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New Biden exec order touts cannabis actions (Newsletter: February 20, 2023)



Fed study: Teen marijuana use down as more states legalize; OK psilocybin vote; MD sales regs hearing; SAFE Banking op-ed

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President Joe Biden signed a new executive order focused on racial equity that touts his actions to “correct our country’s failed approach to marijuana.”

A new federal study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that marijuana use by high school students is trending downward over time as more states legalize it for adults—contrary to fears long expressed by prohibitionists.

The Oklahoma House Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances Committee approved a bill to protect people who use psilocybin to treat certain medical conditions from prosecution and to expand research on the psychedelic’s potential benefits.

The Maryland House Economic Matters Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a regulatory framework for marijuana sales following voters’ approval of a legalization ballot referendum.

Marijuana Leadership Campaign lobbyist Don Murphy authored a Marijuana Moment op-ed laying out what he says are “ten new reasons to be bullish” on the 118th Congress passing cannabis banking legislation.

The director of Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use told lawmakers that the state’s registered patient count has grown 71 percent over the past two years.


The U.S. State Department issued a security alert about Hong Kong’s ban on CBD.

An Internal Revenue Service official reportedly clarified that the agency will not automatically challenge Section 199A qualified business income deductions claimed by cannabis business owners.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), along with House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), filed legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) said he hopes he can get his veterans cannabis research legislation attached to a package including marijuana banking, but Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) expressed skepticism about the idea and cosponsor Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) said he would rather see the veterans measure advance on its own.

The House bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of three.

The House bill to protect gun rights for medical cannabis patients for one new cosponsor for a total of five.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) promoted a video on the dangers of marijuana and other drugs that he said is “designed to pack a punch.”

A spokesperson for Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) said he would likely sign a marijuana legalization bill if one gets to his desk even though several state departments expressed concerns about specific legislation that advanced in the Senate last week.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said “creating a market for cannabis is very complicated” and that it’s up to lawmakers to figure it out.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) discussed his opposition to the marijuana legalization initiative on the March 7 ballot and called on the federal government to “make a decision” about cannabis. Separately, the attorney  general also spoke out against the measure. And a representative participated in a town hall event about the proposal.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said he thinks lawmakers will send him “a bill that will not decriminalize drugs” and instead “focus on getting people into treatment, but maintain the ability to give them an incentive to go into treatment.”

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) appointed a new state drug czar and announced support for legislation to increase penalties for people who sell drugs.

Colorado’s Senate president previewed plans for legislation to place limits on possession and home cultivation rights created under the state’s voter-approved psychedelics legalization initiative and to provide regulations for healing centers where people can receive supervised psilocybin services.

The New Mexico House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to allow firefighters and other workers to use medical cannabis without fear of losing their jobs. Several other marijuana reform bills are also being considered this session.

An Indiana senator tweeted, “A hearing on cannabis decriminalization is a good start, but a vote on the bill would be even better. In 2023 it shouldn’t be controversial to say we shouldn’t be criminalizing simple possession of cannabis.”

A former Utah representative authored an op-ed calling on lawmakers to legalize medical access to psilocybin.

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission Board of Commissioners chairman stepped down.

New York regulators are asking a federal appeals court to overturn an injunction on issuing marijuana dispensary licenses in certain areas of the state.

Illinois regulators sent a warning about scams targeting marijuana social equity business license applicants.

Ohio regulators are looking to engage subject-matter experts to evaluate petitions to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Marijuana Moment is tracking hundreds of 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.


An unlicensed New York City marijuana retailer operating across the street from City Hall was fined $50,000 and a worker was arrested.

The district attorneys of several Oklahoma counties criticized the expungements provisions of the marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s March 7 ballot.


Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questioned the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction to investigate the nation’s bloody “war on drugs. Meanwhile, the court’s prosecutor is opposing the country’s request to suspend the probe.

Spain’s Congress of Deputies is expected to debate a marijuana reform bill on Tuesday.

The UK Labour Party’s shadow justice secretary said “we’re not going to be legalizing drugs.”


A review concluded that “in companion animals, CBD appears to have good bioavailability and safety profile with few side effects at physiological doses” and that “some dog studies have found CBD to improve clinical signs associated with osteoarthritis, pruritus, and epilepsy.”

A case study of a woman with complex dissociative posttraumatic stress disorder “underscores the potential of [cannabis-assisted psychotherapy] as a therapeutic option, leading to robust and sustained improvement.”


ASTM International’s cannabis committee is developing new standards on quality and materials control for the marijuana industry.

The New York Post editorial board criticized the state’s “growing triple-standards” with varying restrictions for marijuana, alcohol and tobacco.


Curaleaf’s alleged ties to Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich are now being looked into by Vermont regulators.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. sent an update on restructuring efforts, including a 34 percent payroll cost reduction and examination of potential sale of assets in Arizona, Illinois  and Nevada.


Seth Meyers made fun of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Fox News host Laura Ingraham for suggesting that marijuana may have something to do with a recent train derailment and criticizing the legalization movement.

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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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