Each month, Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition (CWCBExpo) offers a convenient roundup of the biggest cannabis news stories and hemp headlines emerging across the nation. Get these updates in your inbox by subscribing to our email newsletter, or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter (now X) to get the most recent edition when it’s published.
With each month comes further acceptance of the cannabis plant, and October 2023 was no different. Join us as we delve into the most recent nationwide news and updates that are redefining our understanding of, and relationship to, cannabis.
American Nurses Association recognizes cannabis specialty
The American Nurses Association (ANA), representing the nation’s more than 5 million nurses, has formally recognized cannabis nursing as a specialty. The practice is defined by the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) as a “specialty nursing practice focused on the care of health care consumers seeking education and guidance in the therapeutic use of cannabis.” This recognition can be seen as another step toward legitimizing the role of medical cannabis in patient care.
“This recognition highlights the essential role and special contribution of cannabis nurses to the health care system and promotes enhanced integration of cannabis therapies for health care consumers across diverse health care settings,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN in a press release.
The announcement also expressed support for clinical research to inform patients of the effectiveness of cannabis and related cannabinoids for potential treatment.
Researchers identify ‘previously undiscovered cannabis compounds’
A new study published by the American Chemical Society identified “previously undiscovered cannabis compounds.” The research, conducted by scientists from various cannabis extraction and testing companies, offers a new dimension to current understanding of what actually gives the plant its aromatic effects.
“While the aroma is a key proprietary in differentiating cannabis varieties and user preferences, the importance of terpenes appears to be overstated,” the study finds.
The report credits much of the difference between aromas to what are called “flavorants,” a class of chemical compounds that contributes to aroma. Similar to terpenes, these compounds shape each cultivar’s unique scent. This discovery “provide[s] a new opportunity to classify varietals using key desirable aroma attributes,” according to the researchers.
“We identified a myriad of non-terpenoid compounds that strongly influence the unique aromatic properties of cannabis,” the study says. “In particular, [we identified] a new class of tropical volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are major contributors to certain varieties with a strong citrus or tropical fruit aroma, while skatole (3-methylindole), a highly pungent compound, was identified as a key aroma compound in savory/chemical varieties.”
While more research is needed, the findings are an exciting new discovery that may influence how all sectors of the industry, from cultivators and breeders to end consumers, relate to the plant and navigate their options at the dispensary.
Bipartisan lawmakers refile legalization bill
A bipartisan group of U.S. House of Representatives lawmakers have refiled a bill to federally legalize cannabis. Sponsored by Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), the States Reform Act was initially introduced in 2021 as an alternative to a Democratic-led legalization proposal.
The newly revised legislation has received co-signs from both Democrats and Republicans. The version of the States Reform Act introduced last session set out to end federal cannabis prohibition while incorporating equity provisions such as expungements for people with non-violent cannabis convictions. Cannabis would also be removed from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and tax revenue would support community reinvestment.
New sponsors of the bill include Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Dean Phillips (D-MN) and David Trone (D-MD). The next steps for this legislation are not clear as of publication time.
U.S. Census releases state-based cannabis revenue report
The U.S. Census Bureau has released its first report on state-level cannabis revenue data. The first report was published late last month, with data including sales from medical and adult-use markets. It found that, in the 18 months of data collection, states brought in more than $5.7 billion from licensed cannabis sales.
“For this dataset, the concept of ‘taxes’ is comprised of all compulsory contributions exacted by a government for public purposes,” reads the Census. “Tax revenue is further defined to include related penalty and interest receipts of a government but to exclude protested amounts.”
Totals from individual states reflect the size of the state’s market, as well as how long they’ve been open for business. Washington state and Colorado, for example, collected the second- and third-most tax revenue ($818.5 million and $648.1 million) during the period, while New York, as a newly-legalized adult-use market, totaled just $27.9 million.
The report indicates an increase in the willingness of the federal government to acknowledge the billions of dollars produced by the industry annually. The Census Bureau will continue its data collection and evaluation on a quarterly basis moving forward. The Census noted a desire for states to submit cannabis revenue data as part of annual reports as well.
Stay up-to-date with CWCBExpo
As we draw the curtains on this month’s national news update, it’s evident that the industry’s momentum shows no signs of slowing down. We encourage you to stay engaged and continue exploring the ever-evolving world of cannabis. For the latest updates and in-depth insights, remember that CWCBExpo is your trusted source.