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Biden pressed for cannabis scheduling review transparency (Newsletter: March 1, 2023)



NC Senate approves medical marijuana; NJ 280E bill passes; TX decrim hearing; Biden talks cannabis & Black History Month

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President Joe Biden touted his mass marijuana pardons in a speech commemorating the end of Black History Month.

  • “Too many minorities are in prison for that,” he said—even as his cannabis clemency move has not released a single person from behind bars.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is circulating a sign-on letter to other members of Congress that calls on Biden administration officials to provide “transparency” about the review of marijuana’s scheduling status they are conducting.

The North Carolina Senate approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis. It needs one more procedural vote to be formally sent to the House, where the speaker says it stands a better chance of being enacted this year after stalling last session.

New Jersey lawmakers sent Gov. Phil Murphy (D) legislation to decouple state tax policy from the federal 280E provision, thereby allowing marijuana companies to deduct business expenses in their state filings.

The Minnesota Health and Human Services Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill—the sixth panel in the chamber to do so this session so far. Several more Senate and House hearings are scheduled for this week.

The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee held a hearing on a marijuana decriminalization bill that’s sponsored by the panel’s chairman.

Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Quarles, currently the agriculture commissioner, pledged to legalize medical cannabis within a year if elected. Incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) executive order on the issue “muddied the waters,” he said.

An Arkansas medical cannabis testing lab and cultivation businesses are being sued by an elderly chronic pain patient who alleges their products are “fraudulently labeled” with inflated THC potency results.


Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf briefly discussed “seeking a new regulatory pathway” for cannabis and its derivatives.

The Congressional Research Service discussed safe consumption sites for illegal drugs and other issues in a brief about opioids.

Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL) tweeted, “When Nixon started the war on drugs over a half century ago, overdose deaths stood at 6,771. Today, fentanyl overdose deaths exceed ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND A YEAR. Why won’t Biden close the border?!”

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) tweeted, “According to polling released by @CPEARCoalition, 68% of likely 2024 @GOP voters support ending the federal prohibition of #cannabis, a 10% increase from last year. Americans have spoken and it is time for Congress to take bipartisan action.”


Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) said he is “a proponent of prescription marijuana use if it’s approved through the FDA.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said his new consumer protection commissioner nominee’s background as a drug enforcement lawyer makes him well suited to oversee the agency that will regulate the state’s legal marijuana market.

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura suggested that he might like to be appointed the state’s top marijuana regulator if a legalization bill is enacted.

Hawaii’s House speaker said that “at some point for recreational use, marijuana will be authorized in Hawaii,” but he’s “just not so confident that this is the right year.”

The Montana House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill to require marijuana producers mitigate the smell around their businesses.

The South Dakota House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to add PTSD as a medical cannabis qualifying condition and make other changes to rules for the program.

The Oklahoma legislature’s Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget advanced a bill to provide funding for state officials to conduct the March 7 special election on a marijuana legalization ballot initiative. Separately, the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to track medical cannabis businesses’ water usage. And the Senate Business Committee approved a bill to restrict how many marijuana business licenses could use the same physical address for their applications.

The Georgia Senate Rules Committee held a hearing on a bill to revise rules on consumable hemp products.

The Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee will hold informational hearings on medical cannabis on Wednesday and Thursday.

A Nevada assemblymember tweeted about meeting with the Chamber of Cannabis and touting his bill to remove marijuana from the state’s list of Schedule I substances.

A Missouri appeals court ruled that regulators must issue a medical cannabis cultivation license to a company that was not informed that a key piece of paperwork was missing from its submission.

Michigan officials are distributing more than $59.5 million in marijuana revenue to 224 municipalities and counties.

The New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority approved a plan to open a cannabis dispensary and lounge at an Atlantic City hotel.

The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday.

New York marijuana regulators will meet on Thursday.

New Jersey regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Thursday.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Thursday.

Marijuana Moment is tracking hundreds of 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 Chattanooga, Tennessee City Council member introduced a resolution to have the city send a letter asking Gov. Bill Lee (R) to review the state’s marijuana laws.

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania’s district attorney, who last week held a press conference to express concerns about what he claimed were fentanyl-laced cannabis gummies sold at local stores, said in an update that “some of the products were tested in a lab over the weekend, and those products did not alert to any illegal drugs at the lab’s threshold level of detection.”


Peru’s Ministry of Health approved medical cannabis regulations.

Victoria, Australia’s premier said protecting medical cannabis patients from being charged with impaired driving is a priority.


A study found that “cannabis use is common amongst patients with tinnitus and current users of cannabis reported that it helped with their symptoms.”

A study found that “topical 0.1% CBD reduced ulcer size and accelerated ulcer healing without side effects.”


A poll of Irish adults found that 50 percent support decriminalizing drugs and 54 percent back legalizing cannabis sales.

The Kentucky Democratic Party criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Ryan Quarles, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeting, “Ryan Quarles calling for medical cannabis to boost his campaign is rich since his close ally Damon Thayer has singlehandedly — and proudly — blocked medical cannabis for years. If Quarles cared about patients, not headlines, he’d be talking to Thayer today, not the press.”

The Marijuana Policy Project has a new board member.

The Cato Institute published a paper calling safe consumption sites for illegal drugs “a successful harm-​reduction strategy that has been saving lives.”


Green Thumb Industries Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $259.3 million and a net loss attributable to the company of $51.2 million.

Cronos Group Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $22.9 million and a net loss of $78.9 million.

Phoena Inc.’s CEO resigned.

Cowen Inc. is discontinuing cannabis stock coverage in anticipation of its acquisition by TD Bank Group.

TerrAscend Corp. is partnering with The Hoffman Centers, P.C. to offer free cannabis-related expungement services.

Club Castaway in Whatley, Massachusetts plans to open a topless marijuana dispensary.


Woody Harrelson gave a reporter a tour of the marijuana dispensary he co-owns.

Courtney Cox spoke about Prince Harry claiming that he found psilocybin chocolates at her house, saying, “I definitely wasn’t passing them out.”

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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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