VA Senate approves quicker marijuana sales; HI psilocybin bill advances; MO GOP legalization proposal; NH state-run stores criticism
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) suggested at a recent House Rules Committee meeting that federally legalizing marijuana would help people get their mail delivered on time—pointing out how U.S. Postal Service staffing shortages are driven in part by the ban on workers using cannabis.
The Virginia Senate passed a bill to launch recreational marijuana sales early by letting current medical cannabis and hemp businesses enter the adult-use market. Sales would begin in September under the plan, which now heads to the Republican-controlled House.
The Hawaii Senate Health Committee unanimously approved a bill to create a working group to study the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and develop a plan to ensure that the psychedelic is accessible for medical use.
A Missouri Republican representative filed a comprehensive, 74-page marijuana legalization bill called the Cannabis Freedom Act.
As the New Hampshire House of Representatives prepares to vote on a bill to legalize marijuana and conduct sales through state-run stores on Wednesday, Matt Simon of Prime Alternative Treatment Centers of NH writes in an op-ed that there’s a better way.
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta spoke about the Biden administration’s drug policy priorities.
The National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism held a discussion on the effect of cannabis and alcohol on sleep.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted a short podcast on the forthcoming release of the results of a national hemp survey it conducted.
Food and Drug Administration officials will participate in a Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation event on the endocannabinoid system on February 24.
The Senate confirmed the nomination of Robert Califf to serve as Food and Drug Administration commissioner.
Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Lou Correa (D-CA) said they’ve had cannabis trade talks with Canadian and Mexican officials.
Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY) tweeted, “The legal cannabis industry can help fuel local economies and create jobs and training for a new generation of hemp workers, and I will continue to do all I can to support cannabis-related businesses in #NY19 communities.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) criticized how officials reacted differently to U.S. runner Sha’Carri Richardson’s marijuana test and a Russian skater testing positive for a performance enhancing drug, tweeting, “But our American sprinter Sha’carri smoked Marijuana and was booted from the Olympics? Glad I boycotted this corrupt game.”
Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) tweeted, “Dirtbag drug dealers are killing Americans by cutting marijuana, cocaine, and other recreational drugs with synthetic fentanyl. President Biden should have done something to stop the flow of this deadly drug into our country a long time ago.”
Former Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) hosted a discussion about psychedelics on his podcast.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Four years ago today, medical marijuana became available for Pennsylvanians. I’m proud to have signed medical marijuana into law. It brings relief to many people with medical conditions. I’m hoping we can soon legalize recreational marijuana, too.”
New Mexico lawmakers sent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) a bill to legalize drug checking equipment. Separately, the Senate approved legislation to increase production limits for small cannabis companies and make other changes to marijuana laws.
The Washington State House of Representatives approved a bill to create a Community Reinvestment Program to fund expungements and other services.
Rhode Island’s House speaker said a negotiated marijuana legalization bill should be unveiled around March 1.
Maryland’s House speaker said she favors a careful step-by-step approach to legalizing marijuana, while the Senate president wants to move more quickly to enact a regulated cannabis system.
South Carolina’s House speaker assigned a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill to the only committee in the chamber that’s chaired by a Democrat.
Indiana House Democrats tweeted, “Hoosiers convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession are branded with a criminal record for something that is legal in 3⃣ neighboring states. State Rep. @SueinMuncie proposed a one-time expungement for misdemeanor marijuana possession. House R’s voted NO ❌”
The Minnesota House Health Finance and Policy Committee approved a bill on medical cannabis pacts between tribal nations.
An Oklahoma representative spoke about a package of medical cannabis reform bills he has filed.
Vermont regulators will begin accepting applications for pre-approval of recreational marijuana business licenses on March 16.
Michigan marijuana regulators will hold a public hearing on Wednesday.
Florida’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Council will meet 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.
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The Los Angeles County, California Board of Supervisors approved a marijuana business licensing program for unincorporated areas.
Portland, Oregon posted guidance on environmental requirements for cannabis businesses.
The president of the Mexican Senate Health Committee announced that a new marijuana legalization bill is being circulated.
Some Australian politicians are coming to the defense of an activist who is being criticized over a photo of her holding a bong as a teenager.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study of patients with chronic refractory pain found that “more than one-third of patients benefited from oral medicinal cannabis.”
A review examined hemp as “a very promising renewable resource including its potential uses in paper, textiles, composites, biofuel, and food industry.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The Association of American Feed Control Officials and other organizations sent a letter to agriculture officials expressing concern about the allowance of hemp in animal feed.
The Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers endorsed a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.
Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana published its annual report.
Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. filed an amended complaint in a case against MedMen over a disputed New York cannabis licensing deal and a motion to dismiss the other company’s counterclaims.
Trulieve Cannabis Corp completed its acquisition of a cultivation facility in Phoenix, Arizona.
Ayr Wellness Inc. closed its acquisition of Cultivauna, LLC.
Harborside Inc. increased its ownership stake in FGW Haight, Inc.
Cann raised a $27 million Series A funding round.
Psychedelics therapy training and certification platform Fluence completed a $3 million seed funding round.
Whoopi Goldberg said marijuana is “not a performance-enhancing drug, I can tell you from experience.”
Deepak Chopra’s Chopra Foundation is partnering with Cybin on “education and awareness initiatives to harness the potential of psychedelic therapies in mental health.”
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.