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NY medical cannabis insurance coverage bill passes Senate (Newsletter: June 3, 2022)

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NC Senate approves medical marijuana; USVI gov puts legalization in budget; MI psychedelics effort refocuses on 2024; CO gov signs kratom bill

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The North Carolina Senate voted to approve a bill to legalize medical cannabis on second reading. One more procedural vote, expected next week, is needed to send the measure to the House of Representatives.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) said he will call the territory’s legislature into a special session to pass a marijuana legalization bill, and he is including expected revenue from legal cannabis sales in his new budget.

The New York Senate approved a bill to require public health insurance programs to cover medical cannabis expenses and clarify that private insurers are allowed to do the same.

Michigan activists announced they won’t be able to qualify a psychedelics legalization initiative for this November’s ballot, but are shifting focus to 2024. Signatures they’ve collected so far will still count for the new timeline.

Louisiana lawmakers sent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) a bill providing employment protections for state workers who use medical cannabis.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill to create a regulatory framework for sales of kratom, a plant that advocates say can serve as a safer alternative to opioids and also help treat the symptoms of addiction withdrawal.

/ FEDERAL

A staffer for Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said the senator has been in touch with the Drug Enforcement Administration about cancer patients’ requests to access psilocybin therapy under Right to Try laws.

Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis farmers on the Central Coast are on the cutting edge of innovative farming, and have become as vital an economic engine for our region as other local farms. As a member of @HouseAgDems, I’m always listening to what our farmers need from Congress.”

South Dakota Democratic Senate candidate Brian Bengs tweeted, “I support cannabis legalization because S Dakotans approved it in 2020 & career politicians overruled them. Legalizing will:  ✅ Fund communities  ✅ Create jobs  ✅ Attract investment It will create more revenue for projects to help our state!”

Montana Democratic congressional candidate Tom Winter, a former state representative, tweeted, “When I carried the bill to legalize marijuana in Montana the far-right’s reaction was complete reefer madness. A year in a half into legalization here and I’m still not seeing the massive spikes in death & mayhem that was promised…”

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill to create a task force to study intoxicating hemp-derived and modified cannabinoids.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) tweeted about the issuance of new craft marijuana cultivation licenses, saying, “Illinois’ cannabis industry started out with businesses with owners who all looked the same, but with each new set of licenses, we come closer and closer to realizing our vision for a truly diverse industry.”

Florida Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Ryan Morales said he supports legalizing psychedelics for therapeutic purposes.

The New York Senate approved a bill on penalties for illegal marijuana sales.

The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus criticized marijuana recriminalization provisions included in budget legislation sent to Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).

A Nebraska senator tweeted that activists have now collected 80,000 signatures toward qualifying two medical cannabis initiatives for the ballot.

North Dakota activists announced they have collected more than half the signatures they need to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the ballot.

The Georgia Supreme Court agreed to take up a case that vape shop companies filed to challenge a prosecutor’s crackdown on delta-8 and delta-10 THC sales.

Arkansas lawmakers’ changes to a voter-approved medical cannabis ballot measure are being challenged in court.

Alabama regulators filed proposed medical cannabis cultivation rules.

Pennsylvania regulators sent a warning about a website that misleadingly lists doctors participating in the medical cannabis program.

California regulators are encouraging cannabis businesses to apply for drought-related disaster relief.

Vermont regulators closed the window for marijuana business license prequalification applications.

Ohio regulators will consider medical cannabis rules on Monday.


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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s House of Commons rejected a bill to decriminalize drugs across the country.

The Jamaican Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Commerce highlighted efforts in the cannabis industry in a press release about “innovative investments that can accelerate economic and social growth.”

Thai police officers were punished for arresting a woman over growing a single cannabis plant.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “topical CBD treatment demonstrated significant improvements in thumb basal joint arthritis-related pain and disability without adverse events.”

A review “found a good correlation between the presence of THC in oral fluid and presence of THC in blood” but that “oral fluid THC, at commonly used cut-off values, is less sensitive and less specific when used as a biomarker to detect people with blood THC concentrations above commonly used per se limits (such as 5 ng/mL)” and that “as such, there will be a large number of ‘false positive’ tests if oral fluid THC testing were used as a biomarker for ‘illegal’ THC concentrations in randomly selected drivers.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee tweeted, “Rhode Island Dems aren’t just legalizing recreational cannabis – they’re also expunging past arrests for minor cannabis possession!”

Fox News host Laura Ingraham did another segment attempting to connect mass shootings to marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

The CEO and board chairman of cbdMD, Inc. is being charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission of allegedly defrauding a private fund he managed and its investors by misappropriating assets and engaging in unauthorized transactions to benefit himself.

Eaze reportedly laid off as many as 25 employees.

New Mexico retailers sold a combined $39.5 million worth of adult-use and medical marijuana products in the first month of legal recreational sales.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Ralo was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in a marijuana trafficking case.

Whoopi Goldberg criticized Fox News host Laura Ingraham’s claims that marijuana is to blame for mass shootings.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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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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