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Biden health official talks scheduling amid cannabis review (Newsletter: November 14, 2023)



Blumenauer on marijuana legacy; Ramaswamy’s psychedelics plan; MI cannabis revenue outpaces alcohol; MA gov’s psychedelics bill; CT sales; MD apps

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As the Biden administration’s marijuana scheduling review continues, Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra said during a Senate hearing that his department is uniquely positioned to “update the science” to ensure that drugs are “properly” classified under federal law.

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy released a veterans plan pledging to “de-schedule schedule 1 drug restrictions that stand in the way of Veterans with PTSD enjoying access to substances that can assist in their treatment and recovery: marijuana, ayahuasca/DMT, and MDMA.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who is retiring from Congress, spoke at length to Marijuana Moment about his decades of cannabis reform advocacy and how he is hopeful that wins like SAFER Banking and federal rescheduling can be achieved before the next election.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healy (D) filed a bill to create a psychedelics working group to study the therapeutic potential of substances like psilocybin and MDMA for military veterans. Meanwhile, activists are working to put a legalization measure on the 2024 ballot.

The Michigan House Fiscal Agency reported that marijuana tax revenue grew by 49.1 percent over the last fiscal year—generating more money for state coffers than alcohol did.

The Maryland Cannabis Administration began accepting the first round of applications for new adult-use marijuana dispensary, cultivation and processing licenses—reserved exclusively for social equity businesses.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection reported that recreational marijuana sales hit an all-time high of $14.7 million in October, but that overall cannabis transactions are down as the medical market continues to shrink.


Former President Donald Trump reportedly hung up on Kim Kardashian when she asked him to endorse a push for clemency, apparently upset that she voted for President Joe Biden.

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) said he’s “not a fan of recreational marijuana.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “A lot of big news out of Ohio this week! I will keep pushing to pass the SAFER Banking Act, and will work toward pairing reforms we make with funding for states that choose to expunge cannabis records.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said Ohio’s legalization of marijuana is “encouraging.”


Illinois’s Senate majority leader is hosting a cannabis town hall meeting on Wednesday.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “If Wisconsin were to pass legalization, we could see nearly $170 million annually in tax revenue. That’s tax dollars for our communities, our schools, our roads, and our local governments.”

A California assemblymember discussed forthcoming legislation to legalize therapeutic access to psychedelics.

South Dakota activists discussed plans to put competing measures on the 2024 ballot to legalize marijuana and repeal the state’s existing medical cannabis program.

The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned a man’s marijuana conviction because officials didn’t present any evidence of delta-9-THC concentration in joints in light of hemp being legal.

New York regulators reached an agreement in principle to settle a lawsuit challenging their marijuana business licensing process. Separately, they will host a workshop on operations and maintenance for controlled environment marijuana cultivation on Tuesday and a Cannabis Control Board meeting on Friday.

Florida regulators are asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit challenging increased medical cannabis business licensing fees.

Arizona regulators filed revised marijuana rules.

Pennsylvania regulators are seeking a new medical cannabis track-and-trace software provider.

Texas regulators have received more than 130 applications for licenses to open low-THC medical cannabis dispensaries.

Vermont regulators will host an event on marijuana administrative rules changes on Wednesday.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,000 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.


A former Philippine vice president who was jailed after criticizing the nation’s bloody “war on drugs” has been freed.

British Columbia, Canada’s law criminalizing drug use near certain public areas is being challenged in a lawsuit.


A study found that “most medical students had permissive views about cannabis and that the majority feel that they are not being adequately trained to advise patients about medical cannabis in a lecture setting or clinical setting.”

A study of rats demonstrated the “potential therapeutic effect of cannabis oil on kidney damage.”


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board is urging Pennsylvania lawmakers to consider plans to reform marijuana laws.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana issued recommendations to lawmakers in states that legalize cannabis.


SNDL Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$237.6 million and a net loss of C$21.8 million.

Glass House Brands Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $48.2 million and a net loss of $210,000.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$28.2 million.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. shareholders elected board of directors members.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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