CANNASWEEP

WEEK OF MAY 24, 2024


OFW’s Cannabis Team regularly monitors cannabis news, legislation, regulation, and policy so our clients stay up-to-date on the latest developments impacting their business.


If you have any questions or would like more information about any of the items below, please contact us.


We also track cannabis-related legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress.  If you would like to learn more about our Congressional Bill Tracker, please reach out to Ben Dash


Federal Executive Branch — Office of the President, Departments and Agencies

  • Drugs and Addiction Science: The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Celebrates 50 Years of Research and Looks to the Future, stating: “[T]he landscape of substance use will continue to change, including the emergence of new and increasingly more powerful synthetic drugs, as well as state-level legislative changes in medicinal and recreational use of drugs like cannabis. Consequently, research should be able to inform public health and policymakers on these developments. This will benefit from more sensitive and accessible tools for detection of new compounds in the drug supply, as well as continued research on how cannabis, psychedelics, or other drugs marketed to consumers affect health, including their potential value as therapeutics.”
  • U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Has Granted Innocan Pharma a Meeting Date for LPT-CBD for Chronic Pain
  • President Biden – In an email blast that was sent out hours after the president announced the “monumental” step to reclassify cannabis, his campaign highlighted the “stark contrast with the Trump administration’s failures and broken promises on criminal justice reform and marijuana.” “It’s simple, Joe Biden smokes sleepy Don on delivering for the American people,” Biden-Harris 2024 Spokesperson James Singer said. “After four years of all talk, all failure from Donald Trump, Joe Biden is keeping his promise on marijuana policy, moving America forward, and making America safer.”

U.S. Congress

  • Mary Miller introduces Farm Bill amendment to close intoxicating hemp loophole – The amendment would change the definition of legal hemp to only include non-intoxicating cannabinoids that are derived naturally from the cannabis plant. (Politico)
  • Hemp and marijuana go to war – The Farm Bill has set the allies against each other over intoxicating products. (Politico)
  • Hemp industry smells wins as Congress drafts latest farm bill. Insiders expect reduced regulations for some portions of the industry but have an eye out for likely amendments that would ban certain hemp-derived products.
  • Draft of $1.5 trillion Farm Bill redefines hemp and cannabinoid regulation.
  • Farm Bill Draft Text Prompts Flurry of Responses From Lawmakers and Ag Organizations.
  • Mitch McConnell’s Cannabis Gambit: How The Farm Bill Unwittingly Fueled A THC Boom
  • Letter to Congress from the American Trucking Association, titled Impact of Reported Marijuana Rescheduling on Public Safety and Safety-Sensitive Industries, is found here. The ATA requested explicit allowance for continued employer drug testing of drivers and other safety-sensitive workers.
  • Sen. Brown (D-OH) tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana across the country.”
  • Sen. Warnock (D-GA), the lone Democrat to oppose the Secure and Fair Enforcement Regulation (SAFER) Banking Act, says he does support the reform but wants to ensure that communities most impacted by cannabis prohibition are not left behind if it’s enacted.
  • Sen. Fetterman (D-PA) tweeted, “rescheduling weed is the right move. Legalizing weed is the right move. Expunging nonviolent weed possession charges is the right move.”
  • Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) said, “We were hoping to have it be added but there was considerable back-and-forth concerning the SAFE Banking Act, and I think Sen. McConnell does not want the SAFE Banking Act.”
  • Sen. Ricketts (R-NE) said that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) rescheduling marijuana is “an absolutely horrible idea that it’s going to have a huge impact on our children. Marijuana is a dangerous drug.”
  • Sen. Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “It’s time [F]ederal regulations catch up with the times. We must pass commonsense national cannabis reform ASAP.”
  • Rep. Mace (R-SC-01) tweeted, “Just in time for the election, @POTUS has rescheduled marijuana. While this is great news, it only scratches the surface of the industry’s challenges such as access to loans & banking services. Let’s roll up (our sleeves) & get to work!”
  • Rep. Goldman (D-NY-10) tweeted, “Far too many Americans are sitting in prison for far too long because of our country’s outdated and ineffective war on drugs. While we work to fully legalize marijuana, I’m proud to join @RepBarbaraLee in urging @POTUS to pardon those still incarcerated for marijuana offenses.”

Cannabis Rescheduling/Descheduling

  • Federal Register Notice of the rescheduling of marijuana is found here. The comment period is open until 7/22/2024; submit a public comment here. OFW Law would be happy to assist in drafting comments. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Q&A to the CSA found here.
  • CRS Report, The Federal Status of Marijuana and the Policy Gap with States, is found here.
  • President Biden has acknowledged the rescheduling on X (formerly Twitter), found here. Biden announces support for DOJ measure to reclassify marijuana (Washington Post)
  • DEA – a notable holdout in Biden’s push to loosen Federal marijuana restrictions. the process normally steered by the DEA had been taken over by the DOJ and the action would not be signed by chief Anne Milgram but by Attorney General Merrick Garland. (The Associated Press)
  • DOJ takes ‘major step’ toward rescheduling marijuana (NBC News)
  • [Infographic] DEA’s Proposed Rules For Marijuana: What You Need To Know
  • U.S. reclassification could drive fresh research funding into marijuana sector. (Reuters)
  • Opinion: Legal Weed Is Coming. It’s Time to Come Up With Some Rules. (The New York Times)
  • Marijuana rescheduling moves businesses into ‘uncharted territory’ (The Hill). Marijuana may soon be a Schedule III drug: What will change? (The Hill).
  • Cannabis Rescheduling: HHS Findings and Legal Implications. (Mondaq)
  • The former U.S. drug czar under President Barack Obama expressed skepticism of marijuana’s medical value and the Biden administration’s move to Federally reschedule cannabis in a new interview, warning of ominous industry influence over politicians and the country’s medical review process.
  • Biden Drug Czar Says Marijuana Rescheduling Is ‘Based On Science And Evidence’ But Misstates Impact On Prescription Access.
  • Rescheduling Marijuana: How DOJ’s Action Could Transform The Industry.
  • Opinion: What a sane approach to marijuana regulation might look like (Washington Post).
  • Marijuana research could still be difficult after rescheduling (Axios).
  • Analysis – Cannabis Rescheduling: Winning the Battle, but Not the War (R Street).
  • US to Reclassify Cannabis in Dramatic Shift in Drug Policy. Here’s Why.

The States

Cannabis Abroad

  • Germany: 125 cannabis convicts released from prison after partial legalization
  • Antigua: Government Proposes Medical Marijuana Research Program
  • Jamaica: Opposition demands urgent action to address challenges in local marijuana industry
  • Thailand: In a move to deter recreational use, the Public Health Ministry is planning to put cannabis back on the category 5 narcotics list but classify it as a “soft drug”, under which its production, import, export, and use will be regulated by the ministry; Though Interior Minister Anutin Charnvirakul appears dissatisfied with the government’s plan to return marijuana to the list of controlled narcotics, he said he will respect the final decision; Thailand faces cannabis reclassification deadline
  • Australia: Hemp Bill gives Victorian farmers opportunity to grow and would reduce ‘onerous, confusing’ barriers, farm group says; The Dolphins National Rugby League club has worked to remove medicinal cannabis clinic branding from its jerseys and on signages displayed at stadiums during its games; Victorian medicinal cannabis patients will be allowed behind the wheel to test road safety
  • Canada: Feds refuse Toronto’s request to decriminalize simple drug possession
  • UK: Rocker Noel Gallagher wants Marijuana to be made legal in the UK to support NHS
  • USVI: VI Cannabis Program Rules and Regulations Completed

Customs and Trade

  • DEA Releases 2024 National Drug Threat Assessment, which says “the black market for marijuana continues, with substantial trafficking by Mexican cartels, and Chinese and other Asian organized crime groups profiting from illegal cultivation and sales, as well as exploitation of the ‘legal’ market.”
  • Aurora Marks First Shipment of Medical Cannabis to the New Zealand Market.
  • Southern New Mexico cannabis farmers face Federal seizures, risking northern sales.
  • Sen. Lankford (R-OK) tweeted, “Chinese criminal organizations are buying up OK farmland and partnering with Mexican cartels to grow and distribute marijuana. I’m leading the fight to stop it. #SoilAct”

Business, Banking, Insurance

  • A Federal judge has granted marijuana companies’ request to allow public access to a hearing this week in a key case where they’re seeking to shield in-state cannabis activity from Federal enforcement.
  • CanPay, the largest legitimate payment network for cannabis retailers and consumers, has announced a partnership with CannaPlan, an employee benefits platform for employers to provide funding for their employees’ cannabis purchases. 
  • Marijuana industry labor relations are reaching a crossroads
  • Beer Sellers Use a Loophole to Break Into Weed Drinks Market (Bloomberg)

  • Leafly Holdings, Inc. Reports First Quarter 2024 Financial Results – Reported net loss of $2.4 million and adjusted EBITDA1 loss of $0.9 million
  • Tilray Brands Announces At-The-Market Program to Fund Strategic and Accretive Acquisitions and Accelerate Expansion Plan Upon U.S. Cannabis Rescheduling When Effective
  • Top Marijuana Stocks For Cannabis Investors 2024

Other Noteworthy Updates

  • The 50-year movement to legalize cannabis was funded by a handful of very rich and ideologically diverse philanthropists. Here are lessons from the long marijuana campaign.
  • Cannabis compound’s neuroprotective properties revealed — could be key to treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Legalized Weed Is Landing More Seniors in the E.R. (The New York Times)
  • Since December 2019, increases in favor of marijuana legalization can be seen across the board, with those most likely to favor it including liberals (84%), Democrats (81%), voters under age 30 (79%), and urban voters (76%), and nonwhites (71%). (Fox News)
  • Does Legalizing Cannabis Increase Adolescent Use? This Expert Found Mixed Results. (The New York Times)
  • Cannabis poisonings among older adults have tripled, study finds
  • Teens who use marijuana are more likely to suffer psychotic disorders, study finds (NBC News)
  • Daily marijuana use outpaces daily drinking in the US, a new study says (ABC News)
  • How cannabis and psilocybin might help some of the 50 million Americans experiencing chronic pain (Michigan Medicine – Go Blue)
  • A single oral dose of 10 mg THC (in combination with 200 mg CBD) does not notably impair ‘next day’ cognitive function or driving performance relative to placebo in adults with insomnia disorder who infrequently use cannabis.

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If you are interested in exploring commercial opportunities in the cannabis space, we would be happy to assist you with any of your cannabis law questions, comments, or concerns. Please contact Tish Pahl (tpahl@ofwlaw.com), Kyla Kaplan (kkaplan@ofwlaw.com), Denise Calle (dcalle@ofwlaw.com), and Ben Dash (bdash@ofwlaw.com) for assistance.

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