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House advances cannabis protections for banking & DC (Newsletter: June 25, 2021)

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UN wants global marijuana ad ban; RI House speaker on legalization disagreements; FDA head won’t say if cannabis or tobacco more dangerous

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee approved a bill containing marijuana banking protections and letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales—in contrast to President Joe Biden’s budget.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is recommending a global ban on marijuana advertising—but some advocates see it as a sign that the prohibitionist body is coming to terms with the fact that legalization is inevitable.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there are several areas of disagreement that need to be worked out before his chamber is ready to follow the Senate in voting to approve marijuana legalization.

Acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Janet Woodcock dodged a congressman’s question about whether marijuana is “a more dangerous product than tobacco.”

  • “Well, it depends on the tobacco…”

/ FEDERAL

The Board of Immigration Appeals sustained an appeal from a Honduran man who was prevented from adjusting immigration status due to a marijuana conviction, ruling that he may apply for a waiver of inadmissibility.

A federal judge granted compassionate release to a man serving 23 years for marijuana and money-laundering felonies.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said licensed hemp businesses are eligible for Socially Disadvantaged Groups Grants.

The House Appropriations Agriculture, Rural Development and Food and Drug Administration Subcommittee released a spending bill that contains protections for state-legal hemp.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “As more states legalize cannabis, federal law lags behind. The SAFE Banking Act will correct a rule that bars legal cannabis businesses from accessing the financial services they need, and ensure they can get the loans they need to get new cannabis businesses off the ground.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Our failed drug war has resulted in a 500% increase in the number of people in our nation’s prisons and jails in the last 40 years. The crack-powder cocaine disparity is an unjust policy that must end, and those who are currently serving time under this law must be re-sentenced.”

/ STATES

Colorado Gov, Jared Polis (D) signed a bill to enact limits on marijuana concentrates, place restrictions on medical cannabis recommendations and require the state to study the impacts of marijuana on certain health outcomes, among other changes. He also signed legislation on marijuana cultivation and business designation.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill clarifying marijuana excise tax rules.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) claimed she has supported medical cannabis “for years” even though she campaigned against it last year. Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court said it won’t issue a ruling in a case challenging the voter-approved marijuana legalization law until after July 1, when the policy was initially supposed to take effect. Separately, regulators released proposed medical cannabis rules.

The Oregon Senate approved a bill to allow cities and counties to increase local marijuana taxes.

The Arizona Senate approved legislation on marijuana testing, inspections, business licensing, security, ownership and research.

A New York senator expressed hope that lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will be able to agree on appointments to the state’s new marijuana regulatory body.

Michigan’s top marijuana regulator said he’s working to permanently allow curbside pickup at dispensaries, potentially along with drive through service.

Washington State officials reported that marijuana sales have “spiked” since April.

Nevada regulators agreed to a settlement with a marijuana business they accused of employing workers under age 21, making false statements and concealing evidence.

Maryland regulators discussed medical cannabis business issues.


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

Denver, Colorado officials sent a notice about the opening of marijuana business licensing applications.

New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams commented on the smell of marijuana.

The Missoula County, Montana Board of County Commissioners will hold a hearing on a proposal to place a local tax on marijuana sales on July 1.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian Senate debated a bill to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of mice suggested that “CBD can prevent the development of cocaine addiction, and, when administered during cocaine abstinence, may be of help in avoiding relapse to drug-seeking and in ameliorating the memory disturbances provoked by chronic consumption of cocaine.”

A study found that “perceived availability of marijuana and alcohol among adolescents declined during the pandemic at the largest levels ever recorded in 46 years” but that “prevalence of adolescent marijuana and alcohol use did not significantly change during the pandemic.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Kristi Noem is a liar. Her lies are an insult to South Dakotans. ‘I’m urging all South Dakotans to vote no on legalizing marijuana this November,’ Noem said in a commercial that aired ahead of the 2020 election.”

/ BUSINESS

Leafly published a report that scores how state marijuana laws rank on equity and justice.

Silo Wellness Inc. licensed Bob Marley’s name for a psychedelic mushroom brand.

Cybin Inc. appointed a former director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Division of Psychiatry Products to its clinical advisory board.

/ CULTURE

A California judge denied Clint Eastwood’s request for a default judgement in a case he brought against Mediatonas UAB for allegedly creating a fake interview with him to sell CBD products.

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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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