New Senate cannabis strategy floated (Newsletter: April 27, 2021)


Lawmakers want hemp in US Botanic Garden; VA gov on marijuana resentencing; MT cannabis implementation bill; Poll: PA legalization support

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Knowing that it’ll be hard to get 60 votes to pass marijuana legalization, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) seems open to attaching the issue to a must-pass budget reconciliation bill that would only need a simple majority—an option that is actively being pushed by cannabis reform groups. But it’s a complicated process, and all 50 Democrats aren’t even on board yet.

Reps. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are asking the U.S. Botanic Garden to display hemp plants. “The plants might be ideally located in the ‘medicinal plants’ section,” they wrote in the letter—which was sent on the marijuana holiday 4/20.

“Hemp has a long history of cultivation in the U.S. Hemp was grown by most of the Founders, and in 2018, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate harvested its first hemp crop since 1799. All ships in every war prior to World War II had ropes and sails made from hemp grown in the U.S. Until the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which was found to be unconstitutional in 1969, hemp was a major agricultural commodity in the U.S.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said lawmakers should work next year on resentencing legislation for people previously convicted of marijuana offenses now that it has been legalized.

The Montana House of Representatives initially rejected and then revived the Senate’s changes to a bill to implement the voter-approved legalization of marijuana. That means more floor debate is on the way on Tuesday.

A new poll shows that 58% of Pennsylvanians now support the “complete legalization” of marijuana. That’s the highest-ever level of support in the annual survey and the eighth increase in a row.

/ FEDERAL

The federal trial into allegations that Fall River, Massachusetts’s former mayor extorted marijuana companies began, with prosecutors granting immunity to the cannabis firms in exchange for their testimony.

Agriculture Sec. Tom Vilsack said his department will work to coordinate with the Department of Justice on hemp implementation.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) tweeted, “It’s time to make marijuana legal at the federal level. The country should follow in Colorado’s footsteps. This is a civil rights issue.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again suggested that stimulus money is being spent on providing homeless people with marijuana and other drugs.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and cosponsors filed a bill to lift restrictions on receiving SNAP and TANF benefits for people with prior felony drug convictions.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) sent an email to NORML’s list about his marijuana banking bill.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “If you celebrated 4/20 this week, remember this: Marijuana legalization is about racial justice. It’s time we #LegalizeIt, expunge all prior offenses for use, and repair the damage done to communities of color.”

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) tweeted, “In Congress, I am working to reform outdated cannabis policies. Last week, I voted for the SAFE Banking Act to ensure that cannabis-related businesses, in areas where it is legal, can have the same access to financial institutions as other businesses.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “The Biden Administration should be taking action to remove Marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 drugs.”

/ STATES

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed a hemp bill that includes delta-8-THC in the definition of allowable THC limits.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) spoke about the benefits of legalizing marijuana.

A spokesperson for Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) explained her reluctance to enter into conversations with other states about interstate marijuana commerce.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “A relatively minor charge or conviction, like marijuana or alcohol possession, can become a permanent stain that limits a Virginian’s job, educational, and housing opportunities. I’ve worked to expand opportunities for record expungement and will continue to do so as AG.”

The South Dakota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case challenging the voter-approved marijuana legalization initiative on Wednesday.

The Nevada Senate Committee on Legislative Operations and Elections held a hearing on a resolution to conduct an interim study on the state’s hemp industry.

Here’s a look at cannabis bills that Colorado lawmakers are still considering this session.

Vermont regulators clarified that delta-8-THC products are not legal under the state’s hemp program.

New Mexico’s top marijuana regulator spoke about the process of implementing legalization.

West Virginia regulators tweeted about how patients can register for the medical cannabis program.

Florida’s top cannabis regulator will hold a town hall meeting 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.

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/ LOCAL

Omaha, Nebraska’s mayor said she supports legalizing medical cannabis.

Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor tweeted about his moves to pardon thousands of past marijuana convictions and call on the state to decriminalize cannabis.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s Food Safety Authority issued a warning about marijuana-infused foods.

The European Commission hosted a webinar on hemp.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “THC and CBD have potential in the treatment of neuropathic pain and comorbid insomnia.”

A study found that ” CBD can induce neuroprotective effects by modulating neurogenesis” and ” it can provide a promising therapeutic approach to improve cognitive performance following chronic exposure to psychostimulant drugs, including meth.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Cannabis should be legal, but until it is, expungement, which clears criminal records, is an important step that moves us closer to righting the wrongs caused by our criminal justice system.”

/ BUSINESS

Harborside Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $12.6 million and net loss and comprehensive loss of $5.4 million.

The Molson Coors and HEXO Corp. joint venture Truss Beverage Co. released six new cannabis-infused drinks in Canada.

Cresco Labs announced that its final base shelf prospectus has been received by the securities commissions of all Canadian provinces and that a corresponding registration statement has been deemed effective by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced the cancellation of warrants to acquire 97,785,140 Class B Subordinate Voting Shares of the company.

/ CULTURE

Real Time With Bill Maher aired a fake ad for psilocybin therapy.

Glenn Close posted a video of CBD cream being rubbed on her feet.

Seth Rogen spoke about his use of marijuana and psilocybin.

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