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RFK Jr. hits DeSantis over cannabis (Newsletter: June 27, 2023)



UN experts push drug decrim; MD gov previews legalization launch; MN marijuana expungement board; Psychedelics poll; Rescheduling report

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Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. slammed Republican contender Ron DeSantis for his opposition to decriminalizing marijuana, saying that he’d change current “absurd” federal cannabis policies if elected—though he declined Bill Maher’s offer to smoke a joint during an interview.

A coalition of United Nations special rapporteurs appointed by the Human Rights Council are calling for global drug decriminalization.

Maryland’s legalization of marijuana takes effect on Saturday, with most of the state’s existing medical cannabis dispensaries set to launch recreational sales—and Gov. Wes Moore (D) is pledging to keep the focus on equity and economic growth.

The Minnesota Supreme Court is accepting applications from people who want to serve on the Cannabis Expungement Board being created by the state’s new marijuana legalization law.

A new poll from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics shows that 61 percent of U.S. voters support legalizing psychedelic therapy, 49 percent back decriminalizing personal use and 78 percent want fewer barriers to psychedelics research.

The Coalition for Cannabis Scheduling Reform argues in a new report that the Biden administration really only has two viable options in its marijuana review—full descheduling or moving cannabis to Schedule  III, IV or IV—and it outlines the benefits of each.

Montana lawmakers overrode Gov. Greg Gianforte’s (R) veto of a bill to redistribute marijuana tax revenue to a habitat improvement program.


A former chief counsel for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and his firm are now lobbying for ​Green Thumb Industries, Inc. on “federal cannabis legislation related to banking, tax, and capital market access” as well as “Farm Bill policies related to hemp.”

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “Here’s the bottom line: Americans support marijuana legalization – overwhelmingly! It’s time we start treating legally operating cannabis stores just like any other business. That means giving them access to banking services and ending outdated regulations. Who’s with us?”

Witnesses at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Federal Government Surveillance hearing discussed marijuana pardons and other drug clemency issues.


Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) tweeted, “Rampant  marijuana use will be a mental health disaster given the much higher potency in the last few years. Soon, there will be complaints about why we didnt know. We do know and we need to be much more vigilant.”

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) spoke about the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics.

Pennsylvania lawmakers discussed proposals to allow medical cannabis home cultivation and protect patients from losing professional licenses.

The Florida Financial Impact Estimating Conference held a workshop on the economic potential of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

Arizona regulators lifted a recent recall of cannabis products.

Montana regulators filed rules on marijuana testing laboratory licensees.

Maine regulators issued guidance on testing requirements for infused cannabis plant material, calculating mature plant canopy and waste.

Oregon regulators will host several listening sessions on psilocybin services rules in July.

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.


A judge ruled that a Jersey City, New Jersey police officer who was fired for testing positive for marijuana metabolites should be reinstated.

The San Luis Obispo County, California Board of Supervisors voted to reduce the cannabis business tax rate.

The Killeen, Texas City Council is expected to consider whether to keep funding legal defense from a lawsuit that Bell County filed to overturn the city’s local voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law on Tuesday.


Nevis Premier Mark Brantley said he supports recently passed legislation outlining where people can smoke marijuana.


A study found that “cannabis use was significantly lower among 10th and 12th graders living in” a ZIP code with a dispensary.

A review found “preliminary evidence that psychedelic-assisted therapy may be effective in the treatment of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.”


Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is being sued by a former employee who claims he was denied an interview for a higher position after taking family leave when his fiancée gave birth.

TerrAscend Corp. closed the first tranche of concurrent private placements for total gross proceeds of approximately $16 million and upsized the offering to $20 million.

AYR Wellness Inc. reached contingent agreements to defer principal or amortization payments on an aggregate principal amount of approximately $69 million of debt obligations and to defer the maturities of $4.5 million of other promissory notes, as well as a $4 million amortization payment.

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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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