RI cannabis legalization bills approved for floor votes (Newsletter: May 19, 2022)



MN Senate blocks legal marijuana vote; State regulators push banking; NY hemp bill; MA cannabis sales top $3 billion

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee and House Finance Committee both approved identical marijuana legalization bills, with floor votes on final passage set for next week.

The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate blocked the Democratic minority leader’s motion to bring a marijuana legalization bill to the floor for consideration. The Democratic-run House of Representatives passed legal cannabis last year and Gov. Tim Walz (D) supports the reform.

A group of state marijuana regulators from across the U.S. sent a letter telling congressional leaders that the lack of banking access doesn’t just impact cannabis businesses—it also impedes government agencies themselves by making it harder to get financial services.

The New York Senate and Assembly approved a bill to encourage businesses to use hemp materials for packaging, construction and other industrial purposes.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission reported that the state’s licensed retailers have now sold more than $3 billion worth of legal recreational marijuana products since sales launched. The $2 billion mark was crossed just eight months ago.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prosecutors charged a former president and CEO of the Anaheim, California Chamber of Commerce with scheming to defraud a cannabis company that retained a political consultant to lobby for favorable legislation.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act gives legal cannabis businesses equal access to banking services. I proudly stand with my colleagues in calling for this legislation to be taken up in the Senate. “

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) spoke about the popularity of medical cannabis and the failure of Kentucky lawmakers to pass legislation on the issue this session.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) tweeted that illegal marijuana cultivation operations “steal water, poison wildlife, trash our wildlands and pose a grave threat to nearby residents.”

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) tweeted, “While many people can use marijuana without it leading to problematic behavior, those who have mental health challenges—especially young people—will be at an increased risk of severe impacts.”

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) reiterated his support for legislation on his desk to felonize fentanyl possession, but attempted to disconnect it from the war on drugs, which he says he opposes. Separately, regulators issued an expanded health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold contamination in marijuana products produced by Fresh Baked, LLC.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) reacted to this week’s primary elections, citing medical cannabis as an issue that candidates should embrace.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved a large-scale bill on marijuana equity and other cannabis issues.

The Louisiana Senate Health & Welfare Committee approved a bill to shift regulatory responsibility for the medical cannabis program and allow dispensaries to open satellite locations.

A Wisconsin senator posted, “While Wisconsin remains an island of prohibition, our neighbors in Michigan are breaking cannabis sales records.”

An Illinois judge ordered regulators to conduct simulated lotteries for marijuana businesses who say they were improperly excluded from being prior lotteries for retail licenses.

A lawsuit challenging Utah regulators’ denial of a medical cannabis cultivation license was dismissed by a federal judge.

The New York Dormitory Authority issued requests for proposals relating to the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Program.

California regulators are proposing to readopt emergency rules on providing waivers for cannabis licensing fees.

New Mexico regulators apologized for confusion about cannabis taxes.

Oklahoma regulators posted an update on medical cannabis legislation.


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

The Princeton, New Jersey Council set aside a proposal to allow marijuana retail businesses.

Denver, Colorado officials removed Lincoln Park from the list of neighborhoods with an undue concentration for cannabis cultivation facilities.

Albany, New York is seeking applicants to serve on the Local Cannabis Advisory Committee.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK House of Commons Home Affairs Committee held a second hearing on evidence-based drug policies.

The European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development discussed hemp rules.

The Israeli Agriculture Ministry announced the country’s first export of cannabis seeds to the U.S.

The Philippine Commission on Human Rights is calling on police to be more transparent about extrajudicial killings in the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoids represent a promising approach because they have been proven to exhibit several immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties in COVID-19 disease models and related pathological conditions.”

A study found that “acute cannabigerol administration lowers blood pressure in mice.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Ohio voters found that 81 percent think drug use and addiction is a public health issue, while 15 percent say it is a criminal justice issue.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is investigating allegations that one of its board members tookfinancial advantage of an elderly Holocaust survivor.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $214.4 million and a net loss of $23.7 million.

Tilray Brands, Inc. attempted to acquire HEXO Corp., but was rejected.

Canopy Growth Corporation announced a plan to acquire Lemurian, Inc.

Metrc hired a new CEO and made other leadership moves.

Aurora Cannabis is closing additional facilities in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.

An award in an ownership dispute over Native Roots was vacated by a Colorado judge.

/ CULTURE

Sacha Baron Cohen agreed to dismiss the lawsuit he brought against cannabis company Solar Therapeutics Inc. for allegedly using his Borat likeness on a billboard without permission.

U.S. officials are pushing to have regular contact with American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia after allegedly being caught with cannabis vapes at an airport.

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