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CT gov & lawmakers talk cannabis equity (Newsletter: May 19, 2021)

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LA legal marijuana stalls; TX penalty reform advances; MS voters: Impeach justices who overturned medical cannabis; Poll: PA voters back drug decrim

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Louisiana House of Representatives defeated a bill to set tax rates for marijuana sales if it is legalized, likely ending the effort to pass a separate cannabis legalization bill for the year.

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed a bill to implement the voter-approved legalization of marijuana.

Top Connecticut lawmakers met with the office of Gov. Ned Lamont (D) to discuss the definition of social equity applicants under marijuana legalization legislation—a signal that talks are progressing toward a passable bill as the end of the session approaches.

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee approved a House-passed bill to lower penalties for marijuana concentrates, while another panel amended a hemp bill to add language that would restrict delta-8-THC products. Meanwhile, advocates are pressing to advance separate medical cannabis expansion and marijuana decriminalization legislation that haven’t yet been scheduled for Senate consideration.

A new poll shows that Mississippi voters support impeaching Supreme Court justices who overturned the state’s medical marijuana law last week. They also want lawmakers to hold a special session to pass cannabis legislation that mirrors the now-invalidated ballot measure.

A poll found that 60% of Pennsylvania likely voters support decriminalizing possession of all drugs. Meanwhile, the GOP-controlled legislature won’t even take up bills to stop incarcerating people for marijuana alone.

/ FEDERAL

The Biden administration is reportedly formulating its plans for clemency efforts.

Plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit seeking access to psilocybin therapy for patients with serious illnesses filed their opening brief.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke about the prospects for federal marijuana reform.

/ STATES

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) vetoed a bill that would have restricted where signatures can be collected for ballot measures on marijuana and other issues. The state attorney general had said the legislation was likely unconstitutional.

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor said he would like lawmakers to get started passing a medical cannabis bill in a special session.

Colorado’s attorney general endorsed a bill to enact limits on marijuana concentrates, place restrictions on medical cannabis recommendations and require the state to study the impacts of marijuana on certain health outcomes, among other changes.  The House Public & Behavioral Health & Human Services Committee held a hearing on the legislation.

The Vermont House of Representatives approved a bill aimed at improving equity in the marijuana industry.

Amendments filed in the Iowa House of Representatives to increase medical cannabis limits were ruled non-germane.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that medical cannabis business license applications must be disclosed to litigants in denial appeals.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands regulators issued the territory’s first marijuana production and retail licenses.

A New Mexico judge is considering a medical cannabis patient’s lawsuit against regulators’ move to enact purchase limits and plant count limits.

Maine regulators issued guidance on marijuana kief, production batches, and laboratory uncertainty.

Florida regulators published guidance on transporting hemp.

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board met.

California’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Board will meet on Wednesday.

Michigan regulators will host a workshop on setting aside marijuana convictions on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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 Little Rock, Arkansas Board of Directors approved a proposal to make misdemeanor marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority.

The Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney tweeted, “As the country continues to move toward legal cannabis, it’s vital to remain focused on righting the wrongs of the failed war on drugs that disproportionately impacted communities of color—as we’ve done here in Cook County.”

The New York Times looks at how Weed, California came to embrace its name’s unintentional connection to marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government is moving to allow the sales of more potent marijuana.

A Brazilian lawmaker accosted the chairman of a cannabis-focused committee during a hearing.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “benefit–safety profiles for cannabinoids were higher than for other commonly used medications for [chronic neuropathic pain] largely because they contribute more to quality of life and have a more favorable side effect profile.”

A study concluded that “cannabidiol isolated from cannabis sativa L. protects intestinal barrier from in vitro inflammation and oxidative stress.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “20 years ago, @replaurahalld19 introduced a medical marijuana bill in honor of her late son, Ato. Yesterday, the Gov. signed into law a medical marijuana bill that carries his name. We owe Laura a debt of gratitude for her leadership and dedication to seeing it passed into law.”

/ BUSINESS

The Boston Beer Co. is creating a subsidiary to focus on developing cannabis-infused beverages in Canada.

Verano Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $143 million.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $51.8 million and a net loss of $19.5 million.

Rubicon Organics Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $4.1 million and a net loss of $4 million.

Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies is set to begin trading on the London Stock Exchange on Friday.

Weekly Missouri medical cannabis sales exceeded $3.5 million for the first time.

/ CULTURE

The racing horse Roses and Candy tested positive for CBD.

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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

CT Senate passes legal cannabis in special session (Newsletter: June 16, 2021)

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LA gov signs marijuana decrim; TX gov signs medical cannabis expansion; Drug decrim bill in Congress; Fed marijuana cases drop as more states legalize

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Connecticut Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill on the first day of a special session. The House will take it up on Wednesday. If approved there, it’ll go to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) desk. However, the governor is threatening to veto the legislation over an amendment on equity licensing eligibility.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill to decriminalize marijuana. He also has separate legislation to legalize smokable medical cannabis flower on his desk that is still pending.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill to expand the state’s limited medical marijuana program. He also has legislation on his desk to require the state to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, but hasn’t acted on it yet.

Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO) are filing the first-ever congressional bill to federally decriminalize all drugs. It will also incentivize local reform by withholding law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that continue criminalization.

A new analysis from the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows that federal marijuana cases are dropping significantly as more state legalization laws go into effect—even though federal prohibition hasn’t ended.

/ FEDERAL

The Supreme Court ruled that people convicted of certain low-level drug offenses are ineligible for resentencing under a 2018 criminal justice reform law.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a constituent letter that he has “concerns that legalization for recreational use may carry adverse unintended consequences.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will participate in an event on the 50th anniversary of the war on drugs on Thursday.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) tweeted, “I introduced the GRAM Act to protect the gun rights of state-legal #marijuana users. Our archaic federal cannabis policies currently require legal users to risk perjuring themselves when trying to exercise their #2A rights. Frankly, it’s wrong.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “Ask candidates running for state house and state senate, either incumbents or challengers, what is their position on legalization of marijuana. Then support those that want to change the commonwealth’s policy.”

Rep, Steven Horsford (D-NV) tweeted, “I’m proud to support the #SAFEBanking Act to provide Nevada’s marijuana industry with access to the banking system and protect their employees and customers. The SAFE Banking Act is common sense — it’s time to make it law.”

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) met with state cannabis regulators.

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to provide $100 million in funding to help cities and counties transition marijuana businesses from provisional to regular licenses.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there is “no consensus” among lawmakers on reconciling three competing marijuana legalization bills.

The Oregon Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue held a hearing on a bill to let cities and counties more than triple local marijuana taxes.

The Ohio House Health Committee considered but did not vote on a bill to add autism as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy held a hearing on several marijuana social equity bills.

The chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools sent a letter pushing back against the District Council’s move to undo a policy of mandating marijuana testing for contractors.

Colorado regulators adopted rules on marijuana business licensing fees.

Michigan regulators will discuss marijuana issues on Thursday.

New Mexico regulators will host a workshop for marijuana entrepreneurs on June 22.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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

Los Angeles, California regulators filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by companies that say the city’s marijuana social equity policy is flawed and that their applications were unlawfully disfavored.

The Montgomery County, Maryland Policing Advisory Commission heard testimony about marijuana enforcement.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK lawmaker who was one of the winners of a drawing to earn floor debate time for a private member’s bill said he will use the opportunity for medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “minimal changes have occurred in the cannabis use patterns of service-seeking youth in the short term following legalization” and that “this holds true both for youth who have reached the age of majority and those who have not.”

A review concluded that “CBD has demonstrated efficacy in reducing nausea and vomiting, with CBDA and CBDA-ME being more potent.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 48 percent of New Zealand voters support decriminalizing marijuana, 8 percent want to decriminalize all drugs and 31 percent back the status quo.

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee filed a challenge to the nominating petitions of Legalize Marihuana Party gubernatorial candidate Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion.

The United Cannabis Business Association is holding a fundraiser for California’s attorney general on Thursday.

Dr. Bronner’s CEO David Bronner published a response to a conspiracy theory about peyote production that was circulated by Decriminalize Nature.

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. is acquiring Medicine Man Denver.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of C$44.1 million and a net loss of C$61.6 million.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. reported that it expects quarterly revenue to be between  $27.5 million and $28 million.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc declared a quarterly dividend of $1.40 per share.

Harborside Inc. granted stock options to certain employees.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. has a new CFO.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Paul Pierce is launching marijuana products in Massachusetts under the “Truth” brand.

Joe Exotic is launching a marijuana brand while incarcerated.

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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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Newsletter

RI legal cannabis bill approved in committee (Newsletter: June 15, 2021)

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MT anti-marijuana orgs drop lawsuit; “Mass scale” NE medical cannabis campaign launches; Local decrim push in OH, SC & WV

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee amended and approved a marijuana legalization bill. It’s the first time recreational cannabis legislation has ever advanced in the state legislature.

Montana anti-marijuana groups are moving to dismiss their own lawsuit that sought to overturn a voter-approved legalization ballot measure. Implementation legislation approved by lawmakers addressed the central dispute about allocating cannabis revenue.

Nebraska activists are preparing to launch a “mass scale” signature gathering drive to qualify at least one—and possibly several—medical cannabis ballot measures for 2022. Lawmakers have also discussed a potential recreational marijuana initiative.

The Sensible Movement Coalition is working to put marijuana decriminalization measures on local ballots across Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia. A separate group is spearheading local cannabis efforts in Texas.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said licensed hemp businesses are eligible for Rural Cooperative Development Grants and Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grant Program.

A federal judge said a lawsuit over the seizure of hemp plants should be dismissed because the 2018 Farm Bill did not provide for a private right of action.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. That is why I’m working with @RonWyden and @SenBooker to end the federal prohibition and to repair the damage done by the War on Drugs.”

Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), along with members of Nevada’s U.S. House delegation, issued statements in support of marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) tweeted about cosponsoring a federal marijuana legalization bill.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) discussed marijuana legalization.

/ STATES

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed a proclamation declaring Monday “Medical Cannabis Day.”

Pennsylvania’s attorney general tweeted, “Legalize marijuana. Regulate it. Tax it. But let me be clear: legalization must include expungement for those in jail or who have served time for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Our Black & brown communities have been disproportionately impacted by this for far too long.”

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “Marijuana legalization is a step in the right direction for public safety, equity, and economic opportunity for all in Virginia.”

New York’s Assembly speaker and majority leader highlighted marijuana legalization as a top accomplishment this session.

A majority of Wisconsin Democratic senators said they support legalizing marijuana, contrary to a claim by the caucus’s leader.

Here’s a look at how Colorado marijuana bills fared this session.

Massachusetts regulators moved to extend marijuana business curbside operations, telehealth services and web-based community outreach meetings until September 1.

California tax officials said the cannabis mark-up rate will remain unchanged at 80 percent for the rest of the year.

Michigan regulators launched a survey about the state’s marijuana tracking system.

Minnesota regulators tweeted about the legalization of smokable medical cannabis flower.

Ohio regulators will consider adopting new rules on medical cannabis dispensary license applications on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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 Sonoma County, California Board of Supervisors approved $370,000 in funding to help expedite the processing of a backlog of cannabis business permit applications.

The Boston, Massachusetts Cannabis Board will meet on Wednesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor is seeking permission to launch an investigation into the bloody Philippine “war on drugs.”

Toronto, Canada’s Board of Health voted to ask permission from the federal government to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “light cannabis use as well as late-onset thereof was associated with increased decision-making skills both cross-sectionally at follow-up as well as longitudinally compared to non-using controls.”

A review concluded that “promising preclinical and clinical investigations suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective adjuvant for treatment of symptoms of opioid use disorders; however, the mechanism through which CBD drives this outcome is unclear.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 67 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana for both recreational and medical use, 25 percent back medical legalization only and 8 percent  want cannabis to remain completely illegal.

The Hemp Industries Association has a new president and other leaders.

Virginia Marijuana Justice is planning a marijuana seed giveaway to coincide with legalization taking effect on July 1.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp. reported quarterly revenue of C$22.7 million and a net loss of C$20.7 million.

A subsidiary of Cronos Group Inc. is acquiring approximately 10.5 percent of PharmaCann Inc.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. sold promissory notes for $26 million.

/ CULTURE

Rohan Marley is an investor in a company looking for sites for a marijuana business in upstate New York.

Family Feud had a question on places people should never be seen smoking marijuana.

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Newsletter

TX & LA govs signal they’ll sign cannabis bills (Newsletter: June 14, 2021)

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CT legal marijuana special session this week; WY ballot measures filed; Fed court hears cannabis case against DEA; CA uses marijuana money for grants

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) both signaled they’re going to sign marijuana bills that are on their desks.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he will be disappointed if lawmakers don’t send a marijuana legalization bill to his desk during a special session that is set to begin on Wednesday.

Wyoming activists filed two proposed marijuana ballot initiatives for 2022: One to legalize medical cannabis and another to decriminalize adult-use possession and cultivation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in a case where researchers are suing the Drug Enforcement Administration over its Schedule I classification of marijuana. One judge called the case “really odd.”

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced it is using marijuana tax revenue to fund $29 million in grants aimed at repairing the harms of the war on drugs.

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute of Standards and Technology published a blog post about one of its intern’s experience working to extract cannabis compounds.

Former Surgeon General Jerome Adams said he is concerned about “normalizing” marijuana use by offering free joints to people who get coronavirus vaccines.

Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS) filed a bill that includes a provision requiring states that have legalized recreational or medical cannabis to consider launching programs to “to educate drivers regarding the risks associated with marijuana-impaired driving.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Restorative justice for those who have been impacted by our tragically broken criminal justice system is an essential part of any marijuana reform.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted about Washington State allowing marijuana businesses to give free joints to people who get coronavirus vaccines, saying, “Meanwhile, countless people of color are arrested for doing the same thing. End the war on drugs.”

North Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Jackson posted a video about why it’s time to legalize marijuana.

Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Nina Turner tweeted, “No one should be in jail for smoking marijuana. No one should lose their job (or have a criminal record) for having smoked it. Legalize it.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and top lawmakers failed to make appointments to the state’s new marijuana regulatory body by the end of the legislative session, raising questions about when the legalization law can begin being implemented.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill requiring regulators to seek input from stakeholders on hemp rules.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) spoke about the possibility of a special session to enact medical cannabis after the state Supreme Court struck down the voter-approved program.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) budget proposal includes funding to help military veterans and people formerly incarcerated on drug convictions launch medical cannabis businesses.

Wisconsin Republican gubernatorial candidate Johnathan Wichmann supports legalizing marijuana.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted about the state’s new marijuana website.

The New Jersey Senate Health Committee approved a bill to require certain state-funded prescription drug plans to cover the cost of medical cannabis.

California regulators are proposing rulemaking on hemp licensing eligibility and criminal history.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade touted the passage of legislation to provide loans, grants and technical assistance for marijuana entrepreneurs.

Arizona regulators published updated monthly data on marijuana licensing and sales.

Washington State regulators sent a marijuana newsletter.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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 Bronx, New York district attorney is moving to dismiss more than 6,000 misdemeanor marijuana cases.

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is being sued by a bus driver who was demoted after failing a drug test, which he says was from drinking hemp tea.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s coalition governing document says the government will pass legislation decriminalizing marijuana and introduce legislation to fully regulate the cannabis market.

Two Portuguese political parties introduced separate marijuana legalization bills.

Seven British Columbia, Canada mayors are endorsing Vancouver’s push to gain federal approval to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “two-weeks of nightly sublingual administration of a cannabinoid extract is well tolerated and improves insomnia symptoms and sleep quality in individuals with chronic insomnia symptoms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Listen legislators…. 54% voted FOR Amendment A, 70+% voted FOR Medicinal Cannabis. We didn’t vote for you all to twist and tweak those ballot items.”

Turning Point USA cofounder Charlie Kirk said the availability of marijuana delivery services is “actually slavery.”

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation will host a webinar on advancing opportunities for small and minority-owned marijuana businesses on Thursday.

/ BUSINESS

atai Life Sciences B.V. launched an initial public offering.

Columbia Care Inc. completed its acquisition of Green Leaf Medical, LLC.

Flower One Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $9.6 million.

The U.S. Department of Labor found that the Hunt Farm, which grows hemp and tobacco, failed to properly compensate and reimburse workers as well as attempted to impede an investigation.

The Ontario Securities Commission placed a cease trade order on Avicanna Inc.

/ CULTURE

Mixed martial arts fighter Nate Diaz smoked a joint of his own marijuana brand Kill 4209 at a press conference.

Former basketball player Paul Pierce posted a video of his company’s marijuana cultivation facility.

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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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