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DEA wants to double cannabis cultivation quota for 2023 (Newsletter: October 17, 2022)



PR marijuana bill; MD poll: Legalization can drive turnout; NV consumption lounge apps; Only 1/4 GOP voters see racist cannabis enforcement; MI sales

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The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing to more than double the amount of marijuana that can be legally grown for research in 2023 and is also increasing quotas for psychedelics like psilocyn, LSD and 5-MeO-DMT—with a twelve-fold bump for mescaline.

A Puerto Rico senator filed a bill to repeal penalties for marijuana possession in the U.S. territory, inspired by President Joe Biden’s cannabis clemency proclamation.

A new poll found that 69 percent of Maryland voters support the marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot—and that the cannabis question makes people more likely to vote, especially Black voters and those under 40.

Nevada regulators began accepting applications for marijuana consumption lounge licenses.

A new poll found that only one in four Republican voters are willing to acknowledge the fact that marijuana laws are enforced disproportionately against people of color. The survey and other new polls also showed broad public support for President Joe Biden’s cannabis clemency move as well as the concept of broader legalization.

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency reported that the state set another monthly marijuana sales record in September, with $212 million in combined adult-use and medical cannabis purchases.

A Mississippi Board of Health member is complaining that the state’s medical cannabis program—which has 80,000 plants growing but zero investigators to ensure compliance—is stuck in “constipation mode.”


Vice President Kamala Harris said that young voters supported her and President Joe Biden in 2020 in part because of their marijuana reform campaign pledges.

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) said legalizing marijuana “is best addressed by states” while criticizing President Joe Biden’s cannabis clemency move. Democratic challenger Thomas McDermott, currently the Hammond mayor, said he supports legalization.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), a U.S. Senate candidate, and Republican opponent Gerald Malloy discussed marijuana during a debate.

Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Democratic opponent Tony Vargas, currently a state senator, agreed during a debate that states should be able to legalize medical cannabis without federal interference.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz said “going to jail for marijuana is not a wise move for the country,” that President Joe Biden’s marijuana clemency proclamation was a “rational move” and that he opposes mandatory minimum sentences—but he is open to applying the death penalty for certain drug offenses.

The House bill to allow CBD as a food additive got one new cosponsor for a total of 12.

The House bill to increase the allowable amount of THC in hemp  got one new cosponsor for a total of one.


Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) said during a debate that he is personally opposed to decriminalizing marijuana but would consider any legislation that lawmakers pass on the topic. Democratic challenger Theresa Livingston said decriminalization would be a “good thing.”

Arkansas Gov. Asas Hutchinson (R), a former Drug Enforcement Administration head, said President Joe Biden’s review of marijuana’s scheduling status is “misguided.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) spoke about efforts to legalize marijuana and grant pardons to people with past convictions.

Hawaii Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Green said it doesn’t make sense to incarcerate people for drug use. He also tweeted, “I agree that no one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana. If elected governor, I will conduct a review to determine the safest and most appropriate outcome for those incarcerated in Hawaii for misdemeanor possession of marijuana.” And he tweeted, “I support legalization if we do it responsibly for those over 21, regulate it, and put the tax revenues toward needed programs like mental healthcare and drug rehab, and I also don’t think anyone should have their life ruined over misdemeanor possession of marijuana.” Republican contender Duke Aiona said he would grant marijuana pardons on a case-by-case basis.

Oregon independent gubernatorial candidate Betsy Johnson released a campaign ad attacking Democratic contender Tina Kotek over the state’s voter-approved drug decriminalization law.

Guam’s attorney general tweeted, “I believe in an approach to Guam’s crime problem that is tough AND smart. My opponent’s approach? Mass incarceration. This election, we can’t afford to go back to failed & out of touch policies of mass incarceration & criminalizing cannabis. I’m humbly asking for your vote.”

Texas’s agriculture commissioner recently spoke to Honduran officials about the benefits of the hemp industry.

New York’s Assembly majority leader congratulated New York City’s new cannabis initiative director, tweeting, “Equity must be the heart and soul of NYS’s cannabis program and I’m thrilled to see you in this position!” Separately, regulators have so far only received two qualified applicants to provide banking services for the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund.

A California assemblymember is calling on the state attorney general to create a task force to investigate corruption in local cannabis licensing.

A Missouri representative discussed her concerns about the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

Massachusetts regulators revealed that they were already investigating safety issues at a Trulieve marijuana production facility before a worker collapsed and died on the job there earlier this year.

Washington State regulators finalized cannabis equity rules.

Rhode Island regulators began accepting applications from medical cannabis dispensaries that want to become hybrid retailers with recreational sales.

Alabama regulators began accepting industrial hemp license applications.

Virginia police are still conducting marijuana arrests on a racially disproportionate basis under the state’s noncommercial legalization law.

New Mexico’s medical cannabis program is seeing a dip in patient enrollment.

Colorado officials posted the agenda for a marijuana Social Equity Opportunities Conference they are hosting on November 5.

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.


New Orleans, Louisiana marijuana possession arrests and summonses have fallen dramatically since local cannabis reform measures went into effect.

The King County, Washington executive is proposing to spend $2 million in marijuana revenue to help people expunge cannabis convictions.

Tampa, Florida’s mayor said she supports pardoning people for marijuana.

Pawtucket, Rhode Island police issued a warning about marijuana edibles that “closely resembled common household snacks.”

The San Francisco, California Cannabis Oversight Committee will meet on Wednesday.


Colombian President Gustavo Petro posted an Economist piece calling for the legalization of cocaine on Twitter. The director of national taxes and customs quote-tweeted the president, saying, “Cocaine must be legalized (and taxed).” Separately, the Chamber of Representatives’s official Twitter account posted information about pending marijuana legalization legislation.

Dominican Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said he expects the country to pass medical cannabis legislation next year.

A spokesperson for Bermuda’s UK-appointed governor said she is “open to working with” officials on more incremental cannabis reform that don’t go as far as the full legalization measure she blocked from taking effect.

New Zealand crime data shows that a 2019 law giving police discretion in drug cases has not sharply reduced cannabis prosecutions.


A study found that medical cannabis patients with inflammatory bowel disease “perceive symptom benefits and report decreased emergency room visits without serious adverse effects.”

A study of rats found that “CBD produced anxiolytic-like effects.”


A poll found that Nebraska likely voters support legalizing medical cannabis, 63 percent to 25 percent.

The Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “Tennessee Democrats believe in: ✅ Legalizing weed ✅ Expunging all records ✅ Ending the war on drugs  ✅ Investing in the communities harmed by mass incarceration @TNGOP does not. Remember this when you go to vote in November.”

The Fargo-Moorhead Forum editorial board is urging North Dakota voters to approve the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The president of the American Federation of Teachers tweeted, “Americans know that no one should be in jail for simple possession or use of marijuana. Biden didn’t just do the popular thing, he did the right thing.”

The American Friends Service Committee praised President Joe Biden’s cannabis clemency move.


Uber Eats and Leafly are partnering on cannabis delivery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Verano Holdings Corp.  announced it is terminating its agreement to acquire Goodness Growth Holdings Inc., and the latter company then threatened litigation.

Parallel is being sued by investors who claim the company ran a “a Ponzi-like scheme” that used their funds to pay off earlier investors.


Killer Mike said he encouraged Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to take a bolder marijuana reform stance.

Woody Harrelson spoke about the design choices that went into building out the marijuana dispensary he co-owns.

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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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