Congress “very close” to passing cannabis bill, Schumer says (Newsletter: November 1, 2022)



MD marijuana referendum leads in poll; New AR cannabis campaign ads; Study: Legalization “protective” in lung injury outbreak

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said during a debate that he’s working with “a bunch of Republican senators” on a marijuana banking and expungements bill that could be approved by Congress “rather soon.”

A new poll found that 63 percent of Maryland likely voters plan to support the marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot—including majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents.

With a little more than a week to go before Election Day, the Arkansas marijuana legalization campaign released a series of new ads focusing on the benefits of the policy change for job creation, police, parents and cannabis consumers.

Louisiana’s Employment and Medical Marijuana Task Force heard testimony from a former nurse who said testing positive for cannabis in a pre-employment drug screen destroyed her 12-year career.

A new study indicated that marijuana legalization provided a “protective” factor against lung injuries in a 2019 outbreak, with consumers in states that ended prohibition being “likely to obtain cannabis from legal sources, reducing the risk of contamination.”

  • “Although cannabis vaping prevalence was low in states with prohibitive cannabis laws, individuals from such states may more likely obtain cannabis from illegal sources, increasing their risk of using contaminated products and hence the higher prevalence of EVALI cases in such states.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted that electing Texas Democratic congressional candidate Greg Casar will help to legalize marijuana, among other priorities.

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) said warnings about kids being given candy-colored fentanyl for Halloween “could be another conspiracy theory.”

Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY) said during a debate that marijuana should be rescheduled and discussed his support for banking legislation. Republican challenger La’Ron Singletary said cannabis should be removed from Schedule I.

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Cheri Beasley, a former state Supreme Court chief justice, tweeted that opponent Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) “voted against the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill, which included specific provisions to boost North Carolina’s hemp, cotton, and textile industries, and livestock.”

/ STATES

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) spoke against the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot at an event hosted by the Arkansas Farm Bureau, Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Arkansas Trucking Association. Separately, a senator tweeted, “Issue 4 gives control of our state’s marijuana industry to a small number of companies, limiting competition and potentially meaning higher prices for patients and consumers. The measure also ends the requirement that these companies be majority-owned by Arkansans.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, tweeted, “As governor, I’ll fight for your rights – whether it’s medical freedoms, the freedom to access marijuana to treat PTSD, or the freedom to spend your hard-earned money how you’d like.”

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, tweeted, “We’re going to legalize marijuana in the state of Texas.”

New York’s attorney general published a brochure on expunging marijuana convictions.

A spokesperson for Rhode Island’s House speaker defended the top lawmaker’s appointments to serve on the Cannabis Control Commission amid concerns over reports that a now-resigned staffer was involved in a marijuana business that was shut down by regulators and shared not-yet-public details about cannabis policy developments, including with a mob associate.

A California senator called Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) veto of his bill to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs “absurd” and said he is considering restructuring separate legislation to legalize psychedelics so it would only cover “plant-based” substances.

A North Carolina representative tweeted, “In the United States, two-thirds of voters support legalizing marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Roughly 64% agree that it has positive health effects. It’s time to legalize it.”

Alaska regulators proposed rules on exterior window pickup for marijuana dispensaries.

Alabama regulators published guidance about CBD in food.

The Ohio State Medical Board published a survey on physicians’ views of the effectiveness of medical cannabis in treating a variety of conditions.

Pennsylvania officials are touting the availability of specialty crop block grants that can be used to support hemp projects.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture posted about the manager of the state hemp program graduating from the Governor’s Leadership Academy.


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 the city added legislative priorities for Kansas lawmakers this year, including marijuana reform.

St. Louis, Missouri’s mayor is urging voters to reject the marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s November ballot, tweeting, “We deserve better! Vote NO on Amend 3.”

New York City’s cannabis director spoke about efforts to provide economic opportunities in the newly legal industry.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Virgin’s Richard Branson declined an invitation from Singapore’s home affairs minister to debate the country’s use of the death penalty for drug offenses.

Uruguayan activists held a smokeout outside of the Supreme Court of Justice to protest the criminalization of people who grow cannabis for personal use.

A member of the Western Australian Parliament is touring European countries to study their cannabis laws.

A Birmingham, England train station was evacuated over a cannabis grinder that looks like a hand grenade.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “different cannabinoids have been demonstrated to be helpful against harmful bacteria, including Gram-positive bacteria.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. adults found that President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons make 34 percent want to vote for Democrats more and 23 percent want to vote for Democrats less, with 43 percent saying it will have no effect on how they vote.

A poll of Texas voters found that they support legalizing marijuana, 56 percent to 34 percent, and back medical cannabis, 72 percent to 19 percent.

The North Dakota Catholic Conference is urging voters to reject the state’s marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The Maine Cannabis Industry Association PAC’s sole campaign contributions went to support Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage, a former governor who delayed the launch of voter-approved recreational marijuana sales during his last stint in office.

The Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition sent a questionnaire to state House and Senate candidates.

Ann Coulter said the “obvious explanation” for the attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is that the alleged perpetrator is “a pothead.”

/ BUSINESS

SHF Holdings, Inc., d/b/a/ Safe Harbor Financial, is acquiring Rockview Digital Solutions, Inc d/b/a Abaca.

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