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Pennsylvania gov signs cannabis bill (Newsletter: December 18, 2023)



Top VA senator: Trade legal marijuana for sports stadium; DEA psychedelics ban; Prosecutors push Schedule I; Psilocybin ruling; Veterans & cannabis

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Virginia Senate President Pro Tem Louise Lucas (D) suggested that her support for Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) push to bring the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals to the state might be contingent on getting a marijuana sales legalization bill enacted.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Brian Mast (R-FL) led a letter of bipartisan lawmakers urging House Appropriations Committee leaders to ensure that provisions allowing Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis are included in the final version of a key spending bill.

A coalition of 29 former U.S. attorneys sent a letter urging the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration to keep cannabis in Schedule I—claiming that moving it to Schedule III would allow tax deductions for ads promoting “kid-friendly marijuana gummies.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) signed a bill to let medical marijuana grower-processors sell products directly to patients, and to also allow current independent dispensaries to get cultivation permits.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected a request to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to forward a psilocybin rescheduling petition to the Food and Drug Administration for a scientific and medical review.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is moving again to ban two psychedelics after previously withdrawing an effort to do so last year in the face of pushback from researchers and advocates.

A new Tax Foundation “blueprint” for marijuana suggests it would be better to tax it by potency or weight than by sales price, as many states do now. The report also projects that nationwide cannabis legalization would generate $8.5 billion a year in state revenue.

A New York assemblymember filed a bill to create a psilocybin therapy pilot program for 10,000 military veterans and first responders.

A spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line dismissed a theory that it enforces a strict ban on cannabis products on its ships in order to boost alcohol sales—saying that the idea “sounds like something someone would say when they’re high.”

Two members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission authored an op-ed about the importance of a state law protecting people from being automatically denied employment in the marijuana industry due to past convictions.

Maren Schroeder of High Level Strategies authored an op-ed calling on Minnesota to guarantee the right to legal counsel for people accused of petty misdemeanors such as minor violations of cannabis laws—which can have consequences for immigration, education and housing.


Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) spoke about Ohio voters’ decision to legalize marijuana.

The son of Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) is facing a homicide charge following a car crash that killed a North Dakota sheriff’s deputy, along with charges of possessing marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) predicted that federal marijuana prohibition will end this decade.

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 97.

The House bill to federally legalize marijuana got three new cosponsors for a total of 79.

The House bill to federally legalize state-legal marijuana activity got one new cosponsor for a total of five.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said that if the House of Representatives had followed the Senate in approving a bill to change the voter-approved marijuana legalization law, adult-use sales could have launched at medical cannabis dispensaries early in 2024. Separately, several lawmakers discussed the prospects for passing reform legislation in the coming weeks.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said his new deputy chief of staff will focus in part on cannabis policy.

The New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee approved an Assembly-passed bill to impose a $50 fine on people under 21 caught with marijuana or alcohol, and to allow police to notify parents or guardians of those under 18.

Several Indiana lawmakers included questions about marijuana in their constituent surveys.

Mississippi regulators filed revised medical cannabis rules.

Massachusetts regulators voted to ease marijuana delivery rules and to extend waivers allowing medical cannabis recommendations to be issued via telehealth.

Alaska officials adopted new rules on revocation of marijuana acceptance and transportation.

Oregon regulators voted to delay implementation of marijuana plant batch tagging.

Colorado regulators published average market rates for retail marijuana.

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.


Portland, Oregon officials are seeking people to serve on the Cannabis Policy Oversight Team.


Two cities in The Netherlands launched pilot programs for regulated marijuana sales.

The parliamentary group leader of the German Social Democratic Party said a vote on marijuana legalization legislation “will come at the beginning of 2024.”

Ghana’s Parliament approved a hemp legalization bill.


A study found that oil-based full-spectrum medicinal cannabis plant extract is “well-tolerated and safe, with potential clinical benefits in improving disruptive behaviours and reducing anxiety in children with [autism spectrum disorder]-related symptoms.”


Whitney Economics published preliminary results of a survey on delinquent payments in the cannabis industry.


Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of $1.82 per share.


Actor Matthew Perry died from “acute effects of ketamine,” according to the Los Angeles County, California medical examiner’s office.

Wrestler Liv Morgan was arrested for marijuana possession.

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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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