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FBI muddles cannabis arrest data with new method (Newsletter: October 6, 2022)

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Poll: MD legalization backed by 3/4 voters; PA gets 3,500 marijuana pardon apps; CA funds research to block cannabis monopolies; Veterans op-ed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released new 2021 crime stats, but changes to its law enforcement reporting system—and inconsistencies within the data—make it impossible to track how marijuana and drug arrests trends are changing year over year, or even how many occurred during the most recent period.

A new poll found that nearly three out of four Maryland voters support the marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot—including majorities of every single political, age, regional and other demographic surveyed.

More than 3,500 people applied for relief under Pennsylvania’s one-month Marijuana Pardon Project, the Board of Pardons secretary told Marijuana Moment—including 1,000 last-minute applications on the final day before the deadline.

California’s Department of Cannabis Control is offering $20 million in grant funding to support research in priority areas such as preventing monopolization of the marijuana industry and securing the genetics of “legacy” strains.

In a new Marijuana Moment op-ed, Veterans Cannabis Coalition CEO Eric Goepel contrasts how the Canadian government actually reimburses veterans for medical marijuana while the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs opposes even the most basic reforms.

/ FEDERAL

Treasury Department Advisory Committee on Racial Equity Vice Chair Felicia Wong coauthored a report that called for decriminalizing drugs.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) said she is “adamantly against” legalizing marijuana.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) said Republicans are blocking popular issues like marijuana legalization.

Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party congressional candidate Paula Overby died—representing the second cycle in a row that the party’s candidate for the state’s 2nd Congressional District has passed away shortly before Election Day.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill allowing prosecutors to offer public nuisance pleas to people facing drug convictions so they can avoid collateral consequences such as barriers to housing and employment. Separately, regulators are proposing changes to cannabis testing rules.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) and Republican challenger Derek Schmidt, currently the attorney general, discussed medical cannabis during a debate.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) tweeted, “The Illinois Adult-Use Cannabis Social Equity Program is ushering in a new era of equity and justice. Illinois’ craft grower licenses are creating thousands of well-paying jobs across the state and hundreds of millions in revenue.”

Utah’s Senate majority leader said lawmakers are looking at ways to reduce medical cannabis costs.

Maine’s top marijuana regulator is stepping down to “pursue a national consulting opportunity.”

Arizona regulators filed changes to medical cannabis rules.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection announced next steps for approving marijuana social equity product packager licenses.

Colorado regulators will begin accepting applications for the Cannabis Business Grant program for social equity businesses on October 19.

Iowa regulators published a list of licensed hemp businesses.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Thursday.

Oregon’s Task Force on Cannabis-Derived Intoxicants and Illegal Cannabis Production will meet 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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

San Francisco, California officials appeared to disagree on whether the city is engaged in a war on drugs.

Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor cheered the City Council’s steps to allow medical cannabis dispensaries.

A Scott County, Minnesota attorney candidate is pledging to stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases if elected.

Washoe County, Nevada posted a video on local efforts to consider marijuana consumption lounges.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Alberta, Canada’s government is instituting quality standards for psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Morocco’s government issued the first cannabis production permits.

Argentina’s National Administration of Medicines, Food and Technology approved the country’s first medical cannabis production plant.

A UK member of Parliament tweeted, “Rescheduling #psilocybin as Schedule II would accelerate research and support treatment for PTSD, depression etc.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoid supplementation as adjuvant therapy may increase the chances of success for standard therapy of Crohn’s Disease during the induction period.”

A study found that “under some specifications, a higher number of dispensaries is associated with an approximately 6% decline in opioid mortality” but that “this result was not robust under every specification.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Indiana voters found that 53 percent support marijuana legalization, 24 percent want to allow medical cannabis only and 15 oppose any form of legal access.

The Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “80% of Tennesseans support the legalization of marijuana for medical use. This is an overwhelming majority that @TNGOP has ignored for years. We say don’t just do medical, legalize it.”

Missouri Catholic bishops are urging voters to reject the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The Family Council Action Committee is launching an effort to defeat the marijuana legalization initiative on Arkansas’s November ballot.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. completed its acquisition of Tryke Companies.

Fluence received approval from Oregon regulators to provide training to psilocybin services facilitators.

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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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