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MN legal cannabis bill nears final passage (Newsletter: May 16, 2023)

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AZ gov signs psilocybin funding; NH lawmakers on gov’s marijuana plan; CA/DC officials talk interstate sales; Study: Legalization reduces tobacco use

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A Minnesota House-Senate conference committee charged with reconciling differences between the chambers’ marijuana legalization bills reached agreements on licensing, expungements and criminal penalties during its second meeting—but is leaving taxes and appropriations issues pending until Tuesday’s discussion.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) signed budget bills into law that include provisions to fund research on the medical potential of psilocybin mushrooms for a variety of conditions.

Top New Hampshire lawmakers are offering mixed reactions to Gov. Chris Sununu’s (R) proposal to legalize marijuana sales through a system of state-run stores—with some saying they should send it to his desk immediately and others pushing to wait until next year.

The California Department of Cannabis Control’s general counsel and a former D.C. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Board commissioner spoke about the opportunities and challenges of launching legal interstate marijuana commerce.

A new study found that states that legalize marijuana see “small, occasionally significant longer-run declines in adult tobacco use”—concluding that legalization “may generate tobacco-related health benefits.”

  • “[O]ur estimates suggest a reduction in smoking prevalence by as many as 5.1 million, translating into tobacco-related healthcare cost savings of about $10.2 billion per year.”

Missouri lawmakers sent Gov. Mike Parson (R) a bill to require all marijuana industry workers to be fingerprinted.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden touted his marijuana pardons in a commencement speech at Howard University.

Food and Drug Administration officials authored a journal article on the “potential hazards from long term oral use of CBD.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted about a study tying marijuana use to schizophrenia.

Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) wrote about her support for federal marijuana reform in a letter responding to Delaware state lawmakers.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted, “When it comes to changing laws, sustained noncompliance is more effective than voting… Marijuana is a good example. State laws have evolved due to sustained noncompliance of marijuana users, not due to elections. Eventually the federal laws will change due to sustained noncompliance of the states.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “Why shouldn’t legal cannabis shops in Nevada be able to access banking like other small businesses?  Operating cash-only is a pain for consumers, can be dangerous, and just doesn’t make sense. I’m cosponsoring the SAFE Banking Act to fix that.”

/ STATES

Vermont lawmakers sent Gov. Phil Scott (R) a bill to revise a number of marijuana rules.

Hawaii lawmakers sent Gov. Josh Green (D) a bill to decriminalize fentanyl test strips.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “Legalization would make our state safer… A federal study from the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that teen use of monitored substances – including marijuana – has decreased over the past decade.”

A New York senator sent a press release about his appointment to the new Subcommittee on Cannabis.

A Connecticut representative and another driver, who were both killed in a car accident, each had THC and alcohol in their systems.

Utah regulators filed cannabis processing and testing rules.

New Mexico courts officials discussed the process of expunging marijuana records.


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.

/ LOCAL

A judge held a hearing in Bell County, Texas’s lawsuit against Killeen’s voter-approved local marijuana decriminalization law.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malaysia’s home affairs minister said the government plans to present a drug decriminalization bill to the cabinet in July.

Malta’s government is in talks with the International Narcotics Control Board about its marijuana legalization plans.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health authorized an additional legal marijuana sales pilot program in Bern.

Thailand’s Bhumjaithai Party, which championed recently enacted cannabis reforms, won more seats than expected in Sunday’s election.

The Isle of Man’s minister for enterprise spoke about how developing the medical cannabis industry is part of a plan to diversify the economy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “a subset of [Gilles de la Tourette syndrome] subjects who use [medical cannabis] long term under clinical observation may subjectively improve control of symptoms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Consumers League cheered a journal article by Food and Drug Administration officials about the “potential hazards from long term oral use of CBD.”

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $124.5 million and a net loss of $36.6 million.

4Front Ventures Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $30.4 million and a net loss of $11.4 million.

Glass House Brands Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $29 million and a net loss of $38.8 million.

Green Thumb Industries is facing 10 union-filed complaints before the National Labor Relations Board.

Workers at Verilife dispensaries in Illinois voted to ratify their first collective bargaining agreements.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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