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IRS wants cannabis biz to access banks (Newsletter: February 26, 2021)



KS gov medical marijuana bill filed; CT gov touts legalization plan before hearing; VA deadline; MO psychedelics bill; MT weighs cannabis restrictions

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  • Lara L. DeCaro of Leland, Parachini, Steinberg, Matzger & Melnick LLP: “I was excited to see the opportunity to support Marijuana Moment in a meaningful way and look forward to using the legislative tracking tool you created. I have personally known Tom’s work to be an honest, fair analysis of important industry developments for many years, and I feel it is vital that we support those journalists who continue to provide such reporting in our current environment.”


Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig said he’d “prefer” if marijuana businesses were able to pay their taxes in direct deposits instead of having to use cash because they can’t get bank accounts.

  • “It’s a security issue for our employees in our taxpayer assistance centers.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) bill to legalize medical marijuana and use revenue to fund Medicaid expansion has been officially introduced just as a House committee held back-to-back hearings on separate medical cannabis legislation.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) hosted a roundtable discussion to lay out the case for his marijuana legalization bill ahead of its first official hearing on Friday. But some equity advocates say they’re “insulted” by how he’s framing the legislation.

  • “This has been a long time coming. We’ve been talking about this for ages, and I think now is the time to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in a carefully regulated way with an emphasis upon equity and justice. Now is the time.”

Disagreements among Virginia conference committee members are threatening a marijuana legalization deal ahead of Saturday’s deadline. Lawmakers are divided over a proposed delay in regulatory decisions until next session, but have reportedly settled on delaying the legalization of cannabis possession until 2024 in any case.

A Missouri representative filed a bill to allow seriously ill people to use psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, DMT, mescaline and ibogaine under the state’s Right To Try law.

The Montana House Business and Labor Committee held a hearing on bills to severely limit the number of marijuana businesses that are allowed in the state and to provide employment protections for medical cannabis patients.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection is being sued for allegedly improperly blocking imports of hemp trimming machine components.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is testing the idea of including hemp questions in the 2022 Census of Agriculture.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) tweeted, “For 4 years, @SenLeiladeLima has been unjustly imprisoned in the Philippines for shining a spotlight on police abuses & killings during Pres. Duterte’s ‘war on drugs.’ Today, I again call on @philippinesusa to #FreeLeilaNow & cease all attacks on #HumanRights defenders.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) disclosed that she sold between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of stock in Medical Marijuana, Inc. this month.


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) made additional appointments to the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. Separately, he said it “might be a little bit aggressive” to expect legal marijuana sales to begin within the next six months. He also did a radio interview about legalization implementation and tweeted, “Is adult-use cannabis legal in New Jersey? Yes 👇Yes 👇Yes 👇”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) spoke about the benefits of legalizing marijuana for the state’s farmers. Separately, the lieutenant governor replaced the cannabis and LGBT flags that Republicans keep having removed from his office with even bigger ones.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) tweeted, “The marijuana industry, which is now partially owned by Big Tobacco, has its eye on NE as a new place to turn a profit.  Previously, they hid this moneymaking motive under the guise of ‘medical’ marijuana.  Now they are just pushing for full legalization.”

Alabama’s House speaker said the body will “take our time” with a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill and send it through the body’s Judiciary and Health committees.

Connecticut’s House speaker and Senate majority leader suggested that there are likely to be substantial changes to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) marijuana legalization bill.

The South Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill to delay the implementation of medical cannabis legalization. Separately, the Senate defeated bills to decriminalize up to an ounce of marijuana and to defelonize drug possession.

The Colorado Senate approved a bill to create a program to assist marijuana entrepreneurs. Separately, the Senate Education Committee advanced a bill to require schools to allow students to use cannabis-based medicines.

The Indiana Senate approved a bill to provide a defense to prosecution for anyone who operates a vehicle with marijuana or its metabolites in their blood as long as they don’t cause an accident. Separately, a federal judge rejected a petition to place a preliminary injunction on the state’s smokable hemp ban.

The Washington State Senate passed a bill to exclude certain felony drug convictions from counting towards a person’s criminal history score.

The Utah House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to allow more providers to recommend medical cannabis.

The West Virginia Senate Health Committee rejected an amendment to remove marijuana from the scope of a bill to require TANF cash assistance applicants to be drug tested.

The Georgia Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill to revise hemp definitions.

The Idaho House Agricultural Affairs Committee delayed a planned vote on a hemp legalization bill.

The Missouri House Downsizing State Government Committee held a hearing on a bill to prevent state agencies from sharing medical cannabis patient data with the federal government.

Wyoming lawmakers are likely to consider several marijuana reform bills this year.

Massachusetts cannabis regulators are hiring a director of equity programming and community outreach.

Florida officials published an ad saying that having a medical cannabis card is not an excuse for impaired driving.

The Illinois Adult Use Cannabis Health Advisory Committee announced its meeting dates for later this year.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 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.


Morocco’s government plans to legalize farming, export and sales of cannabis for medical and industrial use.


A study found that legalizing medical and recreational marijuana “reduced morphine milligram equivalents per enrollee by 7% and 13%, respectively.”

A review concluded that “while hemp inflorescence is rich in nonpsychoactive, yet biologically active cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol (CBD), which exerts potent anxiolytic, spasmolytic, as well as anticonvulsant effects, hempseed has a pleasant nutty taste and represents a valuable source of essential amino acids and fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and fibers” and that “hempseed oil is a source of healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids, and hemp sprouts are rich in antioxidants.”


A poll found that Canadians support decriminalizing drugs, 59%-41% and that they back supervised injection sites, 65%-35%.

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis for medical use is an important 1st step. However, as we move to expand the legal uses of cannabis we must also expunge convictions and release folks charged with low-level cannabis offenses. It’s past time for criminal justice reform.”


The CEO of Hightimes Holding Corp. said the company will “definitely” go public this year, with a target date of 4/20.

A subsidiary of Acreage Holdings, Inc. is selling its Florida operations to Red White and Bloom Brands, Inc.

Indus Holdings, Inc. is acquiring the assets of the Lowell Herb Co. from The Hacienda Group.

Columbia Care Inc. closed a previously announced bought deal private placement offering worth nearly C$29 million.

Fyllo has a new COO.


“The Marijuana Conspiracy” is a new film being released on 4/20 that tells the story of a controversial 1972 Canadian study on the effects of marijuana on women.

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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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