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MN gov wants legal cannabis for revenue & justice (Newsletter: January 28, 2021)

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PA Lt. Gov.’s escalating marijuana flag battle; HI psilocybin therapy bill; Study: More cannabis dispensaries tied to lower opioid deaths

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

At a press conference about his budget, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he would rather lawmakers legalize marijuana than allow sports betting. Cannabis revenues would “dwarf” those from gambling, he said, also noting the “racial impact” of prohibition.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) spoke to Marijuana Moment about how he simply hung his cannabis and gay rights flags back up after GOP leaders allegedly got state officials to take them down from his office balcony this week.

  • “It shouldn’t have to be this way. These are not controversial things. These are very fundamentally American things. It’s freedom-related. It’s individuality-related. It’s jobs. It’s revenue.”

Hawaii senators filed a bill to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapy, similar to the measure that Oregon voters approved in November.

A new study published by the British Medical Association found that U.S. counties with more marijuana dispensaries have fewer opioid-related deaths, “particularly deaths associated with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.”

  • “Cannabis is generally thought to be a less addictive substance than opioids. Cannabis can potentially be used medically for pain management and has considerable public support.”

/ FEDERAL

An attorney in the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Counsel discussed issues related to the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses.

The Biden administration is reportedly planning to halt a Trump administration plan to allow more doctors to prescribe buprenorphine.

Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) touted the marijuana regulation experience of a candidate they are recommending President Joe Biden appoint as a U.S. attorney.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) touted his work on cannabis banking issues in a press release about being selected to chair the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), in a tweet about joining the House Judiciary Committee, cited its jurisdiction over hemp issues.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) set a Friday deadline to resolve differences with lawmakers about provisions concerning underage people in marijuana legalization implementation legislation, or he will issue a conditional veto.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “I’m with @FettermanLT — we should legalize adult-use marijuana in Pennsylvania. An overwhelming majority of residents want to see this happen. It would provide a much-needed economic boost and would be a boon for PA farmers.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor tweeted about how marijuana tax revenue is being used to support a program that records incarcerated parents reading books to their children.

A South Dakota judge held the first hearing on a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure.

Rhode Island’s House speaker discussed considerations for legalizing marijuana this year.

New York Assembly Republicans are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to remove marijuana legalization from his budget and pursue the issue as a standalone bill.

The Arizona House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill to require the Arizona Biomedical Research Centre to provide grants for clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis.

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee  voted to “retain” two marijuana legalization bills, effectively blocking their advancement.

The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee delayed a planned vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to block the legalization of marijuana or other drugs.

A Mississippi senator introduced a bill to create a separate medical cannabis program from the one voters approved as a ballot measure.

A Tennessee filed a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Connecticut lawmakers spoke about ongoing efforts to draft a marijuana legalization bill for this session.

A Michigan testing lab operator says marijuana contaminated with mold and yeast is being sold in the state, but regulators have not issued a recall.

Nevada regulators pointed out that a one-time tax amnesty program launching on February 1 includes marijuana excise taxes.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 400 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 San Diego County, California Board of Supervisors voted to allow marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas.

The Des Moines, Iowa City Council voted to lobby state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana.

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted about a nearby city considering marijuana decriminalization, saying, “Kansas City was proud to rid our City Code of marijuana offenses last year. This is welcome news from our friends in Kansas.”

A Rochester, New York woman who was denied a city job over a positive marijuana test is running for City Council.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian health officials will formally discuss a Vancouver resolution calling for drug decriminalization, the city’s mayor announced.

Costa Rican lawmakers are stepping up their push for medical cannabis and hemp legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “easier access to cannabis for pain may reduce opioid use for both public and private drug plans.”

Massachusetts General Hospital is partnering with Atai Life Sciences to research psychedelics’ effects on the brain.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project announced that a former Colorado lawmaker is its new board chair.

The American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp launched a new Cannabis Beverage Council.

A former federal prosecutor said that Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio “cooperated with local and federal law enforcement, to aid in the prosecution of those running other, separate criminal enterprises, ranging from running marijuana grow houses in Miami to operating pharmaceutical fraud schemes.”

/ BUSINESS

A California judge ordered MedMen Enterprises Inc. to pay its former chief financial officer at least $500,000 in legal fees for his case alleging unlawful termination.

A Washington State court revived a lawsuit alleging that the former owner of Triple C Collective LLC violated the terms of the sales contract.

Horizons ETFs Management launched what it said is the world’s first psychedelics-focused exchange traded fund.

A report from Washington State University found that in 2020 the state’s cannabis sector contributed $1.85 billion to gross state product and directly and indirectly supports nearly 18,700 full time equivalent jobs.

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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

NM gov could sign cannabis bill today (Newsletter: April 12, 2021)

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TX marijuana decrim vote; NV social use lounge bill advances; Biden gets another letter on cannabis firings; EPA funds hemp bricks

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  • Blaine Mitchell: “The reason for my support is simple. Even from a freed state I understand the need to fight until freedom rings from sea to shining sea, otherwise the beast of prohibition will rise again to devour us once more. Thank you for all that you have and are doing to keep growing awareness regarding all things cannabis.”

Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The office of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) sent a “save the date” notice for Monday to sponsors of the marijuana legalization bill that’s on her desk—signaling that its formal signing into law is imminent.

The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee voted to approve a bill to decriminalize marijuana, as well as separate legislation to lower penalties for cannabis concentrates.

The Nevada Assembly Judiciary Committee approved bills to allow marijuana social consumption lounges and to protect people from getting DUI charges just for having cannabis metabolites in their blood.

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to stop firing White House staff over past marijuana use. It’s the third such letter the president has received from lawmakers about the cannabis employment issue in recent weeks.

  • “Minnesotans and the American people are demanding change to our harsh and unequally applied cannabis laws. I look forward to seeing your Administration reverse course on this harmful and unnecessary hurdle to hiring diverse and talented public servants.”

The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a company nearly $100,000 to support the development of sustainable bricks made from hemp. The hempcrete is a “durable, lightweight, carbon-negative” alternative to traditional construction bricks.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the Internal Revenue Service was within its right to issue a summons to a data services company seeking information about marijuana business clients..

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana on the federal level.”

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) tweeted, “Kudos to my friend @RepAngieCraig for penning a letter to @POTUS that a majority of Americans would likely sign. It’s high-time to remove cannabis from the Schedule I substance list, allow for research, legalization, federal excise taxation, and fact based decision making.”

A new House Ethics Committee investigation into possible misconduct by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) includes allegations of illicit drug use. Current and former congressional officials reportedly told media outlets about occasions in which he has apparently smelled of marijuana on the House floor.

The House marijuana banking bill got seven new cosponsors for a total of 147.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 22.

/ STATES

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “April is #NationalCannabisMonth, and the future is bright for #cannabis in Florida! With $370M in est. economic impact in year one, our state #hemp program is bringing new crops and products to Floridians.” She also authored an op-ed criticizing Republican lawmakers’ efforts to restrict medical cannabis patients’ rights.

The Montana House of Representatives passed three marijuana legalization implementation bills.

The Vermont House of Representatives approved a bill to decriminalize small amounts of buprenorphine.

The South Dakota Senate president pro tempore said an upcoming special session should not make substantial or controversial changes to the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis law.

Alaska lawmakers are considering legislation to bring the state’s hemp program into compliance with federal law. Separately, a resolution calling on Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation is also advancing.

The California Senate Governance & Finance Committee approved a bill to let cities and counties opt into letting the state manage marijuana regulations for them.

A North Carolina senator posted a Twitter thread about how his experience with cancer in his family motivated his work on a new medical cannabis bill.

Oregon regulators modified marijuana licensee violations and approved changes to streamline the licensing process.

Illinois regulators sent an alert about tax compliance for marijuana concentrates.

Mississippi regulators discussed medical cannabis implementation issues at a meeting.

The North Carolina Department of Justice published another podcast on hemp and law enforcement.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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 federal judge blocked Detroit, Michigan officials from processing recreational marijuana business license applications while a dispute on the city’s residency requirements for owners is challenged.

The Denver, Colorado City Council is scheduled to take up bills to reform marijuana ordinances on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ukraine legalized some cannabis extracts and synthetic cannabinoid medicines.

The New Zealand government permanently legalized drug checking services.

Mexico’s Senate majority leader spoke about the need for “extensive reflection” in forming marijuana legalization legislation.

An American businessman who legally smoked marijuana in Nevada before taking a plane to Dubai is now facing up to three years in prison there.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “marijuana use is not a reliable gateway cause of illicit drug use” and “as such, prohibition policies are unlikely to reduce illicit drug use.”

A case study reported the “successful use of medical marijuana for treating chronic pruritus.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 58% of Americans don’t know the difference between CBD and THC.

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Another Noem-led assault on South Dakotans: The same taxpayers who voted to legalize recreational marijuana in South Dakota are now paying to fight it in the state’s highest court.”

The Washington Times editorial board expressed concerns about the growing number of states that are legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Glass House is going public.

ATAI Life Sciences acquired a majority stake in Psyber.

Planet 13 is planning to hire hundreds of workers.

Terra Tech Corp. appointed a new member to its board of directors.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, Mike Tyson, Too $hort and others will participate in a 4/20 event hosted by Weedmaps.

The Onion joked that Colorado temporarily recriminalized marijuana for a statewide tolerance break.

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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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CT gov says cannabis could go to ballot (Newsletter: April 9, 2021)

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Mexico could get another marijuana delay; TX medical cannabis expansion advances; ME drug decrim bill; DE biz boycotted for opposing legalization

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  • Tanya Kapuy: “The reason I pledged is so that I can use the legislative tracking tools to bring to the people in Hawai’i the latest news on bills relating to cannabis, and what they can do to support them.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said that if lawmakers fail to pass a marijuana legalization bill, he expects the issue will “probably end up in a referendum” for voters to decide on the ballot.

  • “Marijuana is sort of interesting to me. When it goes to a vote of the people through some sort of a referendum, it passes overwhelmingly. When it goes through a legislature and a lot of telephone calls are made, it’s slim or doesn’t pass.”

The Mexican Senate majority leader indicated that lawmakers are likely to request yet another marijuana legalization deadline extension from the nation’s Supreme Court. The current deadline is the end of this month, but senators say the Chamber of Deputies inserted inconsistencies into the bill.

The Texas House Public Health Committee approved a bill to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program by adding new qualifying conditions and increasing the allowable THC potency limit.

Maine lawmakers filed a bill to decriminalize possession of all drugs.

Delaware marijuana activists are staging a boycott of four medical cannabis companies that testified against an adult-use legalization bill that cleared a House committee last month.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Sentencing Commission released annual data on federal criminal cases, including those for drug offenses.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. New York took an important step to address its harms. And I’m working in the Senate to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and to repair the damage done by the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said he expects his marijuana banking bill to be enacted this Congress.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) tweeted, “The Virginia General Assembly took historic action today to legalize marijuana beginning on July 1.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis, expunging records for nonviolent crimes, and investing in Black and brown entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry is the right thing to do.”

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that the Cannabis Regulatory Commission launched its social media accounts and will hold its first meeting on Monday.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner sent a press release about April being National Cannabis Awareness Month.

Georgia lawmakers sent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) a bill to allow 30 medical cannabis oil dispensaries to open.

Idaho lawmakers sent a hemp legalization bill to the desk of Gov. Brad Little (R).

The Oklahoma House Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances Committee approved a bill to increase penalties for diverting medical cannabis to the illegal market.

The North Carolina Senate Rules Committee chairman is sponsoring a medical cannabis bill.

The Maine Supreme Court held oral arguments in a case challenging regulators’ decision not to enforce residency requirements for marijuana business owners.

A North Dakota activist spoke about plans to draft a proposed marijuana legalization measure for the 2022 ballot.

The New Mexico Department of Public Safety said that more than 150,000 people will be eligible to have their prior marijuana records expunged under legislation that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is expected to sign.

Illinois officials are accepting nominations for people to serve on the Cannabis Equity Commission.

Utah regulators want to hire a consultant to help decide how to award a new medical cannabis dispensary license.

Wisconsin regulators said the state will continue to operate under the federal 2014 hemp pilot program for the rest of the year and that they plan to publish an emergency rule by next month.

A former Massachusetts regulator coauthored an op-ed expressing concerns about big tobacco companies seeking to enter the marijuana industry.

Vermont regulators are hosting a hemp webinar on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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

Nassau County, New York’s district attorney moved to dismiss hundreds of marijuana cases.

The New York City Police Department sent a memo reminding officers that they still can’t use marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Japanese consulate in New York issued a warning to the nation’s citizens not to use marijuana even in places where it is legal under state law.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A federally funded study found that “THC levels in biofluids were not reliable indicators of marijuana intoxication.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Montana Democratic Party tweeted, “Republicans continue to demonstrate their distrust of MT voters. This week we discussed amendments to the recreational marijuana bill to reflect the will of the voters. But Republicans have overburdened the bill, going directly against election results.”

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted about a state Supreme Court case on the fate of the voter-approved marijuana legalization measure.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation is acquiring The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc.

PepsiCo launched a hemp-infused Rockstar Energy drink in Germany.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $32.9 million and a net loss of $5 million.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is offering C$250 million worth of shares.

/ CULTURE

Jimmy Fallon made fun of Lake Superior State University’s cannabis chemistry scholarship program.

Golfer Patrick Reed signed a sponsorship deal with cbdMD.

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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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VA is officially legalizing cannabis in July (Newsletter: April 8, 2021)

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AL medical marijuana bill advances; SC senator will block other bills for medical cannabis vote; TX lawmakers hear marijuana & hemp bills

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  • Tim Cullen of Colorado Harvest Company: “I’d like to extend my thank you to you too. I appreciate all the hard work you put into this quality product. Your dedication is appreciated.  Looking forward to more exciting cannabis news.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Virginia House of Delegates and Senate approved Gov. Ralph Northam’s (D) amendment to launch the legalization of marijuana this summer instead of in 2024.

The Alabama House Judiciary Committee amended and approved a medical cannabis bill that has already passed the full Senate.

A South Carolina senator said that if other lawmakers block his medical cannabis legislation from getting a floor vote, he will personally hold up “every single other bill on this calendar” and bring the legislative process to a halt.

Texas lawmakers are considering several marijuana decriminalization, medical cannabis expansion and hemp reform bills at committee hearings this week

/ FEDERAL

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has reportedly been holding meetings with marijuana advocacy groups.

The federal sex trafficking investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) reportedly involves a trip he took to the Bahamas with Medical Marijuana Physicians Association cofounder and board chair Jason Pirozzolo.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) tweeted, “The Virginia General Assembly just voted to finalize the legalization of marijuana, making us the first former Confederate state to do so. Last month, we became the first state in the South to abolish the death penalty.  Don’t let anybody tell you progress isn’t possible.” He also tweeted, “Another big progressive win here in Virginia. I hope my colleagues in the House and Senate will join me in supporting the MORE Act to legalize marijuana nationwide.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted, “Marijuana was illegal even for medical use in Virginia when @GovernorVA took office. The General Assembly’s votes today mean it will be fully legalized this July. It’s a big step forward on criminal justice reform for the Commonwealth, and a major accomplishment for the Governor.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis should be legal and records should be expunged. It’s time for Congress to catch up.”

/ STATES

New York Gov, Andrew Cuomo (D) said the new marijuana legalization law is a “big, big progressive score” for the state. He also tweeted, “Legalizing recreational cannabis will help us rebuild and renew New York by: ✅Reinvesting in communities hurt the most by the failed prohibition of marijuana ✅Creating new jobs & new businesses  ✅Raising $350 million a year for education & more.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is asking lawmakers for $4 million to support lab testing of medical cannabis.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) spoke about how she wants lawmakers to address medical cannabis during a June special session. Separately, the state Supreme Court scheduled oral arguments in a case on the fate of the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law for April 28.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “It is time we legalize marijuana and we expedite cannabis reforms because of the negative impact current marijuana legislation has on Black and brown Virginians. I am proud of the progress we have made but there is still more work that needs to get done before full legalization.”

Coordinators of the signature drive for a Nebraska campaign to legalize medical cannabis are being sued by donors over alleged campaign finance missteps.

The Oklahoma House Common Education Committee approved legislation to allow charter schools to receive medical cannabis tax revenue.

North Carolina lawmakers filed marijuana legalization and medical cannabis bills.

Ohio lawmakers are working on legislation to overhaul the state’s medical cannabis system.

Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee met.

Missouri regulators urged a federal court to reject a case seeking to overturn the state’s residency requirements for medical cannabis business ownership.

Georgia regulators are expected to award medical cannabis productions licenses next month or in June.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Disproportionately Impacted Communities Workgroup will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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 Tucson, Arizona City Council voted to loosen restrictions on marijuana dispensaries.

Grand Junction, Colorado voters approved a ballot measure to allow marijuana businesses.

St. Johnsbury, Vermont voters approved a measure to allow marijuana sales.

The Denver, Colorado City Council is considering allowing drive-thru and walk-up marijuana sales to continue after coronavirus measures expire.

Baltimore, Maryland’s police commissioner spoke about the department’s response to the state’s attorney’s decision not to prosecute most drug cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexican lawmakers are floating the idea of requesting yet another deadline extension from the nation’s Supreme Court so they have even more time to finalize marijuana legalization legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on psychedelic microdosing found that “conscientiousness increased, while neuroticism decreased.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Legalizing medical marijuana is just the tip of the iceberg in when it comes to how we legislate cannabis. Alabama is long overdue for comprehensive marijuana and criminal justice reform.”

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. completed its acquisition of EMMAC Life Sciences Limited and secured an investment of $130 million from a single strategic institutional investor in exchange for 31.5% equity stake in Curaleaf International.

Mydecine Innovations Group announced psilocybin-based and other psychedelic preparations it believes to be its leading novel drug candidates ahead of meetings with the Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada.

VICE examined debates about ethics in the psychedelics industry.

/ CULTURE

Willie Nelson announced a marijuana convention that will benefit HeadCount’s Cannabis Voter Project.

Lil Wayne’s lifestyle brand GKUA signed a deal to host annual 4/20 events at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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