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Top Schumer aide talks cannabis strategy (Newsletter: May 2, 2022)

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OH legalization lawsuit; CO MDMA bill to gov; FL official explains 2nd Amendment & marijuana case to gun violence prevention advocates; PA banking

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) chief counsel spoke about the state of a pending marijuana legalization bill and when it might make sense to allow incremental reforms like cannabis banking to advance.

Ohio activists filed a lawsuit to protect their ability to place a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot. Republican legislative leaders are suggesting the measure may need to be bumped to a future cycle on procedural grounds.

The Colorado Senate sent Gov. Jared Polis (D) a bill to legalize MDMA prescriptions in the state when it gets FDA approval.

Florida Agricultural and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, explained her lawsuit on Second Amendment rights for medical cannabis patients in a discussion with gun violence prevention activists. Marijuana Moment spoke to the father of a Parkland shooting victim, who organized the meeting and who supports the effort.

Pennsylvania House lawmakers filed a new marijuana banking and tax relief bill after the Senate passed its own version this month.

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed marijuana use disorder as the “Disease of the Week.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration settled a class action lawsuit from female special agents who were not selected for overseas assignments.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized President Joe Biden for granting clemency to people with drug convictions, saying that Democrats “never miss an opportunity to send the wrong signal.”

The son of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) formed a company to explore entering the medical cannabis businesses.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “Colorado set the standard for legalizing cannabis. It’s time for the federal government to follow our lead and reform our marijuana laws.”

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) tweeted photos of himself touring a hemp facility.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) spoke about a possible hearing for her marijuana legalization bill.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “NJ reported $2 million in sales on the first day of commercialization of recreational marijuana. Congress, with POTUS’s support, prohibits DC from commercializing rec. marijuana, depriving DC millions of dollars in tax revenue.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) noted the cannabis banking work of a retiring Colorado Bankers Association official in remarks for the Congressional Record.

The House bill to encourage Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of two.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Our neighbors in New Jersey just began selling recreational cannabis. That means Pennsylvanians are crossing the border to partake in legalized marijuana. Those profits should stay here, in Pennsylvania. Legislature: Let’s #LegalizeIt.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted a video of a voter endorsing her, saying, “New Mexicans like Larry are excited about recreational cannabis. This new industry means good-paying jobs and a whole new revenue stream for our state. We’re just getting started.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, is calling on Gov. Henry McMaster (R) to support a pending medical cannabis bill.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, a former Cincinnati mayor, discussed his plan to raise revenue by legalizing marijuana.

Colorado’s treasurer tweeted, “Let’s get this done to protect our legal cannabis businesses! #SAFEBankingAct”

A North Carolina representative said he understands the benefits of medical cannabis but doesn’t plan to support its legalization.

A Wisconsin senator’s claim that marijuana legalization has majority support in the state, including from Republicans, was ruled true by Politifact.

An Oklahoma representative authored an op-ed discussing the advancement of medical cannabis reform bills.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals upheld a coal miner’s suspension from work over a positive drug test that he says was caused by a CBD sleep aid.

Vermont regulators announced a delay in issuing marijuana business licenses. Separately, they will review recommendations on cannabis business license prequalification and approve social equity applicant status on Monday.

Rhode Island regulators awarded the state’s final medical cannabis dispensary license.

Nevada regulators hosted a workshop on cannabis consumption lounges.

California regulators will host a cannabis licensing Q & A session on Tuesday.


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.

/ LOCAL

Shawnee County, Kansas police conducted raids on retail businesses over sales of delta-8, -9, and -10 THC products.

/ INTERNATIONAL

British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Alturo Fahie and another official were arrested by U.S. officials on drug and money laundering charges.

The Trinidad and Tobago House of Representatives approved a cannabis regulation bill.

Bermuda’s economy and labour minister denied that talks with UK officials are the reason for a delay in advancing cannabis legislation.

A Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada City Council member plans to propose a drug decriminalization measure.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “individuals with depression, anxiety, and both conditions who use cannabis for insomnia report significant improvements in symptom severity after cannabis use.”

A review concluded that “observational and survey studies show increased use of medicinal cannabis, both by people with rheumatic disease and the general population, and suggest that patients find these treatments beneficial.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Virginia Democratic Party touted the defeat of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) amendment to reinstate criminal penalties for possessing more than two ounces of marijuana.

Elon Musk tweeted, “I’ve talked to many more people who were helped by psychedelics & ketamine than SSRIs & amphetamines.”

/ BUSINESS

Eaze reportedly threatened Weed Week with legal action over its publication of an audio recording of what the outlet described as a “sometimes contentious” meeting at which the company’s leadership attempted to address employee concerns following its acquisition of Green Dragon.

Field Trip Health Ltd. is separating its Field Trip Discovery and Field Trip Health divisions into two independent public companies that will be called Reunion Neuroscience Inc. and Field Trip Health and Wellness Ltd., respectively.

Glass House Brands Inc. completed its acquisition of Plus Products Inc.

HEXO Corp has a new acting president and CEO.

Massachusetts retailers sold the highest daily number of marijuana products on 4/20.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen gave a tour of the headquarters of his cannabis company Houseplant for Architectural Digest.

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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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