GOP candidate Ramaswamy on cannabis & psychedelics (Newsletter: August 16, 2023)

Yellen on shrooms; OH marijuana revenue projection; SD medical cannabis repeal; Study: medical marijuana tied to lower health insurance premiums

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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said he supports federally legalizing marijuana and allowing veterans with PTSD to use certain psychedelics—but he has made contradictory statements about broader drug decriminalization recently.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the magic mushrooms she ate at a restaurant in China were “delicious”—but they did not make her trip.

  • “I was not aware that these mushrooms had hallucinogenic properties. I learned that later.”

Ohio could generate up to $404 million in new annual tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales if voters approve a legalization measure that’s likely to appear on the November ballot, a new Ohio State University analysis projects.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley (R) filed a final explanation for a proposed ballot initiative to repeal the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis law.

A new study found that states that legalize medical cannabis see “a significant and sizable reduction in health insurance premiums.”

  • “Due to the nature of insurance pooling and community rating, these savings are appreciated by cannabis users and non-users alike.”

Missouri State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick (R) launched an investigation of the state’s marijuana programs to determine whether cannabis regulators are operating “in a manner that is efficient, accountable and transparent.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health recently hired more workers to help handle heavy interest in the state’s medical cannabis program—but patients say ongoing delays are impeding access and preventing relief.


Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) said at a National Black Prosecutors Association event that “forty years ago, ideas like the so-called ‘war on drugs’ and the ‘war on crime’ were ascendant,” but “since then, we’ve tempered our approach and understood that ‘smart on crime’ can be just as effective, if not more effective, as ‘tough on crime.’”

Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-PA) tweeted, “My constituent Marc Fogel has been detained in Russia for two long years—all for possession of a small amount of doctor-prescribed, medical marijuana. I will keep fighting to bring attention to Marc’s case and to build the public & political support to bring him home.”

Rep. Morgan Luttrell (R-TX) tweeted, “Psychedelic therapies give us the chance to save the lives of those who so graciously served our country. I’m proud to see support increasing in Congress for these emerging therapies that help treat PTSD and other trauma.”


Wisconsin’s Senate minority leader tweeted, “Minnesota has done the right thing by legalizing #Cannabis and working to right the wrongs of our past.  Across the river, Wisconsinites are ready to do the same. Our justice system is ready to #legalizeit, too.”

The South Dakota legislature’s Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee will meet on Monday.

New York regulators are reportedly withdrawing from settlement negotiations in a lawsuit challenging the marijuana dispensary license awarding process.

Connecticut officials are facing a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the state’s marijuana legalization law.

The manager of Oregon’s drug decriminalization program resigned, saying that state officials have conducted “maliciously negligent” oversight of the effort.

Maine regulators are initiating rulemaking to implement marijuana  reform laws enacted this session.

New Jersey regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Friday.


Homer, New York’s mayor authored an op-ed calling on Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to convene a special legislative session to address marijuana licensing issues.

The Cheyenne, Wyoming City Council passed a resolution calling on state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana.

The Winnebago County, Wisconsin Board’s Judiciary and Public Safety Committee rejected a proposal to lower the fine for marijuana possession to $1.

The Duluth, Minnesota City Council approved an ordinance to restrict public marijuana use.

New York City Council members filed a proposal to fine landlords who rent to unlicensed marijuana stores.

A Patterson, California City Council member is being accused by the CEO of Catalyst Cannabis of urinating on one of the company’s dispensaries.


Switzerland’s Federal Tribunal ruled that police may no longer confiscate small amounts of cannabis, a decision that could potentially apply to other drugs.

Taiwanese prosecutors may be forced to investigate Elon Musk for allegedly promoting marijuana use under a complaint that a pro-legalization activist filed to demonstrate the implications of policy statements made by the Ministry of Justice.


A study concluded that “cannabinoids may be considered promising alternative inhibitors of [dipeptidyl peptidase IV]  for potentially assisting in improving glycemic regulation in type 2 diabetes.”


The New York Republican Party tweeted that the state’s marijuana legalization law is “the most disastrous rollout of a state policy…ever. All courtesy of Hapless Hochul and her fellow progressives.”

Protect Ohio Workers and Families is a new effort aimed at defeating the marijuana legalization initiative that may appear on the state’s November ballot.


TILT Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $41.6 million and a net loss of $26.9 million.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $38.7 million and a net loss of $20.1 million.

SHF Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $4.6 million and a net loss of $17.6 million.

Heritage Cannabis Holdings Corp. has a new chief financial officer.

Zen Leaf workers in the Chicago, Illinois area voted to ratify their first collective bargaining agreements with Teamsters Local 777.

Organigram Holdings Inc. is entering the UK market through a supply agreement to provide dried medical cannabis flower to 4C LABS.


Baseball player Jon Singleton said his career “would have definitely been a lot different” if he hadn’t been suspended for marijuana, but he said he is “glad that things have changed for the better now” with respect to how the substance is seen.

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