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DE legal cannabis hearings this week (Newsletter: January 23, 2023)

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Air Force marijuana waivers; USDA hemp survey; HI legalization bills; CT/MA/OK psychedelics legislation

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Air Force is granting far more marijuana waivers to recruits than it expected after launching a pilot program meant to give more leniency to would-be service members who test positive for THC metabolites during their initial drug screenings.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture began mailing out its second annual hemp survey to thousands of farmers last week. It includes questions on acreage, price and uses for the crop such as smokable hemp, CBD extracts and grain for consumption.

Delaware lawmakers filed a pair of bills to legalize and regulate marijuana—with hearings already scheduled for this week. The governor vetoed cannabis legislation last year but advocates hope recent elections gave them enough votes to override this time.

A group of Hawaii representatives and senators filed marijuana legalization bills. Advocates are hopeful the legislation can be enacted in the 2023 session under the state’s new pro-reform governor.

The list of states considering psychedelics reform legislation in 2023 continues to grow, with Connecticut, Massachusetts and Oklahoma lawmakers introducing new bills last week.

A former Indiana Republican senator penned an open letter calling on lawmakers to convene a commission to study cannabis over two years and create a framework for legal sales.

/ FEDERAL

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain touted President Joe Biden’s mass marijuana pardons as part of “the incredible two years of progress we’ve seen.”

Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) filed a bill that would  ease some restrictions on researching Schedule I drugs while also permanently scheduling fentanyl-related substances.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said marijuana is an issue that Republicans should evolve on to appeal to the majority of Americans.

Former Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) has registered to lobby Congress on criminal justice reform issues, including eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said it “sounds like” a medical cannabis bill could pass this session.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) tweeted, “My administration remains committed to building the most equitable and economically prosperous cannabis industry in the nation as we continue to grow the nearly 5,000 good-paying jobs that have been generated in the last two years.”

Tennessee’s House speaker said that “medical marijuana in the right forms, meaning in medical forms, I can be in favor of,” but that recreational cannabis legalization is a “terrible idea.”

The West Virginia House Committee on Health and Human Resources approved a bill to add medical cannabis to the controlled substance monitoring database. Separately, a delegate discussed her marijuana legalization bill.

The New York senator who led the charge to enact the state’s marijuana legalization law said she never anticipated so many illegal shops opening up ahead of legal sales launching. Separately, regulators hosted a virtual overview of cannabis rules.

Washington State lawmakers are filing bills on how to handle drug possession once a temporary criminalization law expires this year.

Louisiana lawmakers are considering repealing or scaling back a hemp law that they believe has led to the proliferation of intoxicating cannabis products.

Colorado lawmakers have filed several cannabis reform measures for the 2023 session.

Oklahoma lawmakers are considering a number of cannabis bills this session.

The Minnesota representative sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill spoke about bipartisan support for cannabis reform.

Missouri regulators filed adult-use marijuana rules. Separately, more than 3,500 people have had cannabis records expunged since the state’s legalization law took effect last month.

Michigan regulators posted a monthly report on disciplinary actions taken against marijuana businesses.

New Jersey regulators hosted a meeting to receive public input on how marijuana revenue should be spent.

Nevada regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Tuesday.

Georgia regulators are expected to vote on medical cannabis rules on Wednesday.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Eureka, California City Council voted to send a letter urging state lawmakers to pass a bill to legalize possession of psychedelics.

A Tulsa, Oklahoma City Council member who is a licensed medical cannabis grower is pushing to make it so medical marijuana use by city employees would be treated the same as use of any other prescription drug.

A New York City police police official criticized the city’s first recreational marijuana dispensary for its security operations.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Nigerian presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore discussed his support for legalizing marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis advertising regulations vary greatly and have little consistency across the U.S. states.”

A study of mice found that “cannabidiol repairs behavioral and brain disturbances in a model of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Kentucky Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s past time @KYGOP took action on medical cannabis. Gov. Beshear did his part. Now it’s on the GOP to pass a bill and get this done.”

The former executive director of the Democratic Party of Orange County, California admitted to bribing Irvine City Council members on cannabis issues.

Martin Luther King III spoke at a cannabis equity event.

Virgin’s Richard Branson tweeted, “Applaud US Virgin Island lawmakers and Governor Bryan for introducing comprehensive cannabis reform that will end the needless criminalisation of so many.”

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf reacted to a reported inquiry by Massachusetts officials over financial ties to a Russian oligarch, saying that it is “not aware” of any related probe.

HEXO Corp. announced that it regained compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement.

Sunnyside workers in Rockford, Illinois voted to join the Teamsters.

Canadian retailers sold C$373.3 million worth of legal cannabis products in November.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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