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DeSantis signs hemp product restriction bill (Newsletter: July 10, 2023)



DEA celebrates 50 years in failed drug war; CA marijuana employment protections; Scotland pushes decrim; MO cannabis banking

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The Drug Enforcement Administration is celebrating its 50th anniversary of being formed by President Richard Nixon—marking a half century of enforcing criminalization laws that have failed to eradicate drugs while nearly half of the country has legalized marijuana.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a 2024 presidential candidate, signed a bill banning sales of any consumable hemp products—including cannabis “chewing gum”—to people under 21, an expansion of an existing prohibition on young people being able to purchase smokable hemp.

The California Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a Senate-passed bill to prohibit employers from asking job applicants about prior marijuana use—building on cannabis-related worker protections signed into law by the governor last year.

Scotland’s government is calling on the U.K. to end the “failed” war on drugs by enacting decriminalization and allowing safe consumption sites to prevent overdose deaths.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed legislation easing marijuana businesses’ access to banks by letting state agencies share cannabis licensing and inspection information with financial institutions. Another new law also expands fingerprint background check requirements for people working in the industry.

New Jersey medical cannabis sales are shrinking as the recreational marijuana market grows—but regulators are trying to make patients aware of unique benefits of the medical program such as discounts, waived taxes and higher purchase limits.

Ongoing federal marijuana prohibition is leading to a patchwork of state legalization laws with inconsistent testing and safety rules—causing confusion for consumers and businesses.


Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson said she would reschedule marijuana and decriminalize all drugs similar to Portugal’s approach.

A new book tells the story of how a marijuana plant was found growing in former First Lady Jackie Kennedy’s garden on Cape Cod.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) suggested that Republicans blocked a veterans medical cannabis research bill because its sponsor, Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) is up for reelection and they didn’t want to give him a win.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “Our military is facing a recruitment and retainment crisis unlike any other time in American history. I do not believe that prior use of cannabis should exclude Americans from enlisting in the armed forces. We should embrace them for stepping up to serve our country.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) tweeted, “—Legalize marijuana —Expunge records —End the War on Drugs. This is about racial & economic justice.”


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) cheered the opening of the first legal recreational marijuana dispensaries in the Bronx and on Long Island.

Virginia’s agriculture and consumer services commissioner said Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is “not interested in any further moves towards legalization of adult recreational use marijuana.”

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “69% of Wisconsinites fully support legalizing responsible, adult usage of #cannabis. Yet, my Republican colleagues refuse to listen to the will of the people.”

A North Carolina House Health Committee co-chair said a medical cannabis legalization bill is “unlikely” to pass this session.

A Maryland delegate spoke about the state’s newly reduced fines for public marijuana smoking.

Michigan regulators announced a voluntary recall of marijuana products due to non-compliant creation and packaging.

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy is being phased out of running the state’s medical cannabis program with the establishment of a new Division of Marijuana Control in the Department of Commerce.

Alabama regulators are planning to redo their medical cannabis business licensing award process on August 10. Separately, more companies are joining litigation against the process.

Washington State regulators created a new tracking code for distribution of marijuana excise tax revenue to cities and counties.

The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority sent a press release about its executive director being elected to the board of the Cannabis Regulators Association.

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.

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Troy, Michigan’s mayor claimed that people behind a local ballot initiative to allow recreational marijuana businesses to operate are misleading voters.


Bavaria, Germany’s health minister is urging the federal government to drop its marijuana legalization plan.

Porto, Portugal’s mayor and other officials are expressing concerns about the country’s drug decriminalization policy.


A study found that “all the extracts of the analysed cannabis varieties showed antibacterial and antifungal activities.”

A study of mice suggested that “the added benefit of cannabis terpene blends for CBD-based treatment of” autism spectrum disorder.


The American Medical Association released the full text of its new Current Procedural Terminology code for psychedelic therapy.


Bloc Dispensary workers in Valley Park, Missouri voted to join Teamsters Local 618.

Akanda Corp. received a notification that it is not in compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirements.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. issued a vague statement saying it will not comment on “speculation published in the media regarding the possibility of a transaction involving the company.”

AYR Wellness Inc. announced it closed on a $40 million refinancing and upsizing of its mortgage for its Gainesville, Florida cultivation facility.


“The Wire” creator David Simon is asking a federal judge for leniency in sentencing a man who was convicted of selling drugs to actor Michael K. Williams prior to his overdose death.

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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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