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Schumer needs more time to rework cannabis bill (Newsletter: April 15, 2022)

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DOJ returns marijuana biz cash; Fed commission; NH legalization advances; NY awards grower licenses; NJ sales on 4/21; NYC public housing roof grows

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he and Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) need more time to rework a marijuana legalization bill before it can be filed. Instead of this month, as previously stated, it’ll be “before the August recess.” Removing or scaling back cannabis testing for federal workers is one key area undergoing revision, among others the senators flagged in a press release.

Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and Brian Mast (R-FL) filed a bill directing the attorney general to form a commission to make recommendations on a regulatory system for marijuana that models alcohol rules.

The Department of Justice agreed to return more than $1 million in cash seized from an armored car company that was transporting proceeds from legal marijuana dispensaries to banks.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that recreational marijuana sales will start the day after 4/20. Separately, the state attorney general issued a memo clarifying that police can’t be punished for buying or using legal cannabis while off duty.

The New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee approved a House-passed bill to legalize marijuana possession and personal cultivation. It’s the first time a legal recreational cannabis bill has ever advanced in the chamber.

New York regulators approved the first 52 conditional recreational marijuana cultivation licenses to prepare the market for launch this year. They also revised medical cannabis home grow rules to remove certain restrictions for patients.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) said he wants to explore “having greenhouse space” to grow marijuana on the rooftops of public housing buildings. The innovative idea could run afoul of the federal government, which provides funding to support the NYC Housing Authority.

A new poll found that 58 percent of Louisiana voters support legalizing marijuana—including a plurality of Republicans.

In a new Marijuana Moment op-ed, Bridge West Consulting’s Ari Hoffnung argues that New York should help ensure the cannabis market isn’t dominated by large companies by offering craft cultivators tax breaks like the ones that craft beer breweries get.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Veterans Affairs finalized rules for a new grants program on suicide prevention services for military veterans that specifically says it won’t support any treatments involving the use of marijuana.

Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) was given a “True Blue” award from Family Research Council Action in part for working to “reject the increasing acceptance of marijuana use.”

Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL) visited a hemp processing facility.

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman tweeted, “I was the only candidate who said it in 2016, and I’ll keep saying it until we make it happen: Legal Weed for PA + USA 🇺🇸✅ Let’s address the systemic racism in our nation’s drug policy + end the racist War on Drugs.” He also tweeted, “Legal marijuana sales in the U.S. are expected to hit $33 billion this year 🤯 ✅ Revenue. ✅ Justice. ✅ Jobs. ✅ Freedom. ✅ Farmers. ✅ Veterans. It’s time PA got a piece of the canna pie.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) office is working to make appointments to the Cannabis Advisory Board, which it says will hold its first meeting next month.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that while launching marijuana sales “took longer than any of us wanted,” he “would rather us be right than fast” and that he wants the state to “be a national model.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Pennsylvania needs to reassess its flawed laws. We should close the background check loophole on guns and legalize recreational marijuana.”

Kentucky lawmakers sent Gov. Andy Beshear (D) a bill to create a medical cannabis research center.

The Tennessee House Criminal Justice Committee held a hearing on a medical cannabis bill.

A New Mexico judge ordered regulators and a cannabis producer to come to an agreement on a testing regimen to allow the company to begin selling its products again following reports of mold on some products.

New York regulators filed emergency rules on hemp cultivation licenses and research authorizations.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting applications for grants programs to fund cleanup and remediation of illicit cannabis cultivation impacts on public land and enhancing watersheds and communities.

Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee 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

Deschutes County, Oregon’s district attorney launched an information website about marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Canadian judge rejected a constitutional challenge to the legal limits for THC while driving.

Oaxaca, Mexico officials published a directive recognizing the rights of cannabis consumers.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “there was a decrease in narcotics prescription filling by two fold six months after starting medical marijuana therapy compared to one year prior to starting medical marijuana therapy” but the “there was no difference in opioid prescription filling rate one year prior to one year post medical marijuana therapy.”

A study concluded that “psilocybin mushrooms are a relatively safe drug, with serious incidents rare and short lasting.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Credit Union National Association sent a letter urging House leaders to fight to include marijuana banking provisions in the final version of the America COMPETES Act.

The R Street Institute published a report analyzing common arguments voiced by opponents of cannabis legalization.

/ BUSINESS

Elon Musk included a reference to 420 in his offer price to buy Twitter.

TerrAscend Corp. is acquiring KISA Enterprises MI, LLC and KISA Holdings, LLC.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. acquired a Maryland property and entered into lease agreement for it with a subsidiary of Maryland Cultivation and Processing, LLC.

Compass Pathways is being pressed by the advocacy organization Freedom to Operate to disclaim, or pledge not to enforce, one of its psilocybin patents.

Leafly Holdings, Inc. appointed a new chief people officer.

/ CULTURE

Machine Gun Kelly co-directed a new stoner comedy called “Good Mourning.”

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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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