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Updated VA medical cannabis policy for veterans (Newsletter: August 4, 2023)



Senate committee: Schedule I blocks marijuana & psychedelics research; OH ballot sigs; FL AG’s legalization filing; CO gov touts reforms

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The Department of Veterans Affairs issued an updated directive clarifying that under the Biden administration, VA doctors will continue to be blocked from issuing medical marijuana recommendations to their military veteran patients.

  • Reps. Brian Mast (R-FL) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), who championed a House-passed amendment to allow veterans to get medical cannabis recommendations from VA doctors, pushed back against the newly extended policy in statements to Marijuana Moment.

The Senate Appropriations Committee issued a report highlighting how research on marijuana and psychedelics is blocked by their ongoing federal Schedule I status—and specifically noting scientists’ inability to study cannabis products from dispensaries.

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) filed a brief before the state Supreme Court that essentially argues that voters are too stupid to see through Trulieve’s effort to entrench its “monopolistic stranglehold on the marijuana market” with a legalization measure it wants to put on the 2024 ballot.

  • “Most Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice.”

Ohio activists turned in a final batch of signatures to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot after falling short in a prior submission.

  • Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) told Marijuana Moment he “would sign the petition.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) says his state’s legalization of marijuana and psychedelics has been a “very good” experience.

  • “We put a lot of the corner drug dealers out of business. It’s created jobs [and] tax revenue, and it’s led to a safer product.”

The chairman of the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission resigned amid a lawsuit claiming his appointment to the body was illegal and other litigation challenging regulators’ marijuana business licensing decisions.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is issuing fines to businesses allegedly selling illegal hemp-derived products with excessive THC content or that resemble mainstream snack brands.


A former Food and Drug Administration official said he thinks marijuana will be rescheduled this year or early in 2024.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “Did you hear? We’ve introduced the PREPARE Act – our bill to develop a framework for federal cannabis regulation based on Colorado’s Task Force! Our state is the model for a safe, well-regulated marijuana market, and it’s time we build on that success.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) appeared onstage at an event celebrating Minnesota’s new marijuana legalization law.

Former Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who is launching a new political action committee, spoke about how medical cannabis and psilocybin are among the “innovative solutions” the group will promote.


Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), the state attorney general and regulators are being sued over a new law that restricts the sale of hemp products.

A California appeals court reinstated a lawsuit alleging that state officials are not doing enough to combat illegal marijuana transactions.

A lawsuit challenging Michigan regulators’ recall of marijuana products was dismissed by a federal judge.

New York regulators are being sued by a group of military veterans who say the state has unduly favored people with past marijuana convictions in cannabis business licensing over veterans.

The White Earth Nation tribe, located within Minnesota, opened the state’s second recreational marijuana dispensary. Meanwhile, the representative who sponsored the bill that created the state’s new cannabis legalization law said he’s excited to see tribes leading the way in launching legal sales.

Oklahoma regulators filed revised medical cannabis rules.

North Dakota regulators published guidance on allowable forms of medical cannabis and purchase limits.

Vermont regulators are convening meetings in advance of preparing recommendations about the medical cannabis program.

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.


Mendocino County, California sheriff’s deputies are being sued over accusations they trespassed on Native American land and wrongfully destroyed more than 100,000 marijuana plants.

Faribault, Minnesota police confiscated plants from a parking lot sale on suspicion that a company was illegally selling marijuana.

The Rapid City, South Dakota City Council is considering a proposal to reduce the number of available medical cannabis business licenses.


Brazil’s Supreme Court delayed a trial on decriminalizing drug possession, a move that comes as the House Public Security Committee approved legislation to increase drug penalties.

The former chair of Canada’s Task Force on Cannabis Legalization and Regulation said the government faces potential class action litigation over its failure to conduct adequate health research.


A study found that “formulations of cannabis significantly improved anxiety, depression, fatigue, and the ability to participate in social activities in participants with anxiety disorders.”


Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $76.5 million.

MariMed Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $36.5 million and a net loss of $935,000.


Diddy is reportedly still interested in pursuing opportunities in the cannabis industry after his planned acquisition of certain assets fell through when the merger between Cresco Labs and Columbia Care was canceled.

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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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