Congress weighs cannabis & psychedelics amendments for NDAA (Newsletter: July 4, 2023)

Banking chair wants SAFE vote this month; Congressman’s marijuana op-ed; NC House & Senate medical cannabis fight

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee is considering whether amendments on medical cannabis access for veterans, psychedelics research, military marijuana testing, security clearance denials over cannabis and other drug policy reforms can receive floor votes to be attached to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that if sports leagues like the NCAA can move to revise their cannabis policies, Congress can act to end federal prohibition.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he “would like to” hold a vote on a marijuana banking bill this month—but said “it depends” on other priorities advancing. Meanwhile, Sen. Steve Daines’s (R-MT) office said he’s “open” to attaching expungements to the SAFE Banking Act.

The North Carolina Senate voted to appoint a member to the medical cannabis regulatory board that would be created by a legalization bill stalled in the House. But the House speaker says the Senate’s “heavy-handed” tactics will have the “opposite effect.”

The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services is holding outreach events ahead of the state’s marijuana microbusiness license lottery next month.

/ FEDERAL

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tweeted, “Addiction has afflicted so many American families, mine included. I’ve taken hundreds of people through recovery, and I know what works. As President, I’m going to build healing camps across this country, places where recovering addicts can grow and eat organic food, heal spiritually, physically, and emotionally, and find themselves again.”

Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram discussed efforts to crack down on fentanyl.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said we “can’t arrest our way out of” drug problems.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) claimed that drug decriminalization increases drug overdose and addiction rates, and said he supports allowing the president to use the U.S. military to go after drug cartels.

/ STATES

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is being asked by existing marijuana businesses to temporarily pause new licenses.

Maryland’s attorney general issued a statement celebrating the launch of marijuana legalization.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “Last week, @SenateDemsWI proposed an amendment to the budget to #LegalizeMarijuana. Every single Republican in the State Senate voted AGAINST this amendment and the 69% of Wisconsinites who support fully legalizing it.”

Massachusetts and Rhode Island lawmakers attended a forum about Portugal’s drug decriminalization law.

A Colorado judge issued a temporary restraining order against the fees charged by the state’s marijuana track and trace system provider.

An Alabama judge postponed a July 13 hearing in two lawsuits challenging regulators’ medical cannabis business licensing process.

Oklahoma regulators announced a recall of marijuana products that were not properly tested.

A Virginia law restricting the sale of intoxicating cannabinoid products took effect.


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.

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/ LOCAL

Officials from several New Jersey towns are complaining that state marijuana laws make it harder to address groups of rowdy teenagers.

/ INTERNATIONAL

An informal group of European Parliament members hosted a hearing on cannabis legalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study “demonstrates the potential of the use of cannabinoids or/and cannabis extracts for the reduction of inflammation.”

A study indicated that “psilocybin may decelerate the process of cellular senescence” and that “given that senescence and inflammation contribute to the pathogenesis of numerous age-related diseases, these studies could lay the foundation for the use of psilocybin as a therapeutic strategy for many age-related disease indications and/or as a geroprotective agent.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Cannabis Industry Association rescheduled a conference it is hosting as a result of regulators delaying the awarding of business licenses.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation entered into agreements with holders of its outstanding unsecured senior notes to acquire C$12.5 million aggregate principal amount of the notes in exchange for shares of the company and cash.

TerrAscend Corp. announced that its subsidiary, WDB Holding PA, Inc., completed the paydown of $37 million of its senior secured term loan.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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