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VA early cannabis sales bill defeated (Newsletter: March 1, 2022)

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SD lawmakers reject legal marijuana; PA legalization hearing; NH residents back state-run sales; Dr. Bronner’s offers psychedelic therapy to workers

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A Virginia House General Laws subcommittee killed a Senate-passed bill that would have allowed recreational marijuana sales to begin in September through existing medical cannabis dispensaries.

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee defeated a Senate-passed marijuana legalization bill and advanced separate legislation gutting medical cannabis patient protections. But advocates say the fight isn’t over yet.

The Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice Committee held the second of what are three planned marijuana legalization hearings meant to inform a reform bill being drafted by the panel’s chairman.

A new poll found that three out of four New Hampshire residents support legalizing marijuana. A separate question shows that 68 percent back a bill to put cannabis sales exclusively in state-run stores—which passed the House this month. That said, the level of support for state-run marijuana commerce is less than that for a traditional, private retail model in last year’s poll.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps is now offering psychedelic-assisted therapy with ketamine to its employees as part of a healthcare benefits expansion. The company has funded numerous marijuana and drug policy reform efforts over the years.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said licensed hemp businesses are eligible for the Value-Added Producer Grant program

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) tweeted that Virginia “Republicans killed a bill which would’ve created the first legal, taxed, and regulated recreational marijuana market in the South, despite years of Democrat led work, overwhelming public support, and the continued human and financial costs of the racist war on drugs. Shame.”

/ STATES

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate John King, a former federal education secretary, tweeted, “Cannabis needs to be legalized in Maryland. But we have to expunge records and ensure opportunity for Black owned businesses to make sure that legalization is the transformative policy it has the potential to be.” Rival Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore tweeted, “Legalizing small amounts of cannabis in Maryland is a meaningful way to combat racial inequities. Paired with the bill’s meaningful expungement provisions, it will create a more equitable Maryland.”

Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Belew supports legalizing marijuana.

New Jersey’s acting attorney general launched a campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs.

The West Virginia House of Representatives approved a bill on security and surveillance requirements for medical cannabis businesses.

Florida bills to require the state to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics died without being scheduled for committee hearings.

Washington State lawmakers filed legislation to ban sales of intoxicating, synthetically derived cannabinoids.

Pennsylvania House Democrats are promoting a Tuesday event on cannabis and social justice, tweeting, “Arrests for marijuana possession make up 42% of all drug arrests in PA – 2/3rds are people of color.” The Legislative Black Caucus tweeted that it “has been advocating for equitable cannabis legislation.”

An Oklahoma representative spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

Minnesota medical cannabis flower sales will begin on Tuesday.

An Illinois judge set a March 25 hearing to plan a settlement conference in a case challenging the state’s marijuana business license awarding process.

Oregon’s Psilocybin Advisory Board voted to require its members to disclose personal and financial conflicts of interest. Separately, regulators published the results of a community interest survey they conducted about psilocybin services.

Montana regulators are proposing rules on the marijuana product packaging and labeling application and approval process.

Colorado’s Initiative Title Setting Review Board will consider a proposed ballot measure to legalize psychedelics on Wednesday.

Massachusetts regulators will hold a public hearing on draft hemp rules on Wednesday.


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

The Westfield, Massachusetts City Council is being accused of unfairly discriminating against a marijuana social equity applicant over his arrest record.

The Indiana Borough, Pennsylvania police chief discussed his concerns with a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

A Clark County, Nevada commissioner is facing a state ethics complaint filed by a marijuana business whose licensing approval he raised questions about.

A cannabis industry consultant is running for a Sioux Falls, South Dakota City Council seat.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama discussed the potential legalization of medical cannabis.

The Canadian government is late in beginning a review of the country’s marijuana legalization law.

Ireland’s Sinn Féin party is calling out the government for policies it says are preventing the development of a viable hemp sector.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoids can be used as an alternate treatment for various sleep disorders.”

A study found that “CBD may exert a protective effect by alleviating the pathogenic effects of [extracellular vesicles] in HIV-1 and CNS-related infections.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois clarified its stance on increasing canopy size for craft cannabis growers who are black or latino following a media report about its opposition to a specific bill on the issue.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. is selling its Florida assets to Green Sentry Holdings LLC.

Flora Growth Corp. is acquiring Just Brands LLC and High Roller Private Label LLC.

Cura Cannabis is preparing to pay $200 each to people who bought improperly labeled cannabis vapes as part of a settlement in a class action lawsuit.

/ CULTURE

The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition and Families Against Mandatory Minimums are partnering to press Congress to pass legislation eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

Race car driver Jimmie Johnson signed on as a brand ambassador for cbdMD.

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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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