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Feds’ new cannabis survey questions (Newsletter: November 16, 2023)



Lawmakers want revised marijuana banking guidance; Phillips: Biden should smoke weed; NY cannabis testing discouraged; Psilocybin coverage

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The federal National Survey on Drug Use and Health contains new marijuana questions this year about modes of consumption like vapes, edibles, dabs, lotions and CBD products—reflecting the government’s acknowledgment of the evolving cannabis policy landscape. Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra tweeted about it at 4:20.

A group of 20 congressional Democrats—led by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)—sent a letter calling on the Treasury Department to update 2014 marijuana banking guidance to remove “red flag” restrictions on business owners for prior cannabis convictions.

2024 Democratic presidential candidate Dean Phillips said President Joe Biden should smoke marijuana to better understand “hypocritical” prohibition laws that let people drink alcohol and work at the White House while others face prison for cannabis.

  • “I’m sure he has never even smelled weed, let alone smoked it. The fact of the matter is, I think he should, because he would find it awfully hypocritical that you can drink a half gallon of Jack Daniels at night and report to work in his White House.”

The New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports published new guidance advising drug treatment providers to generally stop testing for marijuana unless ceasing cannabis use is a patient’s stated goal. A spokesperson told Marijuana Moment that the “same principles regarding alcohol” are now being applied to cannabis since it’s legal.

Ohio House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) said lawmakers don’t need to rush to make changes to the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law, contradicting Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who wants amendments enacted before key provisions take effect next month. Meanwhile, one representative already filed a bill to redirect cannabis revenue to police training.

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation published a new guide laying out post-legalization regulatory models for psychedelics, saying that public discourse to date has focused too much on medical access while neglecting other uses.

Enthea, an insurance company that bills itself as “the first and only licensed provider of psychedelic health plans,” announced that it will offer coverage of psilocybin-assisted therapy in states where it’s legal.

A new study found that legalizing medical marijuana is associated with “lower frequency of non-medical prescription opioid use”—signaling possible “substitution effects with partial replacement of opioids by cannabis.”

Mississippi regulators are facing a federal lawsuit from a medical cannabis business owner who claims the state’s advertising restrictions violate his First Amendment rights.

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission granted licenses to additional companies to produce low-THC medical cannabis oil.

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals is considering a motion to block regulators from using earlier medical cannabis business application scores to award licenses in a new round.


The U.S. Sentencing Commission published a report detailing racial disparities in sentencing, including for drug trafficking offenses.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted, “Joe Biden wants to ban menthol cigarettes, which are favored by black smokers. Meanwhile, he wants to legalize weed for white college kids and mail out free crack pipes.”

Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) tweeted, “Our veterans are ready for an innovative, nonaddictive treatment for PTSD, TBI, and other combat-related injuries. Psychedelic therapy is just that, and I hope to see the VA leading on it.”


Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke about the process of finding a top marijuana regulator for the state.

The Kentucky legislature’s Administrative Regulations Review Subcommittee approved rules on hemp-derived cannabinoid products.

The Missouri legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules published a report raising questions about the implementation of marijuana regulations.

The Florida Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on intoxicating hemp-derived products.

Massachusetts activists are reportedly scrambling to collect additional signatures for a psychedelics legalization ballot initiative amid potential technical errors with prior submissions.

Utah regulators filed revised medical cannabis rules.

A New York regulator was caught on tape acknowledging that officials are aware of brands illegally sourcing products from out of state and don’t plan to enforce a crackdown because it could “further cripple the market.”

Maine regulators that out of a sample of tested medical cannabis products, 42 percent contained at least one contaminant.

The Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security is requesting increased funding to support its role in regulating marijuana.

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority will begin accepting applications for a second phase of its Cannabis Equity Grant Program on November 30.

Idaho officials published a marijuana fact sheet.

Oregon regulators will consider marijuana tax rules changes on Thursday.

Rhode Island regulators will host a cannabis listening session  on Thursday.

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.


Thailand’s health minister discussed changes to a pending marijuana regulation bill.

The UK’s new health secretary is recusing herself from decisions on medical marijuana policy due to her husband’s role as CEO of a company that owns a cannabis farm.

Canadian lawmakers are considering a petition to increase marijuana edible potency limits.


A study found that “full spectrum cannabidiol oil reduces breast cancer cell viability.”

A review concluded that “psychedelic therapy has created a paradigm shift in the treatment of [treatment-resistant depression], as it can maximize therapeutic benefits and minimize potential risks.


A poll found that Louisiana voters support legalizing marijuana, 52 percent to 36 percent.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is launching a Cannabis Policy Institute.


Cresco Labs Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $190.6 million and a net loss of $113.4 million.

Jushi Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $65.4 million and a net loss and comprehensive loss of $20.6 million.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $56.5 million and a net loss of $7.9 million.

The Cannabist Company Holdings Inc. announced a normal course issuer bid to purchase up to 15,000,000 common shares.


Cheech & Chong are rebranding three Massachusetts marijuana dispensaries.

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Photo courtesy of Kimberly Lawson.

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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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