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Cannabis action in state capitols this week (Newsletter: Jan. 3, 2018)



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Action on marijuana legislation is expected in several state capitols this week.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana is urging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission to consider punishing CNN for its New Year’s Eve cannabis coverage.


Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) tweeted that “with recreational marijuana now legal in California, and Massachusetts set to begin retail sales on July 1, it’s time for Congress to take a serious look at my bill H.R. 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act.”

Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted about his cosponsorship of legislation to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

Here’s a look at the radical pro-drug-testing views of former National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Robert DuPont, who recently attended a closed-door meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


Wisconsin’s Republican Assembly speaker says he supports medical cannabis, but wants the federal government to change its laws before the state does.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said a feared increased in youth marijuana use following legalization “hasn’t happened.” Separately, he included $10 million of cannabis tax revenue in a budget request to support programs to address teacher shortages.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a gubernatorial candidate, tweeted that “legalizing marijuana is about criminal justice reform. CA is helping put an end to the failed war on drugs and helping tens of thousands of people who were unable to build a future because of prior non-violent marijuana offenses.”

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force will hold its final meeting on Wednesday.

Maine lawmakers will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization implementation legislation on Friday.

California regulators began accepting applications for annual cultivation, nursery and processing marijuana business licenses. Separately, the Associated Press looks at how the state wasn’t able to get its cannabis track-and-trace system online in time for the start of sales. And here’s a look at how licensing is going so far.

A Mississippi representative filed a marijuana decriminalization bill.

A Kentucky senator introduced a CBD medical cannabis bill.

Oregon regulators adopted new hemp rules.

Alaska regulators say they are concerned about inconsistent marijuana testing results.


Cartersville, Georgia police arrested 70 people at a “Christmas lingerie-themed” house party after no one would claim the less than an ounce of marijuana they found.

Los Angeles, California City Council members discussed a proposal to create a city-run bank to serve the marijuana industry.


Strong Economy for Growth, which opposed the 2016 Massachusetts marijuana legalization ballot measure, has paid a $31,000 civil forfeiture penalty stemming from campaign finance violations related in part to $200,000 in funding from prohibitionist funder Julie Schauer. Previously, prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana paid California $6,000 in fines related to anti-legalization campaign finance violations involving Schauer’s money.

Marijuana law reform advocates in Vermont will hold a daylong series of events in the state Capitol on Tuesday.

Anti-marijuana “Bishop” Ron Allen suggested that legalization would cause more people to lace it with crack cocaine and PCP.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is pushing to legalize industrial hemp.


An analysis from Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics suggests that the total economic output from legal cannabis will grow 150% from $16 billion in 2017 to $40 billion by 2021.

Alaska marijuana businesses generated $872,197 in tax revenue in November.

Here’s a look at how the mainstream media is approaching covering the marijuana beat.

MedMen launched an ad campaign depicting faces representing the diversity of cannabis consumers.

Wells Fargo closed the bank account for MassRoots. (Disclosure: I am a former employee and minority shareholder in the company.)

Severn Savings Bank has opened accounts for many of Maryland’s medical cannabis businesses.

An analysis in Footwear News suggests that legalizing marijuana could hurt shoe sales due to displaced consumer discretionary income.

/ CULTURE     

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he is a “proponent” of legalizing marijuana and that it is “a much better option than some of the prescription drugs.”

Cypress Hill will headline the National Cannabis Festival in Washington, D.C. this April.

Late-night TV hosts had fun with marijuana news.

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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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