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Federal cannabis legalization bill coming this week (Newsletter: May 24, 2021)

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TX Senate passes psychedelics & marijuana bills; Cannabis on local OH ballot; IL equity bill advances; OR drug decrim measure funds treatment

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Multiple sources told Marijuana Moment that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) plans to refile his federal cannabis legalization bill this week. The legislation, which comes as senators are finalizing their own bill, will have changes from the version that passed in 2020.

The Texas Senate approved House-passed bills to lower penalties for marijuana concentrates and to require the state to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for military veterans. Because the body adopted amendments to both measures, they must head back to the House for final votes before they can be sent to Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Meanwhile, the fate of a medical cannabis expansion measure hangs in the balance as the end of the session approaches.

Ohio activists qualified the first of what they hope will be dozens of local marijuana decriminalization measures on ballots across the state this November.

The Illinois House Executive Committee approved a bill aimed at expanding equity in marijuana business licensing, and it now heads to the House floor.

Oregon officials are awarding $20 million in grants to support substance misuse treatment, harm reduction, housing and employment programs—all stemming from funds made available under the drug decriminalization measure that voters approved in November.

/ FEDERAL

A Drug Enforcement Administration official suggested that New Mexico’s legalization of marijuana will increase youth use.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy designated new High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “In state after state, in ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments, Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. I’m working with @SenBooker & @RonWyden on comprehensive marijuana reform legislation in the Senate.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “It’s been more than two years since Congress legalized hemp products. It’s past time for the FDA to get with the program and enter into the 21st century for the sake of consumers and farmers.”

/ STATES

Virginia’s lieutenant governor touted his tie-breaking vote for a marijuana legalization bill during a debate with fellow Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Giuliani said the issue of marijuana legalization “has been decided by the courts.”

Nebraska Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen said medical cannabis should be handled in a “controlled prescription fashion.”

Vermont lawmakers sent Gov. Phil Scott (R) a bill aimed at improving equity in the legal marijuana industry.

The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill to loosen restrictions on medical cannabis business ownership.

The Nevada Assembly approved a bill to let marijuana dispensaries continue to offer curbside pickup. Separately, the Assembly Ways & Means Committee held a hearing on legislation to allow marijuana social consumption lounges.

Minnesota’s House majority leader said marijuana legalization is “very unlikely to happen” as long as republicans control the Senate.

A Pennsylvania Republican senator spoke about his forthcoming marijuana legalization bill.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will consider several hemp bills on Tuesday.

The South Dakota legislature’s Marijuana Interim Study Committee will meet on Wednesday and Thursday.

Oregon regulators issued a health and safety recall for marijuana vaping products sold under the Naked Extracts and Native labels due to their containing terpenes from out of state.

Ohio regulators issued updated coronavirus-related guidance for medical cannabis dispensaries and pharmacies.

Washington State’s Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force will meet on Tuesday.


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 Chippewa Township, Pennsylvania Board of Supervisors approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

The Nassau County, New York legislature is expected to vote on a measure to prohibit marijuana use at county-owned facilities on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Greece’s Parliament approved a bill to allow cultivation and sales of medical cannabis.

Luxembourg’s health minister said the government will provide an update on marijuana legalization efforts next month.

Police commissioners in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada are considering decriminalizing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBD induces acute antipsychotic-like effects that last for 24-h.”

A study concluded that “rapid wound closure of previously non-healing venous leg ulcers among elderly and highly complex patients suggests that Topical Cannabis-Based Medicines may become effective adjuvants in conjunction with compression therapy.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorsed a pending California Senate bill to legalize possession of psychedelics.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board cheered the advancement of a bill to add restrictions on marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. filed for a potential sale of $300 million in shares.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of Curative Health Cultivation LLC in a case brought by rival Medponics Illinois LLC.

Cresco Labs has a new board member.

The New York Times looks at how major candy companies are responding to marijuana-infused copycat products.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Chris Webber spoke about his efforts to increase equity in the marijuana industry.

Deepak Chopra tweeted, “It is time to remove the stigma around both mental illness and the role of psychedelics in treatment of various mental and physical disorders. Public awareness and research toward FDA approval is key.”

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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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