FDA touts cannabis scheduling review process (Newsletter: February 20, 2024)

Marijuana Moment
Tue, Feb 20
Key Points
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren expressed interest in smoking marijuana with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and hinted at discussing marijuana scheduling with Biden administration officials.
  • Virginia cannabis sales legalization bills passed by the House and Senate differ on licensing, equity, taxes, and market launch timing.
  • Hawaii approved a bill to create a therapeutic psilocybin program, while Alaska approved a bill for a Mental Health and Psychedelic Medicine Task Force.
  • Wisconsin lawmaker accuses GOP leaders of pulling a kratom bill to avoid a vote on his medical cannabis amendment, while Missouri retailers sold over $1.4 billion in legal marijuana products in the first year of recreational sales.

Sen. Warren on smoking marijuana with The Rock; VA legal sales bills; AK & HI psychedelics; WI medical cannabis; MO sales

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BREAKING: Journalism is often consumed for free, but costs money to produce! While this newsletter is proudly sent without cost to you, our ability to send it each day depends on the financial support of readers who can afford to give it. So if you’ve got a few dollars to spare each month and believe in the work we do, please consider joining us on Patreon today. https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment / TOP THINGS TO KNOW A new Food and Drug Administration report highlights how the agency’s cannabis scheduling review analyzed hundreds of social media posts that “provide context directly from users regarding marijuana, including its effectiveness for several therapeutic purposes.” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be in her hypothetical dream blunt rotation—while also on a more serious note hinting that she has discussed marijuana scheduling with Biden administration officials. Marijuana Moment compiled a comprehensive look at how the Virginia cannabis sales legalization bills passed by the House and Senate differ from one another on licensing, equity, taxes, market launch timing and other details. A Maine representative is circulating a petition calling on Gov. Janet Mills (D) to fire the state’s top marijuana regulator—alleging he has conflicts of interest that are “of grave concern” and that his office is “targeting and retaliating against businesses” that push for change. The Hawaii House Consumer Protection and Commerce Committee approved a bill to create a therapeutic psilocybin program and provide patients with an affirmative defense to being prosecuted for using the psychedelic in accordance with a mental health professional’s certification. The Alaska Senate Labor and Commerce Committee approved a bill to create a Mental Health and Psychedelic Medicine Task Force that would recommend licensing and insurance requirements for therapeutic practitioners under federal legalization. A Wisconsin Democratic lawmaker is accusing GOP leaders of pulling a kratom bill from floor consideration because they were too afraid to allow a vote on his medical cannabis amendment. Meanwhile, a new poll shows that voters in the state strongly back legalization.

Missouri retailers sold more than $1.4 billion worth of legal marijuana products in the first full year of the recreational cannabis market. / FEDERAL A Drug Enforcement Administration blog post claims that marijuana has become “four times more dangerous in three decades.” The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’s National Research Advisory Council is set to discuss psychedelic research on March 6. Rep. Della Ramirez (D-IL) tweeted about Chicago’s first Black-owned marijuana dispensary. / STATES Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is continuing to press lawmakers to pass legislation allowing recreational marijuana sales to begin. Meanwhile, a representative said it will likely be up to regulators to change cannabis rules. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) tweeted, “On Friday, New York’s Cannabis Control Board granted more than 1️⃣0️⃣0️⃣ licenses to entrepreneurs across the state. It’s welcome news for our businesses and our economy as our legal cannabis industry continues to grow!” Wyoming representatives filed a marijuana decriminalization bill. A Georgia representative authored an op-ed about the benefits of legalizing marijuana. An Arizona representative discussed his bill to legalize interstate marijuana commerce. A New Jersey assemblymember criticized the state’s marijuana laws as “lax-on-crime policies.” California regulators are suspending action on proposed marijuana track and trace rules that are being challenged. Colorado regulators announced a psychedelic rulemaking work group schedule for 2024. Guam officials certified $517,868 in cannabis excise tax revenue. Maryland regulators published a report on a medical cannabis patient survey. The Rhode Island Cannabis Advisory Board met. — 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. — / INTERNATIONAL German state interior ministers are raising concerns about the government’s marijuana legalization bill. Meanwhile, the health minister said he believes the law, if it is enacted, will survive legal challenges in court. A Philippine lawmaker is pushing for clarification on the implications for CBD of a medical cannabis bill that is advancing. / SCIENCE & HEALTH A study suggested that “CBD could induce [colorectal cancer] cell death by activating apoptosis, paraptosis, and autophagy.” A study suggested “the ability of CBD to reduce the formation of lipid inflammation precursors in rat cerebral cortex, as a primary event in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.” / ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS The Charleston Post and Courier editorial board is calling on South Carolina lawmakers to pass a medical cannabis legalization bill. / BUSINESS iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. restated its third quarter 2023 financial results due to an error in its reporting process. / CULTURE Mike Tyson is pushing President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of people incarcerated for federal marijuana offenses.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.