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Biden task force weighs legal cannabis recommendation (Newsletter: June 30, 2020)

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OR psilocybin sigs submitted; Senate marijuana research amendment; CO gov signs equity/pardons bill; Baltimore tosses drug cases; HBO gummies promo

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

As more members of a criminal justice task force created by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speak out publicly about the need to reform marijuana laws, the panel has reportedly discussed behind closed doors whether to recommend the former vice president finally endorse legalizing cannabis.

An Oregon measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use has enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, activists say.  A handful of petitions must still be verified by the state, but the campaign collected tens of thousands of extra submissions and is confident.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill outlining criteria for marijuana business social equity applicants and expanding his ability to unilaterally grant pardons for past cannabis convictions.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) are seeking to attach an amendment to expand marijuana and CBD research to the National Defense Authorization Act that’s on the Senate floor this week.

The Baltimore, Maryland state’s attorney has closed nearly 600 warrants and dismissed cases for certain offenses, including drug possession, that her office is no longer pursuing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

HBO Max is teaming up with Kanha Edibles and Eaze to offer a new line of marijuana-infused gummies promoting the new animated series “Close Enough.”

/ FEDERAL

The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee will discuss the impact of hemp legalization on the safety oversight of commercial motor vehicle drivers at a meeting next month.

The Department of Health and Human Services tweeted, “More research is needed to understand the specific relationship between marijuana use and COVID-19. But smoking of any kind might increase a person’s risk for severe illness from the virus.”

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take a case on whether possessing marijuana is grounds to show a person is “armed and presently dangerous” for purposes of a search.

Sen. Amy Klobychar (D-MN) tweeted, “When 1/3 of the U.S. Justice Department Antitrust resources are going to failed cannabis investigations then yes, I am calling for an immediate hearing.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidates Christine Eady Mann and Donna Imam support decriminalizing marijuana while Mann also backs legalization.

/ STATES

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a medical cannabis reform bill that replaces a 3% THC per-product cap with a 4.5 grams of THC per 90-day period limit and adds new qualifying conditions, among other changes.

A federal judge denied a request from Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) and the secretary of state to stay his ruling clearing the path for a non-marijuana initiative to the November ballot in a case that could also have implications for a proposed medical cannabis measure.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) said he will not fill remaining seats on the Cannabis Advisory Board unless lawmakers approve legislation to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, the Senate approved legislation to change the makeup of that body and confirmed the nomination of the territory’s agriculture commissioner to join it.

California regulators are letting marijuana businesses with expiring licenses request 60-day deferrals of their license fee payments.

West Virginia regulators said they will resume accepting applications for medical cannabis testing lab licenses.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Tennessee regulators sent a notice about the deadline to renew hemp cultivation licenses.

Alaska regulators will discuss coronavirus-related marijuana issues on July 17.


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

Pueblo County, Colorado is using $2.3 million in marijuana excise tax revenue to fund scholarships for local students.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thai officials prepared draft legislation to let private companies manufacture cannabis-based medicines and to allow foreigners to invest in the industry.

The Western Australia state government rejected a series of drug policy reforms such as safe injection sites and pill testing services.

The Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada medical officer of health is stepping up his call to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “the addition of cannabis flour to bakery products increases the protein content of the final product, total phenolic substance, dietary fiber, free amino acid content, protein digestibility of the products and reduces the glycemic index” and that “in spite of its negative effects on dough rheology and bread characteristics, cannabis flour has been determined to be a valuable resource in bread production with its fiber, mineral substance and total unsaturated fatty acids content.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand voters oppose a marijuana legalization referendum, 49%-40%.

A poll found that New York college students support legalizing marijuana, 91%-9%,

The National Farmers Union tweeted about the Farm Bill provision that blocks people with drug felony records from getting hemp licenses.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s co-founder retired from the company’s board of directors.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. closed its acquisition of a New Jersey medical cannabis company.

Vireo Health International, Inc. hired a new chief financial officer.

The Washington Post’s executive editor was reportedly concerned that a piece about people getting high and seeing the film “Cats” glorified drug use.

Arkansas dispensaries have sold nearly $100 million worth of medical cannabis products since the program launched a little more than a year ago.

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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.)

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Senate infrastructure deal includes cannabis research expansion (Newsletter: August 3, 2021)

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CO marijuana tax ballot measure; LA cannabis decrim takes effect; CT legalization revenue projections

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Senate’s new bipartisan infrastructure deal has a provision intended to let researchers study marijuana that consumers are actually buying from dispensaries—instead of just government-grown cannabis. The House already passed a similar measure.

Colorado voters could decide on an initiative to increase marijuana taxes to fund education programs this November after an advocacy group appeared to turn in more than enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot.

Louisiana’s new marijuana decriminalization law officially took effect. The lawmaker who sponsored it is partnering with advocates to educate the public about what they can and can’t do without being jailed. They also say it’s time for broader cannabis legalization.

Connecticut’s Office of Fiscal Analysis released updated projections on marijuana tax revenue for the next five years.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is funding research to support model state legislation on drug harm reduction, equitable enforcement and removing stigmas.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. attorney for Massachusetts has declined to prosecute some drug cases and has endorsed safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Naval Submarine Base New London posted pun-filled marijuana warnings for sailors.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) cited the Washington, D.C. police chief’s recent remarks linking marijuana sales to violence in a Senate floor speech.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “We cannot legalize recreational use of marijuana without expunging the records of those convicted at the federal level.”

/ STATES

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Joe Jaworski said legalizing marijuana is one of his priorities.

Ohio House Democrats tweeted about a newly filed marijuana legalization bill.

Michigan regulators proposed new draft marijuana rules. They also published an advisory bulletin about keeping cannabis edibles away from children.

Illinois regulators are being sued by marijuana dispensary license applicants who claim their proposals were improperly scored.

Massachusetts’s treasurer is accepting applications to serve on the Cannabis Advisory Board.

Oregon’s marijuana regulatory body officially changed its name to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

California tax officials said they can’t disclose data on cannabis-related tax deductions and credits due to privacy rules.

Maine regulators published an overview of hemp products and how differing regulations apply to them.

The South Dakota legislature’s Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee will meet on Wednesday.

Arkansas regulators will discuss how to select two additional medical cannabis dispensary business license winners on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Jamestown, New York is moving to end marijuana testing for most city employees.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Israeli government removed blockages on medical cannabis exports.

The UK government responded to a recent report on drug policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD may exert anti-inflammatory effects in individuals with” cocaine use disorder.

A study found that “in proportion to their abundance, Cannabis sativa plants were consumed by sand flies much more frequently than expected (i.e., C. sativa is probably highly attractive to sand flies).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is asking lawmakers to revise a law that it says ​​could lead to charges for officers who search or arrest minors suspected of marijuana possession or underage drinking.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums announced new staffers.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. pre-announced quarterly revenue of $47.7 million and a net loss of $11.4 million.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. acquired Mobley Pain Management and Wellness Center, LLC and Canwell Processing, LLC, which both held contractual interests in Summit Medical Compassion Center, Inc.

urban-gro, Inc. acquired MJ12 Design Studio.

A UK patent examiner said Compass Pathways Limited’s psilocybin claims are not inventive.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. is rebranding its Connecticut dispensaries to The Botanist.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg spoke about the mainstreaming of the cannabis industry.

Comedian Bill Burr spoke to Conan O’Brien about how using psychedelic mushrooms helped calm him down.

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Cannabis banking senator wants dispensary welfare ban (Newsletter: August 2, 2021)

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RI speaker: “no consensus” on legal marijuana; OH legalization bill filed; CA lawmaker pushes feds on cannabis in hospitals; Hemp lawsuit damages

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)—who is the lead GOP cosponsor of cannabis banking legislation—filed a new bill that has a provision that would prevent people from accessing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits at marijuana dispensaries. The relevant section of the legislation is titled, “Welfare For Needs Not Weed.”

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there’s still “no consensus” on the details for marijuana legalization between the two legislative chambers and the governor, but it’s “workable” to reach a deal on the “priority” issue by a potential fall special session.

Ohio lawmakers formally introduced a new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana sales—the first-ever filed in the state legislature. Meanwhile, activists are also pursuing statewide and local cannabis ballot measures.

A California senator is asking to meet with the federal secretary of health and human services and Medicare and Medicaid officials to get clarity on whether hospitals that let terminally ill patients use medical marijuana risk losing their funding.

A Montana jury awarded $65 million in damages—the second-highest amount ever in the state—to 25 hemp farmers who say they were victims of negligence, fraud and deceit perpetrated by American and Canadian businessmen who failed to fulfill contracts.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prisoners who were released to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic—including some with marijuana convictions—will have to go back behind bars under a decision made by Biden administration lawyers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a medical cannabis business owner’s appeal of federal drug convictions, ruling that he did not comply with Michigan law.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC.) filed a bill to expand eligibility for expungement for first-time, low-level federal drug possession offenses.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Marijuana reform is backed by Americans of all backgrounds, in red states and blue states. We can come together to get this done.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about the growth in support of her psychedelics research amendment from the last vote on it two years ago.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) tweeted about the Westchester, New York district attorney dismissing marijuana cases, saying, “Grateful for @WestchesterDA’s bold leadership in taking this long-overdue step to end the racist war on drugs in Westchester. Congress needs to follow her lead and legalize cannabis nationwide.”

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he still opposes legalizing marijuana.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the state’s agriculture commissioner, responded to an op-ed from two lawmakers, saying, “It’s long past time to right the wrongs when it comes to historic discrimination against farmers of color, including the state’s medical marijuana licensing.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham tweeted about an editorial cartoon that joked about his support for cannabis reform, saying, “Love it! But in all seriousness, ending the prohibition of marijuana is no joke. It’ll provide a safer alternative to opioids, end the racial disparities in our drug laws, bring in hundreds of millions in new revenue each year & allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime!”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a city’s right to not enter into a host community agreement with a marijuana retail operation, but urged lawmakers to consider how the local approval process may be preventing the state from meeting its equity goals.

Missouri activists said they need to fix a clerical issue with their recently filed marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Washington, D.C.’s police chief reiterated his views about marijuana sales being tied to violence.

Oklahoma medical cannabis regulators are being sued for allegedly violating open meeting laws.

Colorado regulators are holding work group meetings this month to inform implementation of new marijuana rules.

Arkansas regulators issued guidelines for homemade hemp food production.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on revised proposed marijuana rules on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Arcata, California City Council’s Public Safety Committee advanced a measure to decriminalize psychedelics.

The Santa Fe County, New Mexico Commission approved marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Cayman Islands’s deputy premier said the government is committed to decriminalizing marijuana possession, but not full legalization.

Belize’s minister of home affairs said establishing a legal marijuana industry is a practical move that would bring benefits in several areas.

An Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly committee held a hearing on a drug decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “most respondents report cannabis is very or somewhat helpful for their” multiple sclerosis.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mississippi voters oppose the state Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the voter-approved medical cannabis measure, 68 percent to 28 percent.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board said city officials should not allow marijuana businesses in the central business district.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to reject MJ Munchies Inc.’s request to register “Half-Baked” as a trademark.

4Front Ventures Corp’.s co-founder and Mission Dispensaries President Kris Krane is stepping down from his full-time job with the company.

Jushi Holdings Inc. received a $14.4 million arbitration award in a dispute against San Felasco Nurseries, Inc.

A securities violations case against former CannTrust Holdings Inc. executives has been remanded until September 20.

The Parent Company announced that certain insiders voluntarily entered into lock-up agreements with respect to their shares.

Emjay launched a marijuana delivery app on iOs.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. and Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences completed the first of three collaborative studies to research the chemical profile of full spectrum hemp extracts.

/ CULTURE

Soulja Boy launched his own cannabis brand.

The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is endorsing congressional legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

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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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House approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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