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Cannabis banking left out of NDAA (Newsletter: December 8, 2021)

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“Urgent” marijuana pardon request for Biden; NE gov in anti-cannabis ad; UN rejects kratom ban; VA highlights marijuana benefits for PTSD

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and other House lawmakers slammed Senate leadership after marijuana banking provisions were not included in a bicamerally negotiated version of the National Defense Authorization Act. The congressman filed a new amendment to add his legislation back in but did not insist on a vote so as not to jeopardize the broader defense bill—though he said he spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about pursuing separate options to force the other chamber to consider the reform.

Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent President Joe Biden a letter to “urgently request” an update on calls to issue mass marijuana pardons so incarcerated people can reunite with their families as the holidays approach.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) appears in a new TV ad campaign that prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s state affiliate is now airing as reform activists seek to qualify medical cannabis initiatives for the 2022 ballot.

  • “The only difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana is word choice… “It’s not medicine… Big Marijuana’s way is the wrong way for Nebraska.”

The United Nations World Health Organization’s Executive Committee on Drug Dependency decided against recommending an international ban on kratom.

The Department of Veterans Affairs published a podcast interview with a researcher discussing his study showing the benefits of medical marijuana in treating PTSD symptoms and talking about how federal prohibition impedes the scientific process.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that federal fentanyl criminal cases are rising and now outnumber those for marijuana.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a short podcast on changes to hemp crop insurance rules.

The International Trade Administration noted Malta’s marijuana market opportunities in a report.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reiterated his concerns about advancing marijuana banking legislation without sentencing reform attached.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “End the war on drugs.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) wrote in a constituent letter that “marijuana is illegal for sound reasons.”

Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-OR) authored an op-ed about problems associated with illegal marijuana cultivation.

/ STATES

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) discussed her appointment for the state’s top marijuana regulator.

Alabama Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James criticized the new medical cannabis law, saying it is about “creating a cartel to peddle marijuana across this state.”

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted, “As we work to legalize cannabis in Florida, we can’t afford to build a system that repeats the discriminatory mistakes of the past. Medical marijuana licenses should be awarded to qualified growers, not only those that can afford 6 figure fees.”

The Maine legislature’s Marijuana Advisory Commission filed an annual report.

A Wyoming representative tweeted, “How many jail cells could be turned into affordable housing opportunities if we stopped the needless and harmful war on drugs? How many lives would be saved if drugs were regulated rather than pushed on the black market?”

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory recall of medical cannabis products after receiving reports of foreign matter, possibly plastic, within the packaging.

New Mexico regulators began accepting applications for additional marijuana business license types.

Connecticut’s marijuana Social Equity Council acted on requirements for cannabis social equity business applications.

Washington State regulators said they successfully launched a new marijuana tracking system.

A Rhode Island lottery for an additional medical cannabis dispensary license is being delayed amid a legal challenge from a disqualified applicant.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will participate in the Emerald Cup this weekend.

New Jersey regulators posted tips on preparing to submit marijuana business license applications.

Oklahoma regulators sent a reminder about requirements for transporting medical cannabis.

The Illinois State Police published a FAQ about expunging marijuana records.

Nebraska regulators posted hemp cultivation license application guidance.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,300 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 Gwinnett County, Georgia Board of Commissioners again delayed action on a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Schenectady, New York is moving to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities.

The Boston, Massachusetts Cannabis Board will meet on Wednesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malta’s parliament is expected to take a final vote on a marijuana legalization bill next week.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Science & Technology submitted a medical cannabis and hemp policy to the prime minister’s office.

Israel’s Health Ministry formed a committee to examine the possible removal of CBD from the list of dangerous drugs.

A former Italian senator who is leading a marijuana referendum campaign spoke about the status of the effort.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabidiol is associated with clinical improvement in Dravet syndrome.”

A study of mice concluded that “CBD and CBD+THC might be useful in the treatment of epilepsy and possibly psychosis, but not in the treatment of depression.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s time for the Democratic majority in Washington to decriminalize and finally end the federal prohibition on marijuana.”

The Global Commission on Drug Policy published a new report calling for an end to drug prohibition.

The Cato Institute included marijuana laws and drug enforcement as criteria in a new report ranking states by personal and economic freedom.

The National Urban League is hosting a chat on participation of people of color in the marijuana industry on Wednesday.

/ BUSINESS

Wells Fargo initiative courage of four marijuana-related stocks.

Delix Therapeutics announced a partnership with the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study a non-hallucinogenic and non-toxic ibogaine analog for treating substance use disorders.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said he doesn’t think “dropping acid makes you age less” and that “drugs probably make you age more.”

/ CULTURE

A federal judge rejected Solar Therapeutics’s CEO’s motion to be dismissed from Sacha Baron Cohen’s lawsuit filed against the company for allegedly using his Borat character’s likeness on a billboard without permission.

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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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