Maine Legislature Approves Bill to Allow Marijuana Possession and Cultivation Convictions to be Sealed

Legislation allowing those with convictions for possessing or cultivating marijuana to have the charges sealed (hidden) from their criminal record has been passed by Maine’s full legislature.

House Bill 2236 was given approval Wednesday through the Maine House of Representatives by a vote of 90 to 57. The following day the Senate passed the measure 27 to 8.  The proposal will soon be sent to Governor Janet Mills, who is expected to sign it into law.

The measure will implement a recommendation of the Criminal Records Review Committee to add to the definition of “eligible criminal conviction” for the Maine Revised Statutes. “which identifies what is considered an eligible underlying crime for a person to file a post-judgment motion to seal criminal history record information related to the conviction for that crime, any Class D crime related to unlawfully possessing or cultivating marijuana when that crime was committed prior to January 30, 2017, the effective date of Maine’s first adult use cannabis laws.”
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Oregon Governor Signs Bill Extending Moratorium On Marijuana Business Licenses

Legislation extending the state’s moratorium on new marijuana business licenses has been signed into law by Oregon Governor Tina Kotek.

Governor Kotek has signed House Bill 4124 into law, following its overwhelming passage in the state legislature; the House passed it 55 to 1, with the Senate giving it approval by a vote of 20 to 7.

The new law prohibits the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission from accepting any new applications for new marijuana production or retail business licenses, until there are significant increases in population growth.
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Michigan: March Marijuana Sales Crush Monthly Record with $288 Million Sold

There was $288.8 million in marijuana sold legally in Michigan in March, beating the previous monthly record by over $8 million.

In total there was $288,843,279.77 worth of legal marijuana sold in March, according to data released by the Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency. This marks a drastic $27 million increase from February and a $46 million increase from January.

Of the $288 million in sales, just $2,053,021.25 was purchased by medical marijuana patients, with the remaining $286,790,258.52sold to recreational consumers.
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Missouri Committee Unanimously Approves Medical Psilocybin Bill

Missouri legislation to allow those with certain medical conditions to legally possess and use psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms”, has been given approval by a key House committee.

Dried psilocybin mushrooms.

Today the Missouri House Veterans Committee voted unanimously to pass House Bill 1830, a measure to allow the medical use of psilocybin if certain criteria is met. The measure will now be sent to the House Regulatory Oversight Committee.

As specified in this bill, “any person who acquires, uses, produces, possesses, transfers, or administers psilocybin for the person’s own therapeutic use will not be in violation of state or local law and will not be subject to a civil fine, penalty, or sanction so long as the person meets the following conditions:
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Poll: 59% of Those in US Believe Marijuana Home Grow Should Be Legal

According to the results of a new poll, a strong majority of those 21 and older in the United States believe adults should be allowed to grow marijuana for personal use.

The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll,  included 2,024 participants all aged 21 and older who were polled between February 15 and 20. A little over a third (713) of the survey’s participants self-reported as marijuana consumers.

The results of the poll show that 59% of Americans support legalizing the personal cultivation of marijuana. Currently 24 states have legalized recreational marijuana, but a few (Washington, for example) do not allow unlicensed marijuana cultivation.
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Democrats to Introduce Federal Marijuana Legalization Bill on 4/20, Clarifying Their Stance Prior to November Election

A trio of top Democrats in the US Senate, including Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, is seeking cosponsors for a marijuana legalization bill they plan to introduce on 4/20. Although the measure is unlikely to pass the US Congress this year, it may have a shot in 2025.

“Leader Schumer, Chair Wyden, and Senator Booker invite you to cosponsor the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA), a comprehensive bill to decriminalize, regulate, and tax cannabis”, states a letter circulating among members of the United States Senate. The CAOA would require the US attorney general to finalize rules removing marijuana as a controlled substance within 180 days, place a 5% federal excise tax on marijuana producers that would increase to 12.5% by the fifth year, and establish the Center for Cannabis Products within the FDA, tasked with regulating “the production, labeling, distribution, sales and other manufacturing and retail elements of the cannabis industry”.

Giving a knowing wink to marijuana consumers and supporters, the measure will be officially introduced on 4/20, the unofficial marijuana holiday.
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Study Using Data From Millions of Patients Finds Access to Medical Marijuana Improves Mental Health

According to the results of a newly released study, patients suffering from chronic health conditions report improvements in their mental health following the enactment of laws granting access to medical marijuana.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK and the University of Basel in Switzerland, and it was published in the journal Health Economics, Policy, and Law.

“The consequences of legal access to medical marijuana for individuals’ well-being are controversially assessed”, states the study. “We contribute to the discussion by evaluating the impact of the introduction of medical marijuana laws across US states on self-reported mental health considering different motives for cannabis consumption.”
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New Hampshire House Passes Marijuana Legalization Bill 239 to 136

New Hampshire’s full House of Representatives gave approval today to legislation that would make their state the 25th to legalize recreational marijuana.

By a vote of 239 to 136, the House voted to send House Bill 1633 to the Senate. The measure, filed by State Representative Erica Layon (R), was approved by the House seven weeks after the chamber gave approval to slightly differing language.

The measure will now be sent to the state’s Senate, with approval there putting the measure on the desk of Governor Sununu.
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FDA Commissioner Says “There’s No Reason for the DEA to Delay” Marijuana Scheduling Decision

During a committee hearing today in the United States House of Representatives, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf said “there’s no reason for the DEA to delay” a decision regarding marijuana’s scheduling status.

FDA Commissioner Robert Califf (photo credit: Win McNamee / Getty Images).

During a hearing today of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, Congressmember Nancy Mace (R-SC) asked Commissioner Califf; “I understand this issue now rests with the DEA, I’m curious if you have an update on the timing of their decision?”

Commissioner Califf responded by saying that even if he knew, he couldn’t say publicly. Rep. Mace followed up by asking “do you think it will happen this year?”
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U.S. Congress: Lawmakers From 39 States Are Sponsoring Federal Marijuana Banking Act

Bicameral and bipartisan legislation to allow marijuana banking is now sponsored by lawmakers from 39 states.

The SAFE Banking Act in the House (filed last April) and SAFER Banking Act in the Senate (filed in September) would both allow banks and other financial institutions to provide banking services to marijuana businesses that are legal under state law. It would also allow licensed marijuana businesses to take standard IRS tax deductions.

In the House, the measure has 114 sponsors, more than any marijuana-related bill in US history. In the Senate, the measure has 36 sponsors, representing over a third of the full chamber.
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