NY gov details cannabis plan changes (Newsletter: February 17, 2021)

ND marijuana decrim advances; 1st MD legalization hearing; Cannabis jobs grew in 2020; IA psychedelics bill for terminally ill

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There are now more than 600 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2021 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) detailed the changes he is proposing to his original marijuana legalization plan, including allowing delivery services and lowering some penalties.

The North Dakota House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to expand marijuana decriminalization, while defeating a separate measure to put the question of broader cannabis legalization on the ballot.

The Maryland House Judiciary Committee held the legislature’s first hearing on a bill to legalize marijuana in 2021. On the Senate side, a separate cannabis bill is being sponsored by the body’s president and majority leader.

An Iowa Republican representative filed a bill to allow seriously ill patients to use psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, DMT or peyote as alternative treatments after they’ve exhausted traditional legal medicines.

A new report from Leafly found that the marijuana industry added 77,000 jobs over the last year despite the coronavirus pandemic. At a workforce of 321,000, the cannabis sector now outweighs dentists, EMTs and electrical engineers, and is the fastest growing industry in America.

/ FEDERAL

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Drug Testing Advisory Board will discuss marijuana and CBD issues on March 2 and 3.

A former U.S. attorney for Colorado authored an op-ed calling for potency caps on marijuana.

Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) held a web chat about marijuana with Minnesota’s House majority leader.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) tweeted that he is an original cosponsor of a bill that “will help farmers right here in #WI06, and throughout our state, by expanding the market for industrial hemp.”

/ STATES

The Virginia House and Senate both passed amended versions of each other’s marijuana legalization bills, taking another step toward creating a conference committee to craft a final proposal to send to supportive Gov. Ralph Northam (D). Separately, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McCauliffe tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana must be step one. But steps two, three, four, and beyond must be rooted in reinvestment into communities that have been disproportionately impacted by decades of racist policies and practices.”

New York’s Assembly majority leader spoke about the need for an ongoing stream of marijuana legalization revenue to communities impacted by the war on drugs.

The Minnesota House Health Finance & Policy Committee moved to potentially include a bill to add raw flower to the state’s medical cannabis program in omnibus health legislation.

The New Mexico Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee approved a bill to defelonize drug possession.

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on a bill to address concerns related to provisions concerning underage people in marijuana legalization enabling legislation. Meanwhile, the chairman plans to file an additional cannabis bill as a “fallback” option.

The Indiana Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee approved a bill to allow the state attorney general to investigate whether a local prosecutor is “noncompliant” by refusing to prosecute marijuana or other cases.

The Florida Professions & Public Health Subcommittee held a hearing on medical cannabis issues.

A Tennessee senator introduced a bill to stop employers from discriminating against workers due to positive marijuana tests.

Iowa regulators will consider issues related to the state’s limited medical cannabis program on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 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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/ LOCAL

The Gwinnett County, Georgia Commission is considering a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabis may have a positive impact on the cytokine and clinical profiles in cases with multiple sclerosis.

A study of rats found that CBD “efficiently suppressed the acquisition and expression of methamphetamine-induced conditioned place preference” and that it “could be a beneficial compound to treat drug abuse.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Indiana Democratic Party tweeted, “It’s time to decriminalize simple cannabis possession. The moment our elected leaders do that will be the moment we bring more economic opportunity to Indiana and our families.”

The Drug Policy Alliance published a series of new reports looking at how the war on drugs affects education, employment, housing, child welfare, immigration and public benefits.

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute published a report on structuring marijuana legalization in Washington, D.C. as a reparative tool for black people.

A report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy argues that marijuana policy will remain racially inequitable without federal reform.

/ BUSINESS

Eaze’s former CEO is facing federal charges in a case that accuses two other businessmen of tricking banks into processing credit card payments for marijuana businesses.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $33.8 million and a net loss of $68.9 million.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc reported quarterly revenue of $148.2 million and a net loss of $29.1 million.

HEXO Corp. is acquiring Zenabis Global Inc.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. submitted an initial application to list on the Nasdaq.

Cresco Labs acquired four Verdant Creations medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio.

Sundial Growers Inc. made a $22 million investment in Indiva Limited.

Maine’s monthly recreational marijuana sales have more than doubled since the market opened in October.

The Wall Street Journal took a look at real estate issues in the marijuana industry.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Chris Webber is launching a $100 million private equity cannabis fund with JW Asset Management, LLC.

Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil warned CBD companies to stop falsely claiming that they’ve endorsed their products.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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