Dem senator’s cannabis banking concerns (Newsletter: May 23, 2023)

MN gov talks signing legalization; MD gov lets marijuana odor search bill become law; CT cannabis resentencing; OH local decrim; NV police hiring

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he’ll likely sign a marijuana legalization bill into law at a “big”  ceremony after Memorial Day next week—but the state has already launched a website for the new Office of Cannabis Management that’s being created to regulate the market.

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and key officials with the Federal Reserve and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency are raising concerns that a little-noticed section of a marijuana banking bill could undermine financial regulators’ ability to combat fraud, money laundering and pyramid schemes.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) is allowing a bill to prevent police from using the smell of marijuana as justification for searching people or vehicles to become law without his signature.

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill to require courts to reduce marijuana sentences for a wider range of convictions and to release people who are currently incarcerated on those charges.

Helena, Ohio voters approved a local ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana. More than three dozen cities in the state have now enacted similar reform measures—and a statewide cannabis legalization measure is on track for this November’s ballot.

The Nevada Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission is proposing to stop blocking people from becoming police officers over prior marijuana convictions for conduct that is now legal in the state.

/ FEDERAL

Customs and Border Protection posted a summer travel season  reminder that “marijuana remains illegal in the United States federally” and that people should not attempt to cross the border with it.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) discussed cannabis banking legislation and potential hemp reforms via the Farm Bill.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote in a constituent letter that there is “bipartisan support to add restorative justice provisions” to his marijuana banking bill.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) filed a resolution on the U.S.’s “moral and legal obligation to provide reparations for the enslavement of Africans and its lasting harm” that notes that “Black people are still presumed dangerous and therefore are systematically targeted and criminalized under our legal system, including through the war on drugs.”

Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) tweeted about meeting with the chair of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

/ STATES

Oregon lawmakers sent Gov. Tina Kotek (D) a bill to ensure that middle and high school students receive lessons on fentanyl, fake pills and good samaritan laws.

New Jersey’s Senate president said during a commencement address at Hudson County College that graduates “probably won’t remember who I am, but you may take away the fact that I was the person who legalized marijuana in New Jersey.”

Pennsylvania representatives filed a bill to protect medical cannabis patients from DUI charges.

A former Illinois senator is pushing regulators to allow marijuana businesses to sell interest to investors.

Massachusetts regulators are canceling a marijuana social consumption pilot program in favor of crafting broader regulations for the facilities.

Tennessee regulators published a notice on the taxability of hemp-derived cannabinoid product sales.

California’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce announced that it seized more than $52 million in unlicensed marijuana products in Q1 2023. 

Kentucky state-funded marijuana research grants were awarded by the University of Kentucky Cannabis Center.

Arkansas regulators delayed a decision on whether a medical cannabis dispensary can move locations.

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


Marijuana Moment is 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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

Denton, Texas police continue to carry out marijuana enforcement on a racially disproportionate basis while refusing to implement a local voter-approved decriminalization law.

A federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit against a Hamilton County, Tennessee deputy sheriff who filmed a colleague’s alleged forced baptism of a woman who was caught with marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The leader of Canada’s Conservative Party criticized British Columbia’s policy of providing a safe supply of illegal drugs to consumers.

Cook Islands officials plan to visit New Zealand to study the country’s medical cannabis program.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “adjuvant treatment with CBD in adult patients with drug-resistant focal epilepsy was effective, safe, well tolerated, and associated with a significant improvement in their quality of life.”

A study of rats found that “cannabidiol alleviates right ventricular fibrosis by inhibiting the transforming growth factor β pathway in monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertension.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and other organizations are launching a global survey on psychedelic use.

/ BUSINESS

TILT Holdings Inc.’s chief financial officer has left the company.

Canopy Growth Corporation filed a revised proxy statement that includes updates on its strategy to accelerate entry into the U.S. market through the holding company, Canopy USA, LLC.

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