Americans more likely to smoke cannabis than cigarettes (Newsletter: February 7, 2024)

Admin shoots down marijuana speculation; VP Harris touts pardons; PA gov legalization push; NY gov cannabis changes; CA, IN & AK psychedelics

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rumors about an imminent federal action on cannabis are swirling, but a Biden administration official told Marijuana Moment on Tuesday that they would “wave off” the speculation that anything will be announced this week.

A new Gallup poll shows that Americans are more likely to smoke cannabis than cigarettes—with young people between the ages of 18 and 34 being more than five times more likely to use marijuana than cigarettes.

“Americans’ reported marijuana smoking has more than doubled since 2013.”

Vice President Kamala Harris cited President Joe Biden’s mass marijuana pardon as an example of actions the administration is taking to appeal to young and Black voters—saying that “nobody should have to go to jail for smoking weed.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) used his budget address to call on lawmakers to send him a marijuana legalization bill—saying he’s “sick and tired of losing to friggin’ Ohio” and other neighboring states that have enacted the reform already.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is so frustrated with the slow launch of the state’s recreational marijuana market that she’s “looking at opportunities to make major changes” to the leadership of state cannabis regulatory bodies.

The Indiana Senate passed a bill to create a state fund to support research on using psilocybin to treat military veterans and first responders with PTSD, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and other conditions. The Democratic minority leader filed an amendment that would have created a medical cannabis program, but didn’t force a vote on it.

Bipartisan California lawmakers filed a bill to legalize psychedelic service centers where people could access psilocybin, MDMA, mescaline and DMT in a supervised environment with trained facilitators.

The Alaska Senate Labor and Commerce Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a Mental Health and Psychedelic Medicine Task Force that would be charged with recommending frameworks for legalization and possible licensure for therapeutic practitioners.

The New Mexico Senate voted to allow marijuana  drive-thrus to continue operating, with one lawmaker saying his local police chief told him there have been no problems associated with the cannabis dispensary windows.

The Minnesota Office of Cannabis Management plans to ask lawmakers to close a loophole in the state’s marijuana laws that allows sales of high-potency flower billed as “hemp” to go unregulated.

/ FEDERAL

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow acknowledged that “there are people that are able to recover and yet they are not absolutely free of every substance.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “Even if you live in a state where marijuana has been legalized or decriminalized, we still need marijuana to be legalized at the federal level. That’s why my Democratic colleagues and I called on the DEA to fully deschedule marijuana.”

Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-OR) is being accused of potentially receiving “an illegal prohibited contribution” from a marijuana business.

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 99.

/ STATES

Massachusetts regulators posted rules for the Cannabis Social Equity Trust Fund.

Alaska regulators are proposing changes to rules on marijuana special investigator hiring standards.

Rhode Island regulators published guidance on marijuana curbside pickup.

Montana regulators published guidance on synthetic cannabinoid products.

Vermont regulators posted guidance about marijuana business license renewals.

The Colorado Department of Transportation conducted a study on the marijuana-impaired driving behaviors of Generation Z.

Minnesota officials increased the pay scale for the state’s top marijuana regulator.

Oregon regulators published a blog post on how funding allocated by the state’s voter-approved drug decriminalization law helped a substance use disorder treatment provider expand its work.

Wyoming regulators posted a list of licensed hemp businesses.

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

San Francisco, California’s mayor is supporting a ballot measure that would allow the city to screen single adults on local welfare for substance misuse issues.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s cabinet is expected to consider legislation to clarify that recreational marijuana is banned next week.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “while medical cannabis consumption is becoming increasingly normalized among older adults, stigma related to cannabis persists and continues to shape older adults’ experiences.”

The North Carolina AMVETS Service Foundation is partnering with researchers on a clinical study on the efficacy of CBD for military veterans.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that North Carolina voters support legalizing medical cannabis, 78 percent to 18 percent.

A poll of Washington, D.C. lobbyists found that 9 percent believe a marijuana banking bill is likely to pass in 2024, with 64 percent saying it is unlikely.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf International acquired Can4Med.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. is suing Casa Verde Capital over alleged fraud.

/ CULTURE

Actress Eliza Dushku donated $100,000 to the Massachusetts psychedelics legalization ballot initiative campaign.

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