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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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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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