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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Cole Memo protections should apply to cannabis businesses that started operations after his predecessor Jeff Sessions rescinded it, though he won’t go after those who were operating under its protections before then.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

Legal psilocybin therapy qualifies for Oregon ballot (Newsletter: July 9, 2020)

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Fed marijuana PSA filmed like horror movie; Congressman wants to block DC psychedelics decrim; Study: Legal cannabis reduces crime

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Oregon secretary of state announced that activists collected enough signatures to put a measure to legalize psilocybin therapy on the November ballot. This comes one week after a separate initiative to decriminalize all drug possession in the state and expand treatment services also qualified for the ballot.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), whose budget rider has prevented Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales, is now trying to block a psychedelics decriminalization measure that could be on the November ballot in the nation’s capital.

  • “This is a bald-faced attempt to just make these very serious, very potent, very dangerous—both short-term and long-term—hallucinogenic drugs broadly available.”

A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PSA on impaired driving is styled like a horror film and urges people not to operate a car while high on marijuana even if they are being chased by an axe-wielding murderer.

A study found that “border counties in the Colorado region saw substantial decreases in overall property crime rate and larceny rate relative to nonborder counties following Colorado’s legalization” of marijuana.

  • “This finding suggests that recreational marijuana legalization in a state (e.g., Colorado) may not bring about negative consequences on crime in neighboring states, which challenges the assertions made by public officials in these neighboring states arguing a crime-inducing effect of legalization.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture added hemp to a list of seed kinds for which it maintains standards for certification.

Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, “Why is that kids and veterans who smoke marijuana have criminal records, but Wall Street executives who committed massive fraud and wrecked our economy do not? I’ll be the most pro-weed Congressman God ever made. I’m asking for your support.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor is touting marijuana legalization as a fiscal stimulus for the state.

Ohio regulators added cachexia as a medical cannabis qualifying condition, but rejected anxiety and autism spectrum disorder.

Oklahoma regulators agreed to temporarily not enforce rules that could force some medical cannabis businesses to close down while a judge considers a lawsuit challenging them.

Guam regulators plan to finalize a draft of legal marijuana rules for public comment by next month.

Nevada regulators are projecting $10 million less revenue from recreational marijuana sales for Fiscal Year 2021.

Massachusetts regulators will consider marijuana vaping issues and enforcement actions on Thursday.

Florida regulators will hold a workshop on hemp rules on Thursday.


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 Grand Rapids, Michigan City Commission approved a measure to advance social equity in the marijuana industry and to fast-track approval of businesses.

The Nevada County, California district attorney filed a motion to dismiss nearly 600 prior marijuana convictions and reduce more than 50 cannabis felonies to misdemeanors.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care is conducting an open consultation looking at “the ways in which drugs are fuelling serious violence and at treatment, recovery and prevention.”

The Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana plans to resume its review of cannabis issues soon.

The Colombian government gave approval for a company to grow, produce and export high-THC medicinal cannabis extracts.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “pre-clinical and clinical data suggest a potential for therapeutic benefit [of medical cannabis] amongst some persons with [autism spectrum disorder] and that it is overall well tolerated.”

A study concluded that “current school-based cannabis prevention efforts do not appear sufficiently effective.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana activist and lobbyist Eapen Thampy pleaded guilty to federal charges of attempted cannabis distribution.

A Harm Reduction International analysis found that “around a fourth of countries implementing [coronavirus-related prison] decongestion schemes explicitly excluded people incarcerated for drug offences; effectively prioritising punitive approaches to drug control over the health of the prison population and the individual.”

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses said it will be drafting recommendations for marijuana social equity programs.

/ BUSINESS

Several ancillary marijuana businesses—including Akerna, Metrc and Arcview Group— received Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration.

The Justice Department is reportedly investigating whether Wirecard participated in an alleged $100 million bank fraud conspiracy connected to Eaze, which hasn’t been charged or named directly in documents in the case.

Ignite International, Ltd. is being sued by its former president who says he was fired for refusing to go along with founder Dan Bilzerian’s efforts to classify “extravagant personal expenses” as business-related.

Enlighten says it is the first cannabis company to have data listed on Amazon’s AWS Data Exchange.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $22.3 million and a net loss of approximately $13.5 million.

Insurance costs for marijuana businesses are reportedly rising as more cannabis companies face shareholder lawsuits.

/ CULTURE

Ice Cube tweeted an editorial cartoon of an incarcerated person reading a newspaper with the headline, “Marijuana Is OK Now.”

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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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Congress puts new cannabis provisions in spending bills (Newsletter: July 8, 2020)

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NYC finalizes marijuana testing ban; Study: CBD mouthwash works better than regular products; IL cannabis sales spike in June

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Appropriations Committee leaders included provisions in new 2021 spending legislation to protect marijuana business banking, shield medical cannabis laws from federal interference, let Washington, D.C. legalize recreational sales, expand research and fund hemp and CBD regulations.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights finalized a local ban on pre-employment marijuana testing for most workers, but added new last-minute exceptions that will still allow some companies to screen applicants for cannabis. The policy takes effect on July 24.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that the state’s marijuana businesses had their biggest month of legal sales yet in June. Retailers sold $47.6 million worth of recreational cannabis products last month, with $12.4 million of that being bought by out-of-state residents.

A study found that mouthwash products infused with CBD, CBG and other marijuana compounds “offer a much safer, efficient and natural alternative to alcohol and/or fluoride containing mouthwashes.”

  • “Cannabinoids (CBD / CBG) infused mouthwashes together with other natural key ingredients shows promising bactericidal activity in vitro against total-culturable aerobic bacterial content in dental plaque with efficiency equivalent to or better than that of the gold standard (0.2% chlorhexidine),” the research, which was funded by a company that makes cannabinoid-based dental products, found.

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded a Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America publication that suggests communities enact policies banning or restricting legal marijuana businesses.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis legalization is a matter of justice for veterans & POC. We know cannabis helps vets with PTSD & chronic injuries. We know black men are 4x more likely to be jailed over cannabis. Sean Worsley is in prison for treating the injuries the VA couldn’t. Where’s his justice?”

Washington Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “I support the federal decriminalization of marijuana/cannabis.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor wrote in an op-ed that policing reform should include marijuana legalization.

Oklahoma regulators are ready to begin enforcing a requirement that medical cannabis products sold by processors and growers be tested by a licensed laboratory.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Oregon regulators will meet on Thursday.


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 Napa County, California district attorney announced her office has identified additional prior marijuana cases that can be reduced or dismissed.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s chief science advisor published an overview of evidence about marijuana ahead of a legalization referendum vote.

Mexican regulators said they plan to finalize medical cannabis regulations by September.

Jamaican regulators proposed a new medical cannabis permit with reduced fees for small and subsistence farmers.

Ontario, Canada marijuana stores must stop delivery and curbside pickup services this month.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study analyzing county-by-county support for marijuana legalization ballot measures found that “stronger Republican political leanings and/or higher percentages of Black or Hispanic residents were associated with reduced support, whereas higher education, male sex composition, and greater past criminalization were associated with increased support for cannabis legalization.”

A review concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy produces a “clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms and enduring improvements in functioning and overall life satisfaction” and that “results have been promising for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for those afflicted with Major Depressive Disorder and end of life illnesses such as terminal cancer, indicating not only improved mood and functioning, but additional peripheral benefits such as acceptance of death, participation in social relationships, and positive personality changes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Industrial Hemp Council and Hemp Industries Association are working to explore the creation of a marketing checkoff program to promote hemp.

/ BUSINESS

Steep Hill is accusing its former CEO of improperly revealing a previously confidential transaction with EVIO, Inc.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. is reportedly at risk of losing a chance to get a Pasadena, California marijuana business permit due to substantial changes to its corporate ownership structure.

/ CULTURE

Johnny Depp acknowledged that he gave his 13-year-old daughter marijuana.

Taiwanese singer Hsieh Ho-hsien was found guilty of disseminating false information and fined after sharing a post on Instagram claiming that marijuana could “kill” coronavirus.

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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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DC psychedelics decrim campaign submits ballot signatures (Newsletter: July 7, 2020)

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Forest Service hires hazmat firm for marijuana eradication; MS medical cannabis measure avoids challenge; Study: cannabis consumers exercise more

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…

There are now 1,525 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Activists in Washington, D.C. submitted what they believe are more than enough signatures to qualify a psychedelics decriminalization measure for the November ballot in the nation’s capital.

  • “I can see the Capitol from my house. I think it’s really important to acknowledge that this could lay the groundwork for national reform.”

The U.S. Forest Service is hiring a hazmat firm to train agents on how to safely eradicate marijuana from illegal cultivation sites after too many were “getting sick” and “requiring trips to emergency rooms with possible long term health effects” due to “unique hazardous chemicals” used by unregulated growers.

Mississippi medical cannabis advocates are relieved after one more threat to their legalization measure on the November ballot stalled in the legislature as lawmakers went home for the summer. But they still have an alternate cannabis ballot question to deal with.

A new study of exercise behaviors and body mass index among older adults smashes the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype.

  • “Current cannabis use was associated with lower BMI and more exercise behavior in healthy older adults wishing to increase their physical activity… These findings suggest that it may be easier for older adults who endorse using cannabis to increase and maintain their exercise behavior, potentially because cannabis users have lower body weight than their non-using peers. At minimum, the evidence suggests that cannabis use does not hinder older adults’ ability to engage in physical activity, to participate in a supervised exercise program, or to increase their fitness as a result of physical activity.”

/ FEDERAL

The policy director for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said that “as science ends up with more conclusive evidence regarding the impact of marijuana, I think he would look at that data. But he’s being asked to make a decision right now. This is where the science guides him.”

The House Armed Services Committee approved report language directing the Department of Defense to compile data on the reasons people are being denied security clearances, including for marijuana and other drugs.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Know this:  marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug federally.  Veterans w PTSD cannot be prescribed cannabis by the VA. On my 67 County tour, we heard from veteran after veteran:  the country I defended considers me a criminal using the 1 thing that makes me feel normal.”

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “60 new full time jobs and $16 million investment in next generation AgTech jobs with @ecofibre grand opening today in Scott Co! They sell hemp products around the world and CVS stores. Congrats!”

North Dakota marijuana activists working on a proposed legalization ballot measure for 2022 say they already have between a third and a half of the signatures they will need.

Illinois regulators adopted a rule clarifying that marijuana-infused foods must be taxed at the 6.25% general merchandise rate instead of the 1% rate that applies to most groceries.

Ohio regulators rejected requests from medical cannabis cultivators to increase their capacity.

Florida regulators are considering allowing medical cannabis recommendations to be made via telehealth on a permanent basis.

Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board will consider adopting regulations on July 21.

Virginia regulators published a FAQ about the state’s medical cannabis law.


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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris created a new Medicinal Cannabis Authority.

Ireland’s health minister is standing by a prior interview in which he said marijuana possession should be decriminalized and that he supports safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Amsterdam, Netherlands City Council voted to explore how to ban marijuana-flavored products sold in tourist shops.

A member of the UK House of Lords pressed government officials on access to cannabis for medical and research purposes.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “low doses of Δ9‐THC are anticonvulsant against hyperthermia‐induced seizures in Scn1a +/ mice, effects that are enhanced by a sub‐anticonvulsant dose of CBD” but that “proconvulsant effects and increased premature mortality are observed when CBD and Δ9‐THC are subchronically dosed in combination.”

A study concluded that “stable isotope ratio analysis of marijuana seizures can significantly improve our understanding of marijuana distribution networks.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s executive director and deputy director are stepping down as the organization experiences budget shortfalls.

The University of Pennsylvania Democrats said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should endorse legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company is selling limited edition short shorts for the price of $69.420.

Aphria Inc. issued more than 1.6 million common shares to Aleafia Health subsidiary Emblem Cannabis as part of a previously announced settlement.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. appointed a new chief commercial officer.

Schwazze terminated two planned acquisitions with Dabble Extracts.

/ CULTURE

Elton John said he “saw God” while smoking a joint and listening to a Kraftwerk album.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Mushroom Observer.

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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