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White House, pressed to free cannabis prisoners, touts research (Newsletter: April 21, 2022)

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Top Senate Dem: Pass marijuana banking; Feds sued for gun ban; Brands celebrate 4/20; NV gov’s MM op-ed; DC worker protections; Candidate smokes in ad

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, when pressed on President Joe Biden’s failure to follow through on his campaign pledge to decriminalize marijuana and free prisoners, instead touted moves to expand cannabis research.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)—the Senate’s third-highest-ranking Democrat—said getting marijuana banking legislation passed through the large-scale America COMPETES Act is one of her “top priorities,” noting it’ll take much longer to work out broader legalization that Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and others are holding out for.

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried, who is also running as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s ban on allowing medical cannabis patients to purchase or possess guns.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) wrote in a new Marijuana Moment op-ed for 4/20 that legalization is boosting the state’s economy, funding schools and furthering equity.

  • “Cannabis has the potential to set Nevada’s economy ablaze,” he says in the pun-filled piece.

The Washington, D.C. City Council unanimously advanced a bill to ban most workplaces from firing or otherwise punishing employees for marijuana use. A vote on final passage is scheduled for next month.

Ohio representatives filed a bill that mirrors the text of a voter-initiated marijuana legalization proposal. If the legislature doesn’t pass it by May 28, activists can collect more signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.

Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott, currently the mayor of Hammond, smoked marijuana in a campaign ad—the second Senate contender to do so this cycle.

Elected officials, political party organizations and government agencies across the U.S. took the time on 4/20 to speak out on the need for cannabis reform.

Numerous mainstream brands, organizations and celebrities used 4/20 as a hook to launch new campaigns and deals.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) coauthored an op-ed with the chairman of the ​​National Hispanic Cannabis Council about the need to enact legalization.

The bipartisan co-chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus said they are “eager to work with the Senate to send transformative, impactful cannabis reform legislation to President Biden’s desk.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted,”The #SAFEBankingAct will help make our communities safer from the increased risk of violence facing cannabis businesses and their employees. To my Senate colleagues: let’s save lives and pass #SAFEBanking now.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “Prescription Drugs can be poison. Marijuana can help. Why won’t Democrats, with full control of the government, end the era of marijuana prohibition?”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “Let’s keep up this momentum and destigmatize medical marijuana use among #veterans.”

Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate William Compton tweeted, “Legalizing Marijuana is something I fully support and will fight for in congress.”

/ STATES

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D) said she is exploring pardoning people with past marijuana convictions.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) unveiled a new round of educational marijuana public service advertisements.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said he’s “certainly for felonizing any possession of fentanyl.”

Nebraska Gov.Pete Ricketts (R) reacted to Snoop Dogg holding a concert in the state on 4/20, saying, “I do recall from my younger days that smoking marijuana at a concert is not brand new.”

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) tweeted about the medical cannabis sales tax holiday the city is holding.

The New Hampshire Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to reject a House-passed bill to legalize marijuana and conduct sales in state-run stores.

The California Senate Governance and Finance Committee approved a bill to require cities to allow delivery of legal medical cannabis. Separately, the Assembly Labor Committee workplace advanced legislation on workplace protections for cannabis consumers. And, the Assembly Business Professions Committee approved a bill to allow veterinarians to recommend medical marijuana for animals.

The Wisconsin Senate Insurance, Licensing and Forestry Committee held a hearing on a medical cannabis bill.

The chairman of the Kansas Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee said passing a medical cannabis bill this year is still “doable.”

Two Tennessee marijuana reform bills were pulled from House subcommittee calendars.

Utah regulators sent an update about the medical cannabis program.

Nevada regulators will hold a webinar on marijuana tracking issues on Thursday.

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


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

New York City’s mayor proposed a $4.8 million investment in his budget to promote the growth of the cannabis industry.

Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor issued blanket pardons for closed marijuana possession convictions.

Detroit, Michigan officials beat a federal lawsuit that claimed they were wrong to determine that a proposed medical cannabis business was too close to a church.

The Clark County, Nevada Commission held a meeting to discuss marijuana social consumption lounges.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “the majority of patients experience decreased fatigue from consumption of cannabis flower consumed in vivo.”

A study of potential rapid antidepressants found that “there were no serious [adverse events] related to psilocybin and LSD administration” and that “most AEs were expected, manageable and transient.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. adults found that 66 percent support legalizing marijuana.

The Better Business Bureau issued an alert about CBD-related scams.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly executives rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ.

Roundhill Investments launched a cannabis-focussed exchange-traded fund.

TILT Holdings Inc. filed a Registration Statement on Form 10 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. consolidated its ownership in Story of PA CR, LLC.

A subsidiary of Cresco Labs is being sued by a former employee who says she was wrongfully terminated following an injury.

Arkansas dispensaries sold $24.1 million worth of medical cannabis in March.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen clarified that the Pineapple Express shake that Jack in the Box’s launched on 4/20 has nothing to do with the movie of that name or its creators.

Bill Maher said he stopped consuming marijuana edibles after having two bad experiences.

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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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