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Biden admin opposes cannabis research bill for veterans (Newsletter: June 24, 2021)

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House leaders defy Biden on DC marijuana sales; NC medical cannabis hearing; MO legalization ballot measure; Conan O’Brien smokes weed with Seth Rogen

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Appropriations Committee leaders are defying President Joe Biden by filing a spending bill that would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales. The president’s budget sought to extend the GOP-led ban on cannabis commercialization in the nation’s capital. The new legislation also contains cannabis banking protections.

The Department of Veterans Affairs testified at a Senate hearing against a bill to expand research on the medical benefits of cannabis for military veterans with PTSD and chronic pain.

The North Carolina Senate Judiciary Committee approved an amendment to a medical cannabis bill, setting up the revised legislation for approval by the panel at a future meeting under the body’s rules.

Missouri activists plan to file a proposed 2022 marijuana legalization ballot initiative within the next few weeks. They made progress on a 2020 effort but gave up after COVID made signature gathering all but impossible.

Conan O’Brien celebrated his forthcoming retirement from late-night TV by smoking marijuana with Seth Rogen.

  • “It’s not that I have any problem with people smoking pot—I think it actually seems to be a fine herb.”

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people. I am working in the Senate with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and help the communities who have been hurt—especially communities of color.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wrote in a constituent letter that he is concerned legalizing marijuana could make the opioid overdose epidemic worse.

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) spoke about efforts to build support for her drug decriminalization bill.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “I continue to advocate in Congress for nationwide #cannabis legalization. Prohibition didn’t work with alcohol, and it’s not working with cannabis either.”

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) will host a telephone town hall including an update from a local sheriff about illegal marijuana cultivation on Thursday.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of four.

The House bill to seal records for marijuana and other convictions got two new cosponsors for a total of three.

/ STATES

The Pennsylvania Senate is expected to vote on an amendment to allow medical cannabis home cultivation on Thursday.

A New York senator tweeted, “And if you do suffer from PTSD, ask your Health Care Provider about Medical Cannabis as an alternative to addictive medications like benzodiazapines.”

Nevada’s hemp plan received federal approval.

Arizona regulators announced a voluntary recall of marijuana products due to possible contamination with Salmonella or Aspergillus.

Utah’s Peace Officer Standards & Training Council is considering the issue of medical cannabis use by police officers.

Washington State regulators are helping marijuana businesses that want to participate in “Joints for Jabs” giveaways pair up with vaccination clinic providers.

Oregon officials published a request for proposals for the Illegal Marijuana Market Enforcement Grant Program.

The South Dakota Board of Regents voted to ban medical cannabis from campuses or at university-sponsored events due to federal law.

Virginia’s Industrial Hemp Industry Development Working Group will meet on July 14.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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 Los Angeles, California City Council passed a resolution supporting a state bill to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin Common Council’s Public Safety and Health Committee will consider a proposal to lower marijuana penalties on Thursday.

Jersey City, New Jersey’s mayor tweeted about the Planning Board enacting cannabis rules, saying, “In case you are wondering we will not be a city putting bans on this + actually the contrary – we are looking forward to working closely w/residents to nurture a new industry.” He also tweeted that allowing consumption lounges “is an important part of social equity. Being that cannabis is not legalized on the federal level, Anyone that has cannabis in federally subsidized housing could still be prosecuted/face penalties. So on site consumption matters bc if a state allows marijuana.”

Sacramento, California is being sued by marijuana businesses that say a city fee amounts to an unconstitutional tax.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mayors in Ontario, Canada are calling for the decriminalization of drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD and ketamine’s combined administration can be a promising therapeutic strategy for achieving an appropriate antidepressant effect without unwanted side-effects.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “Connecticut just joined New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and New Mexico as the latest states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. #ElectDemGovs”

The Hemp Industries Association said it believes that the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived delta-8-THC.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted, “Pot makes you retarded.”

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation completed its acquisition of Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc.

Ultra Health is asking New Mexico for a refund on gross receipts taxes for medical cannabis sales.

Curaleaf Holdings Inc. is being sued by a former employee who claims he faced retaliation for raising concerns about a lack of proper personal protective equipment and was fired due to his race and ethnicity.

A federal judge granted an injunction against Capna Intellectual that was requested by Kool cigarette brand owner ITG Brands LLC as part of a trademark infringement case.

Michigan retailers sold $148.9 million worth of legal marijuana in May.

/ CULTURE

Basketball player Alex Caruso was arrested for marijuana possession.

Jimmy Kimmel helped a marijuana enthusiast get an internship with delivery company Emjay.

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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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