WH says don’t expect Biden cannabis moves before midterms (Newsletter: September 12, 2022)

MO judge keeps marijuana on ballot; MD legalization campaign launches with new ad; Senator presses SAFE Banking; FL cannabis dosage limit pushback

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested that President Joe Biden will not be making any marijuana policy moves ahead of the midterms.

“I don’t have anything else to share in the upcoming weeks,” the press secretary said when asked about other Democrats’ push for cannabis action.

A Missouri judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to remove a marijuana legalization initiative from the state’s November ballot, finding that its claims had no merit and the plaintiff didn’t even have standing. The prohibitionist activists who brought the case say they will appeal.

A new Maryland campaign led by former NFL player Eugene Monroe kicked off with a video ad encouraging voters to approve the marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot.  It’s backed with funding from Trulieve.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) highlighted the importance of marijuana banking and insurance legislation for ancillary businesses that serve the cannabis industry during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is pushing back against new medical cannabis dosage limits that regulators enacted with just three days’ notice.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said he will file a bill this week to institute oversight and transparency of purchases of U.S. agricultural land that could threaten national security, citing concerns about transnational criminal organizations taking advantage of Oklahoma’s medical cannabis law.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) suggested he’s not interested in negotiating with Democrats on additions to marijuana banking legislation because it’s “not important enough.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted, “Following California’s path on marijuana would be a mistake for Arkansas. Visit http://safeandsecurecommunities.com to see the problems with Issue 4—more crime, more addiction, and more traffic fatalities.  I’ll vote NO on Issue 4, and I hope you will too.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said marijuana is “a gateway drug.”

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), who is running for Senate, and his Republican opponent Gerald Malloy discussed marijuana and drug policy at a debate.

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) reacted to a report that Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Paula Overby has ties to Republican operatives.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “It’s 2022. Legalize marijuana.”

Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz accused Democratic opponent John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, of wanting to “legalize all drugs” and “have heroin injection sites.”

The House bill to regulate hemp-derived CBD as a food additive got two new cosponsors for a total of ten.

/ STATES

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) tweeted, “The science is clear. Recreational marijuana leads to increased drug use among minors & more dangerous roadways. This November, I’m voting NO on Issue 4 to legalize recreational marijuana in Arkansas & I hope you’ll join me.”

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said he has questions about the impact of the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

Pennsylvania Democratic governor and lieutenant governor candidates discussed their support for marijuana legalization,, but their Republican opponents chose not to respond.

New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidates discussed marijuana legalization during a debate.

Texas Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Susan Hays spoke about her support for legalizing marijuana and her own cannabis consumption.

Virginia’s Senate president pro tem tweeted that last year when he was running for his current position, the state attorney general “showed up at my Cannabis Outlet store in disguise to try to find something we were doing wrong.  Only problem with his plan was I was here that day and recognized him immediately. When he came to speak to the Senate Democratic Caucus during session I brought this up and he ran from the room and then had a staffer tweet I was mistaken.”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that a judge “abused his discretion” by denying a man’s request to permanently erase his marijuana possession arrest records.

A Florida judge criticized regulators for not issuing additional medical cannabis business licenses.

California’s top marijuana regulator, as part of a broad Los Angeles Times investigation into problems with the state’s cannabis program, was quoted as saying her department’s focus is on building up legal businesses “before we expand those efforts out to the illegal market.”

Oklahoma regulators are granting extensions to medical cannabis business licensees who were unable to submit renewal applications due to a system outage. Separately, the Medical Marijuana Advisory Council will meet on Monday.

Alabama regulators received 179 requests for marijuana business license applications in the first six days of accepting them.

Connecticut’s marijuana Social Equity Council must return to the state’s general fund previously allocated monies that it did not spend.

Oregon regulators posted a bulletin with marijuana harvest season preparation tips. Separately, an advisory committee will consider psilocybin services packaging, labeling and transportation rules on Tuesday.

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services tweeted, “Secondhand marijuana smoke, like all marijuana smoke, contains many poisons including cyanide and ammonia. Marijuana smoke can trigger asthma.”

Colorado regulators released a video explaining marijuana average market rates.


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/ LOCAL

Supporters of a proposed Denver, Colorado ballot initiative to increase taxes on marijuana and use the revenue to fund after-school programs withdrew the measure.

The Wichita, Kansas City Council is expected to consider a proposal to decriminalize marijuana, along with fentanyl test strips, this week.

A campaign seeking to pass Colorado Springs, Colorado ballot measures allowing recreational marijuana sales has raised more than $1 million.

The Boston, Massachusetts Cannabis Board will meet on Wednesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Basel, Switzerland’s marijuana legalization pilot project is being delayed after some products failed quality control tests.

German government officials pushed back on Tilray Brands, Inc.’s framing of a marijuana meeting that the company announced in a press release.

Zimbabwe’s deputy minister of health and child care is encouraging medical cannabis research.

A Thai bill to regulate cannabis and hemp will be introduced imminently.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of New Jersey municipalities found “a positive association between the decision to allow cannabis-related businesses and home prices.”

A study concluded that “cannabis farming was located more often in high and very high [fire hazard severity zone] and closer to wildfire perimeters than any other agricultural type” and that its cultivation “more often occurred in projected (from 2020 to 2100) wildfire hotspots than all other agricultural types.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s time to legalize cannabis in Indiana. @INDems like @GoMcDermott & @SueinMuncie support marijuana because it’ll grow the state’s economy & create a better future for Hoosiers. A vote for a Democrat is a vote for legal cannabis.”

The Dallas Morning News editorial board said state officials are correct to cautiously consider marijuana reform rather than enacting legalization quickly.

The Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research  published an overview of state drug decriminalization proposals.

/ BUSINESS

PharmaCann Inc. is acquiring The Clinic dispensaries.

Flowhub laid off about 15 percent of its workforce.

Cilo Cybin Holdings Ltd. is launching Africa’s first cannabis-focused special purpose acquisition company.

/ CULTURE

Martha Stewart’s company is being sued for allegedly ripping off copyrighted CBD packaging from another business.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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