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Biden celebrates 4/20 with cannabis reform push (Newsletter: April 22, 2024)



NM gov presses feds on marijuana seizures; Fed cannabis research report; Lawmakers & brands mark 4/20; NH medical expansion; PA patients’ gun rights

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President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris both touted their support for marijuana law reform at exactly 4:20 p.m. on 4/20 in joint social media posts.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on the eve of 4/20 that President Joe Biden has been “very, very clear” about his support for decriminalizing marijuana—adding that a cannabis rescheduling review is still under consideration by the Department of Justice.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) met with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to push back against a recent spate of seizures of marijuana products from licensed businesses in her state by Customs and Border Protection agents.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer(D-OR)  said this year will be the “last 4/20 celebration that cannabis will be on Schedule I”—adding that lawmakers are “making progress” on passing a cannabis banking bill soon.

  • “Every day we’re closer on SAFE Banking.”

A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on barriers to marijuana research concludes that “rescheduling cannabis may ease researcher access to products”—though it sidesteps a congressional mandate for recommendations on letting scientists study dispensary products.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee marked 4/20 by calling out Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) for vetoing marijuana sales legalization and resentencing bills—saying the moves are “hindering economic opportunity and needed criminal justice reform.”

A new poll found that 6 in 10 Americans are “surprised marijuana hasn’t been legalized across the United States yet”—and that 4 in 10 are current consumers, with most of them saying they prefer cannabis to alcohol or cigarettes.

Elected officials used the 4/20 holiday to spread the message that marijuana reform is a mainstream political issue.

Major brands and organizations latched onto cannabis culture with a variety of 4/20 promotions and deals this year.

New Hampshire House and Senate committees held hearings on a variety of bills to expand the medical cannabis program—including measures to legalize home cultivation for patients and allow doctors to recommend marijuana for any condition they see fit.

A Nebraska bill that would have set a 25 percent tax on consumable hemp and CBD products—down from an initially proposed 100 percent rate—died with the end of the legislative session amidst a filibuster.

A Pennsylvania Republican senator filed a bill to let medical cannabis patients obtain licenses to carry guns.

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill making changes to marijuana social equity rules and the process for awarding business licenses.


Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) spoke in support of a pending federal marijuana reform bill at a cannabis happy hour event.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reiterated his support for combining marijuana banking legislation with measures on cryptocurrency and other issues.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “Schumer could have done Safe Banking in the 117th Congress, but he didn’t have the cajones to do it… This is just more of the same, say one thing, do another, DC BS. Both sides are particularly well-versed at it.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said lawmakers have “been negotiating on SAFE banking for a while.”

The House Ethics Committee is reportedly investigating an allegation that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used illicit drugs as a member of Congress.

The House marijuana banking bill got two new cosponsors for a total of 115.


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced new plans to shut down unlicensed marijuana businesses under provisions included in budget legislation. A senator touted various “wins” for cannabis in the budget deal, while other lawmakers decried the lack of relief funds for farmers.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) touted the economic impact of his state’s marijuana legalization law while campaigning for President Joe Biden’s reelection.

Oklahoma’s attorney general cheered the House’s passage of a bill that will allow police to arrest and incarcerate undocumented immigrants, which he said will assist his efforts to “eliminate Oklahoma’s numerous illegal marijuana grows often run by foreign nationals.”

Oregon regulators approved rules on marijuana batch tagging and published a related informational bulletin.

California regulators announced a recall of marijuana products due to the presence of aspergillus and because of inaccurate labeling reporting more THC than the product contains.

Missouri regulators issued a health advisory about risks associated with hemp-derived intoxicating cannabinoids.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, located within North Carolina, began medical cannabis sales, with plans to expand to recreational marijuana soon.

Washington State sent tips about staying compliant at 4/20 celebrations.

Missouri regulators’ marijuana tracking system crashed on 4/20.

Connecticut and West Virginia officials sent reminders about the dangers of impaired driving ahead of 4/20.

Arkansas regulators announced that the state now has more than 100,000 registered medical cannabis patients.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


Springfield, Alabama City Council members criticized the mayor for hosting a 4/20 event.


Belgium’s Federal Parliament approved an informational report on cannabis and drug policies.

The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration issued a notice about “questionable” medical cannabis products.


A study found that “there was a robust effect of CBD across all focal seizure subtypes in patients with” tuberous sclerosis complex.

A study of rats suggested that cannabidiol lipid nanoparticles “holds promise as an intervention addressing both metabolic and neurodegenerative aspects of [diabetic Parkinson’s disease], offering a potential therapeutic strategy.”


The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee tweeted, “Every state legislature under Democratic control has legalized or decriminalized cannabis. In fact, there are only four states that haven’t legalized or decriminalized some form of cannabis – and they’re all led by Republicans.”

Cannabis Association of New York members are threatening to leave the group over a letter its leaders sent urging state officials not to issue a large number of new marijuana business licenses.


Canopy Growth Corporation announced that Constellation Brands, Inc. subsidiaries exchanged their common shares in the company for exchangeable shares and that it has a new board of directors.

Eaze workers ratified their first statewide three-year contract.


Former basketball player Carmelo Anthony is launching his own cannabis brand.

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is featuring a collection of bongs in its gift shop.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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