Medical cannabis is expected to be much more easily and widely available in Washington DC after a set of reforms that include lifting a cap on dispensaries and allowing patients to “self-certify” became law this week. Congress had until March 22 to interfere with the Medical Cannabis Amendment Act signed into by Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in January, but the federal lawmakers took no action, according to NORML. In addition to allowing residents to “self-certify” as medical-cannabis patients, which some observers say amounts to a… Read more.
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Hawaii Senators Approve Bill To Create Psychedelics Advisory Council To Prepare For Federal Legalization
A Hawaii Senate committee approved a House-passed bill on Wednesday that would create an advisory council to look into possible regulations to provide access to federal “breakthrough therapies” like psilocybin and MDMA. The psychedelics legislation from Rep. Adrian Tam (D) advanced, with amendments, in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in a 5-0 vote. Members took testimony from advocates and experts, including a representative of the Department of Health, which voiced support for the proposal. All 20 people and organizations that… Read more.
A Hawaii Senate-passed bill to legalize marijuana has stalled out in the House for the year—but advocates are shifting focus to 2024, hoping to enact the reform in the second half of the two-year legislative session. The legislation from Sen. Joy San Buenaventura (D) cleared the Senate earlier this month, and hopes were high that it’d make it through the House as well. But a hearing wasn’t scheduled before a deadline for bills that have been referred to three or more… Read more.
A Kansas Senate Committee last week tabled a medical cannabis legalization bill, likely killing the bill for the session, the Associated Press reports. On Twitter, Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said she was “disappointed that some legislators are saying they don’t want to move forward with legalizing medical marijuana this year – effectively turning their backs on our veterans and those with chronic pain and seizure disorders.” The measure would have allowed physicians to recommend non-smokable medical cannabis products to treat 21 illnesses or conditions, including cancer, epilepsy, spinal cord… Read more.
The Oklahoma Senate on Tuesday passed a measure that would allow the director of the state Medical Marijuana Authority to shut down cannabis operations that are damaging the environment, KOKH reports. Sen. Joe Newhouse (R) authored the legislation and argued that it would help reign in medical cannabis operations in the state that are not following state law. Oklahoma has one of the nation’s most permissive medical cannabis programs, but it has been rife with controversy. Last year, two Oklahoma attorneys were charged in a “Ghost Owner”… Read more.
A newly-formed political action committee aims to back candidates for office that back the use of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes, NBC News reports. The Psychedelic Medicine PAC also aims to secure federal funding to further education and research efforts for psychedelics but stops short of calling for full legalization or decriminalization of the substances. In an interview with NBC News, Ryan Rodgers, co-founder and executive director of Psychedelic Medicine PAC, said the group has “to convince a historically stubborn audience around psychedelics that it’s… Read more.
Another Minnesota House committee has approved a bill to legalize marijuana, after members adopted a large-scale amendment to overhaul various provisions of the legislation. The House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee passed the measure in a voice vote on Monday. The panel, chaired by bill sponsor Rep. Zack Stephenson (D), first took up the legislation in January, but it was always the plan to have the proposal returned to the committee. Like a recently adopted change to a companion bill… Read more.
You could be able to sell and consume cannabis and cannabis products at certain events if a new bill passes the Nevada legislature. State lawmakers are looking at a new bill being proposed by Assemblyman Cameron "C.H." Miller. According to the bill, it would allow portable cannabis vendors to set up show. However, the event, as well as vendors, would need to receive a license from the Cannabis Compliance Board. For consumers, they would have to be at least 21 years old… Read more.
After Kansas Medical Marijuana Bill Stalls In Senate, Governor Urges Public To Pressure Lawmakers For Action
A bill to legalize medical marijuana stalled in the Kansas legislature on Thursday—but now the governor is urging the public to contact their representatives to demand they take the legislation back up for action “this session.” Gov. Laura Kelly (D), who has long championed cannabis reform, said on Thursday that she’s “disappointed that some legislators are saying they don’t want to move forward with legalizing medical marijuana this year—effectively turning their backs on our veterans and those with chronic pain and seizure… Read more.
New Bipartisan Congressional Bills Would Allow Hemp Derivatives Like CBD As Dietary Supplements And Food Additives
Bipartisan congressional lawmakers have refiled a pair of bills meant to provide a pathway for the regulation of hemp derivatives like CBD as dietary supplements and food and beverage additives. The two measures that were filed on Friday—the Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act and the CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act—are being sponsored by Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Angie Craig (D-MN). Earlier versions of the bills were filed last Congress and ultimately did not advance,… Read more.
The Kentucky Senate on Thursday passed a medical cannabis bill on a 26-11 vote, WYMT reports. The legislation moves next to the House, which has passed medical cannabis reforms in previous sessions but they ultimately died in the Senate. The measure would not allow patients to access smokable products but permits edibles and concentrates. If approved by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear (D), the bill would take effect on January 1. Beshear, who made medical cannabis legalization a legislative priority, is expected to sign… Read more.
Delaware Senators Send House-Passed Marijuana Sales Bill To The Floor, Alongside Legalization Measure
A second Delaware Senate committee approved a House-passed bill on Thursday to create a regulated adult-use marijuana market, sending it to the floor where a complementary measure to legalize possession is also set for action. The proposals are being sponsored by Rep. Ed Osienski (D), and they both advanced through a separate Senate committee on Wednesday after being approved in the full House. Now the Senate Finance Committee has also cleared the regulations-focused bill, which needed a second stop because… Read more.
Kansas Senators Shelve Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill After Hearing From Law Enforcement Opponents
Kansas senators have shelved a bill to legalize medical marijuana following a hearing that featured multiple opponents, including state law enforcement representatives. Members of the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee voted on Thursday to table the legislation, which the panel itself is sponsoring. Following the action, Chairman Mike Thompson (R) said that lawmakers have “bigger fish to fry,” indicating that he’s not interested in taking the proposal back up before the end of the 2023 session. Officials with the Kansas Sheriffs… Read more.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives has approved another bill to legalize marijuana in the state—except this one contains no regulations or limitations on cannabis. About a month after the House passed a comprehensive legalization, taxation and regulation measure that’s being sponsored by bipartisan leaders, members on Thursday took up the simpler legislation to remove marijuana from the state’s listed of banned substances. The chamber first voted, 210-160, to overrule the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, which had deemed the… Read more.
The Texas House Public Health Committee on Monday heard hearings on a bill that would expand the state’s medical cannabis program, FOX 44 reports. The measure would allow access to products with THC levels as high as 5%. Under current law, patients can only access low-THC products with THC concentrations up to 1%. The measure is, in part, meant to reign in the proliferation of hemp-derived THC products, such as delta-8, which some medical cannabis consumers are relying on because of the low THC limits in… Read more.
House and Senate committees in Minnesota on Tuesday each altered adult-use cannabis legalization bills being considered by lawmakers, with the House Transportation Finance Committee tacking on an amendment to reduce the amount of cannabis individuals can keep in their homes from 5 pounds to 1.5 pounds, ABC 6 News reports. The Senate State and Local Government committee adopted a 142-page amendment to create distinctions between the industrial hemp industry and the adult-use cannabis industry. Ted Galaty, a hemp farmer and owner of Willow’s Keep Farm, told… Read more.
A Kansas Senate committee on Wednesday held the first of two scheduled hearings this week on a medical marijuana legalization bill. The legislation was taken up by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, which is sponsoring the bill as a panel. Members heard from proponents and neutral witnesses who shared stories about their personal experience with the plant, research into the medical potential of cannabis and more. People with chronic migraines, spinal injuries, as well as medical professionals, academics, veterans… Read more.
A Delaware Senate committee has approved a pair of House-passed bills to legalize marijuana and create regulations for adult-use sales. Both pieces pieces of legislation from Rep. Ed Osienski (D) cleared the Senate Health & Social Services Committee on Wednesday. Sen. Trey Paradee (D), who is carrying the bill in the Senate, told members of the panel that the state’s existing law that merely decriminalizes low-level cannabis possession is inadequate. “The arrests have continued and, as a result, lives have been turned… Read more.
A bipartisan bill introduced in the House last week would allow individuals with drug convictions to obtain a hemp license. The 2018 Farm Bill, which expanded the federal government’s hemp legalization policies, prohibits people with a felony drug conviction within the past 10 years from cultivating hemp. The measure, dubbed the Free to Grow Act, is backed by Republican Reps. Nancy Mace (S.C.) and David Joyce (OH), along with Democratic Reps. David Trone (MD) and Senior House Agriculture Committee Member Chellie Pingree… Read more.
Oklahoma voters rejected a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adult use during a special election this month by a margin of 62 percent, surprising many advocates who saw the popularity of the state’s medical market as a promising sign for adult-use expansion. Ultimately, the state’s medical program proved to be good enough for a majority of voters outside Oklahoma City and Tulsa. But the push to expand domestic cannabis legalization in 2023 is far from over. “For 2024, we’ve calculated Virginia,… Read more.
A Kentucky Senate committee on Tuesday approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state. The Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee passed the legislation from Sen. Stephen West (R) and 12 other senators in a 8-3 vote. It now heads to the Senate floor with just days left in the session. “I didn’t intend to ever get into medical marijuana and take a look at the issue,” West told the panel ahead of the vote, adding that he was… Read more.
Texas lawmakers have filed a series of new bills aimed at promoting and expanding psychedelics research in the state. The Lone Star State took some observers by surprise last session after the conservative legislature enacted a measure to study the therapeutic potential of psychedelics—and now more legislators are hoping to build on that momentum. Three Democratic lawmakers in the state recently introduced separate reform proposals, including one that would expand the law that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) allowed to take effect… Read more.
Discreet prescription refills via telehealth visits are already the norm for medications like hair loss and erectile dysfunction medication for men, which is easier to do when it’s not in-person. The same methods could be used to be discreet and quietly get prescriptions for medical cannabis under a new Florida bill. House Bill 387 is sponsored by Spencer Roach (R-North Fort Myers) and would allow practitioners to certify patients for medical cannabis via FaceTime, Skype, etc. visits rather than in-person visits.… Read more.
Congressional Bill Punishing Illegal Marijuana Grows Aims To Protect Consumers From Pesticides, Sponsors Say
Bipartisan congressional lawmakers have refiled a bill to combat illicit marijuana grows on federal lands, framing it as a way that the federal government can help protect cannabis consumers’ health from banned pesticides that are often used in unregulated cultivation. While the idea of yet another stepped up federal effort to crack down on illegal cannabis production might seem like an extension of prohibitionist enforcement at a surface level, Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) said on Thursday that the primary intent of… Read more.
After witnessing a blowout loss in Oklahoma on Tuesday, advocates of adult-use marijuana legalization are turning their attention to brighter prospects in Hawaii and Delaware. Legalization bills are marching through legislatures in both states, with support from the governor in Hawaii and a veto-proof legislative majority in Delaware, where lawmakers in the state House on Thursday advanced an adult-use legalization bill for the first time. However, observers cautioned final passage isn’t assured in either state. The two relatively small states… Read more.
After once again failing to pass a bill legalizing medical cannabis in Tennessee, the question arises as to the next steps in this ongoing conversation. Senator Kerry Roberts (R—Springfield) believes the issue may gain increasing support in the coming years, citing his evolution on cannabis legalization. According to Senator Kerry Roberts, at the outset of his political career, he shared the typical stance of many individuals, refusing to endorse marijuana. The perception of the herb was that it was a flimsy pretext… Read more.
Maryland House Advances Bill To Regulate Marijuana Sales As State Prepares For Voter-Approved Legalization
The Maryland House of Delegates has advanced an amended bill to create regulations allowing for adult-use marijuana commerce following voter approval of legalization last year. The legislation, sponsored by Del. C.T. Wilson (D), passed on a second reading on the floor on Wednesday, just days after clearing committee. The House will need to give final third reading approval to the measure before it potentially moves to the Senate, where a companion version is scheduled for consideration in committee on Thursday. The House… Read more.
Voters in Oklahoma rejected a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adult use during a special election Tuesday by a margin of 62 percent, according to the Associated Press. More than 566,000 voters participated in the special election. Opposition was strong in nearly the entire state, with the exception of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, highlighting the divide between large cities and the rural population. Oklahoma Question 820, which was the only ballot proposal for most voters in the state, would… Read more.
The Hawaii Senate voted 22-3 in favor of an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal yesterday; the measure moves next to the House. The Hawaii Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed an adult-use legalization bill by a 22-3 margin. The measure still requires approval in the House. If enacted, the legislation would legalize possession of up to 30 grams by adults, reduce penalties for unlicensed cultivation and sales, allow adults to cultivate up to six plants within their residence, and expunge records for possession. The measure would also establish a Hawaii… Read more.
Oklahoma voters are heading to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to allow adults 21 and over to buy and consume cannabis. If the measure passes, the state will become the 22nd in the U.S. to legalize pot for adult use. The vote on State Question 820 is taking place on an executive order from Gov. Kevin Stitt. With just over 4 million people and 2.2 million registered voters, Oklahoma is the 28th-largest U.S. state by population. Although it’s a… Read more.
This past week saw the first procedural vote in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina, which means it is now one step away from being sent to the House. This comes after a top lawmaker in that chamber stated that his chamber is well-positioned to pass the reform this session despite opposing a similar bill last year. A week or so after easily passing through three committees, the proposal from Sen. Bill Rabon (R) was approved on… Read more.
‘They’re not fairy tale magic shaman potions.’ Meet the wounded warriors who want red state Republicans to let psilocybin mushrooms turn the tide on veteran suicides
Military veterans trying to overcome the horrors of war are increasingly finding themselves in an unlikely position — persuading Republican politicians to legalize the healing power of ancient psychedelic plants. DailyMail.com spoke with former Marines, Navy Seals and others left traumatized by America's brutal campaigns overseas who have turned to psilocybin mushrooms and other natural drugs to help fight their inner demons. Left-leaning Oregon and Colorado have started to let psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in 'magic' mushrooms, be used in supervised drug journeys to counter depression and… Read more.
This week’s cover story by Kaylee Poche asks an important question: When will Louisiana finally, and fully, legalize cannabis? While the future of legal recreational cannabis may appear grim in light of conservatives’ hold on state politics, more and more Republicans — including some GOP lawmakers — are realizing prohibition doesn’t work. In fact, it hurts us all by unnecessarily criminalizing people while robbing the state of much needed revenue. As Louisiana Progress’ Peter Robins-Brown told Poche, the winds have… Read more.
Three separate proposals are planned by Pennsylvania lawmakers seeking to legalize recreational marijuana, provide social justice to those with low-level marijuana convictions and reap the tax benefits from a potential billion-dollar industry. Two co-sponsorship memos circulating in the House and Senate propose selling marijuana in state-owned liquor stores, restricting possession and use to adults at least 21 years of age. The memos respectively filed by state Rep. David Delloso, D-Delaware, and state Sen. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna/Lehigh, would also permit Pennsylvanians… Read more.
A bill in New Mexico would create two new programs funded by cannabis excise tax revenues, including a community reinvestment grant fund and a substance use disorder prevention and treatment fund, KRQE reports. Currently, all cannabis excise tax revenues are sent into the state’s general fund. Under the measure, a third of the taxes collected from adult-use sales would be used for those programs. State Rep. Andrea Romero (D), one of the bill’s sponsors, noted that the current version of the bill does not specify that the money would… Read more.
The North Carolina Senate on Tuesday passed a medical cannabis legalization bill, WRAL reports. It marks the second year in a row the chamber has approved a medical cannabis bill; however, the measure died in the House in 2022. The bill received bipartisan support, passing by a 36-10 margin. The legislation is largely the same as the measure that passed the Senate by a 36-7 vote last year. Republican state Sen. Bill Rabon, the bill’s lead sponsor, told WRAL that he believes… Read more.
A marijuana legalization bill cleared another Minnesota Senate committee on Wednesday, bringing the total number of panels in the chamber to advance the legislation so far this session to seven. The Human Services Committee passed the measure from Sen. Lindsey Port (D) in a voice vote. “This allows adults to safely and responsibly use cannabis,” Sen. Clare Oumou Verbeten (D), who presented the bill on behalf of Port, told committee members. “It creates a regulated marketplace that’s much safer than… Read more.
The Washington State Senate approved a bill on Wednesday to eventually allow marijuana businesses to engage in interstate commerce. The measure, approved in a vote of 40-8, would give the governor the authority to enter into agreements with other legal states to permit imports and exports between licensed cannabis companies. “It is no secret that Washington has been a leader in the cannabis industry,” Sen. Ann Rivers (R), the bill’s sponsor, said on the floor ahead of the vote. “We have… Read more.
For anyone traveling northwest toward Oklahoma on the Garrison Avenue bridge leaving Fort Smith, the first business seen just to the west of the Fort Smith Stock Yards in Moffett, Oklahoma has an inflatable sign that whips the word marijuana up and down in the stiff Oklahoma wind. The River Valley Natural Health eyecatcher is for a medical marijuana dispensary. Unlike Arkansas, the number of dispensaries in Oklahoma was not limited until Aug 26, 2022 when Gov. Kevin Stitt signed… Read more.
A Republican state senator in Pennsylvania is calling on law enforcement to take steps to protect the gun rights of marijuana consumers, particularly medical cannabis patients—pointing to a federal judge’s recent ruling that the U.S. government’s ban on gun ownership by people who use marijuana is unconstitutional. Sen. Dan Laughlin (R), in a letter to the acting commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, noted that the commonwealth currently prohibits people from obtaining a license to carry firearms if they acknowledge being… Read more.
Virginia’s recreational marijuana industry is on indefinite hold. Less than two years after the state became the first in the South to legalize adult-use marijuana for adults 21 and older, the projected start date for legal sales of Jan. 1, 2024, has been effectively scrapped. It’s unclear when – or if – recreational MJ sales will begin. The issue: The legalization bill that the then-Democratic-controlled General Assembly sent to former Gov. Ralph Northam two years ago was a half-measure. Northam signed the bill… Read more.
Oklahoma Marijuana Ballot Initiative Shows Importance Of Criminal Justice Reform In Legalization Efforts (Op-Ed)
On March 7, Oklahoma residents will only have one question to answer: Do they support adult-use cannabis legalization? If Oklahomans pass State Question 820 on their ballots, they will follow the national trend toward legalization and become the 22nd state to have ended cannabis prohibition. Of the 29 states where adult-use cannabis is still illegal, 17 of them have introduced legislation to legalize it this year. While most of these proposals are unlikely to be successful in 2023, the trend… Read more.
Two South Dakota medical cannabis firms are suing a former political operative for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), accusing the defendant of defrauding the companies and their investors of about $1.7 million. A former political operative for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is being sued in South Dakota, accused of defrauding two medical cannabis companies and their investors of about $1.7 million, the Star Tribune reports. Dakota Natural Growers, 605 Cannabis, and more than 20 of their investors filed the lawsuit last… Read more.
As Oklahomans prepare to vote on a marijuana legalization initiative next month, the campaign behind the measure is touting a new endorsement from a political strategist who previously supported two competing cannabis reform proposals that failed to make the ballot. Thursday’s announcement by the Yes on 820 campaign was intended to build unity among legalization proponents, who have sparred over conflicting views on how marijuana should be regulated. Instead, it appears to have aggravated tensions in Oklahoma’s advocacy community. “This post… Read more.
Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly voted Friday to pass a bill to toughen regulations on hemp-derived products that contain intoxicating THC through a more robust permitting system and stricter labeling rules. Retail marijuana sales will remain illegal under the proposed law. Proponents of the bill called it a necessary first step toward cracking down on largely unregulated THC products, including increasingly common delta-8 edibles, that have created safety and consumer protection concerns. “I think this will go a long way… Read more.
Seven In Ten New Hampshire Residents Support Legalizing Marijuana, Poll Shows One Day After House Passes Reform Measure
New Hampshire residents broadly support legalizing marijuana, according to a new poll that was released one day after the state House of Representatives passed a bill to enact the policy change. Seventy-one percent of respondents in the survey published by the University of New Hampshire on Thursday said they support “legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use”—with 56 percent saying they “strongly” feel that way. Support transcends party lines, with 86 percent of Democrats, 62 percent… Read more.
On May 1, the Alaska Court System will remove the marijuana possession convictions of about 750 Alaskans from Courtview, the state’s online database of court cases. The Alaska Supreme Court announced the move in an order signed January 31 by the court’s five justices. The action, first publicized Sunday by The Alaska Landmine, follows years of similar, unsuccessful, legislative efforts to join a nationwide trend. “I’m glad that the Supreme Court has ordered this,” said Sen. Scott Kawasaki, D-Fairbanks. The records will still be… Read more.
The Washington Senate has approved a ban on discriminating against cannabis use during the hiring process. The Washington Senate voted 28-21 in favor of a bill on Wednesday that would block employers in the state from refusing to hire someone because they tested positive for cannabis on a drug test, the Seattle Times reports. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Karen Keiser (D), introduced a similar bill last year but the proposal never reached the floor for consideration. The proposal moves next to the… Read more.
Connecticut may establish a Cannabis Ombudsman position for the state’s medical cannabis program, which would be an independent liaison between patients and the state to address concerns about the program. A bill proposed in Connecticut would create the position of Cannabis Ombudsman – an independent person that would serve as a liaison between medical cannabis patients and the state to address concerns, NBC Connecticut reports. The move comes about a month after adult-use cannabis sales commenced in the state which has caused complaints among… Read more.
PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The people behind the popup sites where practitioners examine patients who want to be in South Dakota’s medical-cannabis program won’t face any additional regulations, at least not this year. A state legislative panel has killed two proposals that sought to limit where the exams could be conducted and restrict their advertising. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday rejected HB1129 and HB1172 on 4-1 votes. Republican Sen. Al Novtrup, the lead Senate sponsor on both, cast the lone votes in their support. Republican… Read more.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Republican state senator hopes this will be the year medical cannabis becomes legal in Tennessee. While the “Tennessee Medical Cannabis Act” was not voted out of a Senate committee Tuesday, Democrat and Republican lawmakers both appeared to be in support of the bill. “I can’t believe I am standing in front of you asking for you to vote for a medical cannabis bill,” said bill sponsor Sen. Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma). “That was never on my… Read more.
While nearly every street corner in tourist areas of Thailand is selling cannabis legally now (a recent driver in Samui spotted nine shops in a two-block stretch), not everyone is in favour of it, especially politicians. Politicians believe the rushed legalization and subsequent free-for-all is a strong talking point against the Bhumjaithai Party, who pushed for decriminalization. Now, the Democrat Party has launched its election campaign with a vow to reverse the blanket legalization of cannabis. The hardline anti-cannabis party platform comes despite being a coalition partner of the Bhumjaithai Party in… Read more.
The 2024 presidential election cycle is already heating up, with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) announcing that she’s seeking the Republican nomination. So where does she stand on marijuana policy issues? That’s a question that will be asked of all major candidates over the coming months as the circle of prospective nominees inevitably widens. Haley, who also served as United Nations (UN) ambassador under President Donald Trump, doesn’t have an especially extensive cannabis background. But she did sign… Read more.
Bipartisan Governors Discuss Marijuana Legalization And Push Congress For Federal Banking Fix
Governors from states of diverse political backgrounds are calling on Congress to get the job done on marijuana banking and discussing reform developments in their respective states. As part of a Politico event series this month, the governors of Illinois, Minnesota and North Dakota recently sat down for one-on-one interviews and each took questions about cannabis policy at the state and federal levels. While the top state officials might share differing perspectives on the best strategy for marijuana reform, one… Read more.
WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Lawmakers are working to reform cannabis laws as the majority of the United States have legalized either recreational or medical marijuana to some extent. Federally, marijuana remains illegal. It is labeled as a Schedule I drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. Schedule I drugs are defined as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) believes the federal government scheduling has a ‘stranglehold’ on key elements of cannabis… Read more.
Adults 21 and over could possess up to 2.5 ounces of pot, including up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrates, under the bill. As Texas continues to lag behind the rest of the country in cannabis reform, a Democrat in the Texas House of Representatives has introduced a bill to let the state's municipalities and counties decide whether to legalize recreational weed. House Bill 1937, filed by State Rep. Jessica González of Dallas, would enable municipalities to make the call whether to green… Read more.
If Congress can’t (or won’t) bundle marijuana reform with the F-35 fighter jet and nuclear submarines, why not food stamps and corn subsidies? Among the pressing items on federal lawmakers’ 2023 to-do lists is renewing the Farm Bill. Every five years, the sprawling, multipart, $428 billion monster that deals with nutrition and rural development as well as what American farmers grow and how they grow it is revamped. And the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized hemp and triggered the boom in delta-8 THC and… Read more.
New Mexico lawmakers are considering a bill to ban cannabis edibles that could be appealing to children, and another bill that would train teachers in identifying cannabis products and when students may have consumed them. Two legislative proposals in New Mexico would tweak the state’s cannabis laws, including a ban on edibles that could appeal to children, the creation of educational materials for teachers to identify cannabis products and when students consumed them, and ad campaigns aimed to prevent children… Read more.
A proposal introduced last week in Kentucky would ban delta-8 THC products in the state; the bill is nearly identical to another proposal that passed Kentucky’s Senate last year but died in the House. A bill introduced last week in Kentucky would ban delta-8 THC products in the state, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Kentucky Hemp Association President Katie Moyer told the Journal that if the bill is approved it would “probably end Kentucky’s hemp industry as we know it.” The measure is nearly identical to… Read more.
A Washington State Senate committee approved a massive overhaul to a psilocybin services bill on Thursday, gutting sections that would have legalized use of the psychedelic drug by adults—and reform advocates in the state are blaming the governor for being behind the move. As originally filed last month, SB 5263 would have put Washington on the road to regulating psilocybin services much like its neighbor Oregon. Adults 21 and older would have been able to legally use the drug with the… Read more.
Virginia House GOP Lawmakers Kill Senate-Passed Marijuana 280E Tax Relief Bill That Governor Opposed
Virginia’s Republican-controlled House of Delegates has consistently killed Senate-passed marijuana reform bills this session, and the latest legislation to be stopped in its tracks is a modest proposal to let medical cannabis businesses make certain state-level tax deductions. A House Finance subcommittee on Friday rejected the Senate-approved proposal to give the cannabis industry tax relief that they’re barred from receiving at the federal level under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code known as 280E. This comes days after the chamber separately killed a measure… Read more.
Records show Russian oligarch and former Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the US cannabis industry. One of the biggest backers of the legal US cannabis industry was Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, leaked documents have revealed. Records show Abramovich invested $130 million and provided $194 million in loans to US weed firms between 2016 and 2018, when US states were increasingly shifting from illegal to legal markets. Abramovich was the owner of Chelsea Football… Read more.
DENVER (KDVR) — The City of Denver and the International Church of Cannabis are in a heated dispute over a sculpture in front of the church. The city claims the sculpture is unsafe and hazardous to drivers and has ordered it to be removed, while the church said it’s an expression of their religious beliefs. The sculpture was installed four months ago, and the congregation of “elevationists” believes the sculpture to be holy and part of the church’s practice, where… Read more.
Schumer Meets With GOP Senators To Discuss Marijuana Legislation For New Congress
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) held a second meeting on marijuana legislation for the new Congress on Tuesday—and this time, he convened a group of GOP senators to discuss next steps for crafting a passable bill, Senate sources tell Marijuana Moment. The first meeting took place at the beginning of the month with Democratic colleagues. Now the majority leader has brought Republican members into the fold, including Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK). The purpose of… Read more.
New Hampshire lawmakers working on marijuana legalization legislation met on Tuesday to refine their plan to advance the reform this session, with members of a committee hashing out differences between competing proposals. The intent is to nail down a merged vehicle in a follow-up meeting on Wednesday. The work session of the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Liquor Subcommittee got started with a decent amount of pushback over the chair’s recently proposed amendment to a legalization bill, HB 639, from Majority… Read more.
Georgia Republican Lawmaker Pushes For Medical Marijuana Licensing Transparency As Industry Frustrations Mount
For months, rival companies that want to produce low-THC cannabis oil for medical purposes in Georgia have not been able to pry open the black box of the state’s 2019 Hope Act to see how six firms—out of 69 bidders—were awarded licenses to dispense the marijuana extract to patients across the state. The state’s Open Records Act is so far proving no match for the Hope Act, either. Legislators trying to pry open the process have also been rebuffed. Georgia… Read more.
The White House and key officials are previewing policies and accomplishments of the Biden administration—including marijuana pardons, drug sentencing reform, harm reduction and enhanced drug war enforcement for fentanyl—ahead of the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. While it remains to be seen if President Joe Biden will explicitly discuss the cannabis and drug policy issues when he appears before the joint session of Congress, the statements are meant to expand on the basic parameters of the annual… Read more.
The Australian government has rescheduled the psychedelics psilocybin and MDMA to provide access to people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treat-resistant depression. The substances aren’t being legalized for broad use, but by placing them in Schedule 8 for therapeutic use under the country’s drug code, psychiatrists who meet the required standards will be able to prescribe the psychedelics. The drugs will remain in the stricter Schedule 9 for unauthorized use. “The decision acknowledges the current lack of options for… Read more.
As 2023 began, cannabis advocates on Capitol Hill and the industry at large were steeped in frustration and disappointment. In December, despite broad bipartisan support, Senate Republicans abruptly stripped the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act from must-pass spending legislation, crushing the industry’s expectation that critical banking services at last were within reach. As lawmakers departed for the winter holiday, legal business owners—many of whom are forced to do business in cash—contemplated another year of spiraling operating costs and workplace vulnerability. Nevertheless,… Read more.
Lawmakers in Washington are considering bills to reform aspects of the state’s cannabis policies, including allowing home cultivation and ending the use of testing for cannabis as a condition for getting hired. The home grow bill would allow adults to grow up to six plants and define anyone who possesses homegrown cannabis as an “ultimate user” – one who cannot sell the cannabis they produce and is not required to register with the state, FOX 28 reports. Cannabis cultivation would not be allowed in… Read more.
Americans Want Marijuana Less Strictly Regulated While Backing Tighter Rules On Teslas, Crypto And Twitter, Poll Finds
Americans say that marijuana should be less strictly regulated than it is now, while also favoring greater regulations on cryptocurrencies, social media, electric vehicles and coal, according to a new poll. The Harvard CAPS-Harris Poll surveyed voters about a wide range of national issues, including where they stand on federal regulations for eight consumer products. For each item, they were asked if they felt the federal government should regulate them more or less, or keep regulations at the current level.… Read more.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s announcement Thursday that it won’t regulate products containing CBD and will instead pass that buck to Congress means the preservation of the current, uneasy status quo for now. It will also mean more work for an increasingly fractious Congress – and further uncertainty for companies deciding whether to enter the $4 billion-plus CBD business. In addition to grappling with broader marijuana policy reform – including access to banking, tax relief and the question of federal… Read more.
Top GOP Wisconsin Lawmaker Says Medical Marijuana Deal Isn’t Close, Warning Governor Against Recreational Push
A top Republican Wisconsin lawmaker is pushing back against the idea that the conservative legislature is close to making a deal on medical marijuana legalization, and he’s again warning the Democratic governor against calling for adult-use legalization as part of his forthcoming budget request. While Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) said last week that his caucus is “getting pretty close” on medical cannabis reform, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) told The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a new interview published on… Read more.
Texas Activists Submit Signatures To Put Marijuana Decriminalization, Police Reform And Abortion Rights On San Antonio Ballot
Texas activists have turned in more than 37,000 signatures to place a measure on the San Antonio ballot in May to decriminalize marijuana, prevent the enforcement of abortion restriction laws and ban no-knock warrants. A coalition of advocacy groups—including Ground Game Texas, SA Stands and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC)—secured the signatures about three months after launching the local reform campaign. This builds on the activist-led cannabis decriminalization movement that Ground Game has spearheaded in cities across the Lone Star… Read more.
Descheduling Marijuana – The Holy Grail of the Cannabis Industry Gets a Bipartisan Push to President Biden
While the Biden administration investigates marijuana's federal scheduling, a bipartisan group of congressional members is urging the president to openly support outright legalization. Recently, a letter which is slated to be addressed to President Joe Biden and key cabinet officials was obtained by Marijuana Moment. The Congressmen stated in the letter that while they applaud the directive of the scheduling review, the administration should embrace the virtues of full descheduling. The letter states that while the congressmen don't always agree on… Read more.
Texas Activists Turn In Signatures To Put Marijuana Decriminalization Back In Voters’ Hands After City Council Repeal
Texas activists have turned in what they say are enough signatures to place a measure on the Harker Heights ballot to reverse a City Council move that repealed a voter-approved marijuana decriminalization initiative. Ground Game Texas, which was behind a number of successful local decriminalization measures that passed this year, is also criticizing an outgoing district attorney’s request that the state attorney general issue an opinion on a separate reform initiative that voters approved overwhelmingly in San Marcos. In Harker… Read more.
The US Cannabis Industry Takes Another Gut Punch as Emperor McConnell Throws Out the SAFE Banking Act, Again.
As we have always said, weed will be legal in America when Mitch McConnell says it will be. On Tuesday, U.S. cannabis stocks dropped significantly after hopes for cannabis regulatory reform fell through in Congress. Specifically, adopting a cannabis-focused proposal in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is doubtful since a familiar opposition has raised concerns again. Republican leaders have opposed attempts to add a draft of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to the must-pass yearly National Defense Authorization… Read more.
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky residents will be able to import THC-containing products from surrounding states beginning January 1, 2023, under an executive order Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed Tuesday. The order allows qualified medical patients to possess up to eight ounces of cannabis legally obtained in another state. Until now, only CBD oil was permitted. Beshear also signed a second order regulating the sale of Delta-8 THC, effective November 15, 2022. “Our citizens should not face criminal punishment for treating certain medical conditions with… Read more.
SACRAMENTO — California voters on Tuesday passed a ballot measure to uphold a 2020 law that banned the sale of most flavored tobacco products, giving anti-tobacco advocates an expected victory in a multiyear fight against the industry to mitigate a youth vaping crisis. Proposition 31 was placed on the ballot soon after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 793, the Legislature’s bipartisan effort to crack down on e-cigarettes and other products popular with kids. The law banned the sale of certain flavored tobacco products… Read more.
FDA Exploring ‘Flexibilities’ In Marijuana Scheduling Review, But Top Official Says DEA Has ‘Final Word’
A top Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said on Thursday that the agency is exploring “what flexibilities we might have” when it comes the federal government’s marijuana scheduling review directed by President Joe Biden, which she described as a “very high priority.” But she said that while FDA will lead the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabis, it is the the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that “has the final word” on any potential scheduling decision. And she pointed out… Read more.
Schumer Says Congress Is ‘Very Close’ To Passing Marijuana Banking And Expungements Bill After Work With ‘A Bunch Of Republicans’
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says Congress is getting “very close” to introducing and passing a marijuana bill with provisions covering banking access for legal businesses and expungements of past convictions, citing progress he’s made in discussions with a “bunch of Republican senators.” During a debate with his Republican reelection opponent Joe Pinion on Sunday, Schumer was asked about a separate broader cannabis legalization bill he filed this year and whether he felt it would make more sense to… Read more.
Biden’s cannabis pardons didn’t free a single federal prisoner or deliver the expungement he promised
Edwin Rubis has served more than two decades of a 40-year federal prison sentence for participating in a marijuana distribution operation. Taking into account “good time” credit, he is not scheduled to be released until August 2032. Rubis is one of about 3,000 federal prisoners whose cannabis-related sentences were unaffected by President Joe Biden’s mass pardon for low-level marijuana offenders. A protest at the White House today called attention to their predicament. Biden’s October 6 proclamation applied only to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents convicted of simple… Read more.
Drug raids in Detroit have fallen 95 percent since a peak in 2012, largely as a result of voters’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana and shifting other police priorities. Detroit police conducted 3,462 drug raids in fiscal year 2012. Nearly every year since then, that number has declined. Last year, police conducted 186 drug raids, according to the city’s annual financial report. The 95 percent decline in drug raids in the city is the result of a combination of factors,… Read more.
Black people are still more likely to be arrested for cannabis-related crimes in Virginia despite adult-use legalization, the Washington Post reports. The reforms took effect July 1, 2021, and while arrests for cannabis have dropped overall, Black adults accounted for nearly 60% of such cases before the state’s district and circuit courts, according to the Post analysis. Black people account for about 20% of Virginia’s population. The bulk of the arrests is for distribution as legal sales have not yet commenced in the… Read more.
TRAVERSE CITY, MI -- It was quiet morning on Thursday, Oct. 6, inside Traverse City’s Great Lakes Hemp Supplements, a cannabis business with CBD products and a decal on the window that reads, “healers not dealers.” The solace shattered. “This is raid,” shouted Michigan state troopers who rushed in the front door. “Someone’s screaming, ‘state police,’” said 26-year-old office manager Megan O’Brien, who was meeting with a customer in another room. “I come around the corner and there are like… Read more.
California is starting to push businesses out with a slew of progressive laws that infringe on business freedom and give employers more responsibility. The Golden State has led the way in promoting progressive employment proposals that, according to Bloomberg, are scaring businesses away because employers claim they cannot endure more legal uncertainty while they are still recovering from the aftermath of covid-19. Governor Gavin Newsom’s flurry of bill signings includes SB 1162, a rule that catches the attention of businesses. It is… Read more.
Since President Joe Biden called on governors to pardon simple marijuana possession convictions, many have spoken out – some for and some against the move. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) recently said he will not pardon anyone in his state even though Biden pardoned thousands of federal offenders earlier this month. “The President should work with Congress, not around them, to discuss changes to the law federally, especially if he is requesting Governors to overturn the work local prosecutors have done by simply enforcing the law,” Holcomb said In a statement to News 8. “Until… Read more.
The governor of Oklahoma has officially called for a special election in March 2023 for voters to decide on marijuana legalization. Activists had pushed to place the cannabis reform measure on next month’s ballot, but it faced obstacles in the state Supreme Court after complaints were filed and procedural deadlines passed. Now Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) issued a proclamation on Tuesday stipulating that the initiative from Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML) and Yes on 820 will go before voters… Read more.
As Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) works to enact marijuana reform before the end of Congress, he’s also pushing to promote access to psychedelics that he says hold therapeutic potential. In a video posted to Twitter on Monday, the senator talked about how psychedelics like psilocybin are strictly controlled under federal law as Schedule I drugs, which places “a lot of limitations” on them. “But at the same time, we’re having massive breakthroughs in a lot of the research,” he said,… Read more.
Russian-American Curaleaf Founder Boris Jordan Discusses Putin on Podcast
Curaleaf founder Boris Jordan was born in New York to Russian parents. He's a former supporter of Russian president Vladimir Putin. In a revealing interview on Ethan Nadelmann's Psychoactive podcast, Jordan says Putin will never legalize cannabis. "It's going to be difficult for two reasons," Jordan explains. "Under Putin I don't see it happening because he is anti-alcohol and anti any drugs. The man is a health freak. He is never going to allow it." Jordan points to a Russian cannabis… Read more.
Rep. Tim Ryan would be a great addition to the U.S. Senate. The Democratic Ohio Congress person has voted to pass The MORE Act several times and on October 3 he visited a medical-cannabis cultivation facility in Youngstown. Ryan favors adult-use legalization in the Buckeye State. “You can make sure the product is safe and not laced with fentanyl or some of these other things that are killing people," he said during his stop at Riviera Creek. "To me, I think we need to… Read more.
Margo Price Says Biden’s Marijuana Pardons Don’t Go Far Enough: ‘Release Every Federal Cannabis Prisoner’
Joe Biden took a step towards marijuana decriminalization last week when he granted a mass pardon to anyone convicted of a federal crime for simple possession of the drug. He also asked governors to take similar steps, and directed his administration to review marijuana’s status as a Schedule I substance alongside hard drugs like heroin. “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana,” Biden said. “It’s time that we right these wrongs…There are thousands of people who were… Read more.
Ex-county official to plead guilty in cannabis bribe scheme
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A former county official in Southern California will admit he funneled bribes through his company to a city councilman in exchange for the councilman’s votes and influence in the city’s cannabis permitting process, federal prosecutors said. Gabriel Chavez, a former San Bernardino County planning commissioner, has agreed to plead guilty to one count of bribery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The politician who solicited the bribes – former Baldwin Park City Councilmember Ricardo Pacheco –… Read more.
Americans by a two-to-one margin support Biden’s pardons for cannabis convicts and want more records QUASHED
Americans by wide margins support President Joe Biden's decision to pardon all prior federal convictions for marijuana possession and want to see similar clemency at the state level — the latest sign of a growing social acceptance of pot. Roughly two thirds of Americans support the pardons and want governors of states to follow Biden's lead and forgive convictions at the state level, according to an Ipsos survey of more than 1,000 adults this past weekend. The poll is just the latest indicator… Read more.
A new report published today—Seeds of Change: Strategies to create an equitable cannabis industry—finds a majority of legal adult-use states lack the laws and policies needed to create a fair and equitable cannabis industry. “Seeds of Change” is a multifaceted exploration of the cannabis industry and social justice. The report introduces the Leafly Equity Score, which assesses the progress of individual states in implementing the policies that create a truly equitable industry. The 2021 report found Colorado and California leading… Read more.
The midterm elections are coming on November 8. In addition to important elections that will determine the balance of power in Congress, local elections and ballot measures are set to make a big impact across the country at more local levels. Among the issues that will be decided by voters in 2022 are a handful of cannabis-related measures. Voters are being asked to decide on the future of adult-use cannabis in some states, as well as city-level measures that will… Read more.
Kamala Harris: ‘Nobody Should Have to Go to Jail for Smoking Weed’
Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday urged both Congress and state governments to follow the Biden administration’s lead and decriminalize marijuana. Harris’ comments, made during an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” came less than a week after President Joe Biden issued pardons to individuals who have previously been convicted of a cannabis-related offense under federal law. “Let me just start with saying this. I strongly believe, and the majority of Americans agree, nobody should have to go to… Read more.
Just over three-quarters of self-identified Republicans said the government shouldn’t fight state legalization backed by voters, a poll found. Republicans don’t want the federal government to crack down on state-legal weed markets. Just over three-quarters of self-identified Republicans said the government shouldn’t fight state medical or adult-use legalization backed by voters and instead should remove any obstacles facing those markets, according to a new national poll commissioned by the industry group National Cannabis Roundtable. Just 17 percent of respondents disagreed that the… Read more.
California’s illicit marijuana market thrives as much of the state continues to restrict sales
In 2016, Californians voted to legalize recreational adult-use marijuana. Proponents of Proposition 64, including then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, argued that it would generate massive revenue, while decreasing illicit cannabis and drug cartel activity in the state. Now, nearly six years later, it’s clear that promise has not been kept. While the state has collected billions in tax revenue from cannabis sales since legalization went into effect in 2018, billions more continue to pour into a thriving illicit market. A new… Read more.
The 2022 midterm elections are right around the corner, and the outcome could prove incredibly important to U.S. marijuana businesses. If Republicans take control of at least one of the two chambers of Congress – as is largely expected to happen in the U.S. House of Representatives – that would dramatically affect the chances of lawmakers passing marijuana reforms, much less getting them signed into federal law. Some stakeholders say the bigger concern, however, is the U.S. Senate, because Minority… Read more.
California officials announced on Wednesday that the state will be awarding up to $20 million in marijuana tax-funded grants to universities that carry out research into cannabis science and policy—including studies on preventing monopolies in the legal industry and securing the genetics of “legacy” strains. This is the second round of academic marijuana grants from the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC), which said it is soliciting research proposals from public colleges with a focus on five priority study areas. The… Read more.
New FBI Marijuana Arrest Data Riddled With Inconsistencies As Agency Touts Changes To Reporting System
FBI has spent the past seven years and millions of tax dollars working to update its crime statistics reporting system—and the end result for 2021 data is raising more questions than answers for people tracking drug enforcement trends including marijuana-related arrests. Still, the agency’s fragmented data on drug criminalization released on Wednesday continues to show that cannabis is the primary driver of the drug war—with marijuana and hashish accounting for almost half of all drug-related seizure incidents, for example. The… Read more.
More Than 3,500 Pennsylvanians Apply For Marijuana Pardons Under Governor’s Expedited Relief Program
More than 3,500 people applied for pardons for past cannabis convictions as part of a one-month Pennsylvania initiative spearheaded by the governor and lieutenant governor, a top state pardons official told Marijuana Moment on Wednesday. A final push from lawmakers and advocates drove about 1,000 applications in the final day of the program alone as last week’s deadline approached. The application window for the expedited relief program, which was facilitated by the state Board of Pardons (BOP), closed on midnight on… Read more.