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Difficult Economic Times Force National Cannabis Trade Group to Close, NIDA Director Says Drug Decriminalization Could Help with Addiction Treatment, and Colorado’s Governor Signs Executive Order to Provide Professional Licensing Protection for Legal Cannabis Use

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Difficult Economic Times Force National Cannabis Trade Group to Close

As a result of current economic conditions, The National Association of Cannabis Businesses (NACB) will close before the end of this month. NACB is a national trade organization for cannabis, CBD, and hemp businesses. The Wisconsin-based group was founded in 2017 and has done work to help develop national standards for the cannabis industry across several areas. NACB has also actively supported federal cannabis legalization and hosted social equity summits in 2020 and 2021. On their website, the organization said of the closure, “Due to current economic conditions, the decision has been made to cease operations of NACB.”

NIDA Director Says Drug Decriminalization Could Help with Addiction Treatment

Last week, Nora Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), wrote a blog post on the critical need to change how we treat addiction in the United States. Volkow mentions putting more resources into identifying individuals who are “pre-addiction” to get them help before they are fully in the throes of a substance addiction. However, she says there is a need to “rebrand” addiction to do this. One major obstacle to changing the view on addiction is the widespread criminalization of personal drug use. Volkow said that decriminalizing drugs would help remove the stigma and allow people to feel more comfortable disclosing their personal drug use. She said, “Unless drug use is decriminalized, fear of disclosure presents an obvious challenge to screening for and medically addressing non-disordered substance use in general medical settings.”

Colorado’s Governor Signs Executive Order to Provide Professional Licensing Protection for Legal Cannabis Use

On Thursday of last week, Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis signed an executive order that is a step forward in protecting workers who lawfully use cannabis on their own time. The order  pertains to those workers who hold professional licenses for their jobs. Polis said that the order would help address workforce shortages in Colorado and prevent otherwise qualified individuals from being unable to pursue a professional license in the state. The order expressly prevents a low-level cannabis offense in another state from being used against someone pursuing a professional license in Colorado. Also, the order says that state agencies cannot use resources to participate in any investigation initiated in another state that would sanction an individual’s professional license for lawful cannabis use.