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Schumer lists cannabis as Dem priority (Newsletter: March 3, 2021)

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Mexico legalization vote; USDA hemp survey; TX voters back legal marijuana; IA cannabis penalty bill; Canada decrim push

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in a fundraising email to supporters that federal marijuana legalization is a priority part of “Democrats’ bold agenda for change this year.”

Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies plans to vote on a marijuana legalization bill next week. The Senate voted to legalize cannabis back in November, and committees in the other chamber are now considering revisions before bringing it to the floor.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced plans to survey 20,000 farmers about hemp acreage and production.

The Mississippi House Ways and Means Committee replaced the provisions of a Senate-passed bill creating an alternate medical cannabis program with the exact text of the ballot measure that voters approved in November.

An Iowa Senate Judiciary subcommittee approved a bill to lower marijuana possession penalties.

A new poll found that 60% of Texas voters support legalizing marijuana—a big increase over the past decade.

Canada’s federal government is moving to end mandatory minimum sentences for drugs—but a majority of voters, a major police chiefs group, the province of British Columbia and some lawmakers want full decriminalization instead.

/ FEDERAL

The U,S, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that an Arizona man’s prison sentence was incorrectly enhanced on the basis of a prior marijuana conviction, saying that the state’s law was out of step with the federal legalization of hemp.

The House of Representatives—including a majority of Democrats and all Republicans—voted against an amendment to allow incarcerated people to vote.

The House Rules Committee blocked a floor vote on an amendment to temporarily ban police from forcibly drugging arrestees with ketamine and to study the health effects of doing so.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about his home state of New Jersey enacting marijuana legalization legislation.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) will speak at the start of a cannabis research conference on March 13.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got two new cosponsors for a total of 21.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) spoke about public support for marijuana reform proposals that he included in his budget and said he thinks at least medical cannabis should be approved.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) appointed a new chair of the Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner criticized a legislative proposal to institute THC caps on medical cannabis.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that workers’ compensation must reimburse him for the cost of medical cannabis.

The Illinois Supreme Court tweeted about a state program that helps people clear their past marijuana convictions.

The West Virginia Senate defeated an amendment to remove marijuana from drug testing for TANF recipients.

The composition of New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission is being challenged by the state’s NAACP chapter.

Colorado officials are putting marijuana industry workers in line with the general public for access to coronavirus vaccines.

Maine regulators proposed new medical cannabis rules.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission met.

New York regulators published a list of authorized hemp research partners.

A Pennsylvania Republican senator spoke about why he thinks legalizing marijuana is “pretty much inevitable” and said he thinks his new bill will at least get a committee vote this year.

Ohio regulators will consider chances to medical cannabis rules on March 12.


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.

/ LOCAL

Voters in several Vermont towns approved ballot measures to allow marijuana sales.

The Dallas, Texas police chief presented a plan to reduce marijuana arrests in front of the City Council Public Safety Committee.

Denver, Colorado officials unveiled draft bills allowing marijuana delivery services and social use areas.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Zambia’s cabinet approved a bill to legalize cultivation of marijuana for cannabis for medical, scientific and research purposes.

A public consultation on marijuana by the French Parliament found that more than 80% of respondents support legalization.

Zimbabwe’s secretary for information tweeted, “We have to declare a war on drugs. They are frying our young people’s brains. The amount of money some of these young people are spending on these immoral ventures debunks the ‘jobless’ argument. Other young people are into farming, others into mining let’s help the lost ones.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested “potential anti-inflammatory effects of recent cannabis use.”

A study suggested that “anecdotal benefits of microdosing [psychedelics] can be explained by the placebo effect.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted about the Senate minority leader’s views that the state’s drug laws are “archaic.”

/ BUSINESS

Amazon is facing a federal lawsuit for allegedly improperly firing a worker for medical cannabis use.

Canopy Growth Corporation launched a CBD-infused sparkling water in the U.S.

Lowell Farms Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $9.2 million.

Schwazze closed its most recent tranche of preferred equity with a round of $34 million.

BDSA estimated that global cannabis sales exceeded $21 billion in 2020.

/ CULTURE

Alyssa Milano tweeted, “Just a reminder: weed is now a multi-billion dollar industry  and hedge fund managers make millions off of the legal sale of marijuana while too many people (mostly black and brown people) are incarcerated on weed related charges.”

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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.)

Newsletter

House approves cannabis banking bill (Newsletter: April 20, 2021)

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Poll: 91% of Americans back legal marijuana in some form; USPS on hemp vape exemptions; NC Senate leader notes medical cannabis support

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives approved a marijuana banking bill. The SAFE Banking Act cleared the chamber three times last Congress but got blocked in the Republican-controlled Senate. Hopes are high now that Democrats run both chambers of Congress, however.

Twenty-one governors, 51 state and territory banking associations and a group of state treasurers sent letters calling on Congress to pass the marijuana banking bill.

A new Pew Research Center poll found that 91% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use.

In a new Federal Register filing, the U.S. Postal Service is instructing hemp and CBD companies about how they can potentially apply for exemptions to a new federal law that generally bans the mailing of vaping devices.

North Carolina’s Senate president pro tempore noted strong public support for medical cannabis after the body’s Rules Committee chairman filed a bill on the issue.

/ FEDERAL

The Biden administration is reportedly considering requiring tobacco companies to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes.

A federal judge denied a company’s request for an injunction to prevent Customs and Border Protection from blocking its shipments of hemp processing machines.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture tweeted about the availability of revenue protection insurance for hemp.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke about why they believe Vice President Kamala Harris will advocate behind the scenes for President Joe Biden to evolve on marijuana.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) said he has a lot of concerns about marijuana legalization.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted a tribute to marijuana legalization pioneer Steve Fox, who passed away last week.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) tweeted about a new poll showing support for cannabis legalization, saying, “Your 4/19 reminder that marijuana should be legalized nationwide.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted, “Everything in politics seems impossible, until it happens. Time to remove cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances. Spending even one dime of taxpayer funds on federal marijuana investigations and prosecutions is dumb.”

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) toured a CBD lab.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) conditionally vetoed a medical cannabis telehealth bill because he said it places “undue limitations” on patients.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) suggested that passage of a marijuana legalization bill could be delayed until next year due to disagreements among Democrats over key provisions.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor will participate in a 4/20 rally at the state Capitol on Tuesday.

Alabama’s House speaker said it will likely be a few more weeks until a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill comes up for a floor vote.

Wisconsin’s House speaker said there is “substantial support” among Republicans for medical cannabis.

The California Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee approved a bill to let cities and counties opt into letting the state manage marijuana regulations for them.

A Florida representative who is sponsoring a bill to enact THC potency caps on medical cannabis is conceding that it is all but dead for the session.

The Washington, D.C. Council is set to vote on a bill to let formerly incarcerated people work in the marijuana industry on Tuesday.

Ohio regulators voted to more than double the number of medical cannabis dispensaries.

New Mexico regulators are accepting applications to serve on the new Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee. Separately, the health secretary said medical cannabis dispensary workers should be viewed similarly to pharmacists when it comes to coronavirus vaccine eligibility, a stance that undermines the state’s position in a lawsuit about taxing the product in a way that other medicines are not.

Colorado regulators issued a health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of yeast and mold and lead on medical cannabis flower produced by Primal LLC.

Nevada regulators are extending the expiration of active marijuana temporary agent registration cards until June 30.

New Hampshire regulators approved a new medical cannabis dispensary to operate.

Washington State regulators posted information about potential new rules on pesticide and heavy metal testing for marijuana. They also sent a newsletter with other cannabis information. Meanwhile, the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s  Licensing Workgroup will meet on Wednesday.

Minnesota regulators published updated data on participation in the medical cannabis program.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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 Denver, Colorado City Council approved legislation to allow marijuana delivery services and social consumption areas.

The Wilmington, Delaware City Council passed a resolution endorsing a statewide marijuana legalization bill.

A new Dallas, Texas policy to avoid most marijuana arrests took effect.

/ INTERNATIONAL

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke about what he sees as the harms of marijuana and drug use.

The Philippine deputy House speaker said a proposed bill to legalize medical cannabis is dead.

Argentinian lawmakers are considering medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “phytocannabinoids have demonstrated potential anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-acne properties by various mechanisms.”

A review concluded that “cannabis, cannabis-derived products and synthetic cannabinoids may slightly reduce disease activity in patients with [rheumatoid arthritis]” but that “its use may result in little to no difference in pain reduction and may slightly increase nervous system adverse events.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New York voters support the state’s new marijuana legalization law, 57%-36%.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. is acquiring Nature’s Remedy of Massachusetts, Inc.

Colgate-Palmolive filed three patents for oral care formulas containing CBD.

Bespoke Financial announced it raised $8 million in a Series A financing round.

Tilray, Inc. is being sued for allegedly intentionally sabotaging a Florida nursery’s medical cannabis license application.

Parallel is investing $25 million in a new cannabis cultivation, production and retail facility in Texas.

/ CULTURE

Chelsea Handler authored an op-ed on the need for marijuana reform.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Newsletter

Cannabis banking vote in Congress today (Newsletter: April 19, 2021)

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Biden on board with marijuana reform, Booker says; Veterans cannabis bills; MN legalization clears another committee; WA drug decrim gutted

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a marijuana banking bill on Monday.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said President Joe Biden is already where he needs to be to get a bill to federally legalize marijuana enacted. The confusion comes down to a semantic misunderstanding about what the terms “decriminalization” and “legalization” mean at the federal level, he said.

A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers filed bills to federally legalize medical marijuana for military veterans.

The Minnesota House State Government Finance and Elections Committee became the seventh panel to approve the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. He expects a floor vote next month.

The Washington State Senate took up a bill to decriminalize drugs but gutted and replaced it with provisions making possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. While the House of Representatives decides what to do, drug possession is currently effectively legal under a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

/ FEDERAL

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) indicated they are open to supporting legislation to increase research on the potential benefits of psychedelics.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and other lawmakers discussed the shifting positions on drug decriminalization of associate attorney general nominee Vanita Gupta in a Senate floor debate. Cornyn tweeted that “she lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary about her support for decriminalizing simple possession of all drugs, including but not limited to marijuana.”

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) said he’s optimistic about passing a marijuana banking bill.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “I am proud to introduce the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act of 2021 alongside @brianschatz to empower and educate veterans about treating chronic conditions with medical marijuana where it’s legal.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that he is “honored to join my colleagues in both parties to introduce this critical [medical cannabis] legislation for our veterans!”

Louisiana Democratic congressional candidates agreed on marijuana legalization during a debate.

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 32.

The House marijuana banking bill got 17 new cosponsors for a total of 168.

/ STATES

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signed a hemp legalization bill.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill providing an affirmative defense for drivers who test positive for marijuana metabolites.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill establishing a hemp licensing program.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) sent a press release about the fifth anniversary of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) attended a fundraiser for his campaign that was hosted by medical cannabis cultivators.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana and regulating and taxing it much like we do alcohol is the right thing to do for Wisconsin. And according to @MuLawpoll, nearly 60% of Wisconsinites agree.” The lieutenant governor tweeted, “Seventeen states, including our neighbors in Illinois and Michigan, have already legalized medical and recreational marijuana, and the majority of Wisconsin voters think we should too. That’s why our #BadgerBounceback agenda regulates and taxes marijuana—just like we do alcohol.”

The California Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill to allow CBD as a food, beverage and dietary supplement.

The Montana Senate Select Committee on Marijuana Law held another meeting to discuss legalization implementation legislation.

A Massachusetts court upheld the town of Bourne’s local ban on marijuana businesses.

A South Carolina senator authored an op-ed on why law enforcement is wrong to oppose his medical cannabis bill.

Michigan regulators published a bulletin on marijuana testing requirements.

Maryland regulators published several new medical cannabis guidance documents.

New Mexico regulators are being asked by medical cannabis companies to increase plant limits.

Utah regulators are seeking applications to join a medical cannabis production advisory board.

Missouri regulators posted data on medical cannabis facility inspections.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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

Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor released a request for proposals for technical assistance programs for marijuana equity applicants.

The Walpole, Massachusetts police chief authored an op-ed arguing against the decriminalization of psychedelics.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK lawmakers signed a letter calling on the government to provide funds to families who are forced to buy medical cannabis privately.

The European Union approved a proposal to export medical cannabis flower from Lesotho-based MG Health.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabis use may lead to reduced use of prescription and illicit drugs for pain management among some people living with HIV who use drugs.”

A study found that “cannabis users retrospectively report feeling different effects from indica and sativa; however, demand generally did not differ between cannabis subtypes, suggesting situational factors could influence whether someone uses indica or sativa.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Wisconsin Democratic Party tweeted about Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) marijuana legalization proposal.

The Republican Party of New Mexico continued to criticize Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) for signing a marijuana legalization bill.

/ BUSINESS

Livwell Enlightened Health launched Colorado’s first TV ad campaign for a cannabis company.

Tilray, Inc. moved to reduce the quorum of shareholders it needs for a vote to approve a merger with Aphria Inc.

Eaze launched an NFT for an image of an astronaut, with proceeds going to National Expungement Week.

HEXO Corp filed a C$1.2 billion preliminary short form base shelf prospectus.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen’s marijuana brand Houseplant launched its products at Apothecarium dispensaries in California.

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69% of Americans want legal cannabis, poll says (Newsletter: April 16, 2021)

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Schumer: Marijuana bill on Senate floor “soon”; AL medical cannabis advances; TN senators approve marijuana bill; WI gov pushes legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new Quinnipiac University poll found that 69% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, an all-time high. A majority of Democrats, Republicans, independents and people from every age and racial demographic in the survey are on board.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said his forthcoming federal marijuana legalization bill will be considered on the Senate floor “soon.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he’s sick of seeing marijuana revenue go to other states. He also held a town hall meeting about cannabis and urged voters to pressure lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature to stop blocking reform.

  • “Frankly I’m kind of tired of talking to the governor from Illinois. Whenever I get with him, he thanks me for having Wisconsinites cross the border to buy marijuana.”

The Alabama House Health Committee approved a medical cannabis bill, sending it to the House floor. A prior version has already passed the full Senate.

The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee approved a limited medical cannabis bill, sending it to the floor.

/ FEDERAL

The Census Bureau is extending the public comment period on a request to add marijuana and other new questions to an annual survey about state tax collections.

Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders coauthored an op-ed criticizing the American Medical Association for its opposition to legalizing marijuana.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) again spoke about his evolution on marijuana policy reform.

The House marijuana banking bill got four new cosponsors for a total of 151.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 23.

/ STATES

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed a bill allowing hemp to be used as animal feed. Separately, the Senate Select Committee on Marijuana Laws held another hearing on legalization implementation legislation.

The Idaho House of Representatives defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have prevented voters from legalizing Schedule I or II drugs via ballot initiatives.

The California Senate passed a bill to remove mandatory prison and jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Wisconsin’s Senate majority leader said there isn’t enough Republican support in the body to approve a medical cannabis bill.

The Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill to allow the taxation of medical cannabis flower, if legalized under separate legislation.

Several Connecticut Democratic lawmakers said they will vote against a marijuana legalization bill unless it contains sufficient equity provisions.

The Oregon Psilocybin Research Subcommittee held its first meeting.

Oklahoma regulators are being sued by medical cannabis businesses who say the state’s tracking system is unlawful.

New Mexico regulators fined New MexiCann Natural Medicine $142,000 for worker safety violations related to a fire that injured employees.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about marijuana compliance testing, research and development testing and remediation rules.

Missouri regulators have now approved more than 100 medical cannabis businesses to operate.

Minnesota regulators launched a new dashboard for data about the medical cannabis program.

Ohio regulators will consider medical cannabis rules changes on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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 Nassau County, New York legislature is considering a proposal to ban marijuana on county-owned properties.

Chicago, Illinois marijuana arrests continue to be carried out on a racially disproportionate basis following legalization, police data shows.

Denver, Colorado regulators sent alerts about application information for marijuana businesses and upcoming City Council consideration of cannabis legislation..

San Francisco, California officials will host a Monday meeting on how marijuana businesses can prepare for potential unrest as a result of the pending verdict in the Derrick Chauvin trial.

A former Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mayor coauthored an op-ed about the need for federal marijuana reform.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Canadian member of Parliament filed a bill to decriminalize drug possession and expunge prior records, days after the city of Vancouver, British Columbia asked the federal government for permission to enact a local decriminalization policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of cancer patients found that using medical cannabis “improved sleep initiation and continuity, resulted in decreased use of sleep medications, and that improved sleep led to better health.”

A study on using psilocybin to treat depression found that results “did not show a significant difference in antidepressant effects between psilocybin and escitalopram in a selected group of patients” but that “secondary outcomes generally favored psilocybin over escitalopram.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Alex Berenson and Tucker Carlson discussed what they see as the harms of marijuana during an interview.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Ben Cohen is launching a line of marijuana prerolls.

Tilray, Inc. is delaying its shareholder meeting to approve a proposed merger with Aphria Inc. for two weeks.

TILT Holdings Inc.  reported quarterly revenue of $42.3 million and a net loss of $92.1 million.

Columbia Care Inc. launched a solid-fill cannabis powder capsule for medicinal use in the UK.

JOI Guitars released a line of acoustic guitars made out of hemp wood.

/ CULTURE

Basketball players John Wall and Carmelo Anthony are investing in cannabis company LEUNE.

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