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Lawmakers push fed protections for state cannabis laws (Newsletter: April 30, 2021)



TX House approves marijuana decrim; Congressional bills on cannabis studies; ME psilocybin legalization; LA cannabis fee bill advances

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  • Jen Valentine: “I pledged because it makes absolutely no sense why cannabis continues to be federally illegal while many other substances (alcohol, opioids) are not.  Research published in reputable scientific journals is demonstrating the benefits of using cannabis to treat a variety of ailments. And yet the government considers cannabis users to be criminals and uses it as an excuse to break down people’s doors, seize property, extort fines, etc. The fact that the war on cannabis is used disproportionally against BIPOC communities is absolutely unconscionable. I did not realize how unfair this all was until I became informed due to a friend using CBD who was worried about failing a drug test. Subscribing to your newsletter is a great way to stay informed about both state and federal initiatives.”

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A bipartisan group of dozens of members of Congress sent a letter to key House committee leaders calling for federal protections for all state, territory and tribal marijuana laws to be included in an upcoming must-pass spending bill.

The Texas House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill to decriminalize marijuana and also passed separate legislation to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis system. One more procedural vote is needed on the former bill, while the latter now heads to the Senate.

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rand Paul (R-KY), along with Reps. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) and Don Young (R-AK),  filed bills to require the federal government to study and learn from the impact of state marijuana laws.

Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) filed a bipartisan bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the medical benefits of marijuana for military veterans. A House companion will be introduced on Friday by Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI).

Louisiana House committees approved bills to set up a licensing system if marijuana is legalized and to amend hemp regulations to allow for CBD-infused foods and beverages, among other changes. A cannabis legalization bill advanced earlier this week.

A Maine senator filed a bill to legalize psilocybin therapy. There would not be any specific qualifying medical conditions a patient would need to have in order to access the psychedelic.


The Food and Drug Administration announced a plan to ban menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is reportedly preventing the Department of Justice from commenting on the extension of scheduling of fentanyl analogues.

The Senate joined the House in passing an extension of emergency scheduling of fentanyl analogues.

Insider looks at how many congressional offices do not conduct drug tests or punish staffers for using marijuana.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. I’m working with @RonWyden and @SenBooker to end the federal prohibition and to repair the damage done by the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) filed a resolution that cites the war on drugs as a driver of the U.S.’s “influence on the tactics, equipment, and purpose of policing around the world.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted about how he worked with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on hemp issues when he was in Congress.


South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham, a former congressman, pledged to decriminalize marijuana in his campaign announcement speech.

The New Hampshire Senate approved a bill to add severe insomnia and autism spectrum disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

New York’s Assembly majority leader will participate in an event about transitioning from the legacy cannabis market to the legal market on Friday.

South Dakota lawmakers are accepting applications to serve on the Medical Marijuana Oversight Committee.

A Michigan representative filed a bill to create a legal blood-level limit of marijuana metabolites for drivers.

An Oklahoma judge granted a temporary restraining order against regulators’ plan to track medical cannabis.

Missouri regulators are warning approved medical cannabis businesses that have not yet begun operations that they could lose their licenses.

Washington State regulators approved a rule change to expand marijuana plant canopy square footage and adopted emergency rules on vitamin E acetate in vapor products.

Massachusetts regulators issued guidance on growing marijuana and hemp on protected lands.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development tweeted, “The hemp industry in #Pennsylvania continues to grow! 🌿 Since 2018,  500+ farmers have obtained permits to grow industrial hemp across the state. For many, hemp represents hope for reviving small farms & creating a new business sector.”

Alaska regulators will consider marijuana business license applications on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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.


Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor tweeted, “It’s time for Alabama to join 17 states that have legalized, and 36 states that have legalized medical marijuana.”

Denver, Colorado officials sent a reminder that they will not be accepting applications for new marijuana business licenses and transfers of location until June.


Canadian officials approved the importation of a cannabis microdosing inhaler from an Israeli company.

Argentina’s government launched a registry for cannabis seeds to be used for medical and research purposes.


A study suggested that, “by modulating expression of shared key cancer-driving genes, CBD could represent a promising nontoxic therapeutic for treating tumors of various origins.”

An archaeological examination of an ancient Chinese cemetery found what is likely “the first physical evidence of medicinal cannabis use for the treatment of metrorrhagia, severe lumbago, and/or arthralgia.”


The Alabama Democratic Party criticized district attorneys for using “1950’s scare tactics and lies around cannabis legislation.”

The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board is calling on the Justice Department to drop a legal challenge to a proposed safe consumption site for illegal drugs.

The American Civil Liberties Union criticized the Biden administration’s proposed ban on menthol cigarettes.

Conservative radio host E.W. Jackson claimed that legalizing marijuana is a “demonic” effort by Democrats to control black people.


Columbia Care Inc. is acquiring a 34-acre cultivation site in Long Island, New York.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. is being sued by a former employee for alleged sex discrimination.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. has a new COO and CFO.


Sheryl Crow spoke about the time Willie Nelson offered marijuana to her father.

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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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