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AL Senate approves medical cannabis (Newsletter: February 25, 2021)

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NM legal marijuana heads to floor; VA’s Sat. legalization deadline; Biden pick defends cannabis $ for schools; 1st NY hearing; PA bill’s GOP support

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Deb Haaland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for interior secretary, defended her support for using marijuana tax revenue to fund schools in response to an attack from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). She added that we “don’t know what President Biden’s stance is on cannabis.”

The Alabama Senate passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis. It now heads to the House of Representatives.

Virginia lawmakers face a Saturday deadline to resolve differences between separate marijuana legalization bills passed by the House and Senate. Marijuana Moment compiled a look at issues that need to be hashed out by the conference committee—including timelines, licenses and a referendum.

The New Mexico House Taxation & Revenue Committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana, sending it to the House floor as the next step.

The New York Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways & Means Committee held the first joint hearing of the year on marijuana legalization proposals.

A bipartisan team of Pennsylvania senators announced a new marijuana legalization bill. It’s the first time a GOP lawmaker has signed onto cannabis legalization legislation in the Republican-controlled legislature.

  • “It’s clear to me that public attitudes towards marijuana have changed dramatically in the past decade, maybe more than any other issue in recent memory.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is reopening the comment period for rules on suspicious orders of controlled substances.

Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) wrote in a constituent letter that he is in favor of leaving marijuana policy up to the states.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted about New Jersey’s marijuana legislation being signed, saying, “This is great news & I continue to support federal legalization of adult-use #cannabis as well!”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Should Congress legalize cannabis? The only correct answer is: Yes”

/ STATES

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) authored an op-ed about his opposition to marijuana reform.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) tweeted, “This week, we made history by reforming a decades-old approach to marijuana that failed the meaning of justice at every level. Let’s continue building on the progress and move forward — together.” Separately, his budget proposal document touts the growth of the state’s medical cannabis program since he took office.

The South Dakota Senate approved a bill creating a framework for recreational marijuana sales in case the state’s voter-approved legalization initiative is held up in court on appeal.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill to let patients grow their own medical cannabis.

The Arizona House of Representatives approved a marijuana testing bill.

The Montana House Business and Labor Committee held a hearing on a bill to limit the number of marijuana business licenses in the state.

A Pennsylvania court ruled that the Housing Authority of Indiana County must create a policy on medical cannabis use by residents.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture published 2020 hemp harvest data.

Colorado regulators issued bulletins on marijuana delivery and social equity.

New York officials stripped a doctor of his license for violations in New Jersey “related to the indiscriminate authorization of the use of medicinal marijuana for several patients.”

Vermont regulators are hosting a hemp conference on Friday.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy bills in state legislatures and Congress this year. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

More than 70 New Jersey municipalities have proactively banned marijuana businesses.

The Chittenden County, Vermont state’s attorney spoke about a forthcoming drug decriminalization bill in the state legislature.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Morocco’s government is considering a marijuana legalization bill.

Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority has a new chairman and membership.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that data support “CBD’s therapeutic value in improving sleep (increased sleep duration/quality and reduction in nightmares) and depression, which are often comorbid with anxiety” and that “these features of CBD make it an attractive novel therapeutic option in COVID-related” post-traumatic stress symptoms.

New York University Langone Health is establishing a new Center for Psychedelic Medicine.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Virginia voters oppose making marijuana possession in a vehicle illegal, 59%-35%.

The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “Democratic governors are working to legalize marijuana – bringing us closer to social, racial, and economic justice.”

The NAACP New York Branch will hold a webinar on marijuana legalization on Thursday.

/ BUSINESS

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation launched a new $2.5 million fund to support “social justice organizations working toward criminal justice reforms and economic inclusion as more states regulate cannabis.”

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $37.1 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation filed a preliminary short-form base shelf prospectus allowing it to raise up to $2 billion.

Verano Holdings Corp. announced a bought deal private placement of special warrants worth more than C$100 million. It also announced a deal to acquire three dispensaries and a cultivation and production facility in Arizona.

Aurora Nordic Cannabis A/S medical cannabis products made in Denmark are now available in German pharmacies.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Sean Paul spoke about his relationship with marijuana.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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