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Fed cannabis rescheduling recommendation is in (Newsletter: August 31, 2023)



Colombian legalization vote; HI psychedelics task force; CA AG: Lower marijuana taxes; Kratom in Congress; CT equity loans

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is recommending that marijuana be moved to Schedule III. Now it is up to the Drug Enforcement Administration to determine whether to accept the suggestion to reschedule cannabis out of the most restrictive federal category.

  • White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, asked about HHS’s marijuana rescheduling recommendation, said it’s an “independent process” that’s “guided by evidence” and the president’s team is “just not going to comment specifically on that.”

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra confirmed the big federal marijuana rescheduling news—in a tweet posted at precisely 4:20 PM. And it wasn’t the secretary’s first time posting cannabis news at the symbolic time.

Members of Congress, a governor and advocates had mixed reactions to the news that HHS is recommending marijuana be moved to Schedule III.

The Colombian Chamber of Representatives First Committee approved a new marijuana legalization bill—the first of eight votes needed to enact it after a prior version stalled at the final stage on the Senate floor last session.

The Hawaii Governor’s Office of Wellness and Resilience established a Breakthrough Therapies Task Force that will study how to provide regulated access to psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) said the state should be “lowering taxes” on marijuana businesses to allow them to compete with the illicit market.

  • “The barriers to entry are too high. The costs to stay in operation are too high.”

As bipartisan members of the House and Senate are planning to introduce a bill to regulate kratom, former Trump administration White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll  is stressing the need to beat back “misinformation” from the Food and Drug Administration on the issue.

Connecticut’s Social Equity Council and Department of Economic and Community Development launched a new Canna-Business Revolving Loan Fund to help social equity marijuana businesses with financial assistance.


Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Josh Gottheimer(D-NJ) filed legislation to expand access to drug test strips.

Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) tweeted about meeting with Colombian President Gustavo Petro, saying he will work to “end a failed War on Drugs based on violence, through peace & opportunities for the poor.”


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) said she has “confidence” in the state’s top medical cannabis regulator amid legal challenges to the business licensing process.

Indiana’s attorney general and local police agencies are being sued over enforcement actions against hemp product businesses.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “It hasn’t even been a month yet, & Minnesota is already reaping the economic benefits of legalization! Wisconsin is falling further behind, becoming an island of prohibition and hurting our state’s opportunity for economic growth.”

A Hawaii representative said lawmakers will consider marijuana legalization legislation in the 2024 session.

A Maine representative said that “blood tests when it comes to cannabis are just inaccurate.”

Virginia regulators published guidance on cannabis packaging requirements.

New Jersey regulators will begin accepting applications for marijuana wholesale, distribution and delivery licenses on September 27.

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.


A Houston, Texas city councilmember criticized her election opponent for launching a THC-infused seltzer brand.


Western Australia’s government is endorsing steps to increase medical cannabis access.

A German lawmaker tweeted that the country’s health minister, with his marijuana legalization proposal, “apparently wants to continue the prohibition policy of the past decades. This in no way corresponds to the agreements made in the coalition agreement. We will fundamentally revise the law.”

Canadian cannabis exports surged in the 2022-23 fiscal year.


A study indicated there is “therapeutic potential for cannflavins in” autism spectrum disorders.

A study found that “pairwise comparison of driving-related ability revealed no significant differences between low-THC/CBD-rich products and placebo” but noted that “detection of THC after consumption of low-THC/CBD-rich cannabis might have legal consequences for drivers.”


The Drug Free America Foundation published a study that it says shows that “in states that have legalized high-THC marijuana—either medically or recreationally—the frequency of marijuana-impaired driving is 32 percent higher than in states that haven’t.”

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies posted videos from its recent conference.


StateHouse Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $25.3 million.

Dark Horse Medicinals Missouri LLC is suing Delta Extraction over allegations it conducted a conspiracy to sell the company cannabis that could not be used in Missouri.


Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said he has traded players because they smoke too much marijuana.

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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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