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Congress lets DC cannabis expansion proceed (Newsletter: March 24, 2023)



WA interstate marijuana commerce; Safe consumption bills; HI legalization dead for 2023; MI AG wants cannabis banking

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Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra said the Biden administration still has “a few hoops we need to jump through” before completing an ongoing marijuana scheduling review.

Congress allowed a Washington, D.C. medical cannabis expansion bill to become law. It removes license caps, provides 280E tax relief, lets patients self-certify without doctors, prioritizes equity and allows on-site consumption facilities while providing for enforcement against unlicensed sellers.

Lawmakers in three states have voted to advance bills to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs so far this year.

The Washington State House Regulated Substances and Gaming Committee approved a Senate-passed bill to legalize interstate marijuana commerce.

Hawaii lawmakers will not enact a Senate-passed marijuana legalization bill this year after it failed to get a House hearing by a key deadline—but advocates are hopeful the still-alive measure will advance in the second half of the session in 2024.

The Hawaii Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a House-passed bill to create a Breakthrough Therapy Designation Advisory Council that would study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA.

Michigan’s attorney general issued warrants for 12 people suspected of being responsible for more than 20 marijuana dispensary break-ins across the state—saying that the incidents highlight the need for Congress to pass cannabis banking legislation.


Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said the panel’s focus on recent bank failures “doesn’t mean long-term delay” for cannabis banking legislation, “but it means delays a couple weeks.”

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) tweeted, “I’m thinking there might be a correlation between psychedelics and Bigfoot sightings…and alien abductions. And those who constantly say the word ‘globalist.'”


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) vetoed a bill that would have allowed hemp products in process to have up to 5 percent THC.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced that the first adult-use marijuana dispensary in the state’s Capital Region will open on April 1. Separately, a top regulator spoke about efforts to roll out legal recreational cannabis sales.

The California legislature’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee authorized an investigation into corruption related to cannabis licensing.

The Georgia Senate Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities approved a House-passed bill to amend medical cannabis rules but stripped provisions that would have issued additional production licenses. It also heard legislation to change hemp rules.

The Connecticut legislature’s Public Health Committee held a hearing on a bill to allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

A North Carolina representative is preparing to file a bill to fund research on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

A Massachusetts senator discussed his bill to provide more transparency and accountability in marijuana regulations.

Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board will meet on Tuesday.

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.


The Cheyenne, Wyoming City Council’s Committee of the Whole rejected a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Austin, Texas police seized 98 pounds of marijuana during the South by Southwest festival.


The Nigerian House of Representatives delayed action on a marijuana legalization bill.

The head of the UK Labour Party said it would not treat cannabis a “low-level” crime, complaining about marijuana smoke that “creeps in” to people’s homes from the street.

A Brazilian judge ruled that a company can grow and manufacture medical cannabis products.


A review concluded that “the majority of [people with epilepsy] across all studies perceived that [non-medical cannabis] aided in seizure control.”


Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America sent a press release about its new call for Congress to federally legalize marijuana.


Curaleaf is closing a cannabis cultivation facility in Bellmawr, New Jersey.

Workers at Grassdoor in Brisbane, California joined Teamsters Local 2785.

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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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