Top senator hopeful for cannabis reform this year (Newsletter: August 26, 2022)

NY opens marijuana dispensary apps; NE to recount medical cannabis signatures; Poll: SD voters oppose legalization; NORML op-ed slams prohibitionists

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) said it would be a “difficult feat” to pass the marijuana legalization bill he filed with Senate Majority Leader Chuck. Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)—but said he hopes the Senate can still “at minimum pass some key reforms” on cannabis before the end of the year.

New York regulators began accepting applications for the state’s first recreational marijuana dispensary licenses—exclusively from people who have been directly harmed by cannabis criminalization.

The Nebraska secretary of state’s office has agreed to take another look at signature submissions for two rejected medical cannabis initiatives, but it’s not clear the review will result in the measures qualifying for the November ballot.

A new poll finds that most South Dakota voters oppose marijuana legalization as they prepare to decide on a reform initiative on the November ballot—but advocates say the results are an outlier and run against other recent surveys as well as the results of the 2020 election when a strong majority approved a legalization measure that was later overturned in court.

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that cannabis prohibitionists know they have lost the battle for public opinion and have resorted to trying to keep legalization off the ballot with court challenges as their only hope.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prosecutors are reportedly investigating “an alleged public corruption scheme to influence marijuana policy” in Florida.

A newly unveiled 1983 Central Intelligence Agency memo reveals that U.S. officials were aware at the time that any hope of success for the war on drugs in Colombia would require “a bloody, expensive, and prolonged coercive effort,” and that even that was not not likely to have an impact on the U.S. drug market.

The Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee published a report that touts passage of legislation to streamline research of marijuana as an example of how they are “putting people over politics.”

The Congressional Research Service took note of a recent federal court case overturning Maine’s residency requirement for medical cannabis business owners.

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz claimed that Democratic rival John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, “wants to legalize all drugs and create these heroin injection sites.”

/ STATES

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) expressed concerns about the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot, saying that people who vote for it will be “doing more for the corporations behind marijuana and for the business side of it, than you ever are for yourself.”

A spokesperson for Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) disputed suggestions that he tried to prevent a marijuana legalization initiative from appearing on the November ballot.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) reiterated her support for medical cannabis while avoiding the issue of recreational marijuana legalization, and Republican challenger Derek Schmidt said he is concerned that ending prohibition could lead to “additional substance addiction.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a  former congressman, spoke about the revenue potential of legalizing marijuana.

A South Dakota representative is serving as the treasurer for a new campaign committee opposing the marijuana legalization measure on the state’s November ballot.

The Arkansas Supreme Court allowed a second prohibitionist committee to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to block a marijuana legalization initiative that’s on the November ballot.

The Michigan State Police Crime Lab apparently cannot distinguish between CBD and THC in toxicology screens.

California regulators announced that they have seized more than $1 billion worth of cannabis from illegal operators over the past 13 months.

Maine regulators hosted a listening event about marijuana policy.

The New York Department of Labor is cohosting a series of cannabis career summits.

The Oregon Task Force on Cannabis-Derived Intoxicants and Illegal Cannabis Production’s Cannabinoid Subcommittee will meet on Friday.

Nevada regulators will host two webinars next month to help people understand the application process for a cannabis consumption lounge license.


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.

/ LOCAL

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted that if the state legalizes marijuana, “Kansans will keep coming over to buy weed like they’ve already being doing for years.”

A Clark County, Nevada commissioner expressed concerns about allowing marijuana smoking on open patios at social consumption lounges.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The head of the Mexican Senate Justice Committee spoke about ongoing efforts to craft marijuana legalization legislation and addressed the economic benefits of ending prohibition. Separately, the Senate President also discussed cannabis issues.

Malaysia’s health minister said the country will decide on legalizing medical cannabis by the end of the year.

The Canadian government is being sued by the Marijuana Party over the issue of how political parties are funded.

New Zealand regulators published guidance on medical cannabis pesticide testing and seed export issues.

The Philippine Department of Justice said it ​​will submit a case update to the International Criminal Court’s investigation into the country’s bloody “war on drugs” out of “friendship and respect,” while clarifying that it does not believe it is obligated to do so.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study indicated that “acute THC administration may facilitate extinction of the conditioned fear response in humans.”

A study concluded that “while laboratory studies and case reports from the 1960s and 1970s generated concerns about psychedelics’ carcinogenic potential, this analysis of recent epidemiological data does not support an association between psychedelic use and development of cancer in general or hematologic cancer.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Colombians found that 63 percent believe cannabis taxes would bolster the country’s economy.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is calling on California lawmakers to pass a bill to remove a deadline for people to petition courts to remove or reduce drug records.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board cheered bipartisan lawmakers who are coming together to push the U.S. to provide assistance to an American who is being detained in Russia for possessing medical cannabis.

The EveryLibrary Institute is hosting a conference session next month on how libraries can diversify revenue through cannabis taxes.

An American Enterprise Institute senior fellow authored an op-ed cheering California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) veto of a bill to allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The head of the Washington CannaBusiness Association authored an op-ed criticizing aspects of pending Seattle, Washington cannabis regulatory legislation.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. acquired a controlling interest in Bevo Agtech Inc.

Curaleaf Holdings Inc. is urging a federal judge to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit that alleges managers stole employee tips.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a man with fraudulently selling unregistered stock in C3 International, Inc.

Ascend workers in Boston, Massachusetts voted to unionize with Teamsters Local 25.

Tilray Brands, Inc. launched new medical cannabis products and a patient app in Canada.

A federal judge ruled the Green Sage Management LLC must shut off unpermitted diesel-powered generators.

UK medical cannabis manufacturers have agreed to provide free medicine to children whose approvals are pending with the National Health Service.

/ CULTURE

Ozzy Osbourne said he stopped taking LSD after imagining an hour-long conversation with a horse.

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