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Congress advances cannabis banking, ads & immigrant protections (Newsletter: June 16, 2022)

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WH drug czar: Biden eyeing marijuana laws; GOP pro-legalization rep wins primary; MD cannabis hearing; MO GOP Senate candidate’s “pot for potholes” ad

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Appropriations Committee leaders included marijuana-related protections for immigrants, banking and advertising in new spending bills being voted on in subcommittees this week.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta said the Biden administration is “monitoring” marijuana legalization policies because the current federal approach has “not been working.” He also voiced support for broader drug harm reduction—potentially including decriminalization and safe consumption sites.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC)—lead sponsor of a GOP-led marijuana legalization bill—defeated a primary reelection challenger who attacked her for her reform advocacy. Marijuana Moment compiled an analysis of what that means for the cannabis reform fight in Congress this year and in the future.

The Maryland House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup held its first hearing since legislation to put reform on the November ballot was enacted. Lawmakers heard testimony on how other states are regulating and taxing marijuana—issues that are still to be decided in future sessions if voters approve legalization.

Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate C.W. Gardner detailed his extensive “Pot for Potholes” plan to legalize marijuana and use the revenue to fund a massive infrastructure effort in an over-the-top ad.

/ FEDERAL

The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held an oversight hearing on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he is “trying to add some of the social justice provisions [to marijuana banking legislation] and see if we can come up with a compromise.”

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) said, “President Biden has appointed wack jobs. I mean, it’s like these people dropped acid in an Outback parking lot. You can’t reason with them, they are just so woke.”

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) filed a resolution calling on the federal government to declare fentanyl a “weapon of mass destruction.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) spoke at an event hosted by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation.

The House bill to regulate CBD-infused foods and beverages got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

The House bill to encourage Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of three.

/ STATES

The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee held a hearing on a bill to lower the age for working in the marijuana industry to 18.

A Nebraska senator said that activists have so far collected more than 100,000 signatures toward placing a pair of medical cannabis initiatives on the ballot.

An Illinois judge lifted a temporary restraining order that had blocked operations by craft marijuana cultivation businesses.

Florida regulators proposed rulemaking on hemp extracts for consumption.

Guidance from New York regulators has caused cannabis farmers to rip out plants they are growing in light of unexpected limits on total usable land.

Oregon regulators published a compliance bulletin on labeling and other requirements for products containing artificially derived cannabinoids.

Vermont regulators published marijuana guidance for municipalities.

California officials are accepting applications to fill vacancies on the Industrial Hemp Advisory Board.

Maine regulators are launching a series of cannabis community listening sessions.

West Virginia regulators will hold a medical cannabis patient signup event on June 23.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Missoula, Montana City Council’s Public Safety, Health and Operations Committee held a hearing on a proposal to decriminalize psychedelics.

The Killeen, Texas City Council delayed consideration of a marijuana decriminalization initiative until next month.

The New York City sheriff’s office seized at least a dozen trucks operating for Weed World Candies for outstanding parking tickets totaling a half-million dollars.

Brooklyn, New York’s district attorney hosted a town hall on the state’s marijuana legalization law.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said lawmakers are monitoring whether legislation is needed to address “loopholes” in the country’s new cannabis law. Meanwhile, the public health minister said the government will soon publish a ban on public cannabis smoking in the Royal Gazette, and the Department of Mental Health opened a hotline people can call for information about safe marijuana use. Meanwhile, Bangkok’s governor walked back a claim that a man died from a marijuana overdose.

The UK health minister said the government is taking steps to increase medical cannabis access.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that medical cannabis “treatment is generally safe for oncology patients and can potentially reduce the burden of associated symptoms with no serious [medical cannabis]-related adverse effects.”

A review concluded that “there was some evidence to support the use of CBD in dogs with osteoarthritis to reduce pain and increased activity, but limited evidence against epilepsy and behavioral problems” and that “CBD was well tolerated with mild adverse effects.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. adults found that 72 percent believe cannabis products are produced using consistent safety standards, 81 percent think marijuana businesses must meet consistent environmental standards and 77 percent believe cannabis employers are held to the same health and safety standards for their workers as every other industry.

The Alabama Democratic Party posted a video about “the harms caused by our current cannabis policy– and what we can do to fix it.”

New Cannabis Ventures’s Alan Brochstein was released from the hospital following a serious bicycle accident

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. scheduled a shareholder meeting to vote on a proposed acquisition by Cresco Labs Inc. for July 8.

HEXO Corp. reported C$45.6 million in quarterly revenue and a total net loss and comprehensive loss of C$146.7 million.

springbig completed its merger with Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corporation and began trading on the Nasdaq Global Market.

Rise Dispensary workers in Joliet, Illinois voted to unionize with Teamsters Local 777.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of $1.75 per share.

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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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