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Cannabis security clearance measure blocked in Senate (Newsletter: October 3, 2022)

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VA “closely” watching psychedelics studies; Prohibition drives contaminated marijuana; KY gov’s medical cannabis report; MO legalization measure leads

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) filed two new National Defense Authorization Act amendments to protect people from being denied security clearances for marijuana. This comes as new objections from Republican senators caused an earlier cannabis provision Wyden got approved in committee to be stripped out from advancing intelligence legislation.

A Department of Veterans Affairs official told a House committee that the government is following psychedelics research “very closely” but that treatment with substances like psilocybin and MDMA is not yet part of the “standard of care” for military veterans.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) released a report from the Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee he formed—showing that 99 percent of respondents in a survey it conducted support legal access, and zero people expressed opposition at the four public meetings it held.

A new study shows how ongoing federal marijuana prohibition and the resulting state-by-state approach to regulating contaminants such as pesticides, solvents and microbes in cannabis products “demonstrates the urgent need” for “national-level guidelines.”

A new poll of Missouri very likely voters found that the marijuana legalization ballot initiative is leading, but with under 50 percent support and nearly one out of five people still undecided.

States are under growing pressure to address the marijuana industry’s plastic packaging waste issues.

/ FEDERAL

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta seemed to suggest that there would be less of a remaining demand for illegal marijuana if prices in legal markets were lower and if it were easier to qualify for access to medical cannabis.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health tweeted, “Cannabis and one of its constituents, cannabinoids, are being studied for their potential to relieve pain and possibly serve as a partial substitute for opioids.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke about the challenges of researching Schedule I substances like cannabis in a floor speech.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) is objecting to a push to put fentanyl-related substances into Schedule I.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) spoke about his marijuana research bill.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz claimed that Oregon’s decriminalization of drugs is driving an increase in murders.

Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Mike Franken tweeted, “It is far past time to legalize cannabis for recreational use—not just in Iowa, but nationwide.”

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Henry Martin tweeted, “It is time for us to legalize marijuana – and to tax it, like we already do for tobacco and alcohol. This is just common sense.”

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said in a debate that she would implement legalization of marijuana this time if voters approve it on the ballot again. Democratic opponent Jamie Smith, currently the House minority leader, criticized the incumbent for working to overturn a previous cannabis vote.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana during a debate.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) again spoke to college students about marijuana legalization.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) posted a reminder on the last day for people to apply for relief under his Marijuana Pardon Project.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) touted his implementation of marijuana legalization.

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl called incumbent Gov. Jared Polis (D) a “puppet” of the marijuana industry.

A spokesperson for Virginia’s House speaker said “nothing has changed” with respect to the prospects for legislation to allow recreational marijuana sales to begin.

Tennessee Republican lawmakers spoke about their opposition to marijuana legalization, with one dismissing data about racial disparities in enforcement, seeming to suggest that Black people might just be “culturally…more prone to commit that crime.”

Draft Michigan legislation is circulating that would enact a moratorium on issuing new marijuana cultivation licenses.

Vermont recreational marijuana sales began.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator said she spoke to the State Ethics Commission about her involvement in the cannabis industry, which she said “advised I have no actual conflict of interest.” She also said she’s not sure why it has taken so long to process paperwork severing her ownership of one company.

New Mexico’s Supreme Court chief justice wants to change the state’s marijuana expungement law so the relief is no longer automatic and so people would have to petition for it.

A former Missouri Supreme Court chief justice authored an op-ed saying he supports legalizing marijuana but has concerns about the initiative on the November ballot.

An Arizona judge ruled that truck drivers can’t face criminal charges for possessing marijuana on the job.

A Georgia judge placed an injunction on two recently awarded medical cannabis business licenses.

Oregon regulators filed rules changes to allow the transfer of marijuana products between businesses licensed by the state and tribal governments.

Nevada regulators hosted a webinar about cannabis consumption lounge applications.

Washington State regulators will host a conversation on cannabis plant canopy rules on Tuesday.


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

San Francisco, California officials indicated they are open to the idea of providing a “safe supply” of illegal drugs.

A judge is allowing a former Buffalo, New York firefighter who was fired over medical cannabis use to proceed with a lawsuit against the city, but declined to immediately reinstate him.

Detroit, Michigan’s recreational marijuana business ordinance is being challenged again with another lawsuit.

The Greenwich, Connecticut Board of Selectmen discussed public use of marijuana.

Newark, New Jersey officials are hosting a webinar on the marijuana business license application process on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s public health minister said he’s proud of recent reforms to the country’s cannabis laws but has no intention of trying to change the minds of leaders of other nations about the issue.

The chair of the Philippine Senate Health Committee said his panel will hold a hearing on medical cannabis.

Some UK police officials are calling for an increase in cannabis penalties.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “there is a reduced rate of [persistent opioid use] in patients who self-report perioperative cannabis use.”

A review concluded that “CBD alone or with equal quantities of THC may be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of insomnia.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “Want to legalize marijuana in Texas? Elect @BetoORourke!”

The Texas Democratic Party tweeted, “Texas needs a new revenue stream to reduce property tax, fund education, health (& mental health) care, and public safety and cannabis would bring in $1 billion and save $300 million in criminal justice costs. 70% of Texas support legalization of cannabis. Cannabis is safe, medically effective, projected to create over 40,000 jobs in Texas and expected to bring in $1 billion in taxable revenue to put back into our communities.”

The Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys published a position paper opposing the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce is opposing the Colorado ballot initiative to legalize psychedelics.

The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp held a listening session with Food and Drug Administration officials about unregulated intoxicating hemp products.

/ BUSINESS

The U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington and the Securities and Exchange Commission separately charged a man with allegedly stealing from marijuana businesses through a company that purported to provide them with banking services.

Battery charges against Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc.’s former CEO were dropped.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. is trying to keep an unpaid dispute with landlord Thor Equities Group in federal court.

Sunnyside workers in Schaumburg, Illinois voted to join Teamsters Local 777.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen spoke about how Snoop Dogg once auctioned off a blunt to raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

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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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