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Hawaii cannabis legalization bill advances (Newsletter: March 4, 2024)



Fetterman: Let military get marijuana pardons; Tribal dispensary opens 4/20; MI cannabis revenue; Study: Marijuana tied to lower cognitive decline

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The Hawaii Senate Ways and Means and Commerce and Consumer Protection Committees amended and approved a marijuana legalization bill, sending it to a floor vote that is expected this week.

Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) said it’s a “mistake” to exclude members of the military from President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons.

  • “If you’re willing to serve our nation in the military, to be penalized by using a substance that is statistically much safer than other legal kinds of things—I don’t really understand the logic, truthfully.”

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians announced that it plans to open a cannabis dispensary on 4/20—launching the first legal sales of marijuana within the borders of North Carolina.

The Michigan Department of Treasury is distributing more than $290 million in marijuana tax revenue to localities, public schools and a transportation fund. $87 million will go to 269 municipalities, and education and transportation efforts will each get $101.6 million.

The Vermont Senate Health and Welfare Committee is considering removing psilocybin legalization provisions from a bill that would also establish a working group to study regulations for psychedelic therapy.

A new study found that recreational marijuana use is “significantly associated with 96% decreased odds” of subjective cognitive decline. Authors suggested that people may be using cannabis to alleviate stress and sleep issues, which can be tied to reduced cognitive function and dementia.

The Oregon legislature sent a bill to reverse the voter-approved decriminalization of drug possession to Gov. Tina Kotek’s (D) desk.

The Arizona Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to return marijuana social equity licenses to original owners from the private investors and big corporations that advocates say used predatory tactics to obtain them.

The Idaho House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee voted to hold a bill that proposed to set a $420 mandatory minimum fine for possessing less than 3 ounces of marijuana—likely killing the legislation for the year.

A New Jersey senator filed a bill that would allow police to demand blood samples from drivers suspected of being under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, while also setting a per se limit for THC.


A former U.S. Justice Department Tax Division attorney authored an op-ed arguing that medical cannabis companies stand a better chance of getting refunds on taxes paid due to the 280E penalty than adult-use firms do.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) tweeted, “Last year there were more than 50 robbery attempts at marijuana dispensaries in the State of Washington. This bill will take the target off the backs of our state’s dispensaries by updating federal banking laws so they don’t have to do all their business in cash.”


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed a bill tightening cannabis regulations.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is touting a new $30 million round of cannabis revenue-funded community reinvestment grants. Separately, regulators are accepting applications for a second round of the Cannabis Social Equity Loan Program.

The Washington State Senate passed a bill to mandate public education and warning about high-THC cannabis products.

Wyoming lawmakers are advancing legislation to ban delta-8 THC products.

California regulators announced a recall of marijuana products due to the presence of aspergillus.

Massachusetts regulators published a bulletin about licensed marijuana businesses participating in a cannabis cup competition.

New York regulators published an overview of protections that doctors have to discuss cannabis with patients.

Washington, D.C. regulators opened an application period for social equity medical cannabis business licenses.

Minnesota regulators posted a competency model for cannabis lab technicians.

Nevada regulators are conducting a survey on the impact of proposed cannabis rules on small businesses.

Maryland regulators fined a marijuana business that allegedly sold products that had been in a dumpster for two days.

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.


New York City’s mayor said people who don’t like smelling marijuana being smoked in public should tell their state legislators to change the law.

A Jackson, Mississippi City Council member was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana.


Hesse, Germany’s justice minister is seeking to delay or change the government’s marijuana legalization legislation.

Philippine senators said that medical cannabis legislation will need to include “safeguards.”

Ireland’s police commissioner expressed concerns about high-potency cannabis causing mental health issues.

A Canadian appeals court is being asked to leave in place an injunction against British Columbia’s policy criminalizing public drug use.

The mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands is calling on officials to reverse their “negligent” attitude toward drug use.


A study found that “acute migraine treatment with 6% THC+11% CBD was superior to placebo at 2 hours post-treatment with sustained benefits at 24 and 48 hours.”

A study concluded that “the use of hair-derived cannabinoid quantification is supported for detecting cannabis use in near-daily users, but the lack of associations between hair-derived cannabinoid concentrations and self-report measures of use does not support the use of hair analyses alone for quantification of cannabinoid exposure.”


The Arkansas Family Council is expressing concerns about a proposed ballot measure to expand medical cannabis access.


SOMAÍ Pharmaceuticals Unipessoal LDA is acquiring RPK Biopharma (Holigen) from AKANDA Corp.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. preliminarily reported quarterly revenue of $23 million and a net loss of $14.3 million.

Compass Pathways plc reported a quarterly net loss of $32.5 million.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. repaid approximately $5.3 million, representing the final payment on the principal amount of its convertible senior notes.

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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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