Today in cannabis news: Analysis from an Oregon state review board concludes that psilocybin is effective in treating a variety of mental health conditions; cannabis activists in the state of Idaho receive the go-ahead to gather signatures for a revamped cannabis legalization initiative; and in a sweeping appropriations bill, the U.S. House passes cannabis banking and D.C. cannabis commerce measures.
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First up: Psychedelics offer substantial medical benefit for a variety of mental health conditions, according to an analysis published by an Oregon state review group formed under the state’s voter-passed therapeutic psilocybin legalization campaign.
A subcommittee of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board concluded that psilocybin is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions,” after analyzing roughly 600 studies on the substance.
It was highlighted that all of the research under consideration featured delivery in a professionally supervised setting, as required by Oregon’s psilocybin program.
Mason Marks, a member of the Oregon psilocybin advisory panel, said that while the initial analysis “could have practical implications for the program because it contains recommendations to the Oregon Health Authority,” the panel’s suggestions “will evolve over time.”
Next up: Idaho state authorities have given activists permission to start gathering signatures for a revamped campaign to legalize cannabis possession, which they plan to put on the 2022 midterm election ballot. A different initiative to legalize medical cannabis statewide is also ongoing, with supporters gathering signatures in order to qualify the proposal for the vote next year.
The state attorney general before expressed reservations about the recreational use initiative’s possible legal challenges and provided suggestions for modifications. Some of the recommendations in the newest iteration of the Personal Adult Marijuana Decriminalization Act (PAMDA) were adopted by activists with the Idaho Citizens Coalition.
In contrast to similar initiatives that have succeeded in other states, the Idaho legalization effort would be very narrowly focused. It would make it legal for adults 21 years or older to carry a maximum of three ounces of cannabis on private property.
Yet, home growing would be banned, and there would be no legalized and regulated cannabis retail system. Consumers would be able to purchase cannabis in surrounding states that have authorized retail stores and then take it back to Idaho to consume at home.
Last up: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed an appropriations bill that includes provisions to safeguard banks who service state-authorized cannabis firms and to legalize cannabis retail in Washington, D.C., along with other drug policy measures.
The spending bill and accompanying reports also instruct federal government agencies to reassess regulations that layoff staffers for consuming cannabis in accordance with state statute, critique constricting hemp regulations, promote the inclusion of CBD in foods, and call for more cannabis and substance analyses.
The bill prohibits the use of some funds to penalize financial institutions for servicing cannabis companies. The measure, which only applies to Treasury Department limitations, is less comprehensive than more thorough bills approved by the House four times, but it would still include some safeguards for banks.
In 2014, D.C. voters approved the legalization of personal possession and cultivation of cannabis. However, a legislative rider prevents the district from utilizing taxpayer funds to regulate cannabis commerce. Despite the fact that a budget plan from President Joe Biden aims to keep the section on depriving D.C. authority to legalize cannabis trade, that would alter if the House-approved bill, which excludes the rider, is enacted.