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WH touts polling support for cannabis moves by Biden (Newsletter: October 12, 2022)

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VP: Vote for marijuana reform Congress; MLB CBD sponsorship; Fed: legalization has economic boost; Court OKs paraphernalia imports; KS’ cannabis plan

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Vice President Kamala Harris is urging voters to study the marijuana positions of midterm candidates and elect a pro-reform Congress that can create a “uniform” federal policy.

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain touted strong public support for President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons and scheduling review as two new polls show majority backing for the cannabis moves.

Major League Baseball reportedly signed a deal for Charlotte’s Web to become the “Official CBD of MLB.” In addition to a rights fee and revenue share in a new line of “Sport” products, the league will also get shares in the CBD company as part of the deal.

A new Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City report shows how marijuana legalization has a “significant effect” on states’ economies through “higher employment and stronger demand for commercial real estate” while generating tax revenue.

The U.S. Court of International Trade ruled that state-level marijuana legalization provides an exception to the federal ban on importing drug paraphernalia into the country.

President Joe Biden’s cannabis clemency move leaves many people behind—including non-citizens, military members, people in federal prison for selling marijuana, those convicted at the state level and victims of the broader war on drugs.

Kansas lawmakers have laid out a plan to prepare medical cannabis legislation for votes in the 2023 session—including three public hearings before the Special Committee on Medical Marijuana, starting on Wednesday.

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute on Drug Abuse issued responses to questions about a request for proposals to produce cannabis for research.

Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Bill Bennett said marijuana is a “gateway” to using fentanyl.

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), a Senate candidate, spoke about his support for marijuana legalization during a debate, and Republican opponent J.D. Vance said cannabis should be a “states’ issue” and that he doesn’t want people being sent to jail for use, but he has concerns about people getting violent after consuming.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (R-WA) tweeted, “Marijuana is classified at the same level as heroin and HIGHER than fentanyl. @POTUS is right: It makes no sense. Pardoning prior federal offenses of marijuana possession is an important first step. Now, the Senate should pass the MORE Act and legalize it nationwide.”

Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA) tweeted, “Grateful to @POTUS for his bold move to pardon those with simple marijuana convictions in federal prison. Now, the next step is to expunge these records.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tweeted, “Kamala Harris is bragging about Biden’s mass marijuana pardons even though she oversaw nearly 2,000 marijuana-related convictions as a San Francisco DA. What changed, @VP?”

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) spoke about the ongoing federal-state conflict on marijuana.

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) tweeted, “The FDA has wide authority over products Americans use, but its failures from baby formula to CBD have contributed to shortages and confusion in the marketplace. @HouseGOP would prioritize accountability from FDA and other agencies.”

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) tweeted, “The high concentration of THC in these marijuana products is not what people grew up with. We need to listen to the research, which is clearly pointing to harmful consequences like increased risk of psychosis.”

/ STATES

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the “fastest, easiest and quickest way” for someone to deal with a part marijuana conviction is to get it expunged rather than through the pardon process.

A spokesperson for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said gubernatorial marijuana pardons are “not necessary” because convictions are already being expunged.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “The only thing standing in the way of legalizing and taxing marijuana in Wisconsin is Republicans in the Legislature.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, tweeted, “Our message is one of freedom…Freedom includes women’s freedom to control their own bodies. It can include the freedom to purchase marijuana for adults or allow our veterans to use marijuana to treat PTSD, it includes the freedom to put a bet down on a football game.”

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Heidi Ganahl and GOP attorney general candidate John Kellner will speak at a prohibitionist event on the state’s “failed drug policies” on Friday.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and expunging past records.

California’s attorney general announced that the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting is being reformulated as Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis, and that the program chopped down nearly one million illegally cultivated marijuana plants and seized more than 200,000 pounds of illegally processed cannabis over the past year. Separately, regulators said they are making improvements to the state’s marijuana track and trace system.

Arkansas Republican attorney general candidate Tim Griffin, currently the lieutenant governor, called legalizing marijuana “a horrible idea.”

Iowa attorney general candidates discussed marijuana and drug policy during a debate.

A Missouri representative discussed her concerns with the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling that the odor of burnt marijuana did not provide probable cause for police to search a vehicle.

Maine regulators issued updated guidance on commingling various strains of cannabis trim or kief into mixed strain packages and on reporting testing results using laboratory uncertainty.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection included several hemp and CBD businesses in a new “Something Special from Wisconsin” guide.

Kansas regulators posted a list of licensed hemp processing businesses.


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

Little Rock, Arkansas’s mayor and his election challenges discussed marijuana during a debate.

The Washoe County, Nevada Board of Commissioners voted to initiate an ordinance allowing cannabis consumption lounges in unincorporated areas.

The Moorhead, Minnesota City Council is considering a proposal to regulate the sale of cannabinoid products.

Denver, Colorado officials posted best practices for renewing cannabis licenses online.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The New South Wales, Australia Legislative Council will debate legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from being improperly prosecuted for driving under the influence on Wednesday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD is highly efficacious both as standalone and adjunct therapy with clobazam for controlling seizures in [Dravet syndrome], [Lennox-Gastaut syndrome], and [ tuberous sclerosis complex] conditions while limiting side effects.”

A review indicated “an association between psychedelic therapy and significant reduction of depressive symptoms at several time points.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Ohio voters found that they support legalizing marijuana, 58 percent to 30 percent.

The Wyoming Democratic Party tweeted about President Joe Biden’s marijuana clemency move, saying, “WyoDems support legalizing cannabis. This is a step in the right direction!”

/ BUSINESS

An Oregon judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Sentia Wellness investors including Boris Jordan.

BLAZE and Leafly announced an integration partnership.

Arizona retailers sold $73.8 million worth of recreational marijuana products and $35.2 million in medical cannabis in July.

/ CULTURE

Xzibit said President Joe Biden’s marijuana move is a “step in the right direction” but falls short of the “mass clemency” that is needed.

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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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