Federal Legislation to Allow Marijuana Banking Gains Three New Sponsors, Now Has 128

Legislation in the US House of Representatives that would allow nationwide marijuana banking now has 128 sponsors

Congressmembers Ted Lieu (D-CA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) and Haley Stevens (D-MI) have joined as cosponsors to the SAFE Banking Act (H.R. 2891), bringing the total number of sponsors to 128. No other marijuana-related bill in the US Congress has more sponsors.

The SAFE Banking Act would provide explicit federal protections for banks and credit unions that provide financial services to state-legal marijuana businesses. These businesses include medical marijuana dispensaries in the 38 states where they are legal, and recreational marijuana stores in the 23 states where they are authorized.
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Montana Marijuana Sales Top $26 Million in June, All-Time Sales Surpass $750 Million Resulting in $127 Million in Taxes

In June, Montana’s marijuana sales were the highest since September 2023, with all-time sales now exceeding $775 million.

According to data from the Montana Department of Revenue, licensed marijuana stores sold $26,945,439 worth of product in June, the highest amount since the $28,159,456 sold in September last year. August 2023 remains the month with the highest marijuana sales at $28,697,312.

In June, the vast majority of legal marijuana was purchased by recreational consumers ($23,157,228), while medical marijuana patients purchased $3,788,211.
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North Carolina Tribe to Begin Marijuana Sales for Everyone 21+ Next Month, Lawmakers Push Federal Stop Pot Act in Response

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) will open its marijuana megastore to everyone 21+ next month, regardless of whether they are a tribal member or a medical marijuana patient.

The Great Smoky Cannabis Company —located in a former bingo hall that cost over $50 million to refurbish— opened for medical marijuana sales in April. On July 4, it began recreational marijuana sales, with sales exclusive to tribal members. Now, the store is preparing to open to everyone 21 and older, with sales beginning sometime in August.

The Great Smoky Cannabis Company is located near Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, roughly three hours from Charlotte and 4.5 hours from Raleigh. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal Council voted last month to legalize recreational marijuana. The vote followed a September ordinance approved by tribal members, requesting the council to develop legislation to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana.
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US Congress: 25 GOP Lawmakers Condemn Marijuana Rescheduling in Letter to DOJ

Today, Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Senator James Lankford (R-OK) released a bicameral letter with 23 other Members of Congress “strongly opposing the Biden administration’s recent decision to move marijuana from a Schedule I to Schedule III substance.”

According to a press release sent from Rep. Sessions office, the letter “emphasizes that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made the recommendation to reschedule based on politics, not science.” The group of Republicans says that rescheduling “ignores the increasing danger of high-potency marijuana, creating a high risk for public health threats such as youth overdoses, schizophrenia, and psychosis.”

Rep. Sessions says “The decision to disregard public safety and medical concerns to reclassify marijuana is strictly political. This egregious proposed rule fails to provide sufficient science and data in support. Senator Lankford and I are leading the charge in raising the alarm from Congress”
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U.S. Senate Committee Approves Bill Allowing VA Doctors to Recommend Medical Marijuana

The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved legislation that would allow Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana.

(Photo credit: GETTY Images).

Under current law, VA doctors are prohibited from recommending medical marijuana to their patients, even if those patients reside in states where medical marijuana is legal. A provision that would end this prohibition is included in the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies 2025 budget, approved today by the Senate Appropriations Committee in a unanimous voice vote.

Last month, the full House of Representatives voted 290 to 116 to pass their version of the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies budget, which also included a provision allowing veterans access to medical marijuana.
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New York Issues Over 100 Marijuana Business Licenses, Total Now Exceeds 700

Today, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the New York State Cannabis Control Board (CCB) “took substantial steps to advance the state’s cannabis regulatory framework during this month’s board meeting, addressing several key topics: license approvals, market updates, and enforcement updates.”

“New York is building a robust and equitable legal market that is driving significant economic growth for our communities,” Governor Hochul said in a press release. “The issuance of 109 additional adult-use licenses is just one step in developing New York’s nation-leading cannabis industry.”

The CCB authorized the issuance of 109 adult-use cannabis licenses spanning the supply chain, encompassing microbusinesses, cultivators, processors, distributors, and retail dispensaries. This move paves the way for entrepreneurs and businesses to enter the budding adult-use cannabis market, driving economic growth and fostering innovation.
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Report: Legal Marijuana Market Valued at $47 Billion, Expected to Grow to $194 Billion by 2034

The global legal marijuana market is set to experience substantial growth over the next decade, according to a recent report by Prophecy Market Insights.

Currently valued at $47 billion in 2024, the market is expected to surge to $194 billion by 2034, growing at an annual rate of 16.9%.

The “Legal Cannabis Market Report” breaks down the market into segments by source (flowers, seed oil, others), compound (THC, CBD, balanced THC & CBD), product (cannabis oil, beverages, chocolates & gummies, others), and application (medical, scientific, industrial, and horticultural). This comprehensive report underscores the rapid legalization and growing acceptance of cannabis worldwide, transforming it into a multi-billion-dollar industry with vast potential.
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Initiative to Legalize Psychedelics Officially Placed on November Ballot in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, an initiative to legalize certain psychedelics has been officially placed on the November 2024 presidential election ballot.

Mescaline (top left), ibogaine (top right), psilocybin mushrooms (bottom left), and DMT (bottom right).

Today, Massachusetts Secretary of State William F. Galvin announced that Massachusetts for Mental Health Options (MMHO) has submitted enough valid signatures for their initiative to be voted on this November.

The proposed law would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of up to one gram of DMT, 18 grams of non-peyote mescaline, 30 grams of Ibogaine, one gram of psilocybin, and one gram of psilocin. Possessing up to twice this amount would be punishable by a fine of up to $100.
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California State Fair, July 12-28, Will Feature Onsite Marijuana Sales, 30,000 Square Feet Consumption Lounge

The California State Fair begins Friday, July 12, and runs until July 28. This year, for the first time, the fair will include onsite marijuana sales and consumption, along with expanded marijuana competitions.

In 2022, the California State Fair introduced an educational cannabis exhibit, as well as marijuana competitions similar to competitions the fair holds for other products like cheese and wine. This year, the fair includes a broadened cannabis competition and onsite sales and consumption.

“Hosting cannabis sales and consumption is a groundbreaking milestone in destigmatization by facilitating a deeper connection between consumers and the farmers who cultivate their products with such care,” says Lauren Carpenter, Co-Founder of Embarc, the fair’s partner in facilitating onsite marijuana sales and consumption. “Joining James Leitz, pioneer of the educational exhibit and competition for the past two years, on an expanded competition and experiential dispensary is a major step forward for responsible normalization.”
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Connecticut: $24 Million Worth of Legal Marijuana Sold in June, $150 Million in First Half of 2024

In Connecticut, around $24 million worth of legal marijuana and marijuana products were sold in June, continuing strong sales trends.

According to data released by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, $16,267,583 in recreational marijuana was sold via licensed retail outlets in June. Additionally, $7,656,831 in medical marijuana was sold, combining for a total of $23,924,414, a slight decrease from the $24,713,887 sold in May.

Sales totals include dried marijuana flower and shake, as well as a variety of marijuana products such as edibles, tinctures, concentrates, capsules, and topicals.
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