US Legislation to Allow Marijuana Banking Sponsored by Lawmakers From 37 States

Federal legislation to allow banks to provide financial services to state-legal marijuana businesses is sponsored by lawmakers from 37 different states.

The SAFE Banking Act in the US House of Representatives has 98 sponsors, while the SAFER Banking Act has 35 sponsors in the Senate. Although the SAFER Banking Act is an updated version of the SAFE Banking Act (filed five months later in September) and includes several additional provisions, both measures would allow banks and other financial institutes like credit unions to provide services to marijuana businesses that are legal under their state’s law.

In September the Senate version of the bill received approval by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying November that the full Senate is “getting close” to a vote.
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In US Over 2.3 Million Marijuana Expungements Issued Since 2018

According to an analysis by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, state courts have either expunged or sealed the records of more than two million marijuana-related cases since 2018.

According to publicly available data, state and local courts have expunged an estimated 2.3 million marijuana-related cases. States that have been most active in providing relief to those with past convictions include California, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws in recent years providing explicit pathways to either expunge, seal, annul, or otherwise set aside the records of those with low-level marijuana convictions. In some jurisdictions — such as California, Connecticut, Illinois, Missouri, and New Jersey — courts automatically review past records and notify those who meet the state’s criteria for expungement. In other jurisdictions — such as Arizona and Massachusetts — laws require those seeking legal relief to petition the courts to have their records reviewed and vacated.
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$283 Million Worth of Medical Marijuana Sold in Arkansas in 2023, Over $1 Billion Since 2020

2023 was a record-breaking year for medical marijuana sales in Arkansas.

According to data released by the Arkansas  Department of Finance and Administration, there was $283 million worth of medical marijuana and medical marijuana products sold throughout 2023. Sales included marijuana flower as well as a variety of marijuana products such as tinctures, lotions and capsules.

The $283 million in sales brings the total since 2020 to over $1 billion, and the total since the start of medical marijuana sales in 2019 to $1.035 billion.
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New Jersey Assembly and Senate Approves Bill to Allow State Officers to Represent Marijuana Businesses

New Jersey’s full Senate and Assembly have given approval to legislation to allow state officers to represent marijuana businesses and marijuana business applicants.

Senate Bill 4268 was given approval today in the Senate by an overwhelming vote of 33 to 2. The measure, filed by Senator Nicholas Scutari, was then amended slightly and passed in the Assembly 48 to 26. Given it was amended in the Assembly, it will need to go back to the Senate for one final vote of concurrence before it can be sent to Governor Phil Murphy for consideration.

This bill, as amended, “would permit special State officers or employees who do not have responsibility for matters affecting medical cannabis or personal use cannabis business activities to represent, appear for, or negotiate on behalf of cannabis businesses, applicants for cannabis businesses, and certain other entities associated with cannabis business activities, such as an entity that employs or uses a medical or personal use cannabis handler to perform work for or on behalf of a cannabis business.”
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Study: Colleges See Increase in Applications Following State Marijuana Legalization

When a state legalizes marijuana, colleges in that state see a large increase in applicants, according to a recently published study.

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The study was conducted by researchers at Oxford College and the University of South Carolina, and it published in the peer-reviewed journal Contemporary Economic Policy with the title Higher education: The impact of recreational marijuana on college applications.

“Using a two-way fixed effects difference-in-differences model, we investigate the effects of local recreational marijuana (RMJ) policy changes on college applications and find that the three largest state public schools reaped, on average, an almost 54% increase in applications”, states the study.
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Maine: $19 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in December, $216 Million in 2023

Maine marijuana sales passed $200 million in 2023.

There was $19,310,089 worth of marijuana and marijuana products sold via licensed retail outlets in Maine in December, according to the state’s Office of Cannabis Policy. These sales were spread out among 338,983 transactions different transactions.

December sales bring the total marijuana sales for 2023 to $216.86 million.
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US House Bill to Decriminalize and Deschedule Marijuana Sponsored by Lawmakers From 26 States

A federal House bill to fully decriminalize marijuana across the United States is sponsored by lawmakers representing the majority of states.

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, first filed by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D) in September, has 80 sponsors. These sponsors represent 26 different states, including states that are typically seen as more conservative like Tennessee, Texas and Ohio.

The MORE Act would completely deschedule marijuana, removing it from the federal list of controlled substances. This would decriminalize marijuana nationwide, while placing a 5% tax (that rises to 8% by the fifth year) on legal marijuana sales in states that decide to allow it.
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Report: Medical Marijuana Market Valued at $14.50 Billion, to Grow to $60 Billion Value by 2030

The global market for medical marijuana was valued at $14.50 billion in 2022 and is expected to more than quadruple by 2030.

According to a new report conducted by the research firm SkyQuest, the global market for medical marijuana grew was $11.84 billion in 2021 to $14.50 billion in 2022. It’s anticipated to grow to be worth over $60 billion by 2030, representation an eye-opening compound annual growth rate of 22.5%.

“The medical cannabis market is currently in a phase of significant growth, primarily attributed to the increasing awareness surrounding its diverse therapeutic applications”, states the report. “Cannabis and its derivatives, including CBD and THC, have garnered attention for their potential to address various health concerns.”
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Wisconsin Republicans Unveil Medical Marijuana Legalization BIll

Wisconsin Republicans have officially unveiled legislation aimed at legalizing the medical use of marijuana.

In multiple press conferences held throughout the state today, leading Republican lawmakers revealed their conservative approach to legalizing medical marijuana.

The proposed law would allow those with a physician recommendation to possess a variety of marijuana products such as tinctures and capsules, while not allow patients to actually smoke marijuana. Patients would be allowed to purchase medical marijuana products from state-operated dispensaries that are staffed by government pharmacists. The state’s dispensary system would be overseen by the Department of Health Services.
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WA Bill to Require Cities to Get Voter Approval to Ban Marijuana Stores Scheduled for Public Hearing

Legislation requiring cities to get voter approval before they can place prohibitions on marijuana businesses will receive a public hearing tomorrow in the Washington State Legislature.

House Bill 1650 will receive a public hearing at 4:00PM in the House Committee on Regulated Substances & Gaming. The measure was approved through the committee last February by a vote of 6 to 5, but it didn’t advance any further in the House of Representatives prior to the end of last year’s legislative session.

The proposed law would “ban local governments from prohibiting cannabis retail businesses in their jurisdiction after July 1, 2027, unless a majority of voters in the jurisdiction voting in a general election vote to approve an ordinance prohibiting cannabis retailers.”
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