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New fed cannabis enforcement memo coming? (Newsletter: May 3, 2024)



House Dems vs GOP on marijuana; Farm Bill hemp reforms; Cannabis rescheduling lawsuit; VT safe consumption; SAFE Banking poll; CO psychedelics speech

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Former Deputy Attorney General James Cole and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke about the possibility that new federal marijuana enforcement guidance could accompany the rescheduling move—and whether it could address interstate commerce.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) said the federal move to reschedule marijuana is “a step in the right direction” that lawmakers should build on—but Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said the cannabis reform will be “making matters worse.”

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee’s new Farm Bill summary says it “lowers regulatory barriers for farmers who are growing industrial hemp for grain and fiber” and removes the ban on people with felony drug convictions from participating in the industry.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana is raising money for a “Rescheduling Legal Defense Fund” that it will use to challenge the federal decision to move cannabis to Schedule III—including through potential litigation.

The Vermont Senate approved a bill to legalize and fund a safe consumption site for illegal drugs, sending it back to the House for consideration of recent amendments.

The sponsor of a Colorado bill that could have forced social media platforms to ban users who post positively about psychedelics and other drugs that are legal under state law withdrew the proposal for the session in response to advocates’ criticism.

A new poll commissioned by Independent Community Bankers of America found that 64 percent of Americans think passing a marijuana banking bill would improve public safety and that 54 percent say it would help underserved communities.

The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission is touting “significant growth” in marijuana sales, with first quarter 2024 purchases up 38 percent since last year and new “historical highs” in purchases over the 4/20 weekend.

A New Jersey appeals court ruled that the state’s marijuana legalization program does not violate federal law, rejecting a challenge that sought to block cannabis businesses from opening in Highland Park.


Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius applauded the federal marijuana rescheduling decision.

The U.S. attorney for North Dakota said federal marijuana rescheduling won’t have much impact on his prosecution strategy.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) inserted comments into the Congressional Record about his new marijuana legalization bill.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) said Republican opposition to including marijuana banking provisions in an aviation bill is “very strong.”

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) said marijuana reform is “inevitable.”

Rep. Earl Blumenbauer (D-OR) said the slow implementation of a marijuana research law he sponsored is “embarrassing.”

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 116.


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill concerning the definition of hemp.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) swore in the Senate-confirmed director of the Maryland Cannabis Administration.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke about the issue of expediting recreational marijuana cultivation.

A Texas representative posted a video opposing the marijuana decriminalization initiative on the Lubbock ballot.

Arkansas activists say they are on pace to collect the needed number of signatures to place a medical cannabis expansion initiative on the November ballot.

New York regulators are being sued again over their marijuana business licensing process. Separately, the Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Tuesday.

Delaware regulators filed proposed marijuana rules.

Utah regulators filed hemp transportation rules.

Maine’s top marijuana regulator spoke about a new law aimed at reconciling conflicting cannabis policies.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 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.


Atlantic City, New Jersey voters will decide on a November ballot question on expanding where marijuana businesses can be located.

A New York City Council member posted a video about efforts to combat unlicensed marijuana businesses.

Denver, Colorado officials posted a summary of the latest Natural Medicine Work Group meeting.


Swiss activists launched a marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s medical officer of health defended the city’s plan to decriminalize drugs from criticism. Separately, Saskatchewan officials said the province has no desire to decriminalize.

South Australia’s attorney general is touting new police powers to crack down on illegal marijuana growers.


A review concluded that “CBD can exert its antitumor effect by regulating the cell cycle, inducing tumor cell apoptosis and autophagy, and inhibiting tumor cell invasion, migration, and angiogenesis.”

A study suggests that “CBD and [beta-caryophyllene] work in concert to produce a major anti-inflammatory effect with good safety profiles.”


The National Conference of State Legislatures sent a letter urging the Department of Justice to “prioritize the removal of cannabis from Schedule I.”

Representatives of NORML and Smart Approaches to Marijuana debated on C-SPAN.


SNDL Inc. announced that the SunStream USA group of companies intends to proceed with the acquisition of equity positions in U.S. cannabis assets.

Sunnyside workers in Chicago, Illinois voted to join Teamsters Local 777.


Stephen Colbert joked about the federal marijuana rescheduling decision.

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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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