House Gives Initial Approval to Bill Legalizing Recreational Cannabis Use

On Wednesday, February 22, 2023, the House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill that would legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults aged 21 and over. Senate Bill 211 seeks to regulate the cultivation, sale, and product labeling of cannabis and to remove marijuana as a Schedule I drug from the state’s criminal code. House Bill 360 also went up for consideration on Tuesday, aiming to remove most references to cannabis (marijuana) in the state’s Controlled Drugs Act. Both pieces of legislation have been met with strong support, with a nearly two-to-one majority backing the House bill.

Meanwhile, a study presented at The Pregnancy Meeting, the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, has found that early pregnancy cannabis use is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes.[0] Researchers analyzed data from 9,257 women seen at eight U.S. medical centers, and found that frozen stored urine samples from the initial study visit (six to 14 weeks of gestation) tested positive for cannabis exposure.[0]

As of the end of 2022, New York City has opened its first legal recreational marijuana dispensary.[1] Legally Rooted, located on 6th Street, became the first dispensary to open in the Queen City, with a ribbon cutting ceremony held on Friday.[2] The move comes one year after the state legalized marijuana for adults 21 and older, and is expected to be one of the country’s most profitable markets for cannabis yet.

Mendon Venture Partners, an investment firm aimed at technology and banks, recently led an investment in Green Check, a cannabis banking platform.[3] According to co-founder and partner Daniel Goldfarb, “To invest, we need to see strong management, company potential, and opportunity for total market growth, and Green Check meets and exceeds our expectations in every category.”[3]

The House Ways and Means Committee will now review the bill before it is returned to the entire House for the last vote.[4] If approved, the legislation would make cannabis legal for adults aged 21 and over, regulate its cultivation, sale, and product labeling, and allow on-site consumption permits for events and cannabis delivery services. Certain jobs, such as those in the airline and aerospace industries and those requiring a federal background investigation or security clearance, are excluded from the bill.[4] Additionally, employers would still be able to maintain their drug-free workplace policies and test employees for cannabis use.[5]

0. “Early Pregnancy Cannabis Exposure Tied to Adverse Pregnancy …”, 24 Feb. 2023,

1. “Cannabis News | Cannabis Blog | Herban Creative”, 24 Feb. 2023,

2. “Meridian cannabis dispensary opens | Local News |”, 24 Feb. 2023,

3. “Green Check Verified nabs $6m to further bridge cannabis and finance”, 24 Feb. 2023,

4. “State senate passes bill that would ban pre-employment cannabis …”, 24 Feb. 2023,

5. “WA Senate passes bill to bar hiring discrimination for cannabis use …”, 24 Feb. 2023,