New DEA cannabis rules coming (Newsletter: May 18, 2023)

GOP congressman looks at DC marijuana ban; MN legalization prepped for final votes; MI gov’t worker drug testing reform; Alcohol exec on cannabis regs

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug and Chemical Evaluation Section said that the agency plans to file new rules clarifying that synthetically derived cannabinoids like delta-8 THC are illegal controlled substances.

The new filing will also “decontrol CBD up to 0.1 percent THC on a weight-to-weight or weight-to-volume basis.”

The Minnesota House of Representatives is poised to imminently vote on final passage of a marijuana legalization bill now that the 320-page conference committee report has been finalized.

Minnesota lawmakers sent Gov. Tim Walz (D) a bill to legalize possession of drug paraphernalia, small amounts of drug residue, syringe services and testing.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY) told Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) that her testimony about public safety harms caused by Congress blocking marijuana sales in her city “caught my attention” and that he’ll be “researching” the issue.

Meanwhile, at the same hearing, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) called cannabis “an addictive, dangerous product” and suggested D.C. is “gonna keep having violent crime if you keep having the positions that you take on allowing marijuana to be openly smoked.”

The Michigan Civil Service Commission is proposing to end pre-employment marijuana testing for most government job applicants, while also giving people who’ve already been penalized for positive THC test results an opportunity to have the sanction retroactively rescinded.

The president and CEO of Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America authored a new op-ed for Marijuana Moment arguing that the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is the best agency to federally regulate legal cannabis.

New Mexico’s health secretary accepted a petition to add insomnia as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) directed regulators to stop issuing or renewing marijuana licenses to businesses that cannot certify they have paid their taxes or have a payment plan for existing tax debt.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Justice reached an agreement for the Liberty County, Georgia sheriff’s office to review policies on bias-free policing amid a civil rights complaint from Delaware State University students who were subjected to a drug search while traveling.

Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters authored an op-ed arguing that marijuana is linked to mental illness.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent an update about hemp-related resources, including a tool that allows the public to search for licensed producers by geographic location.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) tweeted, “Allowing legal cannabis and hemp businesses to access banking services is just common sense. It’s time to pass the SAFE Banking Act to make this industry safer for businesses, employees, and consumers across our state.”

The House bill to protect veterans from losing benefits for state-legal marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of five.

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) announced his appointments to the Cannabis Control Commission.

Oregon’s Senate minority leader is proposing to limit cash-based campaign contributions to $100 in light of concerns about cannabis industry executives’ donations to elected officials.

The New Mexico Supreme Court heard arguments in a case on marijuana-impaired driving.

Colorado regulators issued a health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of yeast, mold and Aspergillus in marijuana products from Retail Marijuana Cultivation Facility MJ Durango LLC.

Missouri regulators submitted revised draft marijuana rules to the secretary of state.

New Hampshire regulators are now allowing medical cannabis patient certifications to last for up to three years.

Maine regulators published guidance on replacement marijuana licensee identification cards and retaining business records.

California regulators posted a request for information from technology vendors to support cannabis track and trace technology.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Thursday.


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

New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services is facing a federal racial discrimination lawsuit from a woman who alleges the agency improperly took her newborn baby away over marijuana use.

The Denton, Texas City Council is expected to vote on a plan to implement a voter-approved local marijuana decriminalization law on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government collected C$1.55 billion in marijuana revenue in fiscal year 2021-22.

Singaporean officials executed a second man for trafficking marijuana in the span of three weeks.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “the risk of problematic cannabis use does not appear to have increased in the 2 years following cannabis legalisation in Canada.”

A study “evaluating the use of add-on CBD in children with [epilepsy with myoclonic-atonic seizures] or [Sturge Weber syndrome] with myoclonic-atonic seizures found that 15/26 (57.7%) had a >50% seizure reduction with good tolerability” and that “three (11.5%) became seizure-free.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The German Medical Association is criticizing the federal government’s marijuana legalization plan.

The Star Tribune editorial board is pleased with recent changes to a pending Minnesota marijuana legalization bill.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is calling on California lawmakers to pass legislation banning marijuana edibles that could appeal to children.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $336.5 million and a net loss of $56.5 million.

MediPharm Labs Corp. is cutting its workforce by approximately 30 percent and reported C$5.8 million in quarterly revenue with an adjusted EBITDA loss of C$3.1 million.

Mydecine Innovations Group reported a quarterly net loss of C$7.65 million.

Advanced Grow Labs employees in West Haven, Connecticut voted to unionize with the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

Hemp Naturals Inc. agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty to settle a Securities and Exchange Commission case related to the alleged offering and selling of securities in unregistered offerings that failed to comply with rules.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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