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AG Barr prefers STATES Act over current cannabis policy (Newsletter: April 11, 2019)

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Bill protects veterans from losing benefits over marijuana; POTUS candidate Tim Ryan on cannabis; Smokable hemp flower approved by Indiana House

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  • Bill Wells, RN, CEN: “I’ve worked in emergency rooms for over 23 years and have seen too much needless pain and suffering. As a long-time advocate for changes to allow legal use for medical reasons and adult recreational use of cannabis, I firmly believe Tom’s publication of efforts to enact change is awesome and well deserves public support.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Attorney General William Barr said during a Senate hearing that he would prefer Congress pass the STATES Act—a bill to let states legalize marijuana—than continue the current approach of states ending cannabis prohibition contrary to federal law. He also said he’s not sure if Cole Memo protections should apply to cannabis businesses that started operations after his predecessor Jeff Sessions rescinded it, though he won’t go after those who were operating under its protections before then. And, he pledged to act on pending applications for licenses to grow cannabis for research.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate analysis takes a comprehensive look at the cannabis reform record of Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH).

A new bill filed by Reps. Greg Steube (R-FL) and Gil Cisneros (D-CA) would shield military veterans from being stripped of their Department of Veterans Affairs benefits over state-legal marijuana use, and would also also allows VA doctors to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

The Indiana House of Representatives amended a hemp bill to allow the crop’s flowers to be smoked.

/ FEDERAL

Members of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit discussed marijuana-impaired driving during a hearing on road safety.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said he’s “glad Attorney General Barr today reiterated his belief that the current situation is untenable and that the STATES Act is an approach he would be interested in pursuing, and I hope my colleagues will hear his loud and clear call for Congress to act.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “There’s a lot of talk about the legalization of marijuana. It’s about time. But there’s not nearly enough talk about restorative justice to lift minority communities gutted by the war on drugs.”

Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) participated in a forum on medical cannabis as a health and wellness alternative.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted about “importance of medical cannabis for our #veterans. 68,000 vets are addicted to opioids. We must research better ways to treat PTSD, TBI, and chronic pain. Our vets deserve it.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Even [Attorney General William Barr] knows the prohibition of cannabis is senseless. We must build upon the momentum!”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted, “I’m proud to cosponsor the #STATESAct to allow states to set their own #cannabis policies without fear of federal interference. 10 states plus D.C. have legalized recreational #marijuana & 33 other states allow medical use. #LegalizeIt”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a presidential candidate, said that his state’s legalization of marijuana has been an “unalloyed success.”

The House marijuana banking bill has been referred to a Judiciary subcommittee, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the panel will mark up the bill before it goes to the floor.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of 25.

/ STATES

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed a hemp bill into law. Separately, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee will hold hearings on a medical cannabis bill on Thursday.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D) spoke about medical cannabis implementation and her decision to sign marijuana legalization into law during her State of the Island address.

Wisconsin Gov.  Tony Evers (D) tweeted about the medical cannabis provision in his budget proposal.

Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy.

Connecticut Senate Democratic leaders spoke about plans to pass marijuana legalization legislation this session.

The Missouri House approved a syringe exchange bill.

The Oregon Senate defeated a bill to let the state to marijuana cultivation licenses based on supply and demand.

A Michigan House committee approved a bill to set a June 1 deadline for medical cannabis businesses to be licensed.

The Oklahoma House Rules Committee advanced legislation to let nurse practitioners recommend medical cannabis.

The Florida Senate Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee approved a bill allowing distribution and sales of hemp extract with less than 0.3 %THC.

North Dakota lawmakers approved legislation including a provision to make it easier for state officials to seize guns from medical cannabis patients, but they later sent the proposal back to committee to have that language removed.

Tennessee’s medical cannabis bills are dead for the year.

Maine’s top marijuana regulator said he expects the state’s adult-use market to launch by the end of the year.

Pennsylvania regulators are threatening to revoke a medical cannabis company’s permits over “blatant misrepresentation” in a statement.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Alaska regulators will meet to discuss marijuana business licensing on May 1-3.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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

The city of Salem, West Virginia is being sued in federal court for blocking a marijuana decriminalization measure from appearing on the ballot.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cities that allow retail dispensaries saw home values increase $22,888 more than cities where marijuana is illegal from 2014 to 2019 (controlling for population and initial home values).”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Wisconsin voters found that they they support legalizing marijuana, 59%-36%, and that they back medical cannabis, 83%-12%.

/ BUSINESS

Oklahoma medical cannabis sales exceeded $12 million in March.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. reported that positive employment tests for marijuana are increasing.

/ CULTURE

Jeopardy had a question about the relationship between marijuana and beer.

Actor Timothy Olyphant spoke about his marijuana consumption and about the time his dog ate cannabis edibles.

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta said CBD is a “legitimate medicine.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Newsletter

NY gov wants legal cannabis “soon” (Newsletter: October 26, 2020)

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2022 NE medical marijuana effort launched; SD gov’s anti-cannabis ad; USDA sends & rescinds hemp loan guide; John Legend backs drug decrim

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the state will legalize marijuana “soon” to help with the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “We need revenue and we’re going to be searching the cupboards for revenue. And I think that is going to put marijuana over the top.”

Nebraska medical marijuana activists are already collecting signatures for a 2022 ballot measure after the state Supreme Court blocked this year’s initiative last month. The justices ruled the proposal violated the state’s single-subject rule by covering too many topics, so the new one is just one sentence long.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) appears in a new ad urging voters to reject a marijuana legalization initiative that’s on the state’s ballot.

  • “The fact is, I’ve never met someone who got smarter from smoking pot.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released—and then quickly rescinded—guidance on providing loans to hemp businesses. The reversal was a result of Congress extending the federal hemp pilot program.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sent a letter pushing back against the Drug Enforcement Administration’s proposed hemp rule, saying it “criminalizes the intermediate steps of hemp processing” and is “wholly inconsistent with Congress’s clearly stated purpose.”

Musician John Legend endorsed Oregon’s drug decriminalization ballot measure.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that a Minnesota congressional election can be held on November 3 despite the death of the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is the right thing to do. We must also expunge the records of those arrested for marijuana offenses and reinvest proceeds from legalization directly back into our communities.”

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said he opposes legalizing marijuana, while Democratic opponent Abby Broyles said she backs federal decriminalization.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that it is “not the time to be addressing marijuana sales or usage or research.”

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) spoke about his support for Arizona’s marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS) authored an op-ed on why he opposes Mississippi’s medical cannabis ballot measures.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of 118.

The House bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of 21.

West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Paula Jean Swearengin tweeted, “This isn’t a partisan issue- it’s a greed issue. People from all walks of life want to legalize cannabis, except for those who want to make money off our backs instead of empowering our farmers, small businesses, & working people. We need restorative #cannabis legalization NOW”

California Democratic congressional candidate Shahid Buttar tweeted, “We strongly support the transpartisan movement to end the illegitimate criminalization of cannabis. It’s a civil rights imperative, a pathway to green jobs, and an opportunity to help address the opioid crisis, all in one.”

/ STATES

New Jersey’s Assembly speaker said that if voters approve a marijuana legalization ballot measure they might not be able to buy legal cannabis until well into 2021.

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

Indiana Democratic attorney general candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

An Illinois judge rejected a request for an immediate ruling in a case seeking to force regulators to issue marijuana craft cultivation licenses.

Missouri regulators are being accused of illegally concealing documents and violating open records laws to undercut a lawsuit challenging their medical cannabis business licensing process.

Delaware’s top medical cannabis regulator said that production will double over the next two years to meet patient demand.

Colorado regulators issued a compliance tip for medical cannabis cultivators and manufacturers.


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

The West Norriton Township, Pennsylvania Board of Commissioners approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted, “I agree with [Joe Biden’s] position on eliminating incarceration for stand alone drug offenses, but that’s a strong position. It’s welcome.  Ending the war is a good thing.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Mendoza, Argentina Chamber of Deputies approved medical cannabis legislation.

Ontario, Canada police said the country’s medical cannabis law has a loophole that drives criminal activity.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “replacing current shampooing practices with a broad-spectrum cannabidiol-containing shampoo significantly reduces both severity and symptoms of scalp inflammation within 2 weeks, with excellent tolerability and treatment satisfaction in subjects with mild to moderate scalp psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “[email protected] will address the damage the War on Drugs has inflicted on the Black community. “

Opponents of Oregon’s drug decriminalization ballot measure want new ballots to be sent to voters in Washington County because a typographical error misstates the result of a “no” vote.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram Holdings Inc. made an additional $2.5 million investment in Hyasynth Biologicals Inc.

Agro Dynamics LLC is suing the Drug Enforcement Administration for allegedly improperly destroying its hemp crops.

/ CULTURE

Jay-Z came out with a new line of marijuana, but wasn’t even quoted in the company’s launch press release.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Newsletter

MT court rejects cannabis measure challenge (Newsletter: October 23, 2020)

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PA House OKs medical marijuana DUI protection; CO gov jokes TX shouldn’t legalize; Reps slam DEA hemp rule; Expungements hinge on AZ prosecutor race

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 493 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Montana Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit claiming that a marijuana legalization initiative that’s on the state’s ballot violates the state constitution by appropriating funds. The justices didn’t rule on the merits of the claim, but said opponents failed to demonstrate the need for the high court to take it up. A lawyer for the opposition campaign said they will be pursuing the matter in a lower court soon.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved an amendment to protect medical cannabis patients from being charged with DUIs for using their legal medicine.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) jokingly told Texas not to legalize marijuana so that his own state can keep getting more cannabis tourism.

Nine members of Congress sent a letter pushing back against proposed Drug Enforcement Administration rules they say “will likely have the effect of inhibiting these nascent state hemp programs.”

  • “Our offices have received countless calls from constituents involved in the hemp industry who are extremely fearful that simply following the provisions of the Farm Bill will result in criminal liability.”

The result of a prosecutor race in Maricopa County, Arizona—the state’s most populous county—will determine whether many people with past marijuana convictions will be able to get them expunged.

/ FEDERAL

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said, at a debate with President Trump, that “no one should be going to jail because they have a drug problem. They should be going to rehabilitation, not to jail. We should fundamentally change the system, and that’s what I’m going to do.” He also admitted in response to attacks from Trump about his record as a senator that “it was a mistake to pass those laws relating to drugs.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), in a debate, again criticized Democrats for mentioning marijuana more than jobs in their coronavirus relief legislation.

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) said he supports legalizing marijuana and expunging convictions.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said he polled voters in Kentucky about medical cannabis.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “We can’t allow ourselves to be a country where people are locked up for possessing marijuana but Pharma executives get rich off fueling an opioid crisis. Big Pharma should know: your days of profiting off people’s pain are numbered. There will be justice.”

Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins tweeted, “The Green Party has always been clear about the need to End the War on Drugs, starting with legalization of marijuana and reparations for the communities that have been most negatively impacted.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Christine Olivo tweeted, “Legalizing Marijuana is becoming more and more popular. I am 100% for the legalization as well as expunging the records of people with past marijuana related convictions! #LegalizeIt”

/ STATES

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a bill that will require judges to dismiss marijuana charges if prosecutors and defendants want to do so.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he has a “huge passion” for the state’s marijuana legalization referendum and that it will be “a gamechanger particularly for young persons of color.”

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes talked about marijuana legalization as a racial justice issue during a debate.

Utah’s attorney general spoke about his support for medical cannabis in a debate.

Missouri regulators concluded an investigation into a report of moldy medical cannabis without finding any evidence of health and safety concerns.

Here’s a look at campaign finance contributions for and against Arizona’s marijuana legalization measure.

An Oregon judge rejected a lawsuit filed by two vineyards that claimed their businesses would be damaged by a neighboring marijuana growing and processing operation.

The Michigan Parole Board granted a November 17 hearing to a man who is serving decades in prison on marijuana charges.

California’s Veterinary Medical Board discussed using cannabis products to treat animals.


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

The Delaware County, Pennsylvania Council amended a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance, pushing back the timetable for being able to enact it.

The city of San Diego, California is suing a marijuana business for allegedly failing to pay taxes.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Bahamian Economic Recovery Committee recommended legalizing marijuana.

A Brazilian judge ruled that importing small amounts of marijuana seeds is not a crime.

Italian regulators added flower-derived CBD to a table of medicines in its narcotics law.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “oil solution and sublingual wafer formulations of the extract standardised with CBD were well tolerated and achieved equivalent concentrations of CBD when compared to an available commercial nabiximols formulation.”

A study “demonstrated selective, beneficial effects of low doses of LSD on mood and cognition in the majority of observations.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry authored an op-ed opposing the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Decriminalize Nature Portland is holding an event on Sunday to highlight why it opposes Oregon’s psilocybin therapy legalization ballot measure.

Real Action for Cannabis Equity launched a campaign to push back against what it says are racist attacks against a black-owned marijuana business in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The New Jersey Cannabis Trade Association is a new group made up of the state’s medical marijuana businesses.

The Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network published a voter guide for next month’s elections.

/ BUSINESS

Delic Corp. reached an agreement for a reverse takeover of Molystar Resources Inc.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Shawn Kemp is opening a marijuana dispensary in Seattle, Washington.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Newsletter

Addiction doctors org backs federal cannabis reforms (Newsletter: October 22, 2020)

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Regulators push Congress to legalize marijuana; NJ Senate cancels referendum hearing; VA gov wants cannabis odor bill change; SD cop’s legalization ad

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  • Laura Fogelan of PAX: “If there’s one thing I read every single morning, it’s Marijuana Moment. This has become such a go-to resource for me and many of my colleagues at PAX—to keep a finger on the pulse of not only what’s happening across the industry, but also inside the beltway and in state capitals. We are so grateful to Tom and the team for all the time and work they put into making this information available, comprehensive and perfectly snackable for a quick daily read.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The American Society of Addiction Medicine adopted a new marijuana platform calling for rescheduling cannabis and exempting people who comply with state legalization laws from federal prohibition, as well as expunging prior convictions.

  • A portion of the new policy paper appears to have largely copied and pasted language from an Elizabeth Warren press release about her STATES Act—which would exempt people complying with state marijuana laws from federal prohibition—to describe its new stance. ASAM previously partnered with prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana to oppose marijuana rescheduling and Obama-era moves to respect state laws. SAM has now removed mentions of ASAM from some pages on its website, though it downplayed the new stance when contacted.

A coalition of state and local marijuana regulators sent a letter urging the House of Representatives to move forward with plans to pass a bill to legalize cannabis and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs. The expected vote has already been delayed once.

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee scheduled and then canceled a Thursday hearing meant to get a head start on considering how to implement marijuana regulations if voters approve the state’s legalization referendum. A staffer told Marijuana Moment it is “unknown” if the event will be rescheduled.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is asking lawmakers to make some changes to a bill they sent him to ban police searches and seizures based on the smell of marijuana. His suggested amendment is about the unrelated issue of break lights and headlights, however.

A retired South Dakota police officer appears in a new TV ad urging the state’s voters to approve separate marijuana legalization and medical cannabis ballot measures.

/ FEDERAL

The Internal Revenue Service is building special audit teams focused on enforcing marijuana industry tax compliance.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit upheld the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to investigate and impose tax consequences on marijuana businesses.

The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy is highlighting the opportunity to submit feedback on a U.S. Department of Agriculture plan to survey hemp businesses.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) touted his efforts to successfully extend the federal hemp pilot program.

Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) touted the fact that Senate Republicans’ coronavirus relief bill doesn’t include marijuana banking provisions.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) and his challengers discussed marijuana during a debate.

Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) cited his work on CBD legislation during a debate as an area where he has bucked his party.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana in New Jersey will create jobs and save our state money. While I often argue for legalization from a criminal and racial justice standpoint, there is a strong argument to be made for the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 117.

Mississippi Democratic Senate candidate Mike Espy, a former U.S. agriculture secretary, endorsed the activists-driven medical cannabis measure on his state’s ballot.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s agriculture secretary was announced as the opening speaker for a Hemp Summit being held in December.

The Louisiana Senate Education Committee amended a House-passed bill that would have allowed school personnel to administer medical cannabis to students by replacing it with language to simply conduct a study on the issue.

The campaign pushing to pass South Dakota’s marijuana legalization and medical cannabis ballot measures has raised five times as much funding as opponents have.

Missouri regulators are investigating a complaint about moldy medical cannabis sold at a dispensary.

Maine regulators are being sued by small local marijuana businesses for allegedly improperly granting licenses to other businesses with out-of-state owners.

Nevada regulators filed complaints against marijuana businesses for violations, including having unlicensed employees and failing to maintain proper documentation.

Oregon regulators published updated guidance on disclosing interests in marijuana businesses.

West Virginia regulators selected Metrc to run the state’s medical cannabis track and trace system.

Michigan regulators made updates to several marijuana application forms due to changes in ownership disclosure rules.


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

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania officials are being sued for allegedly discriminating against a job applicant over his medical cannabis use.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK boy whose story prompted the government to begin allowing cannabis-based medicines is receiving his first legal prescription.

The Court of Justice of the European Union will rule on the legality of France’s CBD ban on November 19.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “further evidence for the effects of [medical cannabis] on chronic pain and related symptoms, demonstrating an overall mild to modest long‐term improvement of the tested measures.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police is urging voters to reject the state’s activist-driven medical cannabis ballot measure.

A leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published an op-ed on why the religious group opposes Arizona’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer predicted that the marijuana industry will see a boost if Democrats win the White House and Senate.

/ BUSINESS

Workers at DC Holistic Wellness signed a collective bargaining agreement.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. announced it is raising C$30,000,144 selling shares at a price of C$2.26 each.

Jushi Holdings Inc. is offering 10,000,000 subordinate voting shares at a price of C$3.55 per share.

/ CULTURE

Baseball player Luis Campusano was arrested on felony marijuana possession charges.

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