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DOJ says legal cannabis boosts tourism (Newsletter: April 8, 2024)



Schumer on SAFER Banking; Congressional hemp hearing; German marijuana plan; CO gov on fed cannabis reform; MO psilocybin

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The Department of Justice filed a brief again asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit from marijuana businesses that are seeking to prevent federal enforcement against their activities—while admitting that legalization boosts tourism.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)  wrote in a letter to colleagues that passing a bill to “safeguard cannabis banking” is part of a “busy agenda” that he hopes to achieve in the “weeks and months ahead.”

The House Oversight and Accountability Committee scheduled a hearing for Thursday where it will press Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf on “several issues,” including “hemp regulation.”

German lawmakers are pushing the federal government to announce details on the second pillar of its marijuana legalization plan focused on commercial sales.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said full federal marijuana legalization is “not going to happen at once”—but enacting incremental reforms now like rescheduling and banking access is “like dominoes, getting these changes to come into place” to build momentum.

The Missouri House of Representatives passed a budget bill providing $10 million to support research on psilocybin as a treatment for opioid use disorder—with the money coming from the state’s opioid settlement fund that resulted from lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies.

The Florida marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot needs 60 percent support to pass—a supermajority threshold that has only been achieved by three cannabis measures in other states before.

A Missouri marijuana business union dispute that is now before the National Labor Relations Board could have major implications for national labor law.


Vice President Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter Ella Emhoff is holding a textile exhibition at a cannabis store in New York City.

Food and Drug Administration officials participated in an event about federal cannabis regulation.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) tweeted, “I fully believe the SAFER Banking Act is a necessary step in legalizing weed, but it can’t be the last. Full legalization is critical for jobs, revenue, justice, and our veterans—we need to pass this bill and keep pushing until the whole job is done.”

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 112.

The House bill to repeal the 280E tax penalty for marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor for a total of 12.


Arkansas’s attorney general rejected the language of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

Ohio legislative leaders discussed the prospects for enacting changes to the voter-approved marijuana legalization law.

Guam lawmakers held a hearing on a bill to temporarily suspend cannabis lab testing requirements.

New York lawmakers are considering legislation to strip licenses to sell cigarettes, tobacco products, alcohol and lottery tickets from businesses that sell marijuana without a license.

A Colorado senator delivered a speech honoring the late CBD pioneer Charlotte Figi.

The Nevada Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging the state’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I substance on Tuesday.

Washington State regulators withdrew an announcement on rulemaking for accrediting cannabis laboratories.

Washington, D.C. regulators held their first-ever protest hearing for a proposed medical cannabis dispensary that would be located near schools.

Delaware’s top marijuana regulator spoke about steps to launch the recreational marijuana market.

Missouri regulators will host a listening session about cannabis research licenses on April 16.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 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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New York City’s mayor again called on state lawmakers to grant local officials authority to close down unlicensed marijuana businesses.

Mobile, Alabama’s public safety director said a marijuana decriminalization proposal would save police time.

Honolulu, Hawaii’s prosecutor said he is “pleased” that a statewide marijuana legalization bill died but expressed concerns about decriminalization expansion legislation that is still advancing.


Bern, Switzerland launched a marijuana sales pilot program.

Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio declared a national public health emergency on drugs and substance misuse issues.

A UK lawmaker is pushing to make psilocybin available via the National Health Service.


A study found that “eased access to marijuana through medical marijuana laws reduce the reported number of days with poor mental health for individuals with a high propensity to consume marijuana for medical purposes and for those individuals who likely suffer from frequent pain.”

A review concluded that “psychedelics reduce negative mood, and have potential efficacy in other mental disorders, such as substance-use disorders and PTSD.”


A poll of Netherlands residents found that 60 percent support legalizing cannabis production, supply and sales.

The Democratic Governors Association celebrated Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey’s (D) mass marijuana pardon.


Curaleaf is reportedly exploring a secondary listing in Europe.


Police found marijuana in a car driven by football player Rashee Rice.

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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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