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Pennsylvania Marijuana Banking Bill Clears House Committee After Passing Full Senate

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A Pennsylvania House committee on Wednesday approved a Senate-passed bill to protect banks and insurers that work with medical marijuana businesses against being penalized by state regulators.

The House Commerce Committee advanced the legislation from Sens. John DiSanto (R) and Sharif Street (D), with two amendments, in a 22-1 vote. This action comes about two months after the full Senate passed the measure.

Chairman Brad Roae (R) filed both amendments. One clarifies that banking protections only apply to state-legal medical cannabis businesses and not to any broader recreational marijuana businesses that may become legal in the state in the future. The other, more technical change, removes a specific mention of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and replaces that with a broader reference to a “federal financial regulatory agency.”

While one member described the first amendment “redundant,” it was still adopted, as was the other revision. Because the bill has now been changed from its Senate-passed form, it will have to return to that chamber for concurrence if it passes on the House floor.

Minority Chairman John Galloway (D) hinted at additional amendments that could come before the full House, saying that there are “certain things the district attorneys

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California Assembly Approves Senate-Passed Bill To Allow Safe Drug Consumption Site Pilot Program

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The California Assembly on Thursday approved a Senate-passed bill that would establish a pilot program to allow certain jurisdictions throughout the state to authorize safe consumption sites where people could use currently illicit drugs in a medically supervised environment.

The legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D) cleared the chamber in a 42-28 vote. Because it was amended during the Assembly committee process, it must still return to the Senate for concurrence following the July recess before potentially heading to the governor’s desk.

It’s been a years-long journey for SB 57, which was first introduced in December 2020 and passed the full Senate in April 2021. Prior to the latest floor vote in the Assembly, it advanced through the Health Committee and Public Safety Committee.

Wiener, who has championed several drug policy reform bills in the legislation, including one to legalize possession of psychedelics that’s sat in legislative limbo since clearing the Senate and two Assembly panels last year, said following Thursday’s vote that safe consumption sites “are a proven strategy to save lives & get people into treatment.”

The bill now returns to the Senate after our July recess for final sign off before heading to the Governor.

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California Marijuana Tax Relief Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

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The California legislature on Wednesday approved a wide-ranging bill to restructure the state’s adult-use marijuana program, including by eliminating a cannabis cultivation tax, in an effort to provide industry relief and further curtail the illicit market.

AB 195, which builds upon an amended budget proposal that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) unveiled last month, passed both chambers with nearly unanimous support. While stakeholders say there’s still more to be done, many feel the bill represents a significant, positive development in the evolving industry.

The key provisions that lawmakers secured would eliminate the marijuana cultivation tax and shift the point of collection and remittance for the separate 15 percent excise tax on cannabis sales from the distribution to retail level. Additionally, there will be no increase in the excise tax for at least three years under the proposal, which is expected to be signed by the governor and then take effect immediately.

“We are extremely pleased at the hard-fought progress that we were able to make with this bill,” Lindsay Robinson, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), told Marijuana Moment in a phone interview on Thursday.

“It is certainly not perfect—and we acknowledge that, and we acknowledge that there

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Congressional Committee Will Vote On Protecting State Marijuana Programs From Federal Interference On Tuesday

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A key congressional committee will vote on an amendment to protect all state, territory and tribal cannabis programs from federal interference on Tuesday, multiple congressional offices tell Marijuana Moment.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will be filing the amendment during a House Appropriations Committee markup of the Fiscal Year 2023 spending legislation for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CSJ).

Lee and other pro-reform lawmakers such as Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Tom McClintock (R-CA) had urged congressional leaders to include the broad protections in the base appropriations bill, but that did not come to fruition, despite the bipartisan request.

Now they will again seek to add provisions—which would prevent the Justice Department from using federally appropriated dollars to interfere in the implementation of state, territory and tribal cannabis laws—at the committee level.

Blumenauer, Lee, Holmes Norton and McClintock and 44 other congressional colleagues recently sent a letter to calling on the chairman and ranking member of an appropriations subcommittee to address the issue through the must-pass legislation.

In general, the proposed provisions would block “the Department of Justice from prosecuting those who comply with their state or tribal marijuana laws,” the lawmakers wrote.

A congressional source told

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