DOJ shares cannabis banking concerns with Congress (Newsletter: December 5, 2022)
Biden signs marijuana research bill; HHS sec’s scheduling review update; FL gov pushed on cannabis pardons; NJ social consumption rules
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
President Joe Biden signed a marijuana research bill—the first standalone federal cannabis reform legislation in history ever to be sent to a president’s desk or enacted into law.
The Department of Justice issued a memo laying out concerns that pending marijuana banking legislation could “complicate” enforcement against other drug and money laundering crimes—though it believes it can “effectively implement” the bill with changes. Senate sources told Marijuana Moment that the issues raised by the memo have already been addressed during ongoing bipartisan negotiations on the “SAFE Plus” package.
Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra gave an update on the federal marijuana scheduling review directed by President Joe Biden, saying it and other drug policy decisions are being guided by “what science tells us and what the evidence tells us.”
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission approved proposed rules for public marijuana consumption areas.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for a “dereliction of duty” in canceling a Clemency Board meeting at which she wanted members to consider approving mass marijuana pardons.
Former Maryland GOP delegate and current Marijuana Leadership Campaign lobbyist Don Murphy argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that Democrats have blown the opportunity to enact achievable cannabis reform by focusing on “messaging bills and tweets” instead of crafting bipartisan compromises. Republicans, he says, can pick up the other party’s “fumble” on cannabis by passing achievable incremental reforms next Congress.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture tweeted about efforts to create a public hemp germplasm collection.
A witness at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Children and Families hearing discussed problems associated with synthetic cannabinoid use.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “As 2022 comes to a close, I’m continuing to pursue every possible strategy to get SAFE Banking passed. It’s way past time we stop forcing the cannabis industry to operate in cash, creating enormous opportunity for organized crime and assault.”
Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “RT if you think marijuana should be legal 🤗”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) named the acting head of the Cannabis Regulatory Agency as the agency’s executive director.
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) tweeted, “This legislative session, we need to legalize medical marijuana so that Kansans with severe illnesses no longer have to suffer. Providing this relief is long overdue, so let’s work together to get this done!”
A spokesperson for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) defended his involvement in an industry-led campaign urging people to buy marijuana from licensed businesses.
A claim by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) that “an overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites support restoring #Roe and legalizing marijuana” was ruled “mostly true” by PolitiFact.
Georgia’s House speaker appointed lawmakers to serve on the new House Study Committee on Cannabis Waste Disposal and Recycling.
Washington State’s Senate deputy majority leader said she’s “highly skeptical” that drug decriminalization legislation can pass.
Pennsylvania Senate Democrats touted efforts to support “improved access and distribution of medical marijuana.”
The Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee held a perfunctory hearing on a bill to legalize possession and personal cultivation of marijuana.
An Illinois representative held a press conference to build support for his bill to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.
The Nevada Supreme Court ruled that workers have a right to sue their former employers if they are fired for off-duty medical cannabis use.
The Arkansas Supreme Court stayed a lower court ruling that put a medical cannabis cultivation business at risk of having its license revoked.
Missouri marijuana expungements will begin on Thursday.
Oregon regulators issued a mandatory recall for several marijuana products due to the potential presence of pesticides.
New York’s top marijuana regulator spoke about ongoing efforts to launch recreational sales.
Colorado regulators filed rules to implement Gov. Jared Polis’s (D) executive order providing professional licensing protections for workers who use marijuana in compliance with state law.
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.
A former Baltimore, Maryland mayor who made headlines by calling for an end to the war on drugs in 1988 authored an op-ed praising the state’s move to legalize marijuana.
An Akron, Ohio mayoral candidate wrote about his support for marijuana decriminalization.
Los Angeles, California’s marijuana social equity program is being challenged in a federal lawsuit.
Jackson County, Oregon commissioners voted to enact restrictions on psilocybin services businesses.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development published a report on hemp as a commodity.
Thailand’s public health minister said he thinks a photo of young boys smoking marijuana was staged to discredit the government.
An Irish lawmaker filed a drug decriminalization resolution.
An Isle of Man medical cannabis dispensing pilot program launched.
A pilot program in The Netherlands on regulated cannabis cultivation is being delayed again.
A Berlin, Germany court upheld the firing of a police officer for off-duty marijuana use.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “oral cannabinoid therapy seems to be safe and mildly effective in patients with” treatment refractory chronic pain.
A study examining cannabis policies and attitudes towards immigrants suggested that “legalizing cannabis itself actually improves attitudes toward undocumented immigrants, especially Latinos.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
Marijuana Moment, Marijuana Policy Project, BOWL PAC and BillTrack 50 are hosting a webinar on cannabis policy developments on Wednesday.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies was found partially liable for the death of a woman who passed away after receiving services from members of the organization’s Zendo Project at a music festival.
The African American Mayors Association is calling on Congress to pass cannabis banking and equity legislation.
The Seattle Times editorial board is urging Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation by the end of the session.
The DC Cannabis Trade Association is proposing changes to a pending medical cannabis expansion bill.
Vangst laid off nine employees.
TerrAscend Corp. has a new board member.
The Twitter headquarters has a framed printout of owner Elon Musk’s tweet that says he will be “buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in” hung on the wall.
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