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NY legal cannabis talks at ‘impasse’ (Newsletter: March 17, 2021)

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CT House speaker: “optimism abounds” on legal marijuana; WA gov touts legalization; OR gov names psilocybin panel; Poll: FL voters back legal cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) appointed a 17-member advisory board to oversee implementation of the state’s voter-approved legal psilocybin therapy measure.

  • “Like many, I was initially skeptical when I first heard of Measure 109. But if we can help people suffering from PTSD, depression, trauma and addiction—including veterans, cancer patients, and others—supervised psilocybin therapy is a treatment worthy of further consideration.”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said the experience with marijuana legalization has been “uniformly positive” and that one of the only things he would have done differently is to personally endorse cannabis reform even earlier.

  • “By any measure, it’s been a very successful enterprise.”

New York’s Senate majority leader said marijuana legalization talks have “reached a little bit of an impasse” over the issue of impaired driving. In recent days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and top lawmakers had signaled that a cannabis deal is imminent.

Connecticut’s House speaker said “optimism abounds” as lawmakers work to reconcile competing marijuana legalization bills into a single proposal that can pass the legislature and make it to the desk of supportive Gov. Ned Lamont (D).

A new poll found that Florida voters support legalizing marijuana, 59%31%, and oppose placing THC caps on medical cannabis, 58%-24%. The survey also asked a number of other questions about state officials’ moves to limit medical marijuana patients’ rights.

/ FEDERAL

The National Cancer Institute published a series of posts about the wide use of medical cannabis and CBD and how federal policies limit research.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “The criminalization of marijuana is a civil rights issue, period. It’s not about public safety — it’s instead a thinly veiled excuse to target people of color. I will continue to fight for decriminalization.”

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement during a hearing.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) posted to Facebook, “Colorado’s cannabis industry is booming! 📈” Separately, the Senate gave initial approval to a bill to require schools to store cannabis-based medicines for student use.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) authored another op-ed outlining his fears about legalizing marijuana.

North Dakota’s Senate majority leader says he has a “gut feeling” that a House-passed marijuana legalization bill has enough support to be approved in his chamber.

The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to allow medical cannabis oil.

The chairman of New Mexico’s Senate Judiciary Committee said he is waiting on additional changes to House-passed marijuana legalization legislation before following through with a hearing in his panel, saying that “the bill in its present form is not ready to become a law.” Several hearings have been scheduled and canceled this week, but two cannabis bills are now on the agenda for Wednesday.

A Maryland delegate said he is working with a senator to reach an agreement on marijuana legalization legislation before the session ends.

California regulators announced $15 million in cannabis equity grants for local jurisdictions.

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory recall of medical cannabis products from GTI Ohio, LLC that did not receive a full battery of testing for heavy metals and mycotoxins.

Massachusetts regulators published a report on determining areas of the state that are disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Maine regulators issued guidance on marijuana transfer requirements.

Arizona now has more than 300,000 registered medical cannabis patients.

Missouri regulators sent guidance about electronic physician certification forms for the medical cannabis program.

Minnesota regulators posted infographics about the medical cannabis program.

Hawaiian regulators approved a new medical cannabis dispensary.

Michigan marijuana regulators will meet on March 24.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Mexico’s Senate majority leader spoke about how the body’s Justice and Second Legislative Studies committees will review changes that the Chamber of Deputies made to a marijuana legalization bill.

New Zealand’s government extended the transitional period for changes in its medical cannabis program to September 30.

The UK’s first ketamine-assisted therapy clinic opened.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabis legalization has not yet been followed by pronounced changes on youth cannabis use.”

A study found that “high [light intensity] can substantially increase cannabis yield and quality, but we found no commercially-relevant benefits of adding supplemental UV radiation to indoor cannabis production.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Americans for Prosperity published a post calling for marijuana and drug policy reform “that moves away from the criminal justice system and toward education, treatment, decriminalization, and eventually legalization with appropriate regulation.”

The Black Freedom Project, other activists and lawmakers held a press conference to push New York lawmakers to legalize marijuana through a justice lens.

A Tax Foundation analysis found that if current marijuana sales projections hold up, “the value of marijuana sales will grow to two times that of firearms and ammunition, and three times that of McDonald’s sales revenue in the U.S.” by 2023.

The Drug Policy Alliance’s executive director authored an op-ed about reimagining safety by ending the war on drugs.

/ BUSINESS

Eaze is expanding into Michigan.

Columbia Care Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $76 million and a net loss of $73.7 million.

Dutchie, raised a $200 million Series C round, valuing the company at $1.7 billion.

Bluma Wellness Inc. announced that its subsidiary 3 Boys Farm, LLC received a $7.5 million loan from a subsidiary of Cresco Labs Inc.

Zenefits published a blog post on operations tips for marijuana businesses.

/ CULTURE

The Onion made fun of a study showing that runner’s high is caused by endocannabinoids.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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