OK voters defeat cannabis legalization measure (Newsletter: March 8, 2023)

HI Senate votes to legalize marijuana; Legalization passes DE House; Congressional bill to end hemp felony ban; MO psychedelics vote

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oklahoma voters rejected a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana.

The Hawaii Senate passed a bill to legalize marijuana. Several measures to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics were also approved by the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Delaware House of Representatives approved a marijuana legalization bill. Separate legislation to regulate sales and production is also pending.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY)—along with Reps. Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Madeleine Dean (D-PA)—filed the Breakthrough Therapies Act, which aims to remove hurdles to research on the medical benefits of psychedelics and other Schedule I drugs.

Reps. David Trone (D-MD), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) filed a bill to remove a restriction that blocks people with felony drug convictions from owning or leading legal hemp businesses. It’s called the “Free to Grow Act.”

The Missouri House Veterans Committee unanimously approved a bill to promote research into the therapeutic potential of certain psychedelics such as psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine to treat conditions like PTSD, depression and substance use disorders.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged Mendocino County, California officials’ denial of a cannabis cultivation permit.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) tweeted about discussing marijuana banking legislation with a credit union association.

The Senate bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed bills to amend the duties of the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee and to allow medical cannabis patient fees to be waived in certain circumstances. Separately, the House of Representatives passed a bill to revise the membership of the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) shared an op-ed authored by a former U.S. attorney for the state, tweeting, “Legalizing medical marijuana will boost our economy and provide thousands of Kansans with pain relief.  It’s the right thing to do — and it’s past time we get it done. Thank you to former U.S. attorney Barry Grissom for advocating for this reform.”

The Connecticut legislature’s General Law Committee approved a bill to allow hemp farmers to convert to marijuana cultivation licenses.

The chair of the Kentucky Senate Licensing & Occupations Committee said he will schedule a hearing on a medical cannabis bill next week if the sponsor assures him it has enough support to pass the panel.

A Maryland senator said he plans to introduce an amendment to a marijuana regulation bill to require businesses to have labor peace agreements.

A Nevada senator filed a bill to bar law enforcement agencies from requiring officers to attest they don’t use marijuana. Separately a new Assembly bill would provide for the licensing of cannabis events.

An Alaska representative said he once encouraged an Army applicant to lie about his marijuana use.

Louisiana lawmakers discussed the prospects for marijuana legalization in the state.

A Michigan senator tweeted, “We should end the war on drugs and regulate drugs more sensibly. We shouldn’t ban them but also should have responsible drug safety laws.”

Colorado regulators issued a health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of yeast, mold and Aspergillus on marijuana products produced by Green Street LLC.

Pennsylvania regulators filed revised medical cannabis rules.

Montana officials filed proposed rules changes to clarify that use of marijuana or other intoxicating substances by public safety officers is punishable if it leads to impairment while on duty or violates the policy of the officer’s employing agency.

Oregon regulators began approving psilocybin services worker permits.

New York regulators hosted a conversation about the medical cannabis program.


Marijuana Moment is tracking hundreds of 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.

/ LOCAL

A Fort Worth, Texas City Council member is preparing to file a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Costa Rica’s minister of justice and peace testified in favor of marijuana legalization legislation.

The UK’s health and social care secretary committed to ask regulators to look at evidence on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics from other countries.

The Rwanda Development Board is eyeing cannabis production as an investment opportunity.

Victoria, Australia lawmakers are expected to debate a bill to protect medical cannabis patients from being charged with driving under the influence on Wednesday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “cannabidiol and doxorubicin have a synergistic anticancer effect on [osteosarcoma] cells, and their combined application may be a promising treatment strategy for OS.”

A study found that “psychedelics promote neuroplasticity through the activation of intracellular 5-HT2A receptors.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

NORML’s executive director is stepping down.

The Leon County, Florida Democratic Executive Committee voted to call on local officials to decriminalize marijuana.

The Psychedelic Medicine Coalition hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill.

/ BUSINESS

Synthesis Institute filed for bankruptcy.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen spoke about why he smokes marijuana so often.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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