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Newsletter: D.C. brings in 420 with an tax break for medical cannabis patients

D.C. Enacts Medical Marijuana Patient Card Extension and Tax Holiday 

The District of Columbia has implemented significant changes for medical marijuana patients, extending the validity period for registration cards and offering a temporary tax break on purchases. Signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser on April 8th, the new law streamlines the registration process for qualifying patients and caregivers. Previously, these cards expired every two years, requiring renewal. Now, new registrants will receive cards valid for six years, reducing administrative burdens and simplifying access to medical cannabis. Registration remains free for D.C. residents and caregivers until August 1st, 2024, with self-certification available for those 21 and older.

MariMed expands in Maryland

MariMed bought a dispensary license in Prince George’s County, Maryland for $5.3 million. The company plans to reopen the dispensary by the end of Q2 and sell adult-use cannabis products. This is MariMed’s second dispensary license in Maryland. 

Virginia Gov. Signs Bill Protecting State Employees from Medical Cannabis Discrimination

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Monday signed a bill protecting state employees registered in the state’s medical cannabis program from discrimination related to their status as a patient. The new bill covers firefighters, emergency service providers, teachers, and civil servants. Del. Dan Helmer (D), the bill’s sponsor, in February, told Virginia Business that a bill he sponsored three years ago to protect medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination “unintentionally did not protect public sector employees.”  

East Coast Round Up

New York approved 101 new licenses as it continues to fight against the illicit market. 

Massachusetts cannabis sales reached a record high of $154 million in March 2024. This surpasses the average sales of January and February 2024, which were around $143.5 million each.

New York lawmakers want to create a state fund to help give loans to people impacted by the war on drugs who want to transition to the legal market.

Around the country

In a surprising move, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have seized marijuana from state-licensed businesses in New Mexico during recent checkpoint stops. This has happened over a dozen times in the past few weeks.

Big marijuana companies (MSOs) are leaving some state markets despite legalization. This is due to high costs, taxes, and lack of federal legalization making it a risky business. Examples include The Cannabist Co. exiting Missouri and Utah, and Trulieve leaving Massachusetts. 

Culture & More

A recent government study found a dramatic rise in medical marijuana use. The number of patients enrolled in state programs skyrocketed by 610% since 2016, suggesting a growing social approval of cannabis.


The 2024 Vangst Jobs Report shows continued growth in the legal cannabis industry. The report highlights a 5.4% increase in cannabis jobs, bringing the total to over 440,000. Michigan and Missouri saw the most job growth, while established markets like California experienced some job losses. 


Truck driver shortage worsens as the federal government fails to update marijuana testing rules. Over 38,000 drivers failed drug tests in 2023, many leaving the industry. 

A recent Harris Poll, commissioned by a cannabis seed bank, found that nearly 60% of Americans over 21 support growing cannabis for personal use, highlighting a gap between public sentiment and legislation.

From the Swamp

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf said last week that there’s “no reason” for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to “delay” its cannabis rescheduling decision. 

The DOJ filed a brief asking for the dismissal of a lawsuit from cannabis businesses that want to prevent federal enforcement against their activities.


A single case study of a woman with long-covid found an 80% improvement in her symptoms using psilocybin mushrooms and MDMA under therapist guidance. A relapse occurred with a flu-like illness, but another psychedelic session led to a 90% improvement overall.

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