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Cannabis banking would make IRS’s job easier, official says (Newsletter: October 25, 2021)

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Senate panel demands drug war accounting; Luxembourg moves to legalize marijuana; Bipartisan cannabis research bill; TX delta-8 ban causes scramble

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Senate Appropriations Committee issued a draft report demanding that the State Department explain why tens of billions of dollars spent on the international war on drugs has done virtually nothing to stop drugs and why the U.S. strategy remains “largely unchanged.”

An Internal Revenue Service official said giving marijuana businesses access to banks “would make the IRS’s job to collect [taxes] a lot easier.” She also discussed the 280E provision and how the agency takes steps to help cannabis firms comply with tax law.

Luxembourg’s ministers of justice and homeland security announced that the government plans to legalize possession and cultivation of marijuana for personal use early in 2022. A broader system to legalize and regulate cannabis sales would follow later.

A bipartisan group of members of Congress led by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andy Harris (R-MD)  filed a new bill to remove barriers to marijuana research—including by letting scientists study dispensary cannabis. A prior version passed the House last year.

Hemp retailers are scrambling in the wake of a Texas Department of State Health Services notice clarifying that the state classifies delta-8 THC as an illegal drug.

/ FEDERAL

A onetime associate of former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) was found guilty on federal charges of making illegal campaign contributions as part of a scheme to win marijuana business licenses.

The Department of Veterans Affairs published a contract solicitation to produce 1,000,000 capsules to be used in a proof of concept trial of cannabis derivatives in treating neuropathic pain.

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) participated in a summit hosted by prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got five new cosponsors for a total of 92.

/ STATES

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) touted marijuana legalization as a key accomplishment at a pre-election rally for state Democrats.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “We’re creating opportunities for generations of New Mexicans by building jobs and a whole new economic revenue stream through recreational cannabis.”

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted, “Ron DeSantis *now* says his special session is to protect workers ignoring their employers’ vaccine policies. Why don’t we start by protecting patients who lose their jobs when they exercise their right to use medical cannabis?”

Connecticut’s attorney general said billboards advertising Massachusetts marijuana dispensaries are illegal.

Arkansas’s attorney general issued a warning about marijuana edibles in packaging that resembles well-known snack foods and candy.

Washington, D.C.’s attorney general tweeted about Senate legislation to let the city legalize cannabis sales, saying, “For 6 years, Congress refused to allow the District to regulate marijuana, trapping residents in legal limbo, threatening public safety by allowing the underground market to operate without oversight, and depriving us of tax revenue. This is welcome news.”

Massachusetts’s treasurer made new appointments to the Cannabis Advisory Board. Separately, a former regulator authored an op-ed highlighting new research that indicates the ban on cannabis vapes that the state instituted during an outbreak of lung injuries made the problem worse by preventing access to regulated products.

Colorado’s House speaker received an award from prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

A Mississippi senator is circulating a revised version of draft medical cannabis legislation.

Oklahoma senators will host an interim study on process validation and medical cannabis testing requirements on Monday.

The Montana Supreme Court overturned a man’s conviction for transporting marijuana after determining that police violated his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

Vermont regulators voted to ban marijuana stores within 500 feet walking distance from a school.

Michigan regulators published a bulletin about visiting medical cannabis patients from out of state.

Rhode Island regulators will hold a long-delayed lottery for medical cannabis dispensary licenses this week.

Oregon regulators fined a marijuana processor for violating packaging and labeling rules.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development tweeted, “Move over corn, PA is moving to hemp.🌿 A first-of-its-kind 4-acre hemp maze is growing in Lancaster, offering a twist on this traditional fall attraction.”


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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 Douglas County, Oregon Board of Commissioners voted to declare a state of emergency over illegal marijuana cultivation.

Kalamazoo, Michigan officials are considering approving a marijuana social use lounge.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK government ignored a confidential recommendation from its Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to decriminalize drugs.

Argentina’s Supreme Court of Justice ordered officials to provide medical cannabis oil to a person suffering from refractory epilepsy.

Ireland’s Department of Education issued a warning about cannabis-infused candies in advance of Halloween.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “most pediatric oncologists and palliative care physicians recognize a potential role for cannabis in symptom control in children with cancer.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 86 percent of Moroccans believe legalizing marijuana would contribute to economic development.

The Attorney General Alliance published a deskbook on cannabis law.

The Drug Policy Alliance, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and other organizations sent a letter urging congressional leaders to oppose the Biden administration’s plan to permanently classify fentanyl-related substances as Schedule I drugs.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. opened its 25th marijuana dispensary in the U.S.

Workers at a Curaleaf in Worth, Illinois voted to join Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

MedMen’s former CFO testified that he resigned after discovering potential illegal transportation of marijuana and stock market manipulation.

Cybin Inc. announced the completion of its 74th pre-clinical study.

Canadian retailers sold C$356.9 million worth of legal marijuana products in August.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson is calling on the UK to legalize marijuana.

Joshua D. Angrist, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor who won a Nobel prize this month, once wrote in a published paper that he “smoked marijuana repeatedly throughout the day in high school.”

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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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