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DeSantis’s cannabis record (Newsletter: May 26, 2023)

MN gov signs psychedelics & safe consumption bills; LA marijuana expungements; Fed drug war bill passes; NV presses Congress on cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed bills to create a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force and authorize and fund the establishment of safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

Marijuana Moment compiled a comprehensive look at where Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis stands on cannabis.

  • In Congress, he voted for amendments to protect state recreational and medical marijuana laws from federal interference but voted against cannabis banking and veterans medical marijuana access measures. As governor he has opposed adult-use legalization but did repeal the ban on smoking medical marijuana.

The House of Representatives passed a bill to ramp up federal criminalization of fentanyl analogues—but it also contains provisions that would ease restrictions on research into Schedule I drugs like marijuana and psychedelics.

The Louisiana House of Representatives passed a bill to streamline expungements for people with first-time marijuana possession convictions.

The Nevada legislature passed a resolution calling on Congress to federally legalize marijuana.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is facing criticism over the fact that it allowed wholesale drug distributor Morris & Dickson Co. to continue shipping painkillers for nearly four years after a judge recommended it be stripped of its license, particularly since a former consultant for the company is now the top deputy to Administrator Anne Milgram.

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “No business should be forced to operate on an all-cash basis, but that’s exactly what we’re doing to the cannabis industry! It’s time to pass our SAFE Banking Act and give legally operating cannabis stores the same privileges as every other business. Who’s with us?”

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “The bipartisan SAFE Banking Act will protect NV jobs, support small cannabis businesses, and increase public safety. @SenCortezMasto and I agree: it’s time to get it passed.”

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) filed a bill to rehabilitate lands damaged by illegal marijuana growing operations.

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) is pushing the Biden administration to designate an American citizen who is incarcerated in Russia for possessing medical cannabis as “wrongfully detained.”

/ STATES

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed two bills revising marijuana rules, including extending a moratorium on business licenses.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “The revenue we’d generate from legalizing marijuana could be invested back into our own communities. Right now, that’s money going out the door to other states. It’s time to join our neighbors in legalizing and taxing marijuana, much like we already do with alcohol.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) office tweeted, “During the first part of 2023, California seized 31,000+ pounds of illegal cannabis – valued at $52 million. Our Unified Cannabis Enforcement Taskforce is combatting the illegal cannabis market to keep Californians safe and protect the environment.”

Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the state’s implementation of a marijuana legalization law he signed has been a “disaster.” Separately, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York is moving to amend its partnership agreement on the Social Equity Cannabis Investment Fund to provide for additional sources of capital.

Texas lawmakers sent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) a bill to require medical examiners to classify fentanyl overdose deaths as homicides.

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill that will allow doctors to issue medical cannabis recommendations via telehealth.

The Oklahoma Senate confirmed the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

The North Carolina House Health Committee will hold a hearing on a medical cannabis bill on Tuesday.

New Jersey’s Senate president said lawmakers are planning a hearing on his psilocybin legalization bill.

Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture tweeted, “MN is set to become the 23rd state in the nation to legalize adult-use cannabis for people 21+. Learn more about the legislation, including changes for MN’s Hemp Program, on the new Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management website: https://cannabis.state.mn.us

Vermont regulators will consider recommendations for marijuana business licensure on Friday.


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 Seattle, Washington City Council is expediting consideration of a bill to give the city attorney’s office authority to prosecute drug possession and public use cases.

Los Angeles, California regulators are hosting a cannabis business and professional development networking event on June 17.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The South African Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services discussed public feedback to a pending cannabis reform bill.

Icelandic lawmakers filed legislation to create a medical cannabis pilot program.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands’s ban on outdoor marijuana smoking went into effect.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of Parkinson’s disease patients found that “over the 1–3 years of follow-ups, the [medical cannabis] treatment regimens appeared to be safe” and that it “did not exacerbate neuropsychiatric symptoms and had no detrimental effects on disease progression.”

A study suggested that “psychedelics decrease compulsive behavior in mice.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The University of Mississippi’s National Center for Cannabis Research and Education has a new director.

ASTM International and Doctors for Cannabis Regulation signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at the continued development of ASTM standards for cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray Brands, Inc. received approval from Italian officials to distribute three new medical cannabis compounds.

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