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Govs talk cannabis in SOTS speeches (Newsletter: January 25, 2022)

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NY OKs medical marijuana for any condition; MA gets more revenue from cannabis than alcohol; CO industry equity goal met

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

At least six governors across the U.S. have talked about marijuana in their State of State speeches, inaugural addresses and budget plans this month—showing just how far cannabis has come into the mainstream alongside traditional issues like taxes, jobs and infrastructure.

New York regulators announced that doctors can now recommend medical cannabis for any condition they see fit. It’s a major expansion to the program as officials continue to work to launch the broader recreational marijuana market.

Virginia Republican House of Delegates leaders are beginning to formulate plans for the launch of legal marijuana sales, with multiple bills cutting tax rates and gutting equity and labor provisions being filed.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue ​​reported that the state is now taking in millions of dollars more in tax revenue from marijuana than from alcohol.

The Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division announced that the state has met a cannabis industry ownership diversity goal ahead of schedule—but the data shows there’s still a way to go before business ownership is on par with the state’s population demographics.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Michigan office tweeted about hemp’s role in restoring soil health.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he couldn’t recall whether anyone asked him to cosponsor a Republican-led marijuana legalization bill.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Today is another day that thousands of people of color sit in jail for marijuana offenses while others profit. Congress must end the discriminatory laws upholding the unjust, classist, racist War on Drugs.”

Louisiana Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers said legalizing marijuana is a justice and equity issue. He also tweeted, “Why did I smoke a blunt in my ad? Law enforcement in Louisiana is still bragging on locking people up for cannabis. This was in north Louisiana this week. While the same front page says medical cannabis in our state isn’t affordable for citizens.  It’s inequitable & unjust.”

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Henry Martin tweeted, “If you legalize marijuana without releasing all the non-violent possession offenders from prison, you’ve just created a caste system.”

/ STATES

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) said that while he continues to “have concerns about marijuana use for any reason,” he is willing to consider a new restrictive medical cannabis bill.

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, tweeted, “It’s time to finally pass the medical marijuana bill in the SC legislature. Grateful to @SenTomDavisSC for his years of steadfast leadership on this issue and for finally getting a vote in the Senate.”

Texas Republican lieutenant governor candidate Aaron Sorrells tweeted, “I am personally in favor of medical marijuana. In regards to all recreational use, I believe that should be decided on by the people of Texas. That is not my decision to make.”

North Dakota activists failed to collect enough signatures for a marijuana legalization ballot initiative by the deadline, but they say they have separate plans in the works.

The South Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill to ban medical cannabis home cultivation.

Minnesota’s House speaker said there’s no need to pass a marijuana legalization bill again in 2022, conflicting with recent comments from the majority leader.

Florida’s House minority leader said legalizing marijuana is “probably more a matter of time than it is anything else.” Separately, the Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services tweeted, “It’s cannabis day at the FL Capitol—a day dedicated to education on all things cannabis 🍃”

A Wyoming representative authored a letter to the editor in support of a pending congressional marijuana legalization bill.

A Wisconsin senator posted, “Across the country, more states are taking action legislatively on cannabis. The economic, social, and agricultural benefits of legal cannabis cannot be overstated. Wisconsin must act now and legalize cannabis for responsible, adult usage.”

A Washington State senator spoke about efforts to build support for his bill to legalize psilocybin services.

Vermont regulators posted cannabis rules for public comment and issued a report to lawmakers.

Pennsylvania officials are directing medical cannabis toward a student loan repayment program for drug treatment providers.

Oregon’s Psilocybin Advisory Board is preparing to submit recommendations to regulators in March.

Idaho regulators posted a list of hemp labs.

Massachusetts regulators will hold a listening session on draft hemp rules on Wednesday.


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

Activists in Colorado Springs, Colorado filed a local ballot measure to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Albuquerque, New Mexico officials are hosting cannabis equity events this week.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s health ministry reportedly plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use in designated areas

Mexican lawmakers are expected to resume consideration of marijuana legalization legislation in the session that begins on February 1.

The president of Costa Rica’s Congress accused the government of throwing “smoke screens” about its decision on a medical cannabis and hemp bill that passed the legislature.

An Irish senator tweeted about support for decriminalizing drugs.

The Edmonton, Alberta, Canada City Council is considering a drug decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBG’s broad range of in vitro and clinical skin health-promoting activities demonstrates its strong potential as a safe, effective ingredient for topical use and suggests there are areas where it may be more effective than CBD.”

A review concluded that “published studies since 1991 largely support the hypothesis that small numbers of treatments with psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy can offer significant and sustained alleviation to symptoms of multiple psychiatric conditions” and that “no serious adverse events attributed to psychedelic therapy have been reported.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Carolina Republican Party is paying to circulate a sheriff’s attack on a pending medical cannabis bill.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, Minnesota Beverage Association, Minnesota Trucking Association and other groups formed a new coalition to oppose marijuana legalization.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen claimed in a new lawsuit that the office of New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) pushed regulators to approve an acquisition by Ascend Wellness just days after an executive from the former company attended a fundraiser for the governor’s reelection campaign.

WeedMD’s former board chair is being accused by the Ontario Securities Commission of providing confidential information to a longtime friend who engaged in insider trading of the company’s shares.

The owners of Native Roots are involved in an internal legal battle.

Missouri dispensaries have sold more than $215 million worth of medical cannabis as of December.

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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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