House speaker pledges cannabis vote in committee (Newsletter: May 1, 2023)

House speaker pledges cannabis vote in committee (Newsletter: May 1, 2023)

MN Senate passes legal marijuana; Schumer & key chairman talk SAFE Banking; CO psychedelics bill nears gov’s desk

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Minnesota Senate passed a marijuana legalization bill—days after a companion measure was approved by the House of Representatives. Lawmakers will now convene in a bicameral conference committee to reconcile differences before final legislation can be sent to Gov. Tim Walz (D).

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agreed to hold a committee vote on her bill to federally legalize marijuana in exchange for her support for his debt ceiling plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praised the reintroduction of a marijuana banking bill in a floor speech, but said it is a “moral responsibility” to add in provisions to “undo the terrible damage caused by the War on Drugs” before it passes.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said committee consideration of a newly introduced marijuana bill is being delayed because banking industry representatives are trying to use the legislation to “weaken bank rules” and “undermine” regulations.

  • Meanwhile, as the reintroduced SAFE Banking Act is getting praise from the usual cannabis and financial services industry suspects, some equity advocates are also celebrating new changes to the text while maintaining that more are needed.

The Colorado House of Representatives amended and passed a Senate bill to regulate psychedelics under a voter-approved legalization law.  Among newly approved amendments is one clarifying that using psychedelics isn’t a violation of probation or parole. The measure now heads back to the other body for concurrence and then, potentially, to the governor’s desk.

Revelations about the Oregon secretary of state’s consulting work for the marijuana industry are raising questions about a new audit her office published about preparing the state for federal legalization.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and lawmakers are in talks about convening a special session to prevent the expiration of drug criminalization laws in the state on July 1.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission held what is likely to be its last meeting ever as Gov. Wes Moore (D) prepares to sign a legal marijuana regulation bill that will transfer oversight to a new independent body that will also regulate recreational sales.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden commuted the sentences of 31 people with drug convictions, several for marijuana.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) cited a retiring Washington State public official’s work to legalize medical cannabis in a floor speech.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) tweeted, “Expungement *and* legalization — it’s a great day to be a Minnesotan.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) inserted remarks into the Congressional Record about the introduction of marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Nikki Budzinski (D-IL) tweeted that she is “standing in solidarity” with Rise workers who are on strike.

Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA) posted photos of a “Crawfish and Cannabis” event he hosted.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) spoke at a National Cannabis Roundtable event.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 20.

The House bill to allow CBD as a food ingredient got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

/ STATES

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced that a budget agreement she reached with lawmakers includes measures focused on “expanding the enforcement powers of the Office of Cannabis Management and Department of Taxation and Finance to further grow the legal marketplace for cannabis, including levying fines on illegal retail operations and closing those shops down.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) authorized the assignment of Highway Patrol and National Guard personnel to an operation to combat fentanyl in San Francisco.

Kansas lawmakers sent Gov. Laura Kelly (D) a bill to decriminalize fentanyl test strips.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader launched her statewide “Grass Routes” tour about cannabis.

The Colorado Senate Health and Human Services Committee rejected a bill to allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

A Florida judge told a defendant in a misdemeanor DUI case that she could no longer use medical cannabis.

Georgia medical cannabis sales began.

Washington State regulators published a bulletin on financial agreements between cannabis producers, processors and retailers.

Oregon regulators published a bulletin about rules changes concerning artificially derived CBN products.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture extended the deadline to apply for hemp licenses.


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.
House speaker pledges cannabis vote in committee (Newsletter: May 1, 2023)
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/ LOCAL

Seattle, Washington’s city attorney and some City Council members are proposing a measure to ban drug use in public places.

A New York City police officer who was fired over a positive marijuana test is suing, claiming that hemp soap is to blame.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Dutch minister of health, welfare and sport visited Canada to learn about the country’s system of legal regulation for marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that medical cannabis “may improve motor and nonmotor symptoms in patients with [Parkinson’s disease] and may allow for reduction of concomitant opioid medication use.

A study of mice found that “endogenous [cannabinoid receptor 2] activation plays an anti-tumorigenic role in non-melanoma skin carcinogenesis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann joined the board of directors of Green Thumb Industries Inc.

MN is Ready is reportedly being sued by hemp industry stakeholders for defamation, interference with economic interest and emotional distress related to a dispute over the provisions of pending Minnesota marijuana legalization legislation.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s North Carolina affiliate launched a push against a pending medical cannabis legalization bill in the state.

/ BUSINESS

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected Canopy Growth Corp.’s request to reconsider a lower court ruling in favor of GW Pharma Ltd. and GW Research Ltd. in a patent infringement suit that Canopy filed.

Awakn Life Sciences Corp.  reported quarterly revenue of C$471,813.

Organigram Inc. is asking a Canadian court to overturn federal officials’ decision to classify the company’s cannabis lozenges as edibles instead of extracts.

/ CULTURE

Roy Wood, Jr. joked at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that former President Donald Trump’s recent arrest is “like a pot brownie you ate four hours ago.” 

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