Legalization is on the move in Illinois and New Zealand, where details for reform measures have been released.

This last week also saw other developments surface in the cannabis world. Below is a recap.

Legalization is unveiled in Illinois with opposition mounting

What happened: Governor J. B. Pritzker announced a proposal to legalize cannabis for adult use in Illinois.

The plan would allow people 21 years old or older to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis flower. Cannabis opponents such as law enforcement representatives have come out against the measure.

Why it matters: Illinois is one of many states that are experiencing a push for adult-use legalization via legislative action.

So far only Vermont has actually legalized cannabis via legislative action. Illinois being successful in doing so would help increase momentum for other states in the region.

New Zealand's government releases details of legalization measure

What happened: New Zealand's government released the details of a cannabis legalization referendum that will appear on the 2020 ballot.

The measure would set the legal age at 20, allow home cultivation, allow social-use areas and would prohibit cannabis advertising.

Why it matters: Any time that a nation is looking at legalization reform it's a big deal. The fact that New Zealand will let voters decide the issue in 2020 is a really big deal.

New Zealand could join Canada, Uruguay, and effectively Mexico in legalizing cannabis at the national level. Just the fact that they are putting it to a vote could spur movement in other countries.

Majority of state Attorneys General urge Congress to pass a cannabis banking bill

What happened: Attorneys General from 38 U.S. states and territories called on Congress this week to pass legislation to increase cannabis businesses' access to banks.

The Attorney General of a state or territory is the top law enforcement official for their jurisdiction.

Why it matters: Cannabis banking reform has been needed for years. Cannabis businesses can obtain licenses to operate in many states now, but some still have problems with banking.

An increasing number of financial institutions will now allow cannabis companies to have accounts, but many still do not or will abruptly close an account. Hopefully, Congress listens to the AGs.

Researchers look at a new method for making biodiesel from cannabis oil

What happened: Researchers explored a new method for 'successful conversion of biodiesel derived through alkali-catalyzed transesterification of Cannabis sativa L. oil using a hydrodynamic cavitation reactor.'

The researchers pointed out the need to explore new sources for fuel on the planet, and cannabis oil is likely going to be one of those sources in the future.

Why it matters: When many people think of what cannabis can be used for, they tend to think of it being consumed for wellness purposes.

However, the cannabis plant can be used for so much more, as this research highlights. When cannabis is used for purposes such as biodiesel, it shows the world how dynamic and beneficial this plant is.

Members of Congress urge the feds to grant more cannabis cultivation research licenses

What happened: 30 members of Congress sent a letter to the United States Attorney General and the DEA this week, urging them to allow more entities to cultivate cannabis for research purposes.

Currently, 26 entities are waiting for approval to cultivate cannabis for research purposes. The bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling for the feds to approve at least one of them as soon as possible.

Why it matters: The federal government currently cultivates cannabis for research purposes at the University of Mississippi. Reports have stated that federal cannabis is less than desirable.

In order to boost cannabis research efforts in the United States, and for that research to be meaningful, more entities need to be able to cultivate the cannabis that is used for research.


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