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Cannabis research bill approved in Congress (Newsletter: April 5, 2022)



NM gov visits dispensary; Cannabis Caucus disagreement; CO auctions marijuana license plates; SC medical hearing; MD psychedelics bill considered

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The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to expand research on marijuana—including by letting scientists study products from dispensaries. The Senate approved a separate cannabis science bill last month.

Democratic Cannabis Caucus Co-chairs Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) told Marijuana Moment that GOP Co-chair Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) voting against the only legalization bill that’s advancing in Congress does not undermine the bipartisan group’s work.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) didn’t buy any marijuana when she visited a dispensary on the first day of legal sales—but she says she might in the future, because legalization is “going to stay forever.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced that the state is auctioning off another round of marijuana-themed license plates—including ones reading, “WEED,” “420,” “BONGWTR,” “BLUNT,” “TERPENE,” “TOKER,” “VISINE” and “NORML—to raise money for programs to aid disabled people.

The South Carolina House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee heard hours of testimony on a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill.

The Maryland House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on a Senate-passed bill to create a state fund to provide “cost-free” access to psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine for military veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.


A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Customs and Border Protection of illegally detaining more than 3,000 pounds of hemp.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said she expects a hearing on her marijuana legalization bill to take place in the House Oversight Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “I’m deeply disappointed the president’s proposed FY23 budget prohibits DC from using its local funds to commercialize recreational marijuana. It’s difficult to reconcile the budget with his support for #DCStatehood, which would end congressional interference in DC local affairs.”

Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) tweeted, “Too many Black entrepreneurs have been kept out of New Jersey’s cannabis industry.  We need to do more to create equality in this important, emerging marketplace.”

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) will hold a telephone town hall on “the state and federal landscape on cannabis” on Tuesday.

Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Nina Turner tweeted, “People are incarcerated for using cannabis while others are legally profiting from it in this country. Legalize it, erase convictions, and make the cannabis industry equitable  for Black and brown communities that have been devastated by its criminalization.”


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) tweeted about a new public education effort, saying, “After adult-use cannabis was legalized, we promised to provide New Yorkers with the tools to stay healthy. That’s why we’ve started Cannabis Conversations, to share information on who can consume, where to consume, & how to consume safely.” Separately, regulators opened a 60-day public comment period on proposed marijuana dispensary conditional licensing rules. They also launched a web portal for localities to report repealing bans on cannabis businesses.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he thinks medical cannabis dispensaries will be able to sell adult-use marijuana within weeks, and that standalone recreational stores are “a couple of months” away. Separately, the Assembly speaker said he met with regulators to express lawmakers’ “frustration” with the time it is taking for the state to launch sales.

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate John King, a former U.S. education secretary, tweeted, “I fully support cannabis legalization in Maryland, and will make implementing legalized cannabis in an equitable way a top priority as governor. I urge Governor Hogan to sign this bill and put cannabis on the ballot.”

Texas Republican attorney general candidate George P. Bush said he would challenge municipalities that move to reduce marijuana arrests.

The Missouri Senate approved a bill that includes provisions to allow medical cannabis businesses to deduct expenses on their state taxes

Minnesota’s House majority leader tweeted, “Cannabis laws were designed to and, tragically, have been effective at criminalizing people from our communities of color, especially the African Americans. I will continue to push for legalization of cannabis as Majority Leader.”

The Louisiana House Transportation, Highways and Public Works Committee approved a bill to outlaw smoking marijuana in a moving car.

A Colorado representative who is one of the four handpicked candidates being backed by a new anti-marijuana super PAC that launched last week has tweeted in support of the House passing a federal legalization bill.

An Arkansas campaign says it has collected 35,000 signatures in support of a proposed marijuana legalization initiative.

Nevada regulators proposed revised hemp rules.

Pennsylvania regulators published guidance on taxation of various hemp-derived products.

Michigan regulators are accepting proposals for veterans marijuana research grants.

West Virginia regulators posted a list of licensed hemp businesses.

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.


Denver, Colorado officials sent a reminder about marijuana advertising rules ahead of 4/20.


Churches in Belize are reportedly preparing to push for a marijuana referendum.


A review concluded that “cannabinoids have been shown to exert their anticarcinogenic effects at different levels of skin cancer progression, such as inhibition of tumour growth, proliferation, invasion and angiogenesis, as well as inducing apoptosis and autophagy.”

A study concluded that “Japan’s national revenue will increase if hemp is fully legalized.”


The National Republican Senatorial Committee attacked Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) for being a “flip-flopper” on marijuana legalization.

The New Mexico Democratic Party tweeted, “With over 200 women and minority-owned businesses that have been licensed for recreational cannabis, NM is aiming to foster the most diverse cannabis industry in the country. This will be done through ensuring equal opportunity in the industry for NM’s BIPOC communities.”

The Minnesota Republican Party tweeted, “While inflation, violent crime and other crises are facing MN families & businesses, @RepDeanPhillips & Democrats are brining you marijuana jokes.”

Weed Like Change is a new consumer education campaign advocating for regenerative organic cultivation of cannabis.


Ben & Jerry’s tweeted, “We’re now on the way to legalizing cannabis & ensuring justice along the way! Call us half baked, but we think it’s high time to do what 91% of Americans already support. Senate, let’s legalize it & expunge records of folks convicted of cannabis crimes!”

Workers at Root 66 in St. Louis, Missouri voted to unionize with the United Food and Commercial Workers.

New Mexico retailers sold more than $5.2 million worth of recreational marijuana in the first weekend of legal sales.


Seth Rogen’s cannabis brand Houseplant launched redesigned packaging.

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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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