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Senate Bill To Federally Legalize Marijuana And Promote Social Equity Finally Filed By Schumer, Booker And Wyden

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A much-anticipated U.S. Senate bill to federally legalize marijuana and promote social equity has finally been introduced.

Just over a year after first unveiling a draft version of the cannabis reform legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) formally filed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) on Thursday. The news of an imminent release starting circulating last week.

Advocates and stakeholders have been eagerly awaiting this moment as leadership has worked to gather input on various provisions and build widespread buy-in. The final bill incorporates significant feedback received through more than 1,800 comments that were submitted following the draft’s release.

But with ongoing talks about reaching a passable compromise this Congress, it’s also possible that certain provisions attached to the new lengthy legislation could serve as building blocks for something else: a more incremental reform package that Schumer has been discussing with bipartisan offices in both chambers.

In any case, the main thrust of the now-filed 296-page legalization bill closely resembles that of the earlier version, which weighed in at a mere 163 pages—though the senators highlighted a number of changes, which generally expand on the draft.

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California Bills To Legalize Psychedelics Possession, Authorize Interstate Marijuana Commerce And More Advance To Floor Votes

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A California bill to legalize psychedelics possession is now heading to the Assembly floor, along with a slew of additional Senate-passed reform proposals that would, among other things, authorize interstate cannabis commerce and prevent localities from banning medical marijuana delivery services.

Also, on the Senate side, several Assembly-passed cannabis measures are now also advancing to the floor of that chamber, including one to secure employment protections for people who use cannabis outside of the workplace and another to formally incorporate marijuana-based products for animals into the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee each convened to decide the fate of the various drug policy reform measures on Thursday. Most have been amended along the way, however, so if they are approved on the respective floors of the chambers they are currently in, they will need to return to their bodies of origin for concurrence before potentially being sent to the governor.

One of the most notable bills, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener (D), would legalize the possession of certain amounts of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA by adults 21 and older. It had already passed the Senate and moved through two Assembly committees, but it

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New York Will Start Accepting Marijuana Dispensary Applications In Two Weeks—Exclusively From People Harmed By Drug War

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New York marijuana regulators on Thursday announced that they will be officially begin accepting applications for the state’s first adult-use retailer licenses, reserved for people impacted by the drug war, starting on August 25.

This comes about a month after the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) approved the initial conditional adult-use licensing rules and accepted a mockup of the application form.

In order to qualify for a conditional adult-use marijuana retail license, applicants must have faced a conviction for a cannabis-related offense prior to the enactment of legalization in the state, or have a direct relative with such a conviction, and they must also have experience operating a qualifying business.

Did you hear? Cannabis in NY is here and in just 2 weeks, you will have the chance to apply for your own cannabis adult-use retail dispensary license, CAURD.

Learn about our higher standards for equity and get helpful resources to apply at https://t.co/865xuy7Uuz. pic.twitter.com/lGIzjaKf4H

— NYS Office of Cannabis Management (@nys_cannabis) August 11, 2022

The definition of a qualifying “justice-involved” individual was also expanded to include people who were arrested for marijuana but convicted for a lesser offense, which advocates view as a positive step that will broader

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Congressman Files Bill To Prevent Marijuana Impairment For Government Workers

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A GOP congressman filed a bill to create a federal workforce training program meant to provide government employers with information about the impacts of on-duty impairment from marijuana and other drugs, as well as best practices for substance use prevention.

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) introduced the legislation, titled the “Preventing Impairment in the Workplace Act,” late last month.

The proposal would authorize the secretary of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to study programs designed to “educate employers, workers, and relevant workplace populations” on the use of cannabis, opioids and other drugs on the job.

That research would involve looking into prevention strategies and safety risks from on-duty marijuana impairment.

The department would further be tasked with developing a “workplace training program to be made available to full-time and part-time employees and individuals employed by a State or the Federal Government.” It would need to create that program in consultation with a national non-profit organization “with relevant experience.”

The program would similarly cover the impacts of on-the-job impairment from cannabis and other substances, the need for prevention policies, “signs and symptoms” of impairment, how to employers should respond to perceived impairment and guidance on “relevant laws and

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