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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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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

Treasury secretary talks cannabis banking benefits (Newsletter: December 2, 2021)

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Congressional Black Caucus Foundation marijuana internships; Groups urge cannabis banking in NDAA; Austin decrim ballot initiative; VA access push

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Treasury Sec. Janet Yellen said “of course” the Internal Revenue Service’s job of collecting taxes would be easier if marijuana businesses could access the banking system. She was responding to a question from Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) at a hearing.

A coalition of groups—including the American Bankers Association, United Food and Commercial Workers Union, National Association of REALTORS and National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies— sent a letter urging the Senate to pass marijuana banking through the National Defense Authorization Act.

The bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus sent a letter urging Veterans Affairs Sec. Denis McDonough to allow medical marijuana access for military vets “as soon as possible.” He recently said the department is considering a policy change.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and U.S. Cannabis Council are partnering on an internship program to place rising black leaders at top marijuana companies like Weedmaps, Curaleaf, Columbia Care and Canopy Growth.

Austin, Texas activists submitted what they say is more than enough signatures to put a marijuana decriminalization measure on the city’s May 2022 ballot.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to dismiss legal challenges to the agency’s hemp rules.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Marijuana prohibition has disproportionately harmed young people of color. NY’s taken important steps to address these harms. We’re working to pass the Cannabis Administration & Opportunity Act to bring the progress we’ve made in NY to the federal level.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said he doesn’t see a path to add marijuana banking to the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act due to opposition from leadership.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “#SAFEBanking has broad bipartisan support in both chambers. Enacting this bill now as part of the NDAA is just the tip of the iceberg and will help pave the way for broader, comprehensive cannabis reform and will help create a safer and more equitable industry.” He also tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act would immediately remove barriers for small and minority-owned cannabis businesses to access capital.  #SAFEBanking is the first of many federal reforms that are needed to ensure these businesses are treated fairly and legitimately.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “If the Senate doesn’t include #SafeBanking in the NDAA, I will fight for it in conference. Each day Congress refuses to pass this bipartisan bill the fed govt endangers public safety, cripples the economic recovery of #smallbiz and refuses states’ rights to implement their laws.”

Montana Democratic congressional candidate Tom Winter tweeted, “When Montanans speak it’s up to their representatives in government to listen. Legal weed isn’t just about freedom from government intrusion into our personal lives. It’s about equity in our criminal justice system and good governance.”

The Senate bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of three.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 34.

/ STATES

Missouri activists launched a signature drive for a marijuana legalization measure they hope to place on the 2022 ballot.

Florida activists said they are getting a good return on mailers they’ve sent to collect signatures on petitions to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the 2022 ballot.

The Ohio Senate Small Business and Economic Opportunity Committee held a hearing on legislation to expand the medical cannabis program.

The Maryland House Cannabis Referendum and Legalization Workgroup discussed tax issues.

An Indiana representative will host a forum about legalizing marijuana on Monday.

The Michigan Court of Claims heard arguments in a case in which a testing laboratory is challenging regulators’ decision to recall marijuana products.

Arizona regulators  began accepting marijuana social equity business license applications.

Minnesota regulators added edibles in the form of gummies and chews to the medical cannabis program, but declined to approve new qualifying conditions.

A Massachusetts regulator authored a letter to the editor expressing frustration about the slow pace of cannabis equity efforts.

Connecticut regulators posted information about documentation required on marijuana social equity applicant ownership and control.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office posted an update about marijuana tax revenue.

West Virginia regulators will hold a medical cannabis patient signup event on Tuesday.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on December 10.


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 Clarksville, Tennessee City Council will consider a resolution supporting marijuana decriminalization on Thursday.

Portland, Oregon officials are launching a grants program to aid marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s Supreme Court struck down the prohibition on growing and harvesting hemp as unconstitutional.

Sri Lanka’s state minister of indigenous medicine promotion, rural and ayurvedic hospitals development and community health said a bill to legalize medical cannabis exports will be introduced soon.

A Costa Rica bill to legalize medical cannabis and hemp is advancing toward final votes.

Uruguayan officials will participate in a cannabis industry event on Thursday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A record number of scientific papers about cannabis were published in 2021, according to a NORML analysis.

A review concluded that psilocybin “could be useful to prevent suicidal behaviors.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Americans for Prosperity tweeted, “Nearly 70% of Americans want cannabis to be fully decriminalized, and more than 90% want medical cannabis products to be available to patients and veterans. The States Reform Act will be a pivotal step towards making it happen.”

The Vermont Medical Society is urging regulators to ban marijuana products that contain more than 15 percent THC.

Origins Council says it is California’s largest membership-based cannabis advocacy organization now that Humboldt County Growers Alliance joined.

/ BUSINESS

SuperNet is issuing credit cards that work in participating marijuana dispensaries.

Labor organizers say Illinois cannabis businesses are resisting pushes to unionize employees.

Many Alaska cannabis businesses are struggling under the state’s tax structure.

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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

‘No evidence’ of cannabis harm with casual adult use, fed official says (Newsletter: December 1, 2021)

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NYC safe consumption sites for drugs; Financial orgs want marijuana banking in NDAA; Jamaica’s new “good ganja sense” campaign

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Your good deed for the day: donate to an independent publisher like Marijuana Moment and ensure that as many voters as possible have access to the most in-depth cannabis reporting out there.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said “there’s no evidence to my knowledge that occasional [adult] marijuana use has harmful effects.”

  • “I don’t know of any scientific evidence of that.”

New York City opened the first safe consumption sites for illegal drugs in the U.S. It remains to be seen how the Biden administration, which has voiced support for harm reduction approaches in general, will respond.

The Credit Union National Association, Defense Credit Union Council and National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions sent a letter urging Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation through the National Defense Authorization Act.

Jamaica’s Ministry of Health and Wellness launched a new “Good Ganja Sense” campaign to smash myths about cannabis and boost education. It features bus ads, a website and a catchy jingle.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge paused the deadline for filing pretrial motions in the case of an alleged Maine marijuana and money-laundering operation involving public officials to give the defendants more time to review evidence.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said he thinks there’s a “good chance” of passing marijuana banking legislation through the National Defense Authorization Act. He also tweeted about bipartisan backing for the move, saying, “I appreciate the support of these Senators – as well as  @SenatorHick & @SenatorBennet. By including #SAFEBanking in the final NDAA, we can safeguard our financial system, reduce the public safety risk & better support small & minority-owned businesses.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and former Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who did not support marijuana legalization while in office,  joined the Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation as co-chairs.

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted, “When I get to the Senate, I will file the legislation to finally legalize cannabis, and will call it the Gatewood Galbraith Justice and Healing Act.”

Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate William Compton tweeted, “In congress, I would fully support legalizing Marijuana on the federal level. Kentucky’s cash crop had always been tobacco, why can’t we add Marijuana to create more revenue?”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, currently the attorney general, tweeted, “60% of Pennsylvanians support marijuana legalization. Every second wasted on this is another second folks who’ve possessed small amounts of marijuana spend dealing with an unjust record. Let’s get it done.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor hosted an event about a marijuana revenue-funded grant program, saying, “The #R3 program invests 25% of adult-cannabis tax revenues back into communities that have suffered historic disinvestment. Our goal is to repair the harm by investing in these communities, and this work can only be done in collaboration with those same communities.”

Mississippi lawmakers said they plan to pass a medical cannabis bill early in 2022.

A Massachusetts senator filed a bill, by request of a citizen, that would amend alcohol regulations to mirror more restrictive marijuana ones.

The New Mexico legislature’s Finance Authority Oversight Committee discussed the cannabis microbusiness loan program at a hearing. Separately, regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed marijuana labor peace agreements and solvents rules on Wednesday.

The Oklahoma Senate will hold a hearing with medical cannabis regulators on Wednesday.

Maryland’s House Cannabis Legalization Workgroup will meet on Wednesday.

Connecticut regulators increased the acceptable amount of mold in tested marijuana products without issuing a formal rule about the change.

The California Cannabis Control Appeals Panel proposed rules changes.

New Jersey regulators posted a webinar about the marijuana business license application process.


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

McGraw, New York voters narrowly approved a ballot measure to allow retail sales and on-site consumption of marijuana.

The Greensport, New York Board of Trustees voted to opt out of allowing marijuana dispensaries and on-site consumption facilities.

The Toms River, New Jersey Township Council voted to permanently ban recreational marijuana businesses.

The Missoula, Montana City Council approved marijuana regulations.

The city of Gloucester, Massachusetts is being sued by a marijuana business over allegedly excessive and illegal community impact fees that must be paid in order to operate.

The Hartford, Connecticut Planning & Zoning Commission’s draft marijuana rules would encourage dispensaries to be located downtown.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s Supreme Court will consider a case challenging the prohibition on growing hemp on Wednesday.

Spanish lawmakers said they will seek to pass marijuana legalization legislation in 2022.

Singapore’s Court of Appeal upheld death sentences for two men convicted of conspiring to traffic marijuana.

New Brunswick, Canada’s finance minister filed a bill to allow privately run marijuana stores and direct-from-producer farmgate operations.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “high CBD cannabis extracts downregulate the expression of several key fibrotic genes indicating their anti-fibrotic potential at the transcriptional level.”

A review concluded that “both classical and a-typical psychedelics are promising treatment options in patients with terminal illness.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project hired a communications director who previously worked for members of Congress.

The Chacruna Institute published a guide for best practices for psychedelic plant medicine churches.

The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America is urging people to ask members of Congress not to include marijuana banking language in the National Defense Authorization Act.

/ BUSINESS

Harborside Inc. is acquiring UL Holdings Inc. and LPF JV Corporation and is expected to rename itself as StateHouse Holdings. The company also announced a non-brokered private placement of units worth gross proceeds of up to $10 million.

Flower One Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $14.1 million.

Headset raised an $8.6 million funding round.

The Parent Company has a new managing director of social equity ventures and chief people officer.

/ CULTURE

Aaron Carter said he smoked marijuana with Michael Jackson.

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Newsletter

Cannabis biz want tax amnesty after robberies (Newsletter: November 30, 2021)

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CDC gives marijuana employment advice; KY lawmaker prefiles cannabis bills; FL drug decrim measure; 2021 ‘unprecedented’ for legalization, NORML says

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering workplace marijuana policy advice to businesses that employ drivers, including that “zero-tolerance…may not be possible” due to rights granted under certain legalization laws.

A Florida representative filed a bill to decriminalize possession of all drugs and provide relief for people with existing convictions.

A Kentucky representative announced she is pre-filing bills for the 2022 session that would legalize possession, limited sales and home cultivation of marijuana. One of the measures would put the cannabis question on the ballot for voters to decide.

Members of Oakland, California’s marijuana industry community—led by Supernova Women—held a press conference calling for tax amnesty after police failed to protect their businesses from a spate of robberies.

A new review from NORML shows that marijuana reform had “unprecedented” success in state legislatures in 2021. From legalization, to decriminalization to medical access, many consumer-friendly cannabis bills were enacted this year.

/ FEDERAL

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta participated in a World Anti-Doping Agency meeting.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “The #StatesReformAct is an example of legislation that can break through partisan lines. The time is now to take down the temperature in Washington and to get things done for the American people.”

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted, “Fentanyl is coming into this country from Mexico.  Fentanyl is used to spike most illegal drugs including marijuana.  It is lethal in very small doses. Close the border to drug traffickers.   It’s not a coincidence it is a record death year and a record open border year.”

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted, “When I was in the legislature, I sponsored a bill to legalize cannabis because I’m tired of seeing our communities criminalized. I’ll take this fight to Washington in 2022.  It’s time to get this done.”

/ STATES

Maryland lawmakers may vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia in a special session next week.

Montana lawmakers are seeking funding to create a new subcommittee to monitor the implementation of marijuana legalization.

Massachusetts regulators are pressing lawmakers to update marijuana laws to better achieve social equity goals.

Connecticut regulators posted draft marijuana social equity criteria.

California regulators are working to standardize cannabis testing.

Florida regulators filed a notice of receiving a petition for a waiver from a requirement that hemp testing labs be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Vermont regulators will meet to discuss marijuana issues on Tuesday and Friday.


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

Only 9 percent of New York towns and villages have moved to ban marijuana retailers and on-site consumption facilities.

Detroit, Michigan officials are hosting an event about Eaze’s Momentum cannabis business accelerator on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s medical officer of health and police department are recommending that the city ask the federal government for permission to decriminalize drugs.

The United Arab Emirates is relaxing some drug penalties, including for travelers who bring THC-containing products into the country.

Guernsey officials began issuing medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Malta’s opposition Nationalist Party continued to criticize the government’s marijuana reform legislation.

A Spanish court acquitted the directors of a cannabis association.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Researchers developed a breath test for “determining recent cannabis use within the impairment window after smoking.”

A study provided “preliminary observational evidence that cannabis may mitigate some of the negative effects of subtherapeutic [methadone maintenance treatment] dosing.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. adults support legalizing marijuana, 57 percent to 27 percent.

A poll found that Germans are divided on marijuana legalization, with 43 percent in favor and 43 percent against.

The SETI Institute hosted a podcast about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly reported $31.0 million in revenue for the first nine months of the year and a net loss of $6.8 million.

Atai Life Sciences increased its stake in Compass Pathways to 20.8 percent and reportedly plans to grow that to 29 percent in the coming weeks.

High Tide Inc. closed its acquisition of an 80 percent interest in NuLeaf Naturals, LLC, with a three-year option to purchase the remainder.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. is consolidating shares ahead of its listing on the Nasdaq.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. issued an environmental, social and governance report.

MediaJel and Smart are partnering on a programmatic ad platform for the cannabis market.

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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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