GOP lawmakers tout cannabis poll (Newsletter: February 24, 2023)

Feds: CA marijuana license fees hurt owls; WA worker protections; NC medical cannabis hits floor; NY gov visits dispensary

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The federal Fish and Wildlife Service says California’s high cost to maintain a legal, licensed marijuana cultivation operation is endangering spotted owls. Illicit grow sites that serve the unregulated market often use banned chemicals that enter the birds’ food supply and kill them, the agency said in a Federal Register notice.

The Washington State Senate passed a bill to protect most job applicants from being discriminated against for using marijuana outside of the workplace.

Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Brian Mast (R-FL) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) are celebrating the results of a new poll that shows a strong majority of likely 2024 GOP presidential primary and caucus voters support federal marijuana legalization.

The North Carolina Senate Rules and Operations Committee approved a medical cannabis legalization bill—the third panel to do so in as many days. The legislation now heads to the Senate floor, where a vote is expected next week.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) visited the state’s first recreational marijuana dispensary outside of Manhattan—but she didn’t purchase anything.

The Arizona Department of Revenue reported that retailers sold more than $1.4 billion worth of legal marijuana products in 2022—with recreational cannabis sales hitting a new monthly record in December.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration will host a webinar on cannabis for healthcare professionals on March 28.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter asking the Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation to provide records of their dealings with a former Mexican minister of public security who was found guilty in U.S. court of taking bribes to protect drug cartels.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “Co-sponsoring HR 1003 which directs the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to study and conduct clinical trials on the effects of cannabis on veterans with chronic pain and PTSD. Encouraging to see the bill marked up and passed in Senate VA Committee last week too!”

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) tweeted, “Black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people, despite using marijuana at similar rates. Decriminalize marijuana. End the racist ‘War on Drugs.’”

/ STATES

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) tweeted, “A guest at this year’s State of the State was Chris Howell, a friend of medical marijuana advocate Dave Auble. Dave passed away from cancer last year, without receiving the relief he needed. Let’s legalize medical marijuana in Dave’s honor this session.”

The South Dakota Senate passed a bill to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Utah Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted to stall action on a medical psilocybin bill.

The Connecticut legislature’s General Law Committee held a hearing on several cannabis reform bills.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office issued projections for 2022-23 cannabis retail excise tax revenue that are significantly lower than those included in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) budget.

Illinois’s top marijuana regulator spoke about ongoing efforts to ensure equity in the cannabis industry.

Missouri regulators filed revised marijuana rules.

Michigan regulators published a bulletin on marijuana business compliance best practices.

Oregon officials projected that marijuana revenue collections will decrease 11 percent in the upcoming budget cycle.

Maine regulators are accepting hemp production license applications.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.


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/ LOCAL

Linn County, Oregon officials are calling on state lawmakers to recriminalize drug possession.

A Cleveland, Ohio City Council member pressed an official on the city’s continued practice of testing job applicants for marijuana.

Denver, Colorado officials are participating in a cannabis equity event on Friday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Colombian and Bolivian officials plan to press the United Nations to remove coca from its list of prohibited substances.

Colombian lawmakers held a public hearing on marijuana legalization legislation, with one representative saying she consumes cannabis every day.

Malta’s Home Affairs Ministry is in discussions with a bank to potentially provide financial services to nonprofit cannabis associations.

Uruguay’s government is taking steps to expand medical cannabis access.

Himachal Pradesh, India’s chief parliamentary secretary said the government is working to legalize the cultivation of cannabis for medical and industrial purposes.

Alberta, Canada officials said the province is not planning to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “legal sourcing increased over time, demonstrating progress in the transition to the legal market for all products in the first three years of legalization in Canada.”

A study found that “personal experience with psychedelics was notably common in this sample of psychedelic therapists.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Veterans of Foreign Wars tweeted about its support for a Senate bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

Dama Financial has a new CEO.

Green Check Verified raised a $6 million Series A funding round.

Alleaves launched an integration with Leafly.

Cybin Inc. is reducing its workforce by 15 percent.

BDSA projected a legal cannabis market size of $59.6 billion by 2027.

/ CULTURE

The movement coach and choreographer for “The Last of Us” said he got inspiration for how the fungus-infected characters on the show move by taking psilocybin.

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