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NY cannabis hearing focuses on legal market challenges (Newsletter: October 31, 2023)



POTUS candidate Dean Phillips on marijuana; MA psychedelics ballot signatures; OH legalization polls; Australian drug decrim takes effect

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Marijuana Moment compiled a deep dive on where Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) stands on marijuana and psychedelics. He’s sponsored and voted for numerous reform measures in Congress, including legalization and banking legislation.

Several New York Senate committees held a joint hearing on the state’s challenges in rolling out its legal marijuana market.

Massachusetts activists believe they’ve already collected enough valid voter signatures to force lawmakers to consider a psychedelics legalization measure next year. If the legislature doesn’t act, the campaign can continue petitioning to put the initiative on the 2024 ballot.

A new poll shows that 59 percent of Ohio voters plan to vote yes on the marijuana legalization initiative on next week’s ballot.  A separate new survey finds that two-thirds of voters in the state back the idea of legalizing cannabis in general.

A new Australian Capital Territory law decriminalizing drug possession took effect despite a last-ditch effort to block it by national lawmakers.

The former chairman of the Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee said he thinks the Senate president removed him from the leadership position to punish him for holding hearings on medical cannabis legalization.

A Missouri senator is urging the Division of Cannabis Regulation and state attorney general to investigate potentially “fraudulent” social equity business agreements that use people impacted by prohibition as figureheads to win licenses while larger companies keep the resulting profits.

An employee at New York’s first legal marijuana dispensary is in jail at Rikers Island, awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania to face a cannabis-related felony charge.


The White House hosted a summit on preventing youth substance use.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he doesn’t think House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) will be open to advancing marijuana reform legislation.

Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC) tweeted, “The rapid increase of folks driving while high is endangering our communities and putting unnecessary strain on #NC11 law enforcement. The Stop Pot Act will uphold federal marijuana laws and help curb the drug-impaired auto fatalities that hurt citizens in our district.”


California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and San Francisco’s mayor, along with other local officials, are forming a new task force that will investigate some opioid overdose deaths as homicides with the expectation of pursuing murder charges against sellers.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) tweeted, “We know that Kansans of both parties support expanding Medicaid and legalizing medical marijuana. It’s time for the #ksleg to listen to their constituents and send me two bills that I can sign this next legislative session.”

Kentucky treasurer candidates discussed their views on medical cannabis and marijuana legalization.

An Arkansas judge ruled that the sale of a medical cannabis dispensary can move forward after the seller tried to back out of the transaction.

The Minnesota House Research Department published a report on the state’s medical cannabis program.

Florida regulators initiated rulemaking on hemp issues.

Illinois regulators issued a bulletin about changes to municipal and county cannabis taxes.

Montana regulators posted guidance about fingerprint requirements for marijuana business owners and employees.

Washington State regulators are accepting proposals from companies and consultants that want to develop and administer a cannabis social equity technical assistance and grant program.

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.


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada police raided the offices of the Drug User Liberation Front, which openly tests and distributes illegal drugs in an effort to avoid overdoses.


A review concluded that “there is some evidence to suggest efficacy of endocannabinoid system modulation for promotion of wound healing, attenuation of cutaneous disorder-related inflammation, and for the management of chronic wound-related pain.”


A poll of Canadian adults found that 64 percent agree with marijuana being legal and 69 percent back expungements for past convictions, but that only a small minority backs legalizing other drugs such as MDMA, cocaine and heroin.

The United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters are criticizing management-aligned, “fake” labor unions in the cannabis industry.


Meta Platforms Inc. is ignoring its Oversight Board’s advice to tighten up enforcement on drug-related posts on Facebook and Instagram.

Trulieve WV is being sued by a former employee who says he experienced retaliation and wrongful termination after alerting regulators to alleged illegal activity at a medical cannabis growing facility.

SNDL Inc. and Nova Cannabis Inc. again extended the outside date for the closing of their strategic partnership to November 30.


Method Man’s TICAL Official cannabis brand is launching in Missouri.

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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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