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Next steps for cannabis banking (Newsletter: December 20, 2021)

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Malta legal marijuana signed into law; CO psychedelics decrim ballot measures; Congressional psilocybin push; Study: CBD doesn’t impair driving

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Malta President George Vella signed the marijuana legalization bill into law that Parliament approved just days earlier. The country is now the first in Europe to legalize cannabis.

Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) spoke to Marijuana Moment about the next steps for passing cannabis banking legislation after it got stripped from the National Defense Authorization Act.

Colorado activists filed proposed ballot measures to legalize possession and personal cultivation of psychedelics, and to create a system of licensed businesses to produce psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine and mescaline for supervised use at “healing centers.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is leading a congressional effort to pressure the Drug Enforcement Administration to drop its opposition to letting terminally ill cancer patients receive psilocybin therapy. The agency is currently facing a lawsuit from a doctor who wants to provide the psychedelic.

A new study found that smoking CBD-rich marijuana has “no significant impact on driving ability.” Even though THC blood levels were above the legal limit, “no signs of impairment were found”—suggesting that CBD can negate THC’s intoxicating effects.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hosted a two-day harm reduction summit.

Rep .Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted about the death of a marijuana dispensary security guard during a robbery, saying, “This is heartbreaking for the family of Dominique Ware. These businesses are forced to operate in cash which presents a huge public safety issue for the businesses & their employees.  We need #SAFEBanking NOW to help prevent future tragedies & violence.”

/ STATES

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) proposed budget included funding for the implementation of marijuana legalization.

Kansas House Democrats tweeted, “#ksleg-islators will be back in Topeka in less than a month. 📅 Let your legislators know you support:  ✅Medical cannabis…”

A South Dakota senator spoke about the possibility of passing a marijuana legalization bill in 2022.

A Minnesota representative spoke about plans to continue pursuing marijuana legalization in 2022.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, located within New York, issued its first conditional marijuana cultivation licenses.

The Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear regulators’ appeal of a lower court ruling that overturned their ban on smokable hemp.

A New Mexico judge upheld medical cannabis purchase limits.

Arkansas regulators proposed medical cannabis dispensary licensing rules changes.

Illinois regulators proposed rules changes exempting cannabis vaping products from electronic cigarette taxes and exempting cultivators and retailers from having to obtain additional licenses.

Utah regulators are expediting the implementation of rules to expand medical cannabis access.

Maine’s Medical Marijuana Workgroup rejected a proposal on using METRC to track products.

Colorado regulators published information about background check requirements for hemp license applicants.

Oregon regulators published a safety and health guide for cannabis growers, processors and retailers.

Vermont regulators will discuss marijuana issues on Tuesday.


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

Baltimore, Maryland is ending pre-employment drug testing for city jobs in non-safety sensitive positions.

Denver, Colorado’s outgoing top marijuana regulator looked back on efforts to implement legalization.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Dutch government is adding another large city to its trial on regulating marijuana production.

The UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs published advice on CBD products.

Ireland’s Food Safety Authority issued a recall on  hemp CBD oil over concerns about high THC content.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Science and Technology tweeted about the benefits of hemp.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “using lower doses of CBD and trace THC seems to be promising in managing behavioral problems associated with autism” and that “this treatment could be effective in managing the core symptoms and cognitive functions.”

The results of study “support the overall safety and tolerability of clinically administered MDMA and, importantly, suggest that the ‘come downs’ previously associated with the substance may be explained by confounds in research relating to the illicit sourcing of the drug and specific environmental setting for recreational consumption.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board said the city should open safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Kansas City Star editorial board expressed concerns about a Missouri bill that would prevent police searches based on the smell of marijuana.

Doctors for Cannabis Regulation touted Montana regulators’ adoption of a cannabis product warning symbol developed by the group’s founder.

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation published a paper on marijuana and mental health.

/ BUSINESS

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. has a new CEO.

California cannabis companies sent a letter warning Gov. Gavin Nesom (D) that the legal industry is “collapsing” due to high taxes and strict regulations that make it difficult to compete with the illicit market.

Waitr Holdings Inc. is acquiring Retail Innovation Labs Inc. dba Cova.

Cresco Labs launched what it says is the cannabis industry’s first business incubator and workforce development center.

A person posted on TikTok that they were fired by Amazon for legal medical cannabis use, even though the company recently said it changed its marijuana policy.

The Patterson Inn in Denver, Colorado is the first business in the city to apply to open a marijuana smoking lounge.

/ CULTURE

MMA fighter Elias Theodorou participated in his first U.S. match since getting a therapeutic use exemption for medical cannabis.

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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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