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FL governor candidates battle over cannabis (Newsletter: October 15, 2021)

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SCOTUS rejects safe consumption case; MS gov delaying medical marijuana; Fed study: Legalization tied to fewer seizures; Gupta & Rogan talk cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A study authored by the head of the federal government’s marijuana farm found that Drug Enforcement Administration seizures of illegal cannabis “decreased dramatically owing to the legalization” of the plant in a growing number of states over the past decade. That backs up reform advocates’ claim that as more legal markets come online they will replace unregulated ones.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary rivals Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist are battling over who supports marijuana legalization the most.

Top lawmakers are accusing Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) of stalling a special session to pass a medical cannabis bill by making “unreasonable demands” for changes—including reducing the dosage unit from a standard eighth of an ounce down to 2.8 grams.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a case on the legality of safe consumption sites for illicit drugs, despite attorneys general from 10 states urging them to hear it. It’ll now move forward in a lower court, where the Biden administration will have to weigh in.

Sanjay Gupta spoke to Joe Rogan about why he changed his mind to support medical marijuana after looking internationally beyond the “very biased” U.S body of research that’s been designed to focus on cannabis’s potential hams.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture tweeted about funding it awarded to study and define economic opportunities for hemp in the western U.S.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Congress must pass comprehensive cannabis reform, but the Department of Justice can take steps immediately to decriminalize marijuana.”

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said she supports broad federal marijuana legalization but is fine with passing cannabis banking first.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick tweeted, “Legalizing the personal consumption of cannabis is an idea whose time has come. Expungements are a vital part of this process, too, tied to voting rights and access to jobs.”

/ STATES

Texas’s Department of Agriculture tweeted about a federal hemp survey.

The Michigan Senate approved a bill to let people with marijuana convictions participate in the medical cannabis industry.

New York’s Assembly majority leader is hosting a clinic to help people expunge marijuana records on Saturday.

The Virginia legislature’s Joint Commission on Cannabis Oversight met.

A Pennsylvania representative filed a bill to allow school nurses to administer medical cannabis to students.

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory recall on medical cannabis products sold by Certified Cultivators, LLC due to their not being tested for heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents and mycotoxins.

South Dakota regulators will make medical cannabis patient applications available “in the coming days.”

Florida regulators published rules for issuing medical cannabis licenses to black farmers. Meanwhile, regulators are also seeking $13 million in funding to support medical marijuana oversight. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, pushed back on the new rule, saying it “will more than double fees ONLY for Black farmers applying for medical marijuana licenses.”

Washington State regulators proposed rules on evaluating THC compounds. Separately, they will hold a listen and learn session on conceptual rules for cannabis quality control testing on Wednesday.

Colorado regulators proposed changes to medical cannabis registry application processing fees.

Missouri regulators terminated previous emergency rules on hemp.

Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Commission met.

Nevada’s Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Social Equity, Diversity & Inclusion will meet on Monday.

Oregon will consider rules for marijuana violations on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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 Jackson County, Oregon Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency over illegal marijuana cultivation and is asking the state for help.

Voters in several Colorado municipalities will decide on ballot measures to allow and/or tax marijuana businesses next month.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Panamanian President Nito Cortizo signed a medical cannabis bill.

Spain’s Congress of Deputies cleared a medical cannabis subcommittee to consider full marijuana legalization.

Pakistan’s science and technology minister said the government will issue cannabis cultivation rules by December.

Mexico’s Supreme Court was scheduled to discuss, but did not act on, a case concerning whether people who possess more than five grams of marijuana without a permit can be criminally charged.

Malaysian lawmakers formed a multi-party caucus on medical cannabis and kratom.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “people with ADHD may be using cannabis to self-medicate for many of their symptoms and medication side effects and that more frequent use may mitigate ADHD-related executive dysfunction.”

A review concluded that “an increasing number of retrospective studies have shown a decrease in pain scores after administration of cannabinoids, as well as long-term benefits such as reduced opiate use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Hispanic Cannabis Council  published a report on Hispanic engagement in the marijuana industry.

The New York State Bar Association announced that its president was also appointed president of Ascend Wellness Holdings.

/ BUSINESS

Dutchie ​​completed a $350 million financing round that more than doubles the company’s value to $3.75 billion.

Canopy Growth Corporation is acquiring Wana Brands.

Cresco Labs is acquiring Laurel Harvest Labs, LLC.

A Canadian judge affirmed an extension of the planned takeover of iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. by Gotham Green Partners LLC.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. announced the first nonprofit recipients of support through its Good Green Grant Program.

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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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