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GOP caucus ties cannabis to violence (Newsletter: October 5, 2022)

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Colombian legalization advances; DEA admits racism drives drug war; Reformers to Senate: don’t pass marijuana research bill; CA cannabis equity grants

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Republican Study Committee—which represents nearly three out of four House GOP lawmakers—released a “Family Policy Agenda” that opposes legalization of marijuana and attempts to link it to suicide and violence. Some members spoke out against their own group’s agenda when approached by Marijuana Moment.

The Colombian Chamber of Representatives First Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill. The action comes as new President Gustavo Petro is broadly calling for an end to the war on drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration admitted in a new video that “racial, ethnic and class prejudice” led to drug criminalization and the agency’s own founding.

  • “What had been a medical condition became deviant or criminal. This shift led to a wave of laws against heroin, marijuana and cocaine.”

The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce and Law Enforcement Action Partnership are asking the Senate not to vote on a pending cannabis research bill, arguing it would have “dire unintended consequences” for the marijuana and hemp industry.

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development is now accepting applications for a new $15 million round of the Cannabis Equity Grants Program for Local Jurisdictions.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation declaring October as National Youth Substance Use Prevention Month.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a joint appearance with Colombian President Gustavo Petro that the U.S. backs his “holistic approach” to drugs. Petro, for his part, said that countries need to “view the war on drugs differently.”

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) clashed over the issue of fentanyl analogue scheduling during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “The cannabis industry is a booming industry in our state – creating new jobs and generating economic opportunities for our small businesses.”

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), currently running for Senate, toured a medical cannabis cultivation facility and discussed his support for recreational marijuana legalization.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz released an ad criticizing Democratic rival John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, over his past support for decriminalizing drugs.

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott, currently Hammond’s mayor, tweeted, “Studies show many benefits of cannabis for certain conditions, in fact 37 states have legalized medical marijuana. We are now seeing the economic effect in the states that have legalized for personal use. I am supportive of state & federal laws to help #Indiana, #LegalizeIt.”

/ STATES

Arkansas Republican gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders said she plans to vote against the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

California’s insurance commissioner cheered the governor’s signing of a bill to clarify that offering insurance to a cannabis business is not a crime.

New York’s Assembly majority leader spoke about efforts to ensure equity businesses get a head start in the marijuana industry before bigger players come in. Separately, regulators are doing a “fall harvest tour” of cannabis grow sites. Meanwhile, there are currently more than 100 marijuana dispensaries operating on native land within the state.

The Kansas legislature’s Special Committee on Medical Marijuana will hold hearings on October 12 and 19.

A Wisconsin representative noted that the governor’s push to allow citizen ballot initiatives could let voters enact marijuana legalization.

A Tennessee senator discussed plans to pursue medical cannabis legislation in 2023.

Oregon regulators filed proposed changes to marijuana rules, and will hold a hearing on them on October 25.

Oklahoma regulators filed amended medical cannabis rules.

Utah regulators filed changes to rules on hemp product processors.

Mississippi regulators posted a list of licensed medical cannabis businesses.

Colorado officials will hold a meeting on kratom regulation Thursday.

Florida regulators are hosting workshops about medical cannabis testing labs on Thursday and medical cannabis packaging and labeling rules on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 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

A former Adelanto, California mayor pro tem who accepted a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent who said he wanted help with a marijuana business was sentenced to federal prison.

The Birmingham, Alabama City Council voted to allow medical cannabis dispensaries.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Sri Lanka’s state minister of indigenous medicine said the cabinet will soon review a proposal to legalize hemp as an Ayurvedic product.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency rejected a Freedom of Information request regarding companies with CBD products undergoing safety reviews.

South Korea’s government is reportedly planning to launch an intensified “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study demonstrated “in vitro effectiveness of [Cannabis sativa L. extract] as a neuroprotective agent, proposing the whole cannabis phytocomplex as a more effective strategy, compared to its main constituents alone.”

A review suggested that “cannabidiol has an anorexigenic effect, correlated with a decrease in body weight.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

ASTM International’s cannabis committee approved four new testing standards.

The Association of Researchers of Thailand , Thai Industrial Hemp Trade Association and Union of Thai Traditional Medicine Society, among other groups, are pushing lawmakers to pass a cannabis and hemp regulation bill.

The Missouri Constitutional Conservatives PAC is arguing that the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot would “put critical race theory in the Missouri Constitution through the creation of a chief equity officer.”

The Marijuana Policy Project published a New Hampshire voter guide.

/ BUSINESS

Akanda Corp. received a notification from Nasdaq saying it is not in compliance with a minimum bid price requirement.

Tilray Brands, Inc. received reimbursement approval for its medical cannabis oral product in Ireland.

Biopharmaceutical Research Company completed a $20 million Series A fundraising round.

Jushi Holdings Inc. added a new member to its board of directors.

Illinois retailers sold $130.7 million worth of recreational marijuana products in September.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen said he wants to smoke marijuana with Barbra Streisand.

Actress Maya Hawke joked that she went to an “arts and marijuana-based high school.”

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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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