OR gov issues mass cannabis pardons (Newsletter: November 22, 2022) – Marijuana Moment

NY’s 1st marijuana dispensary licenses approved; Top fed. drug official: Safe consumption sites save lives; SAFE Plus concerns; Colombian legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) issued pardons for more than 47,000 past marijuana possession convictions.

New York’s Cannabis Control Board voted to approve the state’s first recreational marijuana dispensary licenses— with most going to businesses owned by people harmed by the war on drugs, and others to nonprofit organizations that have a history of helping people re-enter society after having been incarcerated.

  • Regulators also approved a package of proposed new rules for the cannabis industry.

Colombia’s justice minister reiterated that the government supports a marijuana legalization bill that has been advancing in the legislature. The Senate’s First Committee is expected to vote on the legislation on Tuesday.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said evidence shows that safe consumption sites for illegal drugs are “preventing people from dying.” The comments come as the Department of Justice faces a December 5 deadline to respond to litigation over the facilities.

Supernova Women’s Amber Senter argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that the “SAFE Plus” package of cannabis reforms might not add up to justice for communities harmed by cannabis prohibition unless substantial reforms are made to its banking provisions.

  • Simply tying in marijuana expungements to banking—without addressing discrimination that impedes minority-owned businesses’ access to capital—”should not be accepted as a political trade” for passing SAFE, Senter argues.

Iowa’s Medical Cannabidiol Board voted to recommend that lawmakers exempt medical marijuana from sales taxes and further decouple state policy from the federal 280E penalty on cannabis businesses, among other changes.

Oregon’s voter-approved drug decriminalization law is likely to continue being implemented after Democrat Tina Kotek won this month’s gubernatorial election. Her opponents had suggested repealing the reform.

/ FEDERAL

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-KY) sent letters to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies reiterating requests for information about border enforcement, including as it concerns drug smuggling.

In an op-ed, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) criticized House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), whom he unsuccessfully challenged in a leadership race, for not fighting to remove marijuana banking provisions from the National Defense Authorization Act.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Voters in Missouri legalized recreational marijuana under a Republican Governor, House and Senate. No more excuses. It’s time to legalize marijuana nationally.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted about the passage of marijuana research legislation, saying, “I’m proud to have helped pass this important bill out of the @EnergyCommerce and on the House floor to fill the gap in research on the health effects of marijuana and cannabis products.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “A bill to expand medical marijuana research passed the Senate this week and is heading to @POTUS’s desk. It will be the first federal marijuana reform bill to become law. 💪🏽”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “Big news 🔥🍃New @CPEARCoalition report shows 59% of Republican voters in South Carolina support federal cannabis reform!”

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) spoke about the formation of a new psychedelics caucus in Congress that she has been assisting with.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “It’s about darn time we listen to the people and legalize and tax marijuana in Wisconsin, much like we already do with alcohol.”

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) tweeted, “Studies have found a 64% reduction in opioid use among chronic pain patients who use medical cannabis. Here in Kentucky, we know the dangers of opioids all too well. Our people deserve better options.”

Washington, D.C.’s attorney general tweeted, “Happy Birthday, @POTUS! There’s lots to celebrate this year, from important criminal justice efforts like pardoning simple marijuana convictions to historic student debt relief. Thank you.”

A Minnesota representative said he thinks lawmakers will consider marijuana legalization in the new session.

A California senator tweeted about turmoil at Twitter, saying, “Incredible to recall that this all started with a bad marijuana joke.”

The head of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority spoke about the reinvestment of marijuana tax revenue into communities harmed by the war on drugs.

Florida regulators granted GTI Florida, LLC a temporary waiver on a rule concerning carbon dioxide or organic solvents for medical cannabis extraction.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue posted an explainer on the budget’s repeal of the state’s unconstitutional tax on illegal drugs.

Maryland regulators posted answers to frequently asked questions about the state’s new voter-approved marijuana legalization law.

Michigan regulators posted a schedule of public cannabis meetings for 2023.

The Oregon Task Force on Cannabis-Derived Intoxicants and Illegal Cannabis Production’s Funding Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday.


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.


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/ LOCAL

The Jackson County, Oregon Commission voted to send a letter requesting that state regulators limit the number of psilocybin production licenses and require services businesses to have on-site security and emergency medical staff.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s Administrative Court accepted a petition challenging the government’s cannabis policy.

Sri Lanka’s tourism state minister spoke about the economic benefits of marijuana reform.

An Irish lawmaker tweeted, “If there ever was a war on drugs, we’ve lost it. We cannot keep criminalising addiction. We need trauma informed communities, to hold the citizens assembly and to work with families and communities in advance of that.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “terpene-enriched CBD products may provide a preferred approach for treating [autism spectrum disorder] and related conditions.”

A study concluded that “facilitated ayahuasca consumption in naïve participants may precipitate wide-ranging improvements in mental health, relationships, personality structure, and alcohol use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Democratic Mayors Association tweeted, “Last week, Birmingham Mayor @randallwoodfin testified before the @OversightDems Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on how Mayors can reform cannabis laws at the local level and the urgent need to end cannabis prohibition.”

The ACLU cheered Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) move to pardon marijuana convictions, calling it “a move towards justice for people convicted under outdated drug laws that now haven’t been in place for years.”

/ BUSINESS

Lawyers for Jack Daniel’s Properties Inc., in a case it filed against the maker of a dog toy that parodies the whiskey’s signature bottle, argued in a Supreme Court brief that allowing a lower court ruling to stand could allow companies to market “marijuana-infused cookies in packaging that parodies well-known marks.”

Purplefarm Genetics purchased a cannabis production facility from Canopy Growth Corporation.

/ CULTURE

Actor Matthew Modine said he accidentally ate CBD-infused dog biscuits.

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