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CO officials celebrate legal cannabis’s 10th anniversary (Newsletter: October 13, 2022)

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Colombian legalization bill approved; KS medical marijuana hearing; Election Day cannabis & psychedelics preview

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D), Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) attended an event celebrating the 10-year anniversary of marijuana legalization—even though the latter two unsuccessfully campaigned against the cannabis initiative at the time.

  • Activists presented the governor with a giant mock check representing the more than $2.2 billion in adult-use cannabis tax and fee revenue the state has collected since legal sales began. Hickenlooper, meanwhile, announced that he will soon be filing legislation to create a federal task force to explore national rules for a regulated cannabis market once prohibition ends.

Colombia’s Chamber of Representatives gave initial approval to a marijuana legalization bill. Cabinet officials including the ministers of justice and interior testified in favor of the reform.

The Kansas legislature’s Special Committee on Medical Marijuana held its first of three planned hearings to start preparing a legalization bill for 2023. Lawmakers heard testimony from state agencies, law enforcement and an official from neighboring Oklahoma.

Marijuana Moment compiled a comprehensive Election Day overview of the five states voting on marijuana legalization ballot measure next month and the one state that will vote on legalizing psychedelics. We also look at the several states where voters will decide on local cannabis decriminalization measures.

The Little Rock, Arkansas Police Department is demanding that the state’s marijuana legalization campaign stop airing an ad about cannabis revenue going to law enforcement over concerns that the spot falsely implies the department backs the measure.

/ FEDERAL

Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted, “We are urging governors and states to take our lead and pardon people who have been convicted for simple possession of marijuana.”

A Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson said they “will move expeditiously to review the scheduling of marijuana as the president directed.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “President Biden’s pardons, and actions on marijuana possession charges will make a huge difference for the lives of thousands of families and communities. The road ahead is long, but we are so much closer to justice.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted about Vice President Kamala Harris’s record on marijuana.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “Black and Brown people have been disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession. This is a major step towards social justice from @POTUS.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis shouldn’t be a schedule 1 drug – period.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted, “It is past time we legalize cannabis nationwide.”

Former Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) said he’s “not a big believer in” President Joe Biden’s marijuana reform move.

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) and Republican challenger Ashley Kalus both said during a debate that they would support allowing marijuana dispensaries to operate in their towns.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) cheered a hemp company’s decision to open an indoor cultivation facility in the state. Separately, lieutenant governor candidates discussed marijuana during a debate.

Maryland gubernatorial candidates discussed marijuana legalization and industry equity during a debate.

Indiana House Democrats tweeted, “Benefits of pardoning state-level offenders in jail or prison for cannabis possession: 💸 Gets workers back in their jobs ⚖️ Frees up justice system resources 🏡 Reunites kids with their parents & guardians Let’s get it done, @govholcomb.”

Michigan Senate Democrats tweeted, “Michiganders have taken action to reassess marijuana laws and implement #CleanSlate reform. We’re glad to see the national government follow our lead.”

A Washington State representative “engaged in abusive and bullying conduct” and took retaliatory actions against a policy analyst working for the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force for which the lawmaker served as chair, according to a workplace conduct investigation.

The Missouri Supreme Court said it would need $7 million to cover the cost of expunging marijuana conviction records if a legalization initiative on the November ballot is approved.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is scheduled to act on Thursday on final approval for a business that the state’s top marijuana regulator says she gave up ownership and control over through an attestation that officials have not yet formally processed, sparking protests from activists.

New York regulators are being sued over a requirement that a qualifying marijuana conviction for social equity dispensary license owners have taken place within the state.

Florida regulators filed changes to hemp rules.

The Virginia Board for Branch Pilots filed rules changes to clarify that license applications can be denied if the applicant performs any duties while under the influence of marijuana.

The Minnesota Board of Pharmacy says it has received 14 complaints about hemp-derived THC products.

California regulators published a list of registered hemp cultivation businesses.


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

New York City officials named Dasheeda Dawson of the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition as the founding director of the city’s  new Cannabis NYC initiative.

The San Diego, California City Council adopted a cannabis equity assessment The mayor tweeted, “My administration is committed to advancing equity. ⁦@SDCityCouncil’s⁩ adoption of our cannabis equity report is another step in that effort. It’ll help share the economic returns of this new industry with our historically disadvantaged communities.”

The Colorado Springs, Colorado City Council passed a resolution opposing two local ballot measures to legalize and tax recreational marijuana sales.

The Virginia Beach, Virginia City Council is taking steps to prepare to regulate marijuana sales if it becomes allowed under state law.

Gloucester, Rhode Island police sent a warning ahead of Halloween about marijuana edibles that resemble popular food brands.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Saint Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Terrance Drew expressed concern that his country is lagging behind other Caribbean nations in developing a medical cannabis industry.

Argentina’s government launched a public company to provide seeds, testing, training and other services to the medical cannabis industry.

The New South Wales, Australia Legislative Council rejected legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from being improperly prosecuted for driving under the influence.

A British Virgin Islands senior government official is reportedly being investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

London, England’s police commissioner said diverting people caught with marijuana to community programs instead of arresting them is a “no brainer.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol attenuates generalized tonic–clonic and suppresses limbic seizures in the genetically epilepsy-prone rats (GEPR-3) strain.”

A study found that “for White participants, MDMA and psilocybin use conferred lowered odds of all distress and suicidality outcomes” but that “for racial and ethnic minority participants, the associations between psychedelic use and suicidality were far fewer.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Maryland Democratic Party tweeted, “Vote YES on Question 4 to legalize & tax adult recreational marijuana use.”

The Baltimore Sun editorial board is urging Maryland voters to approve the marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot.

The Boston Globe editorial board said President Joe Biden needs to do more to reform federal marijuana laws.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana held a briefing on Capitol Hill.

Longtime Arkansas marijuana activist Melissa Fults appeared at a press conference alongside conservative group Family Council to oppose the cannabis legalization initiative on the November ballot.

/ BUSINESS

COMPASS Pathways plc announced it will launch the first-ever Phase 3 trial of psilocybin therapy, for treatment-resistant depression.

Dutchie launched insurance services for the cannabis industry.

Cookies is being accused of potentially violating New York cannabis advertising regulations with new signage it has posted on a building in Manhattan.

Ayr Wellness Inc. has a new president.

Subsidiaries of TerrAscend Corp. closed on a non-brokered senior secured term loan for gross proceeds of approximately $45.5 million from funds managed by Pelorus Equity Group.

/ CULTURE

The Onion made fun of efforts to develop a marijuana breathalyzer.

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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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