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NJ cannabis ‘clean up’ revived (Newsletter: February 22, 2021)



MA & VT psychedelics & drug decrim bills; Booker presses SBA pick on marijuana; Lawmakers push Biden for cannabis pardons; 4 state legalization votes

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The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee approved the latest revised marijuana “clean up” bill to resolve differences with the governor over underage provisions in legalization enabling legislation. The move comes after several votes by the panel were canceled earlier in the week, and floor consideration is now expected on Monday.

Massachusetts lawmakers introduced bills to decriminalize possession of all drugs and create a commission to study the potential future legal sales of psychedelics.

Vermont lawmakers will soon file a bill to decriminalize psychedelics like psilocybin, DMT and ibogaine—as well as separate legislation to decriminalize possession of all drugs.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) pressed President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Small Business Administration about a policy that blocks people with marijuana and other convictions from receiving loans and aid, saying he will do “the most ridiculous happy dance you’ve ever witnessed” if the ban is rescinded.

More than a dozen Democratic members of Congress followed up on their letter urging President Joe Biden to issue mass marijuana pardons by taking to Twitter amplify the call for #CannabisJusticeNOW.

Last week, lawmakers in four states voted to approve marijuana legalization bills in committee, drug decriminalization cleared a committee in one state and the governor of another state put legal cannabis in his budget—and that’s only some of what happened.

Florida’s medical cannabis program has seen huge growth over the past year—with surges in sales, job creation and registered patient counts.


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy posted a Twitter thread about the Biden-Harris administration’s approach to drugs.

The House Budget Committee filed a coronavirus relief and stimulus bill that does not contain cannabis banking provisions.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a constituent letter about his support for expanding marijuana research.

Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) criticizing state regulators’ decision to give priority coronavirus vaccine eligibility to cannabis industry workers.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “We need scientific investment to tackle the mental health crisis. I am exploring how federal investments can accelerate promising mental health innovation. What do people think of psychedelics-assisted therapy and what government policy should be?”

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who is campaigning to be appointed as White House drug czar, published a blog post outlining his thinking on marijuana policy, saying that “research, regulation, and caution” should guide.


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said she is “optimistic” that lawmakers will send her a marijuana legalization bill this session.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “The majority of Wisconsinites agree: it’s time our state legalized marijuana. In my #BadgerBounceback agenda, I’m calling for our state to join states across the nation in legalizing marijuana—a step that would generate more than $165M annually starting in 2023.” But the Senate majority leader said he opposes legalization.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said she isn’t sure if medical cannabis sales should be taxed. Separately, a representative authored an op-ed on why she thinks the state needs more time to regulate medical marijuana.

Florida Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Ryan Morales said marijuana legalization is one of his priorities.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed bills to extend the duration of out-of-state medical cannabis approvals and allowing the transfer of marijuana business licenses.

The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee approved a bill that would make it harder for activists to qualify marijuana reform or other measures for the state’s ballot.

Minnesota’s House majority leader spoke about the prospects for his marijuana legalization bill.

The Nebraska legislature’s Judiciary Committee held a hearing on bills to legalize and decriminalize marijuana.

The Montana Senate Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Committee held a hearing on a bill to require marijuana cultivation to happen indoors, reserving outdoors for hemp farmers.

Nevada regulators issued a health and safety advisory about marijuana products that failed microbial testing.

Rhode Island regulators sent a bulletin on medical cannabis testing requirements.

A California assemblyman filed a bill to prevent employers from discriminating against workers for positive marijuana tests.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hosting a hemp summit on Tuesday.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 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 mayors of several Connecticut municipalities weighed in on Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) marijuana legalization plan.


The Canadian government introduced a bill to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenses. Meanwhile, the head of the New Democratic Party criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for refusing to decriminalize drugs and erase past marijuana conviction records.

Bermuda Premier David Burt said the country’s relationship with the UK would be destroyed if the governor refuses to give royal assent to a bill to license cannabis cultivation.

Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies published an overview of aspects of the marijuana legalization debate.


A study concluded that “there was no apparent increase in the incidence of driving under the influence of marijuana after legalization” and that “changes in marijuana legislation did not appear to impact alcohol use.”


The Kansas Democratic Party tweeted, “The people of Kansas overwhelmingly support legalizing medical marijuana; will @KansasGOP continue to stay out of touch with Kansans?”

The U.S. Hemp Authority published version 3.0 of its hemp certification standard.


TerrAscend Corp. reported preliminary quarterly net sales of C$65 million.

Canopy Rivers Inc. obtained court approval to transfer some assets to Canopy Growth Corporation in exchange for approximately C$115 million.

Harborside Inc. closed an upsized brokered private placement of units worth C$35.1 million.

Employees at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center filed for an election to organize with UFCW Local 328.

Canadian retailers sold C$298.4 million worth of legal marijuana products in December.


Saturday Night Live joked that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) wants to legalize marijuana as a way to make people forget about his administration’s burying data on coronavirus deaths in nursing homes.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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