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VA gov files cannabis legalization bill (Newsletter: January 14, 2021)

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NM gov: legal marijuana a 2021 priority; Top TX lawmakers: Cannabis expansion on table; State drug decrim bills; Study: Marijuana reduces opioid use

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Cannabis in 2021: Will federal prohibition finally fall? Will growing momentum at the state level influence national policy changes? Which states will be next to experiment with reform?

If you support us on Patreon, you’ll not just support us as we dig into these questions but you’ll have access to tools like our Bill Tracker to help you keep an eye on developments yourself.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and top House and Senate lawmakers filed new legislation to legalize marijuana.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that legalizing marijuana is on her priority list for the 2021 legislative session.

  • It will “establish an essential new revenue source for the state and employment source for tens of thousands of New Mexicans.”

The top lawmakers in Texas’s House and Senate—including notoriously anti-marijuana Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R)—say that an expansion to the state’s limited medical cannabis program is on the table for 2021.

Lawmakers in New York and Virginia have filed legislation to decriminalize drugs or study the issue, with additional California and Washington bills expected soon—showing that broader reform beyond marijuana is gaining momentum following Oregon’s decriminalization vote in November.

A new study found that medical cannabis is associated with reduced use of opioids and other prescription drugs, as well as increases in quality of life.

  • “The high rate of cannabis use for chronic pain and the subsequent reductions in opioid use suggest that cannabis may play a harm reduction role in the opioid overdose crisis, potentially improving the quality of life of patients and overall public health.”

/ FEDERAL

The House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment report against President Trump notes that some of his supporters smoked marijuana during their raid on the Capitol.

/ STATES

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said he looks forward to working with lawmakers to pass a marijuana legalization bill this session.

The Illinois House of Representatives did not take up a Senate-passed measure to create 75 additional marijuana business licenses, killing it.

Nevada’s attorney general participated in a Public Health Cannabis and Vaping Summit.

Colorado regulators adopted emergency coronavirus rules allowing marijuana businesses to accept orders from customers using mobile devices from outside of the premises.

New Mexico lawmakers plan to file legislation this year to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs and defelonize drug possession.

Several Connecticut lawmakers discussed their views on marijuana legalization.

Here’s a look at marijuana legislation that Maine lawmakers may consider this year.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 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

The district attorney for Georgia’s Western Circuit is dropping marijuana and drug possession cases.

Portland, Maine officials shut down a marijuana testing lab for operating without a license.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jersey’s government issued its first medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that patients “reported that cannabis was a useful adjunct and substitute for prescription opioids in treating their chronic pain and had the added benefit of improving the ability to function and quality of life.”

A marijuana cultivation study found that “no [light intensity] treatment effects on cannabinoid potency, while there were minor LI treatment effects on terpene potency.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Jenny Cudd, who participated in the recent riot at the U.S. Capitol, reportedly has ownership stakes in several cannabis businesses.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp and Molson Coors Beverage Company launched a new line of non-alcoholic, sparkling CBD beverages through their joint venture Truss CBD USA.

Valley Harvest LLC and Nug Farms are being sued for allegedly wrongfully terminating workers who complained about coronavirus-related policies.

2015 Halladay Wellness, Inc. is being sued for allegedly sending unsolicited text messages.

Columbia Care Inc. announced it closed a bought deal public offering worth proceeds of proceeds of C$149.5 million.

Colorado 2020 marijuana sales surpassed $2 billion as of November.

/ CULTURE

Jimmy Fallon joked about the prospects for legalizing marijuana in New York.

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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.)

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Senate infrastructure deal includes cannabis research expansion (Newsletter: August 3, 2021)

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CO marijuana tax ballot measure; LA cannabis decrim takes effect; CT legalization revenue projections

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Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Senate’s new bipartisan infrastructure deal has a provision intended to let researchers study marijuana that consumers are actually buying from dispensaries—instead of just government-grown cannabis. The House already passed a similar measure.

Colorado voters could decide on an initiative to increase marijuana taxes to fund education programs this November after an advocacy group appeared to turn in more than enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot.

Louisiana’s new marijuana decriminalization law officially took effect. The lawmaker who sponsored it is partnering with advocates to educate the public about what they can and can’t do without being jailed. They also say it’s time for broader cannabis legalization.

Connecticut’s Office of Fiscal Analysis released updated projections on marijuana tax revenue for the next five years.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is funding research to support model state legislation on drug harm reduction, equitable enforcement and removing stigmas.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. attorney for Massachusetts has declined to prosecute some drug cases and has endorsed safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Naval Submarine Base New London posted pun-filled marijuana warnings for sailors.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) cited the Washington, D.C. police chief’s recent remarks linking marijuana sales to violence in a Senate floor speech.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “We cannot legalize recreational use of marijuana without expunging the records of those convicted at the federal level.”

/ STATES

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Joe Jaworski said legalizing marijuana is one of his priorities.

Ohio House Democrats tweeted about a newly filed marijuana legalization bill.

Michigan regulators proposed new draft marijuana rules. They also published an advisory bulletin about keeping cannabis edibles away from children.

Illinois regulators are being sued by marijuana dispensary license applicants who claim their proposals were improperly scored.

Massachusetts’s treasurer is accepting applications to serve on the Cannabis Advisory Board.

Oregon’s marijuana regulatory body officially changed its name to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

California tax officials said they can’t disclose data on cannabis-related tax deductions and credits due to privacy rules.

Maine regulators published an overview of hemp products and how differing regulations apply to them.

The South Dakota legislature’s Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee will meet on Wednesday.

Arkansas regulators will discuss how to select two additional medical cannabis dispensary business license winners 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

Jamestown, New York is moving to end marijuana testing for most city employees.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Israeli government removed blockages on medical cannabis exports.

The UK government responded to a recent report on drug policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD may exert anti-inflammatory effects in individuals with” cocaine use disorder.

A study found that “in proportion to their abundance, Cannabis sativa plants were consumed by sand flies much more frequently than expected (i.e., C. sativa is probably highly attractive to sand flies).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is asking lawmakers to revise a law that it says ​​could lead to charges for officers who search or arrest minors suspected of marijuana possession or underage drinking.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums announced new staffers.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. pre-announced quarterly revenue of $47.7 million and a net loss of $11.4 million.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. acquired Mobley Pain Management and Wellness Center, LLC and Canwell Processing, LLC, which both held contractual interests in Summit Medical Compassion Center, Inc.

urban-gro, Inc. acquired MJ12 Design Studio.

A UK patent examiner said Compass Pathways Limited’s psilocybin claims are not inventive.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. is rebranding its Connecticut dispensaries to The Botanist.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg spoke about the mainstreaming of the cannabis industry.

Comedian Bill Burr spoke to Conan O’Brien about how using psychedelic mushrooms helped calm him down.

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Cannabis banking senator wants dispensary welfare ban (Newsletter: August 2, 2021)

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RI speaker: “no consensus” on legal marijuana; OH legalization bill filed; CA lawmaker pushes feds on cannabis in hospitals; Hemp lawsuit damages

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)—who is the lead GOP cosponsor of cannabis banking legislation—filed a new bill that has a provision that would prevent people from accessing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits at marijuana dispensaries. The relevant section of the legislation is titled, “Welfare For Needs Not Weed.”

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there’s still “no consensus” on the details for marijuana legalization between the two legislative chambers and the governor, but it’s “workable” to reach a deal on the “priority” issue by a potential fall special session.

Ohio lawmakers formally introduced a new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana sales—the first-ever filed in the state legislature. Meanwhile, activists are also pursuing statewide and local cannabis ballot measures.

A California senator is asking to meet with the federal secretary of health and human services and Medicare and Medicaid officials to get clarity on whether hospitals that let terminally ill patients use medical marijuana risk losing their funding.

A Montana jury awarded $65 million in damages—the second-highest amount ever in the state—to 25 hemp farmers who say they were victims of negligence, fraud and deceit perpetrated by American and Canadian businessmen who failed to fulfill contracts.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prisoners who were released to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic—including some with marijuana convictions—will have to go back behind bars under a decision made by Biden administration lawyers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a medical cannabis business owner’s appeal of federal drug convictions, ruling that he did not comply with Michigan law.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC.) filed a bill to expand eligibility for expungement for first-time, low-level federal drug possession offenses.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Marijuana reform is backed by Americans of all backgrounds, in red states and blue states. We can come together to get this done.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about the growth in support of her psychedelics research amendment from the last vote on it two years ago.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) tweeted about the Westchester, New York district attorney dismissing marijuana cases, saying, “Grateful for @WestchesterDA’s bold leadership in taking this long-overdue step to end the racist war on drugs in Westchester. Congress needs to follow her lead and legalize cannabis nationwide.”

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he still opposes legalizing marijuana.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the state’s agriculture commissioner, responded to an op-ed from two lawmakers, saying, “It’s long past time to right the wrongs when it comes to historic discrimination against farmers of color, including the state’s medical marijuana licensing.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham tweeted about an editorial cartoon that joked about his support for cannabis reform, saying, “Love it! But in all seriousness, ending the prohibition of marijuana is no joke. It’ll provide a safer alternative to opioids, end the racial disparities in our drug laws, bring in hundreds of millions in new revenue each year & allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime!”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a city’s right to not enter into a host community agreement with a marijuana retail operation, but urged lawmakers to consider how the local approval process may be preventing the state from meeting its equity goals.

Missouri activists said they need to fix a clerical issue with their recently filed marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Washington, D.C.’s police chief reiterated his views about marijuana sales being tied to violence.

Oklahoma medical cannabis regulators are being sued for allegedly violating open meeting laws.

Colorado regulators are holding work group meetings this month to inform implementation of new marijuana rules.

Arkansas regulators issued guidelines for homemade hemp food production.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on revised proposed marijuana rules on Friday.


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

The Arcata, California City Council’s Public Safety Committee advanced a measure to decriminalize psychedelics.

The Santa Fe County, New Mexico Commission approved marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Cayman Islands’s deputy premier said the government is committed to decriminalizing marijuana possession, but not full legalization.

Belize’s minister of home affairs said establishing a legal marijuana industry is a practical move that would bring benefits in several areas.

An Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly committee held a hearing on a drug decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “most respondents report cannabis is very or somewhat helpful for their” multiple sclerosis.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mississippi voters oppose the state Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the voter-approved medical cannabis measure, 68 percent to 28 percent.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board said city officials should not allow marijuana businesses in the central business district.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to reject MJ Munchies Inc.’s request to register “Half-Baked” as a trademark.

4Front Ventures Corp’.s co-founder and Mission Dispensaries President Kris Krane is stepping down from his full-time job with the company.

Jushi Holdings Inc. received a $14.4 million arbitration award in a dispute against San Felasco Nurseries, Inc.

A securities violations case against former CannTrust Holdings Inc. executives has been remanded until September 20.

The Parent Company announced that certain insiders voluntarily entered into lock-up agreements with respect to their shares.

Emjay launched a marijuana delivery app on iOs.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. and Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences completed the first of three collaborative studies to research the chemical profile of full spectrum hemp extracts.

/ CULTURE

Soulja Boy launched his own cannabis brand.

The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is endorsing congressional legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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.
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House approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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BREAKING: Journalism is often consumed for free, but costs money to produce! While this newsletter is proudly sent without cost to you, our ability to send it each day depends on the financial support of readers who can afford to give it. So if you’ve got a few dollars to spare each month and believe in the work we do, please consider joining us on Patreon today.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


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 Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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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.
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