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WI gov’s initiative push could put cannabis on ballot (Newsletter: September 27, 2022)

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Booker talks banking; TX House speaker: Let’s lower marijuana penalties; Study: Legalization tied to lower obesity; OH sees $1B medical cannabis sales

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new push by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) to allow citizen ballot initiatives in the state could open the door to finally letting voters decide on marijuana legalization. He’s called a special session on it for next week.

In a new video, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about a “twin crisis” of continued marijuana arrests in many states and the lack of banking access for cannabis businesses in legalized states.

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R), who says criminal justice reform will be a top priority in the 2023 session, reiterated that he supports lowering marijuana penalties.

A new study found that marijuana legalization resulted in “decreases in obesity rates”—despite stereotypes about munchies and lazy stoners.

  • “This is somewhat surprising given previous literature finding marijuana use is often associated with increased unhealthy food consumption and lethargy.”

The Ohio Department of Commerce quietly disclosed that medical cannabis sales in the state have officially crossed the $1 billion mark.

/ FEDERAL

Congress.gov reported that a federal marijuana legalization bill was its ninth most-viewed piece of legislation last week.

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta, saying that Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s “drug policy and posture towards the United States is alarming.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “Big news! Cannabis consumption lounges will soon open in Las Vegas, creating new jobs and economic opportunities for our state in this growing industry.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said it’s “definitely possible” to pass cannabis banking legislation, and that he met recently with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to discuss it.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), in a House floor speech, criticized Democrats for spending time on marijuana legalization instead of other issues.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “Our #SRA would institute a 3% federal excise tax, treat cannabis as an agricultural commodity, & ensure access to small businesses & new entrants where states have legalized cannabis, either medically or for adult use. Agencies must treat it like alcohol when coming up with new rules (like FDA).”

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted that he met with lawmakers and “key members from the cannabis industry to discuss innovative ideas as we continue to move this industry forward in Nevada.” Separately, regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Tuesday.

Arkansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Jones tweeted, “On the issue of legalization of the adult-use marijuana market, Arkansans’ voices will be heard on Nov. 8! I continue to support the creation of a just and equitable cannabis industry. This initiative is a good first step toward Arkansas embracing a pragmatic cannabis policy. If approved by the majority of Arkansans, this new policy will encourage economic growth, deliver funding to support priorities like education and community safety, equip our hard-working law enforcement to keep us safe by focusing on serious crimes, and protect consumers.”

Texas Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Susan Hays tweeted that Republican incumbent Sid Miller’s  management of the hemp program has already led to 2 indictments.  Texas should expand medical cannabis and legalize, tax, and regulate adult use. Just keep Sid away from anymore grift opportunities!”

A California senator tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been an expensive, abysmal, deadly failure. It’s time to end it. California must lead, not lag behind.”

An Indiana senator tweeted, “Cannabis legalization would provide so many benefits for Hoosiers, farmers and businesses. It will also crack down on the black market and allow Hoosiers to safely purchase cannabis in Indiana rather than Illinois and Michigan. It’s time for the General Assembly to join 37 other states with some form of legal cannabis.”

Illinois regulators are being sued over rules blocking conditional marijuana dispensary license holders from taking investments.

Montana regulators published revised marijuana waste management rules.

Guam regulators issued the territory’s first recreational marijuana business responsible individual approvals.

New York’s Dormitory Authority posted a request for proposals for a bank to service the state’s Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund.

Oklahoma regulators levied fines on thousands of medical cannabis businesses for allegedly not complying with the state’s seed-to-sale tracking program.

The Oregon Task Force on Cannabis-Derived Intoxicants and Illegal Cannabis Production’s Cannabinoid Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday.

Vermont regulators will consider recommendations for marijuana business social equity status and licensure on Wednesday.


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

New York City councilmembers are proposing legislation to pay people to return used drug injection syringes.

The Deschutes County, Oregon Planning Commission will hold a hearing on proposed land use regulations for psilocybin manufacturing and the establishment of psilocybin service centers on Thursday.

Jersey City, New Jersey officials are hosting a clinic to help expunge marijuana and other convictions on October 15.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australia’s Green Party is mounting a bid to legalize cannabis.

Jamaica’s industry, investment and commerce minister said the country is poised to become a major player in the global medical cannabis market.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “treatment with hemp-derived CBD gel caps was associated with significant improvements in pain scores and several quality-of-life measures for patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.”

A study suggested a “positive long-term effect” of feeding spent hemp biomass to lambs.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Kentucky Democratic Party tweeted, “Nine out of 10 Kentuckians support legal medical cannabis. Why are Republican legislators ignoring the people of Kentucky?”

The chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party is among the applicants for a new medical cannabis business license in the state.

The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention posted a draft cannabis monograph for comment.

The International Code Council approved a measure on the use of hempcrete as a building material.

/ BUSINESS

Amazon is being accused of inconsistently enforcing its ban on drug paraphernalia sales.

British American Tobacco Plc invested in German cannabis startup Sanity Group GmbH.

/ CULTURE

Wiz Khalifa’s Khalifa Kush marijuana brand launched an exclusive partnership with Trulieve Cannabis Corp. in Florida.

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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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