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Legal cannabis bill passes in USVI (Newsletter: January 2, 2023)



Handful of new Biden marijuana & drug pardons; NY psychedelics bill; Feds compile cannabis research funding info; WH touts president’s marijuana moves

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The U.S. Virgin Islands Senate sent the Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D)  bills to legalize marijuana and automatically expunge prior cannabis convictions.

President Joe Biden issued a new round of pardons to a handful of people who served time for marijuana and other drug offenses, but advocates are frustrated that he still hasn’t commuted the sentences of anyone currently in prison for cannabis.

White House Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice highlighted President Joe Biden’s marijuana pardons and cannabis scheduling directive as among the administration’s top accomplishments of 2022.

New York lawmakers filed a bill to legalize psychedelics like psilocybin, ibogaine, DMT and mescaline.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health launched a new online resource that tracks federal grant funding opportunities for cannabis-related research.


Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts reported that federal drug cases decreased 15 percent in Fiscal Year 2022.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) tweeted a link to an op-ed published by Marijuana Moment from a lobbyist who argued that Democrats’ insistence on including social justice provisions in cannabis bills blocked achievable reform progress.

Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R) claimed that the Biden administration’s border policies are providing “logistical support” to drug cartels, adding that immigrants are being “human-trafficked to be able to work on illegal marijuana farms such as…the 600 that they found in Oregon, where they are basically being worked to death under threat of death or looking down the barrel of a gun.”


Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) spoke about broad public support for marijuana legalization and said that medical cannabis could be a “starting point” to come to an agreement with the Republican majority in the state legislature.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) discussed bipartisan support for medical cannabis, saying it is “very popular” with voters.

Maryland’s law reducing penalties for marijuana possession went into effect on Sunday, ahead of the full legalization policy that’s set to begin in July.

New Hampshire’s House speaker said he has “reservations” about legalizing marijuana but predicted his chamber will again pass a bill on it this session.

Kentucky lawmakers discussed the prospects for medical cannabis legalization in 2023.

A Washington State senator spoke about an interstate cannabis commerce bill he is cosponsoring.

New Oregon marijuana rules took effect on Sunday.

Illinois’s policy allowing curbside pickup at marijuana dispensaries expired as of Sunday. Separately, the Department of Agriculture touted hemp and cannabis work as among its top accomplishments for 2022.

Alabama regulators received 94 applications for medical cannabis business licenses prior to the deadline.

New York regulators published the first annual report on the state’s cannabis programs. They also said they are aware of a phishing scam targeting dispensary license applicants.

Missouri courts posted a form that people can use to petition for expungement of marijuana-related convictions.

California regulators posted a reminder about changes to the process for collecting cannabis excise taxes.

Michigan regulators made new additions to their marijuana social equity video library.

The Florida Department of Health touted the passage of a bill making changes to medical cannabis policies as a top accomplishment of 2022.

Nevada cannabis regulators urged people to use ride-sharing over the New Year’s holiday with a discount code.

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Cleveland, Ohio’s mayor tweeted about a bill passed by the state legislature that will allow cities to carry out mass expungements of marijuana and other drug convictions.

The Jefferson City, Missouri City Council is expected to consider placing a measure on the local ballot to institute a 3 percent local tax on recreational marijuana sales on Tuesday.


Uruguay’s Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries reported that cannabis cultivation area nearly doubled in a year.

Canadian health officials posted a PSA depicting a cannabis consumer choosing to stay home and eat fries instead of driving while impaired.


A review concluded that “cannabidiol is showing promising results for the treatment of COVID-19, due to its capability of acting on the unleashed cytokine storm, on the proteins necessary for both virus entry and replication and on the neurological consequences of patients who have been infected by the virus.”

A study found that “LSD produced long-lasting and notable reductions in anxiety and comorbid depression symptoms up to 16 weeks.”


The American Civil Liberties Union is urging supporters to pressure their governors to use their clemency powers to help people with marijuana convictions.


Curaleaf reportedly owes “a substantial sum” to an offshore company linked to Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, though Curaleaf said in a statement that the firm in question “is no longer owned by Mr. Abramovich or any other person sanctioned in the US, UK or EU.”

High Tide Inc. closed its acquisition of 1171882 B.C. Ltd., operating as Jimmy’s Cannabis Shop BC.


Elon Musk tweeted, “Banning alcohol caused the biggest rise in organized crime in American history. That was dumb. Same logic applies to other drugs. Alcohol is just a legacy drug.” He also tweeted, “I am not endorsing drugs, but I am saying that the evidence suggests that banning them is a net societal negative.”

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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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