Cannabis record sealing bill in Congress (Newsletter: May 8, 2023)

Fed official on psychedelics’ “significant potential”; TX marijuana ballot results; OR 1st psilocybin service license; MN legalization bill diffs

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and  Nancy Mace (R-SC) filed a bipartisan bill to automatically seal criminal records for certain federal marijuana convictions.

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said at a Senate hearing that psychedelics have “significant potential” to treat severe depression, PTSD and addiction—and that it’s “an area of great interest” for federal health agencies.

The Oregon Health Authority issued the nation’s first license for a psilocybin service center where people can purchase and use the psychedelic under facilitated supervision.

Texas marijuana decriminalization initiatives saw mixed results on Saturday. San Antonio voters rejected a ballot measure to decriminalize cannabis and block abortion restrictions, but Harker Heights voters—by just one vote—narrowly repealed the City Council’s repeal of a marijuana reform measure they previously passed in November.

Here’s a look at some of the main differences between Minnesota’s House and Senate marijuana legalization bills—including on taxes, possession limits, local control, equity and civil penalties.

A Montana senator is pushing to override Gov. Greg Gianforte’s (R) veto of a bill to reallocate marijuana tax revenue—but there’s widespread confusion about whether that’s even procedurally possible based on the timing of the governor’s action.

Rebecca Rivas of The Missouri Independent authored a new commentary examining why the word “marijuana” is not racist.

/ FEDERAL

Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson, a former Arkansas governor and Drug Enforcement Administration administrator, said he thinks “having medical marijuana is something that’s going to be with us and makes some sense” but that while he doesn’t support broader reform, “our democracy is not going to fall if they did legalize marijuana.”

Sens. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) discussed their support for marijuana banking legislation.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “I rode with a cannabis business owner to deliver $70,000 in tax money in a backpack because cannabis businesses don’t have access to safe banking. I introduced the Safe Banking Act to right this wrong. Let cannabis businesses bank!”

The House bill to repeal the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

/ STATES

Oregon’s secretary of state reportedly allowed a marijuana business owner with thom she did paid consulting work to edit language describing the scope of a state audit about cannabis issues.

The Florida Senate passed a bill to allow doctors to renew medical cannabis patient recommendations via telehealth, with an amendment to expand cultivation licenses for Black farmers.

The Connecticut legislature’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus listed a cannabis resentencing bill as a legislative priority.

A Minnesota senator said she thinks pending marijuana legalization legislation is “not ready for prime time.”

Pennsylvania representatives circulated a cosponsorship memo about forthcoming legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from DUI charges.

Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader posted a Twitter thread about the latest leg of her cannabis-focused “Grass Routes” tour.

Colorado’s Disability Funding Committee auctioned off more marijuana-themed license plates.

Vermont regulators will hold meetings to receive comments about amended cannabis rules on Wednesday and on May 15.

New York marijuana regulators will meet on Thursday.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Baltimore County, Maryland Council is considering local marijuana regulations.

Seminole County, Oklahoma’s district attorney issued a warning about marijuana-infused foods that resemble major snack brands.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoids have a role in treating chronic neuropathic pain as evidenced by significant improvements in sleep quality, pain intensity, and” patients’ global impression of change.

A study found that Canada’s legalization of marijuana “is associated with non-significant decreases of 9% in traffic crashes” and that the number of cannabis stores is “associated with nonsignificant decreases of 3% in the same outcome.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation launched a webform that medical cannabis patients can use to contact their elected officials about the need for federal reform.

/ BUSINESS

StateHouse Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $25.5 million.

Cannabis stocks rose following news of a Senate hearing on marijuana banking issues.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player John Salley said that China pressured the NBA not to allow players to use marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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