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DEA “likely” to reschedule cannabis, congressional researchers say (Newsletter: September 15, 2023)



WH touts Biden marijuana moves; Senators talk SAFE Banking; RFK Jr. on cannabis; NE ballot effort; WA drug conviction reimbursements

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The Congressional Research Service said it “could be likely” the Drug Enforcement Administration will accept a marijuana rescheduling recommendation—adding that such a move would have “broad implications” for taxes, housing, immigration, military service, employment and more.

The White House is promoting President Joe Biden’s mass marijuana pardon and scheduling review directive as part of a “Fight for Our Freedom” campaign meant to “mobilize young people” as next year’s election approaches.

Several bipartisan senators are weighing in on the prospects for a vote on a marijuana banking bill—with Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) saying he hopes it will be “sometime in September” and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) saying he wants to “get some equity issues” attached.

  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), who has raised concerns with one section of the SAFE Banking Act, said negotiators are “making progress” toward resolving the issue.

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke about how he wants to legalize marijuana, open up banking services for the industry and use cannabis tax revenue to fund drug treatment and rehabilitation centers.

The California Assembly approved a Senate-passed bill to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about prior marijuana use.

Nebraska activists are kicking off a campaign to qualify two medical cannabis legalization initiatives for the 2024 ballot—though Gov. Jim Pillen (R) says marijuana “poses demonstrated harms to our children.”

Washington State courts and municipalities have paid out $9.4 million in reimbursements to people whose past drug possession convictions were vacated after the state Supreme Court struck down criminalization laws as unconstitutional.

A new study finding that MDMA-assisted therapy “significantly improved PTSD symptoms and functional impairment” means the drug is “on track to be considered for approval by the FDA in 2024,” the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies said.


President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden was charged by federal prosecutors with illegally owning a gun as a drug user and lying on a form he filled out when purchasing the firearm.

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) participated in an event hosted by the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education and Regulation.


A group of Oregon lawmakers and prosecutors plan to visit Portugal to learn about the country’s drug decriminalization law.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court declined to take up a case challenging increased medical cannabis business licensing fees.

Alabama regulators are being sued for defamation by a medical cannabis business license applicant that claims they falsely said the company included people with a “disqualifying criminal history.”

New Mexico regulators filed proposed rules to clarify when state agencies can test employees for drugs.

Massachusetts regulators sent a statement accusing a reporter of a “lack of journalistic values” and engaging in “racist tropes,” with the journalist responding that he “stand[s] by my reporting” about top officials.

Vermont regulators posted information about youth cannabis use prevention education.

The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board will meet on Friday.

Nevada regulators will consider marijuana business issues 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.


Bell County, Texas officials are due to file a brief in a lawsuit challenging Killeen’s voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law on Monday.

The Paterson, New Jersey City Council rejected the mayor’s push to expand the number of licensed marijuana retailers.

The St. Paul, Minnesota City Council is considering a proposal to ban smoking marijuana or tobacco in public parks and near certain building entrances.


Australia’s opposition party is pushing to repeal the drug decriminalization law in the Australian Capital Territory.

A British Columbia, Canada political party said that if elected it will end the city’s drug decriminalization policy.

An Arauca, Colombia mayoral candidate suggested shooting marijuana consumers.


A study “identified positive changes consistent with medium-sized within-subject effects for cannabis in the treatment of PTSD.”

A study found that “experimenter administered Δ9-THC decreases nicotine self-administration in a rat model.”


Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham aired another segment criticizing marijuana legalization.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey is hosting a webinar on the impact of marijuana legalization on the workplace on Tuesday.


Canopy Growth Corporation ceased funding BioSteel Sports Nutrition Inc., and it obtained an initial order for creditor protection.

Beckley Waves closed a $3.3 million funding round.

Michigan retailers sold $276.3 million worth of legal marijuana products in August.

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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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