Biden agrees marijuana laws “not working”; MD puts legalization on ballot; Congress research vote; WA treasurer pushes cannabis banking
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
The House of Representatives voted to federally legalize marijuana. The bill now heads to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will soon file his own cannabis bill.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden agrees with most Democratic lawmakers that “our current marijuana laws are not working,” but declined to specify if he supports the legalization bill the House passed hours earlier.
Days after approving legalization, the House of Representatives is set to vote Monday on a bill to remove barriers to conducting marijuana research—including by allowing access to dispensary products. The Senate passed separate cannabis science legislation last month.
The Maryland House of Delegates and Senate officially voted to put a marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot and send Gov. Larry Hogan (R) a separate bill to begin implementation if voters approve the reform.
A large number of lawmakers weighed in with reactions to the House passing a federal marijuana legalization bill. Noting the Senate’s failure to act on cannabis, for example, bill sponsor Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said, “Sometimes I think we’d be better off if we didn’t have a Senate.”
Cannabis Caucus Co-chair Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) explained in a Marijuana Moment op-ed why he was not willing to vote for the only marijuana legalization bill that’s moving in Congress.
Washington State’s treasurer sent a letter urging counterparts in other states to help pressure Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill amid a spate of deadly robberies at largely-cash dispensaries.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he doesn’t support legalizing marijuana but does see “value” and “legitimacy” in medical cannabis.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said she is unaware of psychedelics legislation advancing in the Georgia legislature.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the lieutenant governor, tweeted, “Today the House passed the MORE Act. It’s a step in the right direction to ending the racist War on Drugs. Like I’ve ALWAYS said >>> Just legalize weed already. ✅ Remove from Schedule I ✅ Expunge Convictions. ✅ Common sense Homegrow”
Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott tweeted, “US House of Representatives passes legalized cannabis. Now the bill heads to the US Senate, where it’s fate is much less clear. Does @SenToddYoung support legal cannabis? Because I do.”
Texas Democratic congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros criticized incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) for voting against a marijuana legalization bill, tweeting, “I’ve seen the consequences marijuana charges have in my community and clients I’ve worked with—families torn, deportations, loss of jobs and housing. The list goes on. Meanwhile, Rep. Cuellar sees criminalization as a way to line the pockets of his private prison donors.”
South Carolina Republican congressional candidate Katie Arrington criticized incumbent Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) for “flip-flopp[ing]” by voting against a marijuana legalization bill.
The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of six.
Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed legislation on employment protections for medical cannabis patients and adding acute pain as a qualifying condition.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a bill prohibiting medical cannabis grow operations from being located within 1,000 feet of schools.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and Denver’s mayor appeared at the opening of the city’s first licensed marijuana hospitality establishment. Separately, the state treasurer tweeted, “Our legal cannabis businesses should be treated like any other legal businesses in Colorado. #safebanking”
Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) tweeted, “I applaud the House for passing the MORE Act and bringing us one step closer to decriminalizing cannabis nationally, a critical and urgent issue of equity. I urge the Senate to consider this bill and the SAFE Banking Act expeditiously. We need urgent federal action to address the dangerous conditions our legal cannabis businesses in Washington face today without access to banking services.”
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said the state should join its neighbors in legalizing marijuana.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) tweeted, “Decriminalizing adult-use cannabis is about righting historic injustices. Thank you to @RepJerryNadler and New York’s Democratic House delegation on passing the MORE Act and following in the steps of New York State to create a more just and equitable approach to cannabis.” Separately, regulators will release public service messages about marijuana on Monday.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Today in New Mexico the sale of legalized marijuana began. And in Washington D.C. a bill legalizing it nationwide just passed the House. I’m pro-legalization in PA but I’ve been waiting on our legislature to send me a bill. It’s time to legalize marijuana and restore justice.” He also tweeted, “April is Second Chance Month. Pennsylvania offers: ⏱ Expedited pardons for marijuana convictions 👨⚖️ Clemency 🧼 Clean Slate for non-convictions, some misdemeanors, summary offenses.”
South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, tweeted, “Today, Congress will vote on the MORE Act, which decriminalizes marijuana at the federal level. I proudly voted for this bill when I was in Congress, and when I’m governor, we’ll legalize marijuana on the state level.”
Connecticut’s attorney general approved regulators’ proposal on allowable amounts of mold and yeast in marijuana, with the issue set to go before the Legislative Regulation Review Committee on Wednesday.
Michigan’s attorney general spoke at the Hash Bash event.
The Washington, D.C. Council chairman tweeted about his legislation to allow medical cannabis patients to self-certify without a doctor’s recommendation.
New Jersey’s top marijuana regulator disputed the idea that there has been a “delay” in launching recreational marijuana sales, saying that other states have “rushed” and seen supply issues.
An Arizona Court of Appeals reversed a decision to put a medical cannabis patient on a list of child neglecters and abusers because she used marijuana during pregnancy.
Oregon regulators are accepting public comments on revised proposed psilocybin services rules.
Vermont regulators began accepting applications for marijuana tier-1 cultivators, testing laboratories and integrated licenses, and will meet on Monday to adopt additional rules.
Massachusetts regulators launched a social media campaign about cannabis consumer responsibility ahead of 4/20.
Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission met.
Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.
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Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana and restoring justice should be our plan in Missouri and Kansas as well.”
Los Angeles, California regulators will host a marijuana business licensing webinar on April 14.
Canada’s public safety minister was pressed by a senator about what the government is doing to suspend records of people with marijuana convictions.
Afghanistan’s Taliban regime banned opium poppy cultivation.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “CBD extract shows promising antibacterial activity against S. typhimurium and S. newington.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll of U.S. voters found that 70 percent support ending federal marijuana prohibition.
The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “Thanks to Gov. @Michelle4NM, New Mexico’s cannabis industry is officially open for business!”
The New Mexico Democratic Party tweeted a thread about the benefits of marijuana legalization.
The Washington Times editorial board expressed concerns about marijuana legalization.
Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. announced a public offering of 1,000,000 shares and separately announced it raised approximately $300 million pricing in an underwritten public offering of 1,578,948 shares.
Canopy Growth Corporation announced new executive appointments.
New Mexico retailers sold more than $2 million worth of recreational cannabis on the first day of legal sales.
Jimmy Fallon joked about Congress voting on a marijuana legalization bill.
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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis/Side Pocket Images.