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VA ‘looking at’ cannabis policy change for veterans (Newsletter: November 24, 2021)



Key senators push marijuana banking in NDAA; St. Louis decrim passes unanimously; Bipartisan AGs want federal cannabis clarity

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Veterans Affairs Sec. Denis McDonough said VA is “looking at” the possibility of a medical cannabis policy change and has discussed it with the White House after having a “profound” discussion with a veteran who says marijuana saved his life—but feels constrained by current federal law.

Five bipartisan members of the Senate Armed Services Committee sent a letter asking leaders to include House-passed marijuana banking language in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Bipartisan attorneys general from Arizona and Vermont talked about the need for “cooperative federalism” in marijuana policy that sets general guidelines but respects the rights of states to set their own legalization laws.

The St. Louis, Missouri Board of Aldermen gave unanimous final passage to a measure decriminalizing marijuana possession and cultivation of up to six plants under local law.


A former U.S. attorney for South Carolina authored an op-ed endorsing a federal marijuana legalization bill.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “A majority of Americans – regardless of political party – support legalizing marijuana. It’s time to get this done on the federal level.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “Black and white Americans are about equally likely to use cannabis, but Black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for it. To start righting this wrong, I’m calling on President Biden to pardon everyone convicted of nonviolent federal cannabis offenses.”

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said Democratic-led marijuana legalization bills “will not pass both chambers” and that her new legislation is a good compromise.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jesse Philippe tweeted, “It is radical and authoritarian to support locking people away in prison for cannabis use.”


Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Downing tweeted, “Despite the history of embedded racism in cannabis criminalization, profits of the now-legal cannabis industry flow almost exclusively to white people. Those harmed by the era [of] criminalization must have access to opportunity within the industry… A Downing Admin will also ensure that no less than 50% of new marijuana licenses are reserved for social and economic equity applicants.”

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “Ohio is in a rut and we deserve a comeback. I’ve got the plans to do it:… 🍃  Legalize marijuana & invest that tax revenue back into our communities…”

A former New Hampshire Senate minority leader authored an op-ed on the need to legalize marijuana.

An Illinois judge ruled that the smell of marijuana is not probable cause to search a vehicle.

Vermont regulators released proposed marijuana rules.

Michigan regulators are being sued over a recent recall of marijuana products.

Arizona regulators are facing a second lawsuit over the marijuana social equity program.

South Dakota regulators issued the state’s first medical cannabis patient cards.

New Jersey regulators published a list of impact zones and economically disadvantaged areas for marijuana licensing.

Colorado regulators released updated demographic information on marijuana business licensees.

Florida regulators posted a notice about a request from Trulieve, Inc. to waive a rule requiring medical cannabis drink powders to be individually wrapped.

New York misdemeanor and felony marijuana charges have fallen dramatically since legalization took effect.

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.

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The Billings, Montana City Council acted on medical cannabis rules.

Brattleboro, Vermont  police issued a warning about apparent fentanyl-laced marijuana.


Mexico’s Senate majority leader said he wants to have a draft of a marijuana legalization bill ready this week or next week and pass it by December 15.

Malawi’s agriculture minister appointed Mike Tyson as the country’s “cannabis branch ambassador.”

A UK member of Parliament is stepping up pressure on the government to reschedule psilocybin.


A study concluded that “cannabidiol induces cell death in human lung cancer cells and cancer stem cells.”

A case series indicated that “titrated plant extract preparation of medical cannabis may be useful to control treatment-resistant pain and epilepsy in” pediatric palliative care patients.


Marijuana Moment, NORML, Marijuana Policy Project and others will participate in a BillTrack50 webinar on cannabis legislation on December 7.


Organigram Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $24.9 million and a net loss of $26 million.

Curaleaf Inc. is facing another lawsuit over allegedly selling mislabelled CBD drops that contained THC.

A California court ruled in favor of MedMen Enterprises Inc. in a lawsuit brought against the company by its former chief financial officer.

Flow Cannabis Co.’s founders are threatening not to pay increased California marijuana taxes.


Shaquille O’Neal is suing former partners in a marijuana business venture.

“Lady Buds” is a new documentary about women in the cannabis industry.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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