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Pennsylvania cannabis legalization has enough votes to pass, senators say (Newsletter: June 20, 2024)



Senate Job Corps & marijuana bill; AZ psilocybin veto; NH legalization; DE cannabis licenses; ND ballot sigs; Study on Reddit & cannabis

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Sens. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Jack Reed (D-RI) filed a bill to protect Job Corps participants from being automatically expelled for marijuana use, building on separate cannabis drug testing reforms the program already instituted earlier this year.

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) vetoed a bill to legalize psilocybin service centers where people could have received the psychedelic in a medically supervised setting, saying people with depression and PTSD shouldn’t be the “subject of experiments for unproven therapies.”

The North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee added an amendment to legalize medical cannabis to a House-passed bill that’s focused on restricting intoxicating hemp-derived products and kratom.

Bipartisan Pennsylvania senators said they think there are enough votes to pass a marijuana legalization bill—as soon as this session—but that Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) needs to get more involved in crafting the details of a deal.

New Hampshire lawmakers and marijuana activists are blaming one another for the failure of a legalization bill last week, with some accusing Democrats of defeating the reform so it can continue to be a campaign issue leading up to November’s elections.

The Delaware House of Representatives amended and passed a bill to let medical cannabis businesses convert to dual licensees that could also sell recreational marijuana—but only if they have a labor peace agreement and a plan to support social equity.

North Dakota marijuana activists say they are just a few hundred more signatures away from being able to qualify a legalization initiative for the November ballot.

A new study found that “young people viewed Reddit as a viable outlet for conversations about cannabis” and that they “formed a sense of camaraderie by providing support in the comments”—but that there is often a “lack of verifiable information being exchanged.”

Chelsea Higgs Wise of Marijuana Justice argues in a new Juneteenth op-ed for Marijuana Moment that President Joe Biden should build on his modest cannabis reforms by endorsing reparations for people harmed by the war on drugs.

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is facing a federal lawsuit from two companies who say new rules restricting hemp-derived THC-infused drinks will unduly harm their businesses.


The Congressional Progressive Caucus celebrated Maryland’s mass marijuana pardon, tweeting, “Congress needs to pass @RepJerryNadler’s MORE Act to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge marijuana convictions, and reinvest in our communities.”

Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MD) tweeted, “Thank you @GovWesMoore for your leadership and for taking this bold step to remove barriers for Black and Brown people who are disproportionately affected by cannabis convictions.  317,793 Americans are arrested annually for possession of marijuana.”

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) tweeted, “By the ACLU’s estimates, Black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts.  This [mass cannabis pardon] decision by @GovWesMoore is a victory for justice and equality not just in Maryland, but for the entire country.”

Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA) tweeted, “Its time we be honest—while we celebrate the abolition of slavery, we also recognize that the systems created by it still persist. The legacy of Jim Crow, the war on drugs, and the prison-industrial complex have still embedded anti-Blackness into our laws and society.”


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill to give Black farmers more time to fix errors on medical cannabis business license applications.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill to require criminal background checks for owners and employees of medical cannabis businesses.

The Montana legislature’s Economic Affairs Interim Committee is considering a proposal to enact a moratorium on marijuana dispensary licenses.

A Nebraska senator suggested he will push for marijuana legalization legislation during an upcoming special session.

Two additional top New York marijuana regulators have been removed from their jobs.

The Maryland Commission on Civil Rights said it “fully supports” Gov. Wes Moore’s (D) mass marijuana pardon.

Minnesota regulators published a cannabis equity business license preapproval verification guide. Separately, the Cannabis Advisory Council will meet on Thursday.

Michigan regulators will discuss the results of a survey on the state’s marijuana tracking program on Thursday.

Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,500 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.


Chicago, Illinois’s mayor signed an executive order establishing a Reparations Task Force that notes that “Black people make up only 14% of Illinois’ population, but 55% of the prison population, and are convicted at nearly twice the rate of White people for low-level possession offenses despite similar rates of drug use.”


Jersey ministers told lawmakers they need more time to draft marijuana decriminalization legislation.

Canadian marijuana businesses owe C$269.8 million in unpaid taxes.


A review concluded that “preliminary studies demonstrate a significant fraction of airborne particles in cannabis facilities are comprised of fungal spores, bacteria, and plant material, which may also contain hazardous microbial metabolites and allergens” and that “these bioaerosols may pose pathogenic, allergenic, toxigenic, and pro-inflammatory risks to workers.”


The chair of the Florida Democratic Party criticized regulators for sending medical cannabis patients an email blast praising Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for signing the state budget into law.


The Portland Pickles announced that they are the first sports team to sell hemp-derived THC products at a live sporting event.

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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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