Legislative and Licensing Update: January 19, 2022
Will messes in Mississippi and Virginia finally get straightened out?
In other cannabis news this week: Optimism for medical marijuana in South Carolina and a hint of progress in Texas? Plus, gubernatorial obstacles to adult use in Ohio.
The trend of statewide legislative initiatives for medicinal cannabis as well as psychedelics continues, and several of these initiatives are spearheaded by Republicans.
The Mississippi Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee approved a medical marijuana bill that defies Governor Tate Reeves’ (R) veto threat over patient possession limits. Senate floor action is expected as soon as Thursday.
Virginia’s legislature’s Cannabis Oversight Commission finalized its marijuana policy recommendations to the full General Assembly. House speaker Gilbert called marijuana legislation a “mess” and said it’s not clear how lawmakers will proceed with legalization issues this session. In addition, Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation to decriminalize psychedelics like psilocybin, peyote, and ibogaine.
The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on a bill to decriminalize psilocybin.
Missouri Republican representative Michael Davis filed a bill to allow patients with debilitating, life-threatening, or terminal illnesses to use psychedelics like MDMA, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, mescaline, peyote, and psilocybin under the state’s right-to-try law.
South Carolina Senator Tom Davis said he is “optimistic” his medical cannabis bill will pass this session.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signaled support for marijuana decriminalization at a reelection campaign event, this is a significant change in the GOP’s stance toward cannabis.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) said he would not sign a bill to legalize marijuana if approved by lawmakers, but he might be willing to support expansion of the medical cannabis program. Winners to the medical marijuana dispensary lottery will be announced on January 27, 2022
Vermont regulators held a public hearing on marijuana rules on Friday, January 14 for the licensing and regulation of cannabis establishments, and the rules can be viewed on the state website.
Italy’s Supreme Court certified that activists collected enough signatures to put a marijuana and psilocybin referendum before voters this spring. One more formal approval by another court is needed before it’s officially on the ballot. This further indicates European nations’ movement towards cannabis legalization.
The federal National Institute of Standards and Technology and state officials are collaborating to develop national standards for cannabis products and packaging. This is significant as it is an indication of cannabis regulation at the federal level.
Vangst, a cannabis-specific staffing company, completed a $19 million Series B funding round.