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Congress to vote on cannabis research this week (Newsletter: December 8, 2020)

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CBO: Federal marijuana bill would boost budget by billions; GOP lawmakers complains to Pelosi about Dem’s cannabis mask; NE 2022 legalization effort

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Just days after passing a federal marijuana legalization bill, the House of Representatives is set this week to vote on a cannabis research bill that would—among other things—let scientists study products from state-legal dispensaries for the first time.

The Congressional Budget Office projected that the marijuana legalization bill the House passed last week would add $13.7 billion in net revenue to the federal budget over 10 years. It would also cut 73,000 years worth of prison time and save $1 billion in incarceration costs.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) sent a letter of complaint to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about the marijuana mask that Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)  wore during last week’s floor debate on a cannabis legalization bill.

  • “Legality aside, it’s unbecoming for a House member to wear clothing that promotes the use of any recreational drugs on the House floor… Speaker Pelosi, you’ve allowed facemasks to be worn on the House floor that wouldn’t be allowed in a High School assembly hall.”

Nebraska senators and activists announced they will collect signatures to put a recreational marijuana legalization initiative—in addition to a separate medical cannabis measure—on the state’s 2022 ballot.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration will hold an event about its “Kingpin Strategy” on Thursday.

A federal marijuana legalization bill was the most viewed piece of legislation on Congress.gov last week.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Our failed drug policies don’t reflect our values. We should legalize marijuana & reinvest the tax revenue in communities that have been disproportionately targeted by the failed drug war—for education, for drug treatment, for job training. We must focus on restorative justice.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “Glad to see the legislature and Governor strike a deal to regulate legal cannabis in New Jersey. It is now time to right the wrongs of years of cannabis policy in our state that overwhelmingly harmed vulnerable communities.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Four states voted to legalize marijuana in November, two of them deeply red. Americans all across the country are in favor of legalization. It’s time we listen to them and repair the harm and injustices of the failed War on Drugs.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke about the House’s passage of a federal marijuana legalization bill in an MSNBC interview.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “We talk all the time on the right about the need to empower people and empower states. Right now, the federal policy on cannabis constrains our people and limits our states.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Our fight to end the war on drugs is far from over, but we are on our way. We must deliver restorative justice for the communities most devastated by our harmful cannabis laws.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Pennsylvania’s recreational cannabis revenue? $0.00. Now more than ever, we need to take that money away from illegal dealers and use it to offset the burden to taxpayers.”

Rhode Island’s State Police superintendent supports legalizing marijuana.

The New Jersey Assembly Judiciary Committee approved a bill to reduce penalties for psilocybin.

A Florida senator is introducing a bill to expunge misdemeanor marijuana possession records.

Alaska regulators filed rules concerning the presence of infants on the premises of marijuana businesses.

Testimony from Missouri’s top medical cannabis regulator provides clues about the target of an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry.

Texas regulators published a list of registered hemp processors.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Tuesday.

Washington State regulators will consider rules on THC vapor products and marijuana certificates of compliance on Wednesday.

California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday.


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

Wilmington, North Carolina City Council members spoke about their support for decriminalizing marijuana.

The Greensboro, North Carolina City Council is also discussing marijuana decriminalization.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s High Court is being asked to overturn the results of the marijuana legalization referendum narrowly defeated by voters due to alleged misinformation distributed by opponents during the campaign.

Ontario, Canada’s auditor general found that regulators don’t have enough resources to effectively oversee the marijuana industry.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of palliative cancer patients found that “CBD-dominant oil treatments were similar to THC-dominant treatments in their beneficial effects for most secondary outcomes” and that “THC-dominant treatments showed significant superiority in their beneficial effect only in sleep duration compared to CBD-dominant treatments.”

A study of mice found “pre-clinical evidence that the phytocannabinoids THC and CBD alone may be useful as an adjunct therapy for treatment of neuropathic pain, and provides insight as to the ideal ratio and differing benefits and challenges of different administration routes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Review editorial board is calling on congressional Republicans to stop blocking marijuana reform.

Marijuana Moment and NORML will be co-hosting a webinar on cannabis legislation with BillTrack50 on December 15.

ACLU of New Jersey, Weedmaps, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, Minority Cannabis Business Association, New Jersey CannaBusiness Association and other organizations sent a letter urging New Jersey lawmakers to include a greater focus on equity in marijuana legalization enabling legislation.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $35.6 million and a net loss of $32.8 million.

Organigram admitted that cooling towers on top of its New Brunswick, Canada cannabis production facility caused a legionnaires’ disease outbreak that sent 15 people to the hospital last year.

Cybin Inc. signed an  agreement to acquire Adelia Therapeutics Inc.

HEXO Corp is revising a plan to consolidate its shares.

/ CULTURE

Miley Cyrus spoke about her experience using ayahuasca and said she would consider taking psilocybin.

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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

Cannabis banking sponsor discusses Senate path (Newsletter: September 23, 2021)

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OK marijuana ballot measures finalized; NY cannabis board fully seated; USDA’s anti-weed hemp effort; PA medical cannabis DUI hearing

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  • Todd Harrison of CB1 Capital Management: “Tom and Kyle’s fierce cannabis journalism should be championed and supported. We’re proud to be doing our part.”

Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

SAFE Banking Act sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) spoke to Marijuana Moment about the prospects for finally getting his now five-times House-passed cannabis reform through the Senate and onto the president’s desk.

  • “I think the fifth time is the charm.”

Oklahoma activists finalized the language for separate initiatives to legalize marijuana and revise the existing medical cannabis program that they want to place on the 2022 ballot.

With two final appointments, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) completed the makeup of the Cannabis Control Board—setting up the state to finally begin implementing a legal recreational marijuana market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding research to help hemp farmers manage weed issues.

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on a bill to protect medical cannabis patients from being charged with DUI unless they are actually impaired behind the wheel.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s long past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, enact criminal justice reforms, and invest in communities hurt by the War on Drugs. That’s why @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he opposes adding marijuana banking to the National Defense Authorization Act. Separately, he announced that efforts to negotiate a deal on police reform legislation have ended after Republicans failed to accept Democrats’ final offer of compromise.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) reacted to the House including marijuana banking in the National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “It’s not a great vehicle for it, but if it’s a vehicle that can carry it, I think it’d be fine… Any vehicle’s good that gets it to pass it.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “Proudly cosponsored @RepPerlmutter’s #SAFEBanking amendment. By denying state-legal cannabis business access to financial services the federal govt is – endangering public safety – crippling the economic recovery of #smallbiz – refusing states’ rights to implement their own laws

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “I support the Safe Banking Act. Let’s begin to decriminalize cannabis federally. All legal cannabis businesses across our country pay their employees, bills, and FEDERAL taxes with cash! Cannabis businesses and customers deserve access to a banking system!”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “As part of the #FY22NDAA, I’m proud to support these 3 #SmallBiz Amendments:… ✅The SAFE Banking Act (for #cannabis businesses, approved last night!)…”

Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) filed a bill aimed at protecting Customs and Border Protection officers from accidental exposure to fentanyl and other drugs they may encounter on the job, but advocates say the bill is seeking to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist and is “created from hysteria, not science.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got five new cosponsors for a total of 64.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he expects recreational marijuana sales to begin through existing medical cannabis dispensaries in the first or second quarter of 2022.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “My Ohio comeback plan is pretty simple. We’re going to legalize and tax marijuana and we’re going to give Ohioans a dividend of our energy profits. This will create 120,000 jobs that pay $60,000 a year, reduce unemployment, and cut poverty in half.”

North Carolina’s Senate president pro tem indicated that a medical cannabis bill might not get a floor vote until next year. Meanwhile, the legislation’s sponsor is working on some changes requested by the state attorney general.

A Pennsylvania senator is hosting a cannabis opportunities conference on Friday.

Arkansas activists say they’ve collected more than 20,000 signatures so far for their proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Oregon regulators issued a mandatory recall for a hemp product with undisclosed levels of THC.

California regulators are modifying the text of warnings about exposure to marijuana smoke and THC.

An Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics official told lawmakers at a hearing that the number of fraudulently licensed medical cannabis cultivation operations may soon decrease.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Thursday.

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


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

New York City filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a man who launched an apparel brand called “NYC New York Cannabis” that uses logos similar to the city’s official ones.

A Wake County, North Carolina district attorney candidate said he won’t prosecute low-level marijuana cases if elected.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Kenya’s attorney general has until October 18 to respond to a lawsuit seeking to legalize marijuana that was filed by Rastafarians.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that medical cannabis “had a favorable effect on pain level and quality of sleep among all spectrums of problems at the rheumatology clinic.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana Moment Senior Editor Kyle Jaeger spoke about cannabis banking legislation on C-SPAN’s Washington Today.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials released a position statement on the use of hemp and hemp byproducts in animal food.

The American Bankers Association tweeted, “ABA strongly supports the #SAFEBanking Act which would help achieve important public safety goals and expand access to credit for cannabis-related businesses in states where it is legal, making the industry more equitable while growing jobs and the economy.”

Concerned Women for America tweeted, “More #FY22NDAA Insanity: Last night House voted to unleash the predatory marijuana industry through the U.S. banking system while drugs are pouring across our borders. Dems want America on pot and our daughters in war. @HouseGOP must say NO.”

The Massachusetts Package Stores Association said a senator’s bill to ban billboard advertising for alcohol or marijuana products is unconstitutional.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is closing down its Edmonton, Alberta, Canada facility.

A lawsuit that Legacy Hemp LLC filed against Terramax Holdings Corp. for allegedly breaching a hemp seed distribution contract was revived by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit after it was previously dismissed.

/ CULTURE

UFC fighter Chris Barnett was suspended and fined over a positive marijuana test.

Melissa Etheridge spoke about her cannabis brand Etheridge Botanicals.

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House approves cannabis banking (again, in military bill this time) (Newsletter: September 22, 2021)

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Amazon expands marijuana protections; CA State Fair hosts cannabis contest; NY legalization revenue projections; Fmr GOP rep on psilocybin benefits

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives approved a marijuana banking amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act—on a voice vote, and no member requested a roll call. Earlier on Tuesday, the House Rules Committee cleared the measure for  floor consideration, but the panel blocked separate amendments to expand research on the benefits of psychedelics for active duty military members and to protect veterans from being denied home loans because they work in the cannabis industry.

Amazon reiterated its support for legalizing marijuana and said it will reinstate eligibility for employees and applicants who were previously punished for positive cannabis tests. Curiously, though, the company claimed in a letter to senators that it has no view on marijuana “regulation, permitting, taxation, and interstate commerce.”

The California State Fair & Expo will host a first-of-its-kind, state-sanctioned cannabis competition and awards show at next year’s event.

New York’s budget director projected in a new quarterly fiscal update that growing marijuana revenue will help offset an ongoing decline in taxes from cigarette sales.

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) shared the story of a family friend who treated alcoholism with psilocybin therapy.

  • “The first time he got the treatment, he lost all cravings for drinking. This happened about six years ago, and he has not had a craving since.”

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge sentenced a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor convicted of extorting marijuana businesses to six years in prison.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced $13.2 million in grants for 106 Drug-Free Communities Support Programs across the country.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “A pilot hemp insurance program available in select counties through Multi-Peril Crop Insurance provides coverage against loss of yield because of insurable causes of loss for hemp grown for fiber, grain, or CBD oil.”

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) toured a hemp processing facility.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s move to reconsider marijuana’s banned status for athletes is “real progress for real people. Grateful to my colleagueRep. @Bonnie4Congres for shining a light on this injustice together.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, tweeted about the growth potential of psilocybin treatment.

/ STATES

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) signed a bill to allow police to refer juveniles caught with marijuana to counseling, treatment or other intervention services in lieu of having to pay fines.

A New Jersey senator spoke about why his bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana is stalled.

Connecticut’s Judicial Branch is warning people that marijuana is not allowed inside courthouses.

Oklahoma regulators filed permanent changes to medical cannabis rules.

Louisiana regulators proposed changes to hemp rules.

Vermont regulators are preparing to issue a report with marijuana recommendations for lawmakers.

Connecticut regulators published updated statistics on medical cannabis patients and registered physicians.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

The Nevada Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Public Safety will meet on Friday.

Michigan regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed marijuana rules changes on Monday.


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 Rapid City, South Dakota City Council approved medical cannabis business rules.

Denver, Colorado will host a Marijuana Social Equity Resource Fair on October 16.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the international community not to interfere with his nation’s bloody “drug war” in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

Paraguayan officials sent a reminder about the need to register and update medical cannabis business information.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of hemp found that “CBD yield and decarboxylation rate were significantly affected by drying conditions” and that “terpene content and profile in hemp changed with the drying conditions.”

A study concluded that “psilocybin has a rapid, sizable, and long-term antidepressive effect for primary (major depression patients) and secondary depressive disorder (depressed cancer patients).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly said the government should air public  service announcements about the harms of marijuana, and he’s offering to star in them for free.

Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann signed on as a cannabis consultant for PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP.

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance published a white paper on marijuana social equity programs.

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation is hiring a new CEO.

/ BUSINESS

FSD Pharma Inc. closed its acquisition of Lucid Psycheceuticals Inc.

Blue Tree LLC is reportedly being investigated by California regulators over a possible illegal marijuana smuggling operation.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen spoke about how his passion for cannabis drives his work with his brand Houseplant.

The Onion joked that marijuana “ranks among the foremost treatments for persistent existence.”

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Italian cannabis & psilocybin referendum gets 500k sigs (Newsletter: September 21, 2021)

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FL marijuana initiative; RI Senate president: Legalization deal “very close”; Lawmakers push Biden for clemency

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

In just a week, Italian activists have collected half a million signatures in a week for a referendum to decriminalize growing marijuana—and other psychoactive plants and fungi such as psilocybin mushrooms. The vote is expected to take place in the spring.

Rhode Island’s Senate president said lawmakers are “very close” to reaching a deal on a marijuana legalization bill that could be passed in a special session this fall.

Florida activists filed a new marijuana legalization initiative they hope to qualify for the 2022 ballot. The move comes after the state Supreme Court invalidated prior measures from this group and another for being “misleading” in light of federal law.

A group of 28 members of Congress sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to grant clemency to nearly 20,000 people in the federal prison system—including those with drug convictions.

/ FEDERAL

National Security Council Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez spoke about the evolution of drug policies in the U.S. and Latin America, and said that marijuana legalization is a state issue. (About 27:10 into the audio.)

The U.S. Department of Education said it did not have enough time to remove the drug conviction question from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid after Congress repealed the related penalty, and so it will remain for the next year even though answers to it will have no impact on eligibility.

A federal judge acquitted a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor of several charges but left standing his conviction on charges of extorting marijuana businesses.

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) tweeted, “Our sheriff’s department has been hard at work shutting down illegal marijuana grows in our communities. These are not small backyard operations- this is large-scale organized crime that threatens our safety, our water, and our environment.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, said marijuana legalization is a rare uniting political issue.

/ STATES

A New York senator hosted an event to help people expunge marijuana records.

Connecticut patients can begin growing their own medical cannabis on October 1.

South Dakota regulators are considering how to amend medical cannabis rules that were rejected by lawmakers.

California regulators are being sued for allegedly turning a “blind eye” to systemic flaws that foster an illegal mariijuana distribution market.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about marijuana plant count inventories. Separately, they will host a cannabis social equity education session on Thursday.

Colorado regulators issued an update on average market rates for marijuana.

Ohio regulators will accept applications for medical cannabis dispensary licenses from November 4-18.

Utah regulators published an update on the medical cannabis program.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Licensing Workgroup will meet on Wednesday.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Thursday.

West Virginia regulators will host a medical cannabis patient signup event on September 29.


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 Chicago, Illinois City Council approved the mayor’s proposal to expand where marijuana businesses can be located.

More than 90 percent of Maine towns don’t allow recreational marijuana sales.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly agreed to reschedule psilocybin to facilitate research on its medical benefits.

Zurich, Switzerland officials unveiled details for a marijuana legalization pilot program to launch next year.

Namibian activists are challenging the constitutionality of marijuana prohibition in court.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “people with cannabis purchases after legalization reduced significantly and persistently their cash spending and electronic transfers, indicating a shift from the black to the legal cannabis market.”

The University of Michigan is conducting a survey on the use and effects of psychedelics.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll paid for by a marijuana businesses advocacy group found that Michigan likely voters support placing restrictions and regulations on medical cannabis caregivers who cultivate for patients.

The Economic Policy Institute published a report about the benefits of unionization in the cannabis industry, which was touted by United Food and Commercial Workers.

AMVETS is hosting a forum on using medical cannabis to treat cancer on September 29.

/ BUSINESS

The former CEO of Ebony and others were charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with allegedly raising money for marijuana businesses but illegally using it for other purposes, including funding the magazine.

Delic Holdings Corp is acquiring Ketamine Wellness Centers Arizona LLC.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen is set to discuss is marijuana brand Houseplant at TechCrunch Disrupt this week.

Former wrestler The Godfather about the WWE’s stance on marijuana and said that Shane McMahon owns a cannabis business in California.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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