The Germany’s coalition government called the Traffic Light coalition, which combines individuals from the Social Democratic Party, Free Democratic Party, and The Greens, reportedly reached an agreement for cannabis regulation on Nov. 27. These recent discussions estimate that cannabis legalization could take effect starting on April 1, 2024, with social cannabis clubs potentially allowed to open as early as July 1, 2024. “The #Cannabis law is coming! Finally: We are finally ending the failed ban policy! After intensive negotiations, there is now a… Read more.
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State and local marijuana regulators, industry stakeholders and advocates and opponents of legalization took part in a two-day session hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) this week, sharing their perspectives on evolving cannabis policies. This marked the second NASEM Committee meeting for its “Public Health Consequences of Changes in the Cannabis Policy Landscape” series. In September, the conversation featured representatives of several federal agencies who weighed in on the subject. For this week’s round, many of the… Read more.
The Supreme Court on Monday heard the case of a defendant seeking to reduce his criminal penalty for firearm possession as the result of the federal government’s legalization of hemp in 2018. At issue are the boundaries of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), a 1984 law that imposes penalties on gun possession for people with past violent felonies or serious drug offenses. Initially the law imposes a 10-year maximum penalty for having a firearm, but after three offenses, a… Read more.
Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) says marijuana legalization is “inevitable.” But yet another one of his home state’s neighbors enacts the reform, he concedes that the path in Pennsylvania has proved more challenging amid GOP resistance to the “common sense” policy that’s backed by the majority of voters. The senator—who has long championed cannabis legalization and made it a key issue when he served as Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor—spoke about the prospects of reform at the state and federal level in an… Read more.
A New Hampshire commission charged with drafting legislation to legalize marijuana through a system of state-controlled stores decided at its final meeting on Monday not to issue recommendations at all. The conclusion leaves open questions about how lawmakers will proceed with cannabis reform in the coming 2024 session. After months of meetings, the 19-member panel ultimately failed to reach consensus on the issue. Adding to the disarray was a last-minute demand by Gov. Chris Sununu (R)—who has threatened to veto… Read more.
Another federally funded study is suggesting that marijuana legalization may be linked to a “substitution effect,” with young adults in California “significantly” reducing their use of alcohol and cigarettes after the cannabis reform was enacted. What’s more, the research appeared to contradict prohibitionist arguments about the potential impact of legalization, as the data also revealed no significant increase in marijuana use among young adults who were still not of age to access retail dispensaries—though there were interesting changes in certain… Read more.
An Ohio Democratic lawmaker wants to see people who’ve been criminalized over marijuana, as well as those with industry experience, involved in any efforts to amend the state’s voter-approved legalization law, arguing that it shouldn’t be left up to “anti-cannabis” legislators alone to revise the statute. Ohio Senate and House GOP leaders have already previewed plans to pass a package of changes to the law before possession and cultivation becomes legal next month, with a focus on potential revisions affecting tax revenue distribution,… Read more.
A Colombian Senate committee has approved a bill to legalize marijuana, sending it the full chamber for consideration. The legislation—which has already moved through committee and on the floor in the Chamber of Representatives in recent months—cleared the First Committee of the Senate on Wednesday. This marks the third of eight planned debates before the measure is potentially sent to the president next year. Lawmakers nearly enacted a version of the reform into law earlier this year, but it stalled out in… Read more.
South Dakota is teeing up to be the next state to legalize adult-use cannabis. Attorney General Marty Jackley submitted the proposed measure to Secretary of State Monae Johnson on November 17. The draft summary of the measure was made public as required by state law so that the public will have 10 days to review and comment. That gives South Dakotans until November 27 to write in with their thoughts on the measure. After that, the Attorney General gets another 10… Read more.
In a pivotal move towards cannabis reform in South Africa, South Africa's National Assembly has recently approved the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill, marking a significant development in the nation's stance on personal cannabis use. This legislative stride comes in the wake of a landmark 2018 judgment that decriminalized private cannabis consumption. However, the path to legalization unfolds with nuances and other considerations, reflecting the intricate landscape of cannabis policy reform. This article delves into the approved bill's details, exploring its implications for personal… Read more.
On January 16, the Regulatory Services Division (RSD) of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced that officials were accepting applications for new licenses under the Compassionate Use Program (CUP) for dispensing organizations. Prospective applicants for the new medical cannabis dispensary licenses could utilize the designated RSD application form for submission. The application period ended at 5 p.m. C.T. on April 28. Individuals who had previously applied for a cannabis retail license could reapply using an updated application form.… Read more.
According to a recent Gallup poll released on Wednesday, nationwide grassroots support for the legalization of marijuana has reached a historic high of 70%. Prior to this latest survey, legalization support had remained steady at 68% for three consecutive years. The poll reveals that half of Americans have experimented with marijuana at some point in their lives, and currently, 17% acknowledge using it. Notably, Ohio voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, making it the 23rd state to do so. Presently,… Read more.
Japan’s lower house of the National Diet on Tuesday passed a measure to legalize cannabis-derived pharmaceuticals, the Japan Times reports. The bill would also close a loophole in the country’s 1948 Cannabis Control Law, which bans possession, trade, and cultivation of cannabis and related products but does not contain a specific reference to use. Under the bill, cannabis would be added as a banned substance under the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law, and violations of the law would be punishable by up… Read more.
Following a major 2018 judgment, which decriminalized the private use of cannabis, it appears that South Africa could finally be inching toward legalization of personal cannabis use. However, there are a number of asterisks — as there often are when it comes to cannabis reform. On Tuesday, the South African National Assembly approved a bill that would legalize the personal use of cannabis, BusinessLIVE reports. The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill has been in the works since the country decriminalized private cannabis… Read more.
Ohio’s Senate president says he’s on board with the governor’s plan to make certain changes to the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law before the first provisions take effect early next month. Meanwhile, the House GOP leader seems to disagree on that timeline. It’s unclear what specific amendments Senate President Matt Huffman (R) will ultimately propose, but he said on Wednesday that he’s in agreement with Gov. Mike DeWine (R) that lawmakers should move quickly to revise the statutory law before possession and… Read more.
The Florida Supreme Court seems poised to allow an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal to be put to voters next year, seemingly rejecting the arguments by state Attorney General Ashley Moody that the initiative’s wording is misleading and that it violates the state’s single-subject rule on ballot questions, the Miami New Times reports. During a hearing last week, Justice Charles T. Canady said he was “baffled” by the argument laid out by Chief Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey Paul DeSousa of the Florida Attorney General’s Office,… Read more.
Voters in another Texas city will have the chance to decide on a local marijuana decriminalization initiative on the ballot after the Lubbock City Council declined to enact the reform legislatively on Tuesday. In a 0-7 vote, local lawmakers unanimously rejected the measure, which was put on the agenda after activists submitted enough signatures to force consideration of the decriminalization proposal. It will now go before voters in May 2024. The committee behind the initiative first filed paperwork for the… Read more.
A Gallup poll released November 8 found a new record level of support for cannabis legalization among U.S. adults, topping 70% after totaling a then-record 68% for three years. The pollster found 28% of respondents opposed the reforms with 1% unsure. In 1969, when Gallup first asked about legalizing cannabis, just 12% favored the reforms. Cannabis legalization was popular among a majority of all subgroups, including 91% of self-identified liberals, 87% of Democrats, 52% of self-identified conservatives, 55% of Republicans, and 70% of… Read more.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) might be retiring at the end of this Congress, but he’s still got boxes he wants to check off on an ambitious agenda to reform federal marijuana laws before his final bike ride from Capitol Hill. The Oregon congressman, a founding co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus who has spent decades championing marijuana legalization, intends to make the most out of his last 14 months in office. He thinks bipartisan cannabis banking reform is still in play, for… Read more.
Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called on state legislators to amend and whittle down the provisions of Issue 2, the law voters in the state just approved, before the bill takes effect on Dec. 7. And since Issue 2 is a citizen initiative, Ohio lawmakers could lawfully make changes to the law, but they only have about a month to do so. Ohio Capital Journal reports that less than two days after voters approved adult-use cannabis in Ohio, the governor wants to… Read more.
With Lubbock city leaders set to consider a citizen-initiated proposed ordinance to decriminalize cannabis on Tuesday, a Texas advocacy group has released a report looking at the impacts of similar marijuana reform efforts passed by voters in five different jurisdictions during the 2022 election. It found that the measures will keep hundreds of people out of jail, even as they have led to blowback from law enforcement in some cities. The report, from Ground Game Texas, looks at local decriminalization… Read more.
The odds that a patient visiting the emergency department is diagnosed with cannabis use disorder (CUD) is nearly 50 percent lower in states that have legalized marijuana compared to non-legal states, according to a new study. And researchers say the “counterintuitive” finding could be related to the destigmatization of cannabis use within the medical community as prohibition ends. The study, published in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports last week, looked at emergency department data from 2017 to 2020 in two… Read more.
With less than a month left before a New Hampshire commission is due to put forward a plan for how to legalize adult-use marijuana sales through a system of state-controlled stores, members were visibly frustrated at a Thursday meeting with the group’s slow, meandering progress through a draft bill circulated last month by the group’s chair, Sen. Daryl Abbas (R). Lawmakers on the panel grew combative with one another over issues such as penalties for public consumption of cannabis, dual… Read more.
From fervent anti-drug crusader to disconnected senior statesman to the unlikely champion of the regulated marijuana trade, President Joe Biden's public journey might still hold surprises. A year after instigating the most substantial shift in federal marijuana policy since 1970, the very politician whose stance as a U.S. senator fueled the drug war's intensity has, as president, established the foundation for a reliable and enduring legal marijuana sector. "Regardless of your opinion of him," remarked Andrew Kline, senior counsel at the… Read more.
Speaking at a cannabis industry event on Thursday, a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said he’d be “shocked” if the Drug Enforcement Administration doesn’t reschedule marijuana by next year’s presidential election. “I would be really shocked if it took the DEA longer than the second quarter of next year to come up with its final rule,” said Howard Sklamberg, former FDA deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and compliance. “Even when I was at FDA, we knew that… Read more.
With Ohio becoming the latest state to legalize marijuana, there’s a renewed sense of urgency to follow suit in neighboring Pennsylvania, with the governor’s office calling it “another reminder” of the need to enact reform. Pennsylvania is now more solidly blanketed by states with legalization on the books. Five out of six bordering states—Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Ohio—have all done away with prohibition, leaving residents with plentiful and relatively accessible options to buy out-of-state cannabis products. Gov. Josh… Read more.
Ohio officials have already released an FAQ guide to answer basic questions about the state’s new marijuana legalization law that voters approved on Tuesday. The state Department of Commerce (DOC) sent out a press release on Wednesday to announce the resource for residents interested in learning more about the rules and timeline for the legalization initiative’s rollout. Under the measure, a Division of Cannabis Control (DCC) will be established under DOC to regulate the adult-use market and issue marijuana business licenses. But… Read more.
Voters across Ohio approved a ballot measure Tuesday to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis, but leaders in the Republican-majority state legislature already have vowed to make significant changes to the law before Issue 2 goes into effect on December 7. “This statute was written by the marijuana industry and should be treated as a cash grab for their cash crop at the expense of a state trying to emerge from the opioid epidemic,” Senate President Matt Huffman said Tuesday. “The general assembly… Read more.
A recent survey reveals that over two-thirds of Kansans are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Still, legislative efforts to permit even medical cannabis use in Kansas continue to face obstacles from Republican members of the State Senate. Once more, a recent poll reinforces the widespread endorsement from Kansans for the legalization of marijuana, be it for medicinal or recreational reasons. Nevertheless, the likelihood of the state venturing into the cannabis industry remains highly uncertain. Supporters and legislators in favor of medical… Read more.
On Tuesday night, Ohio voters approved Issue 2, a measure to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults statewide. As of 9:35 p.m. ET, the “Yes” vote leads with roughly 55.5% of the vote while “No” has 44.5% of the vote. Ohio is the 24th state (plus Washington, D.C.) to legalize recreational marijuana, joining Michigan and Illinois as Midwestern states with such approval. The passage was expected as polls throughout the summer and fall showed steady support for approval. Under the law, adults will be… Read more.
Recreational cannabis was, at long last, made legal in Delaware earlier this year. But several of the state’s beach towns situated along the eastern seaboard have ridden a different wave, opting instead to maintain the prohibition on weed within their respective jurisdictions. The Delaware News Journal reported this week that “Delaware’s beach towns have taken the lead” in determining whether or not to permit marijuana for adults within their limits. “The town council in Dewey Beach in June voted unanimously to ban marijuana sales… Read more.
A coalition of marijuana businesses, supported by influential law firms, has initiated a lawsuit aimed at challenging the federal government's continued prohibition of cannabis. These companies argue that upholding cannabis prohibition in states with legalized cannabis markets is unconstitutional, resulting in public safety concerns and preventing these businesses from accessing essential financial services and tax deductions. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, is led by multi-state operator Verano Holdings Corp., Massachusetts-based cannabis businesses Canna… Read more.
Florida’s Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday in a pivotal legal skirmish with the potential to place cannabis legalization on the 2024 ballot and reshape the state’s lucrative market. The hearing represents a collision of legal interpretations, voter initiative rights, and the influence of big money on grassroots movements. At the core of the dispute lies a citizen-led ballot initiative proposal spearheaded by Smart & Safe Florida, which has garnered nearly one million signatures in support of adult-use cannabis. The initiative seeks… Read more.
From zealous drug warrior to out-of-touch elder statesman to the regulated marijuana industry’s savior apparent. President Joe Biden’s long arc in public life might have more twists ahead. One year after setting into motion the most significant transformation in federal marijuana policy since 1970, the same politician whose views as a U.S. senator escalated the drug war to its apex has now, as president, laid the cornerstone for a stable and lasting legal marijuana industry. “Love him or hate him,” said Andrew… Read more.
Lawmakers in Germany took comments from experts Monday during a parliamentary Health Committee hearing on the government’s proposal to legalize marijuana in the country. They also considered an alternative plan that would focus instead on reducing cannabis consumption through education and public health measures. The legalization measure, spearheaded by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, would allow adults to legally possess cannabis and cultivate a maximum of three plants for personal use. It would also create social clubs that could distribute marijuana to… Read more.
The Pennsylvania House Subcommittee on Health Care on Wednesday heard from citizens and medical experts about legalizing cannabis for adult use, WGAL reports. State Rep. Dan Frankel (D) indicated that the issue could come up for a vote in front of the full House next year. State Rep. Paul Schemel (R), the subcommittee’s minority chairman, said he believed that “every state has gotten it wrong.” “To think that this bad milk, if we put it back in the refrigerator as good milk,… Read more.
Connecticut’s cannabis regulatory agency announced last week that it is increasing the amount of cannabis that can be bought in a single transaction by doubling the state’s limit on recreational marijuana purchases. Under the new regulations approved by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), adult-use cannabis consumers will be permitted to purchase up to a half-ounce (about 14 grams) of cannabis flower or its equivalent beginning next month. The limit on purchases of medical marijuana has not been changed.… Read more.
A new forecast of Virginia’s election predicts that Democrats are likely to win control of both chambers of the legislature on Tuesday—a result some advocates believe could open the door for lawmakers to legalize retail cannabis sales in the state. A separate poll, meanwhile, found 58 percent support among likely voters for allowing marijuana sales to proceed. While marijuana legalization technically isn’t on Virginia’s ballot this week, advocates expect the results of the statewide election to shape the future of marijuana… Read more.
Ohio is poised to become the cannabis industry’s next big thing if voters there, as expected, approve an adult-use marijuana legalization measure on Tuesday. Legal cannabis in Ohio – with nearly 12 million people, it’s the country’s seventh-most-populous state – would provide a boost to existing medical marijuana businesses, which would be positioned to serve an adult-use market worth as much as $4 billion within a few years, according to MJBizDaily projections. It would also be another milestone for the U.S. reform… Read more.
Home values have grown at a significantly higher rate in states that have legalized marijuana compared to non-legal states over the past decade—with the average price of a home in a legalization state now 41 percent higher than those that have continues to criminalize cannabis—according to a new report on real estate trends. The study from Real Estate Witch and Leafly explored average home prices from 2014 to 2023, looking at the potential impact of regulated cannabis access for medical… Read more.
The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission (AMCC) is now aiming to get industry licenses awarded by December, in what its chairman calls an “aggressive” timeline after a summer of starts and stops, WIAT reports. The agency voted last week to officially rescind the previous licenses and laid out a new timeline that would issue the licenses by the end of the year with products available in the spring. In June, the AMCC awarded the first round of medical cannabis licenses, but days later paused the process due to… Read more.
Regulators in Minnesota are seeking public input as they begin the process of crafting rules for the state’s new marijuana industry, hoping to hear from “the widest possible range of community members, advocates, and partners who want to help shape how the rules are drafted.” To collect those views, the state’s Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) on Monday released a new online survey that includes questions on cannabis cultivation, processing and manufacturing. “The first topic areas reflect the necessary industry… Read more.
Less than two weeks ahead of Election Day, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is talking to local TV stations about his opposition to Issue 2, a ballot initiative that would legalize adult-use marijuana in the state. But newly released state data on campaign fundraising indicate that supporters have an edge, having raised nearly four times what opponents have collected. DeWine said voters are confused about both the cannabis measure and a separate initiative, Issue 1, which would protect access to… Read more.
Eleven former high-ranking officials, including six ex-DEA heads and five former White House drug czars, have opposed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' recommendation to reschedule marijuana. They sent a letter to the current Attorney General and DEA Administrator, expressing concern over this proposal. Rescheduling Debate The letter suggests that rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III could "supersize" the industry through tax relief and market normalization. It also argues that rescheduling would reduce penalties for marijuana trafficking, potentially hindering cartel… Read more.
After months of meetings and consideration, a group of 99 Irish citizens selected by the government to weigh in on the nation’s drug policy has voted to recommend decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of currently illicit substances and adopting a public health approach to the issue. The panel also narrowly voted against endorsing the legalization and regulation of marijuana, however. The Citizens’ Assembly on Drugs Use posted summaries of 36 policy recommendations online Monday following the body’s final meeting… Read more.
Michigan’s governor has signed bipartisan legislation that will allow state-licensed marijuana businesses to conduct trade with tribal cannabis entities. The pair of bills, SB 180 and SB 179, were passed by the Senate in June and approved by the House of Representatives earlier this month. On Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed them into law. Though the two pieces of legislation work together, the bulk of the policy changes are packaged in SB 180, sponsored by Sen. Roger Hauck (R). Adjustments… Read more.
German lawmakers have officially begun consideration of a bill that would legalize marijuana nationwide. The country’s parliament, called the Bundestag, held the first debate on the legislation on Wednesday after delaying the meeting last week due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine. The legalization measure, spearheaded by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, would allow adults to legally possess cannabis and cultivate a maximum of three plants for personal use. It would also create social clubs that could distribute marijuana to members. Officials… Read more.
Advocates in Lubbock, Texas on Tuesday submitted their petition to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis in the city after collecting more than twice the number of signatures required to force city lawmakers to vote on the proposal, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. Freedom Act Lubbock submitted 10,540 signatures to the city secretary’s office, exceeding the 4,800 signature requirement. The city secretary’s office still needs to verify the signatures are valid before the issue moves to the City Council. The ordinance aims… Read more.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is continuing its path toward cannabis accessibility, and as of last week the tribe officially issued its first medical cannabis cards. According to EBCI Cannabis Control Board (CCB) executive director, Neil Denman, a Cherokee Police Commission monthly meeting was held on Oct. 12. In a presentation featuring Denman and his colleague, Kym Parker, they stated that the first medical cannabis card was issued on that day, and many more will follow in the… Read more.
The official voting day for Ohioans is Nov. 7, but early voting has already begun on Oct. 11. This is a significant year for cannabis because a cannabis legalization measure, which is labeled as Issue 2, is appearing on the ballot. However, some legislators are not thrilled with the idea that cannabis legalization could be approved, and announced plans to possibly repeal the law if it does get passed. Senate President Matt Huffman spoke on the Senate floor in opposition of… Read more.
Unveiling Colombia’s new national drug policy recently, President Gustavo Petro recalled smelling the odor of marijuana wafting through the streets of New York City during a recent visit to the U.S., remarking on the “enormous hypocrisy” of legal cannabis sales now taking place in the nation that launched the global drug war decades ago. “Marijuana is sold today in Times Square,” Petro said, according to a translation of his speech. “It smelled on all the streets, all the way around… Read more.
Advocates in Texas recently announced that they’ve collected enough signatures to add a decriminalization initiative to the ballot in Lubbock, located in the northwestern part of the state. According to 2022 census data, the city is home to 264,000 people, and is among the top 10 most populated cities in the state. On Oct. 11, advocates announced that they have collected 8,800 signatures for the Freedom Act Lubbock to qualify for the ballot. This is far more than the required amount, which is set at… Read more.
Six former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) heads and five former White House drug czars have sent a letter to the attorney general and current DEA administrator, voicing opposition to the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. They also made a questionable claim about the relationship between drug schedules and criminal penalties in a way that may exaggerate the potential impact of the incremental reform. The letter, sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram on… Read more.
The government of Thailand is taking steps to walk back the legalization of adult-use cannabis, barely more than a year after personal use of the plant was legalized in the Southeast Asian nation. The government passed a law to decriminalize cannabis in June 2022, when the plant was removed from the nation’s list of illegal narcotics. Under the legislation, adults aged 20 and older are permitted to use cannabis for medical purposes, although not in public places. Adults are also… Read more.
Wyoming advocates are more motivated than ever to get a medical cannabis bill on the 2024 ballot, especially because of miscommunication in required signature counts from the Secretary of State’s office. Advocates reported that inaccurate information was provided by the Secretary of State Chuck Gray’s office regarding how many signatures were actually needed for their initiatives to qualify for the 2024 ballot. According to the Casper Star Tribune, advocates believed they did not collect enough signatures that were necessary to submit… Read more.
Advocates in Wyoming are pushing forward with plans to put adult-use and medical cannabis legalization questions on 2024 election ballots, the Star-Tribune reports. The renewed bid by Compassionate Options Wyoming, Wyoming NORML, and the Wyoming Libertarian Party comes after a misunderstanding of guidance from the secretary of state’s office led them to believe that the proposed measures did not qualify, but they did. Initially, the organizers believed they had thousands fewer signatures than needed, so they didn’t submit them to the secretary… Read more.
As early voting kicked off in Ohio on Wednesday, the state Senate passed a GOP-led resolution urging voters to reject a marijuana legalization measure that’s on the ballot. Introduced by Sens. Mark Romanchuk (R) and Terry Johnson (R), and cosponsored by 14 other Senate Republicans, SR 216 lists a parade of horribles that lawmakers say would befall the state if the cannabis ballot initiative known as Issue 2 becomes law. “The proposed statute authored by the commercial marijuana industry,” it… Read more.
The Caribbean is famous for its beautiful beaches, but the US Virgin Islands have faced challenges from past scandals and natural disasters. Now, they’re considering cannabis legalization to boost their economy and support local communities, including the Rastafari, who view cannabis as sacred. However, there’s a risk of exploitation by wealthy investors. Virgin Islands Cannabis Legalization & Rasta Equity With recent horrifying marks on the territory’s world views, such as the Epstein Island sex scandals of past years, the Virgin… Read more.
The discussion surrounding the legalization of marijuana has been prevalent in recent years, with numerous states choosing to take matters into their own hands rather than relying on federal action. Now, there is a glimmer of hope for nationwide legalization as federal health authorities have proposed reclassifying marijuana. However, this does not necessarily translate to full legalization. Currently categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance, marijuana is considered by the Drug Enforcement Administration to have "no currently accepted medical use and… Read more.
With early voting in Ohio beginning next week, the campaign behind a ballot measure to legalize marijuana released a new campaign ad on Friday in support of the policy change. Attorney General Dave Yost (R), meanwhile, published an analysis of the initiative that he said is meant to provide voters with “vital clarity and transparency” amid a campaign that has seen “inflamed and inaccurate” rhetoric. The new ad from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the primary backer of… Read more.
The Florida Supreme Court has scheduled for November 8 oral arguments on the proposed ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adult use, WFLA reports. The challenge to the proposal is led by state Attorney General Ashley Moody who claims the measure “misleads” voters to benefit Trulieve, the state’s largest medical cannabis company. According to the ballot question’s summary, the measure would allow “adults 21 years or older to possess, purchase, or use marijuana products and marijuana accessories for non-medical personal consumption.” However, Moody argues… Read more.
It was one year ago on Friday that President Joe Biden issued a mass marijuana pardon and directed an administrative scheduling review. Lawmakers and advocates say it’s time to do more. While there is broad based consensus among reform supporters that the president’s action last year represented a positive step in the right direction, on this first anniversary they’re emphasizing that it was exactly that: just a step and not, by any means, the end of the federal government’s war on… Read more.
Legal marijuana in Illinois saw “unprecedented growth” in fiscal year 2023, says a new annual report from the state’s Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), with the opening of 28 new retailers and more than $1.5 billion in total retail sales. Total tax revenue from the industry dropped in fiscal year 2023, however, falling to $420.9 million from a record $435.1 the previous year. All told, the legal cannabis industry brought in about $451.9 million for the state in… Read more.
The city council in Portland, Maine “voted 6-3 to pass a resolution deprioritizing prosecution for possession” of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs, according to local news outlet News Center Maine, and NBC affiliate. The outlet noted that the resolution does not decriminalize such psychedelics, as has been reported elsewhere. Instead, it “sets official city policy to put those crimes at the lowest priority for prosecution,” News Center Maine reported. The outlet reported: “When reached for comment Wednesday, Maeghan Maloney, district attorney… Read more.
Florida’s Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for next month in a case that will decide whether a marijuana legalization initiative will appear on the state’s 2024 ballot. Over the past several months, the court has been receiving briefs from both the state attorney general, who filed a legal challenge against the cannabis measure and is asking for it to be invalidated, and the Smart & Safe Florida campaign, which is behind the proposed reform. Attorney General Ashley Moody’s (R)… Read more.
A poll commissioned by the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA)—the campaign supporting the ballot initiative—and conducted by FM3 Research surveyed likely November voters in mid-August, specifically asking about their stance on ushering in recreational cannabis laws for the Buckeye State. The results found that roughly three out of five Ohio voters support the cannabis legalization measure set to appear on the November ballot, and nearly two-thirds of respondents said that they believe adult-use cannabis legalization in Ohio is… Read more.
Opponents of a proposed bill to legalize marijuana in Germany did not muster enough support to block the measure in legislative body representing states, meaning it will now continue through the process. Germany’s legislature is composed of two main bodies: the Bundestag, which is comprised of democratically elected lawmakers, and the Bundesrat (or Federal Council), which has members representing individual states. On Friday, the legalization bill was brought up in the latter chamber, where legislators urged the adoption of amendments but did… Read more.
Roughly three out of five Ohio voters support a marijuana legalization measure that will appear on November’s ballot, according to a newly released poll, with nearly two thirds of respondents saying they believe legalization in the state is “inevitable.” With less than two weeks before widespread early voting kicks off, 55 percent of respondents said they “definitely” or “probably” will vote yes on the legalization initiative, while about 34 percent “definitely” or “probably” will oppose it. Only about 11 percent… Read more.
Thailand’s Prime Minister May Stop Recreational Cannabis Use What This Could Mean For The Future Of Thailand’s Weed Industry For over a year now, Thailand has been enjoying its status as the world’s newest stoner’s paradise. Since June 2022, dispensaries and weed shops to cater to all kinds of lifestyles mushroomed all over the country. Thanks to Anutin Charnvirakul, the Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister for the Bhumjaithai Party. Since he was responsible for helping Thailand recover after the pandemic, he… Read more.
Republican senators, including the lead GOP sponsor of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill, are gearing up to introduce new legislation designed to thwart any federal legalization of marijuana by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) without explicit approval from Congress. Senators Leading the Charge The fight against potential federal marijuana legalization without congressional permission is being led by Senators Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming (R-WY) and Steve Daines of Montana (R-MT). Regarding cannabis policy, Senator Lummis has continuously defended states' rights, firmly believing… Read more.
Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) is continuing to ramp up its medical cannabis ballot campaign for a third, and hopefully last time. NMM officially launched its campaign on Sept. 13 with two different measures: The Patient Protection Act and The Medical Cannabis Regulation Act. The former would provide protection for both patients as well as caregivers, and the latter would set up a regulated market. In order to qualify for the November 2024 ballot, NMM must collect at least 87,000 signatures per measure by July 3,… Read more.
A bid to bring legalization to the Badger State started in earnest last week, with Democratic lawmakers in Wisconsin announcing legislation on Sept. 22 that would end the prohibition on recreational cannabis. The bill was introduced by state Sen. Melissa Agard and state House Rep. Darrin B. Madison. Agard, who is the minority leader in the Wisconsin state Senate, announced the legislation at an event held at a Wisconsin hemp farm and said that the status quo poses more harm… Read more.
Thailand’s new prime minister said the Southeast Asian country plans to rewrite its cannabis laws to allow only medical use, a move that would halt widespread recreational sales and fundamentally alter the industry. In an interview with Bloomberg, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who was elected in August, said there is a need to “rewrite the law” to stop adult-use sales from occurring. “The problem about drugs has been widespread lately,” he said in the interview. He said his government would “rectify” the… Read more.
A top House Democrat has reintroduced a bill to federally legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, with provisions to expunge prior cannabis convictions. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, refiled the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act on Wednesday. There are 33 initial cosponsors—all Democrats. The comprehensive legalization legislation has passed the House twice in recent sessions—but this marks the first time it’s being introduced with Republicans in control of the chamber, raising serious questions about… Read more.
Marijuana Moment is reporting a group of 14 Republican congressional members is calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to oppose the top federal health agency's suggestion to change the scheduling of marijuana, advocating instead for it to remain in the most stringent category as per the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In a letter addressed to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram on Monday, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) took the lead, along with twelve other colleagues from both chambers. They asserted… Read more.
Nearly five years after legalizing recreational marijuana at the federal level, Canada is approaching 4,000 regulated cannabis stores spread unevenly across the enormous country, according to data compiled by MJBizDaily. The latest quarterly store tally comes as Canada’s cannabis retail sector continues to transform. Some private-sector retailers are failing, such as major retail chain Fire & Flower, which entered creditor protection in June after years of operating at a loss. Other retail operators, meanwhile, are acquiring: Fika Cannabis successfully bid 36 million Canadian dollars ($26.7 million) for… Read more.
During the second meeting of a New Hampshire commission tasked with preparing legislation to legalize marijuana through a novel system of state-run stores, members on Monday considered an alternative proposal that would instead establish a franchise model for cannabis sales. “The model that we are looking to put into place, that we feel would be feasible, is that the Liquor Commission would be the franchisor and the franchisee would be the retailer,” Joseph Mollica, chairman of the New Hampshire Liquor Commission,… Read more.
Representatives of multiple federal agencies participated in a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) meeting on Friday for a wide-ranging discussion about cannabis policy, with experts sharing their perspective on issues such as marijuana research barriers under prohibition, efforts to create a regulated pathway for CBD, state initiatives to promote social equity and more. At the NASEM Committee on Public Health Consequences of Changes in the Cannabis Policy Landscape meeting, agencies made a series of presentations to share… Read more.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is still committed to legalizing marijuana, even though his latest attempt was shot down earlier this year by state Republican legislators. Evers said this week that an “overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites support” regulating cannabis like alcohol, according to La Crosse TV station WLAX. “It’s time to join red and blue states across the country and get this done,” Evers posted on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter. Medical and adult-use marijuana remain illegal in Wisconsin despite the governor’s efforts.… Read more.
Unlike the myriad of challenges operators in New York face, new applicants in Maryland are stepping into a distinctively encouraging environment as the state gears up to expand its already-successful adult-use market. The state is set to open its first application round for adult-use marijuana licenses on Nov. 13, which is earmarked exclusively for social equity businesses. The upcoming 30-day application window will usher in opportunities for 179 new marijuana licensees, including: 75 dispensaries 16 growers 32 processors The new licenses will… Read more.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a 2024 presidential candidate, is again calling for federally legalizing marijuana, opening up banking services for the industry and using cannabis tax revenue to fund drug treatment and rehabilitation centers. During an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Wednesday, Kennedy, who is running as a Democrat, took a question from a Republican caller who asked him to lay out his position on cannabis policy. The son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy and nephew of President John… Read more.
The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) is increasing eligibility for its Local Jurisdiction Retail Access Grant (LJRAG) along with the award amounts for municipalities that are given grants under the program. The LJRAG program is part of the state’s efforts to expand legal cannabis access in jurisdictions where adult-use cannabis operations do not currently exist. The Phase II funding is tied to the local jurisdiction’s issuance of local permits or licenses authorizing cannabis retail. Under the revised Phase II guidelines, eligible local jurisdictions… Read more.
A group opposed to the legalization of marijuana is targeting a financial agreement between Wells Fargo and the state of Maryland. This arrangement enables state officials to collect and manage tax revenue from cannabis businesses operating legally within the state. The advocacy group is denouncing this arrangement as "a deliberate move to shield banks engaged in federal law violations" and is endeavoring to inform federal authorities about it. In response, the state maintains that it is "in adherence to relevant laws and… Read more.
Citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) on Thursday voted to legalize cannabis, WSOC-TV reports. The vote was 2,464-1,057, according to the unofficial poll results. EBCI is the only territory in North Carolina where cannabis is legal. In July, North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R) said that the medical cannabis legalization bill being considered by lawmakers was likely dead for the session and the proposal has not gotten any additional movement in the legislature. Workers near Cherokee told WSOC-TV that they have been… Read more.
The chair of a New York Senate cannabis committee says his panel will hold its first public hearing next month to try and identify legislative solutions to the state’s ongoing marijuana legalization implementation problems by bringing regulators, lawmakers, stakeholders and advocates together for a “fair and productive” policy discussion. Sen. Jeremy Cooney (D), who was appointed to lead the Senate’s first-ever cannabis panel earlier this year, announced the October 30 hearing during a press conference on Thursday. He said that the purpose… Read more.
The head of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), which is set to vote on a referendum to legalize cannabis for adults on Thursday, says he believes efforts by an anti-marijuana North Carolina GOP congressman to insert himself into the tribe’s internal affairs could ultimately cause more members to support of the measure. In an interview this week with Marijuana Moment, EBCI Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed said it was a “big misstep” for U.S. Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC) to run… Read more.
In 1988, a federal judge brashly ruled against the Reagan administration’s drug policy and declared cannabis fit for medical use. The controversial decision nearly reclassified marijuana under the Controlled Substance Act. September 6, 2023 marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young’s historic ruling and recommendation to reschedule cannabis. Young’s 68-page opinion stating the plant should be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II was based on two years of review followed by… Read more.
As the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina prepares for a vote on the legalization of adult-use cannabis, U.S. Representative Chuck Edwards (R) has issued a threat to defund the tribe, regardless of the vote's outcome. Principal Chief Richard Sneed of the tribe has characterized this move by the Republican congressman as a significant political misstep. On the late evening of September 1st, Edwards introduced what he has named the "Stop Pot Act." This proposed bill would withhold 10% of federal… Read more.
The California Assembly has approved a Senate-passed psychedelics legalization bill, sending it back to the opposite chamber for concurrence on recent amendments before the measure potentially heads to the governor’s desk. The Assembly cleared the legislation from Sen. Scott Wiener (D) in a 42-11 vote on Wednesday—a significant victory for advocates after an earlier version of the psychedelics reform measure that also passed the Senate ultimately stalled out in the Assembly last year. The bill would legalize the possession and… Read more.
The governor of Colorado is applauding President Joe Biden after his administration’s top health agency recommended rescheduling marijuana—but he says the initial move must be followed with more action to address cannabis banking, immigration, criminal justice reform and federal enforcement concerns. That should include developing Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance clarifying that it will not interfere in state-legal marijuana activities, he said. In a letter sent to Biden on Tuesday, Gov. Jared Polis (D) commended the U.S. Department of Health… Read more.
Activists in California are seeking to add a psychedelic mushroom legalization question to 2024 ballots, the San Francisco Standard reports. Ryan Munevar, campaign director for Decriminalize California, told the Standard that the group originally “wanted to go for all psychedelics, but the problem was there wasn’t enough public comprehension about what else was out there.” According to the Decriminalize California website, the campaign must collect 546,651 valid signatures by January 10. The proposal would allow for the cultivation, manufacturing, testing, distribution, transportation, possession,… Read more.
Maryland officials are unveiling a new portal that will allow people to check their eligibility for a social equity marijuana business license before regulators begin to accept applications later this year. The Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA) announced on Friday that the Social Equity Verification Portal will open on September 8. It’s one of the latest ways regulators are working to promote policies built into the state’s legalization law that support communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana criminalization. “Our goal with establishing… Read more.
President Joe Biden (D) “has always” supported legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing on Friday. The statement came days after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a historic recommendation to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that cannabis be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III under federal law. “The president asked the secretary of HHS and also the attorney general to initiate the administrative process to review how marijuana is… Read more.
Bahamian officials have introduced a comprehensive legislative package to legalize marijuana for medical, religious, and research purposes, with a concurrent move to decriminalize personal possession of small amounts of cannabis and expunge previous convictions for simple possession. These proposed bills aim to establish a regulated and secure cannabis industry in the Bahamas. Attorney General Ryan Pinder and Health and Wellness Minister Michael Darville unveiled these reforms during a recent press briefing, expressing their goal of presenting the bills in Parliament by… Read more.
Congressional lawmakers might be encouraged by news that the top U.S. health agency is recommending marijuana rescheduling—but some like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and John Hickenlooper (D-CO) are also stressing that this is just a “step” in the right direction as they pursue legalization. Scores of legislators, including Republican members, have applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for advising the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act… Read more.
A California Senate-passed bill to legalize the possession and facilitated use of certain psychedelics is officially heading to the Assembly floor after being approved by a third committee in the chamber, albeit with several substantive amendments. The Assembly Appropriations Committee also cleared a separate Senate-passed measure on Friday that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about prior marijuana use. The panel adopted technical amendments, so it will need to return to the Senate for concurrence before moving to the floor. The… Read more.
The U.S. marijuana industry received one its biggest jolts in years this week when news leaked that the Department of Health and Human Services is on board to reschedule cannabis. If the Drug Enforcement Administration agrees, the plant would move from the most restrictive level of Schedule 1 to the middle ground of Schedule 3, a potential milestone that could result in a huge financial boost to the sector. The biggest obvious benefit of rescheduling, several industry attorneys said, is that the… Read more.
A New Hampshire commission tasked with preparing legislation to legalize marijuana sales through a system of state-run stores has officially been established, with members being appointed to the panel and a first meeting scheduled for next week. The governor signed a bill to create the commission earlier this month after bipartisan and bicameral lawmakers reached an agreement to enact the incremental reform in a conference committee. Now the panel has taken shape, with its 17 members holding mixed records on cannabis policy. The commission… Read more.
Legislation to legalize cannabis for medical and religious purposes and decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis have been unveiled in The Bahamas, the Jamaica Gleaner reports. Under the law, individuals caught with less than an ounce of cannabis not used for religious or medical purposes would be subject to a $250 fine but would not be criminally charged. Under the proposal, licenses for cultivation, retail, transport, and religious use would only be awarded to companies that are entirely Bahamian-owned, while licenses for… Read more.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, has reaffirmed that he would not legalize marijuana if elected to the White House—arguing contrary to evidence that the reform has actually increased the size of the illicit market in Colorado. During a campaign event in Iowa on Saturday, an attendee told DeSantis that she knows people whose children developed “cannabis-induced psychosis” and asked about whether he would move to legalize or reschedule cannabis under federal law if he became… Read more.
As Ohio officials release pro and con arguments for a marijuana legalization initiative that will appear on the November ballot, a GOP congressman who represents the state is applauding the measure and explaining why he will personally be “voting yes.” In a statement shared with Marijuana Moment on Monday, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, encouraged “all Ohio voters to participate and make their voices heard on this important issue” now that the legalization measure has… Read more.
States that legalized medical marijuana saw a nearly 20 percent drop in the number of children entering foster care due to parental drug misuse after three years of the reform, a new study found. Legalizing for adult use, meanwhile, was not associated with any statistically significant change in foster care entries. Researchers at Georgia College and State University set out to learn whether legalization would “lessen stigma, permit proper use, and reduce the chance that a child will be removed”… Read more.
Demands for the legalization of cannabis are increasing throughout Europe, mirroring the progressive steps taken by Canada and certain regions of the U.S. to approve the use of the substance. Advocates conveyed many advantages of establishing a legal cannabis market during the Cannabis Europa industry event held in London last week. These benefits encompass improvements in public health, augmented tax revenues, and the destigmatization of medical marijuana. Despite enduring opposition from critics who contend that legalization results in elevated crime rates, addiction… Read more.
A former top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official believes it’s most likely that marijuana will be put in Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) following an ongoing administrative review ordered by President Biden last year. FDA is mindful of political factors such as the 2024 election, the official said, so a policy change may come sooner rather than later. Howard Sklamberg, who previously served as chair of FDA’s Marijuana Working Group from 2014 to 2017, spoke about the… Read more.
Top officials in the Bahamas have announced a legislative package that would legalize marijuana for medical, religious and research purposes. Personal possession of small amounts of cannabis would also be decriminalized, and past convictions for simple possession would be expunged. Together, the suite of bills would establish a local framework for marijuana production and, according to the government, “ensure a well-regulated, safe and controlled cannabis industry.” Attorney General Ryan Pinder and Health and Wellness Minister Michael Darville announced the proposed… Read more.
A legal case has been initiated against the Stamford Zoning Board, aiming to exert control over Connecticut's emerging cannabis sector. In addition to addressing city-specific regulations, the lawsuit, which portrays the state's Social Equity Council as a questionable initiative, holds the potential for far-reaching implications across the state. By contesting the law that legalizes the possession and commercial trade of cannabis in Connecticut, the lawsuit argues that this law runs afoul of the federal Controlled Substances Act. Legal Challenge Against Stamford Zoning… Read more.
Even though medical marijuana is gaining increased accessibility in Europe, most EU countries still prohibit personal cannabis use. Germany's progression towards potentially becoming the second EU nation, following Malta, to legalize recreational cannabis could set a precedent for other countries to consider similar measures. Nevertheless, in the broader European context, cannabis continues to be unlawful, and specific EU member states even impose legal consequences, including imprisonment, for the possession of marijuana. While certain countries are initiating trial initiatives for medical marijuana, which… Read more.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has come out in opposition of adult-use cannabis legalization in the state, telling the Governor’s Executive Workforce Board last week that the reforms would “be a real mistake,” WSYX reports. On Tuesday, the Ohio Association of Health Commissioners (AOHC), which represents Ohio’s 112 local health departments, also urged citizens to vote “no” on the proposal. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose last week confirmed that the campaign seeking to legalize cannabis for adult use had gathered enough signatures to… Read more.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission last week approved a spending plan that, for the first time, includes funding from state cannabis taxes, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports. The cannabis tax contributions have buoyed the account to about $1.13 million; typically, the commission is funded by contributions by residents who check off the fund on their state income tax forms, which usually generates between $30,000 and $40,000. The state legalization law requires that 4% of cannabis-derived sales taxes are used for nongame wildlife programs. Montana collects… Read more.
New rules implemented in Missouri allow regulators to instruct the state’s certified cannabis testing laboratories to double check the work of other labs – an effort to cut down on so-called ‘lab shopping,’ the Missouri Independent reports. Under the regulations, the state will, up to 10 times a year, instruct labs to test cannabis samples tested by another lab. Then the state will review the test results to make sure they have similar results in THC potency, and that one lab isn’t… Read more.
Ohio voters will decide whether to legalize cannabis for adult-use in the state in November. Last week, Secretary of State Frank LaRose confirmed the campaign had gathered enough signatures to put the issue on ballots. Late last month, advocates had fallen short of the signature goal but were able to gather an additional 679 valid signatures ahead of an August 4 deadline. In all, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol submitted 127,772 valid signatures. In a Facebook post, coalition spokesman Tom Haren said advocates “are grateful to the… Read more.
A Republican congressman from North Carolina is urging members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to reject a referendum next month that would legalize marijuana on tribal land, warning that the move would mean a loss of federal funding under a bill he plans to introduce. In an op-ed published last week in The Cherokee One Feather, Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC) acknowledged that Congress cannot stop the EBCI referendum, set for September 7, from going forward. But he appealed… Read more.
Activists in Lubbock, Texas have launched a campaign to join the growing number of cities across the Lone Star State that have locally decriminalized marijuana. The committee behind the initiative filed paperwork for the Freedom Act Lubbock ordinance with the city secretary this week, which gives them 60 days to collect about 4,800 valid signatures, which equates to about 25 percent of registered voters who participated in the last municipal election in May. If they’re successful, the measure will first… Read more.
Minnesota officials outlined the long, labyrinthine process for implementing the state’s new marijuana law during an informational meeting on Wednesday night, offering updates on the search for an Office of Cannabis Management (OCM) director as well as the array of issues still to be hammered out through an expedited rulemaking process. “This is really a unique opportunity for us to assess the business needs, to evaluate the authorities that the legislature and the governor have given to the Office of… Read more.
An initiative to legalize marijuana in Ohio will appear on the state’s ballot this November, officials announced on Wednesday. About two weeks after activists turned in a final round of signatures for the cannabis proposal, the secretary of state’s office has now certified that it met the requirements for ballot placement. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CTRMLA) submitted more than 220,000 signatures for the measure last month, but the state found that advocates came up short by 679 valid signatures. They… Read more.
Germany’s federal cabinet has approved a draft marijuana legalization bill, sending the first part of the government’s cannabis reform plan to the country’s legislature for consideration. Members of the cabinet voted in favor of advancing the legislation, spearheaded by Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, after discussing the measure at a meeting on Wednesday. The proposal, which was unveiled last month , would allow adults to legally possess cannabis and cultivate a maximum of three plants for personal use. It would also create social clubs… Read more.
Multistate operators are busy expanding their retail footprints in Florida’s nearly $2 billion medical marijuana market, in some cases betting that adult-use legalization is on the horizon and jostling into position to capitalize on that possibility. But investing in Florida marijuana retail could be a gamble. Medical cannabis dispensaries are already offering deep discounts to the more than 800,000 registered medical consumers in the increasingly competitive Florida market, and some companies reported flat sales in the state for the quarter… Read more.
Ohio could see up to $403.6 million in annual tax revenue from adult-use marijuana sales if voters approve a legalization measure that could appear on the November ballot, a newly updated analysis projects. The paper from Ohio State University researchers assesses the potential economic impact of cannabis legalization in the state, providing tax revenue estimates for the first years of sales based on an analysis of comparable state markets. The analysis focuses on marijuana sales trends in neighboring Michigan because the… Read more.
Surrounded By Legal Weed, Wisconsin Democrats Urge Change – Why Spend Money In Other States? Wisconsin residents face a dilemma since they live in a state that strictly enforces marijuana prohibition while surrounding areas reap the benefits of legalization. This contrast has prompted Wisconsin Democrats to advocate for change, presenting a basic question: Why should Wisconsinites continue to export their money to other states when their own economy could thrive with a change in cannabis policy? The recent adoption of recreational marijuana… Read more.
A top German official says he expects the federal cabinet to approve the first part of the government’s marijuana legalization plan “next week,” and he emphasized that the reform will be coupled with a “major campaign” to educate the public about the risks of using cannabis. In an interview with Rheinische Post that was published on Wednesday, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach was asked about the status of the legalization proposal that was unveiled last month. “I expect the cannabis approval to… Read more.
As Ohio marijuana reform advocates await final certification of signatures for a legalization initiative they hope to place on the November ballot, an unrelated vote during the state’s special election on Tuesday is being viewed as a bellwether for the cannabis proposal’s passage. Voters turned out in impressive numbers to defeat Issue 1 on Tuesday. The GOP-backed measure would have raised the threshold to approve constitutional amendments at the ballot from a simple majority to 60 percent—a change that could… Read more.
The governor of Florida signed a little-noticed bill that took effect last month, expanding medical marijuana advertising and manufacturing restrictions to prohibit any products or messages that promote “recreational” cannabis use, while adding more stringent eligibility requirements for workers in the industry. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, approved the large-scale health legislation in May, making significant changes to the state’s existing medical cannabis law that could significantly impact the market, especially if an adult-use legalization measure makes… Read more.
The Republican governor of New Hampshire has signed a bill that will create a commission tasked with preparing legislation to legalize marijuana through a system of state-run stores—a novel regulatory model that he backed this year after concluding that legalization is “inevitable” in the state despite his broader concerns with the policy. This comes about two months after bicameral and bipartisan lawmakers reached an agreement on the incremental commission legislation in a conference committee. The bill that the conference committee took up initially only required… Read more.
Minnesota Republican lawmakers say they are “disappointed” with the governor and Democratic leadership for their “unwillingness to address glaring defects” in the state’s newly implemented marijuana legalization law, pointing to what they describe as “loopholes” related to policies affecting youth. The letter, led by Rep. Peggy Scott (R), says that Gov. Tim Walz (D) and Democrats have so far ignored their request last month to convene a special session to address the problems that they’ve raised, including their concerns with minimal penalties… Read more.
A recent report from Stat News indicates a decrease in federal lobbying efforts by cannabis industry operators. Notably, Curaleaf, a significant player in the industry, reduced its lobbying spending in Washington, D.C., by almost 40% during the first half of the year compared to its peak spending in 2019. Furthermore, both Columbia Care and Pax Labs took more drastic measures by eliminating their lobbying teams. In response to this trend, Aaron Smith, co-founder and CEO of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA),… Read more.
According to the DEA's administrator, the agency has not received a clear timeline from the Biden administration regarding the study of marijuana's federal status, as suggested during a congressional hearing. In response, Tennessee Democrat U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen stated his intention to speed the process. Last autumn, President Joe Biden initiated an "administrative review" to reevaluate marijuana's classification under the Controlled Substances Act. As part of this process, public health agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the… Read more.
Ohio voters might see adult-use marijuana legalization on the November ballot, but campaign organizers have a little more work to do first. The effort to legalize a recreational market in Ohio has 10 days to find nearly 700 valid signatures to qualify for the fall ballot, state officials said Tuesday. The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol campaign submitted more than 223,000 signatures to the Ohio secretary of state earlier this month. The state declared that only 123,367 signatures were valid, according to a… Read more.
On the West Coast, the cannabis industry has taken a trifecta of whammies—market saturation, the related issue of market dominance by multi-state operators (MSOs) and finally, a cultural-conservative backlash in some rural areas. Montana is feeling the market glut—which may be exacerbated by illicit products coming in from Oregon and California. But Montana cannabis operators say they feel little concern for the other two factors. This must come as a disappointment to the state’s extremely dogged, if not terribly effective,… Read more.
An Ohio marijuana legalization campaign is just 679 valid signatures short of putting its initiative on the November ballot, sate officials say, but organizers now have 10 additional days to make up the difference to qualify. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CTRMLA) turned in more than 220,000 signatures earlier this month. But the secretary of state’s office said in a letter to the campaign on Tuesday that only 123,367 were verified, several hundred short of the 124,046 signature requirement for ballot… Read more.
Most musicians drink and use drugs. It's a given and even impacted pop singer Tony Bennett, who passed away on July 20 at 96. In the late '70s, after a couple of decades of hitmaking and building his reputation as a Sinatra-style crooner, Bennett went into debt and an extended period of drug use. “I owed something like $1.2 million, which was a fortune in those days," he said in 2011. "At least half of it was in back taxes I couldn’t afford… Read more.
The Albanian parliament passed a law Friday to lay the legal and regulatory foundation for a medical and industrial cannabis industry. Lawmakers approved the bill, with 69 votes in favor, 23 against and three abstentions. The law creates the National Agency for the Control of Cannabis as the main regulatory body, which will deal with the regulation of the processing and production of products for medical use. The law, which also allows for medical marijuana cultivation, had been presented by… Read more.
A top Maryland marijuana regulator says the state’s proactive approach to legalizing cannabis has allowed it to implement a system that effectively balances three key priorities: safety, access and equity. When the state’s legalization law took effect at the beginning of the month, nearly 100 existing medical marijuana dispensaries were already approved to start serving adult consumers. And a testament to the success of the rollout is the fact that Maryland retailers sold over $10 million worth of legal cannabis in the… Read more.
A new law legalizing the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana for adults in Luxembourg officially takes effect on Friday, the government has announced. The Ministry of Justice published a statement about the forthcoming policy change in the Official Journal on Tuesday—a procedural step that means the legislation will come into force in four days. This comes about a month after Luxembourg’s Parliament passed a legalization bill, making it the second country in the European Union to end cannabis prohibition following Malta’s… Read more.
A top North Carolina lawmaker says that he’s “very sure” that a Senate-passed medical marijuana legalization bill will not advance in the House this session—even amid strong-arm tactics launched by the other chamber to force the issue—though he said legislators would likely return to it during next year’s short session. House Majority Leader John Bell (R) said in an interview with Spectrum News on Monday that there’s “still discussions going on” about the cannabis measure, but Republican lawmakers “unfortunately did… Read more.
A newly established super PAC called "Legalize America" has been launched by a coalition of marijuana businesses and advocacy groups. The primary objective of this super PAC is to elevate the prominence of cannabis as a national issue in the upcoming 2024 election and beyond. Legalize America plans to collaborate with industry partners to encourage customers to make "round-up" donations at the point of sale when purchasing products from dispensaries. The Legalize America super PAC's formation involves their organization and its… Read more.
A bill to legalize cannabis for adults was introduced in Pennsylvania last week. The bipartisan legislation would legalize cannabis possession and retail sales and includes expungement provisions for nonviolent cannabis criminal charges. The measure was introduced in the Senate by Democratic Sen. Sharif Street and Republican Sen. Dan Laughlin. In a press release, Street described the bill as a “singular opportunity to correct decades of mass incarceration, disproportionate enforcement against marginalized communities, the criminalization of personal choice, and the perpetuation of violence.” “Legalizing the adult… Read more.
German adults aged 18 and older would be allowed to possess up to 25 grams of cannabis for personal use and cultivate up to three plants under the country’s draft law to legalize cannabis published by the Ministry of Health last week, Forbes reports. The law would also establish cannabis growers’ associations which would allow members to obtain either 25 grams of cannabis per day or 50 grams per month for personal use, and associations could supply each member with up to… Read more.
An important step has been taken toward the acceptance and legitimacy of psychedelic therapies with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) release of a ground-breaking draft guidance addressing the special issues investigating psychedelics for therapeutic reasons. This change occurs when municipalities and states nationwide push more for the study and control of drugs like psilocybin and MDMA. The FDA's draft guidance provides researchers with a framework to design clinical trials that yield interpretable results, supporting the development of psychedelic medicines. As the… Read more.
Missouri’s marijuana businesses will have fewer obstacles when it comes to accessing banking, but they must now get fingerprint background checks from all their new employees and contractors, under legislation that Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed on Thursday. Few banks nationwide serve cannabis businesses and their owners—or even their auxiliary partners —because most want nothing to do with a business that sells a product the federal government still considers illegal. That’s true even in states that have legalized marijuana. The governor… Read more.
Last week, Australia made headlines around the world for being the first country ever that legally allowed MDMA and magic mushrooms to be prescribed by licensed psychiatrists for the treatment of mental health conditions. This is surprisingly good news albeit controversial, considering that medical marijuana laws are still lagging behind Down Under. Psilocybin magic mushrooms and MDMA have both been approved as medications by the Therapeutic Goods Administration; the former for certain kinds of treatment-resistant depression and MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These regulations became… Read more.
The Attorney General of Florida has presented a document to the state Supreme Court outlining her justifications for preventing a marijuana legalization proposal from appearing on the 2024 ballot. Alongside her, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and an anti-drug organization have also filed documents opposing the initiative. Notably, most of this measure's funding is provided by Trulieve, a cannabis company operating in multiple states. Attorney General Argues Ballot Summary of Cannabis Measure is Misleading to Voters Following a court-granted extension of two… Read more.
Bipartisan Pennsylvania senators have officially introduced a new bill to legalize marijuana in the state. Sens. Dan Laughlin (R) and Sharif Street (D) filed the legislation on Thursday, about two months after first announcing their plans to team up on a reform push again after their joint cannabis efforts in prior sessions. “Legalized adult use of marijuana is supported by an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians and this legislation accomplishes that while also ensuring safety and social equity,” Laughlin said in a press… Read more.
About eight months after Maryland voters passed the state’s cannabis legalization initiative, adult-use sales launched in the state on Saturday, July 1. According to a Forbes report, the flip from medical to adult-use sales has increased the number of consumers available to the Maryland cannabis industry from about 168,000 patients to more than 4 million eligible consumers. The launch was marked by lines of eager customers stretching out the door at some retailers. In a statement released over the weekend, Maryland Attorney General Anthony… Read more.
A Republican North Carolina senator is making it clear that he intends to see his medical marijuana legalization bill pass this session despite some obstinance among GOP leadership in the House—and he’s even gone so far as to include medical cannabis regulatory appointments for the yet-to-be-enacted program in a new measure that passed the Senate last week. But Sen. Bill Rabon’s (R) recent acts of defiance—including attaching an amendment to an unrelated House bill that makes its effective date contingent on his… Read more.
Luxembourg on Wednesday became the second European Union member nation to legalize cannabis possession and cultivation for personal use, Forbes reports. Under the law, adults in Luxembourg can possess up to three grams but public use and possession remains outlawed and can lead to fines ranging from $27 to $500. Luxembourg citizens can grow up to four plants under the law, which was approved 38-22. Luxembourg officials had legalized cannabis cultivation for adults in October 2021 but lawmakers had not codified the rules and… Read more.