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GOP lawmakers talk cannabis reform’s prospects in Congress (Newsletter: December 2, 2022)



AMA study: Legal medical marijuana tied to lower opioid use; DEA increases psychedelics quotas again; OH cannabis paraphernalia reform; RI sales begin

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The Drug Enforcement Administration finalized its 2023 drug quotas, and the agency is allowing even more production of certain psychedelics than the already significant increases it initially proposed.

Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Brian Mast (R-FL) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) spoke about the prospects for marijuana reform to advance in the lame duck session and in the new 118th Congress.

The Ohio Senate passed a large-scale criminal justice reform bill that includes provisions making it so possession of marijuana paraphernalia won’t qualify as a criminal record. There are also broader expungements and record sealing measures in the legislation.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) formally filed a previously announced bill to create a federal commission to study regulations for legal marijuana that would be modeled on those for alcohol.

A new study published by the American Medical Association found that legalizing medical cannabis is tied to “reductions in the rate of opioid dispensing and pain-related hospital events” for cancer patients, suggesting that “medical marijuana could be serving as a substitute for opioids.”

Rhode Island’s first recreational marijuana sales began.


Customs and Border Protection reported that marijuana seizures at Southern California ports of entry declined 98 percent from the last fiscal year.

The Department of Veterans Affairs posted a contract opportunity for marijuana lab testing as part of a study on “the impact of reduced cannabis use on psychosocial functioning among Veterans with PTSD.”

Federal judge nominee Rita Faye Lin cited a decision to deny a motion to suppress marijuana evidence as one of her ten most significant cases.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) vetoed a bill to create a task force on fentanyl and overdose prevention. Separately, an investigative report suggests that the managers of the state’s Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund have “made several misleading or outright false statements about their accomplishments.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) tweeted about his appointment of a new cannabis regulation oversight officer, saying she “has the experience, education, and expertise to thrive in this role while advancing cannabis equity throughout Illinois.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office tweeted about efforts to combat illegal marijuana activity.

A Florida campaign seeking to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the 2024 ballot has collected nearly 50,000 signatures so far.

The Ohio House of Representatives approved a bill to decriminalize fentanyl testing strips.

A Minnesota representative wrote in an op-ed that lawmakers need to reform “marijuana laws that criminalize Black and brown people.”

A Virginia senator spoke about the challenges of testing drivers for marijuana impairment.

Maine’s  administrative and financial services commissioner appointed the Brookings Institution’s John Hudak to be the state’s new top marijuana regulator. Separately, regulators announced they are ceasing enforcement of residency requirements for medical cannabis dispensaries and caregivers.

New Colorado marijuana rules took effect on Thursday.

Utah regulators filed rules on cannabis quality assurance testing.

Vermont regulators published guidance about bulk cannabis flower.

A Missouri regulator spoke about the shift to overseeing recreational marijuana in addition to medical cannabis.

New Jersey regulators will consider rules for marijuana consumption areas and other issues on Friday.

Washington State’s Psilocybin Work Group will meet on Friday.

The Nevada Tax Commission will consider changes to cannabis tax rules on Monday.

Alaska’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana will meet on Monday.

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.


Los Angeles, California’s city controller published a report on local cannabis regulation efforts.

The Birmingham, Alabama City Council voted to update zoning laws to allow medical cannabis dispensaries to operate.

The chair of the San Diego County, California Board of Supervisors tweeted, “We need a safe, regulated, and legal cannabis system. Moving cannabis licensing to the planning department is another step in the right direction and helps our sheriff deputies focus on cracking down on illegal cannabis operations.”


Switzerland’s Federal Commission for Questions on Addiction and Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases is calling for marijuana legalization.

Germany’s health minister tweeted, “Our current drug policy is not a success. Legalizing and controlling cannabis use is also a way to protect children and young people. Because the black market that targets these ‘new customers’ would dry up.”

A Canadian senator pressed a Department of Finance official about the impact of marijuana legalization on young people.

India’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued an advisory warning radio stations to stop playing songs that “glorify” drugs and guns.


A study suggested that “medical cannabis was an economic substitute for alcohol in Canada, and that the country’s 2017-2018 alcohol sales were roughly 1.8% lower than they would have been without legal medical cannabis.”

A review concluded that “psilocybin seems to show symptom improvement in some psychiatric illnesses.”


The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “Cannabis should be legalized across Indiana. It is a win-win for the state’s economy and will put a stop to senseless litigation over an issue more than 80% of Hoosiers support. Unfortunately, @GovHolcomb and the @indgop are stuck in the past.”

The Independent Community Bankers of America posted an action alert that allows people to send letters urging their lawmakers to approve marijuana banking legislation.

The Pennsylvania Family Institute’s communications director authored an op-ed calling on lawmakers to reject marijuana banking legislation.

A Whitney Economics report estimates that the total cultivated output of cannabis in the U.S. in 2022 to be in excess of 48.8 million pounds.


Springbig is eliminating 23 percent of its workforce.

Curaleaf’s CEO said the company has been “proactively speaking” to Nasdaq about potentially being listed there.

Dutchie has a new CEO.

Labcorp is being sued for allegedly improperly denying a man a job over his use of medical cannabis.


Elizabeth Banks said her new film “Cocaine Bear” is a commentary on the failed war on drugs.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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