Biden FDA pick prescribed cannabis meds (Newsletter: November 15, 2021)

VA election endangers marijuana roll-out; Mexican senators agree to prioritize cannabis; Celebs and industry team up on federal legalization push

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Department of Housing and Urban Development says federal law requires it to continue denying access to public housing to people who use marijuana—even for medical use in accordance with state law. The comments come in a letter to Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who had asked the Biden administration to exercise cannabis enforcement discretion.

Virginia’s election results, which gave control of the governor’s office and House of Delegates to Republicans, could seriously jeopardize the chances of legal marijuana sales launching. And if they do launch, the policy is less likely to center equity and justice than the plan that Democrats passed this year but which is subject to reenactment by the next legislature.

Mexico’s Senate majority leader said the multi-party Political Coordination Board “agreed to prioritize cannabis laws,” among other issues, in the current legislative session.

Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman teamed up with the Cannabis Voter Project, U.S. Cannabis Council and several marijuana businesses to launch a campaign encouraging people to pressure their U.S. senators to enact federal legalization.

Oregon’s drug decriminalization law, passed by voters one year ago, has created $300 million in new funding for treatment and services. And there have been no drug possession arrests since it took effect.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released short podcasts about a national hemp survey it is conducting.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s long past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, make criminal justice reforms, and ensure equity for communities most impacted by the War on Drugs. I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to do just that.”

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “Americans support legalized marijuana, and now Congress is catching up. My first-of-its-kind amendment will help us create a national standard to prevent cannabis-impaired driving.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted about a new documentary on illegal cannabis cultivation, saying, “I reviewed this film as a critic of ‘enforcement-first’ Marijuana policy. It is very compelling and has already led to productive discussions with my colleague @RepMikeGarcia, who is featured in the piece.”

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) tweeted, “Southern California has experienced an alarming escalation in large-scale illegal marijuana cultivation that threatens our environment, our water resources, and our community safety.”

/ STATES

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said he continues to work with lawmakers to address concerns he has about draft medical cannabis legislation.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted a video of herself with her medical cannabis card.

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “It’s time to reimagine our approach to public safety. Imagine if instead of fighting a war on drugs, we considered it a public health crisis. Imagine if our response to people in mental health crises wasn’t state violence. We can build a system based on compassion.”

Maryland’s House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup met.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Financial Services held a hearing on bills to allow health insurance coverage for medical cannabis.

An Ohio senator filed a bill to expand medical cannabis eligibility to any patient who would “reasonably be expected” to benefit from it.

New Jersey regulators voted to begin accepting recreational marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and testing business license applications on December 15, and dispensary license applications on March 15.

Oregon regulators resumed processing new marijuana retailer, wholesalers and processor licenses.

Oklahoma’s top medical cannabis regulator spoke about challenges in overseeing the industry.

Florida regulators ordered Curaleaf to recall medical cannabis products that failed mold testing.

Alaska regulators adopted changes to rules on marijuana product exit packaging.

Virginia regulators filed rules for consumable hemp products and separately to remove requirements for reporting past marijuana convictions by certain applicants or licensees.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Cannabis Restoration Grant Program awarded nearly $1 million in funding for watershed remediation and enhancement projects.

Connecticut regulators will use software from Consultants Consortium, Inc. and Forian for the state’s marijuana tracking system.

Arkansas has collected more than $50 million in medical cannabis tax revenue since sales launched.

Nevada regulators will hold a public workshop on marijuana business issues on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

Arcata, California officials sent guidance on the city’s psychedelics decriminalization policy.

The Billings, Montana City Council approved updated marijuana rules.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved a public hearing for the county’s first medical cannabis business license application.

Oakland, California officials discussed cannabis equity loans and grants.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Colombian President Iván Duque touted the potential of his country’s medical cannabis law.

Malaysia’s health minister is moving to allow medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of mice found that “administration of the phytocannabinoid Δ9-THC promotes significant functional recovery from traumatic brain injury in the realms of working memory and locomotor function.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators will host a session on marijuana legalization at its conference next month.

The California Cannabis Industry Association published a report examining state-funded marijuana social equity programs.

The Harm Reduction Consortium launched a new Global Drug Policy Index that documents, measures and compares countries’ drug policies.

/ BUSINESS

Springbig is going public through a merger with Tuatara Capital Acquisition Corporation.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$60.1 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of C$12.1 million.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $39.8 million and a net loss of $55.3 million.

HEXO Corp is decommissioning three of its cannabis production facilities following its acquisition of Redecan, Zenabis Global Inc. and 48North Cannabis Corp.

iAnthus is being sued by a former compliance director who alleges he faced racial discrimination, was demoted and then forced to resign.

Cronos Group Inc. delayed filing its quarterly financial results.

COMPASS Pathways plc announced positive results in its phase IIb clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 announced its board of directors.

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