DEA whines about hemp legalization (Newsletter: March 5, 2021)

HI & MN legal marijuana bills advance; AL decrim vote; Senate report slams DEA research block; IA psilocybin hearing

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We monitored hours of legislative testimony across several states yesterday to bring you today’s lead articles, but because of our reporting it should only take you a few minutes to get up to speed. If you value the time Marijuana Moment’s work saves you, please start a Patreon pledge of $25/month to support even more coverage from our growing team of cannabis journalists—plus access to our Bill Tracker.

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The U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control released a report on marijuana that expresses concerns about youth use and impaired driving—and calls for federal officials to consider recommending THC potency limits for states— but also highlights some benefits of legalization and criticizes the Drug Enforcement Administration for blocking research.

  • The panel, co-chaired by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Cornyn (R-TX), recognizes the “increasing popularity” of legal marijuana, says the “U.S. cannabis industry is thriving” and admits that “cultivation and sales have largely shifted from Mexican cartels to U.S.-based businesses operating in licit, state markets.”

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said he would sign a marijuana legalization bill if lawmakers sent him one. While he has some concerns, he noted that medical experts say legal cannabis can reduce “drug-type problems” amid the opioid overdose crisis.

The Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Ways & Means Committees approved a marijuana legalization bill, sending it to the Senate floor as its next step. Lawmakers also advanced back-up legislation to expand the state’s existing cannabis decriminalization law.

The Minnesota House Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. It’s the third panel to clear the measure in as many weeks.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession. Last week, the full Senate passed a medical cannabis bill.

An Iowa House Public Safety subcommittee held a first-ever hearing on a bill to decriminalize psilocybin. People who have benefited from using the psychedelic testified, as did a therapist, but lawmakers did not advance the legislation.


A top National Security Council official reportedly told Mexican officials that the two countries need a “new strategy” in the war on drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration warned about scammers impersonating agents demanding money or personal information.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted, in response to an image of the back of former House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) book, “????????????????420”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about plans to introduce psychedelics research legislation.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said she is “determined” to enact justice-focused marijuana legislation.


Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “While other states move forward on marijuana, Florida Republicans want to restrict access and force a new tax on patients. We should be improving our medical program and legalize marijuana for adult use.”

The Georgia Senate approved a bill to clarify the definition of hemp processing.

The South Dakota Senate Health and Human Services Committee amended a bill to delay implementation of the state’s medical cannabis law to add an affirmative defense for patients who are charged in the meantime. Meanwhile, the House State Affairs Committee killed a bill to enact regulations allowing recreational marijuana sales.

The Idaho House Agricultural Affairs Committee approved a hemp legalization bill.

The Missouri Senate Seniors, Families, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee held a hearing on a bill to prohibit family courts from discriminating against a parent or custodian for using medical cannabis.

The chairman of the Washington, D.C. Council said the body will be ready to pass marijuana legalization “as soon as Congress lifts its prohibition.”

Colorado Senate Republicans tweeted, “Democrats are pushing a bill to spend $4 million on growing the marijuana industry instead of helping currently struggling businesses.” They also tweeted supportively about the advancement of legislation to let students access cannabis medicines at schools.

Wyoming representatives introduced a marijuana legalization bill.

A Maine representative is filing a bill to allow small medical cannabis providers to form cooperatives.

Alaska regulators are considering doubling the amount of THC allowed in marijuana edibles. Separately, a member of the Marijuana Control Board was not reappointed.

Oklahoma generated $5.5 million in medical cannabis tax revenue in February.

Oregon regulators will consider changes to streamline marijuana licensing on March 15.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 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 Las Vegas, Nevada City Council voted to allow marijuana dispensaries to have drive-thru windows.

A lawsuit has been filed against Detroit, Michigan’s residency rules for marijuana business owners.


Fiji’s attorney general said the government has no plans to legalize medical cannabis.


A study found that “lifetime cannabis use, 12‐month cannabis use and 12‐month cannabis use frequency were not associated with the incidence of hypertension.”


The Democratic Party of Virginia tweeted about the legislature’s passage of a marijuana legalization bill.

Representatives of the American Medical Association, New York State PTA and law enforcement agencies held a press conference to express opposition to legalizing marijuana in New York.


Eaze’s vice president of operations testified under an immunity agreement in a federal criminal case that he worked with a defendant to disguise billing for marijuana transactions from banks and credit card companies.

Columbia Care Inc. preliminarily reported $87 million in quarterly combined revenue.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. entered into an option purchase agreement with Stanley Brothers USA Holdings, Inc.

Terra Tech Corp. entered an agreement to acquire UMBRLA, Inc.

MedMen’s cofounders are reportedly now working for Coastal Dispensary.

Schwazze completed its acquisition of the five remaining Star Buds dispensaries in Colorado that it did not already own.

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