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What congressional elections mean for cannabis (Newsletter: November 11, 2022)



FDA denies marijuana petition 10 years after filing; MN gov: legalization to be among 1st bills signed in ’23; WI gov putting legal cannabis in budget

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Marijuana Moment compiled a deep analysis about what various Democratic or Republican majority outcomes in the House and Senate could mean for federal cannabis reform efforts in the coming lame duck session and in the new 118th Congress.

The Food and Drug Administration denied a petition to exempt bulk marijuana and cannabis tinctures from federal restrictions—more than a decade after the petition was filed.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said marijuana legalization will be “one of the first” bills he signs in 2023 now that Democrats won control of the state Senate, according to former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who Walz called to thank for his decades of advocacy on the issue.

Newly reelected Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he will include marijuana legalization in the budget proposal he’s submitting to lawmakers early in 2023 despite Republican legislative leaders’ opposition.

  • “At some point in time, the will of the people will become the law of the land.”

Arkansas activists announced plans for an expanded marijuana legalization ballot measure in 2024 following this week’s defeat of an initiative that did not allow home cultivation or provide for expungements.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture is cohosting a National Hemp Industry Research Needs Workshop on Tuesday.

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Director Helene Langevin tweeted about grants to support “prospective observational research on the benefits or harms of using #cannabis or #cannabinoids during cancer treatment.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus tweeted, “Abortion rights. Labor rights. Raising the minimum wage. Expanding Medicaid. Legalizing marijuana. The American people support progressive policies across the country. The progressive agenda is popular, it’s just, and it can win. That is why we continue to fight.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “California, Vermont, Michigan, Montana, and Kentucky voters rejected abortion bans. Maryland and Missouri legalized recreational marijuana. DC and Nebraska raised the minimum wage. The message could not be clearer: progressive policies win.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “November 15th with @RepRaskin – we will be conducting oversight into the developments in state cannabis laws and bipartisan cannabis reforms at the federal level. The States Reform Act will be subject to discussion. Let’s do this!”


A lawsuit against Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) and the attorney general that was filed by a delta-8 THC business was dismissed by a federal court.

A federal judge enjoined New York regulators from issuing marijuana retail licenses in certain geographic regions of the state while a legal challenge to rules requiring qualifying cannabis convictions for the first round of licenses to have occurred within New York.

Iowa’s House minority leader said Democrats would continue pushing for marijuana legalization even as Republicans added seats in the midterm elections.

A Maryland delegate spoke about next steps to implement the voter-approved legalization of marijuana.

A California senator tweeted, “Colorado is the 2nd state where voters have decriminalized or legalized psychedelics. Next stop: California. Looking forward to taking another run at psychedelic decriminalization when the Legislature reconvenes next month. We came extremely close this year — let’s get it done!”

Arkansas regulators filed proposed medical cannabis rules.

Ohio regulators posted revised medical cannabis dispensary rules.

Washington State regulators rescinded an interim policy on cannabinoid additives and issued an interpretive statement on additives in cannabis products.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is investigating a patient’s complaint that a doctor did not follow proper procedures in evaluating her for a medical cannabis recommendation.

Illinois regulators issued the first full adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses to social equity applicants, and the first social equity-licensed marijuana retailer is set to open next week.

Tennessee’s Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Tuesday.

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.


Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor tweeted about his testimony at a cannabis hearing next week, saying, “I look forward to a frank discussion about how we can work across the aisle to fix this broken system.”

New York City officials posted information on how to report suspected unlicensed cannabis sales.

Voters in three Connecticut municipalities decided on ballot measures to allow recreational marijuana sales.

Boston, Massachusetts is refunding $2.86 million in “impact” payments collected from marijuana businesses.


Germany’s Federal Social Court ruled that health insurance companies only need to cover medical cannabis for the most seriously ill patients.

Ireland’s High Court dismissed a lawsuit challenging the country’s ban on sales of products containing any amount of THC.

Chilean lawmakers debated marijuana legalization.

A Victoria, Australia lawmaker tweeted, “We need to end native logging & unlock the enormous potential of hemp – which can be used in a range of products from pulp to construction materials.”


A study found that “subjective reports from [Tourette’s syndrome] patients suggest that medical cannabis may improve their quality of life and comorbidities.”

A study found that Washington State “has experienced decreases in the rate of possession offenses for the two categories of more harmful drugs—heroin/cocaine and their derivatives, and other dangerous nonnarcotic drugs—over the post-sale period, relative to the states that have not legalized marijuana for recreational use, offering some evidence suggesting a drug offense reduction effect of marijuana legalization.”


Human Rights Watch highlighted state marijuana legalization initiatives as examples of measures that “aimed at advancing equity and human dignity.”

The National Immigrant Justice Center tweeted, “Countless families were separated bc of the war on drugs. For immigrants a drug conviction can lead to detention & deportation. We must undo discriminatory drug laws that fuel deportations & mass incarceration.”


Ayr Wellness Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $119.6 million and a net loss of $36.1 million.

Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. reported $111.3 million in quarterly net revenue and a net loss of $16.9 million.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported C$49.3 million in quarterly net revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of C$8.7 million.

Schwazze reported quarterly revenue of $43.2 million.

Glass House Brands Inc. reported $38.3 million in quarterly net revenue.

Leafly Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $11.8 million.

atai Life Sciences N.V. reported quarterly revenue of $24,000 and a net loss of $35.7 million.

A New Mexico marijuana company is asking a federal judge to transfer a lawsuit that seeks to get New Mexico health insurers to cover medical cannabis back to state court.

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Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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