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Biden admin pushes to ease cannabis & psychedelic research (Newsletter: September 6, 2021)

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WA AG joins psilocybin argument in federal court; MI bill would legalize psychedelics possession; CA uses marijuana money for environmental cleanup

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is proposing to make it easier to study marijuana, psychedelics and other Schedule I drugs by aligning the research registration process with that of substances in the less restrictive Schedule II.

The Washington State attorney general’s office joined lawyers for cancer patients who are suing the Drug Enforcement Administration for access to psilocybin for end-of-life treatment in oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Michigan senators filed a bill that would legalize possession, cultivation and delivery of plant- and fungi-derived psychedelics like psilocybin, mescaline, ibogaine and DMT.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is launching a grant program to help small marijuana cultivators with environmental clean-up and restoration efforts. It’s funded by cannabis taxes and involves partnerships with nonprofits and Indian tribes.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is asking Congress to permanently control fentanyl-related drugs in Schedule I.

A federal court ruled that the Internal Revenue Service can proceed with summonses seeking sales reports and other data on a Colorado marijuana dispensary.

The deputy director of the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health said “the marijuana plant has tremendous potential.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) said the nominations she made for top marijuana regulators had “been long delayed unnecessarily.”

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted, “Justice is long overdue, demanding action at all levels — starting with inclusion in Florida’s medical marijuana program.”

North Carolina’s attorney general touted a task force’s recommendation to decriminalize marijuana.

Texas’s agriculture commissioner said some growers of hemp are “probably” using the crops to conceal illegal marijuana.

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to legalize contingency management programs that give people struggling with substance use disorders financial rewards if they enter and stay in treatment programs and remain sober.

The Rhode Island House whip spoke about the importance of equity in marijuana legalization.

Ohio representatives held a press conference to push for more equity in the medical cannabis industry.

Wisconsin regulators are transitioning from a state-run hemp program to a federal-run one.

Illinois regulators will hold an additional lottery for marijuana dispensary license applicants who were left out of prior drawing due to clerical errors.

Arizona regulators updated draft marijuana social equity rules and are accepting feedback via a survey until Thursday.

Oregon regulators proposed changes to hemp rules.

Washington State regulators reactivated COVID-related allowances for marijuana dispensary curbside service, walk-up windows, minors being on the premises and giving away hand sanitizer and masks.

Michigan regulators posted common questions and answers about marijuana business operations.


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 Tybee Island, Georgia City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Aurora, Colorado’s mayor appeared to tie use of marijuana and other drugs to homelessness issues.

The Helena, Montana City Commission opted not to put questions on the ballot to ban marijuana businesses, but they are moving ahead with rules on zoning and public smoking.

The Santa Fe, New Mexico Planning Commission approved marijuana business recommendations for the City Council.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Zimbabwe’s government issued 57 medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Canada’s federal government is being sued by a group representing drug consumers who say criminalization violates their rights.

The chairman of Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said lawmakers who vote to legalize marijuana “dare not go back to their constituencies.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review suggested that “cannabis may be used in the management of [lower back pain] and comorbid symptoms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Pat Robertson again criticized harsh marijuana and drug laws.

The New York Daily News editorial board urged the state’s new marijuana regulators not to  become “cheerleaders” for cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs Inc. closed its acquisition of Cultivate.

Harborside Inc. acquired Accucanna LLC.

A federal judge preliminarily approved a settlement deal in a lawsuit filed against CannTrust Holdings Inc. by shareholders.

iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc.’s CEO argued in a Canadian court filing that creditors were to blame for slow-walking their planned takeover of the company’s U.S. operations.

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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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