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House could vote on legal cannabis next week (Newsletter: March 24, 2022)

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Senator schooled on marijuana; UT gov signs psychedelics bill; MD senators question House legalization plan; MI city decrims psilocybin & ayahuasca

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives could vote on a federal cannabis legalization bill next week, with a congressional staffer and a key advocate telling Marijuana Moment it’s being discussed at high levels. Nothing is official yet, but an announcement could be imminent.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow surprised Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) at a hearing by informing him that teen marijuana use is not increasing in states that have enacted legalization.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed a bill to create a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic use of psychedelics such as psilocybin for treating mental health disorders. The measure passed the full legislature with only two lawmakers voting against it.

The Maryland Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on House-passed marijuana legalization bills, with some lawmakers criticizing the lack of detail on issues like licensing and equity—as well as the idea of putting the issue on the ballot at all.

The Hazel Park, Michigan City Council unanimously passed a measure to decriminalize psychedelics—with the sponsor discussing his own psilocybin use before the vote. Meanwhile, the Board of State Canvassers approved the language of a broader legalization initiative that activists are seeking to qualify for November’s statewide ballot.

Colorado Springs, Colorado activists have been cleared to collect signatures to place an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana sales on the local November ballot.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is expected to issue its overdue drug control strategy soon.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture tweeted about the availability of hemp revenue protection insurance.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said he anticipates that marijuana legalization will become a “more important conversation in Indiana.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK) criticized Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson for saying that a convicted drug seller had “no victims.”

/ STATES

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “We’re legalizing cannabis & through it we’re paving the way for a diversified economy that will create thousands of good paying jobs for years to come.”

A group of Arkansas activists plans to drop its effort to place a marijuana legalization initiative on this November’s ballot and will instead target 2024 with a new measure.

The Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee held a hearing on a bill to increase penalties for juvenile marijuana possession.

A Kentucky senator asked the House to delay consideration of his bill to ban delta-8 THC products while he works on an amendment to the Senate-passed legislation so that it would simply prohibit sales to people under 21.

A Pennsylvania senator authored an op-ed arguing against the legalization of marijuana.

Alabama’s top medical cannabis regulator said rules for the program are expected to be filed this summer, with the state on pace to start accepting dispensary applications by September.

New Mexico regulators filed amended cannabis rules.

New Jersey regulators are expected to approve the first batch of conditional marijuana cultivation and manufacturing license applications on Thursday.

Texas regulators are accepting public comments for a review of rules for the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Oregon regulators published an updated marijuana sampling and testing guide.

Arizona regulators are preparing to hold a lottery to award marijuana social equity licenses next month.

Washington State regulators sent a reminder to apply for hemp licenses by the March 31 deadline.

North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services tweeted, “Five farmers in our state have started producing hemp fiber as new and emerging crop.  From clothing to building materials, hemp fiber can be used in a variety of ways.”

Georgia medical cannabis regulators delayed a scheduled Thursday meeting until March 30.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee and Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.


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 Indiana Borough, Pennsylvania Council discussed a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Rochester, New York’s mayor gave an update on efforts to implement marijuana legalization.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts City Council voted to repeal a three percent “Community Impact Fee” on recreational marijuana sales.

The Guilderland, New York Town Board will hold a hearing on reconsidering its ban on marijuana dispensaries on April 5.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK member of Parliament pressed the policing minister about law enforcement officers strip-searching a teenage girl after they said she smelled of cannabis.

A Malaysian lawmaker said he wants to legalize the export of kratom to Thailand but not allow its consumption domestically.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “a single dose of CBD (300mg) attenuated the increased anxiety and cognitive impairment induced by recalling a traumatic event in patients with PTSD when the event involved nonsexual trauma.”

A study found that “cannabis use is common among patients with [alopecia areata] and is often used to alleviate the psychosocial symptoms related to AA, despite the lack of perceived improvement in hair regrowth.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Conference of State Legislatures launched a new cannabis policy enactment database.

The Lexington Herald Leader editorial board is calling on Kentucky lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

Law Enforcement Action Partnership received a donation from MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs is acquiring Columbia Care Inc. Cresco also reported quarterly revenue of $218 million and a net loss of $12 million.

Agrify Corporation reported quarterly revenue of $25.3 million and a net loss of $13.3 million.

Metrc signed a medical cannabis tracking contract with South Dakota regulators.

Vireo Health Inc. is being sued by its former chief operating officer, who alleges he ended up with a sizable tax bill after the company retroactively reclassified stock options he exercised.

Workers at Sessions Retail Cannabis in Timmins, Ontario, Canada voted to organize with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

/ CULTURE

Russian officials finally granted the U.S. consular access to basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being detained after allegedly being caught with cannabis vape cartridges at an airport.

Bella Thorne spoke about her involvement in pushing for clemency for cannabis prisoners.

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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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