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Feds fund research on cannabis laws’ impact (Newsletter: February 22, 2022)

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OR psilocybin equity bill advances; Study: Drug arrests continue at high levels even as incarceration drops; CO marijuana research fairness

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is funding research on the “effects of changing cannabis laws and policies in the U.S. and globally” with a focus on understanding which components of legalization laws best protect public health.

The Oregon Senate Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery Committee approved a bill to create a task force on ensuring the state’s legal psilocybin services program centers equity for psychedelic business owners, session facilitators and participants.

A new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis shows that police are continuing to make drug arrests at a high rate even while incarceration rates are dropping.

At a Colorado House Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee hearing, a lawmaker pressed on whether an ongoing review of the science on marijuana products would look fairly at benefits as well as at harms.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted a short podcast about hemp innovation and research.

Sen.. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) spoke about the need for equity in the legal marijuana industry.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) coauthored an op-ed calling on Congress and President Joe Biden to enact marijuana reform.

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted, “Seriously, cannabis should be legal.”

/ STATES

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, uploaded a page on his campaign site about his support for legalizing marijuana. He also tweeted, “When I’m governor, we will legalize marijuana. We will stop locking up Texans for a substance that’s legal in much of the rest of the country while generating nearly $1 billion a year in new revenue and taxpayer savings. It’s the right thing to do.”

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sonia Chang-Diaz is expected to tour a cannabis facility.

Wisconsin Republican attorney general candidate Eric Toney tweeted, “WI won’t go the way of California and Illinois in legalizing marijuana and eliminating cash bail. Public safety is on the ballot.”

Kentucky’s Senate majority floor leader said he doesn’t support legalizing recreational or medical marijuana but won’t block a bill from advancing if it has sufficient support from Republican colleagues.

The Oregon House of Representatives approved a bill to make it harder for unlicensed marijuana growers to access water, and the Senate passed legislation to place a moratorium on issuing hemp cultivation licenses in some counties.

The Minnesota House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee approved a bill to allow hemp-derived cannabinoids as food additives.

The Michigan House Regulatory Reform Committee will hold a hearing on a kratom regulation bill on Tuesday.

An Alabama senator said the prospects for his marijuana decriminalization bill are “not bright” this year even though it already advanced through committee.

A Georgia representative filed a bill to grant medical cannabis business licenses to companies that are protesting their rejection in the first round of awards.

A Kentucky representative introduced a bill to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

An Illinois representative filed a resolution urging Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule I.

Connecticut’s Social Equity Council wants lawmakers to take steps to prevent marijuana market saturation.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, located in South Dakota, says police are arresting people who buy medical cannabis at the tribe’s dispensary.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to marijuana licensing rules on Tuesday.


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 city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa included marijuana decriminalization on its list of 2022 legislative priorities.

Albuquerque, New Mexico officials updated the city’s marijuana dispensary application after the initial version caused confusion.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha dismissed a threat from a lawmaker about his party leaving the governing coalition if the government refuses to support the bill promoting cannabis as a cash crop.

Mexico’s Senate majority leader said lawmakers will not hastily pass marijuana legalization and will work to get buy-in from all parties.

Fiji’s minister of economy spoke about efforts to craft a hemp program.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that CBD “has a significant role in reducing inflammation.”

A study found that “peyote conferred lowered odds of [cocaine use disorder], reducing the odds of CUD by over 50%.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana said it is “actively working to pass two different proactive amendments in the Senate and House appropriations process.”

The president of the American Bankers Association reiterated the organization’s support for marijuana banking legislation.

/ BUSINESS

A media investigation concluded that websites for Releaf Specialists, Compassionate Certification Centers and other Pennsylvania medical cannabis companies made “inaccurate, misleading or possibly dangerous” claims about marijuana.

Arkansas dispensaries sold more than $20 million worth of medical cannabis in January.

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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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