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Congress rejects AOC’s psychedelics amendment but adopts CBD one (Newsletter: July 28, 2021)

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OH 2022 marijuana initiative; MA psychedelics hearing; Global sports authority: Reconsider cannabis penalties; Study on artisanal CBD benefits

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives defeated an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to expand research on the medical benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA. Amid a growing national reform movement, however, the measure failed by a narrower margin than her previous attempt two years ago.

  • Separately, lawmakers approved an amendment from Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) that encourages the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations allowing CBD as a dietary supplement and food ingredient. They also rejected a proposal from Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) to remove protections for universities that study marijuana. She argued on the floor that she’s worried schools will “offer a class called ‘Pot Smoking 101’ [that’s] dedicated to smoking pot.”

Ohio activists launched a new marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign. The plan is to pressure lawmakers to end cannabis prohibition through the legislature, but organizers say they’re prepared to go directly to voters if need be.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a task force charged with studying the legalization of psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

The president of global sports governing body World Athletics said it’s “sensible” to reevaluate marijuana penalties for Olympic athletes after Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension.

  • “Nothing is set in tablets of stone. You adapt and occasionally reassess.”

A new study found that epilepsy patients who use “artisanal CBD” have “higher quality of life, lower psychiatric symptom severity and improved sleep.” They also use fewer prescription medications, take fewer sick days and are less likely to visit the hospital.

/ FEDERAL

Patients made a new filing in a lawsuit seeing to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to let them use psilocybin.

A former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor who was federally convicted of extorting marijuana businesses filed a motion for acquittal or a new trial.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and other senators sent a letter urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to press the Philippine government for human rights violations in its bloody “war on drugs.”

Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) cited the marijuana regulatory experience of a U.S. attorney nominee for the Western District of Washington.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) spoke about the need to center social justice and equity in marijuana legalization implementation. Separately, a judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved cannabis legalization referendum.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) office said he is in the process of appointing people to the Cannabis Control Board. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader said the governor should “send his appointees down and we’ll take a look at them.”

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “Due in part to the so-called ‘war on drugs’ U.S. police are the deadliest in the modern world. We can eradicate the demand for illegal drugs by providing healthcare and affordable housing. Not war.”

New Mexico regulators issued a cease and desist order to a business that has been “gifting” marijuana in exchange for the purchase of store merchandise. Separately, the top regulator told lawmakers it is ” highly likely” retailers will run out of cannabis in the first week or two of recreational sales. She also said she fears that local residents will be prevented from entering the industry due to difficulties accessing bank loans.

California regulators named a leadership team for the new Department of Cannabis Control.

Rhode Island regulators again delayed a lottery to award new medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Oklahoma representatives discussed challenges in regulating medical cannabis on a podcast.

Vermont regulators will consider marijuana-related highway safety issues, criminal justice data and banking access on Thursday.

South Dakota regulators scheduled an August 18 public hearing on proposed medical cannabis rules.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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

Brooklyn, New York’s district attorney moved to dismiss more than 3,500 marijuana-related warrant cases.

New York City’s mayor criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for the state’s slow rollout of a new marijuana legalization law. He also encouraged people to store cannabis edibles out of the reach of children.

Santa Fe, New Mexico officials are seeking public comment on marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Guyana President Irfaan Ali said he is focused on regulating hemp before addressing broader marijuana reform issues.

Israeli lawmakers are expected to vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill on Wednesday.

Canada’s health minister is being sued by patients who want her to act on stalled applications to legally use psilocybin.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review identified how “epigenetic modulations caused by cannabinoids lead to the suppression of inflammation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tennessee Democratic Party criticized Fox News hosts tying marijuana to violence, tweeting, “Reminder that this is how the Republican party views weed, violent crime, and mental health. What we actually need is to legalize it, clear all marijuana-related convictions from people’s criminal records, and provide people with the resources and healthcare that they deserve.”

Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch spoke about his support for marijuana legalization and drug policy reform.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies has a new board chair.

/ BUSINESS

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. is being sued for allegedly failing to inform investors of the terms of its proposed acquisition by Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

Curaleaf International launched its second range of medical cannabis flower products for the UK market.

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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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