KY gov announces medical cannabis plan (Newsletter: April 22, 2022)



NJ marijuana sales begin; ME Senate approves psilocybin bill, but House defeats; CO & OH AGs push Senate for banking; WI 4/20 medical cannabis hearing

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced that in light of the Senate refusing to take up a House-passed medical cannabis bill he’s forming a panel to officially study the issue while he considers a possible executive order on patient access.

The Maine Senate approved a bill to legalize psilocybin for medical use this week—but the House of Representatives refused to go along, killing the measure for the year. The sponsor tells Marijuana Moment she’ll try again next session and that the issue could eventually end up on the ballot via a voter initiative.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and top lawmakers celebrated the launch of recreational marijuana sales in the state at an event at a dispensary—while acknowledging the delays in getting the market off the ground following voters’ approval of a 2020 legalization ballot referendum.

The bipartisan attorneys general of Colorado and Ohio sent a letter urging Senate leaders to join the House in passing marijuana banking legislation.

The Wisconsin Senate Insurance, Licensing and Forestry Committee held a 4/20 hearing on a limited medical cannabis bill—but it’s not getting a vote since the legislative session is already effectively over.

A proposed Ohio marijuana legalization initiative could generate up to $375 million in annual tax revenue for the state, according to a new analysis from Ohio State University’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy published the Biden administration’s first  National Drug Control Strategy.

Customs and Border Protection sent a press release bragging about “crush[ing] Brits 420 Day kush” with a bust at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) tweeted, “Cannabis stores in WA state are forced to operate in cash only—which is impacting the industry’s ability to fully participate in the economy and has become dangerous for owners and employers. We can and need to fix this–that’s why I’m working to pass the #SAFEBankingAct.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “I am proud to see New Jersey continue to take the lead on issues of cannabis legalization and restorative justice. The federal government is out of step with states and popular opinion. Congress must act.”

The House Financial Services Committee tweeted, “The #SAFEbankingAct will help cannabis biz’s by getting them access to bank & credit union services. Currently small cannabis biz’s are forced to operate w/cash only, making them targets for theft. This legislation has passed the House w/bipartisan support multiple times.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Thank you @JayInslee & @BobFergusonAG for your support of #SAFEBanking. It’s past time to get the #SAFEBankingAct across the finish line as an immediate solution to get cash off our streets & ensure state-legal, legitimate businesses can operate like any other type of business.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) tweeted, “While these New Jerseyans wait in line to buy cannabis, others are in prison for the very same act. It’s time to expunge records for cannabis convictions. Every. Single. One.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “Today, recreational marijuana sales began in New Jersey, allowing the state to tax and regulate recreational marijuana. Congress prohibits DC from doing so, but #DCStatehood would free DC from congressional interference.”

/ STATES

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) said he supports a House-passed bill to seal prior marijuana convictions.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said he opposes increasing the number of medical cannabis business licenses.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) said he did “not celebrate” 4/20, but touted efforts to improve the medical cannabis program. Separately, the legislature’s Management Committee voted to create a commission to review the medical marijuana program.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tweeted, “The #SAFEBankingAct is an immediate solution to get cash off our streets and ensure state-legal, legitimate businesses can operate like any other type of business. Thank you @RepPerlmutter  for leading the way!” Separately, regulators issued a health and safety advisory about yeast and mold levels in marijuana products produced by Fresh Baked, LLC.

Minnesota Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul Gazelka, currently a state senator, tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis should not be the priority of Minnesota’s governor when inflation has stripped so many families of their purchasing power and when many live in fear of increased crime close to home.”

Tennessee Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Smiley, Jr. tweeted, “Tennessee schools have been underfunded for years, and our students have suffered as a result. But there’s a solution to that problem: Marijuana legalization. Legalizing it in Tennessee will bring in millions in tax revenue that we can put towards our students. So let’s do it.”

Two groups of Arkansas activists say they’ve collected roughly half the signatures they need to qualify marijuana legalization initiatives for the ballot.

Idaho activists announced that they failed to collect enough signatures to qualify a medical cannabis initiative for the November ballot.

Nebraska activists met with Snoop Dogg to discuss medical cannabis initiatives they are working to qualify for the ballot.

The Montana legislature’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee met to discuss the state’s recreational marijuana program.

Ohio regulators are moving to change the definition of THC to include more than just delta-9 THC.

The director of New York’s Office of Cannabis Management defended the move to prioritize marijuana retail licenses for people with past convictions.

Hawaii’s Dual Use of Cannabis Task Force will hold its first meeting on Monday.

Nevada regulators will hold a board meeting on Tuesday.


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.

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/ LOCAL

The Huntsville, Alabama City Council discussed a proposal to decriminalize marijuana.

The Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney will move to expunge more marijuana cases on Friday.

The Great Falls, Montana City Commission voted to put a referendum on recreational marijuana sales on the ballot.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) expressed concerns about the legalization of marijuana, saying it’s a “deteriorating substance.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is reviewing the prior government’s decisions on medical cannabis and kratom.

UK’s Food Standards Agency sent a reminder of a May 26 deadline for companies to submit evidence that CBD products are linked to a credible application and were on the market before February 2020.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study demonstrated that “CBD, but not CBDA, reduces METH sensitisation of locomotor activity in rats at pharmacologically effective doses, thus reinforcing evidence that CBD has anti-addiction and antipsychotic properties.”

A study concluded that “time was remembered as passing significantly more quickly than normal during alcohol, cocaine and MDMA use” and that “marijuana was associated with time passing more slowly than normal.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Kentucky Democratic Party tweeted, “Legalizing medical cannabis is the right thing to do for patients suffering from chronic health issues — but Republican legislators still refuse to act. That’s why @GovAndyBeshear just announced he’s launching a process to explore what he can do as governor to move this forward.”

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “#420Day may be over, but @INDems support for legal cannabis is not. About 60% of southern Michigan’s cannabis revenue comes from Hoosiers. These tax dollars belong in Indiana, and the @indgop’s partisanship is stopping this common-sense plan.” It also tweeted, “The @indgop claims to be pro-business but their partisanship is leaving millions on the table. Legalizing cannabis would establish a cash crop for farmers, bring in millions for the state, and create jobs for workers. @INDems are ready to deliver this for the state. #LegalizeIN”

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “The truth behind the prohibition of marijuana has nothing to do with safety and a lot to do with this man, Harry Anslinger. It’s time to right the wrongs of decades old racist policy and #legALizeit.”

The New York Republican Party tweeted, “Unbelievable crime numbers! Robberies are up 72%📈 Grand Larcenies up 110%📈 Assaults up 28%📈  But Democrats spent yesterday tweeting about 4/20 and marijuana.🙄 #VoteThemOut”

The Florida Republican Party tweeted, “@NikkiFried’s history of marijuana lobbying goes beyond public policy and straight to her bank account. She’s financially benefited from marijuana profits and now using her official office to sue the Biden Admin to further her own agenda. This unfortunately is not #somethingnew.”

The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “​​NEW JERSEY: Today’s the day! Gov. Murphy knows that legalized cannabis will be an engine for economic growth — and will help move NJ towards economic and social equity.”

Texas NORML published a report on marijuana arrests in the state.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp is closing its Belleville, Ontario, Canada facility, a move it says will impact about 230 employees.

A Green Dragon worker who said he was retaliated against for union organizing efforts spoke out in a video.

Michigan retailers sold more than $15.5 million worth of legal marijuana products on 4/20.

/ CULTURE

U.S. officials do not appear to be giving the case of basketball player Brittney Griner, who is jailed in Russia after allegedly being caught with cannabis vape cartridges, the treatment usually reserved for those whom the government believes are being wrongfully detained.

Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon and other late night hosts did 4/20 bits.

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