Latest DEA cannabis letter from lawmaker (Newsletter: February 27, 2024)

Congressional marijuana bill score; VA worker protections to gov; 1st NV consumption lounge opens; CT psilocybin; CA cannabis poll; OH ibogaine

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Congressional Budget Office projected that a bill to protect people from being denied federal employment or security clearances for past marijuana use would have little cost—largely because provisions on reviewing past rejections likely can’t be carried out under current federal record-keeping policies.

Rep. Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-CA) sent a letter urging the Drug Enforcement Administration to “reject any argument” that moving marijuana to Schedule III would violate international treaties. She also wants the agency to provide a list of any “outside partners” it has discussed the issue with.

Nevada’s first marijuana lounge has officially opened its doors, and the first customer was a local lawmaker who lit up an inaugural joint at 4:20.

Virginia lawmakers sent Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) a bill to protect public sector workers such as firefighters and teachers from being fired for medical cannabis use.

The Connecticut legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee filed a bill to decriminalize psilocybin. A similar measure passed the House last session, but Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) office says he has “concerns.”

A new poll commissioned by the California Department of Cannabis Control finds that 62 percent of adults in the state now say marijuana legalization is having a “positive” impact—a higher percentage than voted for the reform on the 2016 ballot.

The U.S. Cannabis Council launched a new campaign allowing marijuana dispensary customers to round up their purchases to the nearest dollar to support legalization efforts. Nearly 140 Curaleaf stores participated this month, and the organization plans to expand the effort to other companies soon.

Psychedelic medicine advocates are working to use Ohio opioid settlement funds to study ibogaine as an addiction treatment, with the leader of a failed effort to do so in Kentucky now working for the Ohio treasurer’s office.

A new federally funded study found that while rates of treatment for cannabis use disorder have fallen nationwide, the reduction is “concentrated” in states with legal marijuana access—suggesting that less “coerced treatment” from the criminal justice system “could contribute to decreasing treatment trends.”

The Maryland House Economic Matters Committee chairman is blasting counties for trying to block marijuana dispensaries from opening and is sponsoring a bill to make it so they can’t enact zoning regulations that are more restrictive than those for liquor stores.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking permission to continue a hemp survey for an additional three years.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) led a sign-on letter to the heads of major banks about discriminatory banking practices against Muslims while noting that some financial institutions have restricted or terminated customer accounts due to “connection to cannabis businesses.”

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) and 28 cosponsors filed a bill to create a task force to study the experiences of Black women and girls, including issuing recommendations for “reentry assistance and reunification planning and community-based programming for women victims of…the war on drugs…”

/ STATES

A Florida representative criticized legislation to restrict hemp products, saying his mother uses CBD to treat pain.

Ohio’s top marijuana regulator spoke about plans to launch the legal market.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety posted an update on a project to conduct roadside tests for the presence of cannabis and other drugs.

Vermont regulators will consider marijuana business licensure recommendations on Wednesday.

New Jersey regulators will begin issuing free digital medical cannabis ID cards on Friday.

The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board will meet on Friday.

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

British Virgin Islands Premier Natalio Wheatley said the territory does not need the UK government’s permission to legalize marijuana.

Canadian regulators are moving to increase certain cannabis business fees as of April 1.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “no increase in the proportion of [emergency department] consultations for a psychotic episode in which evidence for cannabis consumption was obtained before and after legalization, which is in line with previous studies stating that legalization had no significative impact on ED’s consultations for psychosis.”

/ BUSINESS

Google and Meta spokespeople acknowledged a media query about New York marijuana businesses organizing a sign-on letter asking state officials to take legal action against the internet companies for hosting listings for unlicensed operators.

Glass House Brands Inc. is facing a proposed class action lawsuit claiming it improperly withheld sick pay, minimum wage and lunch breaks from workers.

Nevada retailers sold more than $848.1 million worth of legal marijuana products in fiscal year 2023.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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