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Feds say more banks working with cannabis biz (Newsletter: March 3, 2022)

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MO lawmakers press Biden on marijuana; WI voters back legalization; Switching from alcohol to cannabis gets support in poll; GW & Canopy patent case

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new report from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network shows that the number of banks working with marijuana businesses is increasing.

Missouri lawmakers filed resolutions calling on President Joe Biden to pardon people convicted of marijuana offenses and take action to combat the “racist double standard” that kept Sha’Carri Richardson from the Olympics over a cannabis test.

A new poll found that 61 percent of Wisconsin voters—including a majority of Republicans—support legalizing marijuana. Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Democratic lawmakers have pushed for the reform only to be consistently blocked by GOP legislative leaders.

A new survey showed that more Americans think it’d be good if people switched to marijuana and drank less alcohol than think the substance substitution would be bad.

GW Pharmaceuticals and Canopy Growth Corporation agreed in a joint court filing that Canopy can’t win its cannabis extraction patent infringement case under a federal judge’s interpretation of the definition of “CO2 in liquefied form under subcritical pressure and temperature conditions.” Canopy has until March 28 to appeal that interpretation.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden spoke about the need to promote harm reduction for drugs in his State of the Union address, though he also talked up traditional criminal enforcement of drug laws.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta issued a statement outlining the Biden administration’s drug strategy following the president’s speech.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) said in the progressive response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address that we should “end the war on drugs.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “There are no #cannabis reform bills sitting on @POTUS’ desk so I didn’t expect him to address it in the #SOTU2022. However I do expect the Senate to do their job & pass #SAFEBanking or other reforms so the President can take action & enact some sort of cannabis reform this year.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “If we really wanted to address the opioid epidemic we’d do cannabis reform. We’d also fund medical research to better understand its benefits. #SOTU  #StatesReformAct”

Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Nina Turner tweeted, “Tonight would be a great time for @POTUS to announce a pardon to everyone who has ever been arrested for using cannabis.”

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) tweeted, “Applications for the next round of Restore, Reinvest, and Renew grants are due Tuesday. #R3 is a core tenet of Illinois’ cannabis legalization framework, setting us apart from other states that have legalized. Funding community organizations is another step toward justice.”

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, pledged to legalize marijuana in his primary election victory speech.

The South Dakota House of Representatives adopted an amendment to ban medical cannabis home cultivation.

The Ohio House of Representatives passed a bill to add autism spectrum disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Utah House of Representatives approved a bill on marijuana definitions and penalties.

Florida legislation to allow medical cannabis patients to renew their recommendations via telehealth died without committee action.

U.S. Virgin Islands regulators released proposed medical cannabis rules.

Washington State regulators adopted pesticide and heavy metal testing rules for marijuana products.

Maine regulators are discontinuing a proposed effort to revise medical cannabis rules. Separately, they also filed a brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit to uphold the state’s residency requirements for medical marijuana business ownership.

Colorado regulators reported that the share of minority owners of marijuana businesses has now increased to 17.5 percent. They separately issued compliance tips on marijuana business employee requirements and cannabis test batches.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is hiring a new top medical cannabis regulator.

A New Mexico marijuana regulator called the state’s implementation of legalization “one of the ​​most aggressive launches that we’ve seen, that I think any state has seen.”

The Massachusetts Department of Fire Services tweeted, “​​Cannabis extraction processes that use flammable gases such as butane and propane are subject to strict #safety regulations. Their unlicensed use can cause serious injury or worse.”


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 Green Bay, Wisconsin Common Council voted to reduce the fine for marijuana possession.

Most Vermont municipalities that considered proposals this week to allow recreational marijuana sales approved the measures.

Pass Christian and Ridgeland, Mississippi officials opted out of allowing medical cannabis businesses.

A black former Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police officer’s lawsuit alleging discrimination in the department’s drug testing practices was dismissed.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado signed a medical cannabis and hemp bill into law.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines awarded a license allowing Med Plant Science Ltd to cultivate, process, import and export psychedelic compounds for medicinal purposes and scientific research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study showed “significant improvement in [health-related quality of life] among patients using [medical marijuana] for pain.”

A study of mice found that “cannabidiol prevents depressive-like behaviors through the modulation of neural stem cell differentiation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Nebraska Republican voters oppose legalizing medical cannabis, 49 percent to 39 percent.

Concerned Women for America’s Legislative Action Committee included a House marijuana banking vote, which it opposed, in a scorecard for the first session of the 117th Congress.

/ BUSINESS

Harborside Inc. completed its acquisition of UL Holdings Inc. and appointed a new CEO.

Acreage Holdings Inc. has a new chief operating officer and its general counsel is leaving the company.

BDSA projected that global cannabis sales will reach just over $35 billion in 2022.

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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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