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DEA cannabis scheduling update demanded by congressman (Newsletter: February 9, 2024)



Congressional marijuana banking report; HI gov on legalization; VA legal sales floor votes; SC medical debate; MA psilocybin

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent a letter pressing the Drug Enforcement Administration to provide an update on the agency’s review of a marijuana rescheduling recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services—including whether it will consider state legalization laws and what its “planned deadline” is.

The Congressional Research Service says marijuana businesses’ lack of banking access causes them to be “heavily reliant on cash transactions, making them a target for theft.”

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) said legalizing marijuana could help “blunt” the effects of other “horrible drugs”—calling the federal government “wacko” for continuing to keep cannabis in Schedule I.

The Virginia Senate and House of Delegates are set to hold floor votes on competing bills to legalize recreational marijuana sales now that both chambers’ versions have cleared their final committee stops.

The South Carolina Senate continued debate on a medical cannabis bill, with lawmakers clashing over whether the current version of the legislation contains major differences from an earlier iteration that the body passed in 2022.

The Virginia Senate Courts of Justice Committee unanimously approved a bill to prevent parental marijuana use from being used as evidence of child abuse or neglect.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health approved a bill to legalize psilocybin therapy and create a framework to license facilitators to supervise medical, therapeutic and spiritual applications of the psychedelic.

A new poll found that North Carolina voters overwhelmingly support legalizing medical cannabis, 78 percent to 18 percent.

Idaho lawmakers filed legislation to make it a crime to place billboards or other advertisements in the state for marijuana businesses from Oregon and other neighboring states.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “It’s time to end the federal ban on marijuana.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “I strongly support the Biden Admin’s ongoing efforts to reassess marijuana as well as @HHSGov’s recommendation to @DEAHQ that it should be rescheduled—there’s simply no reason it should be classified the same as heroin.”

Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) tweeted, “Chinese organized crime has no place in ME. That’s why @senangusking and I are leading a bicameral, bipartisan coalition of 50 lawmakers to push the DOJ for answers — and action — on these illegal marijuana operations in our state and across the country.”


The Hawaii House Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee approved a cannabis expungements bill.

The Florida House Health and Human Services Committee delayed a hearing on a bill to preemptively institute a potency cap on recreational marijuana in case voters approve a legalization initiative in November.

The Delaware legislature’s Joint Finance Committee held a hearing on agency budget requests related to implementing marijuana legalization.

An Iowa House subcommittee held a hearing on a bill to restrict consumable hemp products.

An Illinois senator filed a bill to amend medical cannabis business background check rules.

A Massachusetts judge rejected a petition from the state’s suspended top marijuana regulator, clearing the state treasurer to schedule a meeting that could lead to her firing.

The Vermont Supreme Court is considering the case of a former state Department of Labor worker who says he was improperly denied unemployment benefits due to medical cannabis use.

Oklahoma officials are being sued over medical cannabis business safety inspection requirements.

California regulators published guidance on cannabis product embargoes.

New York regulators posted a monthly update on enforcement actions taken against unlicensed marijuana businesses.

The Colorado Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee will meet on Monday.

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.


A hearing in a lawsuit challenging Harker Heights, Texas officials’ refusal to implement a voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law has been delayed.


The Netherlands’s justice minister argued it is “naive” to think the country should consider legalizing drugs.


A study found that “despite no licensed veterinary cannabinoid products being available in Denmark, dog owners do supplement their dogs with cannabinoids and the majority of these perceive that the treatment had a positive effect.”

A review concluded that “the therapeutic potential of psychedelics in addressing the intricacies of [Alzheimer’s disease]-related dementia is promising.”


Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$64.4 million. It is also acquiring MedReleaf Australia.

MediPharm Labs Corp. received Good Manufacturing Practices certification from Brazilian officials.

A Glass House Brands Inc. board member resigned.

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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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