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Booker clarifies cannabis banking stance (Newsletter: July 22, 2021)

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House panel urges psychedelic research; Congressman: Marijuana performance enhancing for eating contests; NC medical cannabis vote; Welfare+weed bill

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) clarified that he supports marijuana banking legislation, but explained his strategy of blocking its advancement for now to use it as a “sweetener” to get more senators to vote for broader, justice-focused legalization first.

The House Appropriations Committee included a provision in a spending bill report that encourages federal agencies to research “the effectiveness of psychedelic therapies in treating PTSD, major depressive disorder, and other serious mental health conditions” experienced by military veterans.

The North Carolina Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis. It’s the second panel to advance the legislation so far.

Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC) and Jackie Walorski (R-IN) filed a bill to block people from accessing TANF funds at marijuana dispensaries. It’s called the Welfare for Needs not Weed Act, and legalization advocates say it perpetuates harmful stigmas about cannabis.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said that marijuana is only a performance-enhancing drug in hot dog eating contests. He also said that if the U.S. can get out of the lengthy Afghanistan war, it can exit the war on drugs too.

  • The comments came at a House Judiciary Committee markup of a bill to eliminate the disparity in sentencing between crack and powder cocaine, which advanced on a bipartisan vote.

/ FEDERAL

The House Energy and Commerce Committee approved several drug policy bills.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about efforts to convince President Joe Biden and Republican senators to support their marijuana legalization bill.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release about her amendments to protect people from being evicted from public housing over marijuana.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has never worked. Addiction is a disease — one that we should provide care and treatment for. NOT punishment and imprisonment.”

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) again spoke on the House floor about his belief that marijuana legalization is causing cartels to focus on smuggling other drugs.

/ STATES

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a bill aimed at preventing minors from purchasing hemp-derived intoxicating products, and regulators approved temporary rules on inspecting grow sites.

A political action committee supporting Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) raised $56,000 at a fundraiser organized by people affiliated with medical cannabis businesses.

California’s treasurer is being sued for allegedly sexually harassing, discriminating against and wrongfully terminating an agency director who says she also gifted her marijuana edibles.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that regulators can’t allow medical cannabis companies to redact their own license applications.

Utah regulators are facing a federal lawsuit from a company that was denied a medical cannabis cultivation license.

A marijuana information website closed after Connecticut regulators ordered it to stop using “street names” for cannabis products.

Illinois issued guidance on the use of cannabis loan funds.

The Arkansas legislature’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Subcommittee discussed pricing structures and the licensing processes.

An Ohio representative spoke about his forthcoming bill to legalize marijuana.

Vermont regulators will discuss hemp, testing, extraction and safety issues on Thursday.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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 Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, and Lincoln County, South Dakota task force finalized a medical cannabis implementation timeline.

The Butler and Boonton, New Jersey City Councils voted to approve ordinances allowing marijuana retail businesses.

Santa Fe County, New Mexico Commission staff reversed an initial proposal to only allow indoor marijuana cultivation.

Denver, Colorado’s official Twitter account tweeted, “Inequity in the marijuana industry shows up in ownership. That’s why, until 2027, we’re reserving almost all new marijuana licenses for social equity applicants. Additionally, we’re offering waived and reduced fees to social equity applicants.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Gibraltar’s government plans to publish medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “current daily cannabis use was associated with lower levels of pro-inflammatory chemokines implicated in HIV pathogenesis.”

A study’s findings “contribute to the evidence of CBD’s beneficial effects on treating chronic pain and associated comorbidities such as anxiety.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A record number of organizations and companies—including Amazon—registered to federally lobby on marijuana issues last quarter.

NY Cannabis United, a coalition of organizations and businesses, sent a letter urging New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and lawmakers to appoint officials to the state’s new marijuana regulatory bodies without further delay.

/ BUSINESS

Green Thumb Industries Inc. is launching a line of cannabis products called Good Green that’s “dedicated to creating professional opportunities for marginalized communities impacted by the War on Drugs.”

Tryp Therapeutics announced plans to conduct a Phase 2a clinical trial of psilocybin treatment for  fibromyalgia.

Arizona state data shows that retailers in the state are on track to sell more than $1 billion in marijuana this year.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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