DOJ punts cannabis arrest data investigation to FBI (Newsletter: August 24, 2023)

CA AG interstate marijuana advice; Senators: legalization disrupts cartels; Sports officials defend cannabis ban; NY State Fair sales; MD banking

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General took more than a year to reply to a complaint about defects in Federal Bureau of Investigation marijuana arrest data—and ultimately referred the matter to the FBI so it can investigate itself.

The California attorney general’s office has received input from several local government groups arguing that allowing interstate cannabis sales would not put the state at risk of federal enforcement, according to documents obtained by Marijuana Moment through a public records request.

The director of the Maryland Office of the Comptroller’s Revenue Administration Division said state officials worked with Wells Fargo to obscure marijuana revenue deposits, “craftily” listing them as “a sale subject to the 9% rate under Senate Bill 516” amid ongoing federal prohibition.

A bipartisan group of senators acknowledged that legalizing marijuana disrupts the illegal market for cartels. The comment from the lawmakers—none of whom vocally support legalization—came in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that focused on concerns about proposed tobacco restrictions.

World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List Expert Advisory Group members authored a journal article explaining why they decided to continue punishing athletes for marijuana use—saying it violates the “spirit of sport” but admitting that cannabis helps by “facilitating recovery and reducing pain.”

A marijuana farmers market is being held in conjunction with the New York State Fair, with organizers providing a free shuttle service from the fairgrounds to where attendees can buy legal cannabis from a variety of growers just down the road.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published reports about Japan’s hemp market.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) tweeted, “Lower Sioux Indian Community is addressing their housing shortage with a unique building material —’hempcrete.’ Hempcrete, made from hemp plants, is energy efficient and resistant to things like fire, mold and pests. It’s a perfect example of innovation in housing.”

Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MD) spoke about his legislation that would broaden eligibility to have drug possession convictions expunged.

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 68.

The House bill to encourage the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of seven.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “The revenue we’d generate from legalizing marijuana could be invested back into our own communities. Right now, that’s money going out the door to other states. It’s time to join our neighbors in legalizing and taxing marijuana, much like we do alcohol.”

The New Mexico legislature’s Interim Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee will consider various marijuana issues this week, including briefings on market conditions, law enforcement and the expungement of past convictions.

Nevada regulators approved additional marijuana consumption lounge licenses. Separately, they will host a workshop on proposed cannabis rules changes on Thursday.

New York regulators filed a list of 30 conditional marijuana dispensary licensees that will be eligible to open under a preliminary injunction issued by a judge amid a lawsuit challenging their licensing process.

Minnesota generated at least $594,000 in revenue from the first month of a new tax on the sale of hemp-derived THC products.

New Jersey regulators spoke at a cannabis union organizing event.

A former California regulator launched a new cannabis consulting firm.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.


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

Hancock, Maryland, which owns a stake in Trulieve’s business in the state, is taking the marijuana company to mediation to settle a dispute over profit sharing.

The Stearns County, Minnesota Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance banning marijuana consumption in public spaces.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Thailand Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin’s coalition government will support keeping medical cannabis legal.

The Italian Ministry of Health revoked the suspension of a decree including CBD in the table of narcotic medicinal products.

Costa Rican lawmakers said they have enough support to pass a marijuana legalization bill on the floor of the Legislative Assembly even if it gets an unfavorable report in committee.

Zurich, Switzerland launched a marijuana legalization pilot program.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “medical cannabis is safe and highly effective for treating neuropathic pain and concomitant sleep disturbance.”

A study suggested there are “potential complementary effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelic use on leadership, which could inspire new approaches in leadership development.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board is calling on Congress to repeal the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses.

An Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota staffer discussed ongoing concerns for immigrants under the state’s marijuana legalization law.

/ BUSINESS

Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. received approval from a Canadian court for a stalking horse bid to acquire certain assets from Aleafia Health Inc.

Twilio is no longer providing services to marijuana businesses, “regardless of the federal or state legality.”

Weedmaps and WTG Enterprises announced a strategic partnership around The Freak Brothers show.

New Jersey retailers sold $185.2 million worth of legal marijuana products in the second quarter of this year.

Canadian retailers sold C$426.6 million worth of legal marijuana products in June.

/ CULTURE

Football player Sam Williams was arrested for possessing THC and a weapon.

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