SD Senate votes to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: February 24, 2022)
MD legalization amendments rejected; HI psilocybin bill advances; Marijuana jobs report shows huge growth; NJ regulator: don’t rush licensing
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The South Dakota Senate approved bills to legalize marijuana and facilitate expungements. This comes as activists have separately been collecting signatures to put an initiative to legalize cannabis on the November ballot.
The Maryland House of Delegates debated bills to put a marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot and begin implementation if voters approve. The body defeated several Republican-led amendments to add restrictions, and votes on final passage are expected this week.
The Hawaii Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee unanimously approved a bill to create a working group to study the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin mushrooms and develop a plan to ensure that the psychedelic is accessible for medical use.
New Jersey’s top marijuana regulator said that rushing into licensing recreational businesses will allow large multi-state operators to “dominate” while locking out small, local entrepreneurs from communities targeted by the drug war—even as some find the delay frustrating.
A new Leafly report found that there are now 428,059 people employed in the U.S. cannabis industry and that 107,059 new marijuana jobs were created in 2021 alone. There are now more cannabis workers than dentists, firefighters, bank tellers or hairstylists, according to the analysis.
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “If a conservative like myself and a progressive like @RepAOC can find some common ground, it begs the question, why hasn’t @POTUS acted? The bipartisan solutions for #cannabis reform are there. To #passprogress, it’s just a matter of political will.”
The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got two new cosponsors for a total of 108.
A spokesperson for Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said he supports increasing criminal penalties for fentanyl. Separately, the attorney general discussed harm reduction strategies for drugs.
Guam’s attorney general approved marijuana regulations.
Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis alone is only a half measure. We have to couple that with pardoning and expunging the records of those convicted for marijuana-related crimes and ensure communities most harmed from criminalization benefit the most from legalization.” He also tweeted, “Marijuana legalization checks all the boxes ✅ Ends a racist policy ✅ Brings in vital tax revenue ✅ Lowers opioid usage rates ✅ Has majority support nationwide How could you NOT support it?”
The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that medical cannabis should not be subject to the state’s gross receipts tax. Separately, regulators held a hearing on proposed marijuana rules changes.
An activist’s lawsuit challenging New Jersey’s marijuana legalization law received a hearing in a federal court.
The Utah Senate approved several medical cannabis bills, with another advancing in committee.
The Kansas House of Representatives passed a hemp testing and seed bill.
The West Virginia House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill allowing no more than two medical cannabis testing laboratories to operate.
Minnesota’s House majority leader said cannabis-focused third parties have “potent power” but that it “should be used to advance the issue of legalization rather than get in its way” by making sure to back candidates who actually support reform and not those that merely seek to detract support from Democrats.
The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety rejected bills to put marijuana legalization on the ballot and to decriminalize psilocybin.
The Illinois House Human Services Committee Committee held a hearing on a bill to allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.
The California Legislative Analyst’s Office reported that “cannabis tax revenue growth has slowed.”
A Pennsylvania senator asked the director of the Independent Fiscal Office about the possibility of paying for a tax cut with new revenue from legalized marijuana.
A New York assemblymember tweeted, “I have introduced a bill where medical professionals can prescribe Psilocybin for those suffering with mental health ailments including depression, PTSD, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. Every treatment option must be on the table.”
A Wisconsin representative tweeted, “While Wisconsin Republicans twiddle their thumbs, Illinois raked in $400 million in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales in 2021. Michigan collected nearly $250 million.”
Oregon’s Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council is facing questions over its process for awarding grant money authorized by the voter-approved drug decriminalization measure.
The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Licensing Workgroup will meet on Thursday.
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.
The Clark County, Nevada Commission approved funding for a marijuana business social equity program.
Scotland’s justice secretary said he would be happy to discuss medical cannabis availability with lawmakers.
The UK minister of technology, innovation and life sciences and Department of Health and Social Care officials met with a lawmaker to discuss psychedelics research.
The Ireland Oireachtas Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine held a hearing on developing the hemp industry.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada City Council is expected to vote on asking the federal government for permission to decriminalize drugs on Thursday.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “combination of cannabidiol with low-dose naltrexone increases the anticancer action of chemotherapy in vitro and in vivo.”
A study concluded that “the eviction prices we predict to drive dealers out of business are much lower than the prices of legal cannabis in most of the states that opted for legalization, leaving room for the black market to flourish.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
Americans for Safe Access released a report grading state medical cannabis laws.
The Natural Products Association filed a petition pressing the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement.
WM Technology, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $54.2 million and an operating loss of $4.9 million.
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported $58.9 million in quarterly revenue.
Harborside Inc. shareholders approved the company’s proposed acquisitions of LPF JV Corporation and UL Holdings Inc.
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