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Congressman plans federal psychedelics effort ‘this year’ (Newsletter: October 7, 2021)

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NBA not testing for marijuana; Bipartisan PA legalization efforts; Study: Fewer lung injuries in legal cannabis states

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-chair Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said he’s preparing to bring the psychedelics reform movement “to Capitol Hill this year in the same way we developed the foundation for the support of our cannabis work.”

A Pennsylvania Republican senator and a Democratic representative said they’ll be teaming up on a forthcoming marijuana legalization bill. Their recently filed cosponsorship memos have some differences, but they say a bipartisan deal can be worked out.

A new federally funded study found that states with legal recreational marijuana saw fewer cases of lung injuries during a 2019 outbreak—backing up legalization advocates’ argument that access to regulated products protects consumer health.

  • “Marijuana policies may offer a means to reduce the scale of such outbreaks if they impede the market penetration of contaminated products or affect the types of marijuana products consumers use.”

The National Basketball Association announced it is extending its policy of not drug testing players for marijuana for another season. The commissioner has suggested the move could become permanent because the league doesn’t “need to act as Big Brother.”

/ FEDERAL

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent was killed in a shooting on an Amtrak train after a large amount of marijuana was found on board.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is funding research on “using hemp as an aquaculture feed ingredient to address food safety concerns about consuming seafood raised with hemp feed additives.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “For decades, Americans—disproportionately Americans of color—have been arrested & jailed for carrying small amounts of marijuana. I’m working with @SenBooker & @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act to end federal prohibition.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Ending mandatory jail time for nonviolent drug crimes is a huge step in the fight to keep Black and Brown folks out of jail cells. Decriminalization and legalization of marijuana is next.”

Missouri Republican congressional candidate Taylor Burks said current drug policies are “antiquated” and that people are being locked up for no good reason (around 1:18:20 into the video).

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill to end mandatory minimum jail sentences for non-violent drug offenses, as well as separate legislation on cannabis packaging and testing.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) office deflected questions about when legal adult-use marijuana sales may begin. Separately, the Assembly majority leader said she is hopeful that people will be able to apply for recreational cannabis business licenses by March.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted about a “new online payment feature for agent card applicants and licensees in Nevada’s growing cannabis industry.”

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Joe Jaworski tweeted, “TX is overdue for criminal & social justice reform. As TXAG, I’ll advocate to legalize cannabis & end wasteful prosecutions, freeing our police & prosecutors to fight real crime, & creating criminal justice reform for Texans. It’s time to #LegalizeCannabis in TX.”

Minnesota’s House majority leader, who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill that cleared his chamber, said the new Senate majority leader may be more open to the legislation than his predecessor was.

Idaho regulators submitted a hemp plan for federal approval.

Montana regulators adopted rules on marijuana cultivation canopy tier size increases and limitations on advertising.

New Mexico state employees who are suing marijuana regulators over where they were assigned to work are seeking to add new claims to the case.

Colorado regulators published an annual report finding that cultivators in the state grew nearly 2 million pounds of legal marijuana in 2020.

Missouri’s medical cannabis tracking system again locked products in an administrative hold state for reasons that aren’t clear.

Michigan’s Department of Agriculture & Rural Development posted a video of inspectors participating in hemp pre-harvest sampling training.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana 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

Stonington, Connecticut voters rejected a proposed ban on marijuana businesses.

Denver, Colorado regulators adopted final rules on marijuana storage and service windows.

Oakland, California’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Chile’s Senate Health Committee rejected a medical cannabis cultivation bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBGA, CBDVA and CBGVA may contribute to the effects of cannabis-based products in childhood epilepsy.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “We need to not only legalize marijuana, but also provide clemency for those currently serving time for weed-related offenses and expunge the records of everyone who has been convicted for possession in the past 🌿”

The Drug Policy Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union and a working group involving other organizations released recommendations for how to center reparative justice, social and health equity and community reinvestment in marijuana legalization legislation.

The National Safety Council conducted a survey of cannabis-related workplace issues and is hosting several conference sessions about the topic next week.

Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham expressed concern about social media encouraging “mainlining pot and other drugs.”

/ BUSINESS

ETF Managers Group LLC announced that a new exchange-traded fund it is launching will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

/ CULTURE

Paul McCartney spoke about growing hemp and taking steps to prevent people from stealing his crops.

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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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