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Cannabis banking amendment gets another shot (Newsletter: January 31, 2022)

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OH legalization signatures valid; Top drug official says teen marijuana use stable at SAM/DARE event; OR psilocybin equity bill; USA hemp webinars

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow—at an event hosted by prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana and sponsored by D.A.R.E.—reaffirmed that teen cannabis use is “stable” even as more states are enacting legalization.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) filed the text of his marijuana banking bill as an amendment to broader legislation going before the House Rules Committee on Tuesday. The congressman has pledged to pursue avenues to pass the SAFE Banking Act  before he leaves office next year.

Ohio’s secretary of state confirmed that activists collected enough signatures to force lawmakers to consider marijuana legalization. If legislators don’t act within four months, the campaign can collect more petitions to put the initiative before voters on the November ballot.

Oregon lawmakers filed a new bill to create a task force to help ensure the state’s emerging legal psilocybin services program centers equity for psychedelic business owners, session facilitators and participants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is teaming up with Cornell University on a hemp webinar series that will cover issues like cultivation, processing, extraction, the endocannabinoid system, food science, genetics and economics of the industry.

A new scientific case study looks at two donkeys who had an intense experience after being hand-fed marijuana buds but later “recovered uneventfully within 24 hours of peak effects.”

/ FEDERAL

A White House press release touted a new U.S. Department of Agriculture appointee’s record of overseeing cannabis issues in Florida.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism & Homeland Security heard testimony about a man who died of COVID after being sent to prison for marijuana.

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) tweeted, “I am outraged to hear that none of the 56 NJ cannabis business licenses were awarded to a Black-owned business.  These entrepreneurs have been shut out of New Jersey’s cannabis market.  NJ needs to end this injustice!”

Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) and more than 20 colleagues sent a letter calling on the secretaries of state and treasury to seek targeted sanctions against Philippine officials responsible for human rights violations in the nation’s bloody “drug war.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “It is way past time we legalize marijuana and expunge records for cannabis-related offenses. Our office is proud to co-sponsor the MORE Act to help make this a reality.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “Businesses big and small recognize the ramifications of cannabis prohibitions…and what a detriment it is on the workforce.”

Louisiana Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers met with California cannabis growers and tweeted, “Louisiana citizens should have the opportunity to own & grow these kinds of businesses. Justice & equity require that we move the entire country forward on pot policies.”

/ STATES

Minnesota’s deputy agriculture commissioner spoke about Gov Tim Walz’s (D) marijuana legalization proposal.

One Missouri marijuana legalization campaign raised $778,000 in the last quarter of 2021 while another campaign brought in less than $1,200.

The Washington State House of Representatives approved a bill to clarify civil and criminal protections for medical cannabis patients.

The South Carolina Senate could consider amendments to a medical cannabis bill this week. The senator sponsoring the legislation spoke about his ongoing efforts to convince colleagues to support it.

A spokesperson for Virginia’s House speaker said his top concern with marijuana legislation is that “we have to have a regulatory structure in place for retail sales that does not encourage the black market.”

The chair of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus authored an op-ed calling for marijuana legalization. The House speaker tweeted, “I applaud the thoughtful insight from Maryland Black Caucus Chair @DelDBarnes on how Maryland moves forward with equitable cannabis policy reform. We are taking this issue seriously and will cross the finish line.”

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy approved legislation on marijuana local host community agreements, social consumption sites and equity.

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee killed a marijuana legalization bill at the request of its sponsors.

The Maine legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to legalize psilocybin therapy on Tuesday.

A Tennessee representative filed a marijuana legalization bill.

The Illinois Supreme Court denied a request to let regulators name the winners of craft cannabis licenses while litigation is ongoing.

An Arizona judge heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging the state’s marijuana social equity program.

New York’s top marijuana regulator said final rules to implement legalization should be ready by early spring.

California cannabis regulators are proposing to adopt a conflict of interest code.

Georgia regulators met to discuss medical cannabis implementation issues.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Vermont regulators will consider public comments on proposed cannabis rules on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s Senate president said marijuana reform will be a priority in the session that begins this week.

Colombia’s agriculture minister visited a cannabis production facility.

Polish lawmakers advanced a hemp research bill.

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada city councilors are proposing a drug decriminalization plan.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “medical cannabis used as an alternative treatment for chronic pain demonstrates reduction in chronic opioid use.”

A study found cannabis-based medicinal products “treatment to be associated with a relatively low incidence of severe adverse events in the medium-term” and that “positive changes following treatment were observed in general, as well as anxiety and sleep-specific, [health-related quality of life]  outcomes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 59 percent of American adults would rather purchase marijuana via delivery than going to a dispensary.

A poll found that British voters are split on legalizing marijuana, with 35 percent in favor and 38 percent against.

The Indiana Democratic Party is talking up marijuana legalization on a new “jobs tour.”

The Economist’s editorial board said more states should legalize psychedelic therapy.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. closed a private placement of senior secured notes worth $75 million.

The Parent Company announced that certain insiders of the company voluntarily entered into a twelve-month extension of lock-up agreements.

Workers at Sunnyside in Champaign, Illinois voted to ratify a union contract.

Workers at Sanctuary Medicinals and INSA in Massachusetts filed petitions for union representation.

/ CULTURE

Wiz Khalifa’s cannabis brand officially launched sales at Cookies stores in California.

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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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