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Put cannabis in trade talks, key senator says (Newsletter: May 21, 2021)

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Legal psychedelics to CA Senate floor; CO gov doubles marijuana possession limit; Drug penalty for federal job program targeted; MI expungement effort

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR)—who will be introducing a federal marijuana legalization bill “very soon”—said that U.S. trade officials should represent the interests of the domestic cannabis industry in global talks after prohibition ends.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill doubling the amount of marijuana that adults can legally possess. He said the measure will lead to him pardoning more people who have past cannabis convictions for up to two ounces—the new legal limit.

The California Senate Appropriations Committee advanced a bill to legalize possession of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin and MDMA for a floor vote by the full Senate. That will happen within the next two weeks.

As Congress works on reauthorizing the Job Corps program, House Higher Education and Workforce Investment Subcommittee Chairman Frederica Wilson (D-FL)  is criticizing a “counterproductive” provision that kicks young people out of career training for having used marijuana and other drugs—signaling that the penalty could be reformed this year.

A bill to expand Texas’s limited medical cannabis program is now advancing in the Senate after initially stalling. The lieutenant governor, who controls the fate of legislation in the body, is an ardent marijuana opponent.

The Great Lakes Expungement Network is a new effort being launched in Michigan to help people expunge their prior marijuana convictions.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Americans are sending a clear message—they want an end to marijuana prohibition. I’m working with Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Cory Booker to end the federal prohibition and to repair the damage done by the War on Drugs.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) joined Field Trip Health Ltd. as a special advisor.

/ STATES

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) appointed a new member of the Medical Marijuana Commission.

Alaska lawmakers sent Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) a hemp bill.

The New Hampshire Senate advanced a bill to add opioid use disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition and to let out-of-state patients shop at dispensaries.

The Louisiana House advanced a resolution calling for a study on the impacts of marijuana legalization.

The Colorado House Finance Committee approved a bill to enact limits on marijuana concentrates, place restrictions on medical cannabis recommendations and require the state to study the impacts of marijuana on certain health outcomes, among other changes.

The Maine legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs is set to consider a bill on Friday to block proposed rules that advocates fear will harm the state’s medical cannabis program.

New York regulators are seeking to delay changes to the medical cannabis program that were included in marijuana legalization legislation until a new regulatory body is formed. Separately, a top advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) spoke to county officials about plans for rolling out legalization.

Arizona regulators released revised draft marijuana social equity rules.

California regulators released modified proposed regulations for a program that will establish and enforce comparable-to-organic cannabis standards.

The New Mexico attorney general’s office filed a court brief on behalf of regulators arguing that lawmakers didn’t intend to allow gross receipts tax deductions on medical cannabis sales until this year.

Nevada regulators suspended a marijuana cultivation business’s license.

Washington State regulators are resuming in-person compliance checkers that were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas regulators released a list of approved hemp varieties.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee met.

Iowa medical cannabis regulators will meet on Friday.


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.

/ LOCAL

The New Orleans, Louisiana City Council is considering a proposal to automatically pardon people caught possessing marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg lawmakers adopted a motion calling on the government to develop legal marijuana regulations.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “daily cannabis use was not significantly associated with hospitalization” but that there was “a significant interaction between daily cannabis use and sex, whereby cannabis use was associated with a decreased odds of hospitalization among males, yet was not significantly associated with hospitalization among females.”

A report examines what is believed to be the “first reported case of selective cannabis strain allergy” in which “the severity of his reaction appeared to be strain dependent.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Canadian adults support harm reduction measures such as supervised drug consumption, drug checking and needle distribution.

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is selling marijuana legalization t-shirts.

The Lincoln Journal Star editorial board criticized Nebraska lawmakers for blocking a medical cannabis bill.

The Roanoke Times editorial board said Virginia’s marijuana regulatory body needs to have rural representation.

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation published a set of principles to guide the marijuana industry.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation appointed Martha Stewart as the company’s official strategic advisor.

Tilray, Inc. is asking a Washington State judge to dismiss a lawsuit over Florida medical cannabis business licenses.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen spoke about what he sees as the shortcomings of Canada’s marijuana legalization law.

Kirstie Alley said marijuana is a gateway drug.

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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.)

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House approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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  • David Strouse: “I’m glad I found you. Your legislation tracker was exactly what I was looking for.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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Conflicting cannabis amendments cleared for House votes (Newsletter: July 29, 2021)

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Support grows for AOC’s psychedelics reform; New CO marijuana business office; FL officials slam OR hemp & say buy local

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  • Shawna Seldon McGregor of Maverick Public Relations: “As a political junkie, I’ve been reading Marijuana Moment for years. Now as so many legislative issues are heating up, I’m turning to the website for the latest news on policy movement. I’m long overdue in pledging my support. Bonus: I’m also excited to take advantage of the legislative tracking tools.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee advanced competing marijuana amendments to the floor for votes. One would shield all state legalization laws from federal interference, while another would delete existing medical cannabis protections. Those votes could take place as soon as Thursday.

A new Marijuana Moment analysis looks at how even though Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) psychedelics research amendment fell short on the House floor this week, support grew considerably from the last time it was voted on in 2019. We examine how the advancement of state psychedelics legislation likely flipped a number of votes, and how some Democratic leaders are still not on board with the reform.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced the launch of a new Cannabis Business Office aimed at providing economic support for the state’s marijuana industry—with a focus on social equity.

  • “Where the federal government has fallen behind, Colorado will lead. Colorado is, and always has been, the best place to live, work, grow and sell cannabis.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services put out an alert warning consumers about poor quality hemp products from Oregon that contain “rocks, sticks and other foreign material.” People should buy hemp with “Fresh From Florida” logos instead, they say.

/ FEDERAL

The acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reiterated President Joe Biden’s position that no one should be incarcerated for drug use alone.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and we are pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about the need to federally legalize marijuana.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “Thank you @BrooklynDA for dismissing 3,500 marijuana cases following legalization by NY state. This is an important step in remedying all the harm inflicted on our communities by the so called ‘war on drugs.'”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the drug war’s harms got seven new cosponsors for a total of 59.

/ STATES

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor said senators should have a draft medical cannabis bill next week.

Oklahoma’s public safety secretary said the medical cannabis industry needs to be more tightly regulated.

The Arizona Supreme Court publicized an event to help people expunge marijuana charges.

New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on law enforcement issues related to marijuana legalization. Separately, regulators will host a cannabis entrepreneur informational workshop on Thursday.

A lawsuit challenging Illinois marijuana business licensing rules was dropped by the plaintiff, and regulators are set to hold the first of three lotteries on Thursday. A judge in a separate case, however, said no licenses can be awarded until an August 9 hearing.

Nevada regulators shared updated mask guidelines with marijuana businesses.

Oregon’s Cannabis Commission met.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Israeli lawmakers rejected a bill to decriminalize marijuana and reclassify CBD as a food additive.

Australia’s federal police commissioner said legalizing drugs “will not stop organised crime— it will likely embolden them, make them richer and enable them to buy more guns and pay for more murders.”

Gabon’s sovereign wealth fund is investigating how to monetize interest in ibogaine.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on whether external stress is a factor in “hot hemp” found “no evidence that any of these stresses caused THC concentration or the ratio of THC to CBD to increase at harvest.”

A study of bees found that “hemp supplementation positively influences the immune system of workers, and the appropriate method of administration may be adapted to the health problems of bees.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Governors Association noted how a number of governors discussed marijuana during their state of the state addresses this year.

Decriminalize Nature launched a new campaign it says is intended to expose corporate influences seeking to undermine access to psychedelic plants and fungi.

The executive director of Minority Veterans of America authored an op-ed calling for marijuana reform.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $142.2 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation ended its relationship with Seth Rogen’s Houseplant brand.

GoDaddy refused technical support to cannabis news outlet Heady NJ because its website “shows marijuana imagery.”

Frankenmuth Credit Union launched a cannabis banking program.

A subsidiary of Avicanna Inc. completed its first export of THC cannabis extracts from Colombia to Austria.

/ CULTURE

Actor Colin Hanks is partnering with Jushi Holdings Inc. to bring his Hanks Kerchiefs to the company’s BEYOND / HELLO marijuana retail stores.

Football player Julio Jones is being sued by cannabis company Genetixs for alleged fraud and money laundering.

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Congress rejects AOC’s psychedelics amendment but adopts CBD one (Newsletter: July 28, 2021)

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OH 2022 marijuana initiative; MA psychedelics hearing; Global sports authority: Reconsider cannabis penalties; Study on artisanal CBD benefits

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives defeated an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to expand research on the medical benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA. Amid a growing national reform movement, however, the measure failed by a narrower margin than her previous attempt two years ago.

  • Separately, lawmakers approved an amendment from Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) that encourages the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations allowing CBD as a dietary supplement and food ingredient. They also rejected a proposal from Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) to remove protections for universities that study marijuana. She argued on the floor that she’s worried schools will “offer a class called ‘Pot Smoking 101’ [that’s] dedicated to smoking pot.”

Ohio activists launched a new marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign. The plan is to pressure lawmakers to end cannabis prohibition through the legislature, but organizers say they’re prepared to go directly to voters if need be.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a task force charged with studying the legalization of psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

The president of global sports governing body World Athletics said it’s “sensible” to reevaluate marijuana penalties for Olympic athletes after Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension.

  • “Nothing is set in tablets of stone. You adapt and occasionally reassess.”

A new study found that epilepsy patients who use “artisanal CBD” have “higher quality of life, lower psychiatric symptom severity and improved sleep.” They also use fewer prescription medications, take fewer sick days and are less likely to visit the hospital.

/ FEDERAL

Patients made a new filing in a lawsuit seeing to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to let them use psilocybin.

A former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor who was federally convicted of extorting marijuana businesses filed a motion for acquittal or a new trial.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and other senators sent a letter urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to press the Philippine government for human rights violations in its bloody “war on drugs.”

Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) cited the marijuana regulatory experience of a U.S. attorney nominee for the Western District of Washington.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) spoke about the need to center social justice and equity in marijuana legalization implementation. Separately, a judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved cannabis legalization referendum.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) office said he is in the process of appointing people to the Cannabis Control Board. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader said the governor should “send his appointees down and we’ll take a look at them.”

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “Due in part to the so-called ‘war on drugs’ U.S. police are the deadliest in the modern world. We can eradicate the demand for illegal drugs by providing healthcare and affordable housing. Not war.”

New Mexico regulators issued a cease and desist order to a business that has been “gifting” marijuana in exchange for the purchase of store merchandise. Separately, the top regulator told lawmakers it is ” highly likely” retailers will run out of cannabis in the first week or two of recreational sales. She also said she fears that local residents will be prevented from entering the industry due to difficulties accessing bank loans.

California regulators named a leadership team for the new Department of Cannabis Control.

Rhode Island regulators again delayed a lottery to award new medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Oklahoma representatives discussed challenges in regulating medical cannabis on a podcast.

Vermont regulators will consider marijuana-related highway safety issues, criminal justice data and banking access on Thursday.

South Dakota regulators scheduled an August 18 public hearing on proposed medical cannabis rules.


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.

/ LOCAL

Brooklyn, New York’s district attorney moved to dismiss more than 3,500 marijuana-related warrant cases.

New York City’s mayor criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for the state’s slow rollout of a new marijuana legalization law. He also encouraged people to store cannabis edibles out of the reach of children.

Santa Fe, New Mexico officials are seeking public comment on marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Guyana President Irfaan Ali said he is focused on regulating hemp before addressing broader marijuana reform issues.

Israeli lawmakers are expected to vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill on Wednesday.

Canada’s health minister is being sued by patients who want her to act on stalled applications to legally use psilocybin.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review identified how “epigenetic modulations caused by cannabinoids lead to the suppression of inflammation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tennessee Democratic Party criticized Fox News hosts tying marijuana to violence, tweeting, “Reminder that this is how the Republican party views weed, violent crime, and mental health. What we actually need is to legalize it, clear all marijuana-related convictions from people’s criminal records, and provide people with the resources and healthcare that they deserve.”

Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch spoke about his support for marijuana legalization and drug policy reform.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies has a new board chair.

/ BUSINESS

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. is being sued for allegedly failing to inform investors of the terms of its proposed acquisition by Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

Curaleaf International launched its second range of medical cannabis flower products for the UK market.

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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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