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Federal cannabis bill amendments cleared for floor votes (Newsletter: March 31, 2022)

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GOP Cannabis Caucus chair whips against MORE; PA marijuana banking bill approved; MD legalization plan advances; LA cannabis penalties for kids

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee formally cleared a federal marijuana legalization bill for floor action this week. Some amendments were advanced for votes by the full body, including one to reconsider security clearances denied over cannabis. Others, including one to lower the proposed tax rate on marijuana, were blocked.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) told fellow Republicans that he plans to vote against the federal marijuana legalization bill on the floor this week, while offering guidance on alternate approaches. He also revealed that he sent a letter last month to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) about his legislation in an offer to work together to amend it to have more bipartisan appeal, apparently to no avail.

Ahead of a House vote on a federal marijuana legalization bill this week, the Congressional Research Service published a new report looking at how cannabis’s Schedule I status impedes research, makes banking difficult and creates collateral consequences for consumers.

The Pennsylvania Senate Banking & Insurance Committee unanimously approved a marijuana banking bill. It doesn’t provide the federal protections that cannabis businesses want, but the state-level reform adds pressure on Congress to act.

The Maryland Senate Finance Committee approved a House-passed bill to begin implementing marijuana legalization if voters approve a referendum this November, but delayed consideration of separate legislation to actually put the question on the ballot.

The Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee approved a bill to increase marijuana penalties for children—up to the possibility of incarceration—but not for adults.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration sent letters warning seven CBD companies to stop claiming their products can prevent or treat COVID-19.

A former U.S. attorney for Kansas authored an op-ed calling on Missouri lawmakers to pass a marijuana legalization bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “So many Americans live in states where cannabis is legal for adult recreational use. It’s past time for the federal government to catch up. Comprehensive federal cannabis reform with equity for the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs is a Senate priority.”

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said marijuana should be rescheduled so its medical benefits can be studied.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said marijuana legalization “won’t pass the Senate.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), in a Senate floor speech, criticized the House for including marijuana banking provisions in its China competitiveness bill.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said she was encouraged by the Senate’s passage of a cannabis research bill.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said, in a House floor speech, that “the war on drugs was designed as a project to target our Black and Brown communities, and the obvious racial disparities in enforcement show us that it still is, at its core, an effort targeting communities of color.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “It’s time for Congress to catch up with the American public. It’s time to end the failed war on drugs. This week’s House vote to legalize cannabis is one step in that direction.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “Our nation’s anti-marijuana laws are rooted in our country’s racist past and disproportionately target communities of color. It’s time to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and provide justice for those facing marijuana charges or convictions.”

/ STATES

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “On Friday, when recreational cannabis becomes legal, we’ll have delivered on the promise to expand opportunities for New Mexicans in this new industry, especially small and minority-owned businesses. We’re building a New Mexico economy that works for all!”

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, a former Cincinnati mayor, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana during a primary debate.

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, currently the attorney general, tweeted, “Legalize marijuana. Regulate it. Tax it. But let me be clear: legalization must include expungement for those serving time for possessing small amounts of marijuana.”

Oklahoma Democratic gubernatorial candidate Connie Johnson spoke about how the state is poised to benefit from cannabis reform.

The Georgia House of Representatives rejected the Senate’s changes to a medical cannabis licensing bill.

The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee defeated a medical cannabis bill.

A Minnesota senator filed a bill to allow additional medical cannabis producers.

A Missouri representative said his marijuana legalization bill takes the best aspects of policies in other states.

New York assemblymembers will participate in a forum on decriminalizing psilocybin on April 19.

Illinois regulators proposed rules changes on the marijuana business licensing process.

Rhode Island regulators proposed rules changes on the administration of medical cannabis and CBD to students at schools.

Washington State regulators approved a rule proposal on pesticide testing action levels for cannabis.

The California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans received testimony on the history of policing and the war on drugs.

Vermont regulators have received 427 marijuana business license prequalification applications.

Nevada regulators issued a health and safety advisory about mislabeled marijuana products.


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 results of Lamar, Colorado initiatives on allowing and taxing recreational marijuana sales were invalidated by a judge who found that the city violated its charter by putting them on the ballot.

The Anthony, Texas police chief said he’s concerned that a rise in marijuana arrests as neighboring New Mexico launches legal sales will increase “response times to any other crimes that are occurring.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Argentina’s ministry of health published rules on allowing nonprofits to apply to grow medical cannabis.

A Mexican senator hosted a forum on cannabis and hemp regulation.

The Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Board of Health is studying drug decriminalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Researchers said they developed a new cannabis cultivation facility design that “could result in 50% less electricity use when compared to the overall electrical energy consumption of” current builds.

A review of studies on cannabis use by people with psychotic disorders explored the “unique potential of cannabidiol to serve as a harm-reduction strategy for individuals who are not able or willing to achieve abstinence for cannabis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Alabama voters oppose legalizing marijuana, 47 percent to 42 percent.

The Kentucky Democratic Party tweeted, “By killing the bill to legalize medical marijuana, Republican legislators have made it clear where they stand. And it isn’t with the 90% of Kentuckians who support providing this relief to people in need.”

The ACLU of New Jersey, NAACP New Jersey State Conference and other organizations reacted to the Senate president’s move to investigate delays in launching legal marijuana sales.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws published a scorecard grading state lawmakers on their cannabis votes this session.

/ BUSINESS

Quest Diagnostics, which provides drug testing services, reported that the percentage of U.S. workers testing positive for drugs hit a two-decade high in 2021 and that the number of companies testing for marijuana decreased by a large amount.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $305.3 million and a net loss of $71.5 million.

TILT Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $54.1 million and a net loss of $30.8 million.

4Front Ventures Corp. reported quarterly systemwide pro forma revenue of $33.8 million. It is also acquiring Island Cannabis Co.

RIV Capital, Inc. is acquiring Etain LLC and Etain IP LLC,

A former Curaleaf employee filed a class action lawsuit claiming that tips were illegally taken by managers and not distributed to hourly workers.

/ CULTURE

False rumors circulated that WWE removed marijuana from its wellness policy, but it has not.

Merriam-Webster tweeted about the definition of “key bumps” amid interest in the topic as Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) claimed other lawmakers have offered him cocaine.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

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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