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Federal cannabis legalization bill filed (Newsletter: May 31, 2021)



Biden budget on marijuana; CT legalization to floor vote; New RI legal cannabis bill; IL equity to gov; Yang NYC psychedelics pledge

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) re-filed his bill to federally legalize marijuana—including some changes from the version that passed last year. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) separate cannabis bill is still expected “soon.”

President Joe Biden’s budget proposes continuing to block Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales. But he is the first president to suggest keeping the separate rider that protects state medical cannabis laws from Department of Justice interference, a provision that both Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump sought to delete.

The Connecticut legislature’s Appropriations Committee approved the governor’s marijuana legalization bill—setting the stage for a potential Senate floor vote on a newly negotiated deal this week.

With just weeks left in the session, Rhode Island representatives filed a new marijuana legalization bill. Competing plans have already been introduced by Gov. Dan McKee (D) and Senate leaders, and there’s talk of coming back in September to handle the issue.

Illinois lawmakers sent a bill aimed at increasing equity in marijuana licensing to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), who says he will sign it.

New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Andrew Yang’s new plan for military veterans says that if he’s elected he will push for legal psilocybin and MDMA therapy, implement cannabis licensing equity and treat drugs as a health issue and “not as a criminal matter.”


Several former federal drug czars and organizations sent a letter calling on President Joe Biden to appoint a director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and 12 cosponsors filed a resolution that contains a clause criticizing the Philippine government’s campaign against independent media that exposed its bloody “drug war.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “The failed #WarOnDrugs —that’s selectively enforced against people of color— is a stain on America. With today’s reintroduction of the MORE Act, we’re working to turn the corner. It’s past time to end the cannabis prohibition and ensure restorative justice for those hurt by it.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “For too long, discriminatory cannabis policies have perpetuated yet another form of systemic racism in America.  Today, we reintroduced The MORE Act – a step toward ending the racist War on Drugs & bringing restorative justice to communities of color impacted most.”

Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) participated in a briefing about his bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement.


Nevada Gov Steve Sisolak (D) signed bills letting marijuana dispensaries continue to offer curbside pickup and allowing the Department of Public Safety to assist in investigations of cannabis businesses. Separately, the Senate Finance Committee advanced a House-passed marijuana consumption lounge bill to the floor.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) vetoed marijuana packaging and research bills.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Marijuana legalization just makes sense, both for our economy and for equity and justice in our state.”

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted that a new congressional cannabis bill is “a huge step in the right direction to end the federal prohibition of marijuana.”

Texas lawmakers sent Gov. Greg Abbott (R) a bill to modestly expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Oklahoma lawmakers sent Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) a bill to reduce the number of patients that caregivers can cultivate medical cannabis for.

New York’s Assembly majority leader participated in a forum about how people can get involved in the marijuana industry.

The Mississippi Supreme Court is being asked to reconsider its ruling striking down the voter-approved medical cannabis law.

A California judge dismissed a lawsuit that sought to shut down a marijuana cultivation business.

South Dakota lawmakers plan to visit marijuana businesses in other states this month as they study how to implement voter-approved cannabis reform measures.

Massachusetts regulators announced that a new marijuana delivery license type is available for equity and economic empowerment applicants.

Oregon regulators approved stipulated settlements for marijuana business violations.

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced that cannabis company Mile High Labs has been given a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Exporting.

The Virginia Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission will compare the state’s new marijuana legalization law with recommendations it issued last year at a meeting on June 7.

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.


Seattle, Washington mayoral candidates discussed drug decriminalization during a debate.

The Eau Claire County, Wisconsin Judiciary and Law Enforcement Committee approved a resolution calling on the state to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s former treasurer is facing federal charges for allegedly claiming tax deductions for fake business losses related to a partnership in a medical cannabis business.


The Czech Republic’s ministry of health opposes a lawmaker’s proposal to allow safe drug consumption sites.

More than 50 UK members of Parliament and peers have signed a statement calling for broad drug policy reform.


A study of mice indicated that “CBD could attenuate haloperidol-induced orofacial dyskinesia and improve non-motor symptoms associated with” tardive dyskinesia.


The Star Tribune editorial board cheered Minnesota’s legalization of smokable medical cannabis.


HEXO Corp is acquiring Redecan. The company also closed an offering of $360 million worth of senior secured convertible notes.

Jushi Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $41.7 million and a net loss of $26.1 million.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$10 million.

The Defiance Next Gen Altered Experience ETF is a new fund focused on psychedelics.

Workers at the MOCA dispensary in Chicago, Illinois voted to unionize with Teamsters Local 777.


Mike Tyson said psychedelics saved his life.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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