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Lawmakers Step Up Push for Biden to Grant Mass Marijuana Pardons
More than a dozen members of Congress have stepped up their push for President Joe Biden to grant mass clemency for people with federal marijuana convictions, taking to Twitter to amplify a sign-on letter they sent to the White House urging the action.
Shortly after the letter was released, with 37 congressional signatories, members gave it a signal boost with a flood of social media posts directed at the president. They want Biden to follow the lead of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, who used executive authority in the 1970s to categorically forgive Americans who avoided the draft for the Vietnam War.
In the letter—led by Congressional Cannabis Caucus cochairs Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Barbara Lee (D-CA)—the lawmakers noted the expansion of the state-legal marijuana legalization movement and last year’s House vote in favor of a bill to end federal cannabis prohibition.
Vermont Lawmakers Prepare Psychedelics and Broader Drug Decriminalization Bills for Introduction
Vermont lawmakers plan to introduce at least two bills this legislative session to decriminalize the possession of drugs, with one of those proposals expected early next week.
State Rep. Brian Cina (P/D) told Marijuana Moment in an interview that his legislation, which he is planning to introduce on Tuesday, would remove penalties around an array of plant- and fungi-based psychedelics, including psilocybin, mescaline, ibogaine and DMT.
Another forthcoming Vermont bill would decriminalize small amounts of all drugs, although details of that legislation aren’t yet public. Rep. Selene Colburn (P/D) said at a press conference that an all-drug decriminalization bill is currently being drafted and will be introduced later this session.
Retail Prices for Recreational Marijuana Flower Rise in Response to Record Demand Amid Pandemic
The average retail price for smokable recreational marijuana products in four Western states continued to increase throughout the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to record demand.
Retail flower prices in California, Colorado, Nevada, and Washington state collectively grew 17%, with the price of pre-rolls also increasing 15%.
The retail data, provided by Seattle-based cannabis analytics company Headset, reflects the average item price for the past 90 days compared to the same period last year.
The rise in prices is good news for cannabis retailers, because wholesale flower prices continue to increase because of robust consumer demand.
Colorado’s wholesale flower price reached its highest level since 2016, with the average market rate per pound of flower jumping 31% from the beginning of October 2020 to the end of January of this year.
Oklahoma House Approves Expanding Nonresident Medical Marijuana Licenses
The Oklahoma House on Thursday approved extending the length of medical marijuana licenses granted to out-of-state residents.
On a vote of 52-32, the House approved legislation to extend nonresident medical marijuana licenses from 30 days to two years.
House Bill 2022 from Rep. Scott Fetgatter, R-Okmulgee, would also open nonresident medical marijuana licenses up to residents from all 50 states. Currently, only medical marijuana license holders from other states with medical marijuana programs are eligible for a nonresident license to buy, use and grow medical marijuana in Oklahoma.
“It does allow people in all 50 states to come to the state of Oklahoma for their medical needs,” he said.
Medical marijuana licenses for Oklahoma residents last for two years, so HB 2022 would change nonresident licenses to match up.
Marijuana Foes Deploy New ‘Playbook’ to Thwart State Legalization, Upend Election Results
Efforts to thwart voter-approved marijuana legalization in Mississippi, Montana and South Dakota are evidence of a “playbook” that reflects new legal strategies and greater willingness among local government officials to nullify election results, experts say.
Those efforts – led by anti-marijuana politicians and other opponents – threaten to stop or delay the implementation of new medical and recreational cannabis markets that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales a year.
In Idaho, some state lawmakers are even trying to preemptively ban marijuana legalization through an amendment to the state constitution. Today, lawmakers advanced a separate bill aimed at making such ballot initiatives almost impossible to qualify.
And more recently, lawmakers in Utah enacted a much narrower medical cannabis program than was called for by a voter-approved citizen initiative.
The Nebraska Supreme Court shot down a medical marijuana initiative before Nov. 3, saying it violated the state’s single-subject rule for ballot measures. That rule bars packing multiple issues into a single yes-or-no question.
A South Dakota judge has recently ruled that the state’s recreational marijuana initiative passed last election also violates the single subject rule.