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RI Senate votes to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: June 23, 2021)

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CT gov signs legalization; LA gov signs smokable medical marijuana; MX Supreme Court weighs striking down cannabis ban; Another PA marijuana bill

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed a marijuana legalization bill into law. It’s the fourth state to legalize cannabis so far this year. The new law takes effect on July 1.

The Rhode Island Senate passed a marijuana legalization bill. Gov. Dan McKee (D) filed his own separate legal cannabis plan, and the House has another one. The House speaker says it could be taken up in the summer or fall.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill to legalize smokable medical cannabis flower. Last week he signed separate legislation to decriminalize marijuana possession.

Mexico’s Supreme Court is set to consider striking down the prohibition of marijuana as unconstitutional next week after lawmakers failed to pass a legalization bill by the deadline under a prior ruling.

Two Pennsylvania lawmakers sent a memo asking colleagues to support a forthcoming marijuana legalization bill they plan to introduce soon.

/ FEDERAL

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs will hold a hearing on a medical cannabis research bill on Wednesday.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) gave a floor speech about the 50th anniversary of the war on drugs and the need to eliminate the crack-powder cocaine sentencing disparity.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted, “Crack penalties are harsher than powder cocaine penalties. Let’s fix this by increasing the penalty for selling powder cocaine. Not by letting drug traffickers out of prison.”

House Judiciary Committee Democrats posted a video about a hearing on the war on drugs that the panel held last week.

The House bill to decriminalize all drugs got two new cosponsors for a total of 12.

/ STATES

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill allowing marijuana retailers to have entry areas where they can check the IDs of customers.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Another state in the northeast is legalizing adult-use marijuana. Pennsylvania should be next.”

The chairman of the South Dakota legislature’s Adult-Use Marijuana Study Subcommittee said lawmakers will craft a cannabis legalization bill if the state Supreme Court strikes down the voter-approved measure.

The Massachusetts legislatures’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will hold a hearing on several marijuana bills on Tuesday.

Ohio regulators issued guidance on delta-8-THC in medical cannabis products.

Maine regulators are seeking public input about hemp rules.

Missouri regulators published an updated FAQ about the state’s hemp program.

Idaho regulators will hold a hemp rulemaking meeting on Wednesday.

Florida’s top cannabis regulator will hold a town hall meeting with federal officials on Thursday.

Michigan regulators will hold a marijuana social equity business resource workshop on Thursday.


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 Queens, New York district attorney requested that thousands of marijuana cases be dismissed and sealed.

The Maricopa County, Arizona district attorney’s office announced efforts to help people expunge marijuana conviction records.

A Chicago, Illinois alderman filed a proposal to allow marijuana dispensaries in a downtown “exclusion zone” where the mayor has blocked cannabis sales.

A San Jacinto, California city councilman was indicted on charges of operating an illegal marijuana dispensary.

The Albuquerque, New Mexico City Council placed a moratorium on opening marijuana businesses in the Old Town area.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australia’s deputy prime minister said that police have better things to do than arrest people for marijuana.

Thailand’s deputy prime minister announced that four cannabis strains will be registered as items of National Heritage.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabidiol and cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonists have potential for treating drug-craving and drug-seeking behaviour, based on evidence from preclinical animal models.”

A study found that “cannabis use was associated with higher prevalence of suicidal ideation, plan, and attempt among US young adults with or without depression, and the risks were greater for women than men.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Virginia NORML held a “Know Your Rights” event about the state’s new marijuana legalization law.

/ BUSINESS

The federal waiting period for Trulieve Cannabis Corp. to acquire Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.  has expired.

The former CEO and two former directors of CannTrust Holdings Inc. were charged with fraud, making false statements and other offenses related to the company’s illegal cultivation of marijuana in unlicensed rooms.

Workers at Cresco/Sunnyside in Fall River, Massachusetts voted to approve a union contract.

Pacific Banking Corp. said it expects its CEO to be federally indicted.

Metrc LLC is asking an Oklahoma judge to dismiss a medical cannabis dispensary’s lawsuit challenging the state’s seed-to-sale tracking deal with the company.

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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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