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Federal vape provision could affect cannabis (Newsletter: December 23, 2020)

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Congressional caucus: legal marijuana a 2021 priority; RI Senate takes step toward legal cannabis; MI gov grants clemency for long marijuana sentence

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A vaping provision tucked into the 5,593-page stimulus and spending bill that Congress passed appears to ban marijuana and CBD vaping devices from being mailed by the U.S. Postal Service and places rigorous requirements on online retailers.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus included federal marijuana legalization as a priority in its new “People’s Agenda” for the first six months of 2021.

Rhode Island’s Senate president took the first step toward legalizing marijuana in 2021 by tasking two top lawmakers with drafting a bill. One of them, the chamber’s majority leader, disagrees with the governor’s plan to have cannabis sold in state-run stores.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) granted clemency to Michael Thompson, who was sentenced to 42-60 years in prison for marijuana. Three other men behind bars for cocaine offenses also had their sentences commuted and will be with their families as soon as January.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump pardoned former marijuana prisoner and activist Weldon Angelos, and commuted the cannabis and drug sentences of other incarcerated people.

The Food and Drug Administration sent letters to five companies about “illegal marketing of unapproved CBD products claiming to treat medical conditions” and “products that are especially concerning from a public health perspective due to the route of administration,” as well as “violations relating to the addition of CBD to food, and the impermissible marketing of CBD products as dietary supplements.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a short podcast about hemp crop insurance.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) touted hemp provisions that are included in the stimulus and appropriations bill lawmakers approved this week.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) sent a press release celebrating new funding to implement the First Step Act, which he said has “started to reverse engineer the tragic legacy of the failed war on drugs.”

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) criticized Democrats for spending floor time on a federal marijuana legalization bill.

Here’s a look at where incoming Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) stands on cannabis.

/ STATES

Ohio’s House speaker refused to call a floor vote on a Senate-passed bill to lower drug penalties and double the amount of marijuana that is decriminalized in the state, killing the proposal.

A New Jersey court is considering a prohibitionist lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization referendum.

Maine regulators are facing a federal lawsuit challenging the state’s residency requirement for medical cannabis business ownership.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court vacated an injunction that had prevented the city of Taunton from issuing additional marijuana business licenses.

A New York judge is considering a request to let a man on probation use medical cannabis.

Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy published information on cannabis and the environment.

A Missouri representative did a radio interview about his push to legalize marijuana.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 cannabis 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

Aurora, Colorado’s City Council voted to make it the first municipality in the state to allow recreational marijuana delivery.

Denver, Colorado police sent another bulletin about burglaries at marijuana businesses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “medical cannabis may be beneficial for some people with [fibromyalgia].”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants endorsed a bill to decouple the state’s tax code from federal law so that marijuana businesses can take deductions for business expenses.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf reportedly lobbied officials in Gilbert, Arizona—where it currently has a medical cannabis dispensary—to pass an ordinance banning additional recreational marijuana retailers. Now, it can be a dual licensee and the only shop in town.

Casa Verde Capital closed a $100 million funding round.

Columbia Care Inc. is acquiring Green Leaf Medical, LLC.

Ayr Strategies announced plans to acquire Liberty Health Sciences.

/ CULTURE

Sylvester Stallone was seen shopping at a marijuana dispensary with his daughter.

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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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