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VA won’t fund cannabis treatments for suicide prevention (Newsletter: March 15, 2022)

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Feds survey employee drug testing; CT psychedelics hearing; MD poll: Legal cannabis more popular than Biden; PA legalization hearing

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report detailing which industries drug test workers the most and least—and showing that states where marijuana is legal generally have the lowest rates of employee drug testing.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is launching a new grants program on suicide prevention services for military veterans, but it specifically says it won’t support any treatments involving the use of marijuana.

The Connecticut legislature’s Public Health Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a system to provide certain patients with access to psychedelic-assisted treatment with substances like MDMA and psilocybin.

The Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice Committee held the third and final installment of a series of hearings on marijuana legalization that the panel’s chairman is using to gather input ahead of filing a reform bill.

A new poll found that majorities of Maryland Democrats, Republicans and independents support legalizing marijuana as it moves through the legislature—and that support for the reform strongly outpaces President Joe Biden’s approval rating in the state.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden signed a bill designating methamphetamine as an emerging drug threat and requiring the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to develop and implement a response plan.

Federal prosecutors charged a “Russian oligarch” with making illegal campaign contributions as part of an alleged scheme to “curry favor with candidates that might be able to help…obtain cannabis and marijuana licenses.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) authored an op-ed arguing for the need to pass comprehensive marijuana legalization ahead of banking-focused legislation.

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Ray Reed tweeted, “It is time to legalize recreational marijuana and expunge the records of those serving time for nonviolent marijuana offenses. When I am in Congress, this will be a top priority of mine.”

/ STATES

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who opposes legalizing marijuana, said the policy change “could be inevitable” and that legislation to conduct cannabis sales through state-run stores is “the right bill and the right structure.” Separately the Senate majority leader and minority leader both said they don’t think now is the time to legalize.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) appointed a new member of the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Colorado announced $12.2 billion in total cannabis sales. We’re missing out. #LegalizeIt.” Separately, the secretary for drug and alcohol programs denied blame for the state’s failure to clarify rules on addiction treatment and medical cannabis.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted, “Florida needs legalized weed.”

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Rochelle Garza tweeted, “It’s time to legalize the sale and use of recreational cannabis in Texas. Nearly 70% of Texans support legalization, and they deserve an Attorney General who will work with them to advance our priorities.”

The Georgia House of Representatives could vote on legislation to add new medical cannabis business licenses and process existing approvals on Tuesday.

A California senator filed a bill to require cities to allow medical cannabis dispensaries, delivery services or both.

An Illinois judge ordered regulators to process some marijuana craft cultivation license applications.

Arkansas regulators filed proposed hemp rules.

Oregon regulators published guidance on marijuana home delivery.

Colorado regulators released average market rates for marijuana.

The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety tweeted, “Ever hear someone say they drive better high? Don’t believe it. Cannabis will impair your ability to drive. Don’t risk it.”


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

Gwinnett County, Georgia’s district attorney is being sued over raids against businesses that sell delta-8 THC products.

A Denver, Colorado hearing officer recommended that a marijuana hospitality license be approved for the Patterson Inn.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Russia’s deputy foreign minister criticized other countries for legalizing marijuana.

Germany’s drug commissioner said the government is in the “early stages” of forming a marijuana legalization plan.

Bermuda’s attorney general spoke about difficulties in processing marijuana expungements.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “medical marijuana is efficacious in chronic pain patients.”

A study suggested that “feeding [industrial hemp] with a high CBDA content for 14 days increases lying behavior and decreases biomarkers of stress and inflammation in cattle.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Mexico Republican Party criticized Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) for not calling a special session to address a “violent crime crisis” while she convened one last year to legalize marijuana.

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “Cannabis is a $10 billion+ industry. Indiana is losing out on a sound economic opportunity because of the @indgop’s culture wars. It’s time to legalize marijuana, and it’s the @INDems who want to get it done. Elect more Democrats = legalize cannabis.”

The New York Daily News editorial board cheered state regulators’ move to give people with marijuana convictions the first shot at recreational retail licenses.

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. announced preliminary annual revenue of $460.1 million and a net loss of $146.9 million.

Dutchie donated $100,000 to Last Prisoner Project and pledged to match $1 million in donations from dispensary partners and cannabis consumers.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of $1.75 per share.

Trulieve is closing a marijuana cultivation facility in Florida.

Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. released its 2021 environmental, social and governance metrics.

/ CULTURE

Melissa Etheridge spoke about psilocybin as an alternative to opioids.

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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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