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FDA head tells DEA to not delay cannabis rescheduling (Newsletter: April 12, 2024)



NH House passes legalization; PA marijuana hearing; OH gov wants public cannabis smoking ban; Fed study: Massive cannabis patient growth; NORML op-ed

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Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf said at a congressional hearing that there’s “no reason for DEA to delay” its marijuana rescheduling decision after his agency recommended moving cannabis to Schedule III. Lawmakers also pressed him about hemp regulations.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a marijuana legalization bill—sending it to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain as Gov. Chris Sununu (R) lays out specific provisions he wants included in any cannabis legislation he is willing to sign.

The Pennsylvania House Health Subcommittee on Health Care held a hearing on social justice in marijuana legalization—with witnesses arguing that equity is about the government repairing past harms it perpetrated on communities, not charity and handouts.

In his State of the State speech, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called on lawmakers to pass legislation banning public marijuana smoking and prohibiting the sale of intoxicating hemp-derived cannabinoids like delta-8 THC.

A new study conducted by federal officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Veterans Affairs shows that the number of medical marijuana patients enrolled in state programs across the U.S. has grown 610 percent since 2016—indicating an “increasing cultural acceptance of cannabis.”

  • The federal officials note that “cannabis prohibition continues to disparately affect groups that have been marginalized for racial or socioeconomic reasons” and note that rescheduling will “acknowledge therapeutic potential of cannabis and reduce research barriers.”

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that federal “discriminatory and counterproductive marijuana drug testing policies” for transportation workers are contributing to a labor shortage in the trucking industry.

Maine lawmakers sent Gov. Janet Mills (D) a bill to create a task force charged with studying the potential decriminalization of drugs.

The Alabama Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee approved legislation aimed at restarting the medical cannabis business licensing process amid ongoing litigation.


The Congressional Research Service published a report on a Supreme Court ruling clarifying the scope of drug offense sentencing relief under the First Step Act.

The Senate bill to reduce restrictions on hemp growers got one new cosponsor for a total of four.


Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) signed a bill to place an indefinite moratorium on new marijuana business licenses.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tweeted, “Colorado’s progressive, nation-leading cannabis industry has created tens of thousands of jobs, as well as countless opportunities for other local industries and small businesses to thrive. We continue to push for federal action when it comes to safe banking and reclassifying marijuana.”

The California Governor’s Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce seized more than $53,620,600 million in illegal marijuana in the first quarter of the year.

Texas’s lieutenant governor is directing the Senate State Affairs Committee to take steps to prepare legislation to ban the sale of intoxicating hemp products ahead of the next session.

A request by a former Michigan House speaker who was convicted of corruption in the marijuana licensing process to leave prison early was rejected by a federal judge.

New York lawmakers discussed the prospects for including marijuana enforcement provisions in the budget. Separately, regulators approved additional marijuana business licenses.

Massachusetts regulators are accepting public comments on a model marijuana municipal equity ordinance.

Washington, D.C. regulators published guidance about a 4/20 medical cannabis tax holiday.

Minnesota regulators are accepting responses on a survey about the marijuana license application process, license types, market size and potential business locations.

New Mexico regulators approved a settlement with a cannabis company accused of various violations.

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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


The Charlotte, North Carolina Police Department rejected an advisory group’s request to stop marijuana arrests.

Denver, Colorado officials published guidance on marijuana hospitality and unlicensed consumption businesses ahead of 4/20.

Humboldt County, California’s planning director said officials will soon be suspending permits of cannabis farmers who failed to enter into payment agreements for owed taxes.


Bulgaria’s National Assembly rejected a hemp processing bill.

Bavaria, Germany officials are considering restricting cannabis use at Oktoberfest.


A study “adds evidence about the potentially neuroprotective effects of recreational cannabis for short- and long-term post-[traumatic brain injury] outcomes.”

A study found that”psilocybin pulse regimen reduces cluster headache attack frequency.”


The Empire Cannabis Manufacturers Alliance is a new trade group representing licensed processors.

The U.S. Hemp Authority is launching a certification program for adult-use hemp products.


The Long Island Rail Road is being sued for firing an employee over marijuana.

MariMed Inc. entered into sponsorship deals with two Boston, Massachusetts music venues, the MGM Music Hall Fenway and Citizens House of Blues Boston.

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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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