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Progressives plan cannabis votes under Democratic majority (Newsletter: April 23, 2024)



Poll: Marijuana safer than alcohol & tobacco; SC medical cannabis hearing; CO legalization support grows; Senator treaty pushback; VT safe consumption

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The Congressional Progressive Caucus included marijuana legalization and expungements in a new agenda it says Democrats “can pass with congressional majorities” if they keep the Senate and retake the House in the November elections.

A new poll finds that three in five Americans think marijuana is safer than alcohol or tobacco—and that a majority support legalizing cannabis.

Two new polls show that Colorado voters’ support for legalizing marijuana is significantly higher now than when they approved the reform on the ballot in 2012—with a majority saying it has a positive economic impact and generates important tax revenue.

Hawaii lawmakers sent Gov. Josh Green (D) legislation to facilitate expungements of past marijuana offenses, but the Senate rejected a bill that would have expanded the state’s limited cannabis decriminalization law.

A South Carolina House committee will hold a hearing on a Senate-passed medical cannabis legalization bill on Tuesday—earning praise from U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), though members will only take testimony from law enforcement and the medical community.

Cannabis businesses and advocacy groups like Acreage, Cresco, Green Thumb Industries, Trulieve and Marijuana Policy Project sent a letter calling out Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT) “inaccurate claims” about marijuana rescheduling being blocked by international treaties.

Two Vermont Senate committees approved a House-passed bill to legalize and fund safe consumption sites for illegal drugs, with a new amendment to limit it to a pilot program involving one facility.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill to let people apply to have their marijuana conviction records sealed.

Montana lawmakers failed to override Gov. Greg Gianforte’s (R) veto of a bill to reallocate marijuana tax revenue.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) announced awards of more than $2.3 million in funding through the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund following a long delay in launching the program.


Sen. John Fetterman (D-PA) discussed his support for legalizing marijuana.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) said marijuana expungements “should be more of a state issue.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, “In the past 24 hours, @JoeBiden has tweeted about legalizing marijuana & his attacks on Donald Trump. NOT ONE WORD about the horrific #Antisemitism we’re seeing at #Columbia & #Yale & across the country. Why not??? Will any Dems call him out?”

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) tweeted, “Americans shouldn’t have to give the U.S. government their fingerprints just to grow hemp.”


Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) said that voters may have rejected a medical cannabis legalization initiative if they knew how the program would turn out.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) tweeted, “Our budget supports our hard-working dispensary owners by giving the state & localities tools to shut down illicit storefronts.” Separately, an assemblymember discussed her psychedelics legalization bill.

The Colorado Senate Health & Human Services Committee rejected a bill to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs. Separately, a former Senate majority leader authored an op-ed urging Republicans in Congress to support a marijuana banking bill.

A North Carolina senator launched a campaign ad about his support for marijuana legalization.

Illinois regulators filed changes to cannabis rules.

Minnesota regulators published guidance for events with on-site marijuana consumption.

Missouri regulators published a newsletter about various marijuana issues.

Michigan regulators are asking cannabis businesses to fill out a survey on the track and trace system.

Vermont regulators will consider recommendations for marijuana business licensure on Wednesday.

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.


The Sonoma County, California Board of Supervisors approved changes to cannabis tax rates.

Honolulu, Hawaii’s prosecutor is raising concerns about a state bill to expand marijuana decriminalization.


Germany’s Federal Court of Justice is maintaining a prior limit to determine what a “significant amount” of cannabis is even in light of the nation’s new legalization law.

Slovenia’s National Assembly voted to put a medical cannabis referendum on the ballot.


A study of rats found that “cannabidiol improves maternal obesity-induced behavioral, neuroinflammatory and neurochemical dysfunctions in the juvenile offspring.”

A review concluded that “psilocybin has also been demonstrated to be an effective treatment for people with [substance use disorders] and non-substance-related addictions.”


The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee tweeted, “Just this month, members of the Pennsylvania House became the latest Dem-led chamber to introduce a bill to legalize cannabis.”


Curaleaf Holdings., Inc. completed its acquisition of Northern Green Canada.

Eaze’s CEO said the company would “gladly increase our employee pay rates” if it saw a reduction in government fees.

A receiver has been appointed to oversee the sales of High Times’s assets to settle outstanding debts.

Dutchie experienced outages on 4/20.

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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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