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Biden “working on” cannabis campaign pledge (Newsletter: July 18, 2022)

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CO gov’s marijuana exec order; Interior sec pressed on tribal legalization interference; Griner is a medical cannabis patient; Safe consumption study

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

President Joe Biden told reporters that he’s “working on” fulfilling his campaign pledge to free cannabis prisoners.

  • “I don’t think anyone should be in prison for the use of marijuana.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) issued an executive order to protect workers from being denied professionally licensed employment opportunities due to legal marijuana use.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was pressed during a Senate hearing about the Bureau of Indian Affairs spending resources to interfere with tribal cannabis programs.

Lawyers for American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is on trial for possessing cannabis vapes in Russia, presented evidence in court that she is a registered medical marijuana patient in Arizona.

A study published by the American Medical Association found that the U.S.’s first sanctioned safe consumption sites for illegal drugs in New York City have prevented overdose deaths and reduced use in public.

The Utah legislature’s Medical Cannabis Governance Structure Working Group took testimony on the possibility of consolidating  oversight of the medical marijuana program under one agency instead of the current two that have jurisdiction.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he and others will introduce a federal marijuana legalization bill “soon” and that it will be “very similar” to a draft released last year, though  some“very important changes” have been made.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus cheered the inclusion of marijuana provisions on banking and veterans’ medical access in the National Defense Authorization Act.

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) touted the inclusion of marijuana banking language in the National Defense Authorization Act.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “It’s time to enact common sense cannabis reforms, starting with banking access.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted that New York regulators’ approval of marijuana dispensary rules is “great news. I look forward to visiting the dispensaries and talking with the small business owners once they are up and running!”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana with a focus on veterans and small businesses got one new cosponsor, for a total of nine.

The House bill to create a commission to study legal cannabis regulations got one new cosponsor, for a total of four.

The House bill to facilitate state marijuana expungements got one new cosponsor, for a total of six.

The House bill to seal federal marijuana conviction records got one new cosponsor, for a total of 17.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor, for a total of 40.

/ STATES

Tennessee Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Martin spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

Texas’s agriculture commissioner authored an op-ed saying that “the history of cannabis prohibition reflects the failed alcohol prohibition” and that the state should expand its limited medical marijuana program. His Democratic opponent responded by tweeting, “Someone just did a poll 👀”

The South Dakota legislature’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee held its first meeting.

Colorado Senate Democrats thanked Gov. Jared Polis (D) for signing an executive order providing marijuana-related employment protections.

A Florida representative tweeted, “Florida voters have made clear that marijuana should be legal in our state. It’s past time for the legislature to pass my bipartisan bill legalizing cannabis for adult-use, allow small business to compete, and expunge non-violent records of those with cannabis-related offenses.”

The New Jersey Supreme Court is taking up a case on marijuana expungements and diversionary programs.

New York’s top marijuana regulator spoke about efforts to bring legacy operators into the regulated industry.

Alaska regulators proposed rules changes on the size of marijuana samples that can be transported to trade shows, the need for cannabis businesses to have backup power supply for video surveillance and public notice of license applications of license applications.

California regulators corrected errors in notices about public hearings on changes to rules on marijuana cultivation licenses and testing.

Rhode Island regulators explained new rules on medical cannabis in schools.


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

New York City’s mayor spoke about the prevalence of the smell of marijuana in the city. Meanwhile, the city is looking to hire for the position of Cannabis NYC Founding Director.

The Keizer, Oregon City Council is expected to vote on Monday to place a measure on the November ballot to ban psilocybin services businesses.

Albany, New York’s mayor appointed members to the Local Cannabis Legalization Advisory Committee.

The Denton, Texas City Council is expected to hold a hearing on a marijuana decriminalization initiative on Tuesday.

Detroit, Michigan officials will begin accepting recreational marijuana business license applications on August 1.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Officials from Germany, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands met to discuss cannabis regulations.

Russia’s mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe criticized countries that are moving to legalize marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case report suggested that “cannabinoid microdosing could be effective as an Alzheimer’s disease treatment while preventing major side effects.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. adults support legalizing marijuana, 58 percent to 28 percent, and that they back clearing cannabis-related records, 65 percent to 23 percent.

The chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party blasted Republicans for blocking the passage of medical cannabis legislation.

The Texas Democratic Convention featured a meeting of a Cannabis Special Interest Group.

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses is ceasing its operations.

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. obtained a final order from the Supreme Court of British Columbia approving its proposed acquisition by Cresco Labis Inc.

Cresco Labs Inc. shareholders elected board members.

A federal judge presiding over a real estate company’s lawsuit against MedMen has ordered the plaintiff to show how the court has jurisdiction in the case, lest it be dismissed.

Waitr Holdings Inc. began delivery of CBD products in Texas markets.

Missouri dispensaries have sold more than $393 million worth of medical cannabis since sales began.

/ CULTURE

The president of World Athletics said marijuana policies for athletes should be reconsidered.

Representatives for Drake disputed false rumors that he was arrested for marijuana in Sweden.

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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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