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KY gov signs medical cannabis order (Newsletter: November 16, 2022)

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Congressional marijuana hearing; New poll: Americans back legalization across party lines; AOC & lawmakers press Biden on cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Oversight Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on federal and state marijuana reform.

  • While most members who participated expressed support for cannabis reform, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) raised eyebrows by comparing legalization to slavery, saying cannabis “has been advocated by people who were in it to make money” and “slavery made money also and was a terrible circumstance that this country and the world went through for many, many years.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed an executive order allowing patients to possess medical cannabis purchased legally in other states. He is also moving to regulate delta-8 THC products.

  • Because he can’t change the law or direct police not to enforce it, the governor is  granting a “full, complete, and conditional pardon” to qualifying patients instead.

A new Gallup poll shows that nearly seven out of ten Americans support legalizing marijuana—including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents, as well as every age group.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL) led a coalition of lawmakers in sending a letter urging President Joe Biden to extend his marijuana pardons to immigrants with citizenship status issues and to “prioritize” full descheduling of cannabis.

A coalition of drug policy reform and public health advocates led by the Parabola Center sent a letter criticizing congressional leaders for inviting the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation—which is funded by tobacco and alcohol companies—to testify at a marijuana hearing.

Voters in 27 Oregon counties and 114 cities and towns saw local measures to ban psilocybin services businesses on their November ballots, and the vast majority of those passed—but most of the state’s most populous cities aren’t even considering bans.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Justice and lawyers for a proposed safe consumption site for illegal drugs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania held a status conference before a federal judge in an ongoing legal dispute over the facility.

The Food and Drug Administration issued a preliminary assessment that certain naloxone products can be switched from prescription status to nonprescription status.

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) tweeted about the participation of the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation, for which he serves as co-chair, in a congressional hearing, saying, “Executive Director @AndrewCPEAR’s testimony was a fantastic culmination of the work that @CPEARcoalition has been doing to bring facts and data to a strong federal #cannabis regulatory system. Lawmakers have the opportunity to make history before the end of this year.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “Last week, Maryland voted to legalize and commercialize recreational marijuana. That state is home to @RepAndyHarrisMD, author of the undemocratic and harmful rider that prohibits DC from using its local funds to commercialize recreational marijuana.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) held a ceremonial signing of a bill to legalize fentanyl test strips.

Wisconsin  Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “An overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites support restoring #Roe and legalizing marijuana. The will of the people should be the law of the land.” Separately, a Democratic senator said she doubted the Senate majority leader’s claim that there isn’t enough support in the Republican caucus to pass medical cannabis legislation.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) included “Legalizing Medical Marijuana” in a tweeted list of “what we’re working to get done come January.”

Former Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) spoke about the pending opening of his medical cannabis testing business.

Texas lawmakers prefiled several marijuana and medical cannabis bills for the 2023 session.

An Illinois representative spoke about his legislation to create a new Cannabis Control Commission to oversee the state’s marijuana market.

An Indiana senator tweeted, “Last week Maryland and Missouri voted to legalize cannabis, bringing the number of states with legal cannabis to 21. If legalization is popular enough to pass in a state like Missouri, we can certainly legalize it in Indiana.”

Ohio regulators posted revised rules on medical cannabis dispensaries.

Michigan regulators suspended a marijuana business’s licenses over the alleged sales of unregulated products, and issued a health and safety bulletin about “unacceptable” levels of banned pesticides, heavy metals, mold and/or bacteria.

Connecticut’s Social Equity Council reversed several denials of applications for marijuana business equity status in light of pending lawsuits.

West Virginia regulators posted a list of licensed hemp businesses.


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

Bell County, Texas’s district attorney is asking Killeen’s police chief to reverse an order he issued about complying with a voter-approved local marijuana decriminalization initiative.

Denver, Colorado officials are hosting a marijuana industry check-in meeting on December 8.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Germany’s health minister said negotiations have begun with the European Union about the country’s marijuana legalization plans.

Thailand’s public health minister dismissed a proposal to recriminalize cannabis.

An Argentine lawmaker is proposing to decriminalize all drugs.

Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions tweeted, “There are 4 internationally recognized pillars of drug policy: prevention, harm reduction, treatment and enforcement. The Harper government removed the harm reduction pillar based upon ideology instead of science. We are now working hard to save lives after those failed policies.”

A UK member of Parliament is pressing the government to reschedule psilocybin to ease research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol exerts a neuroprotective and glia-balancing effect in the subacute phase of stroke.”

A study found that “pleasant subjective aroma (but not terpene expression, THC potency, or THC dose) was positively correlated with pleasant subjective effects” in marijuana.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The president of the Teamsters filmed a video appealing to cannabis industry workers to unionize.

The American Bar Association tweeted, “Recent federal cases and administrative actions make it clear that, although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, cannabis industry participants must still comply with federal anti-discrimination laws.”

The National Cannabis Industry Association’s New York Social Equity Roundtable sent a letter urging Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to pardon people with marijuana convictions.

Ground Game Texas issued a memo pushing back against Denton, Texas officials’ suggestion that they may not fully implement a local voter-approved marijuana decriminalization initiative.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $210.5 million and a net loss of $3.2 million.

The Parent Company reported quarterly net sales of $19.6 million and a net loss and comprehensive loss of $134.6 million.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $17 million and a net loss of $7.6 million.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by MMJ International Holdings Corp. that accused the Drug Enforcement Administration of improperly delaying its application to import and study marijuana.

Jushi Holdings Inc. announced the receipt of binding subscriptions totaling approximately $68 million for the issuance of 12 percent second lien notes and warrants to purchase shares in a private offering.

The CEO of atai Life Sciences sent a letter praising the Drug Enforcement Administration’s increased quotas for production of certain psychedelics for research and urging the agency to increase the levels even further.

Arkansas dispensaries sold $23.4 million worth of medical cannabis in October.

/ CULTURE

Half Baked 2 finished production, but it doesn’t include Dave Chappelle or most of the co-stars of the original film.

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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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