement on Tuesday. “Not only would it create jobs and generate much-needed revenue, but it contains important social justice provisions that would eliminate the aggressive enforcement of simple marijuana possession laws in marginalized communities.”

House Bill 2050, which shares the designator of a 2020 cannabis legalization bill that failed to gain the support of the GOP-led legislature, would decriminalize, regulate and tax adult-use, recreational marijuana, making it legal for purchase for those 21 and older. The legislation would also establish multiple grant programs funded by cannabis tax revenue that would benefit small, minority and women-owned businesses in Pennsylvania. Frankel said such measures were necessary to address the harm caused by decades of cannabis prohibition.

“Failed cannabis policies of the past have resulted in the worst of all possible worlds: insufficient protection of the public health, aggressive enforcement that disproportionately harms communities of color and zero revenue for this commonwealth,” said Frankel, who serves as the Democratic chair of the House Health Committee. “With this legislation, Pennsylvania can begin to repair the historical harms and reap the benefits of a fact-based approach to regulating the cultivation, commerce and use of cannabis for adults over 21 years old.”

The legislation would also establish a regulatory process for cannabis growers, processors, and retailers and levy a 10 percent tax on wholesale transactions. License fees for cannabis businesses will be based on gross revenue, with larger companies paying higher fees. Consumers will pay a retail tax of six percent for the first two years, increasing to 12 percent and then 19 percent over the following two years.

Democratic Leaders Signal Support for Legalization

House Bill 2050 is already gaining the support of Pennsylvania Democratic leaders including the state’s lieutenant governor and attorney general, who called for the records of those with past marijuana convictions to be cleared through “Cannabis Clean Slate” provisions of the bill.

“NY has legalized marijuana. NJ has legalized marijuana. It’s time for PA to join our neighbors, and legalize marijuana,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro tweeted on Tuesday morning. “But let me be clear: We must simultaneously expunge the records of those serving time for nonviolent marijuana convictions—and that is non-negotiable.”

In February, Pennsylvania Democratic state Senator Sharif Street of Philadelphia and Senator Dan Laughlin, a Republican from Erie, announced that they would be sponsoring bipartisan legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. However, they have yet to actually introduce a bill in the legislature. 

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, who for years has been a vocal supporter of cannabis reform and is now running to represent the Keystone State in the U.S. Senate, says that it is time for more Republican lawmakers to support cannabis legalization.

“Pennsylvania wants this; Pennsylvania needs this, for any number of reasons. I always tell people that the key takeaway is that prohibition is so much more work than just admitting that you’ve evolved on marijuana,” Fetterman said in a telephone interview with High Times. “And let’s just make this legal in a bipartisan way, because a majority of their constituents want this, too.”

“I love to see any time another bill comes up,” he added, referring to House Bill 2050. “Right now, we still have one Republican sponsor in the Senate, and it all comes down to when the Republicans acknowledge that the time for legal weed in Pennsylvania is right.”

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Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Patients Could Be Protected Against DUIs

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania are considering legislation that would aim to protect medical cannabis patients in the state from DUI penalties.

On Tuesday, a pair of state House representatives, Democrat Chris Rabb and Republican Todd Polinchock, announced that they had introduced a bill that would “ensure the rights of the more than 500,000 medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania, protecting them from DUI penalties.”

“I believe that people with a medical need for cannabis, who have acted courageously to seek help for their medical condition and have been granted use of medical cannabis, should be protected from DUI penalties for their legal medical cannabis use,” said Rabb, who represents a district in Philadelphia. “I know I’m not the only lawmaker in the General Assembly who has been contacted by constituents concerned that their responsible use of medical cannabis may expose them to targeting by law enforcement when they drive.”

In a press release, Rabb noted that THC often remains in an individual’s system for weeks after use, potentially complicating the enforcement of impaired driving laws when a legal cannabis consumer is behind the wheel.

“A medical cannabis user can take a miniscule amount of medicine for their ailment and weeks later, with traces of cannabis still in their system, be subject to arrest on a DUI charge if pulled over—not because they’ve driven impaired, but because our state laws haven’t caught up with the science,” Rabb said. 

“And, if you think you don’t know someone who falls into this category—a person who has been prescribed medical cannabis and who drives and is fearful of the potential DUI charge they could face—you’re wrong. I am a card-carrying medical cannabis patient, and I drive regularly, including in and around Philadelphia and to Harrisburg conducting the people’s business.” 

The legislation would “not extend to any illegal cannabis use,” and would only apply to “approved patients with a noncommercial driver’s license who use medicinal cannabis legally and are not impaired.”

Polinchock said it would simply place “medical cannabis on the same level as other prescription pain relievers.”

“It helps many Pennsylvanians, including many of our seniors. It’s time to remove the stigma and treat this drug as we do others,” he said.

For Rabb, the bill is personal, noting that he, too, is a medical cannabis user.

“Anyone, like me, who regularly uses cannabis for symptom relief, will always be breaking the law when we get behind the wheel given that traces of THC can remain in our system for up to a month,” Rabb said. “As the law is written today, I could go to jail for six months for driving four weeks after swallowing a few drops of cannabis tincture sold at a dispensary licensed by the very same government that cashes in on tax revenue from the sale of medical cannabis. That’s perverse. And it’s also easily corrected. Our legislation will set things right.”

On the other side of Pennsylvania’s general assembly, a separate bill aims to remedy the same problem.

State Senator Camera Bartolotta, a Republican, has her own bill that would “change that by requiring proof of impairment for someone to be charged with and convicted of DUI, not just a THC level,” local television station WFMZ reported.

At a hearing on Tuesday, a medical cannabis patient named Jesse Roedts testified in support of Bartolotta’s legislation, recounting a time that he was charged with DUI despite being a medical marijuana patient and showing no signs of impairment.

“When the medical cannabis laws were passed in Pennsylvania, a critical detail was missed,” said Roedts, as quoted by WFMZ. “That detail was DUI reform for legal card holders. The state legalized medical cannabis and then turned hundreds of thousands of patients into potential criminals.”

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Black Cannabis Week Supports and Elevates Black Entrepreneurs

Black Cannabis Week is returning for the second year in a row between September 19-26, 2021. The goal of the event is to provide a variety of educational seminars and services for people of color, and push for improved social equity in the industry. 

“We have long been an integral part of the cannabis industry from labor to creators. These roles have garnered little to no attention or regard,” the Black Cannabis Week website states. “During this week, we will educate, celebrate and elevate Blacks in cannabis. Black Cannabis Week (BCW21) is a collective web of educational and informational experiences to empower Black communities to move toward social and political change. In collective work, we aim to educate, destigmatize and advance the efforts of social justice.”

The event is being held as a collaborative effort along with the Diasporic Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities (DACO), Minorities for Medical Marijuana and Philadelphia Cannabis Business Association, and other cannabis groups. Among the event’s offerings, it will feature a political round table with Pennsylvania Senator Sharif Street, who will speak on new cannabis regulations. An estimated 30 speakers will be present to cover a variety of educational topics, including a hempcrete workshop, free cannabis certifications, expungement services and networking opportunities.

According to Cherron Perry-Thomas, who’s also a DACO Social Impact Strategist and the founder of the Cannabis Opportunities Conference, Black Cannabis Week is dedicated to helping Black cannabis entrepreneurs stake their claim in the industry. 

“Black and Brown communities have been an afterthought in the evolving global cannabis industry,” Perry-Thomas said in a press release. “If we fail to prepare and learn now, we will be too far behind to enter into this emerging field. It’s imperative that we learn the facts about cannabis, the unjust laws that have created the stigma, explore opportunities for empowerment, and reduce the barriers to help more Black and Brown communities switch from consumers to decision makers which is our mission with Black Cannabis Week.”

Although most of the event will be held digitally, those who live in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area can visit Temple University to attend a Communities of Color Career Event and expungement fair in person

“The cannabis industry has been on track to grow into a favorable financial and social tool for change,” the Black Cannabis Week Instagram posted on September 7. “Entrepreneurship, jobs, innovation are just a few of the positive impacts resulting from an accessible and inclusive industry. The industry has provided all kinds of new positions, and many of them are high-paying. And as the cannabis industry grows, so, too, does the number of job openings in the field.”

Supporting events such as Black Cannabis Week is essential to cultivate opportunities for non-white cannabis entrepreneurs to participate in the industry. According to a 2017 survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily, 81 percent of cannabis business owners are white. At the time of the survey, only 5.7 percent were Hispanic/Latino; 4.3 percent were Black, and 2.4 percent were Asian. 

Efforts to improve social equity in the United States continue to grow as well. The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency has launched a new program called the Joint Ventures Pathway Program to improve social equity in the state. Social Equity classes have been established in Arizona for those who are eligible for dispensary licenses

Organizations such as the California Cannabis Equity Alliance are demanding that social equity remain a focus as the industry continues to ramp up. These are just a few of the many examples of how advocates are fighting for social equity, but there’s still plenty of progress to be made.

The post Black Cannabis Week Supports and Elevates Black Entrepreneurs appeared first on High Times.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee (Marijuana Moment)

// Montana Bill To Implement Marijuana Legalization Heads To Governor’s Desk (Marijuana Moment)

// Confirmed: Pennsylvania Is Crushing It In Cannabis (Green Market Report)

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// Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Ninth House Committee On Path To Floor (Marijuana Moment)

// Texas Lawmakers Approve Marijuana And Psychedelics Reform Bills (Marijuana Moment)

// Fire & Flower Q4 Revenue Increases 157% to $43.2 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Valens Buys CBD Company In Deal Valued At $60 Million (Green Market Report)

// These License Plates Got the Highest Bids in Colorado’s Cannabis Vanity Plate Auction (Green Entrepreneur)

// Marijuana Packaging Recycling Bill Filed In New York Days After Legalization Takes Effect (Marijuana Moment)

// Seth Rogen Is Making Retro PSAs About How To Safely Consume Marijuana (Bro Bible)

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