North Carolina Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Through Final Reading, Sending it to House

With overwhelming support, legislation that would legalize medical marijuana has been given approval by the North Carolina Senate.

House Bill 563 passed its third and final reading this evening, officially advancing the measure to the House of Representatives. The vote was 36 to 10. Once approved by the House, it will proceed to Governor Roy Cooper (D), who supports the legislation.

Originally introduced to regulate the hemp industry and prohibit hemp products on school grounds, the bill underwent significant amendments in the Senate Judiciary Committee. These changes included provisions for legalizing medical marijuana, leading to its approval by the full Senate.
Continue reading

New Jersey Assembly Committee Approves Bill to Criminalize Kratom

Legislation that would “criminalize the manufacture, possession and sale of products containing kratom” has been given approval by a key Assembly committee in New Jersey.

Kratom products.

Assembly Bill 3797, filed in February by State Representative Sean Kean (R), was passed today by the Assembly State and Local Government Committee, sending it to a 2nd reading by the full Assembly.

Currently, possession and distribution of kratom is not barred by federal or New Jersey law. This bill “amends existing law to include kratom as a controlled dangerous substance and to sets out gradations for crimes involving the substance.”
Continue reading

Get Paid to Smoke Free Joints: DaySavers and Cannabis Research Coalition Extend Sign-Up for Study

DaySavers and the Cannabis Research Coalition, continue to seek those interesting in participating in their first-of-its-kind study called The Science of Smokeability (SOS).

“DaySavers is partnering with the Cannabis Research Coalition on a groundbreaking study on the Science of Smokeability”, states DaySavers on their website. “This 2+ year study will be exploring how cultivation and processing metrics impact the smoking experience, filling a critical gap in cannabis research. 200 random participants will be shipped 2 free pre-rolls and be paid $4.20 to smoke those joints and fill out a survey comparing the 2 pre-rolls. The data collected in this study will change the way cannabis is grown and how pre-rolls are made for the rest of time – this is your chance to be part of history!”

DaySavers has extended the enrollment period for the study, from June 30 to July 31.
Continue reading

Poll: 65% of New Hampshire Residents Support Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

According to new polling release by the University of New Hampshire, a strong majority of adults living in the state support legalizing recreational marijuana.

Six in 10 New Hampshire residents support a bill to legalize recreational marijuana that was recently tabled by the New Hampshire House of Representatives, finds the new Granite State Poll. About two-thirds of state residents support marijuana legalization in some form.

“Despite broad public support, a bipartisan compromise to legalize recreational marijuana in the state was tabled by the New Hampshire House of Representatives, effectively killing the bill for this legislative session”, states a press release from the university. “Two-thirds (65%) of Granite Staters strongly (45%) or somewhat (20%) support legalizing marijuana for recreational use, 19% are strongly (11%) or somewhat (8%) opposed, 15% are neutral on the issue, and less than 1% are unsure.”
Continue reading

United Nations Expert Report Calls for End to the “War on Drugs”

A independent expert with the United Nations today released a report calling for an end to the “war on drugs”, asking States to move towards harm reduction in drug policies.

The logo for the United Nations Human Rights Council.

In her fourth report to the Human Rights Council, Tlaleng Mofokeng, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, focused on drug use, harm reduction and the right to health. The report explores how harm reduction relates to both drug use and drug use disorders, as well as to drug laws and policies, aiming to analyse and address the related outcomes that adversely impact the enjoyment of the right to health.

“The enforcement of drug laws and policies compounds other forms of discrimination and disproportionately affects certain individuals, such as persons in situations of homelessness or poverty, persons with mental health issues, sex workers, women, children, LGBTIQA+ persons, Black persons, Indigenous Peoples, migrants, persons who are incarcerated or detained, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV, tuberculosis or hepatitis, and persons living in rural areas,” Mofokeng told the Council. “International drug control conventions have negatively affected the availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of certain drugs used as medicines.”
Continue reading

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Say Marijuana Legalization Bill Could Pass Today or Later This Week

Bipartisan Pennsylvania lawmakers held a press conference today to provide an update on their attempt to legalize recreational marijuana this session.

“We are surrounded by states that have already legalized the adult use of cannabis, and they are taking advantage of the fact that we have not,” said Representative Emily Kinkead (D). “There are Pennsylvania dollars to be spent on adult use, and they want to capitalize on it when we should be doing that. We should be using Pennsylvania dollars in Pennsylvania to support Pennsylvanians, and we should be learning from all of the other states about the way to do this best and the way to best capitalize on it.”

The press conference was also attended by Representative Aaron Kaufer (R), who, along with Rep. Kinkead, is sponsoring House Bill 2500. This bill would legalize recreational marijuana for everyone 21 and older and establish a legal framework for its sale, prioritizing licensing for disadvantaged groups. It also seeks to expunge past criminal charges related to marijuana distribution.
Continue reading

Report: Global Medical Cannabis Market Projected to Reach $121.33 Billion by 2033

The global medical cannabis market is set for substantial growth, projected to increase from $17.60 billion in 2023 to an impressive $121.33 billion by 2033.

This expansion, driven by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.30%, is detailed in a recent report by Spherical Insights & Consulting.

The report identifies several key players in the industry, including Aurora Cannabis Inc., MedReleaf Corp., TerrAscend Corp., Canopy Growth Corporation, GW Pharmaceuticals, and others. These companies are at the forefront of a market that is rapidly expanding due to increased legalization and growing acceptance of cannabis as a legitimate medical treatment.
Continue reading

Minnesota Opens Applications for Early Marijuana Business Licenses Today

Minnesota veterans and individuals with past marijuana convictions can begin applying for the state’s first marijuana business licenses starting today.

The Minnesota Legislature approved a “preapproval” licensing process for the Office of Cannabis Management, allowing regulators to expedite approval for some businesses. This initiative is in preparation for the state’s cannabis market launch in 2025.

The initial step involves verifying eligibility for early licensing. Applicants must meet the “social equity applicant” criteria, which include veterans, new farmers, residents from high-poverty areas, and individuals convicted of cannabis possession or sale before legalization last year.
Continue reading

Ohio: Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin This Week

By the end of this week, licensed recreational marijuana sales are expected to begin for the first time in Ohio history.

On Friday, Ohio’s Division of Cannabis Control granted over 60 provisional dual licenses for dispensaries, cultivators, processors, and testing labs, just two weeks after the application process began. According to State Representative Jamie Callender (R-Concord), Chair of the Joint Committee On Agency Rule Review, which is the rulemaking committee for Ohio’s Department of Cannabis Control, these provisional license are expected to be finalized this week, with sales beginning as soon as Wednesday.

Recreational marijuana possession and cultivation became legal in December after voters approved Issue 2 in November. Under this new law, individuals 21 and older can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates, such as wax, oil, and hash. They are also allowed to cultivate up to six marijuana plants at a private residence for personal use.
Continue reading

Federal Court Throws Out Lawsuit Aiming to Prevent DEA From Banning Psychedelics

The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) procedure for scheduling decisions as the agency aims to prohibit two psychedelic substances.

Judge Ricardo Martinez officially issued the dismissal order on Thursday, stating that the plaintiffs failed to comply with a court directive to secure legal representation by a specified deadline, resulting in the termination of the case. This decision follows the DEA’s formal cancellation of an administrative hearing regarding the classification of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC) as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) about two weeks prior. The hearing was initially postponed by a DEA administrative law judge due to the now-dismissed lawsuit, leaving open the possibility of rescheduling.

Panacea Plant Sciences (PPS), the plaintiff, had contested the administrative hearing process leading to final rulemaking. They argued that the DEA’s reliance on administrative law judges for such decisions was unconstitutional, referencing U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Continue reading