Its Hemp History Week - but will the DEA ever make hemp legit?
It's Hemp History Week—but will the DEA ever make hemp legit? RJ Sangosti via Getty Images

This has been a rather chill week for weed, but a big one for hemp! It's is Hemp History Week, and hemp fans everywhere are celebrating, including Mitch McConnell. But meanwhile, the DEA won’t change their drug code to exclude industrial hemp from their definition of marijuana—which hampers research progress in the field. Also, fun words for weed from the DEA, McDonald’s deeply regrets their weed reference, and a cannabis co-working space pops up in Florida. Read on.

The DEA Won’t Change Rules for Hemp

The DEA won’t budge on its drug code for “marihuana extracts”—they just dismissed a lawsuit from an industrial hemp organization which challenged their use of the term. “The code helps distinguish scientific research between marijuana on one hand and marijuana extracts on the other,” says DEA Spokesman Russ Baer.

However, hemp advocates insist that this makes future hemp research and production difficult, because it relegates hemp to a controlled substances category. And by the way, you can read about the fascinating—and racist—history of why the DEA spells marijuana with an “h” here.

Washington State Issues First Hemp Licenses

Hemp has not been legally grown in Washington State (where weed is A-OK) for almost a century. Now, the state has issued the first licenses for farmers to grow, produce, and distribute industrial hemp—but this story, broke by trusty weed columnist Lester Black for The Stranger, reveals that some farmers are allegedly getting preferential treatment in the form of hemp seed fast-tracking by the state.

Tobacco Wholesalers Want a Piece of the Pot

With the first recreational pot stores set to open July 2018, marijuana in Massachusetts will be big business across the state, and tobacco retailers want in on some of that action. They proposed to state officials that marijuana producers use their tracking system to help collect taxes on cannabis when it becomes legal.

Needless to say, cannabis advocates are incensed.

According to Will Luzier, the Campaign Manager at Yes on 4 to Tax & Regulate Marijuana, under this tax stamp system, dispensaries would have to sell their products to the tracking companies, and then buy it back from them as a retailer on the other end. He told the Boston Globe, “I don’t see any sound public policy reason why it’s important to do that, other than to benefit the tobacco industry.”

Meanwhile, Everyone Else in Massachusetts Just Wants a Piece of This Pie:

Medical marijuana dispensary Ermont Inc. started making and selling pot pizza at their dispensary three weeks ago. The sauce holds 125 mg of THC and a six-inch cheese pizza sells for $38. Yum…..

The DEA Published a Super-Fun List of Slang Words for Weed (and Other Drugs)

Dro, Fuzzy Lady, Blue Jeans, Green Goblin, Lime Pillows, Muggie, Smoochy Woochy Poochy, Owl, Righteous Bush, Wooz and Alice B Toklas—these are all slang words for weed that appear in a new list published by the DEA. The list includes a host of other drugs, too. (Did you know PCP mixed with heroin is called 'Alien Sex Fiend,' like the punk band? Neither did I!) Check it out in all its glory here.

McDonald’s Made a Hilarious Weed Reference on a Billboard

The joke referenced their new green chile breakfast burrito, and according to one report, the billboard was strategically placed near the border between Colorado, where weed is legal, and New Mexico, where it’s not. McDonald’s has since taken it down, saying the billboard “did not meet our standards.”

A Cannabis Co-Working Space Opens Up in Florida

Podwerks is a new co-working space for cannabis growers, producers, retailers and entrenpreuers to network and connect. The space features conference rooms, retail and office space, and even a shipping container grow space with a hydroponic set-up, lights, climate control and curing stations.“We want to get the cannabis industry out of the ‘hidden environment’ idea of houses and backyards,” says founder Matthew Arnett. “We want to cultivate an ecosystem, a conducive atmosphere for education, marketing, and growth of cannabis.”