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GOP lawmakers press Biden for cannabis action (Newsletter: December 17, 2021)



VA panel votes to speed up sales; Congressional marijuana memo; CA AG: seal cannabis records; Edible hemp-infused German bus tickets

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The Virginia legislature’s Joint Commission on Cannabis Oversight voted to recommend speeding up recreational marijuana sales. If approved by the full House and Senate, existing medical cannabis dispensaries could sell to adults on January 1, 2023.

Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH) and Don Young (R-AK) sent a letter demanding that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris “begin to seriously engage” on marijuana reform and remove it from Schedule I.

  • “Your continued silence speaks volumes.”

Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chairs Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued a new memo looking back at marijuana momentum in 2021 and ahead to priorities for 2022.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) issued a memo urging county prosecutors to stop delaying the required sealing and dismissal of past marijuana convictions under a law he authored as an assemblymember.

A Missouri Republican representative who is sponsoring a resolution to put marijuana legalization on the 2022 ballot says he’s not optimistic about overcoming resistance to reform from within his own party.

Berlin public transit agency BVG is selling hemp-infused tickets it says bus and subway riders can eat to stay calm during the holiday season. This comes as Germany’s new government has pledged to legalize marijuana nationwide.


A federal judge granted compassionate release to a 90-year-old, seriously ill man serving life in prison for a nonviolent marijuana trafficking offense.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted. “I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act. Because we must end the federal prohibition and make criminal justice reforms. And that’s exactly what our bill does.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) spoke in a Senate floor speech about his work on legislation to remove barriers to marijuana research, which he argued is necessary before it is legalized or decriminalized.


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “This year my administration legalized cannabis, fulfilling a promise to the people of New Mexico, who overwhelmingly supported the effort. Legalized cannabis will create thousands of NM jobs and bring in millions in revenue.”

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, tweeted about getting 420 donors to her campaign, saying, “And yes, it’s past time to legalize marijuana!! We have to win first!”

The Louisiana House Criminal Justice Impacts of Legalizing Cannabis Subcommittee held its first hearing.

A Tennessee representative tweeted, “Democrats have been working on this for years, a handful of GOP play like they are on board, yet never run the bills. It’s time for this to happen and time to listen to 81% of Tennesseans who want to see cannabis reform!”

A Massachusetts senator tweeted, “Let’s be honest: we need legal, public locations for adults to consume cannabis in communities that want them. I filed S.65 to address nuisance issues & promote public health by giving adults a space to consume cannabis after purchase from a dispensary.”

Texas regulators appealed a ruling overturning their ban on smokable hemp to the state Supreme Court, a move that reinstates the policy for now.

Michigan regulators asked a judge to reconsider a ruling that they say could allow the sale of moldy and contaminated marijuana.

New York regulators approved changes to cannabinoid hemp rules. Separately, the chair of the Cannabis Control Board said she hopes to have draft marijuana rules available for public comment sometime in the first quarter or next year.

Colorado regulators adopted new marijuana and hemp rules.

Arizona regulators received more than 1,500 applications for 26 marijuana social equity dispensary licenses.

Maine regulators submitted a report on the hemp program to lawmakers.

New Jersey regulators posted a FAQ about marijuana business license applications.

Washington State regulators sent an update about transitioning to a new marijuana tracking system.

Oregon regulators will hold a hearing on marijuana and hemp rules on Monday.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,300 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.


Portland, Oregon officials issued a memo forecasting cannabis revenue.


A Canadian lawmaker filed a bill to decriminalize drug possession and expunge prior records.

Australia’s Therapeutic Good Administration rejected a proposal to reschedule psilocybin and MDMA.

Malaysia’s deputy minister for communications and multimedia is calling for the legalization of cultivating marijuana and kratom for medical purposes.


A review concluded that “it is evident that the risks from driving after using cannabis are much lower than from other behaviours such as drink-driving, speeding or using mobile phones while driving” and that “with the medical and recreational use of cannabis becoming more prevalent, the removal of cannabis-presence driving offences should be considered (while impairment-based offences would remain).”


The U.S. Cannabis Council launched a new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force that includes NAACP and National Urban League officials, as well as former basketball player Isiah Thomas and former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL).


Acreage Holdings, Inc. secured a $150 million credit facility with AFC Gamma, Inc. and Viridescent Realty Trust, Inc.

A psilocybin patent from COMPASS Pathways PLC is being challenged.

Havn Life Sciences Inc. announced it exported naturally derived psilocybin from its facility in Jamaica into the U.S.

Numinus Wellness Inc. began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. declared a quarterly dividend of $1.50 per share.

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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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