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AR & NE cannabis ballot signature submissions (Newsletter: July 8, 2022)

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VA clarifies marijuana industry worker home loan issue; Griner pleads guilty in Russia; NY crackdown on unlicensed cannabis sellers

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  • Donn Hall: “I am a veteran of four years service in the United States Marine Corps and a retired professor of history who is also a pain patient… Indiana is our home and we are surrounded by states with much more liberal laws regarding cannabis. I look to be more familiar with legalization in other states in order to know what should be done here in Indiana; maybe gain some insight on how cannabis legalization can be carried out most effectively, and how I can help. I appreciate your efforts very much.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a memo clarifying that veterans who work in the marijuana industry are not ineligible for VA-guaranteed home loans—but noting that ongoing federal prohibition may make some lenders reluctant to risk financing them.

American basketball player Brittney Griner pleaded guilty to bringing cannabis vapes into Russia, but says she did it accidentally. Meanwhile, a Russian official suggested the U.S.’s stance on the case is hypocritical because marijuana is also criminalized in some states.

Nebraska activists turned in what they hope are enough signatures to qualify two medical cannabis initiatives for the November ballot. It’s the culmination of a volunteer-led petition drive that saw a major legal setback this week and the loss of large donors earlier in the year.

Arkansas activists on Friday plan to submit what they say are more than double the amount of signatures needed to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot—but other advocates have concerns about the measure’s provisions.

New York regulators announced they have sent cease and desist letters warning more than 50 unlicensed businesses to stop illegally selling marijuana or they will become ineligible to receive cannabis licenses in the future.

/ FEDERAL

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health tweeted, “#Cannabis and its constituent #cannabinoids are being studied for their potential to relieve #pain and possibly serve as a partial substitute for #opioids.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “Our country’s senseless cannabis laws have disproportionately harmed Black & Brown communities for decades. We’re urging @POTUS & his administration to use their executive authority to decriminalize cannabis & pardon non-violent cannabis-related offenders.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “The Senate’s inaction on this [marijuana banking] issue means stalled progress on equity in the cannabis industry and a continued public safety risk that jeopardizes the lives and livelihoods of business owners and employees across the country.”

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “For over a year, I’ve been working with law enforcement to protect our neighborhoods & shut down illegal marijuana growing operations. The deputies on the ground need the resources to get the job done, and I’m proud to deliver for them & our communities.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Cindy Banyai tweeted, “I will work at the federal level to decriminalize cannabis and expunge possession records. It’s what we need to do to meet the moment.”

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) office put out a press release about the state phasing out medical cannabis sales taxes. The lieutenant governor tweeted, “Great news: As of July 1st, there is no more state sales tax on medicinal cannabis – advancing our commitment to prioritize patients and improve affordability.”

Iowa Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Rick Stewart spoke about his support for broad drug law reform, including plans to address gun violence and mental health issues by legalizing psychedelic therapy.

Washington State’s treasurer tweeted, While common sense solutions continue to stall for #SAFEBanking, legal cannabis retailers in our state are continued targets for robbery and the safety of workers remains at risk. We need #SAFEBankingNOW”

The Virginia legislature’s ​​Task Force to Analyze Industrial Hemp Extracts and Other Substances Containing Tetrahydrocannabinol Intended for Human Consumption met.

An Oregon senator tweeted, “Through rulemaking, Oregon can set historic precedent in the amount of respect it shows to the traditions and practices of Indigenous, religious, and spiritual communities who work with psilocybin and other entheogens.”

Vermont regulators are withdrawing the state’s federally approved hemp plan as of the end of the year, meaning that growers will need to register with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

New York’s Dormitory Authority published a request for information from financial institutions that could provide banking services for the state’s Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund.

Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Department and Lithuania’s Ministry of Agriculture signed an agreement that includes sharing best practices and consultation on hemp.

California sent a notice about the elimination of the cannabis cultivation tax.

Colorado regulators are accepting applications to serve on the Social Equity Program Advisory Work Group.

Michigan regulators posted a marijuana business disciplinary action report for June.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 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

Gallatin County, Montana voters will again see marijuana tax questions on the November ballot after prior votes were overturned due to procedural errors.

Los Angeles, California regulators launched a cannabis industry jobs board.

Denver, Colorado officials are hosting a marijuana industry check-in meeting on July 19.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Argentine President Alberto Fernández’s spokesperson called for the “total decriminalization of cannabis.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of rats found that “CBD appears to be a potential novel therapeutic agent in the treatment of endometriosis through inhibiting inflammation and decreasing oxidative stress in a dose-dependent manner.”

A review concluded that “psychedelics may be a promising alternative in the treatment of” substance use disorder.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Reddit’s BostonTrees forum is under fire for reportedly offering community marketing services to marijuana businesses while touting the ability to “remove unwanted content” or ban users.

The National Cannabis Laboratory Council proposed a standardized national approach to cannabis product testing.

/ BUSINESS

Akerna Corp. reported that July 1 was the second-highest cannabis sales day this year.

Montana retailers sold $24.9 million worth of legal marijuana products in June.

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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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