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Biden too busy to handle cannabis, Harris says (Newsletter: April 7, 2021)

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CT gov’s marijuana bill advances; CA senators vote for legal psychedelics; MX legalization advances; IA gov sued for cannabis delay; WA decrim hearing

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Vice President Kamala Harris, in her first public marijuana comments since the election, essentially said the Biden administration is too busy to follow through on its campaign pledges to decriminalize cannabis and expunge records.

  • “Honestly, right now, we’ve been focused on getting people food, helping them stay in their apartments or in their homes, getting kids back to school, getting shots into arms. That has been all-consuming.”

The Connecticut legislature’s Judiciary Committee amended and approved Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) marijuana legalization bill. Equity advocates are happy about the changes but say more work is still needed.

The California Senate Public Safety Committee approved a bill to legalize possession of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and DMT.

A second Mexican Senate committee approved a marijuana legalization bill that was revised by the Chamber of Deputies. One more panel is next, and then a final floor vote—potentially as soon as Thursday.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is being sued by an activist who says the state is failing to follow through on its obligation to request a federal exemption from the Drug Enforcement Administration for its limited medical marijuana program.

Washington State lawmakers are considering several legislative fixes to address a state Supreme Court ruling that overturned the prohibition on drug possession—including a new decriminalization bill that got a Senate hearing yesterday.

/ FEDERAL

President Joe Biden taped a video message for the Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Ending the federal prohibition on marijuana is necessary to right the wrongs of the failed War on Drugs, particularly for communities of color. This is why I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden on comprehensive marijuana reform legislation in the Senate.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted about fielding questions on cannabis equity at a town hall meeting.

The House marijuana banking bill got 16 new cosponsors for a total of 140.

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said she wants lawmakers to address provisions about home cultivation, youth use and regulations in the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis law during a June special session. Separately, both sides in a state Supreme Court case on the fate of the broader marijuana legalization measure filed their latest briefs.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Legal marijuana is widely available within driving distance from Pennsylvania, from NY to NJ to D.C. It’s accessible already — why not legalize it here and keep that revenue in our commonwealth? #LegalizeIt”

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidates discussed marijuana legalization at a debate.

Maryland’s lieutenant governor spoke about his opposition to legalizing marijuana.

The Montana House of Representatives gave initial approval to three marijuana legalization implementation bills.

The West Virginia House of Representatives defeated a motion to advance a Senate-passed bill to allow medical cannabis edibles.

The Washington, D.C. Council advanced a bill to remove the blanket ban on people with felony convictions working, owning or operating in the medical cannabis industry.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bil to ban Delta-8-THC and Delta-10-THC.

Arkansas regulators are being sued for a decision to allow a medical cannabis cultivator to change ownership and move locations.

Illinois regulators testified before a Senate committee about their request for more funding to support the marijuana business licensing process.

A Louisiana representative filed a proposed constitutional initiative to legalize marijuana.

A Florida senator spoke about efforts to legalize marijuana.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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

A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Council committee advanced a proposal to ban pre-employment marijuana testing for most companies.

The New Orleans, Louisiana City Council president filed a resolution endorsing a state bill to legalize marijuana.

Portland, Oregon regulators published a map showing where marijuana retailers can be located sufficiently far away enough from schools.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the government “has absolutely no intention” of legalizing marijuana.

The Legalise Cannabis WA Party won a second seat in Western Australia’s Legislative Council.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoids possess anticancer potencies against glioma cells, however this effect varies with the combinations and dosages used.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Britons support legalizing marijuana, 52%-32%.

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance is a new coalition involving Americans for Prosperity, Mission Green/The Weldon Project, the Reason Foundation and the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce.

AMVETS is hosting a summit on the benefits of medical cannabis for veterans on June 27.

/ BUSINESS

4Front Ventures Corp. reported quarterly systemwide pro forma revenue of $25 million.

Rubicon Organics Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $4.8 million and a net loss of $5 million.

Organigram Holdings Inc. is acquiring The Edibles & Infusions Corporation.

Fyllo closed an oversubscribed Series B funding round worth $30 million.

Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center employees voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 328.

/ CULTURE

The Flaming Lips’s Wayne Coyne is launching his own brand of cannabis gummies.

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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Newsletter

FL governor candidates battle over cannabis (Newsletter: October 15, 2021)

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SCOTUS rejects safe consumption case; MS gov delaying medical marijuana; Fed study: Legalization tied to fewer seizures; Gupta & Rogan talk cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A study authored by the head of the federal government’s marijuana farm found that Drug Enforcement Administration seizures of illegal cannabis “decreased dramatically owing to the legalization” of the plant in a growing number of states over the past decade. That backs up reform advocates’ claim that as more legal markets come online they will replace unregulated ones.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary rivals Nikki Fried and Charlie Crist are battling over who supports marijuana legalization the most.

Top lawmakers are accusing Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) of stalling a special session to pass a medical cannabis bill by making “unreasonable demands” for changes—including reducing the dosage unit from a standard eighth of an ounce down to 2.8 grams.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a case on the legality of safe consumption sites for illicit drugs, despite attorneys general from 10 states urging them to hear it. It’ll now move forward in a lower court, where the Biden administration will have to weigh in.

Sanjay Gupta spoke to Joe Rogan about why he changed his mind to support medical marijuana after looking internationally beyond the “very biased” U.S body of research that’s been designed to focus on cannabis’s potential hams.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture tweeted about funding it awarded to study and define economic opportunities for hemp in the western U.S.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Congress must pass comprehensive cannabis reform, but the Department of Justice can take steps immediately to decriminalize marijuana.”

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) said she supports broad federal marijuana legalization but is fine with passing cannabis banking first.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick tweeted, “Legalizing the personal consumption of cannabis is an idea whose time has come. Expungements are a vital part of this process, too, tied to voting rights and access to jobs.”

/ STATES

Texas’s Department of Agriculture tweeted about a federal hemp survey.

The Michigan Senate approved a bill to let people with marijuana convictions participate in the medical cannabis industry.

New York’s Assembly majority leader is hosting a clinic to help people expunge marijuana records on Saturday.

The Virginia legislature’s Joint Commission on Cannabis Oversight met.

A Pennsylvania representative filed a bill to allow school nurses to administer medical cannabis to students.

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory recall on medical cannabis products sold by Certified Cultivators, LLC due to their not being tested for heavy metals, pesticides, residual solvents and mycotoxins.

South Dakota regulators will make medical cannabis patient applications available “in the coming days.”

Florida regulators published rules for issuing medical cannabis licenses to black farmers. Meanwhile, regulators are also seeking $13 million in funding to support medical marijuana oversight. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, pushed back on the new rule, saying it “will more than double fees ONLY for Black farmers applying for medical marijuana licenses.”

Washington State regulators proposed rules on evaluating THC compounds. Separately, they will hold a listen and learn session on conceptual rules for cannabis quality control testing on Wednesday.

Colorado regulators proposed changes to medical cannabis registry application processing fees.

Missouri regulators terminated previous emergency rules on hemp.

Alabama’s Medical Cannabis Commission met.

Nevada’s Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Social Equity, Diversity & Inclusion will meet on Monday.

Oregon will consider rules for marijuana violations on Wednesday.


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 Jackson County, Oregon Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency over illegal marijuana cultivation and is asking the state for help.

Voters in several Colorado municipalities will decide on ballot measures to allow and/or tax marijuana businesses next month.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Panamanian President Nito Cortizo signed a medical cannabis bill.

Spain’s Congress of Deputies cleared a medical cannabis subcommittee to consider full marijuana legalization.

Pakistan’s science and technology minister said the government will issue cannabis cultivation rules by December.

Mexico’s Supreme Court was scheduled to discuss, but did not act on, a case concerning whether people who possess more than five grams of marijuana without a permit can be criminally charged.

Malaysian lawmakers formed a multi-party caucus on medical cannabis and kratom.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “people with ADHD may be using cannabis to self-medicate for many of their symptoms and medication side effects and that more frequent use may mitigate ADHD-related executive dysfunction.”

A review concluded that “an increasing number of retrospective studies have shown a decrease in pain scores after administration of cannabinoids, as well as long-term benefits such as reduced opiate use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Hispanic Cannabis Council  published a report on Hispanic engagement in the marijuana industry.

The New York State Bar Association announced that its president was also appointed president of Ascend Wellness Holdings.

/ BUSINESS

Dutchie ​​completed a $350 million financing round that more than doubles the company’s value to $3.75 billion.

Canopy Growth Corporation is acquiring Wana Brands.

Cresco Labs is acquiring Laurel Harvest Labs, LLC.

A Canadian judge affirmed an extension of the planned takeover of iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. by Gotham Green Partners LLC.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. announced the first nonprofit recipients of support through its Good Green Grant Program.

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Biden VA opposes cannabis research bill (Newsletter: October 14, 2021)

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Fed drug official gives MD legalization advice; NV’s $1 billion in marijuana sales; Cannabis & psychedelics on ballots across US next month

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Biden administration’s Department of Veterans Affairs testified before the House Veterans’ Affairs Health Subcommittee that it opposes a bill to expand research on the benefits of medical cannabis for military veterans struggling with PTSD and chronic pain, calling its provisions too “prescriptive.”

A top federal official with the National Institute on Drug Abuse gave advice to Maryland lawmakers who are crafting a marijuana legalization referendum for the 2022 ballot. She has concerns about commercialization but signaled reform’s inevitability by weighing in on policy areas such as potency limits, marketing restrictions, labeling requirements, product testing mandates and other regulatory matters. She also described the need to allow public consumption of cannabis as a “social equity” issue so that people don’t get evicted from their housing.

The Nevada Cannabis Compliance Board and the Nevada Department of Taxation announced that retailers in the state sold more than $1 billion worth of legal marijuana products over the past fiscal year.

Although 2021 is an off-year election, voters in cities and states across the country will decide on ballot measures next month to decriminalize marijuana, deprioritize enforcement against psychedelics, increase marijuana taxes and more.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service sent a press release about a survey of hemp producers it is mailing out next week.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse will host a meeting to review grant applications on using cannabinoids to treat HIV-associated persistent inflammation on November 19.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. That’s why @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end the federal prohibition and undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted about visiting a marijuana dispensary, saying, “It defies common sense that dispensaries like @GoGreenMuse in Portland are denied banking services because of arcane federal laws. I’ll continue working to end the federal prohibition of cannabis and deliver much-needed relief to small businesses in Oregon and nationwide.”

Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate Morgan McGarvey, currently the state Senate minority leader, supports legalizing marijuana.

/ STATES

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said there are still some details to work out on a medical cannabis bill before he is ready to call a special session.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) was pressed during a debate on why he hasn’t commuted sentences of or issued pardons to people who are incarcerated for marijuana. Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor tweeted, “New Jersey is a leader in criminal justice reform. With our approach to legalizing adult-use cannabis and recognizing how the War on Drugs disproportionately impacted our Black and Brown communities, we’re able to make our criminal justice system fairer for all.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Bills are moving. It’s time to legalize marijuana. Let’s get it done.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “Promise made, promise kept: last spring I called the #NMleg into a special session to legalize recreational cannabis because I promised New Mexicans we would get it done. And now, we’ve created a new economic driver for New Mexico.”

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in two cases that employers do not have to reimburse workers for medical cannabis used to treat work-related injuries.

Montana regulators filed proposed recreational marijuana rules.

Massachusetts regulators halted marijuana sales at ACK Natural after it allegedly failed to properly test products for mycotoxins.

Missouri regulators released medical cannabis products that had been placed on an administrative hold.

Washington State regulators released an updated list of pesticides that are allowed for use in marijuana production.

West Virginia regulators will host medical cannabis patient signup events next week.

Colorado regulators published an overview of how marijuana tax revenue funds education.

Arkansas regulators published updated data on medical cannabis patient registrations.

Tennessee’s Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Thursday.


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

Denver, Colorado’s mayor tweeted about a cannabis social equity resource fair on Saturday, saying, “Many people of color are still weighed down by past convictions for possession of marijuana and, as a result, they are barred from entering the industry. We are working to fix that.”

The Clark County, Nevada Commission is considering funding a Pathway to Ownership program aimed at increasing social equity in the marijuana industry.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Israeli Knesset gave initial approval to a medical cannabis regulation bill.

Germany’s Health Ministry reiterated opposition to marijuana legalization after a health spokesperson for the top vote-getting party in recent elections expressed support for the reform.

Western Australia’s government plans to investigate medical cannabis access issues and hemp commercialization opportunities.

A Mexican senator is hosting a series of events about marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBD alleviates liver injuries in alcoholics with high-fat high-cholesterol diet.”

A study examining “psilocybin administration combined with a structured smoking cessation treatment program in nicotine dependent individuals” is now recruiting participants.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 60 percent of Britons think criminalization of drugs is ineffective in preventing use and that they are much less likely to think marijuana is dangerous as compared to alcohol or tobacco.

NORML published a report highlighting concerns about delta-8 THC products.

/ BUSINESS

Lantern transitioned to an independent corporate entity following Uber’s acquisition of its former parent company Drizly Group.

IGNITE International Brands, Ltd. is discontinuing its cannabis business in Canada.

CBD company FullSend Inc. is suing YouTube influencer firm Nelk Inc. over an alleged intimidation campaign regarding trademark infringement accusations.

Colorado retailers sold $192.9 million worth of legal marijuana products in August.

/ CULTURE

Stevie Van Zandt launched a line of cannabis products.

Conor McGregor tweeted about his use of CBD to manage pain.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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OH GOP lawmakers announce cannabis legalization bill (Newsletter: October 13, 2021)

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SD marijuana ballot initiative launches; Denver psilocybin panel pushes decrim expansion; Fed judge blocks MO residency rule for cannabis biz

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Ohio Republican state representatives announced they will soon file a new bill to legalize marijuana. The move comes as activists are collecting signatures to place a cannabis legalization initiative on next year’s state ballot.

South Dakota’s secretary of state cleared activists to begin collecting signatures to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the 2022 ballot. They have less than a month to turn in the needed petitions to qualify.

Denver, Colorado’s official Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel is recommending that the City Council expand the voter-approved decriminalization of psychedelic fungus to include gifting, communal use and “safe/therapeutic use sites.”

A federal judge is granting a permanent injunction blocking Missouri’s residency requirement for medical cannabis business ownership.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration issued its first authorizations of nicotine vaping products.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke about Senate Democratic leadership’s decision to pursue a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill ahead of cannabis banking legislation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “For too long, our country’s federal cannabis policy has disproportionately harmed people of color—preventing many from voting, pursuing an education & building intergenerational wealth. @SenBooker & I are calling on the DOJ to decriminalize cannabis.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted, “I’ve made it my goal to stand with farmers. From fighting for our hemp industry to fighting to end overburdensome regulations, I believe in helping our farmers excel!”

Pennsylvania Democratic senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, tweeted, “Agriculture is our top industry. Pennsylvania has the very best farmers anywhere. This Farmers’ Day let’s make sure every one of them has broadband where they live + a new, massive cash crop by legalizing marijuana.  When PA Republicans now say ‘it’s inevitable’- Why not?”

/ STATES

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, said hemp”is a magical plant” and is “going to be a revolutionary product.”

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Whaley, currently Dayton’s mayor, tweeted, “I’ve long been a supporter of marijuana legalization, so I’m glad it is finally getting some bipartisan support.”

Mississippi’s House speaker reiterated his support for holding a special session to pass a medical cannabis bill and other legislation.

A New York senator accused former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) of “purposefully delaying” the implementation of marijuana legalization.

Pennsylvania senators sent a press release about their recently introduced marijuana legalization bill.

Oklahoma activists held a press conference to discuss their newly filed proposed marijuana ballot initiatives.

The New Mexico legislature’s Finance Authority Oversight Committee will consider rules for a cannabis microbusiness loan program on Thursday.

Missouri’s Supreme Court accepted a request to hear a case seeking to force regulators to release medical cannabis cultivation license application information.

Arkansas regulators approved rules changes to allow the state to issue two remaining medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Colorado regulators proposed rules on marijuana business licenses.

Nevada regulators adopted new hemp rules.

Kansas regulators filed hemp processing rules.

Utah regulators posted a monthly report about the medical cannabis program.

Virginia’s Forensic Science Board will consider rules for marijuana field tests on Thursday.


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

Detroit, Michigan’s Legislative Policy Division prepared a summary of the psychedelics decriminalization measure on the November ballot.

The Marin County, California district attorney dropped or reduced 514 marijuana charges.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The German Police Union is speaking out against the possible legalization of marijuana under a new government coalition.

Nepal’s health minister is pushing lawmakers to pass a marijuana legalization bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “modest or no adverse effects of marijuana liberalization policies on the array of perinatal outcomes considered.”

A study found that “while governmental biomedical research funding bodies in other countries have begun funding clinical trials of psychedelic-assisted therapies during the psychedelic renaissance, [the U.S. National Institutes of Health] has yet to directly fund a single psychedelic-assisted therapy clinical trial.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board endorsed the local marijuana legalization referendum that’s on the city’s November ballot.

The National Urban League hosted a chat about its support for equity-focused marijuana legalization.

Missouri NORML’s executive director had his law license suspended by the state Supreme Court over an alleged conflict of interest in a criminal case in which he represented two defendants.

/ BUSINESS

PharmaCann Inc. is acquiring LivWell Enlightened Health.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. earned U.S. Department of Agriculture organic certification for its corporate farm.

Flowhub closed a $19 million strategic funding round that included support from Jay-Z.

Harborside Inc. plans to install an onsite renewable energy microgrid at its cannabis production campus.

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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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