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Feds highlight cannabis research barriers (Newsletter: October 26, 2021)



TX delta-8 ban survives first court challenge; Top NV lawmaker: Feds must legalize marijuana; Psychedelics grants awarded

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In a new report obtained by Marijuana Moment, the National Institute on Drug Abuse briefed the House and Senate Appropriations Committees about how cannabis’s restrictive Schedule I status can “impede critical research…or prevent scientists from pursuing such work.”

  • NIDA also told Congress that not letting scientists study the marijuana that consumers actually purchase from dispensaries “may pose barriers to studying the health effects of products that individuals are using in real-world settings.”

A Texas judge denied an initial request to block regulators’ ban on delta-8 THC derived from hemp. The case will get another hearing next month.

Nevada’s Assembly speaker pro tempore authored an op-ed touting the state’s success regulating marijuana in an “equitable and business friendly framework”—but says federal legalization is needed to “take this work to the next level.”

The Plant Medicine Coalition announced that it awarded about $50,000 in grants to support a variety of psychedelics projects—including one to address “abuse and predatory behaviors in plant medicine circles.”


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released details about a new U.S.-Colombia counternarcotics strategy.

A federal court will decide whether $166,000 in proceeds from medical cannabis sales in Missouri that was seized in transport in Kansas will be returned.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted about New York moving to clear past marijuana convictions, saying, “I’m proud to see NY take this step. And I’m working with @SenBooker & @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end marijuana prohibition, enact criminal justice reforms, & undo the harms of the War on Drugs at the federal level.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “Americans across a majority of states, both red and blue, have voted to enact sensible cannabis reforms. I encourage my colleagues to respect the will of their constituents and states’ rights, and begin to engage on those reforms at the federal level.”


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “We’re working to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. In the meantime, we’re pardoning marijuana-related offenses as quickly as we can.” Separately, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, currently the state attorney general, tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana. To regulate it, and tax it. But let me be clear: We must expunge the records of those who have served time for possessing small amounts of marijuana alongside legalization. That is the path to justice.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) tweeted, “We’ve brought four new industries to New Jersey — offshore wind, film and television, marijuana, and sports betting. These industries will bring thousands of good-paying jobs to the Garden State.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor hosted a meeting about a cannabis tax revenue-funded grant program.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted a video of himself discussing his support for marijuana legalization.

Maryland Democratic attorney general candidate Anthony Brown, currently a congressman and a former lieutenant governor, touted his prior work to decriminalize marijuana.

Connecticut’s House minority leader received an award from prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

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

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed to hear a case on the validity of a local marijuana sales ban.

A Virginia judge defended his jailing of a woman who admitted that she smoked marijuana earlier in the day before testifying against her alleged domestic violence abuser.

Oregon’s Department of Agriculture is recruiting volunteers to serve as temporary commissioners on the new Oregon Hemp Commission.

Colorado regulators approved additional pesticides that can be used on cannabis.

New Mexico’s Department of Agriculture tweeted about a federal hemp survey.

Texas regulators published an updated list of registered hemp laboratories.

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.


Oakland, California regulators have referred some marijuana social equity licensees to the city’s collections department after they defaulted on loans.


India’s Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment is recommending that drug possession be decriminalized.

Canada’s Embassy in Mexico tweeted, “Hemp seeds are known as a #superfood as it has a lot of benefits for your health. Hemp can help nurture your skin, control sugar levels, and uphold healthy cholesterol levels.”

The chief police constable in Cleveland, Yorkshire, England authored an op-ed calling for the end of the war on drugs.

A former Guernsey chief minister said it is time to legalize marijuana.


A study of more than 100 cannabis samples indicated that “Sativa- and Indica-labelled samples were genetically indistinct on a genome-wide scale.”

A review of research on adolescent marijuana consumption found that “lifetime prevalence of cannabis vaping doubled from 2013 to 2020 (6.1% to 13.6%), past 12-month use doubled from 2017 to 2020 (7.2% to 13.2%), and the 30-day prevalence of cannabis vaping increased 7-fold from 2013 to 2020 (1.6% to 8.4%).”


The Drug Policy Alliance is hiring for several positions, including a manager for “drug market and legal regulation reform strategy” and a coordinator of California drug decriminalization efforts.

The Tax Foundation criticized a Colorado ballot initiative to increase marijuana taxes and use the revenue to fund education programs.

The Vermont Cannabis Equity Coalition issued recommendations for regulators.


A Florida judge sided with Leafly in overturning regulators’ ban on using third-party apps to order medical cannabis.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. has a new chief operating officer.

Cresco Labs announced that its “Summer of Social Justice” initiative raised more than $250,000 for justice reform organizations and supported the expungement process for more than 1,000 people with marijuana-related criminal records.

Many top Wall Street banks are ending pre-employment marijuana testing.


Lil’ Kim is launching a cannabis brand.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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