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KY medical cannabis bill advances (Newsletter: March 15, 2023)



UN enforcement body: US needs to undo state marijuana laws; German cannabis plan; HI legalization next steps; MN cannabis overhaul

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The International Narcotics Control Board is suggesting that the U.S. federal government needs to force states within the country to repeal their marijuana legalization laws in order to maintain compliance with global drug treaties.

The Kentucky Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis—the first time legislation on the issue has advanced in the chamber. The Senate majority floor leader, who until now has been a vocal opponent, voted for the measure.

Germany’s health minister announced that the government is moving forward with a marijuana legalization plan after receiving “very good feedback” from European Union officials. Some changes to the initial cannabis framework that was released last year will be unveiled in the “next few weeks,” he said.

The Minnesota Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee approved a significant overhaul of a marijuana legalization bill that’s been advancing. Companion legislation also cleared the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee.

A Hawaii representative spoke about the path forward for a Senate-passed marijuana legalization bill—including the need for further amendments on the House side.

Vermont lawmakers introduced a package of new bills that would legalize psychedelics and decriminalize all drugs.


Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) discussed the prospects for federal cannabis reform.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) tweeted, “@CBP seized more than $1 million worth of marijuana at the World Trade Bridge in Laredo this past weekend. Thank you to the South Texas men and women in blue for keeping us safe. I will continue to fight for you in Congress.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) tweeted, “It’s time for a serious conversation about federal #cannabis reform. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle must move beyond outdated stigmas and act on facts: regulation can improve public health, increase revenue, and reduce crime.”


The Kentucky Senate passed a bill on marijuana-impaired driving.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved a bill to establish a medical cannabis oversight board. Separately, a representative wrote in an op-ed that he thinks voters’ defeat of a marijuana legalization initiative signals a “mandate” to address issues in the medical cannabis program before broader reform is considered.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives rejected a bill to legalize DMT.

The chair of the Washington State House Community Safety, Justice, & Reentry Committee said a Senate-passed bill to classify drug possession as a gross misdemeanor “looks a lot like the war on drugs all over again.”

The Michigan Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Insurance and Financial Services heard testimony from marijuana regulators.

A handful of Minnesota Democratic senators say they are undecided on marijuana legalization legislation and may not support it unless it addresses their specific concerns.

A California assemblymember participated in a webinar about the implementation of a law she sponsored to seal cannabis records.

Maryland lawmakers will speak at a cannabis summit on March 25.

Utah regulators filed revised rules on medical cannabis and hemp testing and licensing.

Maine regulators plan to launch an underage sales check program at marijuana retailers this year.

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reported that the marijuana industry ranked ninth on the list of business sectors that spent the most on lobbying in 2022.

Vermont regulators will hold an event on cannabis cultivation technical assistance on Thursday.

Marijuana Moment is tracking hundreds of 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.


Denver, Colorado officials are launching a new program to recognize cannabis businesses that “go above and beyond to make a positive impact.”


Malaysia’s economy minister joked that he and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim don’t consume marijuana after police seized a package containing toothpaste with cannabis extract that was addressed to them.

The Romanian Chamber of Deputies Health Committee discussed a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Philippine government formally asked the International Criminal Court Appeals Chamber to suspend an investigation into the country’s bloody “war on drugs.”


A study indicated that “cannabinoids can reduce human bladder transitional cell carcinoma cell viability, and that they can potentially exert synergistic effects when combined with other agents.”

A review concluded that serotonin precursors and psilocybin “exhibit anti-neuroinflammatory and antioxidant activities that impact neurotrophin expression, the neurogenesis process, and influence on the gut–brain axis.”


The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is warning about “monopolistic marijuana interests” that it says “have been plotting to line their own pockets by trying to destroy the hemp retail marketplace.”

The head of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana said at a United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting that striving for a “drug-free society” is a “noble vision and goal” and that legalization aims to “enslave our brains.”

The National Consumers League published a report on what it says are “false or misleading medical claims made by several leading marijuana companies on their social media platforms.”


TerrAscend Corp. applied to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $112.1 million and a net loss of $15.1 million.

TILT Holdings Inc. amended its existing revolving credit facility and appointed a new board member.

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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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