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Malta set to legalize cannabis this week, a European first (Newsletter: December 14, 2021)

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St. Louis decrim signed into law; SCOTUS asked to settle marijuana insurance dispute; Clemency bill in Congress; Equity recs from former MA regulator

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Malta is set to become the first country in Europe to legalize marijuana this week. Parliament is scheduled to vote on the bill on Tuesday and the president is expected to quickly sign it into law by this weekend.

The mayor of St. Louis, Missouri signed a new ordinance decriminalizing marijuana possession and cultivation of up to six plants under local law.

The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to resolve a dispute between several state courts on whether employers can be compelled to reimburse workers for the cost of medical cannabis used to treat job-related injuries.

Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Cori Bush (D-MO) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) led a coalition of lawmakers in filing a new bill to streamline the presidential clemency process, a step they say is needed to address mass incarceration that’s been driven by the war on drugs.

Former Massachusetts marijuana regulator Shaleen Title published a new report on how states can do a better job of ensuring social equity in the cannabis industry for communities impacted by the war on drugs.

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and other federal health agencies are hosting a two-day workshop on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics next month.

The chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s hemp program will participate in a Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation webinar on Thursday.

The Government Accountability Office said the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy should better document its process for identifying duplication, overlap and fragmentation in its grants programs.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) voiced support for safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted about Visa cracking down on a popular marijuana business payments solution, saying, “This wouldn’t be a problem if the Senate would pass #SAFEBanking. By preventing state-legal cannabis retailers from accepting credit/debit cards as direct payment, federal prohibition not only endangers public safety but also stifles economic equity.”

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) tweeted about a company announcing it baked the  world’s largest cannabis-infused brownie, saying, “Meanwhile we have people in jail and in debt for marijuana charges. Free them all.”

Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) raised concerns about fentanyl being laced into marijuana and other drugs.

/ STATES

Oregon lawmakers sent Gov. Kate Brown a bill to provide funding to combat illegal marijuana cultivation.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) expressed openness to decriminalizing marijuana possession but said he cannot support legalization until federal law changes.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted, “As Governor of Florida I will legalize marijuana. Like and retweet to pass it on.”

Texas cannabis lawyer Susan Hays is running as a Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner.

Kansas House Democrats tweeted, “Tell your #ksleg-islators that you support: ✅Passing medical cannabis…”

A longtime New York assemblyman who championed marijuana reform is retiring.

A Minnesota senator criticized regulators’ decision to allow medical cannabis edibles.

The Arizona Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures Services Division is investigating complaints about allegedly underweight packages of marijuana products being sold in dispensaries.

An Illinois judge will hear arguments in consolidated cases challenging regulators’ marijuana business licensing decisions on Tuesday.

Montana regulators proposed rules to require assisted living facilities to have marijuana policies.

California regulators are seeking applications to serve on the Cannabis Advisory Committee.

Missouri regulators posted updated data on the number of medical cannabis businesses approved to operate.

West Virginia regulators published a list of issued hemp licenses.

Nevada regulators will hold a board meeting on marijuana business issues and a public workshop on marijuana consumption lounges on Tuesday.

Alaska regulators will discuss an administrative hold on marijuana products from Alaskan Blooms on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,300 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

More than 400 New York municipalities have so far moved to opt out of allowing recreational marijuana dispensaries and consumption lounges.

An Ogden, Utah firefighter is suing the city after he says he was illegally suspended for refusing to surrender his medical cannabis card.

Signatures were submitted for a proposed Redondo Beach, California ballot measure on cannabis business regulation.

Denver, Colorado officials will host an information session on marijuana hospitality businesses on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Fiji President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere said hemp “offers huge economic potential,” and the attorney general said the government is moving to decriminalize the crop and will issue cultivation licenses.

Mexican senators will not vote on a marijuana legalization bill before the end of the year, despite prior comments from top lawmakers.

Canada’s mental health and addictions minister spoke about the federal government’s consideration of local requests to decriminalize drugs.

Pakistan’s minister of science and technology visited a hemp business.

Finland’s government adopted a new drug policy resolution.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found an “association between medical cannabis certification and a decrease in opiate use.”

Researchers are enrolling participants in a study on using psilocybin to treat “frontline clinicians experiencing COVID-related symptoms of depression and burnout.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “A big thanks goes to GOP State Rep. @mjlehman23 for endorsing @INDems’ call to legalize cannabis. Marijuana means jobs for Hoosiers, revenues for the state, and a better future for folks across Indiana. Let’s solve this easy problem in a bipartisan way.”

The American Council of Cannabis Medicine proposed draft federal marijuana legislation.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. received commitments for a private placement of senior secured notes due worth aggregate gross proceeds of $425 million.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. launched medical cannabis delivery services in Florida.

Glass House Brands Inc. entered into a senior secured term loan agreement for up to $100 million.

COMPASS Pathways plc announced successful results in a study of psilocybin therapy as an adjunct to SSRI antidepressants.

Colorado retailers sold more than $176 million worth of legal marijuana products in October.

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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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