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Virginia governor vetoes cannabis bill (Newsletter: March 11, 2024)



Fact checking Biden’s marijuana claim; German legalization amendments; FL gov decries cannabis smell; DOJ THC testing study; MN marijuana tweaks

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President Joe Biden’s State of the Union claim that he’s “expunging thousands of convictions” for marijuana is false. People forgiven by his cannabis pardon are specifically told when getting certificates from the Department of Justice that they “still have a criminal record.”

  • Contrary to the president’s statement, the Congressional Research Service noted in a recent report that a “pardon may not remove all legal consequences of marijuana possession, because it does not expunge convictions.”

President Joe Biden’s tweet about marijuana was his most popular post during the State of the Union, getting more engagement than those about climate, healthcare, housing and the border—highlighting broad public support for cannabis reform.

Committees in Germany’s Bundesrat are recommending a series of changes to the Bundestag-passed marijuana legalization bill, increasing the chances it will be referred to a mediation committee and its enactment will be delayed.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) vetoed a bill that would have prevented state officials from using marijuana alone as evidence of child abuse or neglect, saying the reform had “potential consequences that may expose children to harm.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has a “big problem” with the provisions of a marijuana legalization initiative that could be on the state’s November ballot—saying that in other places with legal cannabis “it smells, there’s all these things.”

The Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice published a study from researchers who say they developed new procedures to enhance a popular forensic testing method to allow for better detection of marijuana components such as THC and their metabolites.

Minnesota officials are backing new legislation to allow temporary marijuana licenses to launch the adult-use retail market as soon as possible with equity businesses getting an “early mover advantage”—and calling for lawmakers to clarify rules surrounding cannabis use on public lands.

A new case study suggests that free marijuana giveaway programs could help curb drug overdoses, with harm reduction experts seeing “reduced premature death, improved quality of life, pain moderation, increased recovery outcomes, and improved safety for clients and community.”

Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) said she plans to sign a bill recriminalizing drug possession.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved bills to expand the medical cannabis program by adding new qualifying conditions and increasing possession limits for patients.

Massachusetts’s agricultural resources commissioner told lawmakers at a hearing that officials will soon release guidance on intoxicating hemp products.

The Missouri Division of Cannabis Regulation said a case before the state Supreme Court could force them to issue “dozens of new marijuana licenses beyond current caps.


The Drug Enforcement Administration posted a prohibitionist organization’s map of THC-related emergency room visits.

The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly working with New York officials to investigate illegal marijuana smuggling into the state.

A federal judge denied a motion to vacate a garnishment order against a cannabis business, rejecting claims that ongoing prohibition puts industry contract suits outside of federal court jurisdiction.


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed a bill adding new requirements for the medical cannabis recommendation process.

The Kentucky House Health Services Committee approved a bill to add new restrictions to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Colorado House Health and Human Services approved a bill to allow municipalities to operate safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

New York lawmakers are pushing to include provisions in the budget to allow local governments to take action against unlicensed marijuana businesses.

Louisiana lawmakers are considering several cannabis reform bills.

A Pennsylvania representative said he opposes legalizing marijuana.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, located within North Carolina, responded to U.S. senators’ concerns about their plans to launch recreational marijuana sales next month.

Michigan regulators issued a bulletin about a scam targeting marijuana businesses.

Massachusetts regulators published guidance on host community agreements for municipalities where marijuana businesses operate.

New Jersey regulators sent a press release touting that cannabis sales have eclipsed $2 billion since 2018.

Arkansas regulators delayed approval of an ownership change for a medical cannabis business.

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.


Killeen, Texas officials are arguing that the state attorney general has no standing to sue the city over its voter-approved marijuana decriminalization law.

Humboldt County, California voters rejected a ballot measure to restrict cannabis cultivation.


Former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez was convicted in U.S. court on charges of conspiring with drug traffickers and using military and police to enable cocaine smuggling.

Germany’s health minister tweeted that legalizing marijuana “will greatly reduce the burden on the courts.”

Barbados’s government is considering a project for the Rastafarian community to handle medical cannabis cultivation.


A study of pregnant women found “decreased reported cannabinoid use in the post-legalization group.”


Curaleaf said its chairman was misquoted when discussing its plans on 280E-related taxes.

MedMen Enterprises reportedly closed all but two of its stores in California.

Bennabis Health is partnering with The Cannabist Company to expand coverage of its member program that is designed to alleviate out-of-pocket costs for medical cannabis patients.

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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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