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Congressional cannabis biz hearing (Newsletter: February 18, 2022)



SD legalization bill approved; Federal hemp survey; HI lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana for 65+; DEA psychedelics hearing; AR poll

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The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions held a hearing partly focusing on challenges faced by small and minority-owned marijuana businesses amid the economic recovery from the COVID pandemic.

The South Dakota Senate Commerce and Energy Committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana, and the House Taxation Committee advanced companion tax legislation. Voters already passed a legalization ballot measure in 2020 but it was overturned by the state Supreme Court.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released the results of its first-ever national hemp survey, finding that the crop’s value reached $824 million in 2021, with about 54,200 acres grown across the country.

The Hawaii Senate Health Committee approved a bill to effectively legalize marijuana for people over age 65. The move comes as Washington, D.C.’s mayor signed legislation letting senior citizens self-certify for medical cannabis without a doctor.

In a victory for advocates and researchers, a Drug Enforcement Administration administrative law judge ruled that the agency must hold hearings before it can proceed with a proposed ban on five psychedelic substances.

A new poll found that a majority of Arkansas likely voters support legalizing marijuana. The survey result comes as three separate campaigns are working to place cannabis legalization initiatives on the state’s 2022 ballot.

The New Mexico Senate Finance Committee voted to direct 10 percent of marijuana excise tax revenue to a new substance misuse treatment fund—but minutes later, the move was reversed by another panel.

Maryland lawmakers are working to decriminalize drug paraphernalia. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed a similar bill that passed the legislature last year.


The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency tweeted, “Past and present use of hallucinogens, cocaine, and marijuana at varying usage levels will raise red flags with adjudicators. If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence or in possession of narcotics, you could lose your Security Clearance or eligibility.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message: The vast majority support legalizing adult use of cannabis. As Senate Majority Leader, comprehensive federal cannabis reform with equity for the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs is a top Senate priority.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted that U.S. runner Sha’Carri Richardson “has a point” by suggesting that racism could be behind the disparate treatment she faced after testing positive for marijuana compared to a Russian skater who tested positive for a performance enhancing drug.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “In 2017, 81% of cannabis business owners in the US were white. Meanwhile, 40,000 people—mostly people of color—are serving time for marijuana related offenses. If this isn’t injustice, I don’t know what is.”

Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) tweeted, “Workers are ready for change. From coffee shops to warehouses to cannabis businesses, workers are fighting together for better working conditions & fair wages. Regardless of industry or sector, workers deserve a voice in the workplace.”


Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said he supports some changes to marijuana sales legislation but will leave the details to lawmakers.

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, currently the attorney general, tweeted, “An overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians support legalizing recreational marijuana. As Governor, I’ll get it done — and we will expunge the records of those with non-violent convictions.”

Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Kandy Kaye Horn supports legalizing marijuana and releasing low-level drug prisoners.

The Indiana House Courts and Criminal Code Committee rejected a Senate-passed ban on most delta-8 THC products.

The Georgia Senate Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Committee held a hearing on a bill to remove certain limitations on hemp grower licenses.

A Washington State bill aimed at making the marijuana industry more diverse and equitable died after not advancing ahead of a legislative deadline. Separately, regulators highlighted a court decision affirming that cannabis delivery services are illegal.

A California senator said his bills to legalize psychedelics and allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs are “contentious” but “righteous.”

New York regulators approved proposed medical cannabis rules.

Massachusetts regulators issued a quarantine order about marijuana products sold with unverifiable mycotoxin test results.

Colorado regulators said that businesses selling both recreational and medical marijuana are out of compliance with the law due to “legislative oversight.”

Arkansas regulators are asking a judge to dismiss a lawsuit that is blocking them from approving new medical cannabis dispensaries.

Michigan regulators held a hearing on proposed rules that would allow conversion of CBD oil to THC.

Nevada marijuana regulators will meet on Tuesday.

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.


Denton, Texas activists are launching an effort to place a marijuana decriminalization measure on the local ballot.

San Francisco, California officials lifted restrictions on on-site consumption areas at marijuana dispensaries.

Sacramento, California’s residency requirement for participating in a marijuana social equity licensing program is being challenged in a federal lawsuit.

Denver, Colorado officials said the online marijuana permitting and licensing system will be unavailable this weekend.


Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado Quesada tweeted, “I support medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp, and for this I thank the deputies of the Environment Commission who accepted the recommendations to adjust the text that would legalize them. I hope to be able to sign the Law with the changes soon, for the benefit of 🇨🇷”

Former Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he thinks legally regulating psilocybin is “the way to go.”

Slovenian lawmakers defeated a bill to relax restrictions on cannabis cultivation.


A study of mice suggested that “CBD alleviates spontaneous heroin withdrawal and normalizes the associated gene expression changes.”

A review suggested “positive effects of psychedelic-assisted therapies for symptom control in patients diagnosed with serious illness, especially regarding symptoms of psychological and spiritual nature.”


Anti-drug activist and funder Betty Sembler died.

The International Cannabis Bar Association is warning the American Bar Association that a proposed change to its ethical guidelines could harm attorneys that advise marijuana businesses.

Volteface launched a program that pays medical cannabis patients to participate in professionally facilitated focus groups. 


Tilray Brands, Inc. launched medical cannabis products in Malta.

Parallel’s CEO authored an open letter apologizing for how it has “handled the social responsibility that came with being in such a privileged position in the markets we serve.”

Awakn Life Sciences Corp. filed a patent application for a new chemical series of entactogen-like molecules.


Wrestler Rob Van Dam spoke about his use of marijuana.

Samantha Bee did a segment on disparate treatment faced by U.S. runner Sha’Carri Richardson after she tested positive for marijuana and a Russian skater who tested positive for a performance enhancing drug.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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