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Senators slam Biden’s “extremely disappointing” cannabis stance (Newsletter: July 7, 2022)

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Marijuana & psychedelics amendments for NDAA; DC medical cannabis self-certify signed; State regulators want fed guidance; NE ballot deadline looms

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter slamming the Biden administration’s “extraordinarily disappointing” stance on marijuana and urging the president to deschedule cannabis and issue mass pardons.

Congressional lawmakers have filed at least 10 drug policy reform amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act—covering everything from employment rights for military veterans who use marijuana to cannabis banking to the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) signed a bill to let people self-certify as medical cannabis patients, without a doctor’s recommendation—effectively circumventing Congress’s rider blocking the legalization of recreational marijuana sales.

The Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition sent a letter urging the Biden administration to reinstate federal marijuana enforcement guidance. It’s signed by current and former regulators from New York, Massachusetts, Oregon, Los Angeles and more.

Nebraska activists say they’ve collected the “raw” number of signatures needed to qualify two medical cannabis initiatives for the November ballot but are scrambling to get 5,000 more ahead of Thursday’s turn-in deadline to ensure enough petitions are valid.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to the wife of American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia after allegedly being caught with cannabis vapes at an airport.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued a stay on a judge’s injunction that had blocked Nebraska officials from enforcing geographic requirements for ballot initiative signatures that medical cannabis activists said presented an undue hurdle to qualifying their reform measures.

The Food and Drug Administration and Juul agreed to put a court fight over the company’s ability to market its products on hold while the government continues to review its e-cigarettes.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said there needs to be a conversation about marijuana’s effects following a recent mass shooting, suggesting that it can cause psychosis.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) said narrow marijuana reform legislation has bipartisan potential.

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “Wow. @GavinNewsom refuses to suspend the gas tax but just cut the cannabis tax. Californians are struggling to afford their commutes to work. We should NOT be providing a marijuana tax holiday, we should provide a gas tax holiday.”

/ STATES

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) explained his veto of a kratom regulation bill at a press conference.

New Jersey completed phasing out its sales tax on medical cannabis.

Massachusetts’s Senate president said she is hopeful that lawmakers can finalize cannabis equity legislation by the end of the session. A conference committee will hold a meeting on the issue on Thursday.

California regulators are providing notice of modifications to proposed rulemaking to permanently adopt consolidated marijuana rules.

Mississippi regulators filed medical cannabis dispensary rules.

Florida regulators filed rules on fining and suspending medical cannabis laboratories.

Virginia regulators are accepting comments on proposed medical cannabis processing business rules.

Kentucky’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee held a town hall meeting.

New York regulators have received 14 marijuana processor license applications within a week.

Washington State regulators approved rulemaking on replacing the term “marijuana” with “cannabis” and adopted rules on electronic transmission of documents for service and filing.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Elgin, Texas City Council voted to place a marijuana decriminalization initiative on the November ballot rather than enact the reform immediately.

Milwaukee County, Wisconsin supervisors are pushing to place a nonbinding advisory question about marijuana legalization on the November ballot.

The Jackson County, Oregon Board of Commissioners is considering a proposal to ban psilocybin services businesses in unincorporated areas.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan City Council is considering a plan to create a cannabis chamber.

Denver, Colorado officials sent a reminder about marijuana advertising and consumption rules ahead of 7/10.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Belize will hold a referendum on cannabis after churches collected enough signatures to challenge reform legislation.

The Italian government’s Presidency of the Council of Ministers suggested decriminalizing cannabis home cultivation.

The head of the Royal Thai Police issued an order banning law enforcement officers from smoking cannabis at police stations and saying that people coming to such facilities smelling of marijuana will be prosecuted. Separately, the education minister reiterated that cannabis is banned at schools.

Israeli police reportedly told authorities at Ben Gurion Airport to stop medical cannabis shipments.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “artisanal cannabidiol-enriched cannabis may be an effective and safe long-term treatment for refractory epilepsy.”

A study found that “LSD treatment enhanced performance in a novel object recognition task in rats, and in a visuo-spatial memory task in humans.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The United Food and Commercial Workers union Local 360 endorsed a New Jersey psilocybin legalization bill.

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

/ BUSINESS

Akerna Corp. closed a $10 million public offering.

Hightimes Holding Corp. entered into an agreement to acquire The Mezz cannabis consumption lounge in West Hollywood, California.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. said its full-spectrum hemp extract product was approved by the UK’s Food Standards Agency.

Many cannabis businesses are struggling to secure retirement savings plans for their employees due to ongoing federal prohibition.

New Mexico retailers sold nearly $38 million worth of legal marijuana products in June.

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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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