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Cannabis robbery report highlights banking issues (Newsletter: December 9, 2022)

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Griner freed, but other marijuana prisoners not; Biden cheers CT cannabis record clearing; MO legalization takes effect; Safe consumption case order

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

President Joe Biden and other White House officials celebrated Connecticut’s move to clear tens of thousands of marijuana conviction records following his own federal cannabis pardons proclamation.

Lawmakers and advocates are cheering Brittney Griner’s being freed from Russian detention for cannabis vapes, but they’re also pushing President Joe Biden to do more to free other Americans who are still jailed for marijuana in Russia and at home in the U.S.

Missouri’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law officially took effect—but the complicated expungements provisions are causing confusion among courts officials.

A federal judge partially granted the Department of Justice’s latest contested request for a delay to respond in a case on safe consumption sites for illegal drugs—giving a one-month extension rather than the two months it sought.

Activists in Harker Heights, Texas are collecting signatures to reverse the City Council’s repeal of a voter-approved marijuana decriminalization ballot initiative. Meanwhile, the Killeen City Council signed off on a cannabis decriminalization measure that voters passed there—with one change.

As Congress stalls on passing marijuana banking legislation, a new report from StoptheDrugWar.org analyzes a recent spate of robberies at cannabis dispensaries in Washington State, showing that “cash dominates as the target.”

/ FEDERAL

The National Cancer Institute tweeted about “funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) to address knowledge gaps and build an evidence base regarding #cannabis and cannabinoid use during #CancerTreatment.”

Several senators spoke about the prospects for cannabis banking legislation.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA) said he is “disappointed” that two Republican senators’ objections to a provision that would have prevented the denial of security clearances over cannabis led to the measure being left out of an intelligence bill, as Marijuana Moment reported in September.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) touted her work on tribal sovereignty on cannabis in a press release about new legislation she introduced concerning funding for tribes.

Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Jack Bergman (R-MI) spoke about their decision to form a psychedelics caucus in Congress.

Rep. Earl Bumenauer (D-OR) discussed his marijuana research bill that was signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) tweeted, “Brittney Griner is free. Now let’s free everyone who was arrested, charged, convicted, imprisoned, taken off the voter rolls and yoked with a criminal record for the rest of the lives, for possession of marijuana.”

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said he is open to considering allowing marijuana delivery services.

A spokesperson for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said he hopes and expects Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation by the end of the lame duck session.

The New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee is launching a $1 million “Don’t Drive High” public awareness campaign using funding from the Office of Cannabis Management. Meanwhile, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York signed the state’s first lease for a recreational marijuana dispensary location. Separately, the state’s top cannabis regulator spoke about efforts to launch the market.

A Maryland delegate called the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law is “a huge step forward for the criminal justice system.”

An Indiana senator tweeted, “This survey from Ball State University found that 85% of Hoosiers say cannabis should be legal in some form. 85%! That’s unheard of, it’s time for the General Assembly to listen to the will of the people.”

A Pennsylvania representative tweeted, “We can create smart, fair policies that decriminalize cannabis at the same time that we protect the health of Pennsylvanians, raise revenue for the commonwealth and work to repair the damage of past overenforcement. Let’s go.”

California regulators are moving to adopt emergency rules on marijuana delivery services.

Rhode Island regulators issued guidance on allowable marijuana product types.

An Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development report says that marijuana industry jobs, wages and tax revenue “have continued to grow, but at a slower pace each year.”

The chairman of the Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission stepped down.

Arkansas has generated more than $29 million in medical cannabis tax revenue so far this year.

Guam regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Monday.


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 federal judge rejected a motion to block Los Angeles, California’s social equity marijuana retail license lottery.

Some New York City community boards are starting to receive notifications from businesses that want to open marijuana dispensaries.

Denver, Colorado’s district attorney dropped a case against a rabbi charged with manufacturing psilocybin, citing voters’ approval of a statewide psychedelics legalization ballot initiative.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Cayman Islands lawmakers voted to hold a referendum on decriminalizing marijuana.

Thai lawmakers are pressing the government to reconsider its cannabis policy.

Mexico City, Mexico lawmakers held a forum about marijuana policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD pre-treatment is neuroprotective against [thapsigargin]-induced cell death.”

A study supports “the hypothesis that serotonin-modulating drugs such as psilocybin may be useful to ameliorate [autism spectrum disorder]-related cognitive deficits” and “provides evidence of the beneficial effects of different schedules of psilocybin treatment in mitigating the short-term cognitive deficit observed in a rat model of [fragile X syndrome].”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “About 85% of Hoosiers support legal marijuana in some form. What’s the holdup? The @indgop’s extremist agenda. They care more about appeasing a vocal minority than delivering a win-win issue to the Hoosier State.”

Dr. Bronner’s CEO David Bronner authored a blog post about cooperation in the psychedelics reform movement.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. closed an offering of $69 million in debt financing.

Euroclear is reportedly no longer supporting trades of cannabis stocks.

Rhode Island dispensaries sold $1.63 million worth of marijuana in the first week of legal recreational sales.

/ CULTURE

Robert Downey Sr. is shown in a new documentary expressing regret about letting his son, Robert Downey Jr., smoke marijuana as a child.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

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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