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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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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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