Congress leaves DC cannabis sales ban in place (Newsletter: December 21, 2022)

Schumer looks to 2023 for marijuana banking; VA updating veterans’ cannabis policy; TX poll shows legalization support; DC medical expansion to mayor

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The omnibus appropriations bill that congressional leaders negotiated, in addition to leaving out marijuana banking and expungements provisions that advocates wanted, continues a rider that has blocked Washington, D.C. from locally legalizing recreational cannabis sales.

The legislation also continues a separate rider protecting state medical cannabis laws from federal interference but leaves out House-passed measures to extend its coverage to recreational states, prevent the Federal Communications Commission from punishing TV and radio stations that air marijuana ads and shield immigrants from being deported over cannabis, among others.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blamed Republicans for blocking marijuana banking provisions from being included in the omnibus, but said “we’re going to go back at it next year.”

As the Department of Veterans Affairs works to update a policy on medical cannabis use that expires at the end of this month, Congress is directing VA officials to “not interfere” with veterans’ participation in state-legal programs.

The Washington, D.C. Council sent Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) a bill to remove medical marijuana license caps, give operators 280E tax relief, prioritize equity businesses and allow on-site consumption facilities while providing for enforcement against unlicensed sellers.

A new poll found that a majority of Texas voters support legalizing marijuana—and three out of four back simple decriminalization of cannabis possession.


The George W. Bush Presidential Center published a report about a roundtable meeting it hosted on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

Congressional leaders declined to include provisions to eliminate or scale back the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine in the omnibus appropriations bill.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said he’s “frustrated and disappointed” that marijuana reform got left out of the omnibus appropriations legislation.

A marijuana legalization bill was the eighth-most-viewed piece of legislation on last week.


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said he would be happy to rescind his medical cannabis executive order if lawmakers sent him a bill on the issue.

A spokesperson for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said he believes that “the next administration will continue working to improve this [pardons] process and give people with these offenses their rightful clean slates, until marijuana becomes legal in Pennsylvania.” Separately, the board of pardons secretary spoke about the governor’s effort to pardon people for marijuana before he leaves office.

Maryland’s attorney general issued an opinion on how the state’s marijuana legalization law affects police officers’ ability to conduct searches based on the odor of cannabis.

Florida’s attorney general is pushing President Joe Biden to restore cabinet-level status to the drug czar.

A Minnesota representative-elect tweeted, “This upcoming legislative session, Democrats will simultaneously move to ban flavored tobacco and legalize recreational marijuana. Fun times. Not tasty. But fun.”

A former Iowa representative said Congress should pass marijuana banking legislation.

California regulators received approval for a rulemaking action on cannabis license fee waivers and deferrals for equity businesses.

Oklahoma regulators are revoking old medical cannabis rules.

Oregon regulators took testimony on cannabis organizations’ legislative priorities and approved stipulated marijuana business violation settlements.

Utah regulators posted an update on the medical cannabis program.

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.


San Antonio, Texas activists has so far collected more than 26,000 signatures in support of a proposed local ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana, end enforcement of abortion laws and make other reforms.

The Clark County, Nevada Board of Commissioners approved rules for marijuana consumption lounges.

The Syracuse, New York Common Council approved a measure allowing officials to fine or close businesses that sell marijuana without a license.

A Buffalo, New York firefighter who was fired for medical cannabis use is returning back to work following a settlement of the wrongful termination lawsuit he filed.


The UK’s home secretary said police should target people for marijuana, saying there needs to be “a swift, meaningful response by police officers to crimes that really blight our local communities.”

Grenada’s agriculture and lands minister said the government will propose medical cannabis legalization legislation next year.


A review concluded that “CBD can prevent cardiac oxidative damage in many conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, or even through the cardiotoxic effects induced by chemotherapy, which makes it a potential target for future clinical use to minimize the deleterious effects of many pathophysiologies.”


The founder of Black Entertainment Television authored an op-ed calling on Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation.


LeafLink laid off 80 employees.

Genuine Grow and Kush Connection are hosting an expungement clinic in Montclair, New Jersey on January 7.

Canadian retailers sold C$389.2 million worth of legal marijuana products in October.


Method Man said he quit smoking marijuana during the filming of “How High.”

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The post Congress leaves DC cannabis sales ban in place (Newsletter: December 21, 2022) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.