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Biden task force members push legal cannabis (Newsletter: June 16, 2020)

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NJ decrim advances; CO lawmakers pass marijuana pardons & equity bill; CDC flooded with comments on cannabis & pain

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There are now 1,512 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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  • Mark Singleton of Thought Leaders.com: “Our pioneering company, ThoughtLeaders.com, is focused on federal legislation. We expect legalization will require FDA regulation and ATF enforcement, similar to tobacco, before it will have the votes to be signed into federal law. Marijuana Moment’s daily political pulse helps us assess when and where to proactively engage. Thank you!”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who is part of the criminal justice task force created by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), suggested removing cocaine and opioids from the criminal justice system. Meanwhile, another former federal prosecutor who is also part of the panel publicly said the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee falls short by not backing legal marijuana.

  • “If I could change anything, I’d want to take all of that stuff out of the system. I think we have the possibility now, given all the protests that we have seen.”

Colorado lawmakers sent Gov. Jared Polis (D) a bill to let the governor unilaterally pardon people with past marijuana possession convictions, removing prosecutors and judges from the process under current law that mandates they be consulted on a case-by-case basis. The provision is included in broader legislation that would provide a definition for businesses that can participate in the state’s cannabis social equity program.

The New Jersey Assembly Community Development and Affairs Committee approved a bill to decriminalize two ounce of marijuana, expunge prior records and protect people harmed by cannabis laws from employment and housing discrimination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is being flooded with feedback about the potential of marijuana and kratom as part of a public comment period on people’s experiences with pain management. The deadline to weigh in is Tuesday at 11:59 PM ET.

/ FEDERAL

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams said she is not in a position to give “blanket immunity” to banks that work with marijuana businesses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health published an overview of issues related to marijuana and the workplace.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) hosted a roundtable meeting at which the Dallas, Texas district attorney spoke in support of decriminalizing marijuana.

New York Democratic congressional candidate Adam Schleifer released a marijuana legalization plan.

/ STATES

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) signed a hemp bill into law.

The Mississippi House of Representatives approved a hemp bill.

The Utah legislature’s Business and Labor Interim Committee discussed banking access for medical cannabis businesses.

Alaska regulators proposed regulations on overlapping marijuana premises.


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

The leaders of Irish political parties released a governing document that pledges to review medical cannabis rules and “connect people who use drugs with health services and a pathway to recovery, avoiding a criminal conviction.”

Canadian regulators are considering deferring marijuana business payment due dates.

The mayor of Azcapotzalco, Mexico sent draft legislation to federal lawmakers that would legalize marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis users self-reported significantly better [quality of life], greater health satisfaction, improved sleep, lower average pain severity, lower anxiety, and lower depression compared with controls” and that they “reported using fewer prescription medications and were less likely to have a past-month emergency department visit or hospital admission.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York Daily News editorial board is urging presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to endorse legalizing marijuana.

Republican donor Miriam Adelson authored an op-ed outlining her opposition to legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

4Front Ventures Corp. reported quarterly sales of $17.5 million and an adjusted loss of $5.4 million.

MJardin Group, Inc. reported $1.4 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss of $234 million.

The Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. board approved a $1.06 per share dividend.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. said it is giving all of its employees paid time off on Election Day in November.

Bluma Wellness Inc. began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

/ CULTURE

Filmmaker Judd Apatow spoke about ideas he has for a sequel to Pineapple Express, including plot lines surrounding legalization.

The Wire creator David Simon spoke about the need to end the war on drugs.

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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.

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.)

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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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Newsletter

VA lawmakers announce legal cannabis plans (Newsletter: July 6, 2020)

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ID medical marijuana campaign likely to sue for ballot access; OK melts dreams of THC slushies; Senate votes to study cannabis and vaping

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…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Just one day after a new law decriminalizing marijuana possession took effect, Virginia’s House majority leader and other lawmakers announced plans to pursue broader cannabis legalization in the state.

  • “Decriminalizing marijuana is an important step in mitigating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, but there is still much work to do.”

Idaho’s medical cannabis campaign is “likely” to pursue the same legal accommodations for electronic signature gathering that a federal judge granted to an unrelated initiative.

  • “The medical marijuana campaign is similarly situated to the Reclaim Idaho campaign and will likely ask for a similar extension of time and permission to collect signatures electronically from the Secretary of State, and if necessary, from the District Court. I don’t know the exact timeline as there are a number of moving pieces but it will be quick.”

Oklahoma regulators are melting medical cannabis patients’ summer dreams of THC-infused slushies with a new “Slushy-Machine Guidance” memo that says the icy beverages are not likely to comply with state rules for marijuana packaging and testing.

/ FEDERAL

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service said that investigations of alleged LSD offenses in the service increased nearly 70% in the first three months of 2020.

The Senate passed an e-cigarette restriction bill that includes a provision requiring a study on the relationship between marijuana use by high school students and vaping and smoking.

Georgia congressional candidates spoke about their positions on marijuana legalization.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “I don’t know who needs to hear this jk I know who- but earnestly reforming our state prison system + legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit. It would, however, could have other unintended consequences like justice and personal freedom.”

New York’s Assembly majority leader said that “there’s no question that some of the things that are going on with law enforcement are because they smell marijuana.”

The co-chair of the New Mexico House Taxation Committee says the legislature will take up marijuana legalization again in January.

Wisconsin regulators posted guidance on a new hemp pilot research program emergency rule.

Ohio regulators will consider medical cannabis rules on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Iowa regulators posted updated lists of hemp licensees and businesses selling hemp seeds.


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

The British Virgin Islands House of Assembly approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Santa Fe, Argentina Municipal Council approved legislation allowing the cultivation of medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that cannabis use “by ancient civilizations as a source of food and textile fibers dates back over 10,000 years, while its therapeutic applications have been improved over the centuries, from the ancient East medicine of the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C. to the more recent introduction in the Western world after the 1st century A.D.”

A review found that “studies have revealed [marijuana’s] use as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and improving testicular function in rats.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

South African cannabis activists Jules Stobbs was murdered during a robbery.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram Holdings Inc. reduced its workforce by approximately 25%.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced a financial restructuring and turnaround plan that will defer approximately $32 million in cash commitments over the next year and dilute shareholders.

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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.
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Congress votes for researching cannabis from dispensaries (Newsletter: July 3, 2020)

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Military marijuana use waivers advance in House; NE medical cannabis ballot sigs submitted; Austin police end marijuana arrests; 2020 ballot check in

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…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives approved a 2,000-plus-page infrastructure bill that contains a little-noticed provision directing federal agencies to create a plan for researchers to finally be able to study marijuana that consumers are buying at dispensaries instead of using only government cannabis.

The House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) to encourage military branches to stop blocking reenlistment over marijuana use.

  • “Smoking pot just once shouldn’t prevent a patriotic American from fighting for our country.”

Nebraska medical cannabis activists submitted more than 182,000 signatures for proposed initiative. That’s way more than they need to qualify for the November ballot.

Several other states where activists are trying to get marijuana legalization, psychedelics decriminalization and drug reform measures on November ballots have signature gathering deadlines this week and next week. Here’s a look at where things stand, from Arizona to Oregon to Washington, D.C.

The Austin, Texas Police Department said in a memo that it will stop making arrests or issuing citations for low-level marijuana possession. The move follows the passage of a City Council resolution urging the end of such cannabis enforcement.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration tweeted, “There’s also a lot of talk on the internet about CBD for treating anxiety in dogs who are afraid of loud noises. You should be aware that FDA has NOT evaluated these products. This means we can’t say whether they are safe or effective.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that licensed hemp businesses are eligible for its Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.

/ STATES

Florida’s agriculture commissioner disclosed that she owns a stake in Harvest Health and Recreation, Inc.

Massachusetts regulators are accepting public comment on the continued quarantining of marijuana vaporization products.

A case challenging Nevada regulators’ marijuana licensing process was stayed by a federal judge.

A California court ruled against hemp growers in a case challenging a restrictive count ordinance.

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus hosted a town hall meeting about a cannabis-revenue-funded grant program to help communities harmed by the war on drugs.

Oregon regulators published an update on processing dates for marijuana business license applications.

Arkansas regulators included an update on the state’s hemp program in an annual report.

A Pennsylvania senator authored an op-ed on why the state should legalize marijuana for racial justice reasons.


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

San Francisco, California regulators warned marijuana businesses that expected protests this weekend could lead to burglaries.

The Harris County, Texas Commissioner Court adopted a resolution that notes racial disparities in drug law enforcement.

The Santa Barbara County, California Board of Supervisors was criticized by a grand jury report for allegedly mismanaging marijuana production.

Chicago, Illinois’s mayor defended a police plan to step up drug enforcement during the July 4 holiday weekend.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian regulators are discouraging marijuana brands from using “any celebrity-affiliated promotions or packaging and labeling.”

There have been no new prescriptions for full-extract cannabis oil in the 18 months since the UK legalized it.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “at least in the short term, the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects, although the magnitude of the effect and extent of side effect experiences vary with chemotypic properties of the plant.”

A review concluded that “cannabis-based medications were found most effective as an adjuvant therapy in refractory multiple sclerosis, and weak evidence was found to support the treatment of cancer pain especially in advanced stages,” while “chronic rheumatic pain showed promising results.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Nebraska Democratic Party tweeted supportively about signatures being turned in for a proposed medical cannabis ballot initiative.

A South Dakota committee called No Way on Amendment A has been formed to oppose the state’s marijuana legalization initiative.

The Hemp Industries Association hired a new executive director.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. announced a plan to raise up to C$27,500,000 in a private placement sale of shares.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. announced the full exercise of underwriters’ options to purchase an additional 402,504 shares of common stock, bringing the total to 3,085,867 shares sold in the offering and raising gross offering proceeds to approximately $258.7 million.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg posted on Facebook about a poll showing majority support for New Zealand’s marijuana legalization referendum, saying, “Gandalf smokin that good good!”

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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