NY takes first step to implement legal cannabis (Newsletter: October 6, 2021)

VA elections could determine marijuana law’s fate; New federal hemp bill coming; Santa Cruz removes peyote from psychedelics decrim

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Nebraska activists unveiled the text of two medical cannabis initiatives they hope to qualify for the 2022 ballot.

Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) said she’ll soon introduce a new bill called the Hemp Advancement Act that would end the ban on hemp licensing for people with felony drug convictions and ease potency and testing restrictions for the legal industry.

There’s not a marijuana referendum on Virginia’s ballot next month, but advocates say the fate of legalization—which is subject to reenactment in the 2022 session—will be decided by who voters elect in the gubernatorial and House of Delegates elections.

The Santa Cruz, California City Council removed peyote and other mescaline-containing cacti from a previously passed psychedelics decriminalization measure—the latest development in a dispute dividing drug policy reform activists.

/ FEDERAL

Congress passed, and President Joe Biden signed, a funding bill that extends the Schedule I status of fentanyl-related substances.

The Internal Revenue Service tweeted about its new effort to educate the cannabis industry about tax compliance.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end federal prohibition. It’s long past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and ensure equity for communities—especially those of color—impacted by the War on Drugs.”

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “Passing the SAFE Act is key to supporting legal marijuana markets and ensuring no legal marijuana business is forced to be unbanked. I’m proud to continue to fight for its passage and to support these entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted, “Think the MORE Act repeals all marijuana crimes? Think again, because it creates new marijuana crimes that could result in someone spending the rest of his or her life time in prison and losing the ability to vote and the right to own a firearm.” He also tweeted, “Wait, I thought the MORE Act was going to keep the federal government from putting people in cages for marijuana crimes?! Instead, it creates new crimes and penalties, such as 5 YEARS and $10,000 for EACH offense of possessing untaxed marijuana with the intent to redistribute!”

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA) tweeted, “In recent years, states have led the way on responsibly regulating marijuana. But federal policy still lags behind. It’s time to remove federal criminal prohibitions against marijuana with the MORE Act. #WeWantMORE”

Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “Marijuana should’ve been federally legalized on the Biden administration’s first day.”

The Senate bill to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got one new cosponsor for a total of six.

/ STATES

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “RT if you agree it’s time for Ohio to legalize marijuana and invest the tax revenue back into our communities.” He also spoke at a marijuana expo.

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor spoke about the prospects for passing a medical cannabis bill in a special session.

Connecticut regulators published marijuana business rules. Separately, policies allowing medical cannabis patients to grow their own medicine and to shop at any dispensary took effect.

Nevada laws allowing cannabis consumption lounges, reducing penalties for youth caught with marijuana and allowing veterinarians to administer CBD products took effect.

The Louisiana House Medical Marijuana Commission met.

The Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Substance Abuse and Prevention held a hearing on a bill to enhance felony penalties associated with butane hash oil and related products.

Oregon regulators are recommending continuing a moratorium on marijuana producer licenses until 2024 after inspections of hemp farms found that a “significant number of plants on those grow sites tested positive for excessive levels of THC.”

Oklahoma’s top medical cannabis regulator spoke about oversight efforts during a briefing on the state of the program.

Washington State regulators sent an update on plans to transition to a new marijuana tracking system.

Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board and its advisory subcommittees will hold several meetings this week.

New Jersey regulators will hold a public meeting on October 15.


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

Los Angeles, California regulators began accepting new applications for marijuana business licenses.

Gwinnett County, Georgia  commissioners will vote on a marijuana decriminalization proposal on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s health minister blamed the medical cannabis industry for patients’ lack of access.

Spain’s Senate rejected legislation to regulate cannabis clubs.

Pakistan’s information and broadcasting minister touted the country’s first hemp farm.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “no evidence of an effect of cannabis on Psychoticism or any of its facets in co-twin control models that compared the greater-cannabis-using twin to the lesser-using co-twin.”

A study found that recreational marijuana laws “were not associated with changes in newborn health” and that medical marijuana laws “had no significant effect on maternal substance use disorder hospitalizations nor on newborn health.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted, “It’s time for Congress to legalize marijuana.”

Friends of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and College on Problems of Drug Dependence asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to attach report language to a spending bill criticizing the research roadblocks caused by the Schedule I status of marijuana and other drugs and noting that scientists don’t have access to dispensary cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. completed its acquisition of Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.

Parallel and Ceres Acquisition Corp. terminated their merger agreement that would have taken the former company public.

A subsidiary of Acreage Holdings, Inc. closed on acquisitions of medical cannabis businesses in Ohio.

Cresco Labs Inc. is exiting agreements to distribute third-party branded products in California.

Federal prosecutors plan to appeal the sentence of a former Eaze consultant convicted of defrauding banks into processing cannabis purchases.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Sundial Growers Inc. that alleged the company lied about its ability to quickly export hemp and CBD to European companies.

/ CULTURE

Clint Eastwood and the company that owns the rights to his likeness were awarded $6.1 million in a lawsuit that accused Mediatonas UAB of falsely claiming he endorsed its CBD products.

Former basketball player Allen Iverson spoke about stigmas against marijuana consumers.

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