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DOJ backs cannabis sentencing reform proposal (Newsletter: March 10, 2023)



DE legal sales passes House; OK AG wants marijuana expungements; OK House psilocybin vote; NIDA director: end criminalization; FL legalization poll

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The Delaware House of Representatives passed a bill to regulate marijuana sales, days after approving companion legislation to legalize possession. Hearings on both measures are expected in a Senate committee next week.

The Department of Justice is supporting a U.S. Sentencing Commission proposal that federal judges treat prior marijuana possession offenses more leniently when making sentencing decisions in new cases—saying it will “account for” state cannabis legalization.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said the criminalization of drug use by pregnant people and new parents is harming families and contributing to the overdose crisis.

Oklahoma’s attorney general said that even though voters resoundingly defeated a marijuana legalization ballot initiative, it’s time for the state to look at expunging past cannabis convictions. He noted Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) own admission of past marijuana use as an example of why clearing people’s records is important.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill to protect people who use psilocybin to treat certain medical conditions from prosecution and to expand research on the psychedelic’s potential benefits.

A new poll shows that seven in ten Florida voters support legalizing marijuana as an industry-funded campaign continues to collect the hundreds of thousands of signatures needed to put the reform on the 2024 ballot.


The commander of the U.S. Air Force Recruiting Service spoke about its policy to grant more waivers to recruits who test positive for marijuana.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “MDMA and psilocybin are showing great promise for the treatment of a variety of mental health diagnoses, including depression, PTSD & addiction. My bill will remove red tape that impedes research & allow access for patients to lifesaving treatments.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) answered a question about safe consumption sites for illegal drugs, saying, “I don’t think that’s a very good idea at all. I don’t think there is a safe place to do this.”

Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Doug LaMalafa (R-CA) filed a bill to increase criminal penalties for using banned pesticides in illegal cannabis cultivation and address environmental damages caused by such activity.


The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill to regulate the sale of delta-8 THC products.

The U.S. Virgin Islands Senate Committee on Economic Development and Agriculture held a hearing on the implementation of marijuana legalization.

The Maryland Maryland House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to prevent police from searching a vehicle based on the smell of marijuana.

An Oklahoma senator is pushing to “close loopholes” in the state’s medical cannabis program following the defeat of a marijuana legalization ballot initiative. Separately, a representative said he thinks the legislature will use the vote result as a mandate to “​​clamp down” on the program. Another representative also said that lawmakers should now tackle issues related to the unregulated marijuana market.

A Pennsylvania representative tweeted, “Legal revenue is an added bonus of the legalization of marijuana, but it can’t be the primary focus. We should legalize marijuana for reasons related to individual rights, redirection of limited police resources, economic development, and criminal justice reform.”

A California assemblymember will participate in a webinar about the implementation of a cannabis records clearing bill she sponsored on Monday.

A New Mexico representative spoke about legislation to “grow and shape our new and thriving cannabis industry.”

A Georgia representative sent a press release about the passage of his bill to expand medical cannabis business licensing.

Louisiana regulators and law enforcement are being sued by a manufacturer of adult consumable hemp products that wants to prevent the officials from pulling them off store shelves.

Maine regulators issued guidance on marijuana plant weighing, waste recording and storage bin tagging requirements.

Colorado officials selected 27 cannabis businesses to receive support under a grant program aimed at fostering equity and diversity within the industry.

Michigan regulators posted a monthly marijuana business disciplinary action report.

Georgia regulators will consider proposed 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.


Denton, Texas’s city manager is continuing to refuse to implement the city’s voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law.

The St. Louis County, Missouri Council voted to approve $300,000 in spending for an educational campaign to inform voters of the marijuana tax measure on the April 4 ballot.


Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court announced it will consider cases on the constitutionality of cannabis criminalization this year.

Mexican officials granted the country’s first permits to cultivate, process, produce and market cannabis for industrial purposes.

Panamanian lawmakers held a hearing on a bill to legalize medical cannabis.


A review “did not find a clear association between prenatal cannabis use and offspring neuro-behavioural outcomes.”

A study found that “clinicians were more likely to order drug tests for Black newborns (7.3%) compared with White newborns (1.9%) and other racial and ethnic groups when there was no obstetric urine drug test performed during the pregnancy.”


A poll of U.S. women over the age of 21 funded by MedMen Enterprises Inc. found that 37 percent consume cannabis.

A poll found that New Hampshire voters support legalizing marijuana, 58 percent to 31 percent.

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “Cannabis is legal in some form for every state bordering Indiana. Legal marijuana is a win-win for the state. So naturally, the @indgop opposes it. Why? Partisanship.”

The Cannabis Regulators Association’s president and executive director spoke on a podcast about the group’s work.


Ayr Wellness Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $124.6 million and a net loss of $168.6 million.

A former vice president of The Parent Company is accusing it of illegally shipping cannabis from California to New York, filing inaccurate financial reports and engaging in gender discrimination in a new lawsuit.

A federal judge denied FarmaceuticalRX’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed against the company by delivery drivers who claim they were misclassified as independent contractors and denied overtime wages.


Stephen Colbert joked about Oklahoma voters’ rejection of a marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

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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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