This week in review bipartisan congressional members are pushing for a veterans medical marijuana bill titled Veterans Equal Access Act , Lukas Gilkey of Hometown Hero is reported on for working with veterans groups to donate funds and give products, and a REIT known as IIP has purchased a medical marijuana grow facility from Texas Original Compassionate Cultivation. Audio player embedded below for those on the go.
Bipartisan Congress members are urging support for a medical marijuana bill for veterans. The members plan to introduce the bill soon and will titled the Veterans Equal Access Act. The bill which is being submitted, is coming from Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brian Mast (R-FL), both co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. The new bill would allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to recommend medical marijuana to their patients in states where it’s legal.
The letter which is posted to Marijuana Moment states that with the restrictions the VA currently has on cannabis that it is causing complications. From the letter itself,
“This forces veterans to seek care outside of the VA system to receive their medical cannabis recommendations, which can interrupt continuity of care, lead to mistakes or gaps in care, and require veterans to pay out of pocket for addition physician visits. VA physicians should not be denied the ability to offer a recommendation that they think may meet the needs of their patients. Veterans should not be forced outside the VA system to seek treatment that is legal in their state.”
The reform is identical versions from the past that was pursued through the appropriations process as an amendment. Now the members have changed focus to a standalone bill. The reason being that in the past there was pushback from VA. The VA has consistently opposed marijuana reform proposals that relate to the department itself. This has included research.
An Austin Texas local donates cannabis products to disabled veterans, and has been donating money to help veterans groups. Lukas Gilkey of Hometown Hero was interviewed by the Austin Fox Affiliate about his business in the town. Gilkey noted that he is a veteran himself and that a good chunk of the customer base is also veterans. The organization has also given hemp products away to veterans in need, as alternatives to opioids veterans get from the VA system. Gilkey told Fox 7 that they are partnered with Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled Veterans of America. With the VFW, they go to many of their events and give away our products to their members.
Cannabis real estate investment trust (REIT) Innovative Industrial Properties (IIP) will pay $22 million to acquire 25 acres of land and a facility from a medical cannabis company in Austin, Texas. spending an initial $12 million to acquire the land and will pay an additional $10 million when Texas Original finishes building out a cultivation and production facility.
At the time of closing, the majority of project sitework had been completed and two of the four buildings have been dried in with interior finish out under construction. Texas Original is expected to complete construction of the approximately 85,000 square foot industrial and hybrid greenhouse facility, for which IIP has agreed to provide reimbursement of up to approximately $10.0 million, consisting of completion of building shell, interior buildout of cultivation and production rooms, and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. Assuming full reimbursement for the construction, IIP’s total investment in the property is expected to be $22.0 million (excluding transaction costs), or approximately $259 per square foot. Upon completion, the property is expected to include approximately 49,000 square feet of cultivation space, with the balance of the space utilized for manufacturing, processing, testing and administrative activities.
That is it for this week in cannabis news review here at the Texas Cannabis Collective. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and search for Lonestar Collective Podcast in your search engine to get updates about our show and weekly news. Have a safe week Texas and stay hydrated to beat the heat.