Biden official defends cannabis move in Senate hearing (Newsletter: March 15, 2024)

Biden official defends cannabis move in Senate hearing (Newsletter: March 15, 2024)


POTUS marijuana prisoners letter; Congressional psychedelics & cannabis hearing; HI & NH legalization; IN psilocybin; IL cannabis for orgasm disorder

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President Joe Biden told a supporter during a visit to his Wisconsin campaign headquarters that he’s “taking care of” ensuring that “no one should be jailed for using or possessing marijuana.”

Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra defended his department’s marijuana rescheduling review and recommendation in response to hostile questioning from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) at a hearing—saying that many states have “moved much farther than the federal government” on cannabis.

After the hearing, Becerra told cannabis lobbyist Don Murphy he would need to ask the Drug Enforcement Administration for information on timing of the final rescheduling decision.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee scheduled a hearing on medical marijuana and psychedelics bills focused on military veterans for next week.

Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) led a group of 36 lawmakers who sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to commute the sentences of people in federal prison for marijuana offenses, saying the “continued incarceration of these individuals continues the racist legacy of the War on Drugs.”

The Indiana legislature sent Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) a bill to fund clinical trials on using psilocybin to treat PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and other conditions—with a focus on military veterans and first responders.

The Hawaii Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee and Agriculture and Food Systems Committee both approved a Senate-passed bill to legalize marijuana, with new amendments.

Lawmakers at a New Hampshire House Finance Committee hearing clashed over competing plans to craft a marijuana legalization bill that can pass the legislature and win the support of a skeptical Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

The Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted to recommend adding female orgasmic disorder as a new medical marijuana qualifying condition, along with a separate recommendation for endometriosis.

New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Executive Director Jeff Brown told Marijuana Moment that his state will be “the premier cannabis market on the East Coast.” In an interview, he also discussed efforts to launch cannabis consumption lounges and the possibility of allowing home cultivation.


Former Attorney General William Barr and former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters coauthored an op-ed expressing concerns about marijuana legalization, saying that “a doped-up country is a nation in decline.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “Criminal records for minor marijuana offenses make it harder for people to get housing, jobs, and more. @MassGovernor’s cannabis pardons are powerfully important to right systemic wrongs and advance racial justice. Weed is legal is [in] Massachusetts, and it should be nationwide.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) sent a press release cheering Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey’s (D) mass marijuana pardon proposal.

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) criticized a marijuana pardons event being hosted by Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Friday.

The House bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to report on adding psychedelics in its formulary got one new cosponsor for a total of one.


The New York Senate passed budget legislation containing changes to marijuana tax and enforcement rules, along with funding for a cannabis farmer relief program. Separately, regulators are launching a system to report delinquent payments in the marijuana industry.

A Mississippi representative spoke about his legislation to restrict hemp-derived intoxicating products.

Alaska regulators are proposing changes to rules on marijuana business food safety permit requirements.

Michigan regulators signed a consent order and stipulation with a marijuana company that resulted in it surrendering its processor licenses.

New Jersey regulators will host three hearings this month to receive feedback on how to use funds from marijuana social equity excise fees. They also approved additional marijuana business licenses.

Colorado regulators published a compliance tip about identifying marijuana business employees as designated test batch collectors in the inventory tracking system.

California regulators posted a video about cannabis taxes.

Oregon regulators will launch a new marijuana licensing system on Monday.

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.—


Colombian President Gustavo Petro decried the failure of the war on drugs in a speech before the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Germany’s Ministry of Justice is considering changes to marijuana legalization legislation that would delay the effective date of provisions concerning relief for past records in order to avoid the proposal going before a bicameral mediation committee.

The Brazilian Senate Constitution and Justice Committee approved a bill to criminalize drug possession ahead of a Supreme Court decision that could decriminalize cannabis.

Philippine regulators are being criticized for a delay in acting on a petition to reschedule cannabis.

An Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration official is concerned about the “high level of non-compliance” with advertising restrictions in the medical cannabis industry.


A study of patients treated with medical cannabis found that “quality of life improved significantly in 84% of all participating patients.”

A study provided “evidence for the cost effectiveness of add-on cannabidiol treatment for patients with [tuberous sclerosis complex]-associated seizures aged ≥ 2 years who are refractory to current treatment.”


The Virginian-Pilot editorial board is calling on Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to sign a marijuana sales legalization bill into law.


TerrAscend Corp. reported quarterly net revenue of $86.6 million and a net loss of $41.8 million.

Trulieve is suing its former chief financial officer for allegedly misusing his corporate credit card for personal expenses.

Curaleaf International is expanding into the Czech Republic through a new supply agreement with Astrasana Pharma s.r.o.

Jones Soda Co. is launching a new THC-infused beverage.

Missouri retailers sold $113.4 million worth of legal marijuana products in February.


Football player Aaron Rodgers, who is reportedly on presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s shortlist for vice president, may have been in the middle of an ayahuasca trip when the news was reported.

Elon Musk was pressed about his use of ketamine and other drugs in an interview with Don Lemon, who had his contract with Musk’s X platform canceled following the discussion.

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