The latest marijuana reform and advocacy updates

Published Feb 15, 2021 10:00 a.m. ET
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2021 is shaping up to be an exciting year for cannabis, with nearly 500 bills on their way through state legislators and congress. Marijuana legalization and decriminalization measures are making leaps and bounds, and with so much going on, it can be hard to keep up. To help, we’ve gathered a list of cannabis news highlights, all of which are related to the ongoing forces that are shaping marijuana reform and industry regulation for the better.

Highlights

These are some of the most influential cannabis news highlights from the United States in 2021 so far:

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Cory Booker, and Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden have publicly revealed that they will bring to the table a marijuana legalization proposal at some point over the coming months.

Several marijuana legalization bills have been advanced over this last week by five House and Senate committees in Virginia.

The Minnesota House speaker and House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler put forth a bill to legalize cannabis in 2021. Though it faces a Republican-controlled senate, Governor Tim Waltz has widely accepted and advocated for marijuana legalization, so the bill stands a fair chance of making it.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a new method of collecting marijuana revenue data from individual states is in the works. The hope is that this information will help to legitimize the industry, but it does include sales taxes as well as licensing fees, so it won’t come free.

The new Biden administration had its very first meeting with the hemp industry just last week, and their acting US Agriculture Kevin Shea made an appearance to learn about the needs of the market for the freshly legal crop.

New York City reports an 80% drop in arrests for drug possession over the last 10 years.

Federal

It might be a while before we see the US adopt marijuana legalization at the federal level, but the movements made here helped to drive the change that will eventually make it a reality.

There are hundreds of new hemp farmers right across the United States, and to help them out, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offered up a series of podcasts that focus on how to successfully control pests in these crops.

We all know that hemp in the US is facing a long list of regulatory troubles, and bringing awareness to these issues, the Small Business Administration has highlighted hemp regulations as something that deserves attention.

State-specific

Here you’ll find all of the latest and greatest state-specific initiatives that are altering the way each region regulates cannabis and hemp.

California
Regulators here have issued a statement to assure tax preparers that they are not breaking any state laws when they serve cannabis businesses.

Connecticut
On January 27th, Governor Ned Lamont talked about the financial benefits that could be possible with the introduction of marijuana legalization.

Idaho
Representatives of Idaho have promised residents that they will soon file a bill for medical cannabis.

New Jersey
The new cleanup bill is facing a lot of controversy in Trenton, where lawmakers are negotiating in hopes of it becoming law. Black lawmakers, in particular, are disappointed with the final version, which was never changed to address their concerns from an earlier introduction.

New Mexico
Senators here are optimistic about the impending reality of decriminalization on the horizon, which would defelonize the possession of cannabis by the end of this year.

Oregon
Oregon State Police issued a statement to the public, warning them about ballot 110, which does not legalize the possession of cannabis. It only decriminalizes small amounts of illicit drugs, and as such, there will still be penalties in the form of a fine for those who break the law.

Pennsylvania
The agriculture secretary of Pennsylvania announced several hemp-based construction projects as well as testing for cannabinoids that may be present in products that are made from hemp fed cows.

Utah
The Utah House of Representatives voted to stop municipalities and counties from discriminating against hemp.

Vermont
Governor Phil Scott has added a brand-new staffer who will sit on the state’s cannabis control board as his liaison.

Advocating for cannabis around the world

Someday soon, we will see a global cannabis industry that will know no boundaries, and news stories like these show that there are millions of people who are fighting to ensure that we make it there.

Pharmacies in Australia can now legally sell CBD products over the counter.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, has asked officials to consider the possibilities for marijuana legalization.

The UK Food Standards Agency is cracking down on CBD companies and reminding those who want to continue to sell these products that they must submit an application for validation by no later than March 31st.

Guyana’s government officials are debating between two competing marijuana legalization bills.

Former US attorney Russell Coleman has been hired to lead the US Hemp Roundtable organization’s compliance and ethics efforts.

The federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has issued a release updating the growing list of evidence that shows how cannabis can help to effectively treat chronic pain.

The legal cannabis industry made a comeback faster than expected

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