Good afternoon everyone, this is Todd Denkin with The National Marijuana News. I hope everyone had a wonderful summer and I am sure that this Fall will keep us all on the edge of our seats. While the holidays will be fun as always, we also have some very meaningful state elections coming up. I have to tell you, whether you are a marijuana legalization opponent or advocate, the elections this year may end up being the most meaningful yet when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. There are many gubernatorial races taking place where at least one candidate is campaigning hard on state legal adult-use marijuana. The STATES Act is hanging in the balance as well and if Congress ends up swinging the other way, the votes may really be there to push it through. We are going to keep providing you the facts and news about cannabis, so stay tuned to make the most educated decisions you can, but voting may never have been as important to the cannabis movement as it is this year. So, if you haven’t registered to vote, go do it. Let’s begin with our first story.

Florida’s Gubernatorial Race and the Omen from the Ocean

We reported a few weeks back that Andrew Gillum surprisingly won the democratic primary nomination for governor of Florida and will be running against republican Ron DeSantis in the November election. Florida is one of the most pivotal states in the country when it comes to elections. They have historically been disorganized and their tallies almost always come in last around the country. Gillum is a strong advocate for adult-use marijuana but Floridians have not voted in a democrat as governor in the last 2 decades. However, DeSantis has received some very bad press and the latest polls put Gillum 6 points ahead of him. And, ironically enough, this week hundreds of pounds of marijuana washed up on Florida’s shores. Florida this year has had to deal with aggressive algae blooms that turn the waters green and red. Well now the tide brought in something entirely different wrapped up in plastic for beach goers to find. Is it an omen? I will leave that to you to decide.

Felony Disenfranchisement

Moving to another related story. One of the major arguments for marijuana legalization is the social injustice aspect of marijuana prohibition. Not only are more people of color arrested for non-violent marijuana crimes, but many people that have been convicted and served their time for their crime permanently lose their right to vote afterwards. Over 6 million convicted felons that have served their sentences have been stripped of their right to vote here in the United States, and over 1.6 million of them live in Florida. Voters in Florida will also be deciding in the ballot box this November whether to return voting rights to these disenfranchised felons. If they regain their right to representation, Florida may no longer be as much of a swing state as it has been. Their votes could very much influence future presidential elections which could lead to the rescheduling of marijuana and their records being expunged. Convictions of non-violent marijuana crimes have kept people from getting jobs and admittance into school.

The DEA is Allowing Canada to Export Marijuana Capsules to California for Research Purposes

The federal government continues to leave us scratching our head about its stance on marijuana. So the DEA recently granted a request from the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego to have marijuana capsules full of THC and CBD shipped in from Canada to their facility for research purposes. The DEA has historically made it very difficult to access marijuana for research, especially when it comes to having the cannabis shipped over the border. The rare times they do allow a scientist access to cannabis, it usually comes from the University of Mississippi grow facility which is notorious for growing bad weed. Tilray, one of three cannabis companies that trade on US major exchanges, provided the marijuana capsules. Last week the CBP said it would issue lifetime travel bans to the US for Canadian marijuana employees and investors, so you will have to excuse us for being a little confused. You can’t come to the US because you might encourage the legal marijuana market here, but go ahead and ship it over the border. When asked, the DEA responded, “It is done. There are definitely situations where, when there’s no source in the U.S., a registrant can import a cannabis-derived drug from another country.” In this instance the lack of the referenced source is specifically the capsules with the cannabis, as opposed to smokeable flower. The University of California study is researching the effect of cannabis on a condition known as essential tremors and believes that a swallow-able pill would be better for the trial’s participants.

Coke is Planning on Making CBD drinks

So Coca-Cola is reportedly speaking with Aurora Cannabis, one of the top Canadian marijuana companies, about creating a new line of CBD drinks. Kent Landers, a spokesperson for Coke, told reporters, “We are closely watching the growth of non-psychoactive CBD as an ingredient in functional wellness beverages around the world.” CBD products are some of the trendiest products in the market these days. You can buy CBD oils, creams, drinks, sprays and pet treats in nearly every state now. CBD stands for Cannabidiol and is the non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana that has shown abilities as an anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsant and a relaxant.

That is all for this week everyone. Stay tuned for our coverage of the CanEx Convention in Montego Bay, Jamaica next week September 27th through the 29th. There will be companies representing 40 different countries at this convention so it will allow you to peek into the international world of marijuana. We will be conducting regular interviews and doing Facebook Live walkarounds of the show floor. Vincente Fox, the former president of Mexico will be speaking, so will Montel Williams and the CEO of Canopy Growth Corporation, the largest marijuana company in the world, Bruce Linton. Go check out more great stories about cannabis at and follow us here on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NationalMJNews. This is Todd Denkin with the National Marijuana News. Have a great weekend everyone!