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Federal cannabis legalization bill filed by 18 senators (Newsletter: May 2, 2024)



WH: Rescheduling part of Biden campaign pledge; SAFE Banking debate; Congress psychedelics vote; SC medical marijuana; OH legalization changes

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and 17 other Democratic senators filed a bill to federally legalize marijuana—one day after the Drug Enforcement Administration agreed to reschedule cannabis.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the federal move to reschedule marijuana is part of fulfilling the pledge President Joe Biden made to voters in the 2020 campaign.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he’s not giving up on trying to attach marijuana banking provisions to an aviation bill even though House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are opposed.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) argued during a hearing that passing a marijuana banking bill will mean that “Chinese money laundering organizations will have an additional avenue for cleaning dirty money.”

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee approved a bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to notify lawmakers if psychedelics are added to its formulary of covered drugs in the event of their federal approval by the Food and Drug Administration.

Ohio’s Senate president wants to scale back marijuana home cultivation provisions and make other changes to the voter-approved legalization law by June, but the House speaker says passing something “depends on what it looks like.”

The chair of the South Carolina House Medical Cannabis Ad Hoc Committee said it is unlikely a Senate-passed bill to legalize patient access will get a vote in her chamber by the end of the session next week.

Shawn Hauser of Vicente LLP argues in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed that the federal decision to reschedule cannabis is “a historic and critically important shift”—with the government “finally (and officially) recognizing the efficacy and safety of cannabis for medical use.”

The Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation’s decision to revoke marijuana social equity licenses from businesses tied to out-of-state companies that used Craigslist to recruit applicants is being appealed.


Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted, “Another observation on New York City: It smells of weed, everywhere. In the hotel, in the cabs and Ubers, in the restaurants, and even in the hospital. EVERYWHERE. 🤦🏽‍♂️”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) discussed his support for marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) authored a blog post about the federal cannabis rescheduling decision.

Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) tweeted, “New York Democrats passed legislation to legalize marijuana with NO plan to crack down on the black market or the impact it would have on quality of life. We thank the NYPD for shutting  these illegal shops down.”


Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a hemp regulation bill.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) nominated a new secretary of state, with her office noting in a press release that he previously served as co-chair of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Task Force on Cannabis.

Oklahoma’s attorney general said a new immigration law signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) will “enhance law enforcement’s ability to combat the state’s many illegal marijuana grow operations.”

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill to regulate THC-infused beverages.

The Minnesota Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee approved a bill to change various cannabis rules.

The Pennsylvania House Health Committee approved a bill on oversight of medical cannabis testing labs.

The Tennessee Senate Democratic Caucus chairwoman cheered the federal marijuana rescheduling decision.

The Ho-Chunk Nation, located within Wisconsin, is moving to decriminalize marijuana.

California regulators approved rules allowing marijuana processor, nursery and cultivation licensees to make a one-time change to their license expiration date.

Alabama regulators filed several medical cannabis rules.

Ohio regulators issued a reminder that marijuana use is strictly prohibited in liquor permit premises.

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.


Oakland, Mendocino County and Humboldt County, California tourism officials launched a new project that marks historic spots celebrating “the cultural heritage stories of California’s famed cannabis tradition.”

The Hialeah, Florida City Council passed a resolution opposing the marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s November ballot.

Oakland, California’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday.


The Bahamian health minister said legislation to legalize medical cannabis and decriminalize recreational marijuana will be passed before the end of the year.

The leader of the Canadian Conservative Party is pressing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reject Toronot’s application to enact a drug decriminalization policy.


A study of trends before and after legal marijuana sales began in Washington State found that “prevalence of [driving under the influence of alcohol] decreased overall and among drinkers,” that “overall [driving under the influence of cannabis] did not change significantly but decreased among those who used cannabis” and that “[driving under the influence of both substances] decreased but not significantly.”

A study found that “MDMA enhances empathy-like behaviors in mice.”


The American Bankers Association said marijuana banking legislation is still needed even in light of a federal rescheduling decision.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is celebrating the federal marijuana rescheduling decision but says more action is needed.


Cookies announced its intention to acquire all operational cannabis assets related to the production and sale of Cookies-branded products in Florida from TRP Co. and its affiliates.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company reported that its cannabis-focused Hawthorne unit saw $66.4 million in quarterly sales.

High Tide Inc. has a new chief financial officer.

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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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