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Cannabis pardon app launches (Newsletter: March 6, 2023)



HI marijuana & psychedelics bills to floor votes; MD cannabis reg bill advances; WY ballot measures fail; KS hearing; LA hemp restrictions

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The Department of Justice formally launched the application for people to obtain certificates demonstrating they were granted relief under President Joe Biden’s mass marijuana pardon.

Hawaii Senate committees approved bills to legalize marijuana and create a therapeutic psilocybin working group—sending them to the Senate floor, where votes are expected as soon as this week.

The Maryland House Economic Matters Committee amended and approved a bill to create a regulatory framework for marijuana sales following voters’ approval of a legalization ballot referendum.

Wyoming activists announced that they failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify separate marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis legalization initiatives for the 2024 ballot—but they intend to try again.

The Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee held a second day of hearings on medical cannabis stacked with only opponents of reform. Meanwhile, the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee held a separate meeting on marijuana decriminalization.

Louisiana lawmakers and regulators discussed a proposed emergency rule that could pull hundreds of hemp-derived products off of store shelves.

Virginia lawmakers are simultaneously moving to cut the Cannabis Control Authority’s budget and asking the agency to take on more work.


The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that cannabis business employees are not protected by federal bankruptcy laws.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) coauthored an op-ed with the head of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana criticizing the potential expansion of the cannabis industry ahead of the vote on a legalization initiative on Oklahoma’s ballot on Tuesday.

A witness at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance hearing spoke about how classifying drugs such as marijuana and psychedelics as Schedule I substances has impeded research. Separately, a former Drug Enforcement Administration official claimed at the meeting that people have died from fentanyl-laced marijuana.


Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) reappointed a member of the Marijuana Control Board.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) budget includes $18.8 million to support the creation of a cannabis licensing system.

A former Oklahoma commissioner of mental health and substance abuse services authored an op-ed urging voters to reject the marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s ballot on Tuesday. Separately, the House minority caucus vice chair spoke about how follow-up legislation will be needed if voters approve the measure.

The Washington State Senate approved a bill to classify drug possession as a gross misdemeanor. Separately, the House of Representatives passed legislation to provide additional protections for medical cannabis patients.

The Utah Senate passed a bill to create an income tax credit for business expenses of medical cannabis operators.

The Georgia House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee approved a bill to allow the issuance of additional medical cannabis business licenses.

Kansas House Democrats promoted an op-ed from a former U.S. attorney for the state who is calling on lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

A Florida senator filed a marijuana legalization bill.

Missouri lawmakers are considering several marijuana policy reform bills this session.

A Virginia senator tweeted that Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and House Republicans’ “failure [to] work with us towards a legal cannabis market ‘leav[es money] on the table. Or, perhaps more accurately, in the pockets of shady drug dealers.'”

Arkansas regulators dropped a discussion on potential changes to rules prohibiting pre-rolled medical cannabis joints and restrictions on advertising after the attorney general’s office said it does not believe they have the authority to consider the issue.

Michigan regulators are no longer allowing marijuana businesses on tax payment plans to get their licenses renewed.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is encouraging farmers to complete a federal hemp survey.

Virginia marijuana regulators will host a town hall meeting on Wednesday.

Arizona regulators will hold a drawing to award nonprofit medical cannabis dispensary licenses on Friday.

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.


New York City officials published a plan that involves creating “legal pathways to operate and fund overdose prevention centers” and evaluating “innovative approaches such as prescribed opioids to reduce overdose deaths from a contaminated drug supply.”

The Monterey County, California Board of Supervisors discussed allowing cannabis consumption lounges.


A Czech Republic court convicted a cannabis journalist for “inciting the abuse of addictive substances” and “spreading drug addiction through his magazine.”

The UK’s Prince Harry said that using marijuana “actually really did help me.” He also spoke again about his use of psychedelics.

A German lawmaker touted a legal opinion that concluded the country’s marijuana legalization plan would not necessarily violate international and European laws.

Canadian officials sent an alert about edible cannabis products that were found to contain more than the allowable limit of THC per package.

An Irish senator hosted a briefing on “the opportunities and challenges for Ireland within Europe’s emerging cannabis market.”


A study found that “CBD may partially normalise alterations in hippocampal blood flow associated” with being at clinical high risk for psychosis.

A review concluded that “extensive preclinical evidence in different models, including mice, rats, guinea pigs, and even ex vivo experiments on cells from human healthy subjects, shows that CBD exerts a wide range of inhibitory effects by decreasing cytokine production and tissue infiltration, and acting on a variety of other inflammation-related functions in several innate immune cells.”


The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s past time to legalize cannabis. Why? More than 80% of Hoosiers support cannabis legalization in some form. The @indgop should set aside its partisanship and legalize marijuana. It’s a win-win for the Hoosier State. “

The Tulsa World editorial board endorsed the marijuana legalization initiative on Oklahoma’s ballot on Tuesday.


Adastra Holdings Ltd. announced that Canadian officials granted it approval to “legally possess, produce, sell and distribute” cocaine, but later issued a clarification that it is only allowed to sell it “to other licensed dealers who have cocaine listed on their licence including pharmacists, practitioners, hospitals, or the holder of a section 56(1) exemption for research purposes under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).”

Missouri retailers sold $102.9 million worth of legal marijuana products in February.


Wiz Khalifa accepted a “smoke out challenge” issued by Boosie.

Travis Kelce joked about being kicked off his college football team for testing positive for marijuana during his Saturday Night Live monologue.

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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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