Feds move to extend cannabis growing monopoly (Newsletter: December 15, 2020)

Poll: Vulnerable Dems should’ve backed legal marijuana; TSA weed brownies rant; Oakland’s new psychedelics resolution; CBD & strawberries study

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Well, what’s next? With big wins in 2020 for cannabis, psilocybin and drug decriminalization, strong expert reporting is needed to closely track how these developments fully unfold. I think that —with your help—Marijuana Moment is more than equipped to do this work, and tools like our Bill Tracker can help our readers stay informed.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new poll of voters in 13 swing districts shows that Democrats who lost or underperformed could have benefited from embracing marijuana legalization. Instead, some of those moderates pressured House leaders to cancel a cannabis vote that was planned before the election.

Mexico’s Supreme Court granted lawmakers a fourth delay of the deadline to legalize marijuana. A Senate-passed cannabis bill advanced through two Chamber of Deputies committees this week, but the legislature now has until April to get it done.

The Transportation Security Administration posted a bizarre and rambling Instagram post about marijuana on National Brownie Day.

  • “Let’s be blunt…do you know what happens when we discover your stash?

The Oakland City Council will consider a measure next week that calls on California lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize psychedelics and allow local jurisdictions to approve “community-based healing ceremonies” involving psilocybin, ayahuasca and other entheogens.

A study found that “treating strawberries with CBD oil lengthens shelf life and reduces microbial load.”

  • CBD oil has promising potential as an antimicrobial treatment to fresh produce.”

/ FEDERAL

The Government Accountability Office is investigating reports of unpaid labor at drug rehabilitation facilities.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program is seeking proposals from “industrial hemp projects that examine the supply chain as a system, including breeding, cultivation, feedstock logistics, industrial processing of products, and market analysis.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a Senate floor speech, recounted a time that Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) pitched him and former Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on marijuana reform.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) tweeted, “Millions of Americans are struggling, and what is Pelosi’s House Majority doing? – Voting on a ‘Tiger King’ bill – Voting to legalize marijuana – Studying ceiling fans Meanwhile they’re still blocking aid for small businesses & employers. DESPICABLE. Americans deserve better.”

House Ways and Means Committee Republicans tweeted, “Small businesses and families are hurting, yet Pelosi is prioritizing marijuana, lions, and tigers. Democrats continue to double down on their out of touch priorities, pushing a liberal agenda instead of offering real relief for Americans. This is unacceptable.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) posted a “How it started ➡️ How it’s going” tweet contrasting a pessimistic Politico article about cannabis reform’s prospects from last year with a new story on the House approving a federal marijuana legalization bill.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “Yesterday, the House passed the Medical Marijuana Research Act out of my committee to reduce barriers to marijuana research. As public opinion evolves & states across the country legalize cannabis, we must ensure that legitimate researchers have the capability to study cannabis.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “#DC legalized recreational #marijuana in 2014, but Rs tried to block it with a rider. I found a flaw allowing legalization, though the rider still blocks commercialization. Passage of the #MOREAct increases our chances of defeating this rider + permitting commercialization.”

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) tweeted, “Growing up in OH, I saw the devastating impacts of federal marijuana policy on members of my own community. Now is the time to put people first. With the #MOREAct, we’re able to do better by not only decriminalizing marijuana, but expunging records and rebuilding communities.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “I voted for the #MOREAct last week to decriminalize #cannabis at the federal level and get out of the way of states that are listening to their citizens on this issue!”

The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 27.

/ STATES

The campaign of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said he would consider using marijuana legalization revenue to fund education. Separately, the state’s attorney general participated in a NORML event about legalization and tweeted, “Virginia is ready for equitable cannabis legalization – we have all the tools and information we need and I’m excited to do my part. Let’s get to work!”

Michigan lawmakers sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) a bill to let veterinarians consult with pet owners about the use of cannabis products for animals.

South Dakota’s House speaker said “there’s really not much we can do about” the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure.

New York Assembly Democrats reportedly discussed marijuana legalization as a way to raise revenue during a day-long meeting.

California regulators approved the readoption of emergency QR code certificate requirements.

New Jersey regulators are accepting 2021 hemp applications.

Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee will meet on Monday.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Health Governance Frame Working Subcommittee will meet on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 cannabis 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

Kauai County, Hawaii’s prosecuting attorney tweeted, “Hawaii should legalize cannabis and tax it before furloughing teachers and public defenders.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “cannabidiol and [THC] are possible drugs against human coronavirus that might be used in combination or with other drug molecules to treat COVID-19 patients.”

A study involving pigs concluded that “in the light of an ongoing debate as to whether psilocybin is a safe treatment for depression and other mental illnesses, it is reassuring that our data suggest that any effects on gene expression are very modest.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Brennan Center for Justice is calling on the incoming Biden administration and new Congress to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drugs and enact other criminal justice reforms.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable is accepting comments on the latest draft of its hemp industry standards.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation celebrated the House’s passage of a marijuana research bill.

/ BUSINESS

WM Holding Company, LLC, which operates Weedmaps, agreed to go public through a merger with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp., at a value of approximately $1.5 billion.

Canopy Growth Corporation entered into a loan financing agreement worth $20 million for TerrAscend Corp.’s Arise Bioscience Inc. in exchange for 2,105,718 common share purchase warrants.

LeafLink announced it raised a $40 million Series C funding round led by Founders Fund.

Hydrofarm Holdings Group, Inc. is going public at $20 per share.

Illinois monthly recreational marijuana sales declined in November for the first time since March.

/ CULTURE

Jay-Z’s marijuana company Monogram rolled out its first products in California.

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Photo by Kimzy Nanney.

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