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MN House votes to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: May 14, 2021)



State Dept on marijuana & discrimination; NE medical cannabis ballot drive; SAFE Banking gets GOP sponsor; CO sales data

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The Minnesota House of Representatives approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. While Gov. Tim Walz (D) supports ending cannabis prohibition, leaders in the Republican-controlled Senate have indicated they’re more interested in potentially expanding medical access and reducing possession penalties than they are in the expansive reform.

A new State Department report notes how marijuana reform in a growing number of countries is helping to address religious discrimination against Rastafarians and other groups—but it ignores the U.S.’s continued criminalization of cannabis.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) became the 37th cosponsor of the SAFE Banking Act. That’s a big shift from a few years ago, when she argued against a cannabis banking amendment, saying it would be “allowing banks to essentially finance dealers of recreational marijuana.”

Nebraska activists and lawmakers are relaunching a campaign to place a far-reaching medical cannabis initiative on the 2022 ballot—one day after a minority of senators in the unicameral legislature blocked a relatively restrictive medical marijuana bill.

The Colorado Department of Revenue announced that retailers have already sold more than half a billion dollars worth of legal marijuana in the first three months of 2021. There have been more than $10.5 billion in legal cannabis sales since 2014, generating $1.7 billion in tax revenue for schools, infrastructure and more.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “We must finally end the federal prohibition on marijuana, advance criminal justice reform, and ensure equity for communities impacted by the War on Drugs. That is why I’m working with @SenBooker & @RonWyden on legislation for comprehensive marijuana reform.”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) tweeted, “The devastating nationwide opioid epidemic has clearly shown we need to find alternatives to these pain medications, and that’s certainly a priority I’ve heard from many of Alaska’s #veterans. Medicinal cannabis is already in use by thousands of #veterans across the country, but we don’t yet have the data we need to understand the benefits and side effects associated with this alternative therapy.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “The reality is that the federal government’s continued cannabis prohibition is neither tenable nor the will of the American electorate. That’s why I introduced the Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses and Medical Professionals Act with @repdonyoung.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted about Colorado cannabis sales, saying, “While states around PA move to legalize marijuana this is the type of revenue that the commonwealth could be missing out on.”

Rep. Betty McCollum’s (D-MN) campaign tweeted, “MN cannabis laws are doing more harm than good. By creating a regulatory framework, we can establish more sensible laws to improve our health care & criminal justice systems and ensure better outcomes for communities.”

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana in Minnesota.”


PolitiFact ruled that a claim from Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) about the potential of marijuana legalization to raise revenue is mostly true. Separately, the lieutenant governor tweeted, “It’s long past time we legalized marijuana—not just because of the revenue we’ll gain—but because its criminalization will only continue to harm communities across the state.”

The New Hampshire Senate tabled a bill to allow medical cannabis patients to grow their own, effectively killing it.

The Nevada Assembly Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on bills to amend hemp rules and allow CBD-infused foods.

Pennsylvania regulators published a hemp sampling protocol.

The California Osteopathic Medical Board discussed guidelines for recommending medical cannabis.

Missouri’s medical cannabis patient count is growing rapidly.

Maine regulators released a list of licensed plant nurseries with hemp seedlings or clones.

Washington State regulators rescheduled a listen and learn session about draft conceptual rules for cannabis applicant or licensee background checks for June 1.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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 New Orleans, Louisiana City Council president is proposing to dismiss and pardon nearly 10,000 pending marijuana cases and convictions.

Denver, Colorado regulators are accepting applications to serve on the 2021 Marijuana Rulemaking Work Group.


Zimbabwe’s government repealed a rule that required co-ownership between government and private investors for medical cannabis cultivation operations.

The mayor of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada said there’s no time to reformulate his city’s drug decriminalization proposal to the federal government to address activists’ concerns.


A review concluded that “cannabinoids were found to be effective in the treatment of lung, colorectal, prostate, breast, pancreas and hepatic cancers.”

A study found that “most participants expressed a positive attitude about CBD products as a treatment option, reported positive outcomes when used for multiple different conditions, and would prefer to obtain information about and prescription for CBD from their physicians.”


A poll found that UK adults support decriminalizing marijuana, 41%-36%.

A poll found that Protestant pastors oppose legalizing marijuana, 76%-18%, and that 78% think it is morally wrong to get high on cannabis.

The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party tweeted, “Today, the Minnesota House will take a historic vote on legalizing adult-use cannabis. While Republicans may be stuck in the past, DFLers know that our cannabis laws do more harm than good. It’s time to change that.” It also tweeted, “DFLers are ready to legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota. The vast majority of Minnesotans are ready too. It’s time for Republicans to either get with the program or get out of the way.”

The Louisiana Democratic Party tweeted about a pending marijuana decriminalization bill, saying it ” would end harsh criminal penalties that can ruin lives and families” and “will also save taxpayer dollars.”

The Collateral Consequences Resource Center and Ohio State University’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center published a report examining expungement provisions in new marijuana legalization laws.


Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $194 million.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$55.2 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of C$24 million.

Schwazze reported quarterly revenue of $19.3 million and a net loss of $3.6 million.

ETF Managers Group’s U.S. Alternative Harvest ETF began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. announced an $8 million private placement.

4Front Ventures Corp. announced that its retail brand, Mission Dispensaries, is partnering with Homegrown Detroit on initiatives to make the cannabis industry more equitable and accessible.

TweedLeaf employees are working to unionize.


The World Boxing Council is partnering with Wesana Health Holdings Inc. on a multi-year clinical research project to examine the therapeutic potential of psychedelics to reduce the effects and symptoms of traumatic brain injury.

Seth Rogen told Howard Stern that he doesn’t mind if employees at his marijuana company Houseplant get high at work as long as it doesn’t affect their job performance.

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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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