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Maryland governor issues mass cannabis pardons (Newsletter: June 18, 2024)



PA legalization bill; MA psychedelics; NJ psilocybin; Marijuana opponents’ plan to stop rescheduling; Study: Cannabis vs alcohol secondhand harms

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) issued pardons for more than 175,000 marijuana-related convictions—calling it “the largest such action in our nation’s history” and noting that legalization alone “does not turn back the clock on decades of harm that was caused by this war on drugs.”

The Massachusetts Senate passed a veterans-focused bill that includes provisions to create a psychedelics working group to make recommendations about the therapeutic benefits of substances like psilocybin and MDMA. The House has already approved similar legislation.

The New Jersey Assembly Health Committee amended a psilocybin bill to remove provisions that would have more broadly legalized the psychedelic for adults in order to instead focus exclusively on therapeutic access.

Bipartisan Pennsylvania representatives circulated a memo to colleagues seeking support for a new marijuana legalization bill they plan to file soon, noting that Ohio is “primed to open their market with the lion’s share of their licenses perched on the border of Pennsylvania.”

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana hosted a webinar detailing its strategy for opposing the Biden administration’s cannabis rescheduling move—saying officials relied on “a few very bad studies” resulting in a recommendation that “you could imagine a legalizer in their basement doing in 1978 based on research then.”

A new study found that use of alcohol or opioids causes greater secondhand harms to other people than marijuana consumption does—with participants saying drinking is tied to external problems at six times the rate of cannabis.

  • “Secondhand harms from others’ alcohol use were substantially more prevalent than those from others’ use of any other drug.”

Vermont overrode Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) veto of a bill to legalize and fund a safe consumption site for illegal drugs.

Florida’s hemp industry is breathing a sigh of relief after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) vetoed a bill that would have banned intoxicating cannabinoid products—but operators are nervous about the recommendations the governor made for future legislation.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Special Emphasis Panel on Psychedelics Treatment Research in Substance Use Disorder will hold a closed meeting to evaluate grant applications on July 16.

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) discussed her support for marijuana rescheduling.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted about cannabis provisions attached to the National Defense Authorization Act.


Utah regulators filed proposed changes to medical cannabis rules.

Ohio regulators have received more than 200 applications from medical cannabis businesses that want to convert to dual-use licenses to serve the recreational market.

Vermont regulators’ authority to take punitive action against a cannabis company whose products tested positive for banned substances is being challenged.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office published an annual report on tax exemptions for donations of medical cannabis.

Minnesota regulators gave a presentation on cannabis taxes.

Oregon regulators are accepting applications to serve on the Cannabis Rules Advisory Committee.

Arkansas regulators will hold a hearing on proposed changes to medical cannabis rules on Tuesday.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 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.


Baltimore, Maryland’s mayor praised Gov. Wes Moore’s (D) mass marijuana pardon.


Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is conducting a public opinion poll on whether cannabis should be reclassified as a narcotic.

The Netherlands’s regulated marijuana supply experiment has expanded to 10 cities.


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a request for proposals to conduct research on “strategies for addressing issues relating to marijuana use by safety-sensitive public transportation employees.”

A review concluded that “evidence for using cannabis-based medicines [to treat osteoarthritis] was mixed” and that “several studies also discovered that cannabis-based medicines were associated with a reduction in opioid use.”


The New York Times is asking people to share their experiences with marijuana and driving.


The Cannabist Company Holdings Inc. announced a corporate restructuring and that it is divesting from the Florida market.

Verano Holdings Corp. is moving to repurchase up to $50 million in shares.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. shareholders elected board of directors members.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of $1.90 per share.


The Cheech and Chong Global Holdings Company registered to hire lobbyists to oppose California legislation to restrict hemp-derived products.

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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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