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Biden to sign cannabis research bill (Newsletter: November 21, 2022)

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Marijuana & security clearance bill coming; Trump pushes death penalty for drug sellers; NY dispensary builders selected; SBA aid for cannabis biz

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

President Joe Biden will sign the marijuana research bill that Congress passed this week once it is formally transmitted to his desk, a White House spokesperson said.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) announced he will soon be filing a bill to protect federal workers from losing security clearances over marijuana. As he unveiled initial details of the forthcoming proposal at a hearing he was chairing, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) passed him a note to say she’d be cosponsoring the proposal.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) filed a new bill to allow state-legal marijuana businesses to access certain federal Small Business Administration loans and services, just like companies in any other industry can.

With former President Donald Trump announcing another run for the White House, Marijuana Moment compiled a lengthly look at his record on cannabis and drug policy—including his recent focus on pushing for the death penalty for people who sell drugs.

The Dormitory Authority of the State of New York selected 10 teams of firms that will be responsible for building out about 150 turn-key storefront facilities for social equity marijuana retailers to operate out of. Regulators are expected to approve the first round of adult-use dispensary licenses on Monday.

Arizona retailers have sold more than $1 billion worth of legal marijuana products so far in 2022—and there are still three more months worth of data to come in.

/ FEDERAL

Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and David Schweikert (R-AZ) filed legislation to repeal the lifetime ban on receiving the American Opportunity Tax Credit for students with felony drug convictions.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) sent a press release cheering Congress’s passage of marijuana research legislation.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) mentioned her support for legalizing marijuana in a House floor speech.

The House bill to facilitate expungements of marijuana convictions got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

/ STATES

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) touted his medical cannabis executive order but said it is “not a substitute” for legalization legislation that lawmakers could pass.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “I’m proud of the bills I’ve signed into law as governor. Bills like the Farm Bill, GI Bill, Clean Slate, raising the high school dropout age, and medical marijuana legalization will have a lasting impact on Pennsylvanians.” Separately, the new Senate majority leader said she doesn’t think marijuana legalization is worth considering until federal law changes.

Maryland Attorney General-elect Anthony Brown (D) named a former U.S. Cannabis Council president and CEO to his transition team.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “Strongly urging @GovRonDeSantis to not cancel our regularly scheduled Clemency Board meeting. Only had 1 this year. It’s our obligation to hear those crying out for justice. We must also consider pardons for state level marijuana offenses as @POTUS asked earlier this year.”

The Washington, D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety approved legislation to allow unlicensed cannabis businesses to obtain “transitional licenses.”

A spokesperson for Kansas’s Senate president said his position that medical cannabis legislation is not a priority has not changed.

New Minnesota senators-elect discussed their views on marijuana legalization.

A North Carolina appeals court is being asked to reconsider a ruling that criminalized nearly all non-flower forms of hemp.

A top New York Office of Cannabis Management official spoke about efforts to launch recreational marijuana sales.

Oregon regulators approved rules on marijuana testing validity.

Utah regulators are asking lawmakers to enact a ban on synthetic cannabinoids in medical cannabis products.

Colorado regulators issued a bulletin about marijuana rules changes.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration reported that the state generated $242 million in cannabis tax revenue for the third quarter of 2022. The Legislative Analyst’s Office noted that “state cannabis tax revenues have declined for five consecutive quarters.”

Vermont regulators will hold a question and answer session about marijuana on Monday.

Alaska’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana will meet on Tuesday.


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

The Buffalo, New York Common Council is considering a $242,000 settlement in a lawsuit filed by a firefighter who was fired over medical cannabis use.

The Tucson, Arizona Planning Commission recommended development code amendments related to marijuana dispensaries.

Miami, Florida officials deferred action on a proposal to allow medical cannabis dispensaries to operate.

The Deschutes County, Oregon Commission will hold a hearing on proposed land-use regulations for psilocybin businesses on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The United Nations General Assembly Third Committee approved a resolution on “the world drug problem.”

Swiss officials are considering importing cannabis from Canada for a trial on legal sales.

An Irish lawmaker plans to file a bill to legalize low-level marijuana possession this week.

The Finnish Medicines Agency granted a license to study psilocybin for the treatment of alcohol addiction.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoids exert potential anti-cancer activities” and that “antitumor effect of cannabinoids may [be] due to the improvement of metabolic disorders.”

A study found that “recreational cannabis laws were associated with a 0.9 percentage point increase in any alcohol use among the population overall but not in binge or heavy drinking.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Kentucky Democratic Party tweeted, “@GovAndyBeshear’s medical cannabis policy will make a real difference for Kentucky families. While the GOP plays politics, Gov. Beshear is leading.”

The American Civil Liberties Union touted drug policy reform and other lessons from the midterm elections.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation cheered Congress’s passage of a marijuana research bill.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray Brands, Inc. launched a platform aimed at connecting women with free resources on medical cannabis.

/ CULTURE

Fab 5 Freddy authored an op-ed calling on Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation.

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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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