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Cannabis banking could help GOP keep House, lawmaker says (Newsletter: April 5, 2024)



FL gov says marijuana initiative will lose; Canadian PM on cannabis & treaties; HI decrim expansion & expungements; AK & ME psychedelics

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is predicting that voters will reject the marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot—calling it “radical” and “extreme” and arguing it would “reduce the quality of life” because “this state will start to smell like marijuana in our cities and towns.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said Republicans should pass a marijuana banking bill if they want to keep their House majority. She also criticized Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) for vetoing a cannabis sales legalization bill.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said international officials never bothered his country about its marijuana legalization law violating treaties—comments that come as U.S. officials are weighing the diplomatic implications of cannabis rescheduling.

The Hawaii House of Representatives gave initial approval to legislation to expand the state’s limited marijuana decriminalization law and establish a task force on expungements—just days after a broader cannabis legalization bill died.

The Maine Senate passed a bill to create a commission charged with recommending a “legal framework for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs, including but not limited to psilocybin.”

The Alaska House State Affairs Committee amended and approved a bill to create a task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy following federal approval of substances like MDMA and psilocybin.

Iowa lawmakers sent Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) a bill to restrict consumable hemp products, with the Senate also passing separate legislation to double the number of available medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

The Missouri Supreme Court upheld the Division of Cannabis Regulation’s denial of a cultivation license to a business that failed to include proper paperwork with its application.


Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams coauthored an op-ed about the benefits of syringe exchange programs.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York’s office is seeking to prevent a woman from using medical cannabis while on supervised release in Michigan.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) said he hopes the Drug Enforcement Administration will reschedule marijuana soon.


Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) approved rules changes to allow sales of medical cannabis pre-rolls.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced a pilot program to connect marijuana social equity businesses with subject matter experts in compliance, marketing and financial consulting at low or no cost. 

Maryland lawmakers sent Gov. Wes Moore (D) legislation to regulate kratom.

The Alabama Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee held a hearing on a bill to expand available medical cannabis business licenses.

A New York judge struck down the state’s marijuana marketing and advertising regulations.

Ohio regulators proposed revised cannabis business rules.

Missouri regulators sent guidance about marijuana microbusinesses.

Massachusetts regulators published guidance on hemp processor policies.

Colorado regulators published a flyer with marijuana compliance tips ahead of 4/20.

Georgia regulators will consider medical cannabis business issues on Wednesday.

The Virginia Cannabis Control Authority Board of Directors will meet on May 8.

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.


Martin County, Florida’s sheriff said legalizing marijuana will lead to “further deterioration of our culture and our society.”

Denver, Colorado sent a reminder about marijuana advertising rules ahead of 4/20.


Iranian officials executed at least 481 people for drug offenses last year.

The mayor of Strasbourg, France said the city should launch a marijuana legalization experiment.


A study suggested that “the beneficial effects of these cannabinoids at the cognitive levels might be related to the modulation of glutamate dynamics in the hippocampus and support their potential therapeutic properties against” Alzheimer’s disease.

A study found that “no increases in past-month daily cannabis use and past-year DSM-5 [cannabis use disorder] among those using cannabis were observed after [recreational cannabis legalization] enactment” and that “there were no increases in any cannabis outcomes after RCL enactment among those 12–20 years old” but that the policy “may contribute to the narrowing of the cannabis gender gap.”


A poll of Indiana Republican voters found that 33 percent support legalizing recreational marijuana, 34 percent back medical cannabis legalization and 28 percent don’t want any legal access.

The chair of the Florida Democratic Party said the “youth vote is excited about the opportunity to be voting on cannabis and abortion in November.”

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party tweeted, “After delivering on legalization, DFLers are keeping our promise to expunge cannabis records — because no Minnesotans should lose a job or housing because of a cannabis misdemeanor.”

The Bloomberg editorial board claimed that “marijuana legalization is killing a lot of people” though car crashes.

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board and South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board cheered the Florida Supreme Court for allowing a marijuana legalization initiative to appear on the November ballot.


Poseidon Investment Management is investing in PCA, which aims to address marijuana social equity businesses’ lack of capital.


Actor Danny McBride said he and friends considered opening a movie theater with an attached marijuana dispensary.

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Photo courtesy of Philip Steffan.

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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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