Sierra Club’s sustainable cannabis tips (Newsletter: January 8, 2021)

Dem Senate control boosts marijuana in 2021; NY gov’s new legalization plan; CO gov proposes small biz funds; Top KY lawmakers open to medical cannabis

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Democrats took control of the U.S. Senate, according to projected results of Tuesday’s two runoff elections in Georgia. Presumptive incoming Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has promised to put a federal marijuana legalization bill on the floor, and Marijuana Moment’s latest analysis examines what else Democratic control of Capitol Hill and the White House means for cannabis in 2021.

President-elect Joe Biden has reportedly selected Judge Merrick Garland to serve as attorney general. While he doesn’t have an extensive marijuana record, he did suggest during oral arguments for one case that the Drug Enforcement Administration should be deferred to when it comes to the science and scheduling of cannabis.

  • “Don’t we have to defer to the agency?… We’re not scientists. They are.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled details about his plan to legalize marijuana in the state in 2021. The moves come one day after nearly a third of the state Senate cosponsored a new bill to legalize cannabis.

In a new joint interview, top Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers expressed openness to legalizing medical marijuana this year but said they oppose the Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) plan to tax it to raise revenue.

  • “If you’re taking that approach, that it’s a money generator, then you’re not thinking about the medicinal or therapeutic value.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) included $5 million in his budget request to fund a new Cannabis Advancement Program to provide Small Business Administration-type services to the marijuana industry and entrepreneurs from communities most impacted by the drug war.


The Drug Enforcement Administration filed a proposed rule to require that all applications for registrations to handle controlled substances be filed electronically.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee included several marijuana bills in an overview of legislative activity from the 116th Congress.


South Carolina’s agriculture commissioner spoke about the state’s hemp program.

A California judge is considering a motion to force Los Angeles regulators to reconsider a decision not to approve temporary marijuana business license permits.

Iowa regulators published an annual report on the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Illinois regulators are accepting petitions to accept new medical cannabis qualifying conditions until the end of the month.

Oregon regulators announced a recall of pesticide-tainted marijuana products. Separately, the Cannabis Commission’s Governance Frame Working Subcommittee met.

Washington State regulators are seeking participants for dialogue sessions about marijuana testing.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 100 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.


Will County, Illinois officials moved to expunge more than 1,600 marijuana records.

New York City’s mayor reiterated that “it’s time to legalize marijuana.”


A study found that “more than half of respondents perceived CBD, THC, hemp, and marijuana as having medical use” and “perceived the potential for abuse of CBD, THC, hemp, and marijuana as significantly less than potential for abuse of commonly prescribed anti-anxiety and pain medications,” while”public perceptions classified CBD and hemp as similar to over-the-counter pain relief medications such as Advil and Tylenol and did not classify marijuana as a Schedule I substance.”


GenCanna dropped a lawsuit it filed against Medterra over allegedly unpaid invoices.

Oregon retailers sold more than $1 billion worth of legal marijuana in 2020.


VICE is airing a new season of Hamilton Morris’s drug-focused show, “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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