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SD lawmakers advance legal cannabis bill (Newsletter: October 28, 2021)

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Health secretary says Biden admin won’t block safe consumption sites for drugs; NJ gov open to marijuana homegrow; Lawmakers push against kratom ban

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Health and Human Services Sec. Xavier Becerra indicated that the Biden administration won’t block safe consumption sites for illegal drugs. But it’s primarily a Justice Department issue, and a brief due in federal court next week will make the government’s position clear.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) is “open-minded” to legalizing home cultivation of marijuana, saying he’s “not sure there’s a good answer” as to why the state still criminalizes recreational consumers or medical cannabis patients who grow their own.

The South Dakota legislature’s Marijuana Interim Study Committee approved a draft bill to legalize recreational cannabis. Meanwhile, activists are moving ahead with plans to put the marijuana issue back on the ballot in 2022.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) sent a letter urging the Biden administration to resist efforts to internationally ban kratom.

/ FEDERAL

Attorney General Merrick Garland discussed his support for eliminating the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) delivered a Senate floor speech about the need to equalize crack and powder cocaine penalties.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Between a lack of basic banking services and issues accessing capital to facing a constant threat of violence to their business and employees, legitimate cannabis business owners face challenge after challenge. 👏We need #SAFEBanking NOW.”

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana isn’t just the right thing to do — it will help to create jobs and grow our economy.”

Missouri Democratic congressional candidate Henry Martin tweeted, “It’s well past time to end the war on drugs. This type of policing is just nonsense that makes the community distrust you. We need criminal justice reform and we need it now. Legally operating small businesses should not be having their coffers raided!”

/ STATES

Oregon Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nick Kristof decried “a politics that has treated addiction not as a disease but as a crime” in an ad announcing his candidacy.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana will not only benefit our economy and justice system but it will also shift the negative stigma around it for folks to use, especially those who are fighting painful illnesses.” Separately, the state’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Iowa’s attorney general joined counterparts in other states in sending a warning about marijuana-infused foods that look like major brands.

Mississippi’s House speaker said lawmakers may have to take up medical cannabis legislation in January instead of in a special session as planned.

The Virginia legislature’s Cannabis Oversight Commission created a subcommittee to draft recommendations on potentially expediting recreational marijuana sales.

Vermont’s House Judiciary Committee chairwoman said it’s “important to try to repair and mitigate the harm that the war on cannabis has caused to communities of color.”

Oklahoma’s top medical cannabis regulator did a Facebook Live chat with an industry trade association.

Colorado regulators proposed marijuana rules and will hold a hearing on Monday.

Louisiana regulators are moving to allow hemp-derived delta-8 THC in food.

South Dakota regulators released the application form for medical cannabis establishments.

A Missouri judge sent a pregnant woman to prison for smoking marijuana while on probation.

Montana regulators spoke about ongoing efforts to enact marijuana rules.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed marijuana manufacturing, retail and courier rules on Thursday.

Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Thursday.

Washington State’s Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force will meet on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said he is finally moving ahead with safe consumption sites for illegal drugs because the city “could finally have the kind of potential cooperation we needed” from the state and federal governments.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors voted to let certain marijuana businesses operate while their license applications are pending.

Los Angeles, California regulators rescinded a December 31 deadline for marijuana businesses to submit modification requests.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Activists in the Cayman Islands launched a proposed marijuana decriminalization referendum.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “wearing of developed functional hemp clothing with CBD extracts applied on the fabric surface was safe and caused improvement of skin condition, which can have an influence on slowing down of skin aging.”

A review indicated that general practitioners “and hospital physicians from various specialties frequently experience patient demands for medical cannabis and to some degree show openness to using it.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Former Drug Policy Alliance federal lobbyist Bill Piper passed away.

/ BUSINESS

PharmaCann and Curaleaf joined Columbia Care in offering whole-plant medical cannabis flower sales in New York.

Workers at a PharmaCann cultivation and processing facility in Orange County, New York ratified a three-year union contract.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson is launching a new cannabis company called Tyson 2.0.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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