Fast-tracking his industrial hemp legalization bill, Senate president (and sponsor) Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) will push the bill past a committee hearing (using rule 14) to a potential direct vote on the Senate later this year. The Senate version of the bill, SB-2667, now also has an exactly worded companion, HR-5485, introduced by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo) and James Comer (R-Kentucky). In addition to pushing hemp off of the CSA altogether, the McConnel bill gives guidance to the US Department of Agriculture to support hemp development with research and commodity-based help, and to ensure access to crop insurance for hemp farmers.

GW Pharmaceuticals pushed its Colorado sales access language through a critical Senate hearing (7-0) which will allow it to sell its “Epidiolex” CBD product in the state later this year. Hoban Law’s Bob Hoban testified as “neutral” on the bill, but supported the amendment which he helped create for a “swim lane” for GW to sell physician-prescribable CBD, along with assurances that the bill would not interfere with hemp-based CBD or marijuana-derived CBD. GW lobbyist Jessica Wood said her firm was studying other non-epilepsy (CBD-based) conditions—as well as combo THC/CBD formulations—with the expectation that Epidiolex might be available for sale by September. “We don’t have any intention of blocking access” to natural options (full spectrum hemp-derived CBD). Wood expects GW CBD to be rescheduled to CSA level 4 or 5 at the DEA before it is offered to the public.

South Dakota election officials have thrown out the petition of medical marijuana advocates trying to place a vote on that state’s fall ballot. The secretary of state determined that her random sample of signatures show the organizing group will be one-third short of the total number of needed eligible voters.

Nevada regulators are about to open the application window for the next wave of recreational marijuana licenses, crafting the regulations to favor expansion by existing shop owners. In Washoe County (Reno/Sparks) county commission staff have begun collecting citizen input on how to craft rules for social consumption venues.

Still unclear are how both pro-and-con committee votes might impact bills to clear legalization are going to come out. Activity all over the U.S. Northeast (including New York, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island) remains unsettled.

In Colorado‘s legislature, the pilot plan for home cannabis delivery services was killed after intense opposition by law enforcement and by dispensaries wanting continued walk-in traffic. The sole remaining social consumption bill—crafted to expand “cannabis tasting rooms” by currently licensed dispensaries exclusively—did clear committee and is headed for likely full passage. Citizen lobbyist and social club expert Jason Warf brought a competing bill which would have allowed new social club entrants (S-211) but had failed earlier in the session. Warf suggested the 4 to 1 vote for the “sampling room” was directly in response to the Marijuana Enforcement Division not wanting additional licensing and monitoring demands. Warf said “it is very telling, since the majority of the committee members voted no on 211,” despite intense lobbying against the surviving bill.

A multi-year study of teen-aged visits to one Colorado emergency hospital (Anshutz Medical Center in Aurora, Colo) saw a three-fold increase for marijuana-related reactions among a 13 to 20-year olds from 2005 to 2015. “We wanted to study the immediate health impact on adolescents, specifically emergency and urgent care visits,” Dr. George Wang wrote in an email. “Marijuana-related (emergency department/urgent care) visits are of significant concern as patients are having significant acute medical or psychiatric symptoms requiring evaluation.” The researchers analyzed medical records from a children’s hospital system and identified more than 4,000 emergency visits related to marijuana use between 2005 and 2015.

Sex In The Suburbs“: It’s full fore ahead for New York governor candidate Cynthia Nixon, a pro-marijuana legalization supporter putting the pressure on lukewarm incumbent Anthony Cuomo. Nixon will be joined by her former “Sex In The City” co-star Sarah Jessica Parker for a 4/20 fundraiser in New York.