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



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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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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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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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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