Politics

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.

Senator Pushes DEA To Act With ‘Great Urgency’ To Reschedule Marijuana

November 19, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to act with “great urgency” to reschedule marijuana in line with a recommendation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). In a letter sent to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram last week, the senator said that while she remains “under the strong conviction that marijuana should be descheduled entirely,” the agency should, “at a minimum,” move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act… Read more.

Thailand Is Threatening Stricter Cannabis Laws. Weed Shops Are Confused

November 17, 2023 · Vice

A radiant symbol has recently emerged among the bright neon signs lining Bangkok's streets: the weed leaf. After legalizing medical cannabis in 2018, last year Thailand became the first country in Asia to decriminalize weed. Today, people over 20 who are not pregnant or breastfeeding can consume it without punishment, although smoking in public spaces can still land you a hefty fine. That’s led to a boom in cannabis shops across the country. And with a dispensary practically now on every… Read more.

Pennsylvania House Approves Senate-Passed Bill To Let Medical Marijuana Growers Sell Directly To Patients

November 16, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has approved a Senate-passed bill to allow all licensed medical marijuana grower-processors in the state to sell their cannabis products directly to patients. The legislation—which has been amended to further grant grower permits to independent dispensaries—cleared the chamber in a 114-89 vote on Wednesday. Because it was revised, it must return to the Senate for concurrence before it’s potentially sent to the governor’s desk. Under the measure, sponsored by Sen. Chris Gebhard (R), the state… Read more.

Biden’s Justice Department Says Marijuana Consumers Are ‘Unlikely’ To Store Guns Properly In Latest Defense Of Federal Ban

November 16, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

The Biden administration has once again found itself in federal court defending a ban preventing people who use marijuana from buying or possessing firearms, arguing that historical precedent “comfortably” supports the restriction and that cannabis consumers with guns pose a unique danger to society, in part because they’re “unlikely” to store their weapon properly before using marijuana. In a brief submitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on Wednesday, attorneys for the Justice Department responded to… Read more.

Congressman Blumenauer On Ohio Marijuana Legalization, Biden’s Chance To ‘Atone’ For Drug War Record And Advocacy In Retirement

November 13, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) might be retiring at the end of this Congress, but he’s still got boxes he wants to check off on an ambitious agenda to reform federal marijuana laws before his final bike ride from Capitol Hill. The Oregon congressman, a founding co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus who has spent decades championing marijuana legalization, intends to make the most out of his last 14 months in office. He thinks bipartisan cannabis banking reform is still in play, for… Read more.

GOP Presidential Candidate Ramaswamy’s Veterans Plan Includes Marijuana And Psychedelics Access To Treat PTSD

November 13, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Vivek Ramaswamy, a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, says that if he’s elected, he would remove federal restrictions on marijuana and psychedelics such as ayahuasca and MDMA to free up access for military veterans suffering from serious mental health conditions. The entrepreneur has previously discussed his support for psychedelics reform, but he’s now calling for descheduling as part of his veterans policy platform that’s meant to take a “holistic approach” the high rates of substance misuse and suicide within the veteran population.… Read more.

Anti-Pot Karens Rise Up in New York – Scott Gray (R-NY) Wants Cannabis Billboards Banned Because He Didn’t Like a ‘Got Weed’ Ad

Cannabis faces such strong social disapproval in New York that some residents prefer not to encounter it at all. To eliminate the visibility of cannabis billboards and signs across the state, a New York Republican is pushing for stricter regulations and increased penalties for existing sign restrictions. Assemblyman Scott Gray (R-Watertown) has put forth A8200, a bill that proposes heightened consequences for individuals displaying cannabis-related signs daily. The legislation seeks to restrict the promotion of cannabis through advertisements unless the ads… Read more.

Former FDA Official Says He’d Be ‘Shocked’ If DEA Doesn’t Reschedule Marijuana By 2024 Election

November 10, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Speaking at a cannabis industry event on Thursday, a former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) official said he’d be “shocked” if the Drug Enforcement Administration doesn’t reschedule marijuana by next year’s presidential election. “I would be really shocked if it took the DEA longer than the second quarter of next year to come up with its final rule,” said Howard Sklamberg, former FDA deputy commissioner for global regulatory operations and compliance. “Even when I was at FDA, we knew that… Read more.

Ohio Republicans Vow to Undermine Will of Voters

November 9, 2023 · MG Magazine

Voters across Ohio approved a ballot measure Tuesday to legalize and regulate recreational cannabis, but leaders in the Republican-majority state legislature already have vowed to make significant changes to the law before Issue 2 goes into effect on December 7. “This statute was written by the marijuana industry and should be treated as a cash grab for their cash crop at the expense of a state trying to emerge from the opioid epidemic,” Senate President Matt Huffman said Tuesday. “The general assembly… Read more.

2 Republicans Are Blocking Medical Cannabis for 2,935,000 Kansas Residents? – Vote Them Out!

November 9, 2023 · Cannabis.net

A recent survey reveals that over two-thirds of Kansans are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana. Still, legislative efforts to permit even medical cannabis use in Kansas continue to face obstacles from Republican members of the State Senate. Once more, a recent poll reinforces the widespread endorsement from Kansans for the legalization of marijuana, be it for medicinal or recreational reasons. Nevertheless, the likelihood of the state venturing into the cannabis industry remains highly uncertain. Supporters and legislators in favor of medical… Read more.

Wyoming Lawmakers Make Second Attempt to Ban Intoxicating Hemp Products

November 9, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

Lawmakers in Wyoming are making a second attempt on legislation to ban intoxicating hemp products after the Joint Judiciary Committee in September scrapped their first attempt after pushback from hemp companies, according to a WyoFile report. State Rep. Art Washut (R) told WyoFile that “The first draft went too far in terms of causing a threat” to the state’s hemp farmers, and lawmakers “didn’t want to go there.” The new proposal would ban the addition of “synthetic substances” to hemp and would prohibit hemp… Read more.

GOP Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy Says He Voted Against Legalizing Marijuana In Ohio

November 9, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Ohio voters on Tuesday passed a ballot initiative to legalize adult-use marijuana, but one resident who voted against the change was GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy. Although the 38-year-old pharmaceutical company founder has said he supports legal access to marijuana and psychedelics, he opposed legalization in his home state. “I voted no on that one,” Ramaswamy said on CNN Tuesday night, as the network projected that voters had passed the legalization measure, Issue 2. “I think it’s an abandonment of the rule… Read more.

Cannabis and Criminal Justice Advocates Urge Biden to Fully Deschedule Cannabis

November 8, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

In a letter to President Joe Biden (D), the Marijuana Justice Coalition and Cannabis Freedom Alliance said that the administration’s plans to move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III under the Controlled Substances Act “would simply maintain federal criminalization” of state-approved medical and adult-use cannabis programs, calling instead for full descheduling under federal law.   The letter notes that, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data, nearly 250,000 individuals were arrested nationwide for cannabis-related crimes in 2021 and that Black people were arrested at… Read more.

Florida Supreme Court to Weigh Fate of Cannabis Legalization Initiative

November 7, 2023 · Green Market Report

Florida’s Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Wednesday in a pivotal legal skirmish with the potential to place cannabis legalization on the 2024 ballot and reshape the state’s lucrative market. The hearing represents a collision of legal interpretations, voter initiative rights, and the influence of big money on grassroots movements. At the core of the dispute lies a citizen-led ballot initiative proposal spearheaded by Smart & Safe Florida, which has garnered nearly one million signatures in support of adult-use cannabis. The initiative seeks… Read more.

Congressional Committee Urges DOJ To Study ‘Adequacy’ Of State Marijuana Laws And Address Federal Research Barriers

November 7, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A congressional committee is urging the Justice Department to study the effectiveness of state regulatory frameworks for marijuana—and the panel is also pushing for researchers to be able to study the cannabis products that consumers purchase in legal states. The House Appropriations Committee included the cannabis language in spending bill reports that were released last week as lawmakers work to pass appropriations legislation for multiple federal agencies. For the bill covering Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS), there’s new… Read more.

Petition Challenges Ron DeSantis’s ‘Exponential’ MMJ License Fee Hike in Florida

November 7, 2023 · High Times

Florida medical cannabis companies have to pay over 22 times the amount to renew their licenses this year—over $1 million dollars—but one company is challenging the unrealistic price hike before it topples the state’s medical cannabis system as we know it. Sanctuary Cannabis, a medical cannabis company that’s due for a license renewal in January, is arguing that their new $1.33 million price tag for a license is unjustified. The company filed  a petition Oct. 26 against the license renewal… Read more.

Virginia Election Forecast Predicts Democratic Wins In House And Senate, Which Could Lead To Legal Marijuana Sales

November 7, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A new forecast of Virginia’s election predicts that Democrats are likely to win control of both chambers of the legislature on Tuesday—a result some advocates believe could open the door for lawmakers to legalize retail cannabis sales in the state. A separate poll, meanwhile, found 58 percent support among likely voters for allowing marijuana sales to proceed. While marijuana legalization technically isn’t on Virginia’s ballot this week, advocates expect the results of the statewide election to shape the future of marijuana… Read more.

Congressman Behind Amendments To End Marijuana Testing For Federal Job Applicants Explains Why He Keeps Fighting Amid GOP Opposition

November 6, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That seems to be the motto of one Democratic congressman who has spent the past few months repeatedly attempting to prevent the use of federal funds to drug test job applicants for marijuana. As more states have legalized cannabis in some form, Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) has committed to enacting the modest reform as by filing it as a proposed amendment to 12 separate appropriations bills covering multiple federal agencies. So… Read more.

RFK Jr. Releases Presidential Campaign Ad Calling For Marijuana Legalization ‘To End Addiction’

November 3, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an independent 2024 presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to “legalize pot to end addiction.” In a campaign ad that pulls clips from a September C-SPAN interview, Kennedy describes his plan to federally legalize marijuana and earmark tax revenue for substance misuse treatment and rehabilitation. The candidate, who launched his campaign as a Democrat before switching to independent last month, said he wants to build that infrastructure “as part of my presidency,” adding that the “renewal centers of detoxification”… Read more.

U.S. Senate Approves Medical Marijuana for Military Veterans

November 3, 2023 · Green Market Report

The U.S. Senate gave an easy thumbs-up this week to a bill that would – among many other things – allow doctors at the Department of Veterans Affairs to write recommendations that veterans could use to purchase medical marijuana. The Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (MilConVA) measure was approved by a vote of 82-15 on Wednesday, Marijuana Moment reported, and a similar bill was approved earlier this year by the U.S. House. But because the two parallel bills have different… Read more.

Oregon Rep. Blumenauer to Retire from Congress

November 3, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D), a founding member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, on Monday announced he will not seek reelection. In a Facebook post, Blumenauer, who served as a member of Congress for 27 years, said “Now, it is time to refocus on a narrower set of priorities.”   Blumenauer served as an Oregon state lawmaker in 1973 when the state decriminalized cannabis and has been an ardent supporter of federal cannabis reforms since his election to the House of Representatives in 1996. He… Read more.

Trump Team Says DeSantis Should Use Marijuana Edibles To Deal With Presidential Campaign Stress

November 1, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

The Trump campaign took a swipe at 2024 Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, urging the Florida governor to pick up some marijuana edibles while visiting Nevada to de-stress from the race. Steven Cheung, spokesperson for former President Donald Trump, made the comments on Saturday, remarking on the stagnant polling numbers for DeSantis. “Maybe Ron should consider visiting a smoke shop and buy some edibles to take the stress away, something Jeff Roe should know about since he’s lobbying for… Read more.

Synthetic Profits

November 1, 2023 · MG Magazine

There is no shortage of unintended legislative consequences in the brief history of legal cannabis, but the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act—popularly known as the Farm Bill—may take the cake. Most notoriously, the bill federally legalized hemp, which the legislation defines as Cannabis sativa L. and “any part of that plant, including the seeds thereof and all derivatives, extracts, cannabinoids, isomers, acids, salts, and salts of isomers” as long as they contain no more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight.… Read more.

Lawmakers And Advocates Celebrate Marijuana Reform Legacy Of Retiring Congressman Blumenauer, Pledging To Carry His Work Forward

November 1, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

After a half century advocating for marijuana reform—including 27 years representing Oregon’s 3rd district in Congress—Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) announced on Monday that he will not be seeking reelection next year. The congressman, a founding co-chair of the Cannabis Caucus and architect of a federal marijuana legalization “blueprint,” has earned the respect of advocates, stakeholders and lawmakers across the aisle as he’s worked to navigate challenging waters on Capitol Hill, where even modest cannabis legislation has consistently stalled despite the… Read more.

Where Presidential Candidate Dean Phillips Stands On Marijuana And Psychedelics

October 30, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Rep. Dean Phillips (D) is challenging incumbent President Joe Biden for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination—and the congressman’s drug policy record reflects a consistent commitment to reform at the state and federal level. Phillips officially entered the race on October 27, stating that while he thinks the president has done an effective job to date, Biden’s slumping poll numbers raise concerns about his viability in the election, and he’s hoping to offer an alternative pathway for Democrats. When it comes… Read more.

Here’s Where All Nine House Speaker Candidates Stand On Marijuana

October 23, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

As the U.S. House of Representatives enters its third week without a speaker, more GOP lawmakers with varying records on marijuana policy are making their bids for the nomination—including a member who has been arrested for cannabis and another who co-chairs a congressional psychedelics caucus. Most of the candidates in the leadership race have voted in favor of cannabis banking reform, even if they’ve been unsupportive of broader legalization. After Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted as speaker in a historic… Read more.

Congress Postpones First-Ever Hearing On Psychedelics And Veterans Mental Health Care

October 19, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A congressional subcommittee’s hearing on the use of psychedelic-assisted treatments for mental health disorders that was originally scheduled for Thursday has been postponed, the panel announced after another failed vote to elect a House speaker on Wednesday. It’s not yet clear when the rescheduled event will be. The hearing of the House Veterans Affairs’ Subcommittee on Health was set to be the first time federal lawmakers ever convened a formal hearing primarily to discuss how entheogenic substances such as psilocybin… Read more.

No Cannabis Cafes for You! – California Governor Newsom Vetoes Weed Cafes in the Golden State

October 18, 2023 · Cannabis.net

Governor Gavin Newsom (D) of California recently took a series of actions that yielded varied outcomes for the cannabis industry and advocates of marijuana reform. Notably, he vetoed a proposal to legalize cannabis cafes, which left supporters disheartened as they believed it could have provided new social opportunities for consumers and spurred business growth. Simultaneously, he vetoed marijuana packaging regulations, which industry operators argued would have imposed overly burdensome restrictions. On the positive side, Governor Newsom signed several other bills… Read more.

GOP Marijuana Banking Bill Sponsor Says Senate Floor Vote On Hold Until House Passage Assured, Cannabis Financing Exec Who Spoke To Him Says

October 15, 2023 ·

The lead GOP Senate cosponsor of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill says a planned floor vote is on pause until he can ensure the legislation will later pass the Republican-controlled House, according to a cannabis financing executive who spoke with the senator this week. While the House prospects of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act have long factored into Senate leadership’s thinking, Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) apparently made it clear in his conversation with Pelorus Capital Group… Read more.

Presidential Candidate Marianne Williamson Says Legal Psychedelic Therapy Should Be Paid For With Universal Healthcare System

October 15, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Marianne Williamson, a 2024 Democratic presidential candidate, says the federal government should “fully legalize” certain psychedelics like psilocybin for therapeutic use and cover the costs for patients under a universal healthcare system. In a new plan focused on mental health, Williamson laid out 10 proposals that she said would help address the country’s “record levels of suicide, depression, anxiety, and toxic stress.” That includes legalizing psychedelic-assisted therapy with full insurance coverage. “For some of the most widespread mental health challenges we… Read more.

Marijuana Rescheduling Would ‘Supersize’ The Industry, Former DEA Heads And White House Drug Czars Warn Biden Administration

October 14, 2023 ·

Six former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) heads and five former White House drug czars have sent a letter to the attorney general and current DEA administrator, voicing opposition to the top federal health agency’s recommendation to reschedule marijuana. They also made a questionable claim about the relationship between drug schedules and criminal penalties in a way that may exaggerate the potential impact of the incremental reform. The letter, sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram on… Read more.

Why House Majority Leader Steve Scalise Is Bad News for Cannabis

October 13, 2023 · High Times

The GOP’s nominee to replace Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) as Speaker of the House—one of the most powerful positions in the U.S. government—has opposed nearly every cannabis bill he’s encountered during the past 15 years in office. Scalise dropped out of the House speaker race Thursday evening. In a closed-door meeting to replace McCarthy as speaker Wednesday, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-Louisiana) was selected as the clear nominee. Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the next contender, lost the nomination in… Read more.

House speaker chaos, other priorities complicate cannabis banking bill

October 13, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

The refreshing wave of good news from Washington DC that buoyed the U.S. marijuana industry in late summer might have peaked, with fresh hurdles emerging that could make it harder for Congress to pass cannabis banking reform. On the bright side: Multiple Capitol Hill observers told MJBizDaily the odds remain good that the U.S. Senate will pass the SAFER Banking Act, which would provide protections from federal prosecution for financial institutions offering services to state-legal marijuana businesses. The legislation passed a key Senate… Read more.

Last Prisoner Project’s State of Cannabis Justice Report Highlights Sobering Realities

October 12, 2023 · High Times

Last Prisoner Project highlighted some startling realities despite recent promises and movement at the federal level to loosen laws around the prohibition of cannabis.  One year after President Joe Biden pledged to expunge certain low-level cannabis convictions, Last Prisoner Project released its State of Cannabis Cannabis Justice Report last week. While promises have been made, has anyone actually been released from prison? On Oct. 6, 2022, Biden announced historic steps to advance the end of cannabis prohibition in the country by pardoning… Read more.

Lone Democrat Who Opposed Marijuana Banking Bill In Senate Committee Explains His Vote

October 10, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) was the sole Democrat to vote against a marijuana banking reform bill during a committee markup last month. In a new interview, the senator described his vote as an effort at making important equity improvements while there’s still a chance to do so. “I’m worried that if we pass a bill with all of the fees and the revenue that comes, and not begin to address the issue of restorative justice, we’re not going to go… Read more.

Sacramento City Council Meeting ‘Delves Into Chaos’ After Closing 11-Acre Pot Farm

October 10, 2023 · High Times

A large cannabis operation with 22 buildings spanning over 11 acres must temporarily cease operations as hundreds of employees are fighting for their jobs, culminating in a chaotic Sacramento City Council meeting. Law enforcement officials ordered Natura to close on Oct. 2, a farm located on Elder Creek Road near Power Inn Road, citing fire code violations that make the Morrison Creek district buildings unsafe for its 450 employees. Nautra now must work with the city to bring its 22… Read more.

California Governor Says No to Cannabis Cafes

October 9, 2023 · Green Market Report

California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill on Friday that sought to permit Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes in the state, despite widespread bipartisan support in both legislative chambers. Assembly Bill 374, championed by San Francisco Assemblymember Matt Haney, would have allowed cannabis dispensaries to transition into cafes, offering food and cannabis products, and featuring live concerts, upon receiving local government approval. The intent behind the bill was to give the legal cannabis industry, which faces stiff competition from the state’s thriving illicit market, an… Read more.

ATF Raises Concerns About Arkansas Law Allowing Cannabis Patients to Carry Concealed Handguns

October 7, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

In a letter to Division of Arkansas Crime Information Operations Director Rick Stallings, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) outlined safety concerns with the state agency’s decision to allow medical cannabis patients to receive concealed handgun carry licenses (CHCL).   In the letter, signed by Marianna Mitchem, chief of the Firearms and Explosives Industry Division Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, wrote that the “ATF is concerned that the issuance of CHCLs to individuals who are prohibited by Federal law from… Read more.

Ahead Of Early Voting On Marijuana In Ohio, State AG Publishes New Analysis And Campaign Launches TV Ad

October 7, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

With early voting in Ohio beginning next week, the campaign behind a ballot measure to legalize marijuana released a new campaign ad on Friday in support of the policy change. Attorney General Dave Yost (R), meanwhile, published an analysis of the initiative that he said is meant to provide voters with “vital clarity and transparency” amid a campaign that has seen “inflamed and inaccurate” rhetoric. The new ad from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the primary backer of… Read more.

Lawmakers And Advocates Push Biden For More Marijuana Action On One-Year Anniversary Of Mass Pardons And Scheduling Review

October 6, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

It was one year ago on Friday that President Joe Biden issued a mass marijuana pardon and directed an administrative scheduling review. Lawmakers and advocates say it’s time to do more. While there is broad based consensus among reform supporters that the president’s action last year represented a positive step in the right direction, on this first anniversary they’re emphasizing that it was exactly that: just a step and not, by any means, the end of the federal government’s war on… Read more.

SAFE Banking Act vs. SAFER Banking Act – What’s the Difference for the Marijuana Industry?

October 5, 2023 · Cannabis.net

A bipartisan marijuana banking measure has received the Senate Banking Committee's unanimous support, marking a historic development in the ongoing struggle to address the intricate financial issues affecting the cannabis industry according to Reuters.This landmark decision has significant ramifications for a sector that has struggled for years with regulations that have largely compelled legitimate cannabis businesses to function primarily in cash. The Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, supported by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT), is the fundamental… Read more.

What A New House Speaker Will Mean For Marijuana Reform, Including Banking

October 5, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

With Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) ousted as House speaker in a historic vote to vacate the position on Tuesday, cannabis policy observers are wondering how the new GOP leadership will approach marijuana banking, legalization and other reform issues. Who will take the speakership is yet to be seen, but so far Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) have announced they are running for the top House position. Based on their records, marijuana reform advocates… Read more.

Here’s How The Marijuana Banking Bill Was Amended During This Week’s Senate Committee Markup

September 30, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A cannabis banking bill was revised in several different ways under an amendment adopted by the Senate Banking Committee during Wednesday’s markup, according to text that has not yet been officially posted by the panel but which was obtained by Marijuana Moment. As the debate started, the committee first approved the amendment from Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH), which was described as a mix of technical changes and revisions requested by bipartisan members. It touches on issues related to federal guidance for banks… Read more.

Two Amendments Relating to Cannabis, Psychedelic Research Added to Defense Bill

September 30, 2023 · High Times

The House Rules Committee recently cleared two cannabis and psychedelic-related amendments on Sept. 23 to be discussed on the floor. Days later on Sept. 27, the House approved the two amendments—Amendment No. 48 and Amendment No. 137—to be included in H.R. 4365, or the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2024. Amendment No. 48, supported by Texas Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Morgan Luttrell, would provide $15 million Department of Defense funding for psychedelic medical clinical trials. Through a voice vote, it passed with… Read more.

New Jersey Officials To Put $5.5 Million In Cannabis Revenue Toward Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program

September 30, 2023 ·

New Jersey officials have announced the availability of $5.5 million in marijuana revenue to support a hospital-based violence intervention grants program.Grants will be awarded beginning next year, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin (D) said in a press release. Launched in 2020, the New Jersey Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Program connects survivors of violent crime, including gun violence, with community-based organizations that provide support services “starting at their bedside.”“These innovative violence intervention programs allow providers to tend… Read more.

Schumer Touts Bipartisan ‘Momentum’ Behind Marijuana Banking Bill That He Plans To Bring To The Floor ‘Soon’ With More ‘Criminal Justice Provisions’

September 29, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says the bipartisan committee vote to advance a marijuana banking bill on Wednesday “underscores how much momentum we have right now” as he plans to bring the legislation to the floor “soon” and attach “very significant criminal justice provisions.” In a floor speech on Thursday, Schumer said he’s “really proud of the bipartisan deal we produced” ahead of the Senate Banking Committee markup that saw the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act pass in… Read more.

Senate Panel Approves SAFER Banking Act

September 29, 2023 · Cannabis Now

A key US Senate panel on Wednesday approved a bill designed to give regulated cannabis companies easier access to common business banking services. The newly revised bill, now titled the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, was passed by the Senate Banking Committee by a bipartisan vote of 14-9. The measure was introduced in the Senate last week by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill is an amended version of the Secure and… Read more.

Senate Takes Long-Awaited Step Toward Cannabis Banking Reform

September 28, 2023 · MG Magazine

The cannabis-friendly Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act is on its way to a floor vote in the Senate after the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs passed the bipartisan legislation. The 14-9 vote represented the first time the Senate has addressed banking reform. The SAFER Act closely resembles similar legislation, the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act, that has passed the House with bipartisan support seven times. Both bills would provide “safe harbor” protections to financial institutions that serve… Read more.

22 State Attorneys General Call On Congress To Pass Marijuana Banking Bill That’s Heading To Senate Floor

September 28, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A bipartisan coalition of 22 state attorneys general is calling on Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill that cleared a key Senate committee on Wednesday. In a letter sent to congressional leaders on Tuesday, the top law enforcement officials of nearly half the states in the U.S. said they have a “strong interest in enabling economic growth and stability while simultaneously protecting the physical and economic wellbeing of constituents working in this industry.” Citing the fact that a majority of states… Read more.

Let Cannabis Legalization Be Done State-By-State with No Federal Legalization? – Republican Plot Twist for the Weed Industry

September 27, 2023 · Cannabis.net

Republican senators, including the lead GOP sponsor of a bipartisan marijuana banking bill, are gearing up to introduce new legislation designed to thwart any federal legalization of marijuana by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) without explicit approval from Congress. Senators Leading the Charge The fight against potential federal marijuana legalization without congressional permission is being led by Senators Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming (R-WY) and Steve Daines of Montana (R-MT). Regarding cannabis policy, Senator Lummis has continuously defended states' rights, firmly believing… Read more.

House Democratic Group Pushes To Reduce Hemp Growers’ Regulatory Burdens In Next Farm Bill

September 27, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A pro-business, center-left group of House Democratic lawmakers is pushing to use the next Farm Bill to reduce regulatory burdens on industrial hemp growers. The New Democrat Coalition, which is comprised of nearly 100 House members and describes itself as “united behind a mission to build an economy that works for every American,” released an endorsement slate on Monday that lays out policy priorities as lawmakers begin to craft the 2023 Farm Bill. One of the 44 bills they want… Read more.

Cannabis banking outlook bright in Senate, but federal shutdown looms

September 26, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

Long-awaited federal cannabis banking reform is expected to sail through a key U.S. Senate panel hearing Wednesday, which would be the first time the landmark legislation has secured a yes vote in the upper chamber of Congress. But after that, prospects for the bipartisan and heavily negotiated SAFER Banking Act are much less certain, multiple cannabis industry observers told MJBizDaily. For once, negative attitudes toward marijuana wouldn’t be to blame. Instead, the obstacle is the chaos currently enveloping Congress, where a government shutdown… Read more.

‘God Almighty,’ No One Should Be In Prison Over Marijuana Possession, Biden Says At Congressional Black Caucus Event

September 26, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

President Joe Biden is again touting his mass marijuana pardon from last year, referencing the act of clemency at a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards ceremony. “I’m keeping my promise that no one—no one—should be in jail merely for the use or possession of marijuana. God Almighty,” the president exclaimed. “And those who are in jail, they’re going to be released and the records are going to be expunged.” The speech at the event with Black lawmakers is just the… Read more.

National Conference Of State Legislatures Urges Senate To Pass Marijuana Banking Bill As ‘Much-Needed Solution’ To Industry Challenges

September 26, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A group that represents state lawmakers across the U.S. is urging Senate leaders to pass a bipartisan marijuana banking bill to provide a “much-needed solution” to the “unsafe and untenable” challenges that the cannabis industry faces under prohibition. In a letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Monday, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) CEO Tim Storey expressed the organization’s support for the revised Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER)… Read more.

GOP Presidential Candidate Ramaswamy Proposes Expanding DEA With Thousands Of New Agents Despite Opposition To Drug War

September 25, 2023 ·

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is proposing a dramatic restructuring of the federal government’s workforce, in part by eliminating certain agencies like the FBI. But, at the same time, he wants to keep and significantly expand the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) despite having criticized the broader war on drugs. The 38-year-old presidential hopeful—who has voiced support for legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing certain psychedelics—detailed his plan to fire about 75 percent of federal workers and shutter key agencies during a recent domestic… Read more.

Republican Lawmakers Urge DEA to Reject Cannabis Reclassification

September 24, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

In a letter to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrator Anne Milgram, 14 Republican lawmakers urged the agency to reject the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommendation to reclassify cannabis from Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act to Schedule III.  “It is irresponsible for HHS to recommend that marijuana be removed from Schedule I. It would also be irresponsible for DEA to act on this recommendation,” the letter states. “Our country relies on DEA to enforce our nation’s drug laws.… Read more.

Third Time At Bat For The MORE Act

September 23, 2023 · Green Market Report

Cannabis legislators are a persistent bunch as ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), refiled the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement or MORE Act on Wednesday. So far there are 33 co-sponsors and they are all Democrats. MORE Act 3.0 The previous versions of the MORE Act stated that states could create their own cannabis policies without federal interference. The MORE Act in previous versions would remove cannabis from the controlled substances list. It would also create a cannabis sales… Read more.

Marijuana Banking Bill Will Pass ‘Decisively’ Next Week, Senate Committee Chair Says As More Amendments Are Floated

September 23, 2023 ·

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) says a bipartisan marijuana banking will pass “decisively” out of his panel next week, as senators discuss possible tweaks on its path to the floor and anti-drug advocates decry the reform as a public safety hazard. The revised Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act that’s due for a committee markup next Wednesday might not enjoy the same level of support as other unrelated bills that recently moved out of the panel,… Read more.

Group Funded By Alcohol And Tobacco Companies Pushes Feds To Issue Marijuana Tax Stamps To Combat Illicit Market

September 22, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A new report from the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation (CPEAR) looking at the nation’s illicit cannabis market makes a number of policy suggestions aimed at reining in unlicensed marijuana sales. Among them, the group calls for a centralized, nationwide track-and-trace system as well as marijuana tax stamps to help “distinguish regulated cannabis products from illicit products.” “Eliminating the illicit market requires a multifaceted approach, one that leverages technology and data and relies on collaboration between law enforcement… Read more.

House Democrats File Marijuana Legalization And Expungements Bill

September 22, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A top House Democrat has reintroduced a bill to federally legalize, tax and regulate marijuana, with provisions to expunge prior cannabis convictions. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, refiled the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act on Wednesday. There are 33 initial cosponsors—all Democrats. The comprehensive legalization legislation has passed the House twice in recent sessions—but this marks the first time it’s being introduced with Republicans in control of the chamber, raising serious questions about… Read more.

State regulators want Congress to redefine, regulate hemp, delta-8 THC

September 21, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

An association of regulators of state cannabis programs is asking Congress to include in the next Farm Bill new rules governing hemp and hemp-derived cannabinoids, including a new definition for what constitutes “hemp” versus marijuana. If adopted, the proposed rules would have broad implications for products containing hemp-derived, intoxicating cannabinoids, including delta-8 THC. Such products have exploded in popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill was enacted. The Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA) asked House and Senate committee chairs in a Sept. 15 letter to… Read more.

Yay, Weed is Going to be Rescheduled or Legalized! Republicans: Hold My Beer!

September 20, 2023 · Cannabis.net

Marijuana Moment is reporting a group of 14 Republican congressional members is calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to oppose the top federal health agency's suggestion to change the scheduling of marijuana, advocating instead for it to remain in the most stringent category as per the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In a letter addressed to DEA Administrator Anne Milgram on Monday, Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) took the lead, along with twelve other colleagues from both chambers. They asserted… Read more.

California marijuana businesses beg gov to veto product label legislation

September 20, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

California marijuana companies are asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto a recently passed bill that’s meant to deter children from using cannabis products, claiming the legislation would instead ban many existing brands’ current logos while doing nothing to curb the illicit market. The California Assembly last week passed Assembly Bill 1207, which prohibits any cannabis product package or label deemed “attractive to children.” That includes any images of “including, but not limited to”: Cartoons, toys or robots. Real or fictional humans. Any fictional… Read more.

Schumer Aims To Bring Newly Revised Marijuana Banking Bill To The Floor ‘With All Due Speed’ After Next Week’s Committee Vote

September 20, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

A marijuana banking bill that’s set for a Senate committee markup next week has an updated title and several new provisions related to federal financial regulations, guidance and reporting requirements, according to a summary that is circulating. And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Tuesday he intends to “bring this legislation to the floor with all due speed.” The title of the measure is being extended by one word. The bill that’s being circulated ahead of the Senate Banking… Read more.

Kansas City Council Earmarks $458,000 In Marijuana Tax Revenue To Fund Local Violence Prevention

September 16, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Kansas City, Missouri officials have green-lighted using proceeds from a 3 percent municipal tax on marijuana to fund a violence prevention program in the city. The City Council on Thursday approved a proposal to put $458,000 in proceeds from the local cannabis tax, which voters approved in April, toward the city’s Aim4Peace initiative, which works with local communities and survivors of violent crime. All told, the city estimates it should make roughly $3 million each year from legal sales after the tax… Read more.

Former Cannabis CEO Hired to Oversee Connecticut Cannabis Program

September 15, 2023 · Ganjapreneur

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has tapped the former CEO of the state’s first licensed cannabis grower as state program manager for cannabis, CT Insider reports. Jennifer Mandzuk worked at Theraplant from 2014 until January and served as the company’s CEO since July 2022, the report says.  DCP spokesperson Kaitlyn Krasselt told Insider that “Agencies often hire subject matter experts from the industry to ensure high quality, experienced staff.”  The state ethics office told Insider that the state’s code of ethics “does not… Read more.

Justice Department Begins Issuing Marijuana Pardon Certificates Under Biden Order

September 15, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has begun issuing formal certificates to individuals whose convictions for marijuana possession were covered under President Joe Biden’s (D) mass cannabis pardon last October. The documents are intended to allow people to demonstrate that they were granted clemency, which could help avoid obstacles to housing, employment, education and child custody caused by a federal criminal conviction. Although neither DOJ nor the Office of the Pardon Attorney has announced the issuance of the certificates, at least some applicants… Read more.

RFK Jr. Reaffirms That Legalizing Marijuana And Using Revenue To Fund Treatment Centers Would Be ‘Part Of My Presidency’

September 14, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a 2024 presidential candidate, is again calling for federally legalizing marijuana, opening up banking services for the industry and using cannabis tax revenue to fund drug treatment and rehabilitation centers. During an appearance on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Wednesday, Kennedy, who is running as a Democrat, took a question from a Republican caller who asked him to lay out his position on cannabis policy. The son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy and nephew of President John… Read more.

Senate Committee Vote On Marijuana Banking Bill ‘Won’t Be Next Week,’ Despite Insiders’ Predictions, Chairman’s Office Says

September 12, 2023 · marijuanamoment.net

The Senate Banking Committee will not be voting on cannabis banking legislation next week, despite the suggestions of some key insiders and analysts. While top Senate players on both sides of the aisle have indicated that they’re prepared to move the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act this fall after a “productive” August recess, a Banking Committee spokesperson told Marijuana Moment on Monday that the “markup won’t be next week.” To be clear, no lawmakers involved in the legislation have publicly… Read more.

Once a marijuana enemy, DEA now key to rescheduling

September 12, 2023 · MJ Biz Daily

The most significant shift in U.S. marijuana policy is drawing closer, but one major obstacle remains in reform’s way: the Drug Enforcement Administration. On Aug. 29, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) responded to President Joe Biden’s October 2022 call for a federal review of marijuana scheduling with a revolutionary pronouncement: The drug should be reclassified as a Schedule 3 controlled substance. Now, the federal government’s first official acknowledgment that marijuana has medicinal value goes to the DEA, the arm of… Read more.