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Biden’s cannabis record after a year in office (Newsletter: January 21, 2022)



RI gov’s legalization plan; Poll: Americans not optimistic about Biden’s marijuana work; VA psilocybin bill has momentum; MO drug decrim measure

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One year into President Joe Biden’s administration, his key campaign pledges on marijuana reform remain largely unfulfilled—and he has even taken some overtly hostile actions on the issue, while at the same time overseeing some modest pro-reform developments. Marijuana Moment’s in-depth analysis takes a comprehensive look at what the Biden administration has done—and more importantly not done—on cannabis since taking office one year ago.

A new poll found that a majority of Americans say President Joe Biden has made little to no progress on his marijuana decriminalization campaign pledge—and only 5 percent think he will make a lot of headway on it in 2022.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) again included marijuana legalization in his annual budget proposal—but this time with new automatic expungements provisions. Lawmakers say they’re close to a legal cannabis deal that could be unveiled soon.

A bill to decriminalize psilocybin got bipartisan support at a Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee hearing—including from the Republican Senate minority leader. Members are planning to advance an amended version of the legislation next week.

A Missouri representative filed a bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and cocaine.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service tweeted, “Thanks to work done in 2021, @usda_nass will have first-time data on hemp production, conservation practices & agroforestry to better inform decisions pertaining to the nation’s agricultural markets.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration museum is seeking new partner venues and cities to host its traveling exhibit, “Drugs: Costs and Consequences.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said passing marijuana banking legislation “is one of my top priorities, and I am pursuing every possible avenue to get the bill signed into law before the end of the year.”

Louisiana Democratic Senate candidate Gary Chambers tweeted, “If you agree with me that we should legalize cannabis nationwide. Expunge the records of those who have been charged with cannabis convictions & build equity into the business for Black & Brown people.” He also tweeted, “My state is ranked #50 in crime. Policing cannabis isn’t making us safer. I’m going to keep talking about how politicians have been smoking our tax resources to benefit only a few. They’ve left us in ashes because they won’t bring meaningful change on a host of issues.” And he spoke about his decision to show himself smoking marijuana in an ad.


Ohio Democratic congressional candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “We need big, bold ideas and strategic plans to turn around Ohio. Not vague platitudes. That’s why I have plans to create an energy dividend, legalize marijuana, and create over 30k new, middle-class jobs a year for Ohioans.”

Mississippi’s agriculture and commerce commissioner thanked lawmakers for removing his department from any role in a medical cannabis program with new amendments to pending legislation.

Texas’s agriculture commissioner cut ties with a political consultant who was indicted in an alleged hemp licensing bribery scheme.

The Utah Senate approved a bill to force cities to recognize legal, medical cannabis cards held by government employees. Separately, the Department of Food and Agriculture created a Medical Cannabis and Industrial Hemp Division.

The Wisconsin Assembly approved a bill to increase penalties for the manufacturing of resin from marijuana plants using butane extraction.

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee discussed a bill to decriminalize drugs and will take testimony on the measure on Friday.

The Maine legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee held a hearing on a marijuana delivery bill and other cannabis legislation.

A New Jersey senator said he will “push like hell” to pass a bill legalizing marijuana home cultivation.

A North Carolina senator tweeted about how his dad’s experience with cancer informs his support for medical cannabis.

South Dakota regulators issued the first medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Hearings in a lawsuit against Georgia regulators’ medical cannabis business licensing process will begin on Friday.

Oregon regulators are inviting questions about new marijuana and hemp rules.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development tweeted, “🌿 Clothes

🌿 Biofuel 🌿 Drywall 🌿 Vinyl siding 🌿 Beauty products — More than 25K products are currently made from #hemp. Take a look at how this budding industry has impacted #Pennsylvania and created a new business sector for our PA farmers.”

Washington State regulators sent a newsletter with updates on cannabis issues.

New York regulators will discuss a marijuana social and economic equity fund and other issues on Tuesday.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will host a hemp forum on February 9.


The Thai Public Health Ministry’s Food and Drug Administration proposed removing cannabis from its status as a prohibited substance.

Malta’s new top marijuana regulator spoke about plans to implement legalization after having opposed the policy change.


A series of case reports of people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder suggested that “that cannabis played a complimentary role in the therapeutic regimen.”

A study concluded that “medical cannabis companies regularly use associations with academia and academic research to imply that their products are safe and effective before these claims are causally confirmed” and that “this practice may mislead patients, policymakers, and the public into believing unconfirmed claims about the safety and efficacy of cannabis and cannabis-derived products.”


A poll of Americans who suffer from anxiety, depression or PTSD found that 65 percent believe psychedelic medicine should be made available to patients with treatment-resistant forms of those conditions.

The Tennessee Democratic Party’s chairman tweeted, “@POTUS  could cancel student debt and order the HHS and DEA to begin the process of rescheduling marijuana, while offering a blanket pardon to those with non-violent marijuana possession charges. With the stroke of a pen, this can be done without fear of Manchin and Sinema blocking.”

The South Carolina Sheriffs Association is speaking out against a pending medical cannabis bill.

A founding partner of RightForge criticized Democrats’ marijuana legalization efforts.


Eleusis is going public through a merger with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. II.

PharmaCann Inc. completed an additional issuance of Senior Secured Notes worth approximately $39.5 million.

Curaleaf is facing a consumer complaint about inconsistent cannabis product prices across states.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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