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Behind the scenes of Kennedy’s cannabis evolution (Newsletter: Nov. 23, 2018)



New Jersey legal marijuana bill updated; Mexico approves cannabis medicines; Colorado pesticide warning

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Marijuana Moment got the inside story of how Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) came to endorse marijuana legalization this week. Advocates from the Drug Policy Alliance briefed the congressman over six months. Meanwhile, leading prohibitionist Kevin Sabet spoke with him the day before he publicly broke up with anti-cannabis forces.

New Jersey lawmakers released the latest versions of marijuana legalization and medical cannabis expansion bills that Assembly and Senate committees are expected to vote on this Monday.


First Lady Melania Trump is expected to participate in a town hall-style event on opioids with several Cabinet members next week.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted, “Yesterday, marijuana became available for legal purchase in Massachusetts. There’s been so much progress at the state level. Now it’s time to end the federal ban on marijuana. I have a bipartisan plan to do that.”

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) included marijuana legalization in a list of priorities Democrats should focus on.

The House bill to prevent asset forfeiture funds from being used for marijuana eradication got one new cosponsor, for a total of five.


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a hemp bill into law.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) supports decriminalizing marijuana. Meanwhile, activists say they are “100 percent” planning to pursue a cannabis legalization ballot measure in 2020.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and regulators issued a warning about a company’s marijuana products due to use of unapproved pesticides.

Utah lawmakers released yet another updated version of proposed medical cannabis compromise legislation.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator said legal sales have rolled out in an “orderly” fashion and that more licenses are being approved at a “pretty rapid pace.” Two retail locations sold more than $440,000 worth of cannabis products in the first day of sales.

Kentucky’s secretary of state tweeted, “Still fighting & standing with patients! I’m dedicated to making medical cannabis legal in KY.”

Michigan regulators released guidance on water use in marijuana cultivation.

Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

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Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor said he hopes “the taxation’s worth the human toll” of legalizing marijuana.


Mexican regulators approved the nation’s first cannabis-based medicines.

Alberta, Canada officials suspended issuing new marijuana licenses amid a shortage of cannabis products.

A lawmaker in Victoria, Australia wants the state to legalize marijuana.


The state of Colorado awarded $2.7 million in funding to support research on marijuana as an opioid alternative for chronic spine pain and on the efficacy and safety of CBD in treating children with autism spectrum disorder.


Spirits and wine company Pernod Ricard is monitoring how the legalization of marijuana impacts the alcohol market.

Maryland medical cannabis sales are exceeding projections.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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