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House passes cannabis & psychedelics amendments (Newsletter: September 29, 2023)

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Schumer & GOP clash on marijuana banking; Feds talk psychedelics research; Study: Drug decrim doesn’t boost overdose deaths

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives approved two amendments encouraging research on the benefits of psychedelics for military service members and veterans, as well as one amendment on labeling of pharmaceutical drug interactions with marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said a committee-passed marijuana banking bill has “momentum” and that he plans to bring it to the floor “soon” and attach “very significant criminal justice provisions.”

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) are slamming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for prioritizing marijuana banking legislation. Grassley wants him to focus on a fentanyl criminalization bill instead, and Cotton falsely says Democrats want to add provisions “letting drug traffickers out of prison.”

Federal officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration discussed the challenges and opportunities of psychedelics research at a government-hosted workshop.

A new study published by the American Medical Association found that state-level drug decriminalization does not lead to more drug overdose deaths, contrary to fears expressed by prohibitionists.

  • “Laws decriminalizing drug possession in Oregon and Washington were not associated with changes in fatal drug overdose rates.”

The Washington State Senate Labor & Commerce Committee held a hearing on the possibility of using biometric data such as facial recognition and fingerprinting to verify the age of customers buying marijuana or alcohol.

The Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission on Friday will consider a dispute between marijuana regulators and a cannabis company that stemmed from a recent product recall.

/ FEDERAL

Attorney General Merrick Garland attended an event celebrating the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 50th anniversary.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Fetterman (D-PA) coauthored an op-ed criticizing the war on drugs.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) discussed his support for a marijuana banking bill.

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) tweeted, “All @SenateBanking Dems blocked my amendment to the SAFER Banking Act to prevent drug cartels from laundering fentanyl & meth proceeds via marijuana sales, despite lethal drugs—most coming from Mexico across the southern border—killing more than 100,000 Americans per year.”

The House bill to federally legalize marijuana got four new cosponsors for a total of 60.

/ STATES

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) tweeted, “High-paying jobs + paid leave + good schools + adult-use cannabis + reproductive freedom = the best state.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) spoke at a cannabis conference.

Oregon’s attorney general issued a press release about a letter she and other state attorneys general sent calling on Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation.

Massachusetts’s treasurer vaguely addressed her reasons for suspending the state’s top marijuana regulator.

A former Michigan House speaker was sentenced to 55 months in federal prison for soliciting and accepting bribes in his role as the former chair of the Medical Marijuana Licensing Board.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader met with Minnesota lawmakers who led the charge to legalize marijuana in that state. Separately she held events as part of her ongoing “Grass Routes” tour.

Georgia regulators have been significantly overcounting the number of medical cannabis patients in the state.

Connecticut regulators sent a warning letter about sales of high-THC hemp products and synthetic cannabinoids.

Alabama regulators are asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a company that is challenging their medical cannabis business licensing award process.

Maine regulators held a listening session to hear marijuana industry stakeholder concerns.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife took action against illegal marijuana grow sites.


Marijuana Moment is 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

Seattle, Washington’s mayor issued an executive order saying that police who are considering arresting people for drug possession or public use should first determine whether the person poses a “threat of harm to others.”

A judge blocked Menominee, Michigan officials from issuing additional marijuana business licenses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The French government is reportedly not likely to propose legislation legalizing medical cannabis once a pilot program ends next year.

Bavaria, Germany’s health minister said he wants to enact strict local controls if the country legalizes marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “activation of the peripheral cannabinoid system may be useful to alleviate neuropathic and visceral pain associated with antitumoral treatment.”

A study found that “CBD…exhibits potent anti-inflammatory effects.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

An American Enterprise Institute staffer authored an op-ed calling on New York officials to conduct high-profile arrests of illegal marijuana business operators.

/ BUSINESS

Harvest of OH filed a court brief alleging that Trulieve Inc. and affiliates acted as an unlawful enterprise to implement a hostile takeover.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. commenced a marketed offering of subordinate voting shares, with Canaccord Genuity agreeing to purchase C$16,200,000 worth.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. entered into an agreement to sell shares for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately C$33.8 million.

A group of Chinese immigrant workers are suing a Navajo businessman and a Taiwanese entrepreneur over allegations they were forced to work trimming marijuana.

Sunnyside workers in Illinois reached tentative agreements for union contracts with Teamsters Local 777.

Dragonfly Wellness employees in Salt Lake City, Utah voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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