Legal cannabis can combat fentanyl, WV Senate leader says (Newsletter: January 10, 2024)

Marijuana Moment
Wed, Jan 10

Marijuana expungements report; CA cannabis cafes; RI psilocybin; Cleveland mayor on taking gummies; MN regs survey; Marijuana vs. opioids for pain

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Hold on, just one second before you read today’s news. Have you thought about giving some financial support to Marijuana Moment? If so, today would be a great day to contribute. We’re planning our reporting for the coming months and it would really help to know what kind of support we can count on. Check us out on Patreon and sign up to give $25/month today: / TOP THINGS TO KNOW West Virginia Senate President Craig Blair (R) said legalizing marijuana could curb the fentanyl epidemic—predicting that the policy change will come “sooner than later.” A California assemblymember filed a bill to legalize cannabis cafes, months after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed an earlier version. The lawmaker is working on revisions to address the governor’s concerns. Rhode Island representatives introduced a bill to temporarily legalize possession, home grow and sharing of psilocybin. If the psychedelic is federally approved, state officials would set rules for cultivation, distribution and medical prescription. Cleveland, Ohio Mayor Justin Bibb (D) said he would take a marijuana gummy with a journalist—but argued that the state first needs to “get it together” by allowing stores that sell regulated cannabis products. The Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management is asking people to help shape rules for the legal marijuana market by completing a survey on packaging, labeling, tracking, inventory and other issues. A new report from NORML shows that courts across the country have expunged or sealed more than 2.3 million marijuana records since 2018 as the legalization movement expands. A new scientific review concludes that cannabis is “similarly effective” as opioids for treating pain but with “fewer discontinuations due to adverse events.”

A South Carolina senator who is sponsoring a stalled medical cannabis bill is pushing for a vote next month. A Florida senator filed a bill to protect state workers from being fired or punished for legal medical cannabis use. / FEDERAL Veterans Affairs Under Secretary Dr. Shereef M. Elnahal tweeted, “Veterans and VA researchers have told us about the potential promise of psychedelics to treat mental health conditions for some time. Now is our chance to study this potential method of treating Veterans with PTSD and major depression across the country.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse included several cannabis-focused studies in its summer research internship program. A federal judge rejected an effort to block Washington State marijuana equity licenses, saying that the dormant commerce clause doesn’t apply to federally illegal cannabis. / STATES New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) discussed efforts to combat unlicensed marijuana sales in her State of the State speech. Separately, regulators published an update on enforcement actions against illegal cannabis sellers. Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) and the state attorney general and treasurer appointed a new member to the Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board. Oklahoma’s attorney general is expected to testify about “foreign nationals who have invaded the marijuana industry” at a U.S. House Homeland Security Committee hearing on Wednesday that is part of impeachment proceedings against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Connecticut’s attorney general is suing wholesalers and retailers that have allegedly “sold potent, high-THC cannabis products in violation of Connecticut laws.” The Kentucky legislature’s Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee removed proposed medical cannabis regulations from a hearing agenda. A Wisconsin Republican senator who has sponsored limited medical cannabis legislation has concerns about Assembly leaders’ plan to create state-run dispensaries. An Ohio representative said negotiations on marijuana legislation are still ongoing. Wyoming regulators filed proposed changes to hemp rules. Illinois regulators posted an update on a new law that enacts a moratorium on cannabis transporter licenses. The Research Advisory Panel of California’s inability to hold regular meetings is reportedly causing a backlog in approvals for studies on psychedelics. Colorado regulators highlighted changes to the medical cannabis registry system. — Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 900 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. — / INTERNATIONAL German parliamentary groups in the government coalition commented on the current status of marijuana legalization legislation. An activist mailed psilocybin mushrooms and coca leaves to British Columbia, Canada lawmakers. / SCIENCE & HEALTH A study’s findings “do not support concerns that legal recreational cannabis is associated with cannabis use during pregnancy or beliefs about safety.” A study of mice found that “acute CBD decreases nicotine self-administration at a high and low nicotine dose” and that it “ameliorates withdrawal symptoms after chronic nicotine exposure.” / ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS More than 100 advocacy organizations sent a letter urging New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to support safe consumption sites for illegal drugs. / BUSINESS Tilray Brands, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $193.8 million and a net loss of $46.2 million. Canopy Growth Corporation entered into subscription agreements with certain institutional investors in a private placement offering for aggregate gross proceeds of approximately $30 million. Curio Wellness and Lucid Green launched a strategic supply chain tech partnership.

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Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.