WY lawmakers approve legal cannabis (Newsletter: March 15, 2021)

NY marijuana negotiations proceed; VT drug decrim bill; Fmr. GOP congressional staffer calls for cannabis cooperation; CO sales

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said marijuana legalization negotiations are “making good progress” despite his mounting scandals and that his staff would be “working on it over this weekend.”

The Wyoming House Judiciary Committee approved a Republican-led bill to legalize marijuana that is sponsored by the panel’s chairman and the House speaker. A former U.S. senator and Rhode Island governor who now lives in Wyoming testified in support.

Lawmakers in Vermont filed a new bill to decriminalize drugs. This follows separate psychedelics-focused legislation that was introduced in the state last month.

In a new op-ed for Marijuana Moment, the former Republican staff director for the House Judiciary Committee calls for bipartisan cooperation on federal cannabis reform.

  • “We should think of cannabis reform as a process rather than a moment.”

Colorado retailers sold more than $187 million in legal marijuana products in January. The state has now surpassed $10 billion in total sales since legal cannabis commerce began in 2014.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration sent a letter warning Cannafyl to stop claiming its CBD products can treat or prevent coronavirus.

The National Labor Relations Board is considering recognizing workers for a Denver marijuana grow operation owned by TweedLeaf for a union certification vote with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers Union Local 26 chapter.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “We must finally end the federal prohibition on marijuana, advance criminal justice reform, and ensure equity for communities impacted by the War on Drugs. That is why I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden on legislation for comprehensive marijuana reform.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), in a floor speech, criticized assistant attorney general nominee Vanita Gupta for her prior stance on decriminalizing drugs.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said, in criticizing the new stimulus legislation, that “your money is also being sent to San Francisco where it will be spent giving alcohol and marijuana to the homeless.”

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-PA) said he supports marijuana banking legislation and said the issue “should be smoothed out sometime in the near future.”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) tweeted that a claim by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) that legalizing marijuana will kill kids is “completely false. Marijuana should be legalized across the country.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson interviewed the head of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies on her podcast.

The House bill to protect military veterans from losing their benefits over marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of one.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor cut the ribbon at a new medical cannabis dispensary. Separately, in a lawsuit settlement, the state will pay $475,000 to the estate of a man who was killed by being crushed by a bulldozer that State Police used to chase him for growing a marijuana plants.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “I am going to work to address past convictions of marijuana charges in Virginia and find a way to ensure we have record expungement. I know marijuana legalization passed the General Assembly, but there’s still more work that has to be done to get it properly implemented.”

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “Florida Republicans’ priorities during legislative session:… Restricting medical marijuana access… Elections matter.”

New Mexico’s House speaker is “cautiously optimistic” that a marijuana legalization bill will pass this year. Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill on reciprocity for out-of-state medical cannabis patients but abruptly pulled from its agenda separate legislation to legalize marijuana.

New Jersey’s Senate president tweeted, “The education programs that have been developed by @RowanUniversity and @Stockton_edu will help teach the next generation of #marijuana entrepreneurs how to succeed in this new industry while providing #jobs to communities throughout #SouthJersey.”

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

Vermont senators are working on legislation to increase racial equity in the marijuana industry and address the concerns of small growers.

Colorado regulators adopted new rules on decontamination and remediation of marijuana, water-activity testing requirements and allowances for businesses to centralize their cultivation operations.

Montana’s commissioner of political practices determined that a group that spent $5 million in favor of the state’s successful marijuana legalization initiative won’t have to reveal its donors.

Nevada officials are allowing marijuana businesses to operate under coronavirus guidelines for retail stores as of May 1, subject to local decisions by counties.

Michigan regulators plan to spend $20 million in marijuana tax revenue to fund medical research.

A California appeals court ruled that changes to Humboldt County’s marijuana cultivation tax improperly expanded its scope.

Washington State and some counties are being sued to recover penalties paid in simple drug possession cases.

Connecticut regulators are hosting a series of hemp webinars, including one on Wednesday.

Kansas’s Industrial Hemp Advisory Board will meet on Friday.


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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/ LOCAL

The Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Board Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee approved a measure to lower the fine for possessing marijuana to $1.

A Dayton, Ohio police recruitment reform committee is considering recommending allowing people who have used marijuana to become officers.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Morocco’s Government Council approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis production.

New Zealand’s Parliament defeated a medical cannabis regulation bill.

Mexico’s Senate Justice, Legislative Studies and Health committees are reviewing changes that the Chamber of Deputies made to marijuana legalization legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “marijuana users are equal to or more likely to exercise than non-users.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mexican adults support legalizing marijuana, 52%-45%.

The Washington Post editorial board is opposing calls to implement Virginia’s legalization of marijuana sooner.

The Omaha World Herald editorial board is calling on Nebraska lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

The Dallas Morning News editorial board cheered the local police chief’s move to reduce marijuana arrests.

/ BUSINESS

Amazon is being sued for allegedly violating New York City’s law banning pre-employment drug testing for marijuana in most cases.

Compass Pathways is being called out by Dr. Bronner’s for allegedly working to undermine the implementation of Oregon’s voter-approved legal psilocybin therapy law.

Canopy Growth Corporation is laying off 75 employees.

Acreage Holdings laid off 11 corporate staffers.

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