GOP cannabis pushback in Congress (Newsletter: February 2, 2024)

MN plan to launch marijuana sales early; FL THC potency cap; IN psilocybin; UFC cannabis warning; VA equity oped

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) sent a letter urging the Drug Enforcement Administration to reject a marijuana rescheduling recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services—calling it a “flawed” and “misguided conclusion” that would violate international treaties.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Sen. Pete Ricketts (R-NE) filed new resolutions in Congress calling on federal agencies to study the potential risks of high-THC marijuana products.

The Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management is asking lawmakers to pass legislation to “expedite” the launch of recreational marijuana sales and give equity businesses a “first-mover advantage.”

The Florida House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee passed a bill to preemptively enact a THC potency limit on recreational marijuana in case voters approve a legalization initiative in November—but also amended the legislation to raise the proposed cap from 10 percent to 30 percent.

The Indiana Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a bill to create a state fund to support research on using psilocybin to treat military veterans and first responders with PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and other conditions.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is warning fighters to stop using marijuana “immediately” so they don’t get punished by California athletics regulators ahead of an event in the state next month.

Chelsea Higgs Wise of Marijuana Justice argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that Virginia lawmakers should not give existing medical cannabis dispensaries a head start on adult-use sales before new businesses run by people from communities harmed by criminalization.

A Kansas republican representative said medical cannabis legalization has “some traction” this session based on “how popular” it is and “how well it polls.”

The Jersey City Police Officers Benevolent Association is asking a federal court to dismiss the city’s lawsuit that seeks to overturn a state policy protecting law enforcement personnel from being punished for off-duty marijuana use.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “I’m fighting to legalize and deschedule marijuana entirely. It is long past time!”

Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) criticized Texas’s attorney general for seeking to overturn local marijuana decriminalization laws, tweeting, “What was Ken Paxton smoking when he filed this lawsuit? 🤔Local resources should go to keeping people safe, not chasing people down for low level pot offenses. Our local policies are perfectly legal: we stopped wasting taxpayer dollars to test alleged marijuana for THC content.”

Former Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) became an advisor to the National Cannabis Roundtable.

/ STATES

A Missouri senator authored a column on her psychedelic therapy bill.

Kentucky regulators filed amended medical cannabis rules.

Alabama regulators are moving to amend medical cannabis rules.

Washington State regulators provided an update on marijuana equity efforts.

An Arizona regulator spoke about using marijuana revenue to reinvest in communities.

Montana regulators are conducting a survey on cannabis business costs.

Tennessee regulators will hold a hearing on proposed hemp product rules on Tuesday.

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

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said U.S. officials should apologize over allegations of drug money donations to his 2006 campaign.

Spain’s health minister said a medical cannabis law will be ready “in the coming months.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “a THC-free, CBD distillate fed at a dose of 4 mg/kg BW was absorbed into plasma and well tolerated by healthy cats when supplemented over a period of 26 weeks.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

More Perfect Union posted a video about anti-competitive and anti-worker practices by marijuana businesses.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice published a report on field drug tests producing false positives that lead to wrongful arrests and convictions.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs Inc. has a new president.

Vireo Health is being sued over allegedly unpaid rent.

AYR Wellness Inc. announced it has met regulatory requirements to close a plan of arrangement involving the Company and AYR Wellness Canada Holdings Inc.

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