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DE legal cannabis effort revived after House defeat (Newsletter: April 7, 2022)


Navy’s hemp drink warning; CO psychedelics bills: One passes, one dies; State marijuana tax revenue report; Study: Legalization reduces foster care

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Delaware representative who sponsored a marijuana legalization bill that fell narrowly short on the House floor last month has a new two-track approach to first legalize possession and then pass separate legislation to regulate cannabis sales. New tentative support for the latter measure from the House speaker, who otherwise opposes legalization, could push it along.

Naval War College officials sent a warning claiming that a new hemp seed oil-infused Rockstar Energy drink from Pepsi “will cause you and your Sailors to pop-positive on drug tests.”

The Colorado House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee approved a bill to legalize MDMA therapy in the state when it gets federal Food and Drug Administration approval. The panel also defeated a separate psychedelics task force bill at the sponsor’s request as activists pursue legalization ballot measures.

A new Marijuana Policy Project report found that states generated more than $3.7 billion in tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales in 2021. That doesn’t even include medical cannabis sales, application and licensing fees or industry worker income taxes.

A new study found that legalizing marijuana is tied to at least a 10 percent decrease in foster care admissions, including reductions in placements for physical abuse, neglect, parental incarceration and misuse of alcohol and other drugs. It also estimated that foster care systems would see $675 million a year in cost savings under national legalization.

/ FEDERAL

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta testified in a lawsuit accusing pharmaceutical manufacturers of contributing to the opioid crisis.

The Forest Service sent a reminder that marijuana is still banned in the Santa Fe National Forest despite New Mexico’s legalization law.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said licensed hemp businesses are eligible for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to cannabis prohibition. That’s why @SenBooker,@RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end federal the prohibition and undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said she is “going to keep pushing the DEA and Biden Administration for answers” on a case where terminally ill cancer patients are seeking access to psilocybin therapy under the “Right to Try” law.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted, “It is time to legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge past convictions.”

House Democrats tweeted, “Black & Latino people serving long sentences while others make millions in profit is unjust. That’s why House Democrats passed the MORE Act to: ✅Expunge records. ✅Prioritize those harmed by the War on Drugs in the legal market. ✅Decriminalize cannabis federally. #WeNeedMORE”

Rep. David Price (D-NC) tweeted, “As a proud cosponsor, I am pleased that the House has passed the MORE Act. This comprehensive bill will: ➡️Decriminalize cannabis on the federal level ➡️Expunge records of past cannabis charges ➡️Expand cannabis research ➡️Invest in communities most impacted by the War on Drugs”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “Overall, Black Americans are 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite using at near-identical rates. Legalizing pot is a civil rights issue. We passed the MORE Act to legalize marijuana in the House last week. Time for the Senate to act.”

Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ) tweeted, “The majority of Americans agree—we’ve got millions of people serving time for outdated marijuana charges, which do nothing to get people back on their feet. By passing the #MOREact we are moving towards a smarter, more compassionate approach to our criminal justice system.”

Louisiana Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers said the image of a cannabis consumer in 2022 should be “a United States senator.”

The Senate bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) spoke about his support for marijuana reform in an interview on the National Cannabis Industry Association’s podcast.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, spoke about her support for legalizing marijuana.

The Louisiana House of Representatives approved a bill to make it illegal to smoke or vape marijuana in a moving vehicle.

The Washington, D.C. Council sent a press release about members’ decision not to act on cannabis legislation.

The Missouri House Special Committee on Criminal Justice held a hearing on a resolution to put a marijuana legalization referendum on the ballot. Separately, a former state Supreme Court chief justice and a former lawmaker coauthored an op-ed arguing that the legislature should pass a marijuana legalization bill instead of letting activists put the issue on the ballot.

Massachusetts senators have filed more than 30 amendments ahead of a Thursday debate on a marijuana reform bill.

A Pennsylvania court ruled that being a medical cannabis patient is not an affirmative defense to a driving under the influence charge. Separately, the chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee authored an op-ed about his support for legalizing marijuana.

The Maryland Court of Special Appeals admonished defense attorneys to not confuse marijuana decriminalization with legalization when trying to suppress evidence found in police searches.

A New Mexico judge ordered regulators to allow a cannabis producer to sell some untainted cannabis products after others were found to contain mold.

Michigan regulators launched a new monthly cannabis business disciplinary action report.

The New York Department of Labor posted a new webpage on cannabis industry workforce development. And regulators posted a new webpage with information on the cannabis excise taxes. Separately, a senator plans to announce legislation on Thursday to require cannabis businesses to create a plan to invest in communities disproportionately impacted by the drug war.

Iowa regulators posted a report on the medical cannabidiol program.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already 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

A New York City nonprofit plans to open two new safe consumption sites for illegal drugs, doubling the number in the city.

Cleveland, Ohio’s mayor signed a motion seeking the expungement of more than 4,000 marijuana convictions.

Madison, Mississippi is opting out of allowing medical cannabis businesses.

The Surfside Beach, South Carolina Planning Commission is considering a proposed ordinance to ban medical cannabis businesses if state legalization legislation is enacted.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malaysia’s health minister said the government is ready to assist with medical cannabis research.

South Korea’s Constitutional Court ruled it is constitutional to punish people who bring marijuana into the country, regardless of how they end up possessing it.

British Columbia, Canada officials launched a public consultation on cannabis consumption spaces.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “nearly two-thirds of survey respondents, comprised of Canadians living with [multiple sclerosis], have tried medical cannabis at least once and that those with a greater disease burden were more likely to have tried it,” while “users reported that cannabis is moderately to highly effective in treating several symptoms and that adverse effects are not generally severe.”

Researchers developed a “new grafting method for medicinal Cannabis that improved yield in THC2 and required no additional cultivation time.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Mexico Democratic Party tweeted, “Based on estimates, state and local tax income from recreational cannabis will be around $50 million in its first year. This is a massive win for New Mexico, as this money will be distributed to state and local governments throughout the state.” It also tweeted, “Nearly 100 businesses owned by people of color have already been licensed for recreational cannabis. @Michelle4NM has been making sure that the recreational cannabis industry in NM includes opportunities for BIPOC who historically have been boxed out.”

/ BUSINESS

Tilray Brands, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $152 million.

Labatt Breweries is ceasing operations of its Fluent Beverages company that focused on making CBD drinks.

Tyler Technologies, Inc. signed a contract to provide a medical cannabis licensing platform for Mississippi.

Missouri dispensaries sold more than $30 million worth of medical cannabis in March, a new monthly record.

/ CULTURE

Killer Mike tweeted about his new Weedmaps-backed cannabis TV series launching on 4/20.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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