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KY House passes medical cannabis bill (Newsletter: March 18, 2022)

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Feds: Marijuana prosecutions decline as more states legalize; CA psilocybin ballot effort dropped; VA bill worries hemp advocates; MS local bans

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a medical cannabis bill with a new amendment to add PTSD as a qualifying condition. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that federal marijuana prosecutions continue to decline as more states enact legalization. In 2012, when the first states legalized, cannabis cases were top among drug prosecutions. Now they are at the bottom.

California activists announced they failed to collect enough signatures on a volunteer basis to qualify a psilocybin legalization initiative for the November ballot. They plan to raise money to support a paid petitioning effort for a new measure in 2024.

A THC restriction bill on Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) desk “throws the whole hemp industry under the bus,” advocates say.

Some Mississippi municipalities are moving to ban medical marijuana businesses from operating despite approval from voters and state lawmakers.

/ FEDERAL

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Free Brittney,” referring to American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia after she was  allegedly caught at an airport with cannabis vape cartridges.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus said in a list of suggested executive actions that President Joe Biden should “create an independent, permanent clemency board to review more than 18,000 pending clemency petitions.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Racial justice and restorative justice need to be at the center of any cannabis legislation Congress puts forward.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) did a radio interview about her hemp reform bill.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of four.

/ STATES

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill replacing the word “marijuana” with “cannabis” in the state’s legal code

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed legislation legalizing fentanyl test strips, creating a database to track opioids and increasing penalties for manufacturing and selling fentanyl.

Spokespersons for Rhode Island’s House speaker and Senate president pushed back on the administration of Gov. Dan McKee’s (D) claim that the proposed regulatory structure in a marijuana legalization bill would violate separation of powers principles.

An Iowa senator authored an op-ed arguing for marijuana legalization.

A Pennsylvania senator tweeted, “People in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania are ready for #Marijuana legalization. A Franklin & Marshall College survey found that 60% of Pennsylvanian’s support legislation for adult usage.”

An Illinois judge lifted an injunction that has prevented regulators from issuing craft marijuana cultivation licenses.

Utah regulators filed amended medical cannabis rules.

Minnesota regulators clarified that hemp products with trace amounts of delta-9 THC are legal.

California regulators filed a notice to readopt emergency rules consolidating cannabis regulations.

Oregon regulators published guidance on marijuana testing requirements.

Connecticut regulators began accepting lottery applications for marijuana product packager licenses.

Nevada regulators published a demographic study of the state’s cannabis industry.

North Carolina’s Department of Justice is hosting a cannabis webinar series starting on Friday.

Tennessee’s Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.


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 Green Bay, Wisconsin City Council approved an ordinance removing fines for marijuana possession in most cases.

The Worcester, Massachusetts Human Rights Commission is considering a proposal to endorse decriminalizing psychedelics.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UNAIDS tweeted, “Punitive drug laws, policies & law enforcement practices hv been shown to be among the largest obstacles to health care in many countries. A rights-based approach to drug policy, including decriminalization of drug use can improve access to health care & harm reduction services.”

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the economic potential of cannabis.

Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos will participate in a forum on advancing drug policy reform through elections on Friday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review found that “there is considerable evidence for cannabinoid-mediated inhibition of tumour cell proliferation, tumour invasion and metastasis, angiogenesis and chemoresistance, as well as induction of apoptosis and autophagy.”

A study concluded that “bioactivity of terpenes may contribute to benefits of medicinal cannabis use in dementia and other [central nervous system] disorders.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Industrial Hemp Council of America sent letters to the Food and Drug Administration and Association of American Feed Control Officials arguing that hemp should be added as a safe ingredient in the animal feed supply chain.

Americans for Prosperity tweeted, “It’s more important than ever that we get the federal government out of the way when it comes to cannabis.”

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana published a rebuttal to a recent Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation paper finding that legalization hasn’t led to increased youth cannabis consumption.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. completed its acquisition of Apothecarium Nevada.

Ayr Wellness Inc reported quarterly revenue of $111.8 million and an operating loss of 13.9 million.

Glass House Brands Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $18.4 million and a net loss of $18.8 million.

Metrc signed a marijuana track and trace contract with Minnesota.

Tilray Brands, Inc. launched the first EU GMP medical cannabis oil products in Malta.

St. Luke’s Physician Group Inc. is being sued for allegedly improperly rescinding a job offer over Pennsylvania woman’s medical cannabis use.

/ CULTURE

A Russian court extended the detention of American basketball player Brittney Griner until at least May 19 following her allegedly being caught at an airport with cannabis vape cartridges.

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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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