Congressional ‘joint memo’ on cannabis hearing (Newsletter: November 15, 2022)
Booker: marijuana must pass “now” or wait “many years”; CO gov touts psychedelics ballot vote; AG pressed for DC cannabis non-enforcement policy
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said that with Republicans poised to take control of the House, Democrats who want to enact marijuana reform must either do it “now” during the lame duck session or wait until “many years from now”—and time is running short to act.
House Democrats and Republicans on the Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties co-published an 11-page “joint memo” on marijuana legalization ahead of a Tuesday hearing on the prospects for federal cannabis reform.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) told Bill Maher he’s “excited” about the state’s vote to legalize psychedelics, saying the substances have “promising” therapeutic potential—despite having declined to endorse the ballot initiative before voters approved it last week.
A coalition of groups including the Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU, NORML, Dr. Bronner’s and the National Cannabis Industry Association sent a letter pressing Attorney General Merrick Garland to enact a non-enforcement policy allowing Washington, D.C. to locally legalize recreational marijuana sales.
A former Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to launder money with a Colombian cartel called the war on drugs an “unwinnable…game” and said officials “know we’re not making a difference.”
Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “Americans support legalizing marijuana, now it’s up to Congress to make it happen!”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) touted Democrats’ embrace of marijuana decriminalization and other popular issues.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “Maryland and Missouri voters approved constitutional amendments to end the prohibition on marijuana use! 🎉 Let’s follow their lead and legalize marijuana nationwide.”
Wisconsin’s Senate majority leader said he doesn’t think there’s enough support in his caucus to legalize marijuana or even allow medical cannabis, but said it is “obviously a discussion we will have.”
The chairs of the Mississippi House Judiciary B and Drug Policy Committees said they are open to considering legislation to reduce marijuana penalties.
The lead Senate sponsor of New York’s marijuana legalization law said she is open to reconsidering tax rates if legal businesses are not able to undercut the unlicensed market.
A Kansas representative tweeted, “Kansas needs to move forward on cannabis decriminalization or Missouri is going to have a monopoly on this & we will lose out on money that we could use for schools, Medicaid expansion, community development, social services and more.”
A spokesperson for Missouri regulators said recreational marijuana sales could begin earlier than the expected February date.
Minnesota’s top medical cannabis regulator said her office got a lot of feedback about a pending decision on whether to add opioid use disorder as a qualifying condition.
Rhode Island regulators issued guidance on marijuana testing and tracking.
Utah regulators sent an update about the medical cannabis program.
The Arkansas legislature’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Subcommittee will meet on Wednesday.
Oregon regulators are holding public hearings this week on proposed psilocybin services rules.
Vermont regulators will review recommendations for marijuana social equity status and licensure on Wednesday.
Iowa regulators will discuss the medical cannabidiol program on Friday.
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.
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Harker Heights, Texas’s mayor suggested that a voter-approved marijuana decriminalization initiative may be unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Denton’s city manager said the city does not have the authority to implement some provisions of a similar measure approved there. Killeen’s police chief began implementing a decriminalization proposal in that city.
Several California municipalities approved ballot measures to allow or expand marijuana sales, while others rejected them.
Colombian President Gustavo Petro spoke about his discussions with U.S. officials about the failure of the war on drugs.
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe is appointing an expert committee to examine the legalization of marijuana cultivation for export only.
An Irish lawmaker will soon introduce a bill to legalize marijuana possession.
Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office said officials do not expect a significant decrease in drug-related crime if marijuana is legalized.
A Victoria, Australia lawmaker tweeted, “It’s unfinished business for me to help our returned veterans recover by providing compassionate access to psilocybin and MDMA, which has had remarkable results overseas in assisting treatments for PTSD.”
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study provided “preliminary evidence supporting efficacy and tolerability of a full-spectrum, high-CBD product for anxiety” and showed that “patients quickly achieve and maintain symptom reduction with few side effects.”
A study of cows found that “hemp feeding included changes in feed intake, milk yield, respiratory and heart rates, and behaviour” and that “for Δ9-THC…the acute reference dose for humans was exceeded in several consumer groups in exposure scenarios for milk and dairy product consumption when using industrial hemp to feed dairy cows.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll of U.S. adults found that 36 percent support decriminalizing psilocybin and 34 percent oppose it, while 59 percent back legalizing marijuana.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board said Pennsylvania lawmakers should deliberately consider legalizing marijuana and not rush into it just because other states have legalized.
The Washington Times editorial board cheered states that “wisely” rejected marijuana legalization ballot initiatives.
SNDL Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $230.5 million and a net loss of $98.8 million.
Verano Holdings Corp. reported $227.6 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss of $43 million.
Columbia Care Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $132.7 million and a net loss of $38.3 million.
Jushi Holdings Inc. $72.8 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss in the range of $52.9 to $62.8 million.
TerrAscend Corp. reported quarterly net revenue of $67 million and a net loss of $311 million.
TILT Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $40.5 million and a net loss of $15.7 million.
4Front Ventures Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $32.5 million and a net loss of $8.6 million.
Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield are collaborating on a line of cannabis edibles called Holy Ears, a reference to when Tyson bit off Holyfield’s ear during a boxing match.
Elon Musk tweeted, “Amphetamines negatively affect empathy, psychedelics do the opposite.”
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.