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Cannabis insurance bill in Congress (Newsletter: April 28, 2023)



ATF changes marijuana hiring policy; TX decrim heads to Senate; MN psychedelics task force; CA cannabis research grants; Twitter ad policy

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The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives changed its hiring policy so applicants who’ve grown or sold marijuana in compliance with state laws while serving in a “position of public responsibility” will no longer be automatically disqualified.

Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Warren Davidson(R-OH) filed a bipartisan bill to provide a safe harbor to insurance companies that work with state-legal marijuana businesses.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a marijuana decriminalization bill on third reading—formally sending it to the Senate.

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a health policy bill that includes provisions to create a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force that would study medical benefits and prepare the state for possible legalization.

The California Department of Cannabis Control awarded nearly $20 million in marijuana revenue-funded research grants to projects investigating issues such as protecting “legacy” cannabis strains, preventing industry monopolies, medical usage and potency.

Twitter updated its marijuana advertising policy again—now saying that “certified advertisers may feature packaged cannabis products in ad creative.”

The U.S. Cannabis Council announced changes to its leadership—including a new executive director, board members and staff—as marijuana industry stakeholders continue to push for reform in a divided Congress.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission issued the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary licenses.


Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “In case you missed it, a group of Republicans just blocked a bipartisan veterans bill on the Senate floor because it contained a provision to study the impact of medical cannabis on veterans suffering from PTSD. Cruel doesn’t begin to cover it.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “I’m a big supporter of helping our veterans access medical cannabis to ensure they get the treatment that’s best for them. Also a big supporter of safe banking for cannabis businesses and legalization!”

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “In Nevada, legal cannabis businesses create jobs and boost our economy – they deserve access to basic banking services. I’m supporting the bipartisan #SAFEBankingAct to give these businesses access to the financial services needed to keep employees and communities safe.”

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 19.

The House bill to allow CBD as a food ingredient got one new cosponsor for a total of seven.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said she is working with lawmakers to include provisions to combat unlicensed marijuana sales in the state budget. A senator tweeted, “I am optimistic we can create an enforcement system that protects licensed growers and retailers from being undercut by licit sellers, WITHOUT backsliding to overenforcement and a return to the ‘War on Drugs’. Let’s get it done in the budget.”

Washington State’s treasurer spoke about marijuana banking legislation at an American Bar Association meeting, saying, “I will not quit until we pass this in Congress.”

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “I’ve been working on cannabis legalization in WI for a decade. It’s no longer a manner of IF cannabis will be legalized in WI, it’s a matter of WHEN.”

A Pennsylvania representative who is running for state auditor spoke about his legislation to allow school nurses to administer medical cannabis to students.

Vermont regulators filed emergency rules on synthetic and hemp-derived cannabinoids,

Illinois regulators received 2,693 applications for the upcoming cannabis social equity business license criteria lottery.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board will meet on Friday.

Alaska’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana will meet on Monday.

Marijuana Moment is 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.


Minneapolis, Minnesota’s mayor said legalizing marijuana is a “long overdue step that needs to take place.”


Czech Republic officials are moving to ban the marketing of products that contain CBD and other cannabinoids from hemp.


A study suggested that “the impact of the Cannabis Act on reducing cannabis-related youth crimes is sustained, supporting the Act’s objectives to reduce cannabis-related criminalization among youth and associated burden on Canadian criminal justice system.”

The findings of a study on worms “reveal a surprising degree of functional conservation in the effects of endocannabinoids on hedonic feeding across species and establish a new system to investigate the cellular and molecular basis of endocannabinoid system function in the regulation of food choice.”


Trulieve Cannabis Corp. says it is opening Georgia’s first medical cannabis dispensary on Friday.

Verilife workers in the Chicago, Illinois area reached collective bargaining agreements.

Some cannabis stocks surged following the reintroduction of marijuana banking legislation in Congress.


Kevin Smith said he stopped smoking marijuana because it numbed him and prevented him from processing negative thoughts.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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