Federal cannabis rescheduling docs released (Newsletter: January 15, 2024)

AGs push DEA on marijuana; Haley on state’s rights; CO gov touts psychedelics; FL legalization poll; SD gun warning; Congressional equity resolution

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Department of Health and Human Services released 252 pages of full, unredacted documents detailing and justifying its recommendation to move marijuana to Schedule III—including a finding that cannabis “has a currently accepted medical use.”

  • “On balance, the available data indicate that there is some credible scientific support to substantiate the use of marijuana in the treatment of: pain; anorexia related to certain medical conditions; and nausea and vomiting (e.g. chemotherapy-induced), with varying degrees of support and consistency of findings.”

A group of 12 state attorneys general sent a letter calling on the Drug Enforcement Administration to move marijuana to Schedule III in line with a recommendation from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said marijuana legalization is a “state-by-state issue” and should be “handled close to the people.”

  • “I think all the states should be able to decide on that.”

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)  filed a new resolution calling for equity-focused marijuana policies and urging President Joe Biden to advocate for global cannabis reform at the United Nations.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) boasted during his State of the State speech that the state is “leading the nation” on psychedelics reform just as it did with marijuana.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D)—who signed marijuana legalization into law—has “concerns” about legislation to decriminalize psilocybin that lawmakers will soon introduce, his office said. An earlier version of the psychedelics measure passed the House in 2023.

A new poll sponsored by the Florida Chamber of Commerce shows that a marijuana legalization initiative that may be on the November ballot has support from 57 percent of likely voters—but that’s not enough to meet the state’s 60 percent threshold for passage.

The Florida Board of Medicine published a report showing a “steady increase” in the number of medical cannabis patients in the state year over year.

The South Dakota House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to require medical cannabis dispensaries to post warnings about a federal law criminalizing possession of guns by people who are “addicted to marijuana.”

The Maryland Cannabis Administration reported that the state set a new monthly record of $96.5 million worth of legal marijuana products sold in December—capping off more than three-quarters of a billion in sales for 2023, even though the recreational market launched halfway into the year.

The Illinois Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case on whether the smell of marijuana alone is grounds for police officers to search a vehicle.

The Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management and other state officials are forming a plan to close a loophole in the state’s marijuana laws that allows sales of high-potency flower billed as “hemp” to go unregulated.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission gave an update on pending litigation that has stalled the medical marijuana business licensing process.

/ FEDERAL

The House Education & Workforce Committee adopted an amendment claiming that women who have abortions are “220 percent more likely to take on marijuana use or abuse.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mark Green (R-TN) and Reps. August Pfluger (R-TX) and Clay Higgins (R-LA) sent a letter pressing the Department of Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Administration to provide a briefing on illegal Chinese-backed marijuana farms in the U.S.

Delaware Democratic congressional candidates Colleen Davis, who is currently the state’s treasurer, and Eugene Young, who is director of the State Housing Authority, discussed their support for federal marijuana reform, including banking access.

The House bill to respect state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of six.

The House resolution calling on Russia to free an American who is detained for medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of 15.

/ STATES

The Vermont House Government Operations Committee held a hearing on a bill that would remove marijuana potency caps and make other changes to rules.

Indiana’s Senate minority leader is pushing to allow voters to place initiatives on the ballot so they can legalize marijuana and make other popular reforms.

An Arizona representative filed a bill to allow funding for psilocybin research to be dispersed over a multi-year period.

Virginia lawmakers discussed their views on legalizing recreational marijuana sales.

A New Hampshire representative discussed her support for legalizing marijuana.

A Michigan judge dismissed two lawsuits challenging regulators’ recall of marijuana products.

The Iowa Department of Corrections proposed legislation to bar people who are incarcerated from having medical cannabis cards.

Illinois regulators filed new rules aimed at allowing craft cannabis growers to expand more quickly.

Oregon regulators are delaying the implementation of rules on batch tagging of marijuana plants.

New York regulators launched an ad campaign to promote the medical cannabis program.

Nevada regulators are conducting surveys of cannabis consumers and industry participants.


Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 900 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

Two men pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribing a Vallejo, California city official to let them grow marijuana illegally.

Some Rhode Island municipalities are moving to ban consumption of all forms of cannabis in public, not just smoking.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian officials published the results of an annual cannabis survey.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “there is moderate evidence that cannabis-based medicines (CBM) can contribute to a significant reduction in pain, especially the associated pain effect, and improvement in physical function and sleep quality in a proportion of patients with chronic pain.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America have concerns about pending marijuana banking legislation.

The Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon is pushing to extend a moratorium on new marijuana business licenses.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. has a new chief operating officer.

AC Management Group and Courier Plus Inc. are battling in court over the Dutchie trademark.

/ CULTURE

Wiz Khalifa said he goes to his son’s parent-teacher conferences under the influence of marijuana.

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