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Biden won’t pardon cannabis sales, he suggests (Newsletter: October 24, 2022)



NAACP pushes marijuana banking vote; Fed court: Paraphernalia imports OK; DC votes to remove medical cannabis license cap; DE legalization poll

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President Joe Biden indicated in a speech that he has no intention of pardoning the thousands of people who are still in federal prisons for selling marijuana.

  • “You can’t sell it. But if it’s just use, you’re completely free.”

The NAACP board of directors passed a resolution pressing Congress for “immediate passage” of a cannabis banking bill and expressing support for broader federal marijuana legalization.

The U.S. Court of International Trade, for the second time in recent weeks, overturned Customs and Border Protection’s seizure of cannabis equipment—finding state-level marijuana legalization provides an exception to the federal ban on importing drug paraphernalia into the country.

The Washington, D.C. Council Judiciary & Public Safety Committee approved a bill to eliminate medical cannabis business caps, set aside social equity licenses, create new business categories for consumption facilities and cooking classes and permanently extend patient-self certification while also cracking down on unlicensed sellers.

A new poll found that 60 percent of Delaware voters—including 73 percent of Democrats—support legalizing marijuana despite Gov. John Carney’s (D) veto of a cannabis legalization bill earlier this year.

Pennsylvania’s Board of Pardons is allowing the 3,500 people who applied to receive relief under the governor’s Marijuana Pardon Project to fix any errors on their submissions so that they aren’t denied over small technicalities.


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’’s Medical Review Board Advisory Committee discussed potential future changes to regulations in light of the Biden administration’s marijuana scheduling review.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) said she is “open to” legalizing marijuana but has concerns about the impact on young people.

Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) said during a debate that he supports releasing anyone who is in prison for using marijuana only. Democratic contender Natalie James said she supports decriminalizing cannabis at the state and federal levels.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said that “drug trafficking is a classic crime that you can do from the comfort of your own home even while you’re wearing an ankle bracelet.”

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke at town hall on marijuana banking legislation hosted by the Minority Cannabis Business Association and other groups.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) is hosting a “Marijuana Impact Summit” on November 1 to highlight concerns about the legalization initiative on Missouri’s November ballot.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said the state is “on path” to open 20 recreational marijuana dispensaries by the end of the year. Separately, the state’s top cannabis regulator reiterated a pledge to begin sales this year.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) spoke about her support for medical cannabis. Republican challenger Derek Schmidt, currently the attorney general, said he has “great skepticism” about marijuana reform but says there are limited cases in which he supports making medical cannabis available as long as there are “guardrails.”

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Sherman tweeted photos of himself touring a marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts, saying, “As Governor, I will legalize adult-use cannabis.”

Arkansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Jones spoke about his support for creating a “just and equitable cannabis industry.”

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, tweeted, “When I’m governor, we’re going to legalize marijuana in Texas.”

Maryland comptroller candidates said during a debate that they will vote for the marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot.

A Florida representative tweeted, “For the last two years, I have filed a bill to legalize marijuana in Florida and use the tax funds it generates to pay our teachers more. If you send me back to Tallahassee I will file it again until it is passed.”

Oregon regulators approved rules on a marijuana license moratorium and requiring cannabis businesss and their employees to report suspected sex trafficking or human trafficking.

Illinois regulators are being sued over claims that their marijuana dispensary license application scoring process, which awarded extra points to veterans, is discriminatory against LGBTQ+ people due to the military’s previous ban on openly serving gay and lesbian members.

An Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics official said nearly a quarter of the state’s medical cannabis businesses may be owned by “ghost owners” who live in state to meet residency requirements but actually have no involvement in the operations.

The Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media is awarding a $221,000 rebate payment to the production team for the cannabis reality show High Science.

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.

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Spotsylvania County, Virginia officials charged a mother with felony murder and felony child neglect over the death of her son, who reportedly after apparently eating a large amount of cannabis gummies.

Baltimore, Maryland’s mayor authored an op-ed calling for the establishment of safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

Northampton, Massachusetts’s mayor rejected a host community agreement for a proposed marijuana dispensary.

Los Angeles, California officials are hosting town halls on cannabis enforcement this month and next month.


Brazil’s Federal Council of Medicine is reopening a public consultation on medical cannabis restrictions it recently approved.

Italian lawmakers filed legislation to legalize low-THC cannabis.

Colombia reached its highest-ever levels of coca production in 2021, according to a new report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.


A study found that “a  long-term THC/CBD (1:2) medication can be administered safely and with overall positive clinical improvement to poly medicated older adults with severe dementia and associated problems.”

A study found that “there were no significant differences in cerebellar-cortical [resting-state functional connectivity] between monozygotic twins who were discordant for cannabis measures,” suggesting “shared genetic or environmental confounds contribute to associations between cannabis use and altered cerebellar-cortical rsFC, rather than unique causal impacts of cannabis use on cerebellar-cortical rsFC.”


The Texas Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s time to legalize cannabis in Texas! Democrats can and will get it done.”

The Missouri Republican State Executive Committee adopted a resolution opposing the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, claiming that the reform leads to “increases in various social problems, including addiction, mental health problems, traffic deaths, and rising youth rates of marijuana consumption.”

The New York Daily News editorial board is calling on regulators to do more to crack down on unlicensed marijuana businesses.

The Marijuana Policy Project published a Hawaii voter guide.


Trulieve issued a response to press reports about the death of an employee who collapsed while at work. The company’s CEO refused to answer questions about the issue during a visit to a dispensary, and the reporter was asked to leave.

Florida regulators said that the deal between Green Thumb Industries and  Circle K to sell medical cannabis at gas stations “has not been approved by the State” and that “Florida has never approved a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center to operate out of a gas station.”

Cronos Group Inc. and a former executive are being sanctioned by the Ontario Securities Commission for allegedly failing to file accurate financial statements.

Curaleaf agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit over cannabis drops labeled as CBD products that actually contained high levels of THC.

The makers of Jeeter are being sued over allegedly inaccurate THC content labels.

Canadian retailers sold C$393.7 million worth of legal cannabis products in August.


Dr. Phil moderated a debate between marijuana legalization supporters and opponents.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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