Politics

DeSantis Seems To Concede He Vetoed Hemp Ban Bill, In Part, To Engage Industry In Marijuana Legalization Opposition Campaign

June 21, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) seemed to tacitly acknowledge that part of the reason he recently vetoed a bill to ban intoxicating hemp products was because he hopes the industry will aid in his campaign opposing a marijuana legalization ballot initiative. Amid reports that the governor rejected the hemp legislation to earn the industry’s favor, DeSantis was asked on Wednesday to weigh in on his rationale. While he started by saying the legislation “had some problems” that would have disrupted an… Read more.

VP Kamala Harris Trashes Marijuana ‘Gateway Drug’ Theory, But Says She Won’t Use Strain Named After Her

June 5, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Vice President Kamala Harris is shocked to learn there’s a strain of marijuana named after her, but she’s not planning to try it anytime soon. However, that’s not because she believes its a “gateway drug”—a long-held theory that she pushed back against in a new interview. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday, Harris also seemed to overstate how the administration’s move to reschedule cannabis would impact criminal justice and the resulting availability of resources for other priorities.… Read more.

New Hampshire lawmakers reject plan for state-run cannabis retail

June 1, 2024 · MJ Biz Daily

As expected, members of the New Hampshire House of Representatives rejected a plan approved by the governor and state Senate to legalize adult-use marijuana sales via a state-run retail model. Thursday’s thumbs-down to Gov. Chris Sununu’s legalization vision by the libertarian-leaning state House means New Hampshire remains the lone holdout in New England without state-regulated adult-use cannabis. This latest turn in a yearslong saga means “more negotiations” for lawmakers, according to Manchester-based TV station WMUR. However, it’s unclear how two drastically different ideas can be… Read more.

President Biden Announces Federal Government Will Reschedule Cannabis in ‘Monumental’ Announcement

May 16, 2024 · High Times

President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. Department of Justice will officially reschedule cannabis, moving it from Schedule I, reserved for dangerous drugs with no medical value, to Schedule III. The news follows the historic announcement on April 30, that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will move to reclassify cannabis under Schedule III, the Associated Press reported. Biden, along with Vice President Kamala Harris, both recorded videos of the announcement and posted them on social media. “This is monumental,” Biden said… Read more.

South Dakota Tribes Ban Gov. Kristi Noem After She Says They Cater to Drug Cartels

May 15, 2024 · High Times

After a series of controversial remarks about alleged drug trade on reservations, three more Native American tribes in South Dakota banned Gov. Kristi Noem from setting foot on their reservations, bringing the total number of tribal reservations to ban her to seven.  The Associated Press reports that tribes are reacting to remarks from the governor, essentially saying that their reservations are havens for drug dealers selling fentanyl and other drugs, and that tribal leaders are allegedly not doing anything about it. “We’ve got… Read more.

Cory Booker Visits Marijuana Manufacturer In California Amid Renewed Push For Federal Legalization Bill

May 9, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) paid a visit to a marijuana manufacturing facility in Sacramento this week, touring the operation and speaking with staff as he continues his push for federal legalization. Just weeks after reintroducing the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) with 17 other Democratic senators, Booker took a trip to Natura on Monday, gaining additional industry perspective from a leading manufacturer in the state. Josh Schmidt, vice president of business development at Natura, said the company was “thrilled” to host… Read more.

Marijuana Rescheduling Will Make Republicans ‘More Comfortable’ Voting For Banking And Other Reforms, Former GOP Congressman Says

May 8, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A former GOP congressman says he expects Republicans will be “more comfortable voting yes” for incremental marijuana reform measures like a banking access bill for the industry now that the administration is moving to reschedule cannabis. Former Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) and Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-founder Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) both discussed the future prospects of marijuana policy during a webinar hosted by the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC) last week. Blumenauer, a leading champion of marijuana reform efforts over five… Read more.

Voters Reject Local Cannabis Reforms In Lubbock, Texas

May 6, 2024 · Ganjapreneur

Voters in Lubbock, Texas on Saturday rejected a local cannabis decriminalization ballot measure, the Texas Tribune reports. The proposal — which sought to prevent Lubbock law enforcement from arresting or prosecuting adults caught with four ounces or less of cannabis — was rejected by nearly 65% of voters during the city’s municipal election. A spokesperson for Lubbock Compact, the community advocacy group and public policy think tank behind the decriminalization campaign, said low voter turnout caused the campaign to come up short. The Lubbock City Council… Read more.

Federal Cannabis Legalization Bill Filed By Senate Democrats

May 4, 2024 · Ganjapreneur

Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate this week reintroduced the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity (CAO) Act, which seeks to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. The bill was filed by a coalition of Democrats led by Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) and Sens. Ron Wyden (OR) and Cory Booker (NJ). The CAO, which was first introduced in 2022, would remove cannabis from the federal drug schedule, automatically expunge federal non-violent cannabis offenses, and establish a grant program aimed at helping individuals who… Read more.

White House Says Marijuana Rescheduling Is Part Of Pledge Biden Made To Voters In Last Campaign

May 1, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The White House says that President Joe Biden’s marijuana review directive that’s now resulted in a Justice Department rescheduling decision is part of fulfilling the pledge he made to voters in the 2020 election. At a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was asked about the status of DOJ’s proposed rule to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). She said that the “process continues,” but she couldn’t confirm that the… Read more.

The Marijuana Industry’s Secret Playbook to Get Weed Legalized in All 50 States – Put Abortion Rights Vote on the Same Ballot?

May 1, 2024 · Cannabis.net

First it was Ohio with a pro-choice, pro-weed ballot and vote this year that put recreational cannabis in the hands of voters over 21 years-old in Ohio. Cannabis advocates, sensing a pro-legalization win by drawing out female, liberal, progressive voters, are trying the same tactic to get over 60% of the votes needed for recreational cannabis in Florida. Democratic strategists see an opportunity to win over voters in the state of Florida with the advent of constitutional amendment measures that would legalize marijuana… Read more.

DeSantis Will Be ‘Getting Involved’ In Effort To Defeat Marijuana Measure On Florida Ballot

April 30, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is again lashing out at marijuana legalization as voters prepare to decide on a ballot initiative in November, warning that the reform would negatively impact quality of life in the state. The governor, who has mocked legalization repeatedly in a series of recent comments, signaled that he may be taking on a more active role in the effort to defeat the cannabis reform as Election Day approaches. “We’ll be getting involved in different ways on… Read more.

Nearly 50% of Biden Supporters Want a Dispensary Within Driving Distance, Only 12% of Trump Supporters Feel the Same Way

April 24, 2024 · Cannabis.net

NIMBY stands for "Not in My Back Yard", and when discussing cannabis, Republicans and Democrats could not be more diametrically opposed on living in certain area with or without legal weed. The recently released report from Redfin, a technology-enabled real estate brokerage, is circulating in the marijuana industry. It revealed a noticeable difference between individuals living in U.S. households that favoured Joe Biden versus Donald Trump. The major difference pertains to individual preference when it comes to residing in areas where… Read more.

Illinois Governor Cites Cannabis Reform While Campaigning for Biden

April 23, 2024 · High Times

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker took to the campaign trail over the weekend to stump for President Joseph Biden, taking advantage of the 420 weed high holiday as an opportunity to tout the cannabis policy reforms made by the current administration. At a campaign stop in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Saturday, Pritzker said that cannabis policy reform can have significant economic benefits in states that legalize marijuana for adults. “I wanted to come up here on 4/20, because we, too, legalized… Read more.

Politicians Tout Marijuana Policy Progress On 4/20 Amid Heightened Expectations About Federal Reform

April 21, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Public officials across the U.S. are adding their voices to the chorus of marijuana reform supporters celebrating the cannabis holiday 4/20 on Saturday. That includes members of Congress, state legislators and even the president and vice president. As mainstream brands and advocacy groups promote various campaigns that seek to leverage the popularity of the expanding reform movement, elected officials are touting their work to advance legalization and other policy changes around cannabis. Saturday might be a time of celebration within the cannabis… Read more.

New Mexico Governor Presses Biden Official About Spike In Federal Marijuana Seizures From Licensed Businesses

April 19, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The governor of New Mexico spoke with the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) this week and expressed concern about a recent surge of Border Patrol seizures of marijuana from state-licensed businesses, Marijuana Moment has learned exclusively. But the top Biden official simply reiterated that federal cannabis laws haven’t changed, indicating that the seizures will continue. The office of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) shared details about the conversation with Marijuana Moment, adding that her administration is “working… Read more.

DeSantis Again Rips Into Marijuana Legalization, Warning November Ballot Measure Would Be ‘Not Good For Families’

April 18, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

With a legalization ballot measure set to appear on Florida’s ballot in November, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) again attacked the proposal on Wednesday, warning that the changes would be “not good for families” and “not good for elderly.” He also accused the initiative’s cannabis industry backers as being profit-driven. “People aren’t putting tens of millions of dollars behind that out of the goodness of their heart,” the governor said. “They are going to be making a lot of money… Read more.

Coalition Of Justice Groups Pushes Biden To Support Marijuana Legalization Instead Of Schedule III Move

April 17, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

In a new letter to the White House, a group of 20 justice and drug reform advocacy organizations are calling on President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to publicly support the removal of marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) rather than merely a move to Schedule III, as the government is currently considering. Biden has said repeatedly during his campaign and term in office that “no one should be in jail merely for the use or possession of… Read more.

Congressional Lawmakers Approve GOP-Led Marijuana And Psychedelics Bills Focused On Veterans

April 16, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A congressional committee has approved a pair of GOP-led marijuana and psychedelics bills focused on military veterans’ access. About a month after the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee held an initial hearing on the legislation, members passed both proposals as part of an en bloc package with other measures under unanimous consent on Tuesday. The medical cannabis measure, sponsored by the subcommittee chair Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), is titled the Veterans Cannabis Analysis, Research, and Effectiveness (CARE) Act. “My bill proposes… Read more.

Biden ‘Not Doing Enough’ To Protect State Marijuana Laws, Congressman Says As Feds Seize Products From Licensed Businesses

April 10, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A Democratic congressman says recent reports of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seizing marijuana from state-licensed businesses in New Mexico underscores how the Biden administration is “not doing enough to protect states who are not waiting for the federal government to catch up.” Over the past two months, CBP has seized hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cannabis products from state-legal operators—a recent trend that seemingly conflicts with the administration’s non-intervention position for state marijuana laws. “The Biden-Harris Administration… Read more.

Schumer And Democratic Senators Seek Support For Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill Ahead Of 4/20, With Plans To File This Month

April 10, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) are soliciting support for a federal marijuana legalization bill that they plan to introduce later this month, setting a sign-on deadline for original cosponsors on the eve of the cannabis holiday 4/20. In a Dear Colleague letter that was circulated on Tuesday, the senators said that a “growing number of Americans have made it clear, at ballot boxes, through their legislatures, and… Read more.

Poll Finds Most Weed Consumers Would Vote for Pro-Cannabis Candidate Regardless of Party

April 10, 2024 · High Times

A majority of cannabis consumers who are likely to vote in this fall’s general election say they would vote for a pro-cannabis candidate regardless of their party affiliation, according to the results of a recent survey. The poll, which was conducted by the medical marijuana telehealth platform NuggMD, found that 59% of likely voters who use weed would cast their ballot for a pro-cannabis presidential candidate regardless of that candidate’s political party. NuggMD’s 2024 Election Poll surveyed 755 cannabis users about their… Read more.

Ohio recreational cannabis launch stymied by GOP dispute

April 8, 2024 ·

Infighting among Ohio Republican lawmakers is threatening the rules promulgation process for the voter-approved adult-use cannabis market and delaying when products will actually be available for purchase in the state. Issue 2, which passed with a 57-43% margin in November, allows adults 21 and older to consume cannabis in all of its main forms, as well as grow up to six plants per individual or 12 per household. However, the delay stems from expected disagreement between the Republican-controlled state Senate and House. The Senate passed… Read more.

Democrats Sense Opportunities in Florida With Weed, Abortion on the Ballot

April 8, 2024 · High Times

Democratic strategists see opportunities to attract Florida voters to the party’s candidates now that constitutional amendment initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana and guarantee broader abortion rights have qualified for the ballot. The Florida Supreme Court announced on April 1 that Amendment 3 to legalize adult-use cannabis and Amendment 4 to protect abortion rights had fulfilled state requirements and would appear on the ballot for this fall’s presidential general election. If passed, Amendment 3 would legalize cannabis for adults aged 21 and older… Read more.

GOP Senator Urges Border Patrol To ‘Reverse’ Marijuana Employment Policy Change, Arguing Loosening Rules ‘Undermines’ Security

April 8, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A GOP senator is calling on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to “reverse” its updated policy that narrows the window of employment ineligibility over past marijuana use from two years to three months, arguing that it “undermines the security and integrity of the Border Patrol workforce” and questioning the “trustworthiness” of recruits who used cannabis. In a letter sent to CBP Acting Commissioner Troy Miller on Sunday, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said he’s “very concerned about the impact” of… Read more.

GOP Congresswoman Says Passing Marijuana Banking Bill Would Help Republicans Keep House Majority

April 6, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) says that “if Republicans want to keep the House,” they should pass a marijuana banking bill, arguing that “there are votes” to approve it. She also said it’s “mind-boggling” that Virginia’s GOP governor recently vetoed a bill to legalize cannabis sales given the issues’s broad bipartisan popularity. In an interview on The Dales Report’s “Trade To Black” podcast on Wednesday, the pro-legalization congresswoman weighed in on a wide range of marijuana policy issues, including her support… Read more.

DeSantis Says Florida Voters Will Reject ‘Radical’ Marijuana Ballot Measure, Claiming It Would ‘Reduce The Quality Of Life’

April 5, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) predicts that voters will reject a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot in November, calling the proposal “radical” and arguing that it will “reduce the quality of life” in the state. Just days after the Florida Supreme Court cleared the cannabis measure for the ballot, rejecting the state attorney general’s constitutional challenge, the governor addressed the issue at a press conference on Thursday. DeSantis said the marijuana legalization proposal goes beyond simple decriminalization and is “basically… Read more.

Donald Trump Will Decide On Marijuana Legalization As A Florida Voter, Thanks To Supreme Court Ruling

April 3, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The Florida Supreme Court’s decision to allow a marijuana legalization initiative to appear on the state’s November ballot will likely draw unique national attention to this year’s election because of one Florida resident who will get to decide on the reform: former President Donald Trump. While both presumptive presidential nominees—Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden—can reasonably expect to be asked about the issue as they campaign in the Sunshine State, Trump will actually get to cast his vote when he fills out… Read more.

No Backroom Deals or Secret Handshakes? – The DEA Clarifies the Possible Rescheduling Process for Cannabis from Schedule 1 to 3

March 30, 2024 · Cannabis.net

A representative from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has expressed the agency's intention to dispel any misunderstandings surrounding its drug scheduling review process, emphasizing a commitment to transparency. The DEA is currently in the process of potentially reclassifying marijuana and aims to ensure clarity in its decision-making. The official noted that the analysis of recommendations from health authorities can take up to six months, coinciding with the timeframe since the commencement of the current cannabis assessment by the agency. Unveiling DEA's Discussion… Read more.

Florida Supreme Court Can Issue Marijuana Ballot Opinion ‘At Any Time’ Before Monday Deadline, But ‘No Provisions’ On What Happens Without Ruling, Official Says

March 28, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Florida’s Supreme Court is fast approaching a deadline—midnight on Monday—to render an opinion in a case that will decide whether a marijuana legalization initiative will appear on the state ballot this November. But while expectations were that it would issue its decision on Thursday, as it traditionally posts opinions on that day of the week, the court declined to do so—raising procedural questions about what to expect next with time running thin, and what might happen if justices miss the… Read more.

GOP Senators Tell DEA To Reject Marijuana Rescheduling, Arguing It Would Violate International Treaties

March 27, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Three Republican senators are urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to reject the top federal health agency’s marijuana rescheduling recommendation, arguing that it would put the U.S. out of compliance with international treaty obligations and make it harder to ensure that other countries continue to enforce drug laws, “including for deadly narcotics like fentanyl.” In a letter sent to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram on Wednesday, Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT), James Risch (R-ID) and Pete Ricketts (R-NE) said the agency should… Read more.

Bipartisan Majorities Want Congress To Pass Bill Protecting States’ Rights To Legalize Marijuana, Poll Of Voters In Three States Finds

March 27, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A strong majority of voters—including more than 60 percent of Republicans—support congressional legislation to protect states’ rights to set their own marijuana laws, according to a new poll of three states. The survey, commissioned by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR), focused on Missouri, Ohio and Wyoming. It asked voters 21 and older about their views on the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. The bill, which is being led by Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH)… Read more.

Connecticut Lawmakers Approve Psilocybin Decriminalization Bill In Joint Committee Vote

March 26, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Connecticut lawmakers have approved a bill to decriminalize psilocybin in a bicameral committee. About two weeks after the legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee first discussed the psychedelics proposal, members approved it on Tuesday. The legislation would make possession of up to one-half an ounce of psilocybin punishable by a $150 fine, without the threat of jail time. A second or subsequent violation would carry a fine of at least $200 but not more than $500. A person who pleads guilty or no… Read more.

House GOP Committee Urges Opposition To Marijuana Banking Bill, Saying ‘Gateway Drug’ Causes ‘Violence, Depression And Suicide’

March 26, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A Republican House advisory committee is formally opposing marijuana banking legislation and a separate bill to remove past cannabis use as a disqualifying factor for federal employment and security clearances, while broadly criticizing the substance as a “gateway drug” that causes “violence, depression and suicide.” The House Republican Policy Committee’s new marijuana report also says that Vice President Kamala Harris was “mistaken” when she said cannabis brings people “joy” as a 2020 presidential candidate, instead arguing that it is a “hazardous drug with… Read more.

Former Mayor, Assemblyman Opens New Jersey Dispensary

March 25, 2024 · High Times

Former Medford, New Jersey mayor and former New Jersey General Assemblyman Scott Rudder is opening a dispensary in Riverside in his home state. Riverside, a suburb in the greater Philadelphia-Camden area, is a prime location for growth in the cannabis sector. Rudder, who is Republican, founded the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association in 2016, a leading cannabis trade industry association. He’s also a veteran and helped organize and was a top consultant to statewide campaigns to legalize adult-use cannabis in New… Read more.

Top Federal Health Official Clarifies Rescheduling Marijuana Wouldn’t Decriminalize It—Which Biden Campaigned On

March 20, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The Biden administration’t top health official has again defended his department’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana against Republican criticism, while pointing out that the incremental move would not decriminalize cannabis despite the president’s campaign pledges to do so. During a hearing before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health And Human Services, Education, And Related Agencies on Wednesday, several members addressed the cannabis scheduling review, including two GOP members who oppose the reform and a Democrat who helped advance a legalization… Read more.

VP Kamala Harris, Silent on Cannabis Reform for Almost 4 Years, Now Says She is All In on Rescheduling Weed

March 19, 2024 · Cannabis.net

Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized on Friday that no one should be imprisoned for using cannabis and encouraged the federal government to move quickly to reschedule the drug. "Prompt action must be taken," said Harris. "We need to make a decision based on careful investigation and evaluation. It's ridiculous that marijuana is considered to be as harmful as heroin, let alone more dangerous than fentanyl, demonstrating how seriously flawed the present categorization of the drug is. This defies logic and is… Read more.

Marijuana Industry Cash Is Not Necessarily ‘Suspicious,’ IRS Says In New Guidance Memo

March 19, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a new memo clarifying the rules for reporting large cash payments between marijuana businesses, which the agency says should not automatically be considered “suspicious” just because of the federally prohibited nature of the industry. In the memo, IRS says it is responding to a request for guidance on how cannabis businesses should approach Form 8300, a document that must be completed when a company receives a cash payment of $10,000 or more. “The… Read more.

DEA is working ‘quickly’ on marijuana rescheduling, Vice President Harris says

March 18, 2024 · MJ Biz Daily

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is “working as quickly as possible” on potentially rescheduling marijuana, according to Vice President Kamala Harris. Harris commented on marijuana still being a Schedule 1 drug during a Friday marijuana reform roundtable with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and some who have received pardons from President Joe Biden for MJ offenses, according to news outlet Politico. “Marijuana is considered as dangerous as heroin and more dangerous than fentanyl, which is absurd, not to mention patently unfair,” Harris said… Read more.

Kamala Harris Calls Current Federal Cannabis Policy ‘Absurd’

March 17, 2024 · Ganjapreneur

Vice President Kamala Harris (D) said on Friday that it’s “absurd” and “patently unfair” to rank cannabis above fentanyl and alongside heroin at Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), according to a CNN report. The vice president made the statement during a roundtable discussion covering the Biden Administration’s latest cannabis reform efforts. Moderated by musician and philanthropist Fat Joe, the discussion included Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) — who last year announced the pardoning of low-level cannabis possession charges — and a group… Read more.

How close is DEA to making decision on rescheduling marijuana?

March 12, 2024 · MJ Biz Daily

President Joe Biden’s mention of ongoing marijuana reform efforts during his annual State of the Union address is considered a landmark achievement for MJ policy by political observers as well as stakeholders in the $34 billion U.S. cannabis industry. But those keen to know exactly when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will issue its highly anticipated response to health regulators’ revolutionary 2023 recommendation to move marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 3 of the Controlled Substances Act remain frustrated. “Anyone who says they know is full… Read more.

Cannabis Took Center Stage at Biden’s State of the Union Address

March 9, 2024 ·

For the first time in 234 years, the American president’s State of the Union Address (SOTU) praised cannabis reform efforts, reminding Americans the leader up for reelection believes “No one should be jailed just for using or possessing marijuana.” During his speech before a joint session of Congress on March 7, President Joe Biden made a concerted effort to promote his pardons and the rescheduling review request currently underway at the Drug Enforcement Administration. His team doubled down on the messaging with multiple social media… Read more.

Congressional Leaders’ Bill Extends State Medical Marijuana Protections And Calls For Studying Legalization Models

March 4, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Bicameral congressional leaders have released a spending package that contains a number of marijuana-related items—including bill provisions preserving protections for state medical cannabis programs and report language that calls for the federal government to study state legalization laws and expand scientists’ access to commercially available cannabis for research. The legislation covering Fiscal Year 2024 was posted on Sunday by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, with bipartisan legislators aiming to pass the package this week before the latest continuing resolution… Read more.

Fetterman Says Excluding Military From Biden’s Marijuana Pardons Is A ‘Mistake’

March 1, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) says it’s a “mistake” that President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons don’t cover possession offenses under military code, arguing that cannabis should be broadly treated the same as alcohol under federal law. The senator said during an interview with Ask a Pol’s Matt Laslo this week that cannabis reform is one area where his position departs from the president, as he’d like to see the substance legalized and regulated like alcohol and tobacco products. While the U.S. Army… Read more.

Veterans & Law Enforcement Leaders Urge Biden to Reschedule Cannabis

February 23, 2024 · Ganjapreneur

Six of the country’s top veterans groups and a group of U.S. law enforcement leaders sent letters on Thursday urging the Biden Administration to reschedule cannabis under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The development comes amid rumors that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could soon announce a cannabis scheduling decision, and six months after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended that cannabis be moved from Schedule I to Schedule III under the CSA. In a… Read more.

Congressman Demands Answers From DEA On Marijuana Rescheduling Review

February 8, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

One of the co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus sent a letter to the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) on Thursday, urging the agency to release more information about its ongoing review of marijuana’s scheduling status under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA)—including what its “planned deadline” is for finishing and whether it will take into account the fact that many states have already legalized cannabis. “Clear and proactive communication is critical as this formal scheduling review moves… Read more.

VP Kamala Harris Touts Marijuana Pardons In Pitch To Black And Young Voters, Saying ‘Nobody’ Should Be Jailed For ‘Smoking Weed’

February 6, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Vice President Kamala Harris says the administration’s move to pardon people for federal marijuana possession offenses is an example of how it is delivering for Americans, particularly young and Black voters who could be key to President Joe Biden’s reelection bid this year. The White House also cited the cannabis clemency move in a new fact sheet on efforts to “advance racial justice and equity and ensure the promise of America for all communities.” Speaking with Gray DC in South… Read more.

DEA Slammed Over Post Commemorating Nixon’s Drug War Legacy On First Day Of Black History Month

February 4, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is facing criticism over its decision to commemorate President Richard Nixon’s drug war legacy in a social media post that coincided with the beginning of Black History Month. DEA’s Throwback Thursday (or TBT) post on X featured a picture of Nixon receiving a “certificate of special honor” from the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers’ Association in December 1970 “in recognition of the outstanding loyalty and contribution to support narcotic law enforcement.” Advocates blasted the homage as… Read more.

Snoop Dogg Says He Has ‘Nothing But Love for Donald Trump’ Because He Paroled His Friend

February 1, 2024 · CelebStoner

Nearly seven years after then Pres. Donald Trump tweeted about Snoop Dogg's "failing career," the rapper now says in a new interview, "I have nothing but love for Donald Trump." Snoop added: "Donald Trump? He ain't done nothing wrong to me. He has done only great things for me. He pardoned Michael Harris." Who Is Michael Harris? Michael "Harry-O" Harris co-founded Death Row Records with Suge Knight in 1991. It's the West Coast hip-hop label that introduced Dr. Dre and Snoop to the world.… Read more.

Biden Falsely Suggests Marijuana Pardons ‘Expunged’ Records And Released Prisoners While Campaigning On ‘Promises Kept’

January 30, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

President Joe Biden is again inflating the impact of his pardons for marijuana offenses, falsely suggesting that his act of clemency “expunged” records and that people were released from prison. “A promise made and a promise kept,” he said during a campaign speech in South Carolina on Saturday. “I keep my promises when I said no one—no one—should be in prison for merely possessing marijuana or using it, and their records should be expunged,” Biden said. The president has routinely framed… Read more.

Fetterman Opposes Schumer’s Zyn Nicotine Pouch Crackdown For Same ‘Freedom’ Reasons He Backs Marijuana Legalization

January 26, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) says he doesn’t support Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) call for a crackdown on the nicotine product Zyn because it’s a matter of “freedom and personal choices,” drawing parallels to his reasons for supporting marijuana legalization. Schumer said earlier this week that he’s asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the health impacts and marketing of the nicotine pouches that have been popularized on social media in a… Read more.

Trump’s White House Pharmacy Had a Bit of a Pill Problem

January 26, 2024 · High Times

A lengthy new report from the Department of Defense found that during Trump’s administration, the White House Medical Unit was mishandling dangerous prescription drugs. The 80-page document released on January 8 detailed inappropriate mishandling of pharmaceuticals and their respective prescribing practices. The investigation into this matter began in 2018 after the Inspector General of the Department of Defense received complaints which included shoddy record keeping, overuse of brand name medications instead of cheaper generic alternatives, mishandling of medications such as… Read more.

New York’s Sudden Cancellation Of Marijuana Board Meeting Came At Governor’s Request, Email Suggests

January 25, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The sudden cancellation of a state cannabis licensing board meeting scheduled for Wednesday left applicants hoping to run weed businesses fuming. After learning of the cancellation Tuesday evening, LakeHouse Cannabis CEO Paul Suits Jr. sent a two page document outlining his frustrations trying to win a dispensary license to the Office of Cannabis Management—remarks he had planned to read aloud at the state Cannabis Control Board meeting. Suits applied in October for a retail license to sell in Cortland, New… Read more.

Biden DOJ Tells Federal Court Not To ‘Disrupt’ Marijuana Rescheduling Decision By Allowing Industry Lawsuit To Proceed

January 24, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

The Justice Department has asked a federal court to dismiss a cannabis industry lawsuit that seeks to block the enforcement of marijuana prohibition against state-legal activity—in part, it says, because the court should not get ahead of a possible cannabis rescheduling decision that’s being considered. In a document filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, Western Division, on Tuesday, lawyers for Attorney General Merrick Garland said that Congress “rationally set up an administrative process for rescheduling drugs.” “Pursuant to… Read more.

DeSantis Says Marijuana Legalization Will Be On Florida Ballot Following Court Review

January 22, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says a marijuana legalization initiative will be on the state’s November ballot, predicting a favorable legal outcome for activists in the Supreme Court in the face of a challenge from the attorney general who is seeking to block the vote. Days before dropping out of the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, DeSantis was asked about the prospect of legalization making the Florida ballot by cannabis lobbyist Don Murphy. “I think the court is… Read more.

Marijuana Advocates Plan ‘Largest Bipartisan’ Push For Federal Reform At Pre-4/20 Event In D.C. As Rescheduling Decision Looms

January 18, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

A leading cannabis group is planning to mobilize the “largest bi-partisan coalition of cannabis advocacy, industry, and grassroots organizations” that will convene in Washington, D.C. to push for federal reform just ahead of the marijuana holiday 4/20 this year. Organized by the Last Prisoner Project (LPP), the meeting will feature an ideologically diverse collection of advocates and stakeholders to promote legalization centered in equity, the organization said in a press release on Thursday. LPP has also released a new memo… Read more.

GOP Presidential Candidate Ramaswamy Wants VA To Provide Medical Marijuana And Psychedelics To Veterans Instead Of Fentanyl

January 16, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, says he would federally legalize Schedule I drugs such as marijuana and psychedelics for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) if he’s elected. His plan involves having the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provide access to the currently illegal substances as an alternative to fentanyl. During a virtual town hall event ahead of the Iowa caucus, Ramaswamy was asked why medical cannabis hasn’t been federally legalized and took the opportunity to tout his… Read more.

Congressman Delivers ‘Angry’ Floor Speech About Stalled Federal Marijuana Reform, But Says It’s ‘Not Too Late’ To Act

January 15, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

It’s “not too late” for the current Congress to pass sensible marijuana reform legislation and end the “insane” prohibitionist policies of the war on drugs, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) says. In an impassioned speech on the House floor on Thursday, the founding member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus said he is both “sad” and “angry” over the continued federal inaction on marijuana reform, arguing that it’s “time for Congress to stop making this problem worse.” “I’ve been working for 50… Read more.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – The DEA and Congress Are Bitching at Each Other about Rescheduling Marijuana

January 11, 2024 · Cannabis.net

The consumption of marijuana has surged dramatically, with a notable instance in Michigan, where recreational use has recently been legalized. In its first year, marijuana sales are poised to exceed $3 billion, propelled by a remarkable performance in July. This upswing can be attributed to Generation Z opting for marijuana over alcohol, considering it a healthier alternative. However, the industry faces challenges such as disorderly state enforcement, burdensome taxes, and restrictive regulations, including the absence of interstate commerce, leading to significant disruptions.… Read more.

New Bipartisan Washington Bill Would Legalize Psilocybin Therapy For Veterans And First Responders

January 9, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Bipartisan Washington State lawmakers prefiled a Senate bill last week that would allow nonprofits to provide psilocybin services to clients 21 and older so long as the organizations “have an explicit goal of promoting wellness for and assisting military veterans or first responders.” Sponsored by Sens. Jesse Salomon (D) and Ann Rivers (R), SB 5977 appears to build on the state’s limited psychedelics pilot program signed into law last year, which is also aimed at serving veterans and first responders, including… Read more.

DeSantis Says He Would ‘Respect The Decisions That States Make’ On Marijuana Legalization, Despite Personal Opposition

January 8, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) says he would “respect the decisions that states make” on marijuana legalization if he’s elected president, despite his personal view that the reform has a “negative impact.” At a campaign event in Iowa on Saturday, the 2024 Republican presidential candidate briefly shared how he would navigate the growing state legalization movement from the White House, pledging to adopt a hands-off approach like that of prior administrations from both parties. DeSantis started by noting that Florida… Read more.

Biden Approves Funding for Psychedelic Drug Research for Military Members

January 3, 2024 · Green Market Report

President Joe Biden signed off on a new defense bill that includes provisions for funding clinical trials on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs for active-duty military personnel. The president approved 2024’s National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 22, a week after Congress green lit the package and sent it to his desk earlier last month. In a statement, Biden made no remarks or references to the specific language regarding psychedelic treatment for military members. The NDAA allocates $10 million for the Department… Read more.

South Dakota Officials Clear Marijuana Legalization Campaign To Launch Paid Signature Drive For 2024 Ballot Initiative

January 1, 2024 · Marijuana Moment

South Dakota officials have cleared the way for paid circulators to start collecting signatures for a 2024 marijuana legalization ballot initiative as the activist-led campaign continues to evaluate next steps. Late last month, the secretary of state’s office approved a circulator handout submitted by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML), a requirement that will allow the campaign to deploy paid canvassers to gather signatures along with its existing grassroots network of volunteers who have already been distributing petitions. The… Read more.

Biden Issues More Pardons

December 29, 2023 · MG Magazine

Saying “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” President Joe Biden in December expanded his federal pardons program to sweep in all United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who have used or possessed cannabis illegally, even if they’ve never been arrested or charged with a crime. The directive also extends to people convicted of minor offenses on federal property. The new pardons apply only to federal and District of Columbia infractions. They do not apply… Read more.

Biden Is Too Old To Grasp The Need To Legalize Marijuana, Challenger Dean Phillips Says

December 26, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Dean Phillips, the Minnesota congressman challenging Joe Biden in the Democratic primary, said in a newly published interview that the president is too old and out of touch to understand contemporary cannabis issues. “I think it’s generational,” Phillips said. “People in their 80s do not see things, have not lived things, have not experienced things that younger generations have.” Phillips, 54, was speaking to Newsweek as part of a wide-ranging interview about his presidential ambitions and what differentiates him from… Read more.

Biden Pardons 11 People with Non-Violent Cannabis Convictions

December 26, 2023 · High Times

On Dec. 22, President Joe Biden announced that he will be expanding his pardon initiative to include offenses that occurred on federal properties. “America was founded on the principle of equal justice under law. Elected officials on both sides of the aisle, faith leaders, civil rights advocates, and law enforcement leaders agree that our criminal justice system can and should reflect this core value that makes our communities safer and stronger,” Biden said in his statement. “That is why today I am announcing additional steps… Read more.

Biden Expands Marijuana Pardons With New Proclamation Covering Offenses On Federal Properties

December 22, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

President Joe Biden on Friday issued a proclamation expanding a marijuana pardon initiative he began last year by including for the first time people who committed cannabis possession offenses on federal properties. “Criminal records for marijuana use and possession have imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities,” Biden said in a statement. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.” “Just as no one should be… Read more.

California AG Rules Out Interstate Cannabis Commerce

December 21, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

California Attorney General Rob Bonta said on Tuesday that opening up interstate cannabis commerce for the state’s cannabis industry would carry too much risk of federal enforcement. Gov. Gavin Newsome (D) last year signed into law a proposal giving licensed cannabis companies the right to export their products into other state-legal markets. However, the law would only apply if there was some assurance that there would be no legal interference from the federal government, which still prohibits cannabis as a… Read more.

Schumer Says Marijuana Banking Is Among Senate’s 2024 Priorities, But Acknowledges It ‘Won’t Be Easy’

December 20, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says lawmakers will “hit the ground running” in 2024, aiming to build on bipartisan progress on several key issues, including marijuana banking reform—though he noted it “won’t be easy.” As the Senate recesses for the holidays, Schumer delivered a floor speech on Wednesday touting the chamber’s 2023 legislative achievements, while emphasizing that “there’s a lot we must do” in the second half of the 118th Congress. Senators “made large progress in a bipartisan way… Read more.

70 Percent Of Top Capitol Hill Staff Doubt Any Marijuana Reform Will Pass This Congress, Banking Or Otherwise, Newly Released Survey Shows

December 19, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

As the year comes to a close and lawmakers prepare to recess, newly released survey data reveals that Capitol Hill staff and lobbyists are so far vindicated in their pessimism about the prospects of marijuana reform in the 118th Congress. Asked whether they think any type of cannabis reform would pass during this two-year Congress, 71 percent of top legislative staff that participated in the Canvass Capitol Hill Survey released by Punchbowl News on Tuesday said it was “unlikely.” That’s… Read more.

29 Former Federal Prosecutors Urge Biden Administration To Leave Marijuana In Schedule I

December 15, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

In a letter sent to the heads of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) this week, 29 former U.S. attorneys are urging the Biden administration to leave cannabis in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), arguing that “marijuana has only become more dangerous, potent, and addictive” since the government last reviewed its scheduling in 2016. The correspondence comes as DEA continues its review of marijuana’s scheduling after the U.S. Department of Health and Human… Read more.

Are Hemp-Derived Delta-8 Products That Get You High Legal? – Congress Punts on Final Decision Until September 2024

December 9, 2023 · Cannabis.net

President Joe Biden signed an emergency funding bill into law on Thursday to avert a government shutdown. Notably, the legislation also extends the Farm Bill until September 2024, granting Congress additional time to formulate a new one. Advocates anticipate that the upcoming bill will address the expanding national market for hemp-derived cannabinoids, including the contentious delta-8 THC. As lawmakers embark on crafting replacement legislation, their focus will encompass the requirements of domestic agriculture, with specific attention to the concerns of hemp farmers and… Read more.

Local Texas Lawmakers Officially Place Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative On Lubbock’s May 2024 Ballot

December 7, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Lawmakers in Lubbock, Texas have officially approved a resolution to put a local marijuana decriminalization initiative on the ballot next spring after declining to enact on the reform legislatively. The Lubbock City Council voted on Tuesday to schedule a special election on the issue for May 4, 2024. This comes one month after legislators unanimously rejected the decriminalization proposal that was put on the agenda after activists submitted enough signatures to force its consideration. The committee behind the marijuana initiative first filed… Read more.

Six Governors Push Biden To Ensure Marijuana Is Rescheduled By The End Of This Year

December 6, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

The governors of six U.S. states—Colorado, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Louisiana—sent a letter to President Joe Biden (D) on Tuesday urging the administration to reschedule marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act by the end of this year. The move, they say, will provide economic and tax benefits for cannabis businesses, protect public health and more closely align government policy with public opinion. “Rescheduling cannabis aligns with a safe, regulated product that Americans can trust,”… Read more.

California, Michigan Move to Fund Social Equity Programs

December 1, 2023 · green-market-report

Both California and Michigan made separate moves to get more funding to social equity cannabis companies in recent days, with the former poised to award $15 million to local governments that have social equity permit programs and the latter newly reserving $1 million in grants for eligible companies. The California Equity Grants Program funnels state money to city or county governments, which in turn either use it to administer social equity programs or deliver it to businesses to use as startup capital. Applications will… Read more.

Same Old Banana in the Tailpipe for the SAFER Banking Act – Sen. Schumer Says He Needs Major Republican Support to Pass Bill

December 1, 2023 · cannabis-net

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is actively working to secure Republican support for the long-awaited marijuana banking reform bill. Schumer has invested considerable political capital in advancing the SAFER Banking Act. The proposed legislation, if enacted, would prevent federal regulators from penalizing financial institutions for providing essential services like bank accounts, payroll services, and credit card transaction processing to marijuana businesses that are legal at the state level. The SAFER Banking Act underwent two Senate hearings this year, with approval during a significant… Read more.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Dean Phillips Says He Didn’t ‘Literally’ Mean Biden Should Start Smoking Marijuana ‘Now’

November 30, 2023 · marijuanamoment-net

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, didn’t “literally” mean it when he said President Joe Biden should smoke some marijuana earlier this month, he now says. “Truth is I wouldn’t recommend he start now,” the congressman said on Tuesday, reversing the tongue-in-cheek comments he made at a New Hampshire campaign event, where he also cast doubt on whether the president has smoked “or even smelled weed.” At the time, he said indulging in some cannabis might help Biden understand… Read more.

Supreme Court Weighs Whether Hemp Legalization Affects Gun Possession Mandatory Minimums For Man With Marijuana Convictions

November 30, 2023 · marijuanamoment-net

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.

New Hampshire Marijuana Legalization Commission Fails To Reach Consensus, Votes Against Recommending Bill For 2024

November 29, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

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.

What Would Happen if President Biden Smoked a Joint? – Democratic Challenger Dean Phillips Says He Should Try Cannabis!

November 21, 2023 · Cannabis.net

U.S. Representative Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), vying for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination against President Joe Biden, has thrown a unique challenge at the president—to share a joint. Phillips contends that such an experience might help Biden grasp the "awfully hypocritical" disparity in the U.S., where alcohol consumption is accepted while cannabis use remains criminalized. During a New Hampshire town hall with students from New England College, Phillips commended Ohio's recent move to legalize adult-use cannabis, drawing a sharp contrast to Biden's… Read more.

Democrats Seek Updated Federal Financial Rules for Cannabis Business Owners With Weed Convictions

November 20, 2023 · High Times

A group of Democratic lawmakers has written a letter to federal financial regulators calling on them to update rules that hinder cannabis business owners with past convictions for marijuana-related crimes. In the letter to the Treasury Department, 20 Democratic Senators and members of the House of Representatives wrote that the proposed change “would be an important step to promote fairness in the provision of financial services to marijuana businesses that participate in state-sanctioned marijuana activity.” Under current guidance from the… Read more.