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LA lawmakers vote for legal cannabis (Newsletter: April 28, 2021)

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TX House advances marijuana & psychedelics bills; HI legislature wants DEA exemption; MN legalization takes another step; NY cannabis recycling

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee approved separate marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills, sending them to the floor.

The Texas House of Representatives advanced bills to reduce cannabis penalties and study the medical benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA. The full House is also set to vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill later this week.

The Minnesota House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill—the ninth panel to do so. A floor vote is expected in May.

Montana lawmakers sent Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) a bill to implement the voter-approved legalization of marijuana.

The Hawaii legislature adopted a resolution seeking a federal exemption from the Drug Enforcement Administration for the state’s medical cannabis program. Separately, the Senate passed resolutions calling on officials to develop a legal psilocybin therapy program.

A New York assemblymember filed a marijuana packaging recycling bill to require dispensaries to collect bottles and jars from consumers who wish to return them after use and to ensure they’re made from at least 50% recycled materials.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Health and Human Services released new buprenorphine guidelines.

A former U.S. attorney for Kansas is working to ask a federal judge for compassionate release for a man serving 23 years in federal prison for a marijuana offense.

The Library of Congress published an overview of Switzerland’s marijuana laws.

Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Dan Crenshw (R-TX) filed a resolution that claims marijuana use increases the risk of infertility.

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana on the federal level. The war on drugs was a colossal failure, which did nothing to combat genuine health problems, like addiction, while criminalizing and disrupting whole communities. We need to invest in undoing those harms.”

Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) tweeted, “State-legal marijuana use should not be used as a pretext to bar individuals from purchasing firearms, which is a well-defined Constitutional right. I’ve long believed that laws regulating marijuana should be left to the states, not the federal govt.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Medical marijuana can help our veterans manage chronic pain, PTSD, and a host of other injuries common to those who served our country. I’m proud to take this step forward in Congress in support of caring for our veterans.”

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) again spoke about his reasons for changing his position on marijuana.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “legalizing medical marijuana is a commonsense measure that’s supported by a majority of Wisconsinites, will be good for our state’s wallet, and can help Wisconsinites struggling with chronic pain or debilitating illness.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted, “Marijuana is legal in: Alaska Arizona California Colorado Illinois Maine Massachusetts Michigan Montana Nevada New Jersey New Mexico New York Oregon Vermont Virginia Washington D.C. I want to add Pennsylvania to this list. Tell your legislator it’s time to #LegalizeIt.”

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “Reminder: marijuana is medicine. States with legalized marijuana had a reduction in opioid prescriptions.” She also tweeted, “Today marks the one-year anniversary of Florida’s state #hemp program, overseen by @FDACS! With an estimated $370M in economic impact, 9,000 jobs supported, and $17M in tax revenue generated, Florida Hemp is off to a great start.”

The Oregon Senate approved a bill to waive medical cannabis fees for disabled veterans.

Tennessee’s House speaker is supporting a medical cannabis bill, but the Criminal Justice Committee defeated the legislation.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said it is “very possible” a marijuana legalization bill will not pass this year.

Alabama lawmakers removed language from a bill that would have banned delta-8-THC and delta-10-THC.

The New Hampshire Senate is expected to vote Thursday on a bill to add insomnia and autism spectrum disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions, as well as separate legislation restricting who can become a registered patient.

The Colorado Disability Funding Committee raised nearly $50,000 by auctioning marijuana-themed license plates.

South Dakota regulators issued a request for proposals to run the state’s medical cannabis patient registry, verification and licensing system.

Missouri regulators rolled out the final phase of the online system for electronic physician certification of medical cannabis patients.

Nevada regulators are extending the expiration of all active marijuana temporary delivery vehicle identification cards until June 30.

Michigan regulators posted information about hemp sample testing.


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

A New Orleans, Louisiana City Council member is planning to introduce legislation to reduce marijuana possession fines to $1.

Rochester, New York’s mayor will host a forum on businesses opportunities in the legal marijuana industry on Thursday.

Orlando, Florida officials posted information about participating in a diversionary program for marijuana possession.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Colombia’s justice minister participated in a briefing on medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabis’ effects are not specific to [multiple sclerosis], arthritis, or cancer as much as they impact processes common among these distinct conditions” and identified “evidence that cannabis may be a viable alternative to opioids for those with these conditions and experiencing pain.”

Researchers developed a method that “is suitable for the quality control of cosmetic products containing CBD, being able to quickly and easily determine this compound, ensuring that its concentration in the finished product is the desired one.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party called out a Republican senator who said he will never support legalizing marijuana.

The U.S. Cannabis Council appointed a director of social equity and inclusion.

/ BUSINESS

Amazon is seeking to dismiss a breach of contract claim filed by a temporary employee who says he was not hired for a full-time position after failing a drug test due to medical cannabis use.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $43.2 million and a net loss of $11.4 million.

TIME listed Tilray as one of the 100 most influential companies.

Steep Hill announced its expansion into Mississippi.

Pennsylvania dispensaries sold $909.4 million worth of medical cannabis in the past 12 months, according to an analysis.

Maryland medical cannabis sales have now exceeded $1 billion since the program’s launch.

Missouri dispensaries sold more than $3.3 million worth of medical cannabis last week.

/ CULTURE

Bill Nye hosted a podcast about the science of marijuana.

Miss America Camille Schrier appeared in a public service announcement urging people not to use drugs.

Former basketball player Paul Pierce posted a video of himself visiting a marijuana grow operation.

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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.

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

CA psilocybin ballot measure cleared to collect signatures (Newsletter: September 17, 2021)

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NJ expunges 300k+ marijuana cases; House panel votes to undo drug penalty; MO sends cannabis revenue to veterans; SD legalization signature drive

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Ways and Means Committee voted to repeal a penalty that prevents students with certain drug convictions from utilizing the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can be used for tuition and other higher education expenses.

California’s attorney general issued a ballot title and summary for a psilocybin legalization initiative that activists want to put on the 2022 ballot. The Decriminalize California campaign is now cleared to begin collecting signatures for the measure.

The New Jersey Judiciary announced that it has expunged more than a third of a million marijuana cases since July 1. Courts will also be launching a public education campaign next week to help even more people understand the opportunities for cannabis record relief.

South Dakota activists are preparing to launch a massive signature gathering drive to put marijuana legalization on the 2022 ballot if the state Supreme Court overturns the cannabis measure that voters approved last year.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced that the state has transferred more than $6.8 million in medical cannabis revenue to support programs for military veterans.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans want an end to marijuana prohibition. That’s why @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I released our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to work to end the federal prohibition and undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s move to reconsider its marijuana ban is “welcome news after my letter with @repblumenauer calling on USADA to reconsider its out of date and discriminatory cannabis policies.”

/ STATES

Missouri lawmakers did not override Gov. Mike Parson’s (R) veto of a bill that would have allowed medical cannabis operators to deduct business expenses from their taxes.

Virginia dispensaries began selling botanical medical cannabis.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to take up a case on whether a public housing agency needs to create rules for medical cannabis.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that hemp-derived cannabinoids in liquid form are illegal.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that petitions for a measure to increase the number of marijuana businesses in Mount Pleasant have technical flaws.

Ohio regulators approved rules allowing medical cannabis dispensaries to have drive-through windows.

Washington State regulators acted on rules for marijuana packaging and labeling, flavored vapor products and immature plants and clones.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering technical assistance to marijuana growers.

Massachusetts regulators extended the deadline to apply for the third cohort of the marijuana social equity program.

Guam regulators are preparing to review changes to marijuana rules proposed by the territory’s attorney general.

Iowa regulators sent an update about the medical cannabidiol program.

The Nevada Cannabis Advisory Commission Subcommittee on Public Health will meet on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

Clarksville, Tennessee is including marijuana decriminalization in its official state legislative agenda.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “moderate to high certainty evidence shows that non-inhaled medical cannabis or cannabinoids results in a small to very small improvement in pain relief, physical functioning, and sleep quality among patients with chronic pain, along with several transient adverse side effects, compared with placebo.”

A study found that “Δ9–tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-rich compositions from cannabis have cytotoxic activity against ovarian cancer cells.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “We’re blazing the trail to recreational cannabis legalization and we need you with us on the journey!”

Virginia Marijuana Justice sent a letter calling on Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to grant clemency to people incarcerated for marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp announced that it has become carbon neutral.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. is divesting from its Oregon Cannabliss & Co. dispensary chain.

Tilray, Inc. is closing its Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada marijuana cultivation facility.

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Image courtesy of Kristie Gianopulos.

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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Cannabis banking & psychedelics amendments in Congress (Newsletter: September 16, 2021)

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NH lawmakers want marijuana on ballot; WA drug decrim initiative; Local TX cannabis ballot push

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional lawmakers are seeking to attach amendments on marijuana banking, psychedelic research for active duty military personnel and other cannabis-related reforms to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act. Decisions on floor votes will be made next week.

Three New Hampshire lawmakers are taking steps to refer separate marijuana legalization questions to voters on the 2022 ballot.

Washington State activists announced an effort to place an initiative to decriminalize all drugs on next year’s November ballot.

Activists in San Marcos, Texas announced that they plan to put a marijuana decriminalization measure on the local 2022 ballot.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Cities across the nation are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. @SenBooker,@RonWyden, & I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end federal prohibition & undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jesse Philippe tweeted, “Hemp was criminalized to preserve the paper industry monopoly. Cannabis was only criminalized to oppress black people and leftists. It’s 2021, we know how corrupt the war on drugs has been, it’s time to end it.”

/ STATES

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “At the start of the #WARONDRUGS there were 100K prisoners in the entire country. Today 7.6 million people are in prison, probation or parole—With NO correlating increase in crime. Only the policy changed. Lets change it again: Decriminalized cannabis, addiction & poverty.”

Michigan lawmakers filed legislation to restrict and regulate medical cannabis caregiver home cultivation. Meanwhile, activists held a rally to push back against the proposals.

California regulators are accepting public comment on proposed emergency regulations to consolidate, clarify and make consistent marijuana rules.

New Jersey regulators voted to streamline the licensing of new marijuana businesses and approved an additional cannabis cultivation license but did not act on two dozen other pending businesses.

Montana’s top marijuana regulator spoke about ongoing efforts to propose and finalize rules for the legal market.

Iowa regulators announced that two new medical cannabidiol dispensaries will open on or around October 1.

Ohio regulators are accepting requests from medical cannabis cultivators who want to expand their grow space.

Minnesota regulators tweeted about a medical journal’s article on the issue of adding anxiety disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Oregon regulators published an updated list of licensed marijuana businesses.

Nevada regulators will consider changes to rules on remediation and labeling of marijuana on September 28.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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 Oshkosh, Wisconsin City Council voted to lower the fine for first-time marijuana possession offenses.

The Denver, Colorado mayor’s budget proposes to use $5.7 million in marijuana tax revenue to establish a new business development program for minority- and women-owned businesses.

Lompoc, California voters approved a ballot measure to increase taxes on marijuana manufacturing and distribution.

The Santa Cruz County, California Board of Supervisors instituted a temporary emergency moratorium on cannabis cultivation permits.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into the bloody Philippine “drug war.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that medical cannabis “may be related to a significant yet small reduction in opioid prescription medication.”

Mount Sinai’s Center for Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Trauma Research received a $5 million grant to support a clinical trial using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat veterans with PTSD.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “The ADP is committed to bold ideas and we’re not settling for policy that skirts around the edges of change. That’s why we came out firmly for recreational cannabis legalization.”

/ BUSINESS

COMPASS Pathways plc acquired an intellectual property portfolio including patent applications for psychedelic substances.

The University of California, Berkeley is creating psychedelics journalism fellowships to be overseen by author Michael Pollan using funding from Tim Ferriss’s Saisei Foundation.

Vicente Sederberg LLP launched an environment, health, and safety practice for cannabis businesses.

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

The president of Solar Therapeutics Inc. asked to be dismissed from a lawsuit filed by Sacha Baron Cohen for allegedly violating his copyright by putting an image of his Borat character on a billboard without permission.

Green Flower launched a credential program for marijuana industry workers.

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Feds warn about delta-8 THC (Newsletter: September 15, 2021)

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National Urban League backs legal marijuana; Celebs push Biden on cannabis clemency; WADA reviews athlete cannabis ban; MI homegrow restrictions fight

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BREAKING: Journalism is often consumed for free, but costs money to produce! While this newsletter is proudly sent without cost to you, our ability to send it each day depends on the financial support of readers who can afford to give it. So if you’ve got a few dollars to spare each month and believe in the work we do, please consider joining us on Patreon today.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued health warnings about delta-8 THC.

  • “Historical use of cannabis cannot be relied upon in establishing a level of safety for these products in humans.”

Detroit, Michigan voters will decide on a ballot measure to decriminalize psychedelics this November.

The World Anti-Doping Agency’s Executive Committee announced it will review marijuana’s status as a banned drug for athletes. The move comes in the wake of criticism it received after Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension from the Olympics for cannabis.

The National Urban League, a 100-plus-year-old civil rights organization, is calling for cannabis legalization with a focus on social equity—including reserving half of business licenses for impacted communities.

  • “Marijuana enforcement is more harmful than marijuana itself.”

Drake, Killer Mike, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, T.I., Kevin Garnett, Deion Sanders and others sent a letter calling on President Joe Biden to issue a “full, complete and unconditional pardon” to anyone convicted of a nonviolent marijuana offense.

  • “Enough is enough. No one should be locked up in federal prison for non-violent marijuana offenses.”

Michigan medical marijuana patients and caregivers will hold a rally on Wednesday to push back against what they say is a greedy corporate effort to restrict home cultivation rights that’s being mounted by big cannabis businesses.

/ FEDERAL

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing on President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA) tweeted, “The @sbcountysheriff is working hard to shut down large-scale illegal cannabis grows. Unfortunately, California laws are standing in the way of a long-term solution to this problem. We need to continue working until this illegal activity no longer threatens our community.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, tweeted, “It’s 4:20 on 420 days until the election and our most recent hotel room on the campaign trail was room 420. That’s the tweet.”

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mckayla Wilkes tweeted, “27 years since the 1994 Crime Bill. This bill, the crime bills of the 80s, and similar state-level policies led to the U.S. having the highest incarceration rate on the planet. Let’s be clear: @LeaderHoyer was on every single one of those bills. We need to see some damn change: – Ending the War on Drugs & expunging records – Ending mandatory minimums & cash bail – Abolishing private prisons.”

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov, Kristi Noem (R) tweeted that a legislative committee “approved the majority of the draft guidance for the Department of Health’s medical cannabis program after months of public input.” She also tweeted, “I’m proud of the job the Department of Health did in streamlining this process. My Administration is fully on board to make certain South Dakota continues to implement the most responsible, patient-focused medical cannabis program in the country.”

Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Allen West tweeted, “Blue states can make marijuana — federally an illegal drug — legal & allow it to be transferred outside those states after purchase & the Feds say nothing. As Governor, I will defend Texas sovereignty and uphold our laws. I will not allow the federal government to usurp Texas’ authority and undermine our laws. If Colorado can make marijuana legal, then noise suppressors for firearms will be legal in Texas.” Meanwhile, Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “It’s time to decriminalize marijuana and end the war on drugs once and for all.”

Rhode Island’s House speaker said if lawmakers don’t tackle marijuana legalization during a special session in October the issue will carry over to January, and he also discussed the differences in details among competing proposals while saying that the reform won’t be a big revenue source (starting around 8:30 into the audio).

Oklahoma lawmakers pressed regulators about medical cannabis compliance oversight efforts at a hearing.

New Jersey courts posted information about expunging marijuana records.

New Hampshire regulators announced that medical cannabis patients can now shop at all dispensaries in the state, instead of just the one they were previously registered with.

Ohio regulators approved a plan to more than double the number of medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

The Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ruled that regulators must provide information on how many patients use medical cannabis to treat opioid use disorder.

A member of New York’s Cannabis Control Board spoke about the process of getting the state’s legal market underway.

The director of New Mexico’s medical cannabis program defended regulators’ process for opening production license applications.

Colorado regulators will host a marijuana work group rulemaking meeting on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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 Chicago, Illinois City Council delayed a vote on the mayor’s plan to relax marijuana business zoning rules.

The Cambridge, Massachusetts City Council voted to allow only equity businesses to get recreational marijuana licenses for another year and to direct cannabis revenue to reparations efforts.

The Aurora, Colorado City Council rejected a proposal to allow marijuana social consumption businesses.

The Billings, Montana City Council voted to delay decisions on marijuana business licensing and zoning.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Québec, Canada Court of Appeal ruled that local bans on marijuana home cultivation are constitutional.

Colombia’s Ministry of Justice tweeted, “Colombia is a pioneer in the regulation, industrial production and commercialization of #Cannabis for medicinal purposes.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol enhances verbal episodic memory in healthy young participants.”

A survey of psychiatrists found that they “largely believed psychedelics show treatment promise and strongly supported federal funding for medicinal psychedelic research.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Cannabis Regulators Association named its first executive director and announced that its membership has expanded to 35 states and territories.

/ BUSINESS

WM Technology, Inc. acquired Sprout.

Akerna is acquiring 365 Cannabis.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $43.3 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation is launching a line of CBD vapes through Circle K convenience stores.

Wesana Health Holdings Inc. committed $1.5 million in funding to assess the viability of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’s MDMA-assisted therapy to treat traumatic brain injury.

Colorado retailers sold more than $202 million worth of marijuana products in July.

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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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