Senate passes cannabis security clearance protections (Newsletter: August 1, 2023)

Fed health officials on psychedelics; Senate bill to create marijuana commission; PA medical cannabis homegrow; SD medical marijuana repeal initiative

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Senate approved legislation to protect people from being denied security clearances due to past marijuana use.

Top federal health officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Mental Health say psychedelics’ Schedule I status creates ‘hurdles” to research. They also say it’s “crucial” for the therapies to be “available to everyone” and “affordable.”

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) filed a bill to direct the attorney general to form a commission that would prepare for federal marijuana legalization by recommending regulations modeled after those for alcohol.

Bipartisan Pennsylvania senators introduced a bill to let medical cannabis patients grow their own medicine at home.

South Dakota’s attorney general published a draft explanation for a ballot initiative to repeal the state’s medical cannabis program. The same activist behind the proposal filed a separate typo-ridden measure to block “legalization of federally band [sic] substances.”

The chair of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is facing a lawsuit that seeks to remove him from the position, alleging his appointment was improper.

/ FEDERAL

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discussed his support for ending the “failed war on drugs.”

The House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services posted an overview of a hearing it held on the Food and Drug Administration’s failure to regulate CBD.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) spoke on the Senate floor about the case of American citizen Marc Fogel, who is being detained in Russia for possessing medical cannabis.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “Banks won’t lend to cannabis businesses out of fear that they will be federally prosecuted – that’s just wrong. And our bill to fix this has already passed the House SIX TIMES! It’s time for the Senate to end these archaic regulations and pass our SAFE Banking Act.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) touted enforcement actions against unlicensed marijuana businesses.

An Ohio marijuana legalization campaign has raised about $3 million so far this year and spent around the same amount.

The Delaware representative who sponsored a marijuana legalization bill enacted this session discussed the decision not to allow current medical cannabis businesses to get a head start in the recreational market.

Massachusetts regulators approved draft rules aimed at increasing equity in the cannabis industry.

Oregon regulators are being sued over new rules on cannabis products containing aspergillus.

The Colorado Treasury Department tweeted that Mastercard shutting down debit card processing at marijuana dispensaries “is one of many reasons why we need the SAFE Banking Act for our state’s legal cannabis businesses and consumers.”

The Washington State Cannabis Science Work Group 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

The Spokane, Washington City Council is considering a proposal to allocate marijuana tax revenue to drug education and treatment.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jersey’s home affairs minister said lawmakers should debate decriminalizing marijuana.

New Zealand regulators are updating medical cannabis rules, including ones concerning imports and exports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis is a viable substance given its promising therapeutic properties in the context of neuronal health, and its approach shows positive results in terms of recovery, symptomatologic improvement, and quality of life for patients affected by Alzheimer’s.”

A study found that “CBD appears to have potential therapeutic value for the treatment of drug-resistant epilepsy in Rett syndrome” and that “CBD is well tolerated and, when used in combination with clobazam, may increase the effectiveness of clobazam alone.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board and South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board slammed the Florida attorney general’s effort to prevent voters from being able to decide on a marijuana legalization initiative.

The Boston Globe editorial board criticized local zoning rules that it says unduly restrict marijuana businesses.

The Cannabis Retailers Association of Vermont is launching a fundraising effort to help marijuana businesses that were damaged by recent flooding.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs and Columbia Care agreed to terminate a proposed merger under which the former company would have acquired the latter. As part of the plan’s collapse, agreements for a company owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs to acquire assets in certain states was also canceled.

Columbia Care Inc. announced several moves it says will “accelerate operational efficiencies and cash flow generation.”

DXR Holdco subsidiary NewCo acquired Theraplant.

Housing Works Cannabis Co. in New York City says it sold an estimated $12 million worth of legal marijuana products in its first six months of operations.

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