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Congress keeping DC cannabis ban in place (Newsletter: July 17, 2023)



Lawmakers tout psychedelic reform progress; Marijuana in the White House; DOJ cannabis prisoner report; MI sales

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Both the Democratic-controlled Senate Appropriations Committee and Republican-run House Appropriations Committee voted to keep blocking Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales. But the spending bills they approved also separately continue a rider protecting medical cannabis states from federal interference.

Bipartisan Reps. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Lou Correa (D-CA) are celebrating the advancement of a psychedelics research provision in the National Defense Authorization Act—and Crenshaw says House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has committed to pushing to broaden its scope in negotiations with the Senate.

Several Republican lawmakers are outraged about reports that marijuana was found at the White House in addition to cocaine—with one congressman claiming the drugs endanger President Joe Biden’s “well-being.”

A new report from the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that as the first state marijuana legalization laws came online, the number of people incarcerated in federal prisons for cannabis declined significantly—more so than for other drugs.

A new poll from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics shows how use patterns for substances like psilocybin and LSD are changing—while also revealing that there are widely held negative views about the substances even among people who support policy reform.

The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency reported that the state saw nearly $261 million worth of legal marijuana products sold in June—a new monthly record.

The South Dakota Law Enforcement Officers Standards Commission voted to offer marijuana-related forgiveness to two police officers—one who used medical cannabis to treat pain after a knee surgery and another who pleaded guilty to THC wax possession in college.

The Rhode Island Cannabis Control Commission is hosting a series of listening sessions to receive feedback on marijuana rules.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen reportedly ate a meal containing mushrooms that are known to have hallucinogenic properties during a visit to China.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to require social media companies to play a more active role in combating the illegal sale of drugs on their platforms.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) touted her provision to create a Department of Defense medical cannabis research pilot program that passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act.

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 41.

The House marijuana banking bill got two new cosponsors for a total of 61.

The House bill to allow CBD foods got one new cosponsor for a total of nine.


Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill allowing marijuana sales at events.

Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, located within North Carolina, will decide on a marijuana legalization referendum on September 7.

A Virginia Democratic senator said Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) and Republican lawmakers “have not been helpful in moving cannabis policy forward.”

A Minnesota representative tweeted about psychedelics reform as “a wonderful bipartisan way to help people!”

Oregon regulators recalled a batch of marijuana that tested positive for arsenic.

Alabama’s top medical cannabis regulator defended the way the state awarded business licenses, saying “it is a good process, except for one little mistake.”

New Mexico regulators revoked a marijuana business’s license for allegedly selling out-of-state cannabis and violating other rules.

Washington State regulators published a guide on rules about sales of THC products by businesses that don’t have cannabis licenses.

The New York Cannabis Control Board will meet 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.


Mayors in Kenton County, Kentucky held a meeting to discuss local issues presented by the state’s new medical cannabis legalization law.

The Columbia, Missouri City Council is expected to consider rules changes concerning marijuana microbusinesses on Monday.

West Hollywood, California officials will host a forum on psychedelics policy reform on July 25.


Ghanaian lawmakers approved a bill allowing cannabis cultivation licenses to be issued.

A German lawmaker tweeted that the Health Ministry’s draft marijuana legalization bill “bears a prohibitionist handwriting.”

British Columbia, Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions said there’s no evidence suggesting drug decriminalization has led to an increase in public use of illicit substances.


A study “demonstrates the potential of the use of cannabinoids or/and cannabis extracts for the reduction of inflammation.”


The New York Daily News editorial board is pushing police to crack down harder on unlicensed marijuana sellers.


A Green Thumb Industries worker reportedly died during a shift at a cultivation and manufacturing facility in Rock Island, Illinois. The company separately took out a full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times about the history of cannabis prohibition and the need for reform.

Red White & Bloom Brands Inc. and Aleafia Health Inc. agreed to terminate an agreement under which the former company was to acquire the latter.

Organigram Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$32.8 million and a net loss of C$213.5 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation announced it entered into a series of agreements that it says will deleverage its balance sheet.


Musician David Bellamy authored an op-ed calling on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the state’s attorney general to support marijuana legalization.

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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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