CO gov presses Biden for cannabis action (Newsletter: September 6, 2023)

GOP congressman: Pharma could take over marijuana under Sched III; Schumer on SAFE Banking; Cannabis amendments; USDA hemp report

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he is concerned that if the Biden administration doesn’t “go any further than moving marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III, it could potentially allow Big Pharma to control it.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) sent President Joe Biden a letter expressing “gratitude” for a pending marijuana rescheduling recommendation—but saying more action is needed on cannabis banking, immigration, criminal justice and federal enforcement concerns.

Polis is specifically asking Biden for guidance clarifying that under Schedule III, “FDA will not bring a compliance action against companies whose products and activities are authorized by state medical and recreational marijuana laws.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a floor speech that “making progress on cannabis through the SAFE Banking Act” is a priority—but that it and other issues will require “bipartisan cooperation” and “a lot of work and compromise” to get done.

Bipartisan members of Congress filed new amendments that would block federal agencies from testing job applicants for marijuana, encourage psychedelics research for military members and expand waivers for Army recruits who test positive for cannabis.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a new update to a handbook on how to identify, describe and evaluate different varieties of hemp as it works to rebuild a government seed bank for the crop that was destroyed during prohibition.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) dismissed concerns about high marijuana prices, saying the state has a “growing industry” and touting the fact that “nearly 30 percent of the revenue that we get from the cannabis industry” comes from out-of-state visitors.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “Over 88% of Americans support legalizing cannabis. We need federal cannabis reform centered on repairing the harm that criminalization has inflicted, especially on Black and brown communities.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “‘Marijuana does not belong in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.’ That’s what 24 of my colleagues and I wrote to @POTUS last year. As a member of the Cannabis Caucus, I’m pushing the federal government to follow Nevada’s example.”

/ STATES

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) appointed members to the Marijuana Appeals Commission.

A New Jersey assemblymember filed legislation to institute marijuana packaging and labeling requirements intended to reduce ingestion by children.

Kentucky regulators filed emergency rules on hemp-derived cannabinoid products.

Missouri regulators issued guidance on creating template items for marijuana packaging and on item approval integration.

A California regulator said officials want to “do better” to stamp out so-called “fake unions” that some marijuana businesses are signing labor peace agreements with.

Oregon regulators are convening psilocybin rules advisory committees.


Marijuana Moment is 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

Hopewell Borough, New Jersey officials are being sued by a marijuana company over allegations that the mayor improperly aided another firm’s license approval.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Fiji’s cabinet approved a medical cannabis feasibility study.

Spanish utility officials are blaming recent blackouts on illicit marijuana cultivation operations.

A top Irish police official said he has “grave concerns” over the potential legalization of drugs.

Copenhagen, Denmark’s mayor is urging foreigners not to buy marijuana in a neighborhood where shootings have occurred amid gang battles over the cannabis trade.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “almost a third of cancer patients use cannabis, largely for symptom management.”

A study found that “despite the depenalization policy, the Vancouver Police Department has continued to seize illicit drugs from [people who use drugs], even in cases where no arrest occurred,” which “may create health and safety risks for PWUD as it forces PWUD to increase the engagement with the unregulated illicit drug market.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of UK adults found that 36 percent of 18-24 year olds and 30 percent of 25-49 year olds are interested in trying psilocybin to treat mental health conditions.

The Austin American-Statesman editorial board is calling on Texas lawmakers to legalize drug testing strips in a special session.

/ BUSINESS

Green Thumb Industries Inc. announced a share repurchase program.

TILT Holdings Inc. sold its interest in a dispensary on Shinnecock Nation tribal lands to CGSF Investments, LLC.

Columbus Technical College in Georgia fired its police chief for failing a marijuana drug test that he said was the result of using legal CBD products.

Illinois retailers sold $139.2 million worth of recreational marijuana products in August.

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