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Cannabis banking left out of omnibus (Newsletter: December 20, 2022)

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MN gov: Legal marijuana “by May”; CA legal psychedelics bill refiled; Study: Legalized states have better cannabis public health outcomes

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional staffers confirmed to Marijuana Moment that cannabis banking language is not being included in the omnibus appropriations bill despite a final push by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other supporters from both parties. Advocates will now look ahead to 2023 and the possibility of advancing the cannabis reform in a divided Congress.

Meanwhile, incoming House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry (R-NC) said he still opposes cannabis banking legislation but won’t stand in the way in the GOP-controlled chamber next year.

  • Ahead of the news about the omnibus, marijuana industry leaders and some law enforcement officials made a final push to include the cannabis banking provisions. 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he expects the state to legalize marijuana “by May.” But the House speaker said she thinks it’ll be on a slower timeline, sometime over the next two years.

A California senator refiled his bill to legalize possession of certain psychedelics. The new version—unlike last session’s that cleared the Senate but stalled in the Assembly—would only cover plant- and fungi-based substances, leaving out synthetics such as LSD and MDMA.

A new Cannabis Public Policy Consulting study shows that states where marijuana is legal have less underage use and impaired driving than states where cannabis remains criminalized.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Veterans Affairs posted online courses about medical marijuana’s role in treating PTSD and the science of cannabis use disorder.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) tweeted about the Justice Department’s cocaine sentencing move, saying, “The ‘War on Drugs’ failed. It did not stop drug use and was designed & enforced in a manner that had a discriminatory impact on communities of color. This is another step by the Biden Admin to undo harmful policies and establish a fairer justice system. Much work still to do.”

Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA) tweeted that the Justice Department’s cocaine sentencing move “won’t undo decades of sentencing injustice and harm to Black communities across the country, but it’s a huge step toward ending the racial injustices fueled by the failed War on Drugs.”

Reps. David Trone (D-MD) and Don Beyer (D-VA) coauthored an op-ed calling for drug policies based on demand reduction and harm reduction.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Wisconsin should legalize recreational marijuana. And I’ll propose to do just that in our next biennial budget.”

A Missouri senator-elect said he believes the state’s marijuana legalization law will make law enforcement’s job harder.

The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld regulators’ right to withhold emails with a hemp policy consultant in response to a public records request.

A Michigan court ruled that positive drug tests alone can’t be used as justification to suspend parental visitation time.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s chair is stepping down.

Florida regulators filed emergency medical cannabis rules amendments that increase business licensing fees and make other changes. The agriculture commissioner tweeted, “Wow @GovRonDeSantis has become so predictable. Cannabis rules out for new licenses limits the release of new licenses based on ‘need’ in violation of state law.  Desantis continues to show he is not a capitalist, against freedom, favors BIG government, and ignores the laws.”

Utah regulators filed emergency changes to rules on hemp processors.

Connecticut regulators spoke about preparations to launch recreational marijuana sales early in the new year.

Oregon regulators posted compliance bulletins about walk-up and drive-thru sales, as well as discounted items.

The Washington, D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration tweeted, “Big news 🎙️🎙️🎙️ The fee waiver for med cannabis patient & caregiver registrations has been extended again thru 4/13! Apply today. Self-certification permitted.”

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Agricultural Trades Show next month will feature a hemp program.

A sixth Rhode Island dispensary will begin recreational sales on Tuesday.

New York marijuana regulators will consider approving additional marijuana business licenses on Wednesday.

Vermont regulators will review staff recommendations for marijuana license approvals and social equity status, as well as discuss a draft report on hemp regulation, on Wednesday.


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

A worker at a New York City unlicensed marijuana shop was stabbed by a man who allegedly robbed the store days earlier.

Police officials in Ohio municipalities spoke about voter-approved local marijuana decriminalization ballot measures.

The Columbia and Jefferson City, Missouri City Councils are considering proposals to enact local marijuana taxes.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg’s justice minister defended the government’s move to legalize marijuana.

The Philippine interior secretary said he opposes decriminalizing drugs.

UK police officials are preparing to plan to offer treatment or education to people who are caught with marijuana or cocaine instead of prosecuting them.

Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency approved a project to cultivate cannabis for research.

An Irish lawmaker authored an op-ed calling for a health-focused approach to drugs rather than a criminal one.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “studies demonstrated that medical marijuana has a significant clinical response by reducing the length and frequency of migraines” and that “no severe adverse effects were noted.”

A study of mice concluded that “combinations of celecoxib plus CBD produce efficacious antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like effects, which may depend on their synergistic microglia-suppressive effects.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Virginia voters found that 32 percent believe marijuana decriminalization has made their community more safe, 19 percent think it is less safe and 38 percent say there has been no change.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. has two new board members.

Washington State saw a decline in annual marijuana sales for the first time this year.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson reportedly smoked marijuana at Tucker Carlson’s house.

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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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