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DOJ to address cannabis in ‘days ahead,’ AG says (Newsletter: June 17, 2022)

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Lawmakers push state marijuana protections; Veterans cannabis bill coming; Feds creating national medical marijuana registry

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Justice Department is “examining a range of issues that relate to marijuana and its production, sale, and use, and we intend to address these issues in the days ahead.” The revelation came in response to a written question from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), who wanted to know if the Biden administration plans to reissue Obama-era cannabis prosecution guidance that was rescinded during the Trump years.

Dozens of bipartisan members of Congress are pushing House leaders to include provisions protecting state and tribal marijuana programs from Justice Department interference in a must-pass spending bill being introduced next week.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brian Mast (R-FL) are circulating a Dear Colleague letter to build support for a bill allowing Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis to military veterans that they plan to introduce soon.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is providing funding to create a national medical cannabis registry to track how patients are obtaining and using marijuana, as well as their health outcomes—including whether there’s a reduction in prescription drug use.

/ FEDERAL

A State Department spokesperson reiterated that the U.S. government views American basketball player Brittney Griner as being wrongfully detained by Russia after she was allegedly caught with cannabis vapes.

The Government Accountability Office published an analysis of the 2022 National Drug Control Strategy.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and nine cosponsors filed a bill to require the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office to “treat fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release cheering the lack of a rider blocking the legalization of recreational marijuana sales in Washington, D.C. from being included in a House spending bill.

Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) criticized provisions inserted into a spending bill that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from taking action against radio and TV stations that run marijuana ads.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) announced that his marijuana expungements bill was endorsed by Alice Johnson, who was pardoned by President Donald Trump for a drug offense.

The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum is hosting an event on illegal drugs and the environment on June 22.

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) spoke about efforts to issue equity-focused cannabis business licenses.

Oklahoma’s attorney general filed charges against two attorneys for allegedly facilitating illegal medical cannabis operations.

Arizona lawmakers are considering amendments that would tighten marijuana testing rules and open up access to medical cannabis business licenses.

A Nebraska senator is asking Snoop Dogg and Elon Musk to help fund a signature gathering drive to put two medical cannabis initiatives on the November ballot.

A Pennsylvania judge overturned regulators’ recall of medical cannabis vape products.

Maine regulators adopted marijuana rules changes.

Colorado regulators published average market rates for retail marijuana.

Oregon regulators heard testimony on issues related to unregulated marijuana operations.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is hosting a cannabis equity summit on Friday.

New York regulators are being asked to consider creating a new conditional permit for cannabis social use facilities.

South Dakota regulators have now issued more than 1,000 medical cannabis patient cards.

Vermont regulators approved eight additional marijuana business licenses.

California regulators will propose rulemaking on cannabis equity fees, cultivation licenses and cannabinoid testing on Friday.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Regulation of Cannabis Production Workgroup will meet on Tuesday.

West Virginia regulators will hold a medical cannabis patient signup event on June 27.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Athens-Clarke County, Georgia Commission’s Legislative Review Committee approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor tweeted, “It’s past time for Alabama to legalize cannabis and end the injustices of its criminalization. Legalization has overwhelming bipartisan support amongst the American people. 18 states have already legalized. It’s time for Alabama to join them. Let’s be a leader on this issue.”

The San Diego County, California Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to a resolution calling for a measure to tax marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas to be placed on the November ballot.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s government is moving to restrict the provisions of the country’s new cannabis policy to apply only to people aged 20 and older. Meanwhile, Bangkok’s governor issued an order to keep cannabis and hemp out of schools.

The New South Wales, Australia Legislative Council’sLaw and Justice Committee held a hearing on a bill to exempt medical cannabis patients from being charged with certain driving offenses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis extracts are cytotoxic for melanoma cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and that high THC cannabis extracts exert higher cytotoxicity compared to their corresponding amount of THC alone.”

A study found that”states tend to license medical cannabis more restrictively than adult-use cannabis: i.e., by offering licenses in fewer categories, at higher cost, in lower issuance volume, and more often mandating vertical integration” and that states that implemented licensing earlier “tend to offer licenses in more categories, at lower cost, and in greater volumes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

ASTM International developed a new standard for food-grade hempseed products.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp. announced a restructuring plan that includes eliminating 450 jobs.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. acquired a Texas property and entered into a long-term lease for it with a subsidiary of Texas Original Holdings, LLC.

/ CULTURE

Netflix is launching a new series based on Michael Pollan’s psychedelics book “How To Change Your Mind.”

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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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