DOT changing drug testing rules; WA funds psilocybin study; NOLA marijuana employment testing resolution; GA psychedelics panel; CO cannabis sales

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional Democrats hosted a closed-to-press panel on equity in the cannabis industry at their retreat in Philadelphia last week. Marijuana Moment spoke to several people who were there.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing drug testing rules changes to allow saliva as an alternative to urine screening. Advocates say it could result in fewer positive tests for people who used marijuana days prior and aren’t high on the job.

Washington State lawmakers passed a budget that includes $200,000 in funding to form a workgroup to study the possibility of legalizing psilocybin services—including using current marijuana regulatory systems to track psychedelic mushrooms.

The New Orleans, Louisiana City Council passed a resolution calling for an end to drug testing for marijuana as a condition of employment for city workers.

Georgia lawmakers filed legislation to create a new House Study Committee on Alternative Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment Resources for Veterans that would be tasked with examining the therapeutic potential of psilocybin and other psychedelics.

The Colorado Department of Revenue reported that retailers sold more than $151 million worth of marijuana products in January, a decline from December.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden and Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez spoke about a commitment to a “broader drug policy strategy, with a holistic approach to counternarcotics focused on expanding access to evidence-based prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery support services, as well as reducing the supply of illicit drugs.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki avoided commenting directly on the case of American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia after allegedly being caught with cannabis vape cartridges at an airport.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that “the path for marijuana legislation has always faced hurdles, but the discussion around marijuana legalization has advanced further in 15 months than over the last decade because of Democratic leadership.”

Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Chairman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) sought to blame Republicans for the continuation of a spending bill rider blocking Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are working to free American basketball player Brittney Griner, who is being detained in Russia after allegedly being caught with cannabis vape cartridges at an airport.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “SRA is already here and what’s not to like? @SenSchumer @RonWyden @CoryBooker Small Business✅ Veterans✅ Law enforcement✅Protects kids✅ Safe expungement✅Low taxes✅#meetinthemiddle”

The House bill to help marijuana companies access small business assistance got one new cosponsor for a total of six.

/ STATES

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a bill allowing regulators to to refuse to issue hemp cultivation licenses based on supply and demand.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that “criminal prosecution of those suffering from addiction and returning to the failed War on Drugs will not solve this problem.” Separately, a federal judge ruled that an activist does not have standing to challenge the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization referendum.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former congressman, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana. He also said that “Republicans like to get high just as much as Democrats.”

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, currently a congressman, criticized incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul (D),tweeting,  “The Criminals for Kathy coalition is growing. Cannabis dispensary licenses are going to start getting distributed in NY, & the Hochul admin will be giving FIRST PRIORITY to people previously convicted for marijuana offenses. Hochul’s criminal first agenda is so wrong for NY.”

Rhode Island Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Cynthia Mendes said a pending marijuana legalization bill “doesn’t do nearly enough to repair the damage of the War on Drugs (ie Black, brown & low-income communities). Where’s the racial equity in that??”

Virginia lawmakers sent Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to enact restrictions on delta-8 THC products.

West Virginia lawmakers sent Gov. Jim Justice (R) legislation setting security and surveillance requirements for medical cannabis businesses and to decriminalize fentanyl test strips. A bill to allow no more than two medical marijuana testing laboratories in the state passed both chambers in differing forms but failed to reach the governor’s desk by the end of the session.

The Vermont Senate approved legislation on cannabis cultivation rules and licensing fees. Separately, regulators will vote on adopting marijuana rules on Monday.

A California senator filed a bill to allow cannabis import and export agreements with other states.

An Illinois judge warned regulators against “forum shopping” in a lawsuit challenging their marijuana business award process.

Indiana regulators filed updated hemp rules.

Colorado regulators issued a health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold contamination in marijuana products produced by LivWell. Separately, regulators began accepting applications for the new  Cannabis Business Pilot Grant program.

Michigan’s top marijuana regulator says he spoke to the Drug Enforcement Administration about getting permission for colleges to utilize marijuana as part of cannabis degree programs,

South Dakota regulators held a lottery to award medical cannabis dispensary licenses.


Marijuana Moment is already 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.

/ LOCAL

Jackson and Josephine County, Oregon officials moved to declare states of emergency in order to enact moratoriums on new hemp licenses.

A Denver, Colorado official will give a cannabis business update at a Black Economic Opportunities Council meeting on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian regulators proposed rules changes on marijuana research and public possession limits for cannabis beverages.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that medical cannabis “treatment demonstrates good efficacy and tolerability in adult [Gilles de la Tourette syndrome] patients.”

A study concluded that “50, 75, and 100 µg LSD are tolerable with favourable safety profiles in healthy adults, only mild adverse events during the day of drug administration, and mystical-type subjective experiences.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s CEO spoke about how medical cannabis is “proven…to be much more effective than traditional opioids and pain pills” for many military veterans.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation published a guide about medical cannabis and Parkinson’s disease.

The Drug Policy Alliance, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and other organizations criticized Congress for extending the Schedule I status of fentanyl-related substances as part of omnibus appropriations legislation.

/ BUSINESS

Jones Soda is launching a line of cannabis-infused sodas, gummies and syrups.

MedMen filed amended counterclaims maintaining that it believes Ascend Wellness Holdings Inc. inappropriately used political influence to push through approval of the latter company’s acquisition of the former firm’s New York assets.

WM Technology, Inc. has a new board chair.

Eaze’s former CEO is avoiding prison time due to cooperation with an investigation into a scheme to trick banks into processing marijuana transactions.

Metrc was awarded a new marijuana tracking contract in New Jersey.

Michigan retailers sold $154.8 million worth of legal cannabis products in February.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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