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GOP cannabis rescheduling bill in Congress (Newsletter: February 1, 2023)

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Truckers leaving workforce over marijuana; Booker on banking; DC medical cannabis expansion signed; MN legalization vote; BC drug decrim

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) filed a new bill in Congress to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III. The proposal comes as the Biden administration is conducting a review of cannabis’s scheduling status.

New Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows that more than 40,000 truck drivers tested positive for marijuana in 2022—a 32 percent annual increase. Meanwhile, more than half of commercial drivers who tested positive for drugs haven’t enrolled in the return-to-work process amid labor shortages.

Sen. Cory Booker

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Maryland Senate Approves Bill To Protect Medical Marijuana Patients’ Gun Rights

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The Maryland Senate has passed a bill that’s meant to protect gun rights for medical marijuana patients under state law, sending it to the House of Delegates.

In a 43-2 vote on Tuesday, the Senate approved the legislation from Sen. Mike McKay (R), without discussion. This comes about one week after it cleared the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

If enacted, the measure would protect the rights of registered medical cannabis patients to buy, own and carry firearms under Maryland law, even though they are still restricted from doing so under federal statute.

The Maryland legislature also took up the issue around this time last year, with the House Judiciary Committee holding a hearing on a separate but related measure to ensure medical marijuana patients’ gun rights are protected.

The issue has been raised in multiple state legislatures and federal courts in recent years, as marijuana and gun rights advocates challenge the constitutionality of the federal ban that currently prevents cannabis consumers from owning firearms.

Last month in neighboring Pennsylvania, for example, a district attorney filed suit against the Justice Department over the ban that he says violates the Second Amendment rights of medical cannabis patients such as himself.

A Republican senator in

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Alabama Medical Marijuana Access Could Take Months, Even After Licensing Lawsuits End

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“Those of us that live with chronic pain all day every day are desperately trying to ride it out. Unfortunately, not all of us will be here when product is ready.”

By Alander Rocha, Alabama Reflector

Antoine Mordican has a medical cannabis cultivation license. And he is building out a facility to begin growing the product.

Under state law, he has to demonstrate he can maintain cultivation facilities; use an inventory control system approved by the state; can start cannabis cultivation within 60 days; can dispose of plant waste according to regulations; and can maintain financial stability.

“I’m building—getting everything in place, getting the necessary parameters and everything in place to be in compliance, such as security,” said Mordican, the CEO of Native Black Cultivation.

But when he will see actual marijuana plants grow depends on what approach he takes.

If he grows from seed, which Mordican plans to start out with, it would take about six to eight months before he can get the first harvest.

If growing from a clone, or a cutting from a growing plant, it would be closer to four to six months. Mordican said he might look at that approach, but added that he’s

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New Jersey Governor Marks ‘Huge Milestone’ For State’s Marijuana Market, With Over 100 Dispensaries Now Open

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The governor of New Jersey is marking a “huge milestone” for his state’s marijuana market as regulators announce that more than 100 medical and adult-use cannabis shops are now open across the state.

“When the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission was established, our administration’s goal was to develop a stronger, fairer, and more equitable model for the rollout of an adult-use cannabis market,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said in a press release on Wednesday. “Reaching 100 cannabis dispensaries is a huge milestone that shows we are headed in the right direction.”

“As we continue towards our goals for the cannabis market in New Jersey, I am grateful to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission for their dedicated work and leadership on this critical area of our economy,” he said.

The NJ-CRC says exactly 102 cannabis dispensaries have now opened, just under two years since adult-use sales launched.

Jeff Brown, executive director of the commission, echoed the governor’s remarks, saying it is “undoubtedly a major milestone for the NJ-CRC and for the state.”

“After having just 12 alternative treatment centers for more than eight years, we have seen a proliferation of businesses in the last two that clearly demonstrates consumer demand and the

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