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Biden leaves cannabis pledge out of transition plan (Newsletter: November 12, 2020)



Mexico legal marijuana vote Friday; CT House speaker: legalization “inevitable”; CA psychedelics decrim efforts; Andrew Yang talks cannabis

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Mexican Senate committees are set to approve a newly revised cannabis legalization bill on Friday, with the aim of passing it on the floor as soon as next week. Marijuana Moment obtained a copy of the latest draft of the proposal, which hasn’t yet been formally introduced.

A new Biden-Harris transition plan on racial justice does not include their campaign promise to decriminalize marijuana and expunge records—even though it mentions other criminal justice reforms they touted alongside the cannabis pledge in recent months.

  • A spokesperson told Marijuana Moment that the omission doesn’t mean the president-elect won’t follow through. “Nothing has changed,” he said.

Connecticut House Speaker-designate Matt Ritter (D) said that marijuana legalization is “inevitable…especially when your neighboring states are doing it.”

California senators announced they will file a bill to decriminalize psychedelics in the state in 2021. Meanwhile, San Francisco activists are pressing the district attorney to join Oakland, Santa Cruz and other cities in making psychedelics the lowest local law enforcement priority.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said he’s optimistic about the prospects for marijuana legalization under a Biden presidency.

  • “Every time we have an election, there are going to be more states that want to join the ever-growing, cool states club.”


The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) again criticized House Democrats for including marijuana industry diversity study language in coronavirus relief legislation.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who would chair the Senate Banking Committee if Republicans maintain control of the chamber, said he is sympathetic to cannabis banking legislation.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) touted hemp provisions that were included in newly introduced appropriations legislation.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) criticized portions of a bill House leaders plan to hold a vote on next month, tweeting, “Marijuana legalization advocates should chide Democrats for politicizing this issue. Democrats want to use this bill to pass another tax and send money to their blue districts. If the dems were serious, they’d remove the bits highlighted in yellow below. Most of my constituents support allowing states to decide whether marijuana should be legal & legalization of medical marijuana, even if they don’t support full legalization, but a huge majority of my constituents oppose new taxes with the revenue being sent to other districts.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “This past election further demonstrated that cannabis reform is popular, non-partisan, & the just thing to do as states have also made clear their commitment to restorative justice. It’s past time to pass decriminalize cannabis at the federal level & pass the MORE Act.”


Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) expressed concerns about the impact of marijuana legalization in neighboring South Dakota on his state.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Nobody in the history of human beings has ever died of a cannabis overdose. But why are we still comparing cannabis to deadly opioids that kill thousands of Pennsylvanians per year? Please try another argument.”

New Jersey’s incoming top marijuana regulator spoke about her plans for the industry.

Illinois lawmakers are working on legislation to create more marijuana business licenses.

Maine regulators released guidance on marijuana track and trace compliance and creating test sample packages.

West Virginia regulators are offering a virtual medical cannabis industry training course.

California regulators are conducting a survey on the proposed consolidation of marijuana rules.

An Alabama representative is optimistic that the state can legalize medical cannabis in 2021.

A Kansas representative said she’ll be stepping up the push for marijuana reform next year.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 cannabis 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.

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Denver, Colorado officials are holding a marijuana social equity event on November 19.


The Costa Rican legislature’s Environmental Committee approved medical cannabis and hemp legislation.


A review of marijuana’s effects on cognitive function found that “human studies revealed largely null results” and that “rodent studies indicate that the relationship between ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cognitive function in healthy aging depends on age and level of THC exposure” with “extremely low doses of THC improved cognition in very old rodents” and “somewhat higher chronic doses improved cognition in moderately aged rodents.”

A review concluded that there is a “trend for improvement in sleep with short-term use of marijuana products and a longer-term attenuation of effect, or possibly worsening.”


Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist cited the passage of marijuana and drug policy reform ballot measures as an example of Americans’ desire to get the government out of their lives.


Acreage Holdings, Inc. reported $31.7 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss of $35.7 million.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. reported $157.1 million in quarterly revenue and net income of $9.6 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation released a Martha Stewart-branded line of CBD gummies.

A federal judge ruled that a defamation case against Visa can proceed over claims it falsely said CBD company MNG 2005 was engaging in illegal activity to justify ending its payment processing services.

Cornbread Hemp announced it has raised $500,000 from crowdfunding and angel investment.

Colorado retailers sold nearly $206.5 million worth of marijuana products in September.

Arkansas medical cannabis sales have surpassed 27,0000 pounds since May 2019.

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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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