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Biden admin lets cannabis-deported veteran return to US (Newsletter: September 1, 2021)

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NAACP & ACLU push RI to legalize; Mexico lawmakers to take up legal marijuana again in new session; Denver psilocybin decrim expansion

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A coalition including local chapters of the NAACP and ACLU is urging Rhode Island lawmakers to legalize cannabis by the end of the year. Sponsors of competing House and Senate bills told Marijuana Moment that negotiations to reconcile their plans and the governor’s separate proposal are going well.

A U.S. Navy veteran who was deported over marijuana has been allowed to return to the U.S. and reunite with his family following an effort from members of Congress to press the Biden administration for relief.

The chairman of Mexico’s Senate Justice Committee said lawmakers will again take up the issue of marijuana legalization in the new session that’s starting on Wednesday. The nation’s Supreme Court recently overturned criminalization after the legislature missed deadlines.

Denver, Colorado activists who successfully passed a ballot measure to decriminalize psilocybin are now planning a push to expand the law to protect gifting of the psychedelic as well as communal ceremonies involving its use.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden issued a proclamation declaring September to be National Recovery Month.

Customs and Border Protection said its “agents and officers have seized more than 301,000lbs of marijuana during the first 10 months of FY21, including more than 19,000lbs during July alone.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) tweeted about her drug decriminalization bill, saying, “Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. 93,000 of our friends, family, neighbors were taken from us last year due to drug overdoses. The War on Drugs has failed the American people. It’s time to end it… It’s time to officially recognize this as a HEALTH crisis and treat it as such. By doing so we can [save] thousands of lives and prevent harm to the millions of families impacted by our draconian drug laws.”

Indiana Democratic congressional candidate John Stephens tweeted, “It’s a great day for Cannabis legalization!”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said she is ready to make appointments to the state’s new marijuana regulatory body and criticized her predecessor for not doing so sooner. Those appointments will be processed in a special session she called for Wednesday, and she is reportedly picking a former Drug Policy Alliance staffer to be executive director of the Office of Cannabis Management. Separately, the Assembly speaker tweeted about touring a cannabis program facility at Farmingdale State College.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “We’re delivering for New Mexico!  ✅ Legalized cannabis…”

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to exempt marijuana that is grown under a Drug Enforcement Administration research production license from state regulations.

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “I’ll let you in on an open secret– Joe Biden is not going to be the president to end the drug war in black and brown communities. He’s not going to be the president to champion police accountability or end the era of mass incarceration. It’s on us.”

A Wisconsin senator who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill sent a press release highlighting medical professional support for the policy change.

Michigan regulators launched a Joint Ventures Pathway Program to connect marijuana social equity participants with existing businesses they can potentially partner with.

Massachusetts regulators issued a final administrative order allowing required community outreach meetings for marijuana businesses to be conducted virtually.

Texas regulators released a list of approved hemp processors.

Ohio regulators released updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Colorado’s marijuana Science & Policy Workgroup will meet on Friday.

Nevada regulators will hold a public workshop on hemp rules on September 16.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

The Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court said it is seeing an average of 650 people per week filing petitions to expunge marijuana convictions.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Panama’s Congress approved a bill to regulate medical cannabis.

France’s Senate president tweeted, “Decriminalizing cannabis as some advocate will not make the violence in Marseille go away. I am not in favor of it.”

The secretary general of Uruguay’s National Drug Board said the government is considering allowing tourists to buy legal marijuana.

The Australian government gave a researcher approval to collect and catalog psilocybin mushrooms.

The International Criminal Court Registry said an “overwhelming” number of victims of the bloody Philippine “drug war” support an investigation into the issue.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “besides the palliative effects of cannabinoids, research from the past two decades has demonstrated their promising potential as antitumor agents in a wide variety of cancers.”

A study of rats found that “cannabidiol reverses memory impairments.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation appointed its first executive director.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly launched in-app ordering on its iOs app.

A federal judge approved lawyers for Aurora Cannabis Inc. investors who are suing the company for allegedly making misleading statements.

A former Eaze Technologies Inc. consultant convicted of defrauding banks into processing cannabis purchases got his $17.2 million forfeiture judgement reduced to $103,750.

Optimi Health Corp. has a new CEO.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. avoided consolidated class action lawsuits from shareholders for now under a federal judge’s ruling.

/ CULTURE

Musician Kacey Musgraves took a guided psilocybin trip as she wrote her new album.

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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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