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Feds seize state-licensed cannabis (Newsletter: April 9, 2024)



DEA sued over marijuana; Senator pushes CBP on cannabis; HI decrim & expungements; Trulieve CEO rebuts DeSantis on legalization; Fed hemp study

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Federal officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have suddenly started seizing marijuana from state-licensed businesses in more than a dozen stops at checkpoints within New Mexico in recent weeks.

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) sent a letter pressing Customs and Border Protection to reverse a recent decision to narrow its period of employment ineligibility over past marijuana use from two years to three months—saying it “undermines” security.

MMJ BioPharma Cultivation Inc. filed a lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal officials, seeking to block a DEA administrative law judge from reviewing its application to grow marijuana for research—calling the matter “an unconstitutional proceeding led by an unconstitutional decisionmaker.”

Hawaii lawmakers are advancing legislation to expand the state’s limited marijuana decriminalization law and provide for expungements of past cannabis convictions—even as a broader legalization bill recently stalled for the session.

Trulieve CEO Kim Rivers pushed back against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) claim that the marijuana legalization initiative her company is funding will “reduce the quality of life”—instead arguing that cannabis is a “safer” alternative to alcohol.

A new federally funded study by the Department of Justice and National Institute of Standards and Technology found that most sampled smokable hemp products are actually illegal marijuana—concluding that “over 90% of the samples analyzed by NIST were determined to have a total total Δ9-THC mass fraction above 0.3% even though samples were being marketed as hemp.”

The Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation is warning marijuana social equity business license applicants of “predatory practices” by larger companies seeking to take advantage of people from disadvantaged communities.


Former President Donald Trump suggested that President Joe Biden is using cocaine, including ahead of his State of the Union address when he was “all jacked up” and “higher than a kite.”

Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he didn’t understand a journalist’s question about the war on drugs destabilizing other countries and driving immigration to the U.S.

Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) tweeted, “Marijuana has been legal in New Mexico since 2021. Just like @VP  said, “Nobody should go to jail for smoking weed.”’We must do what is right and release those incarcerated for simple marijuana possession.'”

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) tweeted, “Yesterday, I spoke at the Vaping & Marijuana Impact Conference in Lufkin to confront the troubling trend of vaping and marijuana normalization among our youth. I am dedicated to reducing the use of high-potency THC products to safeguard our future.”


A Minnesota Republican representative accused Democrats of having an “obsession about social equity” in marijuana legislation.

A California assemblymember filed a bill to ban the use of paraquat, a weed killer that the U.S. government previously provided funding for Mexican officials to spray on marijuana.

A member of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is resigning.

Illinois regulators are launching a new online medical cannabis patient registration portal.

Utah regulators published an analysis of the state’s medical cannabis market.

Colorado regulators issued a bulletin about an ASTM cannabis standard.

New York regulators posted a reminder that for people “enhancing the experience” of watching the eclipse by using cannabis, “mindfulness is key.”

Alaska’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana will meet on Tuesday.

The New York Cannabis Control Board will meet on Thursday.

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 Boston, Massachusetts Cannabis Board will meet on Wednesday.

Los Angeles, California officials are commemorating a marijuana “social equity week” next week.


Jersey’s economic development minister said the medical cannabis industry is set to become a “significant” part of the economy.


A study found that “phytocannabinoids, including cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), exhibit significant antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and have been shown to be an effective treatment for neuroinflammatory conditions” and “could be promising adjuvants for [post-COVID condition] alone or in combination with other antioxidants or therapies.”

A study of mice found that CBD “alleviates neurological deficits after traumatic brain injury by improving intracranial lymphatic drainage.”


The Washington Post editorial board is cheering Oregon officials for recriminalizing drug possession.

The Boston Globe editorial board is highlighting the lack of bankruptcy protections for marijuana industry workers.


Sun Theory Holding Co. is acquiring the Colorado retail operations of Terrapin Care Station.

Eaze workers are preparing for a potential strike ahead of 4/20.

The founder of Harvest Farm Group pleaded guilty to federal charges of running an alleged hemp and CBD investment scheme.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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