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Senate GOP blocks vets cannabis research bill (Newsletter: April 27, 2023)



Bipartisan SAFE refiled in Congress; MN legal marijuana hits Senate floor; TX House approves cannabis decrim; ME interstate sales bill

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U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a motion to take up a bill to encourage the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to study the medical benefits of marijuana for veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain.

  • The failure of the simple measure to merely study the medical benefits of cannabis for veterans suffering from war wounds raises serious questions about Senate Republicans’ willingness to allow other marijuana reforms, including banking, to advance.

Bipartisan House and Senate lawmakers refiled a marijuana banking bill that they hope can be enacted this Congress. The lead sponsors said the plan is for it to go through the Senate Banking Committee on its own and then potentially be paired with cannabis expungements and gun rights measures on the floor.

The Minnesota Senate Finance Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill—sending it to a floor vote that’s expected by the end of this week. The House passed companion legislation to legalize cannabis on Tuesday.

The Texas House of Representatives voted to give initial approval to a bill to decriminalize marijuana. Separate broader legislation to legalize and regulate cannabis sales also got a committee hearing.

A Maine representative filed a bill to legalize interstate marijuana commerce. It comes as California and Oregon already have similar laws on the books and as Washington’s governor is considering a cross-border cannabis trade bill lawmakers sent him this month.


The Drug Enforcement Administration Museum posted a video about a flag dedicated to agents who died in the line of duty.

Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR) sent a press release about cosponsoring two marijuana reform bills, saying, “Many states have adopted common sense cannabis reforms, and Congress needs to act to reflect this reality. I’m proud to support the HOPE Act & the PREPARE Act to help states expunge cannabis offenses & prepare for the eventual end to cannabis prohibition.”

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act passed the House 7 times – only to see inaction in the Senate.  This bill has support of 100% of Democrats and roughly half of Republicans. Still nothing from Senate Banking and Chairman Brown.”

The Senate bill to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got two new cosponsors for a total of 10.

The Senate bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got seven new cosponsors for a total of nine.


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “Great news for our recreational cannabis industry. New Mexico landed at number five for most jobs added in the last year – more than 2,500!”

New York’s Assembly majority leader said existing medical cannabis businesses should be able to participate in the recreational marijuana market.

An Idaho representative said she is not optimistic about the prospects for marijuana reform in the state.

The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to block safe consumption sites for illegal drugs from opening.

Georgia regulators issued the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

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.


Denver, Colorado officials will host an event to celebrate the launch of the Cannabis Cares program on May 4.


Belizean Prime Minister John Briceno is calling for an investigation into the origin of marijuana-infused candies that apparently led to the hospitalization of multiple people.

Singapore executed a man convicted of conspiring to traffic marijuana. The United Nations Human Rights Office had pressed the country to “urgently reconsider” the plan.


A study suggested that “low dose, oral THC can affect neural indices of fear learning and memory in adults with trauma-exposure,” which “may be beneficial for future therapeutic interventions seeking to improve fear extinction learning and memory.”

A study found that “in vitro and in vivo findings suggest that CBD exerts cell-specific effects which can be exploited to enhance bone metabolism,” indicating that “CBD usage in an osteoporotic population may positively impact bone morphology, warranting further research.”


The Los Angeles Times editorial board said that enacting harsher penalties for fentanyl will be a failed strategy, as has been the case with other substances throughout the history of the “war on drugs.”


POSaBIT Systems Corporation reported quarterly revenue of $24.9 million.

Arkansas dispensaries sold $25 million worth of medical cannabis products in March, a new monthly record.


U.S. Olympic long jumper Tara Davis-Woodhall was given a one-month suspension and had her national indoor title stripped after testing positive for marijuana metabolites.

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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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