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Schumer & GOP senators meet to talk cannabis (Newsletter: February 15, 2023)

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VA marijuana & psilocybin bills die; AZ psychedelics; HI legalization hearing; Veterans research measure; RI bill to criminalize social use withdrawn

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) met with three Republican senators to discuss the prospects for marijuana reform this Congress. SAFE Banking was a focus of the conversation.

Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Jack Bergman (R-MI) filed a bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the effects of medical cannabis on military veterans with PTSD and chronic pain. Identical Senate companion legislation is scheduled for a committee vote this week.

A Rhode Island senator told Marijuana Moment that he has withdrawn a controversial bill that would have criminalized cannabis use or possession at any gathering of three or more people. It’s being rewritten, he said, but

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Florida Marijuana Legalization Measure Has Enough Support To Pass In Internal Polling, CEO Of Company Funding Campaign Says

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The CEO of a top marijuana company is pushing back against recent surveys showing insufficient support to pass a Florida legalization ballot initiative this November, claiming internal polling shows the measure ahead by a comfortable margin.

After the state Supreme Court cleared the proposal for ballot placement, rejecting a constitutional challenge from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R), two polls came out indicating that the Smart & Safe Florida campaign didn’t have the required 60 percent support for passage.

But in an interview with Cheddar on Thursday, Tulieve CEO Kim Rivers dismissed the surveys, saying “don’t believe everything you’re hearing” when it comes to the two most recent polls “in particular.”

“We would not put our stock in those polls,” she said, adding that there are more “legitimate polls” from the past year that show the legalization measure “well over” the 60 percent threshold for passage.

Tulieve isn’t running the campaign, but it has been the main financial backer of the initiative, contributing nearly $50 million.

“Our internal numbers remain incredibly strong and closer to 70 [percent], actually than 60 [percent],” she said. “So [there’s] strong bipartisan support across the state.”

Rivers also said during Thursday’s interview that one recent

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Alabama Senator Calls State Medical Cannabis Commission A ‘Money Pit’ Amid Ongoing Litigation

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“I don’t know what the problems are, but we need to get that resolved over there or we are going to have to do something legislatively to correct this.”

By Ralph Chapoco, Alabama Reflector

The head of the Senate’s General Fund budget committee last week vented frustration at the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission’s legal woes.

Speaking at Thursday’s Contract Review Committee meeting, Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore), the chair of the Senate’s Finance and Taxation General Fund Committee, said the ongoing litigation over the commission’s licensing process had turned it into a “money pit.”

“Right now, we are putting money into it,” he said. “Right now, we are having more and more and more suits coming in. I don’t know what the problems are, but we need to get that resolved over there or we are going to have to do something legislatively to correct this.”

Brittany Peters, a spokeswoman for the AMCC, said in a statement Monday that the commission’s “longstanding position” was seeing the state medical cannabis program “become fully operational as soon as possible.”

“With the priority of serving patients in the state who would benefit from medical cannabis, the commission is committed to defending against the lawsuits

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Biden & Trump voters’ cannabis views (Newsletter: April 24, 2024)

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SC medical marijuana; Feds removing MDMA from drug testing; CA psychedelics; Ventura on cannabis politics; DEA psilocybin; Legalization & immigrants

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Reps. Morgan McGarvey (D-KY), Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) and seven other bipartisan members of Congress sent a letter pressing the Department of Veterans Affairs to form a strategic plan to implement MDMA-assisted psychedelic therapy in preparation for federal approval as soon as this summer.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Drug Testing Advisory Board is weighing proposals to remove MDMA from federal workplace drug testing programs while adding fentanyl.

The South Carolina House Medical Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee held a hearing on a Senate-passed bill to legalize patient access—but only took testimony from

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