Newsletter By Tom Angell
The House of Representatives passed marijuana banking legislation for the third time as part of its latest coronavirus relief bill. Standalone cannabis banking legislation has languished in the Republican-controlled Senate without a vote. New Federal Bureau of Investigation data shows that in 2019 there was a decrease in annual U.S. marijuana arrests for the first time in four years—but there’s still one cannabis bust every 58 seconds. Overall, there’s one drug arrest every 20 seconds in this country. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) issued 2,732 pardons for past marijuana convictions. Although the new law he is using allows him to grant clemency to people convicted of possessing up to two ounces of cannabis, he has decided, at least for now, to help only those with records for up to one ounce.
“Too many Coloradans have been followed their entire lives by a conviction for something that is no longer a crime, and these convictions have impacted their job status, housing, and countless other areas of their lives.”
A new TV ad on the air in Oregon touts the benefits of psilocybin therapy as voters in the state decide on a ballot initiative to legalize it. But meanwhile, the measure is drawing unlikely opposition from some psychedelic activists. Filmmaker Kevin Smith is urging voters in his home state of New Jersey to support the marijuana legalization referendum on their ballots.
“Silent Bob says ‘Only you can make the Garden State truly green!’”
/ FEDERAL The National Institute of Justice published a post from a Kentucky forensics lab manager that discusses the difficulty of distinguishing hemp from marijuana. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) mentioned the Justice Department’s investigation of marijuana mergers during a hearing. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again criticized Democrats for mentioning “cannabis” more times than “jobs” in their latest coronavirus relief bill. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask with a cannabis leaf design. Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-TX) tweeted, “This is simply more pot smoke & mirrors from @SpeakerPelosi. We need temporary & targeted assistance for working families that incentivize fully reopening our country & economy, not marijuana banking, union pension bailouts & tax breaks for the liberal donor class in NY & CA.” The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got three new cosponsors for a total of eight. Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mia Mason tweeted, “Ask yourself, why is @RepAndyHarrisMD so against legalization and monetization of Marijuana? He has taken over 70k in donations from big Pharma. Sounds like he wants to make his most important donors happy as they continue to dump addictive painkillers into our communities.” / STATES Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Cannabis prohibition in Pennsylvania presents a moral dilemma. Not only are we wasting money to prosecute people, we’re ruining their lives with criminal charges that stifle them for life.” New York’s Assembly majority leader said she still needs support from 10 more lawmakers before bringing a marijuana legalization bill to the floor. Washington State regulators discussed marijuana quality control rules. Oregon regulators posted information about hemp crop loss due to wildfires. Maryland medical cannabis regulators met. Rhode Island regulators published a frequently asked questions document for medical cannabis testing laboratory license applications. Nebraska regulators published an overview of the fee structure for the state’s hemp program.
Mexico’sSenate majority leader said that certain industries are opposing including hemp in a marijuana legalization bill because it could displace their own goods in the market.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “organizations utilizingdrug testing regimesdo indeed experience decreases in financial performance and tend to have more extreme outcomes on social performance dimensions, with both positive and negative dimensions of social performance increasing or decreasing simultaneously.”
A study found that in legal marijuana stateysales of junk foodincreased by 3.2 percent and 4.5 percent when measured by volume.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll found that 57% ofMaryland adultssupport legalizing marijuana.
TheLawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Lawreleased a toolkit on expunging marijuana records.
Nebraska Families 4 Medical Cannabispublished a voter guide on the state’s legislative elections.
ThePublic Health Association of New Zealandendorsed the country’s marijuana legalization referendum.
TheSalvation Armyis opposing New Zealand’s marijuana legalization referendum but is calling for cannabis decriminalization.
TheNational Association of Cannabis Businessesreleased social equity guidelines.
Canopy Growth Corporation and Acreage Holdings, Inc.announced plans to market THC-infused beverages in the U.S.
Vireo Health International, Inc.sold its Ohio Medical Solutions, LLC assets to Ayr Strategies Inc. for $4.85 million.
Jushi Holdings Inc.reported quarterly expected revenue of $24 million.