SC medical cannabis bill advances to debate (Newsletter: February 8, 2024)

VA legal sales advances; FL marijuana potency cap; HI psilocybin; Sen. Warren on legalization; Europe cannabis initiative; Entourage effect study

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Virginia House General Laws Committee approved an amended bill to legalize recreational marijuana sales starting on January 1, 2025—sending it to a floor vote as separate cannabis commerce legislation is pending in the Senate.

The South Carolina Senate began debate on a bill to legalize medical cannabis, approving an amendment on vaping—with lawmakers expected to take the legislation up again and potentially vote on it on Thursday.

The Florida Senate Health Policy Committee approved a bill to preemptively enact a THC potency limit on recreational marijuana in case voters approve a legalization initiative in November. Similar legislation is also advancing in the House.

The Hawaii House Judiciary & Hawaiian Affairs Committee and Health & Homelessness Committee both approved a bill to create legal protections for the therapeutic use of psilocybin.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said it “shouldn’t be that hard” for the U.S. to “join the 21st century” and legalize marijuana—though she avoided Stephen Colbert’s question about whether she was high on cannabis during their interview.

The European Commission cleared activists to launch a signature drive for a multi-national initiative that would foster access to medical marijuana and promote research into the therapeutic potential of cannabis.

The Medford, Massachusetts City Council passed a psychedelics decriminalization resolution—the eighth city in the state to do so. The measure also calls for changes to a proposed statewide legalization initiative that could be on the 2024 ballot.

A new scientific review sheds light on how the “intricate interplay between cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids”—known as the entourage effect—”holds the key to unlocking the full therapeutic potential of cannabis.”

“The concept of the entourage effect suggests that the combined action of cannabinoids and terpenes may result in a synergistic or additive therapeutic effect greater than the sum of their individual effects.”

Arkansas activists submitted a redrafted ballot initiative to allow medical cannabis homegrow, remove the specific list of qualifying conditions and trigger recreational marijuana legalization after federal reform—following the attorney general’s rejection of an initial version.

The Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is asking the state Supreme Court to decertify the Legal Marijuana Now Party as a major political party.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted about robberies against cannabis businesses, saying, “This is why we need to get SAFER Banking passed. I’m working to get it done to support Oregon small businesses and protect workers.”

The House marijuana banking bill got three new cosponsors for a total of 102.

The House bill to create a military grants program for psychedelic research got one new cosponsor for a total of 15.

/ STATES

The Georgia Senate passed a bill to create a commission that supporters say can rein in prosecutors who refuse to pursue marijuana possession cases.

New York’s Assembly majority leader said she is open to making changes to the marijuana legalization law.

A Pennsylvania senator is co-hosting a new marijuana podcast,. He also praised Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) for pushing for marijuana legalization in his budget proposal.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health concluded that safe consumption sites for illegal drugs are an “evidence-based, life-saving tool that aligns with DPH’s approach to reduce the harms of substance use.”

California regulators are moving to adopt emergency rules allowing marijuana cultivation licensees to make certain changes at the time of renewal.

Missouri regulators issued a variance for labeling of marijuana edibles.

Oregon regulators published guidance on psilocybin social equity rules.

Rhode Island regulators reached a consent agreement with a marijuana business that will pay a $10,000 penalty to resolve a vendor payment issue.

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.—/ INTERNATIONAL

The Philippine House Health and Dangerous Drugs Committees approved a medical cannabis bill.

The Canadian government’s review of the country’s marijuana legalization law is on track to be published in the spring.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “in [autism spectrum disorder], cannabinoid derivatives have demonstrated efficacy in controlling behavior and irritability.”

A study found that seizures of psilocybin mushrooms “have increased, suggesting that availability may be escalating.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York State Conference of Mayors submitted testimony to state lawmakers about proposed changes to marijuana enforcement and tax rules.

Unlimited Sciences launched a psychedelic info line.

/ BUSINESS

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s cannabis-focused Hawthorne unit reported quarterly sales of $80.1 million.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. appointed a former Ben & Jerry’s CEO to its board of directors.

STIIIZY INC. has a new chief financial officer.

/ CULTURE

Former football player Calvin Johnson said he used to smoke marijuana before games.

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