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German’s Cannabis Legalization Plan Faces Opposition, Republican Congressman Likens the Legal Cannabis Industry to ‘Slavery’, and Minority-Owned Cannabis Grower in Illinois Receives $1 Million Loan Through New Program

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German’s Cannabis Legalization Plan Faces Opposition

The health minister of Bavaria, Germany’s largest state, is requesting that an official with the European Union oppose the country’s plan to legalize and regulate cannabis. Health Minister Klaus Holetschek met with Monique Pariat in Brussels this week to make the formal request. Pariat acts as the EU’s director general for migration and home affairs. Holetschek is part of an opposition party, the center-right bloc, and seeks to block cannabis legalization in Germany. According to the Associated Press, Holetschek told Pariat that he thinks cannabis legalization poses a danger to the health of the German people and “also violates European law”. 

Republican Congressman Likens the Legal Cannabis Industry to ‘Slavery’

U.S. Representative Pete Sessions, a Republican congressman from Texas, has long made his stance against cannabis legalization clear. He has gained notoriety for repeatedly blocking attempts at federal cannabis reform. Sessions nearly “derailed” a critical hearing on federal marijuana legalization when he compared the legal cannabis industry to slavery, a comment many other lawmakers found offensive. Sessions said, “Slavery made money also and was a terrible circumstance that this country and the world went through for many, many years.” Other lawmakers on the House of Representatives subcommittee who were part of the hearing apologized for what they referred to as a “peculiar analogy”. Sessions also provided some insight into what are likely to be arguments against legalization during the next Congress as he attempted to connect traffic fatalities to cannabis legalization and higher THC products to health issues. 

Minority-Owned Cannabis Grower in Illinois Receives $1 Million Loan Through New Program

Minority-owned Helios Labs, a marijuana grower in Illinois, received a $1 million loan via a new program in the state designed to help social equity licensees. Earlier in November, state officials announced that a total of $8.75 million in forgivable loans would be available to those with conditionally approved social equity licenses. The hope was the program would provide needed funds to these business owners after issues arose with a previous loan program. As part of the program, cannabis transport businesses can apply for up to $50,000 in funds, craft growers are eligible for up to $500,000 and infusers can apply for up to $250,000.