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Federal health official slams cannabis research blocks (Newsletter: May 27, 2021)

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Push for marijuana in public housing protections; ME drug decrim to House floor; PA gov’s cannabis pardon; Poll: NH supports legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins spoke about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics at a Senate hearing. He also slammed barriers to marijuana research created by its Schedule I status.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a letter asking the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge to use executive discretion to stop kicking people out of public housing for marijuana in states where it is legal.

  • “Smoking marijuana in federally assisted housing should be treated in the same manner as smoking tobacco in federally assisted housing.”

The Maine legislature’s Joint Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee advanced a bill to decriminalize drugs to the House floor—but members issued three separate recommendations for what should happen next.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) pardoned a doctor who was prosecuted, convicted, jailed and lost his medical license for growing medical cannabis for his dying wife. His daughter, who also lost her medical license, is up for a pardon next month.

A new poll found that New Hampshire residents’ support for legalizing marijuana continues to grow and now stands at 75%-16%. Meanwhile, Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who opposes cannabis legalization, has only a 51% favorability rating.

/ FEDERAL

Customs and Border Protection is being sued for allegedly improperly seizing pipes, rolling papers and vaporizers for hemp

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the nominees to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “For decades, young Americans—disproportionately Americans of color—have been arrested and jailed for carrying even small amounts of marijuana. I won’t stop working to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) tweeted, “New state laws means that Michiganders may be eligible to have past criminal charges expunged from their record, including misdemeanor marijuana offenses.”

/ STATES

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed a bill that would have legalized drug paraphernalia.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Marijuana has been legalized in 17 states and Washington, D.C. What are we waiting for in Pennsylvania? Our citizens want legalization, the profits would boost our commonwealth and agriculture industry, and police could shift their focus to more serious crimes.”

New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidates clashed on marijuana legalization during a debate.

Missouri lawmakers sent Gov. Mike Parson (R) a bill that would have the effect of protecting gun rights for medical cannabis patients under state law.

The Texas Senate approved an amended version of a House-passed bill to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Colorado’s House speaker tweeted, “CO is going to lead the way on addressing youth access to high potency cannabis. We will be at the forefront of research and preventing diversion to the black and gray markets, all while protecting patient access.”

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee held a hearing on a House-passed bill aimed at increasing equity in marijuana business licensing.

The South Dakota legislature’s Marijuana Interim Study Committee is holding two days of hearings this week.

A Mississippi senator spoke about efforts to craft a medical cannabis bill in advance of a potential special session.

A lawsuit challenging Indiana’s smokable hemp ban is being voluntarily dismissed by the companies that brought it.

California regulators served a search warrant on an unlicensed marijuana dispensary.

Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board will meet 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 Boston, Massachusetts City Council is considering a proposal to revamp the process for approving and overseeing marijuana businesses.

A study shows that marijuana arrests and prosecutions in Dallas County, Texas are carried out on a racially disproportionate basis.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Morocco’s House of Representatives approved a medical cannabis bill.

Brazilian lawmakers debated a medical cannabis bill.

The head of the UK Labour Party refused to answer repeated questions about whether he has tried illegal drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabis and cannabinoids may have promising effects in the treatment of symptoms related to [autism spectrum disorder], and can be used as a therapeutic alternative in the relief of those symptoms.”

Colorado State University Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis Research awarding funding for marijuana research projects.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made the opioid crisis worse. Between June 2019 and May 2020 the CDC reported a record number of opioid overdoses. But cannabis’s effect on reducing opioid abuse is well documented. Legalizing it could save lives.”

The ACLU of Virginia is encouraging people to apply to serve on two state cannabis regulatory bodies.

American Farmers & Ranchers, Oklahoma Agribusiness Retailers Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma Agricultural Cooperative Council and Oklahoma Farm Bureau formed a task force to study the impacts of medical cannabis on agriculture.

/ BUSINESS

Ayr Wellness Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $58.4 million and a net loss of $16.6 million.

Quest Diagnostics said the percentage of positive employment tests for marijuana increased last year.

Cybin Inc. filed an international patent application for its psychedelic derivative drug development candidates.

Eaze held a pitch day for participants in its Momentum business accelerator for cannabis social equity entrepreneurs.

Wine Spectator’s June issue is focused on cannabis.

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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.

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.)

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Feds’ cannabis interference on Indian land (Newsletter: November 26, 2021)

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AGs push Congress for marijuana cooperation with states; Study looks at dogs getting high from THC in poop

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Pueblo of Picuris Indian tribe in New Mexico is accusing the federal government of a discriminatory double standard after a medical cannabis patient’s garden on tribal land was raided while marijuana businesses across many states operate without interference.

The bipartisan attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota and Vermont sent a letter urging Congress to emphasize federal-state cooperation in any plan to legalize marijuana.

A study concluded that “ingestion of human feces containing THC may lead to marijuana toxicosis in dogs.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote in an op-ed that he discussed marijuana legalization and other issues with students at a youth summit.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Including #SAFEBanking in the final NDAA will help safeguard our financial system, reduce the public safety risk & help support Veteran & minority-owned businesses now. It will help pave the way for broader, comprehensive cannabis reform & create a safer, more equitable industry.”

/ STATES

A New York senator sent a press release about his new bill to add transgender and non-binary people to the marijuana equity program.

A Tennessee representative tweeted about touring a hemp and CBD business.

Ohio regulators posted a draft resolution eliminating the medical cannabis tier system and setting a 90-day supply of plant material as nine ounces, regardless of THC percentage.

Alaska regulators will host working group meetings about marijuana products next month and in January.

Colorado regulators will host a work group meeting about changing marijuana business licensee designations on December 3.

Michigan regulators will hold a public meeting on marijuana issues on December 9.

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

Los Angeles, California regulators published a report about the city’s marijuana licensing program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill to legalize drug checking services.

Lithuanian lawmakers defeated an amendment to decriminalize drugs.

Argentina’s government approved a research project on cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes.

India’s Food Safety and Security Authority approved regulations for hemp seeds and oil as food ingredients.

Luxembourg is experiencing medical cannabis supply issues.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “recreational marijuana legalization increased the clearance rates for violent crime overall and aggravated assault” but that “the positive effect of legalization appears to shrink over time.”

A study suggested that “psychedelic-use may causally influence metaphysical beliefs—shifting them away from ‘hard materialism.’”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs closed its acquisition of Bay, LLC.

Vaseline released a new hemp-infused soothing product.

/ CULTURE

Deftones launched a line of marijuana products.

CNN will air the sixth installment of its “WEED” series on Sunday.

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SD legal cannabis blocked by court (Newsletter: November 25, 2021)

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Germany to legalize marijuana; Taliban signs cannabis deal; Former TX gov talks psychedelics’ benefits

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Germany’s incoming government coalition officially announced plans to legalize marijuana. The plan also includes broader harm reduction measures such as drug checking services.

The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld a lower judge’s ruling that a voter-approved marijuana legalization measure is invalid. Activists are already working to put another initiative on the 2022 ballot, and lawmakers are considering the issue.

Afghanistan’s Taliban regime announced it signed a cannabis production deal with a company called Cpharm, though an Australian firm of that name later denied it is involved and said it has “no connection with cannabis or the Taliban” and has “no idea where the Taliban media release has come from.”

  • The project “will be officially launched soon and hundreds of people will get job opportunities,” the Ministry of Interior Affairs said.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)—who also served as U.S. energy secretary—spoke about his support for the therapeutic use of psychedelics to treat mental health conditions faced by military veterans.

  • “If you would have told me five years ago that Rick Perry, knuckle-dragging, right wing Republican governor of Texas, was going to be in the same sentence with the word ‘psychedelics,’ I would have bet you the farm, baby.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and RMA is pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. We must end the federal prohibition on marijuana and make criminal justice reforms—I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to do just that.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted about his vote in favor of a psychedelics research amendment.

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) spoke about assisting someone with obtaining psilocybin therapy for depression.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got one new cosponsor for a total of 101.

/ STATES

The Cayuga Nation, located within New York, began selling marijuana at tribal stores.

California generated $322.34 million in marijuana tax revenue last quarter.

Massachusetts regulators rescinded a recommendation that municipalities should prioritize approval for marijuana social equity applicants. Separately, they are accepting public comment on hemp guidance.

Virginia regulators finalized rules removing the requirement to report prior marijuana convictions for asbestos, lead and home inspectors.

Oregon regulators reviewed plans to begin accepting new marijuana business license applications and approved stipulated settlement agreements for violations.

Minnesota regulators released the results of a medical cannabis survey of healthcare providers.

Maine regulators are conducting a survey about the hemp program.

Connecticut regulators posted updated stats about the medical cannabis program.

West Virginia regulators will host medical cannabis patient signup events next week.


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

Pima County, Arizona officials are having issues processing marijuana expungements.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg’s government gave an update on its marijuana legalization plans.

The Israeli Knesset created a new Cannabis Committee.

Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Access Program enrolled its first patient.

Mexico’s Senate hosted a forum on marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “all preclinic and clinic studies that have been reported show that, through the cannabinoid system, cannabinoids, particularly CBD, have many mechanisms that are effective in the treatment of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2.”

A study found that “adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 61 percent of Massachusetts residents believe marijuana legalization has been positive for the state.

/ BUSINESS

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $33 million and a net loss of $10.2 million.

An investor’s fraud and retaliation lawsuit against Bloom Farms was dismissed.

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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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VA ‘looking at’ cannabis policy change for veterans (Newsletter: November 24, 2021)

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Key senators push marijuana banking in NDAA; St. Louis decrim passes unanimously; Bipartisan AGs want federal cannabis clarity

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Veterans Affairs Sec. Denis McDonough said VA is “looking at” the possibility of a medical cannabis policy change and has discussed it with the White House after having a “profound” discussion with a veteran who says marijuana saved his life—but feels constrained by current federal law.

Five bipartisan members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter asking leaders to include House-passed marijuana banking language in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Bipartisan attorneys general from Arizona and Vermont talked about the need for “cooperative federalism” in marijuana policy that sets general guidelines but respects the rights of states to set their own legalization laws.

The St. Louis, Missouri Board of Aldermen gave unanimous final passage to a measure decriminalizing marijuana possession and cultivation of up to six plants under local law.

/ FEDERAL

A former U.S. attorney for South Carolina authored an op-ed endorsing a federal marijuana legalization bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “A majority of Americans – regardless of political party – support legalizing marijuana. It’s time to get this done on the federal level.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “Black and white Americans are about equally likely to use cannabis, but Black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for it. To start righting this wrong, I’m calling on President Biden to pardon everyone convicted of nonviolent federal cannabis offenses.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said Democratic-led marijuana legalization bills “will not pass both chambers” and that her new legislation is a good compromise.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jesse Philippe tweeted, “It is radical and authoritarian to support locking people away in prison for cannabis use.”

/ STATES

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing tweeted, “Despite the history of embedded racism in cannabis criminalization, profits of the now-legal cannabis industry flow almost exclusively to white people. Those harmed by the era [of] criminalization must have access to opportunity within the industry… A Downing Admin will also ensure that no less than 50% of new marijuana licenses are reserved for social and economic equity applicants.”

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “Ohio is in a rut and we deserve a comeback. I’ve got the plans to do it:… 🍃  Legalize marijuana & invest that tax revenue back into our communities…”

A former New Hampshire Senate minority leader authored an op-ed on the need to legalize marijuana.

An Illinois judge ruled that the smell of marijuana is not probable cause to search a vehicle.

Vermont regulators released proposed marijuana rules.

Michigan regulators are being sued over a recent recall of marijuana products.

Arizona regulators are facing a second lawsuit over the marijuana social equity program.

South Dakota regulators issued the state’s first medical cannabis patient cards.

New Jersey regulators published a list of impact zones and economically disadvantaged areas for marijuana licensing.

Colorado regulators released updated demographic information on marijuana business licensees.

Florida regulators posted a notice about a request from Trulieve, Inc. to waive a rule requiring medical cannabis drink powders to be individually wrapped.

New York misdemeanor and felony marijuana charges have fallen dramatically since legalization took effect.


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 Billings, Montana City Council acted on medical cannabis rules.

Brattleboro, Vermont  police issued a warning about apparent fentanyl-laced marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s Senate majority leader said he wants to have a draft of a marijuana legalization bill ready this week or next week and pass it by December 15.

Malawi’s agriculture minister appointed Mike Tyson as the country’s “cannabis branch ambassador.”

A UK member of Parliament is stepping up pressure on the government to reschedule psilocybin.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabidiol induces cell death in human lung cancer cells and cancer stem cells.”

A case series indicated that “titrated plant extract preparation of medical cannabis may be useful to control treatment-resistant pain and epilepsy in” pediatric palliative care patients.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana Moment, NORML, Marijuana Policy Project and others will participate in a BillTrack50 webinar on cannabis legislation on December 7.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $24.9 million and a net loss of $26 million.

Curaleaf Inc. is facing another lawsuit over allegedly selling mislabelled CBD drops that contained THC.

A California court ruled in favor of MedMen Enterprises Inc. in a lawsuit brought against the company by its former chief financial officer.

Flow Cannabis Co.’s founders are threatening not to pay increased California marijuana taxes.

/ CULTURE

Shaquille O’Neal is suing former partners in a marijuana business venture.

“Lady Buds” is a new documentary about women in the cannabis industry.

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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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