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Federal cannabis legalization bill approved in committee (Newsletter: October 1, 2021)

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Schumer talks ‘agreement’ to block marijuana banking; Former top DOJ official joins cannabis org; NH rep’s psilocybin & drug decrim bills

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to federally legalize marijuana. It’s not yet clear if other panels will waive jurisdiction like they did last Congress or if it has more steps to go before reaching the floor this time.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he has an “agreement” with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) not to let a cannabis banking bill move ahead of justice-focused marijuana legalization. But the majority leader also said on Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann’s podcast that he’s willing to consider letting cannabis banking advance through the National Defense Authorization Act if justice-focused provisions like expungements for past convictions can be added.

  • Schumer also said he’s had “a few conversations” with the White House about marijuana and that he plans to lobby President Joe Biden “heavily” to drop his anti-legalization stance.

Former Deputy Attorney General James Cole—who wrote the famous “Cole memo” on marijuana enforcement during the Obama administration—joined the advisory board of the National Cannabis Roundtable, along with former Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).

Marijuana Moment spoke to a 19-year-old New Hampshire representative about his plan to file bills in 2022 to decriminalize psilocybin and all drugs. He’s part of a new generation of lawmakers who are simply done with the war on drugs.

/ FEDERAL

First Lady Jill Biden toured a drug treatment center as part of Recovery Month.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a blog post about a new study that examines workers’s compensation reimbursements for medical cannabis.

The House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy called out cannabis company Neptune Wellness Solutions for the practices its subsidiary Sprout uses to test ingredients of its baby foods.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) criticized California policies that closed churches during the early COVID outbreak while marijuana dispensaries and liquor stores were unaffected, saying “they all should have been open.”

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) inserted remarks into the Congressional Record honoring a recently deceased environmental advocate, noting his role in founding a medical cannabis dispensary.

Alabama Democratic congressional candidate Terell Anderson tweeted, “Colorado generated $1.6 billion dollars in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana in 6 years. Imagine if marijuana was legalized nationally, the revenue it could bring in to states and this country. I support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.”

Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “The racial disparity in marijuana arrests clearly shows that Black communities are being targeted by our law enforcement. Millions of Black Americans are being forced into our carceral system for nothing more than possessing marijuana. That’s not accidental. That’s by design.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got two new cosponsors for a total of 76.

/ STATES

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) announced that a hemp company will receive tax credits to transform a vacant warehouse into a processing facility.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the state’s agriculture commissioner, tweeted, “Great to see the #MOREAct advanced by @HouseJudiciary — moving forward long-overdue federal reforms to end cannabis prohibition & begin to address the injustices of the War on Drugs.”

The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee tweeted about a new marijuana legalization bill.

A federal judge granted Illinois regulators’ request for summary judgement in a lawsuit that challenged their decision not to allow medical cannabis dispensary applicants to change their addresses.

Washington State regulators withdrew policies on marijuana food processing facility inspection and cannabis concentrates.

Ohio regulators proposed changes to rules on medical cannabis forms and methods of administration, as well as policies on portions, dosing and units.

California regulators proposed changes to hemp sampling and harvesting rules.

Michigan regulators released accounting and recordkeeping tips for marijuana businesses.

Maine regulators sent a reminder about new mandatory solvent testing requirements for marijuana.

Oklahoma’s top medical cannabis regulator will give a briefing on the program on Friday.

New York’s Cannabis Control Board will hold its first meeting on Tuesday.


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 Santa Fe, New Mexico City Council approved local marijuana business rules.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota officials released medical cannabis dispensary license applications.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s Health Service Executive will begin offering cannabis-derived medicines to patients this month.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for fibromyalgia pain.”

A study of Pennsylvania medical cannabis business licensing decisions found that “safety and business acumen were the most important determining factors in the awarding of licenses, both effectiveness and efficiency concerns” but that “social equity does not emerge as a significant determinant.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 66 percent of U.S. adults support federal marijuana legalization and 84 percent back medical cannabis, while 40 percent say they have purchased a cannabis product.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said its poison hotline has been getting more calls about dogs that have ingested marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf, Inc. is being sued by consumers who say they  inadvertently got high after ingesting what is alleged to have been mislabeled CBD products that actually contained an intoxicating amount of THC.

Amazon tweeted, “We’re pleased to see the House Judiciary Committee vote in favor of the MORE Act today. We support legalizing cannabis at the federal level, and have endorsed this important legislation championed by @RepJerryNadler.”

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. received commitments for a private placement of senior secured notes for aggregate gross proceeds of $350 million.

The Megan’s Organic Market cannabis dispensary in San Luis Obispo, California is being sued by a men’s rights activist for alleged gender discrimination over its “Ladies’ Night” discounts.

/ CULTURE

Jay-Z’s legal team is working to win compassionate release of a fan who is incarcerated on marijuana charges.

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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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