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Another cannabis banking COVID push (Newsletter: February 3, 2021)



Senate chairman’s marijuana plans; KS gov: Legalize medical cannabis to fund Medicaid; NM marijuana bills; Poll: VA voters back legalization

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) discussed plans to federally legalize marijuana in the 117th Congress, for which his panel will be the “lead committee.”

  • “I’m strategizing now on the next steps. We need comprehensive reform, and you need legislation to do it… You really need some kind of bedrock federal rules on, one, ending the prohibition; two, sensible tax policies; and three, sensible regulatory oversight.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said  he’ll again try to insert marijuana banking protections in the next round of coronavirus relief legislation The House passed COVID bills with cannabis banking last year, and Senate Democrats filed a bill with it included as well, but it didn’t get a vote.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) announced a new plan to legalize medical marijuana and use the revenue to fund Medicaid expansion. Meanwhile, Republican-led House and Senate committees have already filed their own medical cannabis bills in recent days.

  • “The bill establishes the regulatory framework for the cultivation, testing, distribution, prescription and purchase of medical marijuana. The introduction of this bill in itself is a win for Kansans, who will benefit from medical marijuana—something that, once again, our neighbors in Oklahoma and Missouri have already recognized and addressed.”

New Mexico senators filed two new marijuana legalization bills, with more on the way soon. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is pressing lawmakers to legalize cannabis this year.

A new poll found that 68% of Virginia voters support legalizing marijuana as lawmakers rapidly advance bills ahead of a key Friday deadline. The survey shows majority legal cannabis support among Republicans, Democrats and every other demographic.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health held a webinar on cannabis and workers’ compensation.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said that including equity and justice provisions in federal marijuana reform is “critically important…because the injustice involved in this…has been horrible, particularly to minority populations.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has really been a war on people—disproportionately criminalizing people of color. If we want to right the wrongs of this failed war, we need to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and focus on restorative justice.”

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) will host a chat with a top Minnesota state lawmaker about efforts to legalize marijuana and implement restorative justice practices on February 16.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “Happy to see Oregon taking the lead by treating substance abuse as a health issue, not a crime. After nearly 50 years, the War on Drugs has clearly failed. As policymakers, we owe it to our children, neighbors, and neighborhoods to end the war and create a pathway to recovery.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Great to hear @SenSchumer, @SenBooker, & @WydenPress are moving forward with comprehensive cannabis reform legislation. The MORE Act was a foundational step toward ending the racist War on Drugs. Let’s keep up the fight!”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) defended his vote against a comprehensive marijuana descheduling bill, tweeting, “I’ve voted multiple times and sponsored bills to eliminate the criminality of marijuana. The bill you’re likely referring to had taxes and spending in it, and was not a genuine effort to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana.”


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) defended her efforts to overturn the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner included marijuana legalization and issues related to hemp and CBD in a proposed federal-state partnership plan.

Delaware’s state auditor tweeted, “I am not in the minority on this issue: Statistics show more than 60% of Delawareans support legalizing marijuana for adult use.”

Minnesota’s Department of Agriculture is seeking $50,000 to fund an online tool for managing hemp licensing and data.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture tweeted, “Hemp = Opportunity! It’s buildings and cars, food and fuel, power for Pennsylvania’s economy. Don’t miss out on your chance to be part of the 2021 program, apply by April 1, 2021.”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court will hear two cases on municipalities’ authority in regulating marijuana businesses on Wednesday.

A New Jersey court heard arguments in a case brought by medical cannabis businesses that are challenging the rejection of their license applications.

California officials approved emergency regulations on processes for cannabis businesses to authorize regulators to share application and regulatory information with financial institutions.

North Dakota House committees will consider bills to legalize and tax marijuana on Wednesday.

Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee published a report on cannabis-related health issues.

Oregon regulators published a report on marijuana supply and demand.

Arizona regulators released tax resources for marijuana businesses.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 500 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.


At least eight Vermont municipalities will vote on measures to allow marijuana businesses on March 2.


Australia’s minister for trade, tourism and investment introduced a bill to streamline medical cannabis licensing and remove regulatory barriers.

Belize’s minister of home affairs and new growth industries said the government is aiming to release draft cannabis production regulations within two months.

Aruba’s government is accepting proposals to grow and process medical cannabis.

Barbados officials outlined plans to launch a track-and-trace system for medical cannabis.


A study found that “nasal CBD [temperature-sensitive hydrogels] are safe and effective and have controlled release” and “are a novel promising option for the clinical treatment of PTSD.”

Researchers will soon be recruiting participants for a study on whether CBD “can improve pain, sleep, function and quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia.”


The Kansas City Star editorial board cheered Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) plan to fund Medicaid expansion  by legalizing medical cannabis.

The Society for Psychedelic Outreach Reform and Education has a new executive director.

The Virginia American Academy of Medical Ethics is urging lawmakers to reject marijuana legalization.

The Cato Institute published a report looking at the impact of state marijuana legalization laws.

The Healing Advocacy Fund is a new nonprofit aimed at supporting the implementation of Oregon’s voter-approved psilocybin therapy law.


Lantern will remain independent following Uber’s acquisition of its parent company Drizly.

springbig acquired BudTender.

ITG Brand LLC, which owns Kool cigarettes, is suing Bloom Brands maker Capna Intellectual for alleged trademark violation.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. completed bought deal financing for aggregate gross proceeds of C$69 million.

Organigram Holdings Inc.’s senior vice president for operations is leaving the company.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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