NY gov signs marijuana licensing bill; UT psychedelics study advances; FL legalization poll; NM insurers pressed to cover medical cannabis; AZ sales
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The U.S. Supreme Court is asking the solicitor general to weigh in on two medical cannabis workers compensation cases it is considering taking up. State courts have reached differing decisions on the issue.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) signed a bill to give temporary marijuana business licenses to hemp growers and processors to help the state prepare for a timely launch of the adult-use market. There are equity, labor and sustainability requirements for participants.
The Utah Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to create a task force to study and make recommendations on the therapeutic uses of psychedelics such as psilocybin for treating mental health disorders. The legislation has already passed the full House.
A new poll found that three out of four Florida voters support legalizing marijuana—including majorities across party, age, sex and racial demographic groups.
New Mexico cannabis company Ultra Health sent a letter urging insurance companies to cover the cost of medical cannabis for certain patients, a move it argues is required under a new state law.
The Arizona Department of Revenue reported that consumers purchased more than $1.4 billion worth of marijuana products in 2021, the first year of legal adult-use sales. The new figures include sales of medical cannabis as well.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis and expunging non-violent convictions isn’t just a criminal justice issue — it’s a health and economic issue too. I’m fighting alongside @CPeoplesStokes to ensure communities which were disproportionately harmed are able to benefit from this growing industry.”
A spokesperson for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said there needs to be more research on “the potential public health consequences of legalization.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Today, 81% of the cannabis industry is dominated by white business owners— yet thousands of people of color serve time for marijuana-related offenses. It’s long past time for my colleagues in Congress to join me in the fight to right this injustice.”
Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “It’s time for Congress to act on achievable, incremental #cannabis reform that can build the bipartisan consensus necessary to become law and improve millions of lives.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) cheered law enforcement actions against medical cannabis businesses that officials say were diverting products to the illegal market. The state’s top medical marijuana regulator said the raids should serve as a “warning.”
Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Danielle Neuschwanger said Gov. Jared Polis (D) “belongs in a jail cell” for “taking money out of your pockets and lining marijuana companies’ pockets.”
Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, a former Cincinnati mayor, tweeted, “If we want to talk about government overreach, let’s talk about decades of locking up Black and brown men for smoking marijuana. It’s time we legalize it and invest that revenue back into good-paying jobs for Ohioans.”
Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, currently the attorney general, tweeted, “1. Legalize recreational marijuana. 2. Expunge the records of those serving time for non-violent marijuana offenses. 3. Boost our economy. It’s that simple.”
South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, discussed his support for legalizing marijuana.
Here’s a look at where Texas gubernatorial candidates stand on marijuana reform.
A Nebraska medical cannabis campaign committee reported that as of the end of January, it had received $68,000 in cash contributions and spent about $38,000.
The Kansas House of Representatives approved a hemp testing and seed bill.
The Oregon Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue Committee approved a bill to allow municipalities to increase local marijuana taxes. Separately, the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation voted to divert at least $26 million from substance misuse treatment and toward police to combat illegal cannabis cultivation, but lawmakers say the move will be reversed.
The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to allow regulators to require medical cannabis businesses to maintain motion activated video surveillance.
The Wyoming Senate Labor, Health & Social Services Committee rejected a bill that would have allowed prosecutors to bring felony charges against pregnant women who consume illegal drugs.
Washington State lawmakers unveiled a budget plan that directs $125 million to reinvestment grants for communities harmed by the war on drugs.
Maryland’s House Judiciary Committee chairman spoke about his marijuana legalization legislation that’s expected to get floor votes this week.
A Missouri representative who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill says the policy change “is coming whether we want to do it this way or not.”
A California senator tweeted, “Harm reduction — including safe needle & paraphernalia programs — is a proven strategy to reduce infections & overdose deaths. Yet conservatives continue to work to criminalize them & prop up the failed War on Drugs. How about we just follow the science?”
Florida regulators are asking a judge to permanently ban a doctor from recommending medical cannabis following an undercover investigation that involved undercover agents posing as patients.
Nevada regulators met to act on marijuana business issues.
Utah regulators sent an update on the medical cannabis program.
The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.
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.
The Seattle, Washington City Council Finance & Housing Committee hosted a discussion about equity in the marijuana industry.
Denver, Colorado officials sent a notice to marijuana businesses about the launch of a statewide program that “provides free technical assistance, connections to resources and supports organizations throughout the state in increasing operational efficiency and sustainability.”
The European Commission validated several applications to sell CBD products.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that body mass index “may partially account for the apparent anti-inflammatory effects of cannabis use.”
A review concluded that cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system are “a promising therapeutic intervention for multiple sclerosis.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable says it is “deeply troubled about the increasing proliferation of products that are sold under the guise of the hemp name but that are marketed for their intoxicating effect.”
MedMen plans to amend legal filings to withdraw certain claims it made about Ascend Wellness allegedly pressuring New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) office over a deal for the latter company to acquire the former company’s operations in the state.
HEXO Corp. reached an agreement with an aggrieved shareholder to refresh its board of directors.
Ayr Wellness Inc. is launching a series of record expungement clinics to take place on Sunday.
Wiz Khalifa’s cannabis brand, Khalifa Kush, will be exclusively produced, processed and sold by Trulieve Cannabis Corp. in Florida and northeast markets.
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