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MN cannabis legalization goes to gov’s desk (Newsletter: May 22, 2023)



Fed health official: regulate marijuana; Schumer on SAFE; MD gov signs child neglect & cannabis bill; MN legalizes paraphernalia; PA legalization bill

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The Minnesota Senate sent a marijuana legalization bill to the desk of Gov. Tim Walz (D), who has pledged to sign it into law. The state is now just one signature away from being the 23rd in the U.S. to legalize cannabis.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said that in order to reduce marijuana’s potential harms, officials need to be “regulating the products that are being sold”—which is only possible under legalization.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) again spoke on the floor about the importance of adding “critical criminal justice provisions” such as expungements to marijuana banking legislation.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed legislation to make it so the lawful and responsible use of marijuana by parents and guardians will not be construed by state officials as child “neglect.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed a bill legalizing possession of drug paraphernalia, small amounts of drug residue, syringe services and testing.

Bipartisan Pennsylvania senators announced they are filing a new marijuana legalization bill this session.

The Louisiana House Labor Committee approved a bill to protect patients from losing unemployment compensation benefits as a result of their legal medical cannabis use.

Bipartisan Montana lawmakers are pushing the Legislative Services Division to reconsider a legal opinion that concluded they cannot vote on overriding the Gov. Greg Gianforte’s (R)  veto of a bill to reallocate how marijuana revenue is spent.


The Department of Justice and lawyers for a proposed safe consumption site for illegal drugs in Philadelphia agreed to yet another delay in the case—a reversal in position for Safehouse, which previously said it would no longer agree to continually pushing back the deadline.

A Food and Drug Administration official said that concerns over CBD’s potential for reproductive harms were a major driver in the agency’s decision that it could not regulate the substance under existing frameworks.

Federal judges rejected the Drug Enforcement Administration’s motions to dismiss lawsuits brought by ayahuasca churches that are seeking religious use exemptions from federal prosecution.

The Drug Enforcement Administration defended its decision to deny a petition to reschedule psilocybin in a filing in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Former Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) coauthored an op-ed arguing that banks should work with marijuana businesses.


The New Hampshire House of Representatives defeated an amendment to add marijuana legalization language to an unrelated bill on Medicaid expansion.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted that Minnesota’s “historic vote just a hop over the Mississippi River is yet another reminder of what can be – come on #Wisconsin – let’s #LegalizeIt 🌱 and make Wisconsin more safe, prosperous, and honor our liberty.”

The South Dakota legislature’s Executive Board approved new members of the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee.

North Carolina House committees could begin considering a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill as soon as this week.

A Nebraska senator gave a floor speech about her efforts to put medical cannabis on the ballot amid lawmakers’ refusal to advance legislation on the issue.

Illinois regulators are being sued by licensed marijuana transporters over an alleged failure to address illegal cannabis delivery operations.

An Oklahoma judge granted an injunction lifting the suspension of a medical cannabis testing lab’s license.

New York’s top marijuana regulator said the “slow rollout” of legal recreational sales “is the product of a choice that we have made as a state.”

New Jersey regulators approved the state’s first recreational-only marijuana dispensaries that do not also serve the medical cannabis market.

The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis announced that nearly $40 million dollars will be transferred to a fund created by the state’s voter-approved drug decriminalization law to support addiction recovery services, a move resulting from criminal justice system savings related to reduced enforcement.

Rhode Island regulators said they are aware of a marijuana business billboard next to the highway and are “evaluating its compliance” with state law.

Georgia regulators will consider issuing medical cannabis business licenses on Wednesday.

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.


Seattle, Washington’s city attorney is asking the City Council to pass a measure locally criminalizing public drug use and possession.

The Trinity County, California sheriff’s department is under fire over a video of an officer shooting a dog during a raid on a licensed marijuana cultivation operation.


Spain’s minister of health said he will issue a report allowing the use of medical cannabis in the National Health System by the end of this month.

Australian Green Party lawmakers conducted an online survey that found 98 percent of respondents support legalizing cannabis.

British Columbia, Canada’s government is repealing visibility rules that made it so marijuana products were not allowed to be seen by people passing by stores.


A review concluded that “most studies found no significant association between [recreational cannabis legalization] and changes in cannabis use among youth in European countries, Uruguay, the US, and Canada” but that “some studies have reported increases in cannabis use among youth and adults in the US and Canada, although these increases seem to predate RCL.”

A study of medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania found that “patients who identified as Black/African-American were less likely to have medical cannabis certifications” and that “males and Black/African-Americans were more likely to report smoking cannabis (vs other forms) and to purchase cannabis from an unlicensed dealer/seller.”


The Seattle Times editorial board said that now that Washington State lawmakers have passed a law to avoid drug decriminalization, the “hard work” of ensuring access to treatment begins.

A Drug Policy Alliance staffer authored a paper calling on President Joe Biden to issue an equity action plan for marijuana reform.


Curaleaf Inc. agreed to pay $100,000 to settle a lawsuit from customers who claimed that they inadvertently bought cannabis drops that contained high amounts of THC even though they were labeled as CBD products.

Organigram Holdings Inc. announced that its subsidiary The Edibles and Infusions Corporation met remaining earnout milestones that were part of the terms of its acquisition.

Canadian retailers sold C$405.5 million worth of legal cannabis products in March.

New York retailers have sold more than $16.5 million worth of legal recreational marijuana products since sales launched in December.

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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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