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Booker goes after Biden’s drug war record (Newsletter: July 2, 2019)

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NM marijuana decrim takes effect; Canadian lawmaker files bill to decriminalize drugs; ND legal cannabis measure filed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, slammed the drug war record of former Vice President Joe Biden (D), primary campaign rival.

  • “Because of a lot of the legislation that Joe Biden endorsed, this war on drugs, which has been a war on people, we now have had a 500 percent increase in the prison population since 1980, overwhelmingly black and brown.”

New Mexico’s marijuana decriminalization law took effect. Possessing half an ounce of cannabis is now treated with a fine instead of jail time.

A Canadian member of Parliament filed a bill to decriminalize all drugs—a move that is in line with a recommendation from the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health, which said the nation should take after Portugal’s decriminalization policy.

/ FEDERAL

Surgeon General Jerome Adams and Education Sec. Betsy DeVos met to discuss their “concerns about attitudes regarding marijuana safety in youth.”

The Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner and acting CIO tweeted about the agency’s work on CBD regulations.

The office of Colorado’s U.S. attorney tweeted a link to an article about marijuana potency and teens.

Former Kansas U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, who supports marijuana reform and has served as counsel for a cannabis company, is running for U.S. Senate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, wrote in a Facebook post, “Thank you Illinois for doing the right thing by expunging marijuana convictions. Tens of thousands of Americans every year get criminal records for possessing marijuana. Meanwhile ZERO major Wall Street executives went to jail for destroying our economy in 2008 as a result of their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior. When we are in the White House we are going to expunge criminal records for marijuana possession and decriminalize it nationwide.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted that she’s “thankful states like Illinois are stepping up to correct the mistakes of our past [by legalizing marijuana]. It’s time to do the same at the federal level.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, said that his proudest political accomplishment was helping to pass “a historic criminal justice reform law that has the potential to liberate 2,000 currently incarcerated people who are serving time for non-violent drug crimes, 96 percent of whom are black and Latino.”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “Two years ago today the first recreational marijuana sales began in Nevada. With the help of @GovSisolak, we are going to set an example for the rest of the nation to follow.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalizing recreational marijuana across the United States would raise $7 billion in tax revenue per year. The Republicans who say that America is ‘broke’ when talking about healthcare, education, and confronting climate change should get behind the #MarijuanaJusticeAct.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted that “just because a statute is abolished doesn’t mean the unfairness is gone. Remaining are life & death implications of other statutes & *how* laws are enforced. That’s a key part of policy in a wide range of issues from schooling to marijuana + yes, immigration too.”

/ STATES

Delaware Gov. Jay Carney (D) signed a bill allowing for the expungement of certain convictions for marijuana and other offenses.

The office of Indiana’s attorney general is hosting a conference at which anti-marijuana author Alex Berenson is the keynote speaker.

The New York Assembly speaker touted the passage of a bill to expand the state’s marijuana decriminalization law as part of a “bold progressive agenda” enacted this session.

Iowa Democratic lawmakers are pushing to create a special committee to study medical cannabis and make recommendations before the start of the new session in January.

North Dakota activists filed a marijuana legalization initiative they hope to qualify for the state’s 2020 ballot.

The chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spoke about his opposition to medical cannabis.

New Mexico regulators may be sued over a decision to block out-of-state residents from enrolling in the state’s medical cannabis program.

Oregon regulators are launching a statewide listening tour to gather input from marijuana industry participants this month.

New Jersey regulators posted a request for applications for new medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Utah regulators are expected to select winners of medical cannabis cultivation licenses this month.

New Virginia laws allowing medical cannabis use in schools, more forms of products and registered agents to pick up medicine for patients went into effect on Monday.

The New York Times looks at the effects of marijuana legalization in Colorado.


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 Chicago, Illinois Board of Education removed expulsion as a possible punishment for public school students caught using marijuana or other drugs.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jersey’s minister for economic development, tourism, sport and culture said medical cannabis cultivation will begin there next year.

/ ADVOCACY

The Idaho Republican Party defeated a resolution calling on lawmakers to “decriminalize all forms of cannabis.”

Faith & Freedom Coalition Chairman Ralph Reed praised former Drug Czar Bill Bennett’s efforts to push against drug use “especially against the backdrop of the systematic legalization of marijuana.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that a “cannabinoid is effective in increasing appetite in cancer patients” but that “it declines the quality of life, which may be due to the side effects of cannabinoid.”

A study on modes of marijuana consumption found that “white participants predominantly used pipes/vaporizer” and that “black participants predominantly used blunts.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of UK adults found that they support legalizing marijuana, 47%-30%, and that economic factors were the strongest arguments in favor, while concerns about car accidents and mental health issues were the strongest opposition arguments.

/ BUSINESS

High Times got fooled into picking up an obvious satire story about musician Gene Simmons opening a marijuana dispensary.

Haleigh’s Hope, Inc. announced it obtained Good Manufacturing Practices certification from the Food and Drug Administration.

STAT examines Compass Pathways, which plans to develop and market psychedelic medicines.

Here’s a look at CBD companies’ efforts to game SEO.

/ CULTURE

Musician David Draiman spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Carlos Gracia.

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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/ 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.

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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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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

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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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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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