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MS lawmakers defy gov’s medical cannabis demands (Newsletter: January 13, 2022)



Italy marijuana referendum certified; Prohibitionist poll shows legalization support; VA cannabis prisoners; Record AZ cannabis sales

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The Mississippi Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved a medical marijuana bill that defies Gov. Tate Reeves’s (R) veto threat over patient possession limits. Senate floor action is expected as soon as Thursday.

Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation certified that activists collected enough signatures to put a marijuana and psilocybin referendum before voters this spring. One more formal approval by another court is needed before it’s officially on the ballot.

A poll funded by prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that a supermajority of U.S. voters support recreational and medical cannabis legalization policies that the organization lobbies against. Only 14 percent back ongoing federal prohibition.

Members of the Virginia legislature’s Cannabis Oversight Commission are divided over what—if anything—to do about people who are still serving time behind bars for marijuana convictions as legalization is implemented.

The Arizona Department of Revenue reported that retailers set a new recreational marijuana sales record in November, with adult-use transactions finally catching up to sales in the older medical cannabis program.


The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general reported that New Mexico officials improperly spent funds on a staff member’s participation in an Adult Use Cannabis Task Force.

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) said she will vote against President Joe Biden’s Food and Drug Administration commissioner nominee due to the agency’s role in allowing the opioid overdose crisis to develop.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “I’m a co-sponsor of the bipartisan MORE Act because it reforms our nation’s drug laws which have disproportionately targeted communities of color. It’s time to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and provide justice for those facing marijuana charges or convictions.”

Former Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D-IN) took issue with the Indiana Democratic Party’s support for marijuana legalization.

Former Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) reacted to a study finding that cannabinoids can protect cells from COVID infection by tweeting, “Legalize cannabis.”

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott, currently Hammond’s mayor, tweeted that a tour of an Illinois dispensary he went on “proved exactly why IN is left behind in tax and agricultural revenue. Legalizing cannabis is the right and equitable thing to do for IN farmers, business & residents.”

Montana Democratic congressional candidate Tom Winter spoke about his support for marijuana legalization and his own cannabis consumption.

The House bill to facilitate expungement of marijuana records got two new cosponsors for a total of three.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got two new cosponsors for a total of 38.


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said a marijuana legalization referendum is preferable to lawmakers passing a bill to enact the policy change, but he did not take a position on the overall issue.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) spoke in his State of the State address about how “many jobs await in the cannabis industry.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Pennsylvania is the only northeast state that hasn’t at least decriminalized marijuana. I’m pro decriminalization and legalizing recreational, adult-use marijuana. Let’s get it done.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “The #R3 grant empowers local people to bring solutions and resources to their communities. With this funding, we’re repairing the harm caused by the failed war on drugs by using 25% of adult-use cannabis tax revenue to bring #equity.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, tweeted about discussing medical cannabis and other issues with state lawmakers. He also tweeted in support of a new bill to prevent police from using the smell of marijuana for probable cause.

Alabama Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James criticized the state’s medical cannabis law.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted, “In November, Floridians will have a chance to elect a Governor who will legalize marijuana. I will be that Governor.”

Virginia’s House speaker called marijuana legislation a “mess” and said it’s not clear how lawmakers will proceed with legalization issues this session.

South Dakota’s Senate president pro tem said it’s “highly unlikely that the legislature passes recreational marijuana.”

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on a bill to decriminalize psilocybin.

Kansas House Democrats tweeted, “House D #ksleg-islators introduced 2 constitutional amendments to legalize marijuana for medicinal & recreational use. Over 6 years, CO collected $1.6 billion in marijuana taxes & fees, some from Kansans crossing the border. We need to keep that taxpayer money in Kansas.”

A Nebraska senator posted about a new study indicating that cannabinoids can protect cells from COVID.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court disbarred a cannabis attorney who serves as executive director of the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Association for allegedly taking and not returning funds received from clients.

Louisiana regulators published an oversight report on consumable hemp products.

New York regulators will launch a new medical cannabis patient registration and certification system on January 24.

Iowa regulators published an annual report about the medical cannabidiol program and announced two new board members.

Wisconsin’s switch to federal management of its hemp program is leading to reduced costs for farmers.

California cannabis regulators are hiring an equity and inclusion analyst.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.


The Los Angeles County, California Board of Supervisors voted to set a $30,000 daily fine for illegal marijuana dispensaries and grow operations.

The Denton, Texas City Council discussed, but did not vote on, a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

New York City officials circulated guidance about clearing past marijuana and other records.

Activists in Killeen and Harker Heights, Texas will launch local marijuana decriminalization ballot initiative efforts on Friday.


Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado raised doubts about whether he would sign a medical cannabis and hemp bill that’s expected to be considered in the Assembly on Thursday.

Germany’s cabinet is expected to appoint a new drug commissioner who supports marijuana legalization.

France’s Senate debated CBD regulations.

A UK member of Parliament met with the health secretary about medical cannabis access for children with epilepsy.


A review concluded that “most women reported that cannabis improved pain from numerous gynecologic conditions.”

A study concluded that “commercial CBD products, especially aqueous beverages, can show inconsistent labeling, vary largely from their label claims should they make them, and show lot-to-lot variability making dosing unpredictable.”


The Jockeys’ Guild is urging the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to establish regulations on medical marijuana use by jockeys.

Release published a report on guiding social equity principles for the UK’s future legal marijuana market.


Leafly Holdings Inc. and Merida Merger Corp. delayed a vote on a proposed merger and entered into a $30 million convertible note purchase agreement with new investors.

Tilray, Inc. acquired the Alpine and Green Flash craft beer brands from WC IPA LLC.

GoFundMe shut down a fundraiser for a cannabis consulting business.

Colorado retailers sold $158.4 million worth of legal marijuana products in November.


Jay-Z’s Team Roc is working to help a man serving a 20-year prison sentence for intent to distribute marijuana.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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