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Senate cannabis banking hearing scheduled (Newsletter: May 5, 2023)



SAFE Banking hearing soon?; CDC study: Teen marijuana use down since dispensaries opened; PA legalization bill; TX decrim votes

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The Senate Banking Committee scheduled a hearing on marijuana banking issues for next Thursday, May 11. Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said he was planning to “move quickly on” the SAFE Banking Act.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill legalizing interstate marijuana commerce pending a federal policy change. Now all three West Coast states—California, Oregon and Washington—have cross-border cannabis trade laws on the books.

A new federal study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that high school student marijuana use was trending up from 2009-2013—before legal cannabis dispensaries started opening—but has been on the decline since then.

A Texas senator filed an amendment that would have allowed voters to decide on marijuana legalization—but it was blocked as non-germane by the lieutenant governor, who presides over the chamber.

Pennsylvania lawmakers filed new bills to legalize marijuana sales through a system of state-run stores and to provide permits for farmers to cultivate cannabis.

Voters in San Antonio, Texas will decide on a ballot measure to decriminalize marijuana and block abortion restrictions on Saturday, and Harker Heights voters will get a chance to overturn the City Council’s repeal of a cannabis decriminalization initiative they passed in November.

The Jefferson County, Washington Board of Commissioners passed a psychedelics decriminalization measure.


Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) tweeted, “I helped introduce the SAFE Banking Act to ensure that law-abiding cannabis business owners can utilize safe financial services instead of forcing them to continue all-cash operations, which only serve to increase a risk of crime.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) tweeted, “Forcing businesses to deal in all cash makes our communities less safe. This [marijuana banking] bill is an investment in changing that.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) filed a resolution condemning police brutality that notes that “the United States, especially under the auspices of the wars on drugs and global terrorism, has in recent decades dramatically increased its influence on the tactics, equipment, and purpose of policing around the world.”


Florida lawmakers sent Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) a bill to decriminalize fentanyl test strips.

Connecticut’s House majority leader discussed the challenges of ensuring social equity in the cannabis industry. Separately, the state’s marijuana Social Equity Council approved $4 million for community reinvestment programs.

A North Carolina senator said she supports a medical cannabis bill even though she has concerns about its licensing provisions.

Mississippi regulators adopted rules for the medical cannabis registry and identification cards.

Delaware agencies are taking initial steps to prepare to implement marijuana legalization.

A Minnesota State Patrol official spoke about plans to tackle impaired driving if the state legalizes marijuana soon.

Oklahoma regulators issued a statement about actions taken against noncompliant medical cannabis businesses, saying that the narrative they are “shutting down businesses for minor violations is simply untrue and is being used to unnecessarily spark fear among businesses acting within the law.”

The Colorado Hemp Advisory Committee is seeking nominations to fill empty seats.

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.

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The St. Louis and St. Charles, Missouri City Councils are considering adding marijuana to their local indoor smoking bans.

New York City’s mayor spoke about the “need for increased enforcement on the emerging cannabis market.”

Denver, Colorado officials launched a new Cannabis Cares program to recognize marijuana businesses that are giving back to their neighborhoods and communities.

The Kent, Washington City Council passed an ordinance to locally ban drug possession.


British Columbia, Canada municipalities are pushing to clarify rules of the province’s drug decriminalization experiment.


A study found that “medical cannabis is effective for cancer-related pain.”

A study of rats examined the mechanism behind “CBD’s inhibitory effect on rewarding properties of METH.”


The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party tweeted, “Last year, our party promised voters that we would legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. Now we’re about to deliver on that promise.”

The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce is urging businesses to implement a zero-tolerance policy for marijuana use.

The New York Daily News editorial board supports new state budget provisions to target unlicensed marijuana sales.


PharmaTher Holdings Ltd. submitted a fast track application to the Food and Drug Administration for its ketamine treatment for levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s disease.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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