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MN cannabis bill debated on House floor (Newsletter: April 25, 2023)



USDA reports hemp decline; NC speaker: Medical marijuana decision soon; Pharmacists org backs drug decrim; Jersey cops fired for cannabis; CO loans

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The Minnesota House of Representatives began debating a marijuana legalization bill on the floor after the measure cleared 15 committees this session. Members considered nearly two dozen amendments, rejecting most and adopting a handful. The body will vote on final passage on Tuesday morning as a Senate companion measure goes before its last panel stop before heading to the floor in that chamber—which is expected later this week.

Three new polls show that a strong majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Hemp Report shows that the value of hemp production has dropped 71 percent from a year ago—and industry stakeholders are blaming the Food and Drug Administration’s refusal to enact regulations for CBD products.

  • Floral hemp production fell 66 percent, grain hemp dipped 44 percent, fiber hemp declined by 34 percent, seed hemp plummeted 92 percent and hemp clones/transplants were down 94 percent.

North Carolina’s House speaker says there’s a “better chance of passing” a medical cannabis legalization bill “this year than in any time in the past” and that “within the next month we should know” whether there are enough votes to get the Senate-passed legislation through his chamber.

The American Pharmacists Association is endorsing decriminalization of all drugs.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced a new loan program for social equity cannabis businesses that’s supported by an initial $1 million investment.

Four Jersey City, New Jersey police officers who were fired for testing positive for marijuana are preparing to file a lawsuit over what they say is unlawful termination under the state’s legalization law and an attorney general memo that protects off-duty use.

Washington State lawmakers failed to agree on legislation to extend the criminalization of drug possession that is set to expire in July. Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who opposes decriminalization, is likely to call a special session to address the issue.


President Joe Biden noted his administration’s efforts to address “our failed approach to marijuana” in a statement about White House Domestic Policy Council Director Susan Rice stepping down.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a new public service announcement about the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) said in a Senate floor speech that “if you had told me 20 years ago that in 2023 we would be living in a country that was legalizing marijuana and banning abortion, I would not have believed it.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) tweeted, “Law-abiding cannabis shops shouldn’t have to worry about getting broken into or robbed because they’re forced to only accept cash under current federal law. We’ve got to pass my bipartisan #SAFEBanking Act to help keep cannabis shops safe from attacks.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “I’m working to get the SAFE Banking Act signed into law this year. Legal cannabis businesses must be able to access the financial services they need—operating in cash is dangerous. I’ll continue to work to ensure all our cannabis reforms are rooted in restorative justice.”


Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill requiring medical cannabis growers to hold a $50,000 bond.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) expressed optimism about being able to work with Republicans on medical cannabis, but said he continues to support broader marijuana legalization.

Tennessee lawmakers approved a bill to designate “Copperhead Road” by Steve Earle, which is about a Vietnam veteran who grows marijuana, as an official state song.

Pennsylvania’s Senate majority leader said it’s too “early to tell” if Republicans would be willing to support any form of legal marijuana.

The New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a House-passed bil to defelonize drug possession.

A New York assemblymember filed a bill to allow cannabis cultivators to sell products directly to consumers.

A former Connecticut senator who voted against legalizing marijuana is now funding a cannabis cultivation operation that was granted a license by the state’s Social Equity Council.

New Jersey’s top cannabis regulator spoke about ongoing efforts to oversee the legal market.

Georgia’s top medical cannabis regulator said patient access is “imminent.”

California regulators circulated tips about how cannabis consumers can support equity businesses. Separately, the Cannabis Advisory Committee’s Equity Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday.

Nevada regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Tuesday.

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.


Minneapolis, Minnesota’s mayor tweeted, “Today is a great day to vote to legalize recreational marijuana in MN.”

The mayors of 32 Washington State cities sent a letter to state lawmakers expressing concerns about recent changes to legislation on the penalties for drug possession.


Luxembourg’s minister of health said the government will soon file marijuana legalization legislation.

Singapore is scheduled to execute a man convicted of trafficking marijuana on Wednesday.


A study found that “CBGA ameliorates inflammation and fibrosis in nephropathy.”

The results of a study on rats “show promise for CBD to reduce enhanced fear-related behavior associated with comorbid [alcohol use disorder] and PTSD.”


The Hemp Industries Association, National Industrial Hemp Council, U.S. Hemp Roundtable and other industry organizations agreed on a united plan of action for the 2023 Farm Bill.


SNDL Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$240.4 million and a loss of C$160.2 million.

Dutchie is promising to provide its marijuana business clients with “an amount equivalent to our estimate of your lost profits” that occurred during an outage of its services on 4/20.


Berner addressed lawsuits his company Cookies is facing.

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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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