Cannabis banking vote in Congress today (Newsletter: April 19, 2021) – Marijuana Moment

Biden on board with marijuana reform, Booker says; Veterans cannabis bills; MN legalization clears another committee; WA drug decrim gutted

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a marijuana banking bill on Monday.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said President Joe Biden is already where he needs to be to get a bill to federally legalize marijuana enacted. The confusion comes down to a semantic misunderstanding about what the terms “decriminalization” and “legalization” mean at the federal level, he said.

A bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers filed bills to federally legalize medical marijuana for military veterans.

The Minnesota House State Government Finance and Elections Committee became the seventh panel to approve the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. He expects a floor vote next month.

The Washington State Senate took up a bill to decriminalize drugs but gutted and replaced it with provisions making possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony. While the House of Representatives decides what to do, drug possession is currently effectively legal under a recent state Supreme Court ruling.

/ FEDERAL

Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) indicated they are open to supporting legislation to increase research on the potential benefits of psychedelics.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Cornyn (R-TX), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-IL), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and other lawmakers discussed the shifting positions on drug decriminalization of associate attorney general nominee Vanita Gupta in a Senate floor debate. Cornyn tweeted that “she lied under oath to the Senate Judiciary about her support for decriminalizing simple possession of all drugs, including but not limited to marijuana.”

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) said he’s optimistic about passing a marijuana banking bill.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “I am proud to introduce the Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act of 2021 alongside @brianschatz to empower and educate veterans about treating chronic conditions with medical marijuana where it’s legal.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that he is “honored to join my colleagues in both parties to introduce this critical [medical cannabis] legislation for our veterans!”

Louisiana Democratic congressional candidates agreed on marijuana legalization during a debate.

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 32.

The House marijuana banking bill got 17 new cosponsors for a total of 168.

/ STATES

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signed a hemp legalization bill.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill providing an affirmative defense for drivers who test positive for marijuana metabolites.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill establishing a hemp licensing program.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) sent a press release about the fifth anniversary of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) attended a fundraiser for his campaign that was hosted by medical cannabis cultivators.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana and regulating and taxing it much like we do alcohol is the right thing to do for Wisconsin. And according to @MuLawpoll, nearly 60% of Wisconsinites agree.” The lieutenant governor tweeted, “Seventeen states, including our neighbors in Illinois and Michigan, have already legalized medical and recreational marijuana, and the majority of Wisconsin voters think we should too. That’s why our #BadgerBounceback agenda regulates and taxes marijuana—just like we do alcohol.”

The California Senate Agriculture Committee approved a bill to allow CBD as a food, beverage and dietary supplement.

The Montana Senate Select Committee on Marijuana Law held another meeting to discuss legalization implementation legislation.

A Massachusetts court upheld the town of Bourne’s local ban on marijuana businesses.

A South Carolina senator authored an op-ed on why law enforcement is wrong to oppose his medical cannabis bill.

Michigan regulators published a bulletin on marijuana testing requirements.

Maryland regulators published several new medical cannabis guidance documents.

New Mexico regulators are being asked by medical cannabis companies to increase plant limits.

Utah regulators are seeking applications to join a medical cannabis production advisory board.

Missouri regulators posted data on medical cannabis facility inspections.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Monday.


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor released a request for proposals for technical assistance programs for marijuana equity applicants.

The Walpole, Massachusetts police chief authored an op-ed arguing against the decriminalization of psychedelics.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK lawmakers signed a letter calling on the government to provide funds to families who are forced to buy medical cannabis privately.

The European Union approved a proposal to export medical cannabis flower from Lesotho-based MG Health.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabis use may lead to reduced use of prescription and illicit drugs for pain management among some people living with HIV who use drugs.”

A study found that “cannabis users retrospectively report feeling different effects from indica and sativa; however, demand generally did not differ between cannabis subtypes, suggesting situational factors could influence whether someone uses indica or sativa.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Wisconsin Democratic Party tweeted about Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) marijuana legalization proposal.

The Republican Party of New Mexico continued to criticize Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) for signing a marijuana legalization bill.

/ BUSINESS

Livwell Enlightened Health launched Colorado’s first TV ad campaign for a cannabis company.

Tilray, Inc. moved to reduce the quorum of shareholders it needs for a vote to approve a merger with Aphria Inc.

Eaze launched an NFT for an image of an astronaut, with proceeds going to National Expungement Week.

HEXO Corp filed a C$1.2 billion preliminary short form base shelf prospectus.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen’s marijuana brand Houseplant launched its products at Apothecarium dispensaries in California.

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