Cannabis Schedule III implications laid out by congressional researchers (Newsletter: May 6, 2024)

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Former DEA head on marijuana move; German legalization step 2; TX voters reject decrim; GOP senator bashes Dems on cannabis; PA gov on rescheduling

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Your good deed for the day: donate to an independent publisher like Marijuana Moment and ensure that as many voters as possible have access to the most in-depth cannabis reporting out there. Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment / TOP THINGS TO KNOW A new Congressional Research Service report analyzes the legal implications of marijuana rescheduling—including how the reform would ease industry taxes but would not bring state-regulated cannabis markets “into compliance” with federal law. Former Drug Enforcement Administration head Asa Hutchinson said the agency’s move to reschedule marijuana “reflects the reality” of public support for reform and will make it “easier to study” cannabis—though he says “we should not legalize it.” Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) said marijuana is a “gateway drug” and that Democrats’ moves to legalize it amount to “pro-criminal, anti-American policies” that will “stimulate more crime on American streets.” He also argued that cannabis banking legislation “facilitates an entire infrastructure and an ecosystem for more drug usage in America.” Former Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, who served in President Joe Biden’s cabinet, called marijuana legalization a “slippery slope”—saying he’s “concerned about where we’re headed.” The German government is reportedly pursuing launching the second phase of its marijuana legalization plan involving a pilot program for commercial sales by doing it through administrative regulations rather than passing additional legislation as was initially expected. Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s (D) office said the federal marijuana rescheduling move bolsters his push to enact legalization in the state. The Alaska House of Representatives passed a bill to create a task force to study how to license and regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy following federal approval of substances like MDMA and psilocybin. Lubbock, Texas voters rejected a marijuana decriminalization ballot measure—a result that comes as the state attorney general is suing other cities that have already enacted similar cannabis reforms. Florida’s marijuana legalization campaign is activating a new coalition of military veterans to help educate voters about cannabis as a safer alternative to opioids. A Missouri judge ruled that counties and cities can stack marijuana taxes on top of one another, rejecting a challenge from a cannabis company. The Arkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control Division revoked a medical cannabis dispensary’s license over alleged violations, including selling more than 1,800 expired products. / FEDERAL The Food and Drug Administration is seeking sources of CBD and its metabolites for use in animal studies. The U.S, attorney for Maine provided an update on efforts to combat illegal marijuana operations in the state. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) suggested that electing a Democratic Congress might be necessary to enact marijuana reform. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said he is open to comprehensive marijuana reform that would include banking access and product regulations. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) said he is opposed to marijuana banking legislation. Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) complained about smelling marijuana in public. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) discussed the benefits of marijuana rescheduling in a House floor speech. / STATES Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) again complained about the smell of marijuana and said the legalization initiative on the November ballot “need[s] to be defeated.” New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said the federal marijuana rescheduling decision “gives me another argument that there is no reason” for Customs and Border Protection officials to continue seizing products from legal cannabis businesses in her state. South Dakota’s attorney general said federal marijuana rescheduling won’t affect the state much. The Minnesota Senate passed a bill to expedite recreational marijuana cultivation. Wyoming lawmakers discussed the implications of federal marijuana rescheduling on efforts to change the state’s laws. Massachusetts opponents of a psychedelics legalization initiative that could be on the November ballot are preparing to launch a formal campaign to defeat the measure. Vermont regulators issued a consumer protection warning about cannabis products due to a pending investigation into fungicide exposure. Illinois regulators issued additional marijuana social equity conditional dispensary licenses. Michigan regulators posted an updated best practices guide on compliance for marijuana businesses. Delaware regulators are accepting registrations to participate in a series of marijuana social equity workshops next month. The New York Cannabis Control Board will meet on Friday. — Marijuana Moment is tracking more than 1,400 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 New York City’s sheriff issued a notice designating Department of Consumer and Worker Protection officials to take certain cannabis enforcement actions. / SCIENCE & HEALTH A study “supports the notion that CBD and its derivatives are promising lead compounds for cannabinoid-based interventions for melanoma management.” A study found that “psilocybin promotes neuroplasticity and induces rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects in mice.” / ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS The president of the Catholic League authored a column criticizing marijuana legalization efforts. The New York Daily News editorial board is celebrating the federal marijuana rescheduling decision. / BUSINESS Canopy Growth Corporation entered into an exchange and subscription agreement with an institutional investor through which it is expected to receive gross proceeds of approximately $50 million and exchange approximately C$27.5 million of debt for a new senior unsecured convertible debenture. Ohio dispensaries sold $54 million worth of medical cannabis products in March. / CULTURE Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers joked about the federal marijuana rescheduling decision. Former football player Nate Jackson authored a column about his varying experiences with marijuana.

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