VP Harris’s cannabis video misstates facts (Newsletter: February 12, 2024)

VA legal sales to floor votes; Navy marijuana waivers; PA medical cannabis & guns; Psychedelics & sex; WA homegrow dead; OH election warning

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Vice President Kamala Harris posted a video that prematurely claims the Biden administration has already “changed federal marijuana policy” and uses a map that incorrectly depicts which states have legalized cannabis.

The Virginia House of Delegates gave initial approval to a bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales—setting it up for a final vote early this week as competing Senate legislation to allow cannabis commerce also advances ahead of Tuesday’s crossover deadline.

The U.S. Navy is expanding authority to grant enlistment waivers for new recruits who test positive for cannabis—with a rear admiral saying the goal is to be “reflective of where legislation is in society” because “we recognize that many states have legalized marijuana.”

The Washington House Appropriations Committee killed a bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana by refusing to schedule a vote ahead of a key deadline.

An Ohio representative is warning colleagues they risk losing reelection by supporting legislation that undermines the will of voters who approved a marijuana legalization ballot initiative—specifically cautioning against proposals to redirect tax revenue to law enforcement.

A Pennsylvania Republican senator plans to file a bill to let medical cannabis patients obtain licenses to carry guns.

A new study found that “use of psychedelics was associated with improvements in several facets of sexual functioning and satisfaction, including improved pleasure and communication during sex”—for as long as six months after a psychedelic experience.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) and Senate Minority Leader Trey Stewart (R) are both opposing a bill to decriminalize drugs and invest $45 million a year saved from criminal justice costs into expanding treatment access.

A mother whose five small children were taken away following her partner’s marijuana arrest is suing Tennessee police and social workers for the “severe emotional trauma” they caused when they “illegally tore apart and terrorized” her family.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prosecutors reached a plea deal to dismiss a 17-year case against a man for running a medical cannabis dispensary in California.

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) called out federal and California officials for having a “passive response” to illegal marijuana cultivation operations in a House floor speech.

Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Gloria Johnson, currently a state representative, tweeted, “Voters overwhelmingly agree that it’s time for Tennessee and the federal government to lighten up and legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational use!”

/ STATES

Montana’s attorney general pushed CBS to not air a Super Bowl ad for Temu over its alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party, saying that the network has rejected “far less controversial” commercials in the past such as one touting the benefits of medical cannabis.

The Florida Senate is expected to consider a bill to restrict hemp products on Wednesday.

An Iowa Senate subcommittee advanced a bill to double the number of medical cannabis dispensaries.

Oregon lawmakers held a hearing on legislation to revise the state’s voter-approved drug decriminalization law.

An Illinois representative introduced a bill to allow police to use cannabis breathalyzers during sobriety tests.

Colorado regulators are being sued over marijuana product tracking rules.

Massachusetts regulators began accepting applications for a fourth cohort of the cannabis social equity program.

Maine regulators are launching a cannabis consumer education initiative in partnership with retailers.

Connecticut regulators urged people to find sober drivers if they planned to use cannabis or alcohol while watching the Super Bowl.

Missouri marijuana regulators launched a newsletter and podcast.

Alaska’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana will meet on Tuesday.


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/ LOCAL

The Manchester, Connecticut Planning and Zoning Commission approved a proposal for the state’s first drive-thru marijuana dispensary.

An Atlanta, Georgia City Council member was cited for marijuana possession.

Greenville, South Carolina officials are warning businesses that sell intoxicating hemp-derived products.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Germany’s health minister spoke about the benefits of legalizing cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol reduces intraventricular hemorrhage brain damage, preserving myelination and preventing blood brain barrier dysfunction in immature rats.”

A study suggested that “DMT may reduce depressive symptomatology by inducing peak experiences.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is asking a federal court to dismiss Jersey City’s lawsuit that seeks to overturn a state policy protecting police from being punished for off-duty marijuana use.

The Virginian-Pilot editorial board is calling on state lawmakers to pass legislation to legalize recreational marijuana sales.

Virgin’s Richard Branson authored a blog post on the benefits of legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation reported quarterly net revenue of C$78.5 million and a net loss of C$216.8 million.

Puffin Store NJ workers in New Brunswick, New Jersey voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 360.

AYR Wellness Inc. completed a plan of arrangement.

Illinois retailers sold $133.8 million worth of recreational marijuana products in January.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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