Booker marijuana banking pivot?; Federal psychedelics task force; MO legalization initiative short on signatures
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) defended his new marijuana bill from prohibitionist attacks, saying that in states that have enacted legalization “there has not been an increase in crime and has not been an increase in drug use.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) has long voiced opposition to passing marijuana banking legislation ahead of justice-focused legalization, but some advocates see new comments he made at a Senate hearing he chaired this week as a signal of a possible pivot to letting cannabis business measures advance.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said the Biden administration is actively “exploring” creating a task force on psychedelics in anticipation of federal approval of psilocybin and MDMA within the next two years.
House and Senate lawmakers spoke about the prospects for marijuana banking legislation at a briefing where the U.S. Cannabis Council released a series of ads showing the sometimes deadly consequences of forcing cannabis businesses to operate in cash.
Preliminary reviews by Missouri county officials indicate that a proposed marijuana legalization initiative does not have enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, but the campaign says it’s confident the final secretary of state analysis will put them over the top.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the Biden administration offered Russia a prisoner swap involving American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is on trial for possessing cannabis vapes, and another U.S. citizen. Reportedly it is for arms trafficker Viktor Bout, but he did not confirm that detail. Meanwhile, Griner testified in her trial, discussing her medical use of marijuana and saying that she did not intend to bring the vapes into Russia.
The Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee held a hearing on barriers for previously incarcerated people, taking testimony from several witnesses who are launching marijuana and hemp businesses.
Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) tweeted, “Now that cannabis is legal in most states, I don’t think radio and TV stations should be penalized for advertising safe, legal cannabis products on their programs. That’s why I wrote a bill to allow for radio and TV stations to accept advertising for legal cannabis products.”
Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) tweeted, “Decriminalize marijuana.”
Former Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) tweeted, “The Biden administration now needs to release all persons ‘held hostage’ or ‘wrongfully detained’ in the United States pursuant to unconstitutional federal cannabis laws.”
The campaign of Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Lucas Kunce sent a letter demanding that rival Democratic contender Trudy Busch cease and desist airing an ad containing what it says are false claims about his positions on marijuana and other issues.
New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Sherman, currently a state senator, tweeted, “I supported medical marijuana legalization in 2013, & I’ve supported legalizing recreational marijuana. We’ve seen from other states how to do this safely, & estimates say it could bring in $50 million to help fund things like education. Right now that revenue is going to our surrounding states who’ve already legalized recreational marijuana. It’s time we catch up.” Separately, the House majority leader suggested that cannabis reform could be part of a broader package of criminal justice legislation.
Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, currently a state senator, said legalizing marijuana is “a stupid idea.”
Illinois’s Senate majority leader cheered an increase in marijuana tax revenue.
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment tweeted, “Marijuana use decreased among high school students in 2021, according to the 2021 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. In 2021, 13.3% of youth reported using marijuana during the survey period, a decrease from 20.6% in 2019.”
South Dakota’s first state-licensed medical cannabis dispensary opened.
New Jersey regulators are being criticized for being slow to implement rules on marijuana edibles and workplace issues.
Oregon regulators are accepting applications from people who want to serve on the Hemp Commission.
Washington State regulators are hosting a listen and learn session on conceptual draft rules clarifying definitions related to the evaluation of the production or processing of cannabis products on Thursday.
Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 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 Wichita, Kansas police chief indicated that officers may continue to make marijuana arrests even if the City Council approves a proposed decriminalization ordinance.
The Killeen, Harker Heights and Denton, Texas City Councils opted to place marijuana decriminalization initiatives on their respective local November ballots rather than immediately enact the reforms.
The Sacramento County, California Board of Supervisors voted to place a measure on the November ballot to tax cannabis businesses in unincorporated areas.
St. Louis County, Missouri Council’s Ethics Committee will investigate a member’s failure to disclose that she worked for a law firm representing clients seeking medical cannabis licenses while the body was crafting policies to regulate such businesses.
Belizean Prime Minister John Briceño said the government may need to delay a referendum on cannabis reform.
Thailand’s public health minister vowed to oppose any efforts to recriminalize cannabis.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study indicated that ” Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabinol inhibit lung cancer cell growth.”
A study concluded that “legalization of recreational cannabis has the potential to generate tax revenue to fund critical government projects and services” but that “such legalization would have to be done carefully because heavy excise taxes would decrease the legal cannabis market demand and growers’ profit, which would incentivize producers and consumers to move to the illicit cannabis market.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll found that Brazilian adults support medical cannabis, 54 percent to 37 percent.
Trulieve Inc. is seeking to move a lawsuit that accuses the company of retroactively altering the termination date of a severely injured employee out of state court and into federal court.
Hawthorne Canada Limited acquired The Flowr Corporation’s research and development facility in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
Ice-T is the co-owner of a newly approved New Jersey marijuana dispensary.
Former baseball player David Ortiz is launching a line of cannabis products with Rev Brands.
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.