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Cannabis companies team up to sue the feds (Newsletter: May 30, 2022)

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State banking regulators want SAFE passed; CA marijuana tax revenues stall; LA worker protections op-ed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings told Marijuana Moment that his company and other multi-state operators are teaming up to sue the federal government to overturn cannabis prohibition.

  • He says they’ve retained the law firm of star attorney David Boies, with the goal of filing two separate lawsuits: One focused on stopping the federal government from impeding intrastate cannabis commerce and another challenging a tax provision known as 280E that blocks the industry from taking tax deductions that are available to any other company.

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors, which represents state financial regulators, is calling on Congress to enact marijuana banking protections through the America COMPETES Act.

California officials reported that the state has generated nearly $4 billion in marijuana tax revenue since legal sales began in 2018—but that quarterly growth in the state’s hauls has stalled out over the past year and a half.

Green Leaf Dispensary owner Donnie P. writes in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that Louisiana lawmakers should pass a bill providing employment protections to public workers who use medical cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture is adding new questions about hemp this year.

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) said he has serious concerns about federally legalizing marijuana.

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) tweeted, “I’m glad to see new legal clarity for CBD producers and sales in MN. This is vital to keeping legitimate businesses out of legal limbo. That’s why I joined my colleague, @RepKathleenRice in introducing the CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act to accomplish this across the country. And I will continue to call on the Senate to take up the MORE Act to finally legalize adult-use cannabis.”

Illinois Democratic congressional candidates discussed marijuana policy during a forum.

/ STATES

South Dakota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith, currently the House minority leader, tweeted, “My plan is simple: Listen and implement the will of South Dakotans. Recreational marijuana should be legal in our state.”

Tennessee Democratic gubernatorial candidates discussed marijuana at a debate. Contender JB Smiley, Jr. tweeted, “We have more things to be focused on other than legalizing marijuana.” He also tweeted, “Let me be clear, I support decriminalizing, medicinal use,  and legalizing marijuana. In addition, we need to be expunging the records of those individuals who have criminal records simply because they possessed marijuana.”

After New York’s attorney general asked people to send complaints about any cannabis-infused candies they encountered around Halloween, the office received only one submission, and it was from a medical cannabis patient who said a dispensary sold her a spoiled product.

The California Senate approved legislation to eliminate the cannabis cultivation tax, establish a marijuana equity tax credit, create a retailer tax credit and add labeling requirements for cannabis products.

Virginia House and Senate leaders included a provision to recriminalize possession of more than four ounces of marijuana in public in budget legislation.

Indiana’s Senate president pro tem and minority leader spoke about how lawmakers may formally study cannabis issues this summer.

Massachusetts’s House speaker said the state can apply lessons it learned from legalizing marijuana to collegiate sports betting.

A Wisconsin senator said she is open to medical cannabis but has concerns about recreational marijuana legalization.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that an Arizona woman’s medical cannabis card does not protect her from arrest for possessing marijuana in the state.

An Illinois judge lifted a stay that has prevented regulators from issuing additional marijuana dispensary licenses.

Oklahoma regulators will stop processing applications for medical cannabis cultivation, processing and dispensary licenses as of August 1 for a period of two years in line with a new law.

New Mexico generated more than $2.4 million in cannabis excise taxes in the first month of legal recreational sales.

Vermont regulators are closing the pre-qualification window for marijuana business license applications on Tuesday.

Nevada regulators will hold a public hearing on rules for cannabis consumption lounges on June 28.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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 Duncannon, Pennsylvania Borough Council passed a resolution calling for marijuana legalization.

Los Angeles, California school officials are pushing to close or relocate marijuana dispensaries that are in close proximity to schools.

Detroit, Michigan officials began awarding the first recreational marijuana business licenses in the city.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguayan President Luis Lacaille Pou expressed some reservations about the country’s legal marijuana system.

Several Thai government agencies signed an agreement to “support and promote the appropriate use of cannabis and hemp.”

Scotland’s drug policy minister said that safe consumption sites for illegal drugs are part of the solution to the overdose crisis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “in multiple experimental models, both in vitro and in vivo, several phytocannabinoids, including Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG), exhibit activity against inflammation.”

A study found that there is “some evidence that recreational cannabis legalization in the United States is associated with elevated odds of transition to cannabis use among both youths and adults.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Navajo Nation is taking a stance against the legalization or decriminalization of peyote for non-Indigenous people.

Psychedelics Canada is a new trade association representing companies in the emerging industry.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation reported quarterly net revenue of C$111.8 million and a net loss of C$578.6 million.

Harborside Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $17.2 million.

Members of Trulieve Cannabis Corp.’s executive team purchased shares in the company last week.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. entered into an agreement with underwriters who will buy shares of the company on a bought deal basis for gross proceeds of approximately $125.2 million.

Bally’s, Inc. said it will not allow marijuana smoking inside its casinos in Rhode Island, despite the state’s new legalization law.

/ CULTURE

Heidi Klum reportedly met with Germany’s drugs minister to press for marijuana legalization.

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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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