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First federal cannabis bill of new Congress filed (Newsletter: January 22, 2021)

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CT gov’s draft legal marijuana bill; Poll: TX adults say legalize cannabis to fund schools; IL uses marijuana-funded grants to repair drug war harms

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  • Russell Sumners: “I’ve been reading your daily newsletters for a while and decided it was (past) due for me to contribute to those who put together these amazingly consistent and informational newsletters. I live in Texas and our state legislature is back in session this year. I hope to read positive news on medical marijuana policy changes to make cannabis more available to those in need in the great Lone Star State.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) filed the first federal marijuana reform bill of the new Congress. It would simply move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, which would not end prohibition but would have a number of other effects.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) is circulating a draft marijuana legalization bill for feedback.

A new poll found that 64% of Texans support legalizing and taxing marijuana to fund schools. That’s more than those who want to increase the sales tax, put a new tax on sugary drinks or raise taxes on corporations, hotel occupancy or motor vehicles.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority announced $31.5 million in grant awards funded by marijuana tax revenue to aid communities harmed by the war on drugs. One NAACP branch got $1.8 million. Branches of the Urban league, United Way and YMCA are also getting  cannabis funds.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said state-licensed hemp businesses are eligible for its Rural Business Development Grant Programs.

No members of the Senate Finance Committee asked Janet Yellen, treasury secretary nominee, questions about marijuana banking or tax issues during her confirmation hearing or in written queries for the record.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order extending the validity of medical cannabis cards through the coronavirus pandemic. Separately, he tweeted about Jay-Z’s fund for minority-owned marijuana businesses, saying, “I led the effort to decriminalize & legalize cannabis because the war on drugs has been an abject failure—with disproportionate & devastating impacts on communities of color. These are the types of entrepreneurial opportunities we dreamed of—thanks Jay-Z!”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said her administration is working to prepare to implement marijuana legalization if litigation she is backing to overturn the voter-approved measure is not successful.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) latest coronavirus order allows marijuana businesses to stay open after 9:30 PM.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) tweeted about a study linking marijuana use by young people with mood disorders to an increased risk of self-harm, suicide attempts and death.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor posted on Facebook, “For decades, we’ve criminalized a plant + people who consumed it. What a bizarre, destructive superstition. Legal Weed for USA. 🇺🇸”

The North Dakota House of Representative approved a bill to tie the state’s definition of hemp to federal law.

New Mexico lawmakers spoke about the details of marijuana legalization bills they plan to file soon.

A protest against Georgia’s medical cannabis production license request for proposals from Trulieve GA Inc. has been withdrawn, and applications are now due on Wednesday.

Michigan regulators began hemp sampling.

Florida lawmakers filed legislation to protect public employees from being fired for medical cannabis use.

A Maryland delegate tweeted about a bill she is sponsoring that “will allow medical marijuana businesses to obtain state tax benefits for their business expenses — a standard benefit for businesses in every other industry. We must have equitable financial conditions in place for these businesses to thrive!”

Nevada regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 300 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 Prairie Village, Kansas City Council is considering a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

San Francisco, California officials sent an update on the timeline for cannabis permanent permit applications.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s Department of Health said the country’s medical cannabis access program will launch this year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “medical marijuana patients were positive about the health benefits they received and the fact they were able to reduce or eliminate many prescription medications; however, there were concerns about the costs.”

A study concluded that “the way people experience mystical occasions due to psychedelic use have archetypical patterns, but culturally specific storylines.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Sacramento Bee editorial board is pushing California officials to do a better job expunging past marijuana convictions.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. entered into a deal to sell 12 million units of the company for gross proceeds of approximately $125 million.

Harborside Inc. announced that a lawsuit alleging it committed securities violations has been voluntarily dismissed.

Verano Holdings, LLC completed a concurrent brokered and non-brokered private placement financing of subscription receipts worth $100 million.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. announced that a previously announced deal to sell units has been upsized to C$17.5 million.

Wesana Health closed a $4 million convertible note financing round.

Wurk founder and CEO Keegan Peterson died.

/ CULTURE

Jay-Z started a $10 million fund to invest in minority-owned cannabis startups.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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.)

Newsletter

CT House amends cannabis bill after gov’s veto threat (Newsletter: June 17, 2021)

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LA gov: Legal marijuana is coming; CA senator: psychedelics bill a step to all drug decrim; NJ AG sends cannabis cease and desist letters

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a marijuana legalization bill. Because the body adopted an amendment to address a veto threat from Gov. Ned Lamont (D), it needs to head back to the Senate for one more vote on Thursday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D)—who signed a marijuana decriminalization bill this week—said he thinks the state will eventually fully legalize cannabis, but he’d be surprised if it happens before he leaves office in early 2024.

The California lawmaker who is sponsoring a Senate-passed bill to legalize possession of psychedelics says it’s a step toward eventually decriminalizing all drugs. He also spoke about the path forward for his bill in the Assembly this session

New Jersey’s attorney general sent cease and desist letters demanding that four companies stop circumventing the state’s marijuana laws by offering free “gifts” of cannabis along with purchases of overpriced products like cookies, brownies and stickers.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who is introducing a federal bill to decriminalize all drugs, says she also supports allowing a “safe supply” of illegal substances for consumers as a harm reduction measure.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration posted a budget overview showing it plans to spend $5 million in Fiscal Year 2021 for “Cannabis and Cannabis Derivatives Activities.”

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the harms of the war on drugs on Thursday.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote in a constituent letter that he supports moving marijuana to Schedule II.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) again spoke on the House floor about legalization making it so it’s “no longer profitable to bring marijuana across the southern border.”

/ STATES

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a bill clarifying that the state’s driving under the influence laws apply to psilocybin.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said he anticipates calling a special session for lawmakers to pass a medical cannabis bill “sooner rather than later.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) re-extended, through July 10, an executive order for policies enacted during the coronavirus pandemic, including the allowance of remote marijuana sales transactions, suspension of fingerprinting for license renewal applications and suspension of in-person requirements for medical cannabis recommendations.

The California Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a bill to end mandatory minimum jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

South Dakota’s health secretary discussed medical cannabis rules with the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations.

A former Massachusetts cannabis regulator became the first customer of the state’s first recreational marijuana delivery service.

Michigan regulators updated a bulletin on common issues faced by marijuana businesses.

Ohio regulators released updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Wisconsin regulators are hiring four hemp chemists.

Nevada regulators will discuss marijuana business issues 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 Manhattan, New York district attorney plans to dismiss more than 3,000 open warrants for low-level marijuana cases.

The Eau Claire County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling on the state to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota City Council voted to require medical cannabis businesses to apply for local permits, which won’t be available until state rules are in place.

Matawan, New Jersey is being sued by a former police officer who claims he was fired for using CBD oil in retaliation for supporting a sexual discrimination lawsuit brought by a fellow officer.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK member of Parliament presented a medical cannabis bill for debate later this year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “co-users and [exclusive cigarette] smokers demonstrated comparable levels of biomarkers of exposure to harmful constituents despite smoking similar amounts of tobacco” while [exclusive cannabis] smokers demonstrated lower levels of toxicant exposure for most biomarkers.”

A study suggested that “administering adjunctive group therapy with psilocybin may enhance the effectiveness of trauma processing by reinforcing social cohesion, safety, trust, and belonging.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Bar Association’s Law Student Division will host a cannabis webinar on June 30.

/ BUSINESS

WM Holding Company, LLC, which operates Weedmaps, completed its business combination with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. and began trading on the Nasdaq.

The Parent Company selected The Peakz Company as its second social equity corporate venture fund investment.

Leafly is seeking to raise $30 million in a funding round.

Sanity Group closed a $44.2 million Series A financing round.

Woodstock Ventures LC and Woodstock Roots LLC are nearing a settlement in a years-long case on the right to use the “Woodstock” name in marijuana products.

4Front Ventures Corp. announced it will contribute $75,000 to the Village of Elk Grove, Illinois and local community programs to support health and wellness initiatives.

Headset and springbig launched an integration.

Arizona retailers sold $69.3 million worth of recreational marijuana in April.

/ CULTURE

George Lopez is partnering with Platinum Vape to launch a cannabis brand.

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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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Newsletter

CT Senate passes legal cannabis in special session (Newsletter: June 16, 2021)

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LA gov signs marijuana decrim; TX gov signs medical cannabis expansion; Drug decrim bill in Congress; Fed marijuana cases drop as more states legalize

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

If you value Marijuana Moment, invest in our success on Patreon so we can expand our coverage and more readers can benefit: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Connecticut Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill on the first day of a special session. The House will take it up on Wednesday. If approved there, it’ll go to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) desk. However, the governor is threatening to veto the legislation over an amendment on equity licensing eligibility.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill to decriminalize marijuana. He also has separate legislation to legalize smokable medical cannabis flower on his desk that is still pending.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill to expand the state’s limited medical marijuana program. He also has legislation on his desk to require the state to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, but hasn’t acted on it yet.

Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO) are filing the first-ever congressional bill to federally decriminalize all drugs. It will also incentivize local reform by withholding law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that continue criminalization.

A new analysis from the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows that federal marijuana cases are dropping significantly as more state legalization laws go into effect—even though federal prohibition hasn’t ended.

/ FEDERAL

The Supreme Court ruled that people convicted of certain low-level drug offenses are ineligible for resentencing under a 2018 criminal justice reform law.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a constituent letter that he has “concerns that legalization for recreational use may carry adverse unintended consequences.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will participate in an event on the 50th anniversary of the war on drugs on Thursday.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) tweeted, “I introduced the GRAM Act to protect the gun rights of state-legal #marijuana users. Our archaic federal cannabis policies currently require legal users to risk perjuring themselves when trying to exercise their #2A rights. Frankly, it’s wrong.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “Ask candidates running for state house and state senate, either incumbents or challengers, what is their position on legalization of marijuana. Then support those that want to change the commonwealth’s policy.”

Rep, Steven Horsford (D-NV) tweeted, “I’m proud to support the #SAFEBanking Act to provide Nevada’s marijuana industry with access to the banking system and protect their employees and customers. The SAFE Banking Act is common sense — it’s time to make it law.”

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) met with state cannabis regulators.

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to provide $100 million in funding to help cities and counties transition marijuana businesses from provisional to regular licenses.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there is “no consensus” among lawmakers on reconciling three competing marijuana legalization bills.

The Oregon Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue held a hearing on a bill to let cities and counties more than triple local marijuana taxes.

The Ohio House Health Committee considered but did not vote on a bill to add autism as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy held a hearing on several marijuana social equity bills.

The chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools sent a letter pushing back against the District Council’s move to undo a policy of mandating marijuana testing for contractors.

Colorado regulators adopted rules on marijuana business licensing fees.

Michigan regulators will discuss marijuana issues on Thursday.

New Mexico regulators will host a workshop for marijuana entrepreneurs on June 22.


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

Los Angeles, California regulators filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by companies that say the city’s marijuana social equity policy is flawed and that their applications were unlawfully disfavored.

The Montgomery County, Maryland Policing Advisory Commission heard testimony about marijuana enforcement.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK lawmaker who was one of the winners of a drawing to earn floor debate time for a private member’s bill said he will use the opportunity for medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “minimal changes have occurred in the cannabis use patterns of service-seeking youth in the short term following legalization” and that “this holds true both for youth who have reached the age of majority and those who have not.”

A review concluded that “CBD has demonstrated efficacy in reducing nausea and vomiting, with CBDA and CBDA-ME being more potent.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 48 percent of New Zealand voters support decriminalizing marijuana, 8 percent want to decriminalize all drugs and 31 percent back the status quo.

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee filed a challenge to the nominating petitions of Legalize Marihuana Party gubernatorial candidate Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion.

The United Cannabis Business Association is holding a fundraiser for California’s attorney general on Thursday.

Dr. Bronner’s CEO David Bronner published a response to a conspiracy theory about peyote production that was circulated by Decriminalize Nature.

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. is acquiring Medicine Man Denver.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of C$44.1 million and a net loss of C$61.6 million.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. reported that it expects quarterly revenue to be between  $27.5 million and $28 million.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc declared a quarterly dividend of $1.40 per share.

Harborside Inc. granted stock options to certain employees.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. has a new CFO.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Paul Pierce is launching marijuana products in Massachusetts under the “Truth” brand.

Joe Exotic is launching a marijuana brand while incarcerated.

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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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Newsletter

RI legal cannabis bill approved in committee (Newsletter: June 15, 2021)

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MT anti-marijuana orgs drop lawsuit; “Mass scale” NE medical cannabis campaign launches; Local decrim push in OH, SC & WV

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee amended and approved a marijuana legalization bill. It’s the first time recreational cannabis legislation has ever advanced in the state legislature.

Montana anti-marijuana groups are moving to dismiss their own lawsuit that sought to overturn a voter-approved legalization ballot measure. Implementation legislation approved by lawmakers addressed the central dispute about allocating cannabis revenue.

Nebraska activists are preparing to launch a “mass scale” signature gathering drive to qualify at least one—and possibly several—medical cannabis ballot measures for 2022. Lawmakers have also discussed a potential recreational marijuana initiative.

The Sensible Movement Coalition is working to put marijuana decriminalization measures on local ballots across Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia. A separate group is spearheading local cannabis efforts in Texas.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said licensed hemp businesses are eligible for Rural Cooperative Development Grants and Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grant Program.

A federal judge said a lawsuit over the seizure of hemp plants should be dismissed because the 2018 Farm Bill did not provide for a private right of action.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. That is why I’m working with @RonWyden and @SenBooker to end the federal prohibition and to repair the damage done by the War on Drugs.”

Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), along with members of Nevada’s U.S. House delegation, issued statements in support of marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) tweeted about cosponsoring a federal marijuana legalization bill.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) discussed marijuana legalization.

/ STATES

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) signed a proclamation declaring Monday “Medical Cannabis Day.”

Pennsylvania’s attorney general tweeted, “Legalize marijuana. Regulate it. Tax it. But let me be clear: legalization must include expungement for those in jail or who have served time for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Our Black & brown communities have been disproportionately impacted by this for far too long.”

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “Marijuana legalization is a step in the right direction for public safety, equity, and economic opportunity for all in Virginia.”

New York’s Assembly speaker and majority leader highlighted marijuana legalization as a top accomplishment this session.

A majority of Wisconsin Democratic senators said they support legalizing marijuana, contrary to a claim by the caucus’s leader.

Here’s a look at how Colorado marijuana bills fared this session.

Massachusetts regulators moved to extend marijuana business curbside operations, telehealth services and web-based community outreach meetings until September 1.

California tax officials said the cannabis mark-up rate will remain unchanged at 80 percent for the rest of the year.

Michigan regulators launched a survey about the state’s marijuana tracking system.

Minnesota regulators tweeted about the legalization of smokable medical cannabis flower.

Ohio regulators will consider adopting new rules on medical cannabis dispensary license applications on Friday.


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 Sonoma County, California Board of Supervisors approved $370,000 in funding to help expedite the processing of a backlog of cannabis business permit applications.

The Boston, Massachusetts Cannabis Board will meet on Wednesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The International Criminal Court Office of the Prosecutor is seeking permission to launch an investigation into the bloody Philippine “war on drugs.”

Toronto, Canada’s Board of Health voted to ask permission from the federal government to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “light cannabis use as well as late-onset thereof was associated with increased decision-making skills both cross-sectionally at follow-up as well as longitudinally compared to non-using controls.”

A review concluded that “promising preclinical and clinical investigations suggest that cannabidiol (CBD) is an effective adjuvant for treatment of symptoms of opioid use disorders; however, the mechanism through which CBD drives this outcome is unclear.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 67 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana for both recreational and medical use, 25 percent back medical legalization only and 8 percent  want cannabis to remain completely illegal.

The Hemp Industries Association has a new president and other leaders.

Virginia Marijuana Justice is planning a marijuana seed giveaway to coincide with legalization taking effect on July 1.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp. reported quarterly revenue of C$22.7 million and a net loss of C$20.7 million.

A subsidiary of Cronos Group Inc. is acquiring approximately 10.5 percent of PharmaCann Inc.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. sold promissory notes for $26 million.

/ CULTURE

Rohan Marley is an investor in a company looking for sites for a marijuana business in upstate New York.

Family Feud had a question on places people should never be seen smoking marijuana.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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