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Amazon backs GOP cannabis legalization bill (Newsletter: January 26, 2022)

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MS deal to send medical marijuana to gov; VA psychedelics bill delayed; OK GOP psilocybin decrim measure filed; MO cannabis expungements

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mississippi lawmakers reached an agreement to send a medical cannabis bill to Gov. Tate Reeves’s (R)  desk this week. A bicameral conference committee will tweak newly amended zoning provisions, with final passage expected on Wednesday.

Amazon is endorsing a GOP-led federal marijuana legalization bill. The company previously announced it would stop testing most employees for cannabis and backed a separate Democratic-led legalization measure.

A Virginia House Courts of Justice subcommittee amended a psychedelics decriminalization bill to make it focused on medical use, but then voted to table the legislation until next year. A similar measure is still pending in the Senate, with bipartisan support.

Oklahoma Republican lawmakers filed bills that would decriminalize psilocybin and encourage research into the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic for treating conditions like PTSD, severe depression and opioid use disorder.

Several competing Missouri ballot initiatives and legislative proposals to legalize marijuana contain provisions to expunge prior records—but they differ in detail, and legal experts say some could cause more harm than good.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Cornell University are launching a webinar series on hemp research.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a man’s case challenging the constitutionality of criminalizing selling drugs with medical or religious uses.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) tweeted about visiting a hemp processing facility, saying, “This Montana business is providing good-paying jobs, boosting the local economy & supporting Montana farmers. We need to be supporting MT ag, not hindering it.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said there are “three things that really bring people together—animals, Britney Spears and cannabis.” She also authored an op-ed calling on South Carolina lawmakers to pass a medical marijuana bill.

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “Good event yesterday in Leona Valley with @kathrynbarger and @LACoSheriff to discuss our continued efforts to combat the illegal marijuana grows. Since I first brought national attention to this crisis sweeping across our community, we have made significant progress.”

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Henry Martin tweeted, “Keeping marijuana illegal has resulted in an above-ground market in many states where people sell marijuana-like products that are not regulated at all by the FDA. Let’s end this dangerous nonsense. We don’t need spice and synthetic hemp products on our streets. Just legalize it.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, currently the attorney general, tweeted, “Legalize marijuana. Expunge records.”

Delaware’s state auditor tweeted, “It’s been one year since I released a special report on the potential revenue Delaware could see if it taxed and regulated marijuana for adult use.” The House Health & Human Development Committee will consider a cannabis legalization bill on Wednesday.

The South Dakota Senate approved several bills to amend medical cannabis rules.

The Wisconsin Senate defeated a marijuana legalization amendment.

Virginia’s Senate president pro tempore tweeted, “There was a young man running for Senate who got 6 mil+ views last week for smoking a joint. Please. I’m a 78 year grandma who legalized pot and now has her own cannibis store.  And I’m the last thing standing between The GOP and total control of Virginia… Did I mention my store is on High Street in Portsmouth?”

Minnesota’s House majority leader said he’s concerned Senate Republicans will continue to block his marijuana legalization bill.

Connecticut’s House majority leader tweeted about how youth service bureaus are working on “examining the possible impact of cannabis legislation.”

The Ohio House Health Committee advanced a bill to add autism spectrum disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Michigan House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to allow police to conduct roadside saliva tests for THC.

Washington State lawmakers are considering several marijuana equity bills.

A New Mexico representative spoke about efforts to bring more entrepreneurs into the cannabis industry.

Alaska regulators proposed rules changes on the marijuana enforcement action process.

Vermont regulators posted marijuana guidance for municipalities.

Texas regulators published a notice of compliance with a temporary injunction on their ban on delta-8 THC.

Florida regulators issued variances on rules for hemp laboratory testing for two companies.

Nevada regulators met to act on marijuana business issues.

Tennessee’s Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

A full list of New York municipalities that opted out of allowing recreational marijuana retailers or social consumption areas was released by state regulators.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s Narcotics Control Board agreed to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances.

Costa Rica’s government is asking lawmakers to amend a medical cannabis and hemp bill to remove home cultivation and lower allowable THC amounts.

France’s Council of State suspended a ban on selling raw hemp flowers and leaves.

Philippine presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos said he supports medical cannabis.

A Guernsey lawmaker is inquiring about cannabis licensing lessons from Jersey.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “cannabis is largely an alternative to palliative care for terminal patients” and that “for those in palliative care, it is a therapeutic complement used at higher levels of pain.”

A study of people with fibromyalgia found that “the majority of participants believed that psychedelics have potential for chronic pain treatments and would be willing to participate in a psychedelic-based clinical trial for their pain.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, ” As Democrats, we want to ensure the will of the people is followed. In 2020, 70% of voters made it clear that South Dakotans want Medical Marijuana!”

More Perfect Union released a video featuring federal marijuana prisoners asking President Joe Biden to grant them clemency.

/ BUSINESS

Ballard Partners launched a national cannabis practice group.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. completed its acquisition of Pineapple Express Delivery Inc.

Home Depot is being sued by an employee who says she was improperly put on medical leave after revealing she uses medical cannabis to treat PTSD.

HEXO Corp. sent an update about its strategic plan.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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