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New federal cannabis research center (Newsletter: October 30, 2023)



Lawmakers press DEA on descheduling; Drug testing company removes marijuana; Fed court psilocybin ruling; CA psychedelics; WI medical cannabis

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The National Institutes of Health is funding the creation of a new Resource Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research that will “address challenges and barriers” to studying marijuana under federal prohibition and Schedule I.

A bipartisan group of 31 members of Congress sent a letter urging the Drug Enforcement Administration to “recognize the merits of full descheduling” of marijuana as the agency conducts its review into the federal classification of cannabis.

Major drug testing company Psychemedics is replacing marijuana with fentanyl in its advanced five-panel screen, saying that traditional tests are “rooted in a four-decade-old paradigm” and “have failed to evolve” as more states legalize cannabis.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the Drug Enforcement Administration improperly failed to explain its reasoning when denying a petition to reschedule psilocybin.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) is speaking out against the marijuana legalization initiative on the November 7 ballot as polls show voters are poised to approve it and new campaign finance reports reveal that supporters have outraised opponents.

California activists filed an initiative they hope to put on the 2024 ballot that would legalize psychedelics for medical, therapeutic and spiritual use. It comes as two other psychedelics measures also seek ballot access and after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed a legalization bill.

A Wisconsin Republican senator said her work to build support for a medical cannabis bill is being undermined by the Democratic minority leader’s push for broader marijuana legalization. But the Democrat argued that the GOP, which has a supermajority, has only itself to blame for the lack of progress and could legalize medical access whenever it wants..

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission is resetting the business licensing process by rescinding all previous awards and denials amid ongoing litigation.

The Missouri NAACP is threatening to file a lawsuit over marijuana social equity business agreements that effectively use people impacted by prohibition as figureheads to win licenses while larger companies keep the resulting profits.


Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) discussed marijuana banking legislation in a meeting with leaders of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce.

Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-WI) wrote about pollution at illegal marijuana grow sites in a newsletter.

The Senate resolution calling on Russia to free an American detained for possessing medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of five.

The House bill to allow Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of 27.


Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) cited marijuana legalization as a popular social justice issue that Democrats were able to implement in the state.

New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on gaps in enforcing marijuana rules.

A Georgia representative announced plans to file a marijuana legalization bill.

New York senators are pushing for greater transparency about ownership of unlicensed marijuana businesses.

New Jersey Senate and Assembly candidates participated in a town hall meeting at a marijuana dispensary.

Alabama’s top medical cannabis regulator pushed back against a Politico report that suggested lawmakers may “scrap” the state’s program.

The head Maryland’s Office of Social Equity discussed efforts to ensure that people from traditionally marginalized communities have an opportunity to participate in the marijuana industry.

Massachusetts marijuana equity regulations took effect.

California regulators published a discussion paper on cannabis tax issues ahead of an interested parties meeting on November 16.

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.


The Kansas City, Missouri City Council voted to use $500,000 in marijuana revenue to fund housing for people during cold weather.

An Olmsted County, Minnesota commissioner was appointed to the state Cannabis Advisory Committee.


The UK Home Office accepted recommendations on legal levels of THC and other cannabinoids in CBD products.

A Colombian representative posted a guide to police encounters for cannabis consumers.


A study found that “purified CBD is well-tolerated and effective in reducing seizure frequency in children and young adults with” drug-resistant epilepsy.

A study of Colorado high school students found that “retail distribution of recreational marijuana was not significantly associated with the prevalence of any marijuana use or” driving after marijuana use.


A poll of Americans found that 18 percent have used marijuana for health reasons in the past year, 19 percent have consumed recreationally and 65 percent would feel more comfortable using cannabis if it were screened and dosed by a clinician.


COMPASS Pathways plc’s chief financial officer is leaving the company.


Boxer Keyshawn Davis was suspended over a positive marijuana test.

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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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