Senator talks “SAFE Plus” cannabis bill (Newsletter: September 9, 2022)



DC officials press Congress to allow marijuana sales; IL 2022 cannabis market tops $1B; Congressman: psychedelics are a “game changer”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) revealed details about what might be in the “SAFE Banking Plus” marijuana legislation package—but a top federal official with the Credit Union National Administration said he doesn’t think Congress has enough time left to pass any cannabis reforms this year.

Nine members of the Washington, D.C. Council sent a letter urging congressional leaders to finally delete a rider that has prevented officials in the nation’s capital from legalizing and regulating recreational marijuana sales.

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) told Marijuana Moment in an interview that the therapeutic potential of psychedelics is a “game changer” but that it’s “embarrassing” how slow some of his colleagues have been to evolve on the issue.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported that the state has already hit $1 billion in recreational marijuana sales for the year—two months ahead of when that milestone was reached in 2021. There has now been more than $3 billion worth of adult-use cannabis sold since the market launched in 2020.

Data from Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension shows that Black people in the state are nearly five times as likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people despite similar use rates.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he thinks President Joe Biden “understands the larger issues at play” with marijuana reform and he’s “encouraged by that.”

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said he’s “not a great fan of marijuana use.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “Black Americans are 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession compared to white Americans, despite similar usage. Legalizing marijuana is a civil rights issue. Our office is a proud cosponsor of the MORE Act to decriminalize cannabis and expunge records.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Robin Fulford tweeted, “There are people serving life sentences for quantities of marijuana now legal in those states, but Trump smuggled nuclear secrets and had them basically smashed in the bottom of his backpack, and he’s chillin’ in his la-Z-boy drinking Diet Coke, yelling at his Fox Soaps.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Marijuana should be legal. We’re offering second chances for those harmed by marijuana criminalization.” The lieutenant governor tweeted, “We may not be able to legalize marijuana without the legislature, but @GovernorTomWolf and I are doing all we can to make sure people with minor possession convictions don’t continue to be punished for doing something most of [us] don’t even think should be illegal.” The state’s official Twitter account also promoted the cannabis pardon program.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) office reacted to advocates’ concerns about marijuana equity, saying that he “looks forward to continuing to work with the General Assembly on streamlining the process and helping social equity applicants enter and thrive in the industry.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) is promoting a campaign committee that is trying to defeat the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

Oregon Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan said she wants to re-refer a voter-approved drug decriminalization measure back to the ballot for reconsideration. Separately, the state’s Task Force on Cannabis-Derived Intoxicants and Illegal Cannabis Production’s Law Enforcement Subcommittee will meet on Friday.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner is pushing back against new medical cannabis dosage restrictions instituted by regulators.

A Missouri judge held a hearing on a lawsuit that seeks to remove a marijuana legalization initiative from the November ballot.

Colorado regulators filed proposed changes to marijuana rules.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board delayed action on a proposal to enact a THC potency cap on medical cannabis products.

New Jersey arrests for selling small amounts of marijuana dropped significantly since legalization.

California officials canceled the rollout of a machine learning program that could automatically detect cannabis cultivation using satellite, public records show.

U.S. Virgin Islands regulators held a town hall meeting on marijuana rules.

Michigan regulators published a monthly report on disciplinary actions taken against marijuana businesses.

South Carolina regulators published a list of permitted hemp brokers.

New Jersey regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Friday.


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

The Johnson City, New York Village Board passed legislation to regulate where safe consumption sites for illegal drugs could be located if they are allowed under state law.

Evanston, Illinois’s mayor sent a letter urging more marijuana dispensaries to open in the city to bolster revenues that can be directed to the local reparations program.

New York City officials seized more vehicles that were allegedly involved in illegal marijuana sales.

Denver, Colorado officials are threatening to suspend or revoke the licenses of three marijuana businesses over alleged inventory tracking violations.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Cayman Islands Premier Wayne Panton said the government is considering putting a marijuana decriminalization referendum on the ballot next year.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro touted his government’s resistance to legalizing drugs.

The Czech Republic’s national anti-drug coordinator is preparing marijuana legalization legislation, and wants to see coordination on the issue across the European Union.

Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global is dropping its investments in Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, Cronos Group and Tilray Brands, along with those in tobacco companies.

The Philippine government is arguing that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction to investigate the country’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “there is evidence for the effects of cannabinoids on ADHD symptoms as well as the influence of the cannabinoid system on involvement in neurological and psychiatric disorders.”

A study “did not observe any consistent associations between cannabis use on any semen parameters in Asian-American men.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Germans support legalizing marijuana sales, 61 percent to 39 percent.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund tweeted, “Legalizing recreational cannabis alone does nothing to right past racial wrongs and the outcomes of the War on Drugs.”

The USA Today editorial board again called for federal marijuana legalization, highlighting the unique challenges faced by cannabis businesses.

The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation published a paper “designed to showcase the emergence of cannabis-focused educational programming within American colleges and universities.”

A co-founder of the Society for Psychedelic Outreach, Reform and Education authored an op-ed urging Colorado voters to reject a psychedelics legalization initiative on the November ballot.

/ BUSINESS

Walmart and its Sam’s Club subsidiary are being sued over marijuana tests for job applicants.

Hoodie Analytics and Arcview formed a strategic partnership on retail data.

Bauhaus Brew Labs is launching a line of THC- and CBD-infused beverages.

/ CULTURE

Comedian Pete Holmes spoke about his experiences with cannabis and psychedelics.

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