Newsletter: D.C. Cannabis Sales Blocked Again in Biden Budget as Maryland Awards Licenses


Biden Budget Includes Rider Blocking D.C. Cannabis Sales, Again

The Biden Administration has once again included a provision in its budget to block Washington D.C. from using funds to implement its voter-approved adult-use cannabis marketplace, continuing a nearly decade-long congressional intervention that has prevented the city from establishing a regulated cannabis industry despite local and national support for legalization.

  • The six employees arrested in the early March raid on the transitioning gifting shop will have their first court hearings Mar. 27. Records show that almost 5 pounds of mushrooms and 32 pounds of alleged cannabis products were confiscated.

Maryland lottery held successfully

The Maryland cannabis lottery was held virtually on Thursday with 179 licenses being awarded to the lucky few of the 1,500 qualified social equity applicants.

  • Maryland launched the first-ever state reference lab for cannabis in the US. This lab will double-check the results from independent labs that test cannabis products before they are sold.

VA rec market stalls again

A passed bill to launch a legal cannabis market in Virginia hit the governor’s desk, but Youngkin is unlikely to sign. He has until early April to act on the bill.

  • Fairfax County Police Department busted two people including a juvenile and found 36 pounds of alleged marijuana, guns and THC vapes.
  • A Maryland woman was arrested at Dulles Airport for trying to smuggle 53 pounds of marijuana to Paris

East Coast Round Up

A cannabis company owner in New York who spoke out about illegal products in the legal market faced retaliation from regulators, including a shutdown of her facility. This incident is likely to further damage trust between the cannabis industry and the state’s regulatory body.

To improve accountability, New York regulators are implementing a system to report on businesses that miss payments within the marijuana industry.

New York’s Gov. Hochul ordered a review to speed up the licensing process starting this week after declaring the licensing rollout a “disaster.”

Massachusetts’ governor plans to pardon hundreds of thousands with past misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions.Massachusetts surpassed $7 billion in legal marijuana sales despite the price per gram of weed dropping to record lows.

Around the country

The Emerald Cup was postponed from May to Aug. 17 & 18, 2024.

A study suggests cannabis use before sex may improve orgasm frequency, satisfaction, and ease for women with orgasm difficulty.

The New Orleans police chief is requesting new facilities due to the “deplorable” conditions in their current headquarters. She said rats are getting to weed in the evidence room: “They are all high.”

Federal prosecutors are investigating social media giant Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, for its possible role in enabling illegal drug sales on its platforms.

Following Trulieve’s success in reducing its tax burden with a strategy against the 280E tax rule, Ascend Wellness Holdings is attempting a similar approach. Ascend expects this strategy to not only recover past tax payments but also cover their entire 2023 federal tax bill.

From the Swamp

VP Harris held a roundtable discussion about cannabis, calling cannabis’s classification as “absurd.”

Biden continues to tout his cannabis policy while blocking D.C. from legalizing cannabis in his own proposed spending bill. He’s reportedly at odds with DEA officials as he pushes for rescheduling.

Sen. Cory Booker refused to comment on if the DEA descheduling date is Apr 15, 2024. In short hope is still alive but no concrete evidence to forecast an April cannabis change at the DEA.


Maryland is considering establishing a task force that will study decriminalizing psychedelic substances with a report due by July 2025.

Denver, Colorado is launching a psychedelic response training program for emergency workers.

Don’t miss this week

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