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Cuomo announces cannabis plan amendments (Newsletter: February 16, 2021)

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NM legalization bill advances; WA drug decrim vote; Biden marijuana clemency push; DEA asks about CBD use; Booker touts cannabis in chair announcement

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The New Mexico House Health & Human Services Committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana, an issue that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) says is a priority for 2021.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced he will be sending a revised marijuana legalization proposal to the legislature this week after lawmakers and advocates sharply criticized aspects of the plan he released last month.

The Washington State House Public Safety Committee approved a bill to decriminalize drug possession—similar to the law that voters in neighboring Oregon approved in November.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s new “drug questionnaire” asks prospective employees and contractors to disclose use of hemp or CBD—but only from before federal legalization of the crop on Dec. 20, 2018.

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA), along with a coalition of marijuana advocacy groups, are calling on President Joe Biden to mass pardon people convicted of cannabis offenses. They say the plan can be modeled after President Jimmy Carter’s move to aid people who avoided the Vietnam War draft.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) was named chairman of a key Senate Judiciary subcommittee that has jurisdiction over drug policy issues—and his marijuana legislation is the very first bill he mentioned in the press release about it.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) tweeted, “It’s HIGH time we treat the marijuana industry like the billion dollar industry it is!”

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) filed a bill that includes provisions for remediation of lands “affected by illegal marijuana cultivation.”

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) tweeted about visiting a hemp processing facility.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he’s “not a pessimist” about legalizing marijuana despite opposition from top Republican lawmakers.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) tweeted about drug-impaired driving stats from Colorado.

A senior advisor to Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) spoke about his approach to equity in marijuana legislation.

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to resolve differences with Gov. Phil Murphy (D) about provisions related to underage people in marijuana legalization enabling legislation, and a vote is expected on Tuesday.

South Dakota’s Senate minority leader said he’s not surprised a judge struck down the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure but he would support efforts to enact a similar system via the legislature.

Idaho activists held a press conference at the state Capitol to launch a signature gathering drive to place a medical cannabis measure on the 2022 ballot.

The Arizona Health and Human Services Committee approved bills concerning marijuana testing and vaping.

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday.

Delaware regulators are licensing additional medical cannabis dispensaries.

Iowa regulators announced an intent to award medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Nevada regulators published a report outlining the lack of diversity in the marijuana industry.

Michigan regulators published updated sampling and testing technical guidance for marijuana products.

Colorado officials posted information about marijuana-impaired driving trends.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 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.


/ INTERNATIONAL

Pakistan’s minister for science and technology said cannabis farms are being established as an alternative to cotton.

The deputy leader of Malta’s ruling party said cannabis consumers should have the right to make their own choices in a legal environment.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “short term treatment with THC rich cannabis induced clinical remission and improved quality of life in patients with mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis” but that “these beneficial clinical effects were not associated with significant anti-inflammatory improvement.”

A review being undertaken by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality about  interventions for infantile epilepsy will include a look at evidence related to cannabidiol.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee tweeted about the marijuana reform work of Virginia’s House majority leader.

/ BUSINESS

Cellular Goods Plc launched an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

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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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