McConnell brags about killing cannabis banking (Newsletter: December 8, 2022)

Next steps for SAFE push; Congress presses military to study psychedelics & marijuana therapy; DC medical cannabis expansion; OH legalization hearing

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Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) spoke about plans to attach his marijuana banking reform to omnibus spending legislation after it was left out of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Meanwhile, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA) said that the cannabis banking reform currently has 59 Senate votes—one shy of the 60 needed for passage.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) bragged about defeating the effort to include marijuana banking in the National Defense Authorization Act—and he signaled he’ll do the same thing if advocates try to attach the cannabis provisions to omnibus appropriations legislation.

Separately, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) suggested in an interview that at least one Democratic senator also objected to advancing cannabis banking provisions.

In the joint explanatory statement attached to the National Defense Authorization Act, Congress is directing the secretary of defense to consider the therapeutic potential of “plant-based therapies” like cannabis and psychedelics as opioid alternatives for service members with PTSD, traumatic brain injury or chronic pain.

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

The Ohio House Finance Committee held a hearing on two marijuana legalization bills—one sponsored by Republicans and the other led by Democrats.


Federal prosecutors charged a man who was once falsely named Rhode Island’s first medical cannabis patient in a state Senate resolution with breaching the Capitol on January 6. (In fact, the mother of Marijuana Moment’s editor was Rhode Island’s first legal medical marijuana patient.)

​​​The National Transportation Safety Board will release a report examining the crash risk associated with different drugs on December 13.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) posted a video about his bill to create a federal commission to study regulations for legal marijuana modeled on those currently in place for alcohol.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has “been pretty much an obstacle” to enacting marijuana banking legislation.

Former Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) coauthored an op-ed calling on Congress to pass marijuana legalization legislation.


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) visited the state’s first social equity licensee dispensary with his newly appointed cannabis regulatory oversight officer.

Pennsylvania Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro (D) said he continues to oppose opening safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

Michigan lawmakers sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) bills to marijuana retailers to transfer products to other provisioning centers and to scale back requirements for cannabis business license applicants to disclose information about their spouses. Separately, regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Thursday.

Minnesota’s House speaker and incoming Senate assistant majority leader said they expect marijuana legalization will pass sometime in the new session.

Kentucky’s Senate president suggested he doesn’t support advancing medical cannabis legislation because of poison control calls about young people using marijuana.

The Washington State Senate Law and Justice Committee held a hearing on reforming drug possession criminalization laws. Separately, the Hemp in Food Task Force published a report.

Missouri lawmakers filed legislation to automate the state’s expungement process.

Arizona Senate Republicans tweeted photos of a senator visiting a marijuana cultivation facility.

A New York senator responded to a tweet about marijuana policy from Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra, saying, “Oh for heaven’s sake! Just do it already. The absurdity of 50 States creating their own rules, marketplace and industry standards can be avoided by @POTUS & @SecBecerra taking their heads out of their keisters & stop the Marijuana Malarkey!”

New Mexico regulators are adding anxiety disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Massachusetts regulators are allowing cannabis growers to use certain pesticides.

California regulators touted a court order awarding more than $128 million in civil penalties against businesses and individuals that were engaged in unlicensed commercial cannabis activity. Separately, they launched a webpage that tracks what they call “promising” marijuana equity practices.

Vermont regulators published guidance on marijuana advertising.

Virginia’s Cannabis Control Authority launched a new website.

Louisiana’s Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force met.

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.


Los Angeles, California officials are scheduled to hold a lottery for marijuana retail licenses on Thursday, but the city’s equity rules are being challenged in a lawsuit.

Denver, Colorado officials are hosting a marijuana industry check-in meeting on Thursday.


A Philippine Senate Health and Demography subcommittee held a hearing on medical cannabis legislation.

Dominican Republic lawmakers are considering legislation to penalize music and other media that encourage consumption of illegal drugs.

Paraná, Brazil’s Legislative Assembly approved legislation on cannabis-based medicines.

The Johannesburg, South Africa Labour Court ruled that companies may enforce zero tolerance policies for cannabis use.


A study found that “cannabis sativa ethanolic extract demonstrated significant anti-tumor effects associated with elevated expression of AXIN1 protein in glioblastoma.”

A study found that “CBD decreases obsessive-compulsive behavior in male mice but not female male” and “lessens ADHD-like behavior in mutant male mice but heightens it in female mice.”


Video of the webinar that Marijuana Moment, Marijuana Policy Project, BOWL PAC and BillTrack50 hosted about 2022 cannabis policy developments and 2023 predictions is now available.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board criticized Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for pushing to include marijuana banking provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.

The National Cannabis Industry Association sold off its tradeshow portfolio.

InSight Crime published a report about what marijuana legalization in the U.S. means for Mexican cartels.


A National Labor Relations Board panel ruled that Curaleaf violated federal law by refusing to bargain with a union.

Texas State University removed automatic expulsion for students facing a second infraction for violating the university’s drug policy after local municipalities approved marijuana decriminalization ballot initiatives.

The University of Missouri System said that marijuana remains prohibited on school property even in light of the state’s legalization law taking effect.

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