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Fed scientists slam fed cannabis restrictions (Newsletter: December 15, 2021)

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Malta votes to legalize marijuana; NY psilocybin bill; MT cannabis regs approved; MO Supreme Court hears licensing secrets case

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Malta’s Parliament voted to legalize marijuana. President George Vella is expected to sign the legislation into law by this weekend.

Federal scientists with the Food and Drug Administration, National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institutes of Health detailed in a new National Cancer Institute journal article how current restrictive marijuana policies—including Schedule I status and a lack of access to dispensary cannabis—”hinder research in several ways.”

A New York assemblyman filed a new bill to legalize psilocybin therapy, with a focus on ensuring access to the psychedelic treatment for military veterans and first responders.

The Montana legislature’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee voted to move ahead with marijuana regulations as the January 1 sales launch approaches—just days after initially rejecting proposed rules.

The Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging regulators’ decision to keep medical cannabis licensing information secret.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Justice and Attorney General Merrick Garland asked a federal court to dismiss them from a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by a black-owned Washington State marijuana business.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding a project on hemp as a cover crop.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “Nevada’s cannabis industry has created new businesses and jobs, bringing millions in new tax revenue for our state. Today, I met with the Chamber of Cannabis and local leaders in the industry to learn more about their work and what I can do to ensure these businesses thrive.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “By ending nonviolent cannabis prison sentences, the #StatesReformAct will save taxpayers $571 MILLION in federal prison costs according to new impact analysis by @recidiviz.”

The House bill to require clinical trials on the medical benefits of cannabis for military veterans got one new cosponsor for a total of three.

/ STATES

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed legislation to provide funds to combat illegal marijuana cultivation.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) reiterated his concern that federal law needs to change before the state considers legalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, a representative discussed a bill she is planning to introduce to create a commission that would issue recommendations on how the state could structure a legal cannabis system in the future.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, reacted to criticism about what she said was a joke about people sending her medical cannabis for her birthday.

New Mexico’s attorney general announced that a local credit union became the first to be certified for cannabis banking protocols by an independent organization.

Georgia’s House speaker removed a member of the Medical Marijuana Commission, a police chief who is under investigation for his department’s K-9 unit expenses.

Alabama’s House speaker said he’s open to considering any new medical cannabis legislation that regulators say they need.

New York’s Assembly majority leader said she’s not surprised by the number of municipalities opting out of allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities.

Virginia regulators received federal approval for the state’s hemp plan.

Colorado has generated $392.8 million in marijuana tax revenue so far in 2021—a new annual record with one month left to go. They also published updated average market rates for cannabis.

Vermont regulators issued recommendations for marijuana business code compliance and penalties.

Michigan regulators will begin printing patient and caregiver photos on their registration cards.

Wisconsin regulators are urging people to become certified as hemp inspectors to address a shortage.

Washington State regulators sent an update about transitioning to a new marijuana tracking system.

New Jersey regulators will begin accepting recreational marijuana cultivation, distribution and testing business license applications on Wednesday.

The Louisiana House House Criminal Justice Impacts of Legalizing Cannabis Subcommittee will meet on Thursday.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,300 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

Northampton, Massachusetts’s mayor donated the cannabis chocolate bar he bought in the state’s first legal recreational marijuana sale to a museum.

Rochester, New York’s mayor-elect is forming a commission to prepare the city for the launch of legal marijuana sales.

Yellowstone County, Montana commissioners voted to put a question on allowing marijuana dispensaries on the June ballot.

Schenectady, New York’s City Council voted to allow marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities, a reversal of an earlier decision.

The Princeton, New Jersey Public Schools Board of Education is raising concerns about marijuana dispensaries.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s health minister granted exemptions allowing three people with mental health conditions to undergo psilocybin therapy.

France’s interior minister spoke out against legalizing marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “regular cannabis and cannabidiol users may have the same or better capacity for higher measures of anaerobic power output, and cannabis users may have the same or better capacity for higher measures of muscular strength.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Maryland Association of Counties hosted a conference panel on marijuana legalization.

The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation sent a letter asking Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra for a meeting to discuss a workaround to the drug exclusion rule that the Food and Drug Administration says prevents it from regulating CBD products because the substance is already a prescription drug.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp reported quarterly revenue of $50.2 million and a net loss of $117 million.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $45.4 million and a net loss of $2 million.

Columbia Care Inc. launched medical cannabis extract vaporizer pen products in the UK.

Workers at Cannaseur’s Choice LLC received federal approval to hold a union vote.

Gotham Green Partners LLC filed a lawsuit against an affiliate of Common Citizen, alleging that the company is improperly refusing to recognize its exercise of warrants to buy preferred equity units.

SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk thanked Martha Stewart for an apparent gift of CBD products.

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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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