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Cannabis ballot wins can lead to federal reform (Newsletter: November 5, 2020)

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OH cities decrim marijuana; Cannabis votes inspire nearby state officials; NJ AG enforcement discretion memo; NJ gov: congrats to other legal states

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Four more Ohio cities voted to decriminalize marijuana.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told Marijuana Moment that the fact that every single cannabis and drug policy reform ballot measure was approved on Election Day will encourage more lawmakers from both parties to advance legalization in Congress.

Huge victories for marijuana ballot measures on Tuesday are inspiring top officials in states like Connecticut, New York and Pennsylvania to step up the push to enact cannabis legalization.

  • “If we do something, we do it on a regional basis. New Jersey has done this, Massachusetts is already legal, Rhode Island is looking at it, New York is looking at it—so I’ll be talking with my fellow governors about what, if anything, we want to do on a regional basis and then talking with the legislature as well.”

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) issued a memo urging police and prosecutors to use discretion when enforcing marijuana laws now that voters have approved legalization. For now, cannabis is still criminalized while lawmakers work on enabling legislation.

Fresh off a resounding victory in his own state for a marijuana legalization referendum that he campaigned heavily for, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) took time to send a series of tweets congratulating other states that also voted to end cannabis prohibition on Tuesday.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “Shout out to the hard work of grassroots organizers who successfully led a wave of marijuana legalization, expungement, & drug decriminalization efforts last night.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The American people continue to lead the way on cannabis reform. It’s past time for Congress to catch up.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) responded to a tweet about marijuana and drug policy reform ballot victories by saying, “This is taking on extra import this AM.”

Rep.-elect Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) spoke about the need to legalize marijuana.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted, “Access to safe and legal cannabis is a step forward for social and racial justice.”

New Jersey Assembly Democrats posted a video touting the passage of the state’s marijuana legalization referendum.

Oklahoma regulators sent an alert about a recall of medical cannabis products that failed testing.

Maine regulators sent an advisory about marijuana businesses’ eligibility for the Efficiency Maine energy efficiency incentive program.

Michigan regulators sent guidance about common issues faced by marijuana businesses.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Governance Frame Working Subcommittee met, and the Patient Equity Subcommittee will meet on Thursday.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Tuesday.

/ LOCAL

Portland, Maine voters approved a ballot measure to remove the city’s cap on marijuana retail licenses.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma City Council is considering allowing drive-thru service at medical cannabis dispensaries.

Oakland, California police shot a person following a robbery at a marijuana dispensary.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review of CBD as a therapy for cardiomyopathies and heart failure concluded it can “greatly limit the production of oxygen/nitrogen reactive species, thereby limiting cellular damage, protecting mitochondria, avoiding caspase activation, and regulating ionic homeostasis” and “can affect myocardial contraction by restricting the activation of inflammatory pathways and cytokine secretion, lowering tissular infiltration by immune cells, and reducing the area of infarct and fibrosis formation.”

A study found that “psilocybin-assisted therapy was efficacious in producing large, rapid, and sustained antidepressant effects in patients with major depressive disorder.”

/ BUSINESS

Dr. Bronner’s sent a press release touting the success of drug policy reform campaigns it has been supporting.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported $34.3 million in quarterly revenue.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company reported that its cannabis-focused division Hawthorne saw  $351.9 million in quarterly sales.

Hackers accessed personal information of millions of users of GrowDiaries.

/ CULTURE

Filmmaker Kevin Smith tweeted, “Leaning against the Quick Stop wall all those years shmokin’ weed, Jay and Silent Bob never dreamed this day could be possible! Congrats to the good folks of the great state of New Jersey on legalizing marijuana! The Garden State is finally green!”

Google searches for “how to roll a joint” surged in New Jersey following the state’s approval of a marijuana legalization referendum.

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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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69% of Americans want legal cannabis, poll says (Newsletter: April 16, 2021)

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Schumer: Marijuana bill on Senate floor “soon”; AL medical cannabis advances; TN senators approve marijuana bill; WI gov pushes legalization

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  • Nurse Deb McCauley: “The unbiased, honest, and timely information that Marijuana Moment allows myself, and other healthcare advocates, to stay informed on legislative updates regarding cannabis and entheogenic plant medicines. They are my go-to resource and I will continue to support them and share their information with others so we can dispel the lie that was sold to us so many years ago. Thank you for all you do!”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new Quinnipiac University poll found that 69% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana, an all-time high. A majority of Democrats, Republicans, independents and people from every age and racial demographic in the survey are on board.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said his forthcoming federal marijuana legalization bill will be considered on the Senate floor “soon.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he’s sick of seeing marijuana revenue go to other states. He also held a town hall meeting about cannabis and urged voters to pressure lawmakers in the Republican-controlled legislature to stop blocking reform.

  • “Frankly I’m kind of tired of talking to the governor from Illinois. Whenever I get with him, he thanks me for having Wisconsinites cross the border to buy marijuana.”

The Alabama House Health Committee approved a medical cannabis bill, sending it to the House floor. A prior version has already passed the full Senate.

The Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee approved a limited medical cannabis bill, sending it to the floor.

/ FEDERAL

The Census Bureau is extending the public comment period on a request to add marijuana and other new questions to an annual survey about state tax collections.

Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders coauthored an op-ed criticizing the American Medical Association for its opposition to legalizing marijuana.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) again spoke about his evolution on marijuana policy reform.

The House marijuana banking bill got four new cosponsors for a total of 151.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 23.

/ STATES

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed a bill allowing hemp to be used as animal feed. Separately, the Senate Select Committee on Marijuana Laws held another hearing on legalization implementation legislation.

The Idaho House of Representatives defeated a proposed constitutional amendment that would have prevented voters from legalizing Schedule I or II drugs via ballot initiatives.

The California Senate passed a bill to remove mandatory prison and jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Wisconsin’s Senate majority leader said there isn’t enough Republican support in the body to approve a medical cannabis bill.

The Louisiana House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill to allow the taxation of medical cannabis flower, if legalized under separate legislation.

Several Connecticut Democratic lawmakers said they will vote against a marijuana legalization bill unless it contains sufficient equity provisions.

The Oregon Psilocybin Research Subcommittee held its first meeting.

Oklahoma regulators are being sued by medical cannabis businesses who say the state’s tracking system is unlawful.

New Mexico regulators fined New MexiCann Natural Medicine $142,000 for worker safety violations related to a fire that injured employees.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about marijuana compliance testing, research and development testing and remediation rules.

Missouri regulators have now approved more than 100 medical cannabis businesses to operate.

Minnesota regulators launched a new dashboard for data about the medical cannabis program.

Ohio regulators will consider medical cannabis rules changes on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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 Nassau County, New York legislature is considering a proposal to ban marijuana on county-owned properties.

Chicago, Illinois marijuana arrests continue to be carried out on a racially disproportionate basis following legalization, police data shows.

Denver, Colorado regulators sent alerts about application information for marijuana businesses and upcoming City Council consideration of cannabis legislation..

San Francisco, California officials will host a Monday meeting on how marijuana businesses can prepare for potential unrest as a result of the pending verdict in the Derrick Chauvin trial.

A former Philadelphia, Pennsylvania mayor coauthored an op-ed about the need for federal marijuana reform.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Canadian member of Parliament filed a bill to decriminalize drug possession and expunge prior records, days after the city of Vancouver, British Columbia asked the federal government for permission to enact a local decriminalization policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of cancer patients found that using medical cannabis “improved sleep initiation and continuity, resulted in decreased use of sleep medications, and that improved sleep led to better health.”

A study on using psilocybin to treat depression found that results “did not show a significant difference in antidepressant effects between psilocybin and escitalopram in a selected group of patients” but that “secondary outcomes generally favored psilocybin over escitalopram.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Alex Berenson and Tucker Carlson discussed what they see as the harms of marijuana during an interview.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s cofounder Ben Cohen is launching a line of marijuana prerolls.

Tilray, Inc. is delaying its shareholder meeting to approve a proposed merger with Aphria Inc. for two weeks.

TILT Holdings Inc.  reported quarterly revenue of $42.3 million and a net loss of $92.1 million.

Columbia Care Inc. launched a solid-fill cannabis powder capsule for medicinal use in the UK.

JOI Guitars released a line of acoustic guitars made out of hemp wood.

/ CULTURE

Basketball players John Wall and Carmelo Anthony are investing in cannabis company LEUNE.

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MN legal cannabis bill clears 6th committee (Newsletter: April 15, 2021)

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Boehner open to using marijuana; WA gov commutes drug sentences; AL medical cannabis amendments; Fmr. TX gov pushes psychedelics bill

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  • Houman Shahi of CBD Oracle: “Marijuana Moment is my go-to source for news on cannabis development. With so much going on in the industry, it’s hard to stay in-the-know but Tom delivers top-level reporting that’s digestible, unbiased, and reliable.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is issuing commutations for people now unlawfully incarcerated on drug possession charges after the state Supreme Court struck down criminalization. Meanwhile, a decriminalization bill is advancing in the legislature as the session’s end nears.

The Minnesota House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill—the sixth such panel to do so. The majority leader says a floor vote is coming in May.

The California Senate Health Committee approved a bill to legalize possession of psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin and MDMA—the second committee to advance the legislation.

The Alabama House Health Committee adopted amendments to a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill. The panel is expected to approve the legislation, sending it to the House floor, on Thursday.

The Mississippi Supreme Court held oral arguments in a case challenging the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis law.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said in his new book and in a TV interview that while he hasn’t consumed marijuana since joining the industry, he’s not ruling out doing so.

  • “If somebody wants to smoke a joint or eat a gummy, that’s really none of my business.”

Former Texas governor, U.S. energy secretary and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is urging lawmakers in his home state to pass a bill to require a study of how psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA can treat mental health conditions.

/ FEDERAL

Customs and Border Protection issued a reminder that bringing marijuana into the U.S. is illegal.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on substance use issues.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. I stood with organizers and advocates to ensure NY legalized Marijuana in a way that would help undo the damage of the War on Drugs. I’ll keep working to end the federal prohibition.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and four other senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden opposing the temporary extension of a Trump-era policy expanding mandatory minimum sentencing for a range of fentanyl-related substances.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) spoke about his marijuana banking bill at a community bankers conference.

The Senate bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to insurance coverage got one new cosponsor for a total of three.

/ STATES

A top aide for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said people who want to use marijuana legally before dispensaries open should buy it at stores in other states.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner showed her own medical cannabis card in a video she posted to criticize Republican efforts to enact restrictions on patients.

The South Dakota Supreme Court posted information about viewing April 28 oral arguments in a case challenging the voter-approved marijuana legalization measure.

The Illinois House of Representatives approved a bill to regulate CBD products.

The Hawaii Senate passed a bill to let medical cannabis companies open additional production and dispensary locations.

The Oregon Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation advanced a bill to make changes to the state’s voter-approved drug decriminalization law.

A Pennsylvania representative hosted a forum on how the black community can benefit from marijuana legalization.

Colorado regulators are accepting public feedback on hemp rules.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about the transfer of marijuana products between equivalent licensed businesses.

Rhode Island regulators did not receive any bids to run an upcoming lottery to award new medical cannabis business licenses.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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 St. Louis County, Missouri Council approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

The Maplewood, Missouri City Council passed a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

The Little Rock, Arkansas Board of Directors is considering a proposal to make misdemeanor marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement priority.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke about business interests that are lobbying to shape marijuana legalization legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that hemp peptides “are of potential therapeutic interest for liver cancer treatment.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New England Cannabis Convention reportedly banned remaining members of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association from attending its events over the group’s decision to sue Massachusetts regulators over an equity-focused marijuana delivery policy.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs closed its acquisition of Bluma Wellness Inc.

Connected Cannabis Co. raised $30 million in debt and equity financing.

Jushi Holdings Inc. is acquiring a Virginia medical cannabis cultivation facility from Dalitso LLC.

Zenefits published a guide to state laws on marijuana-related workplace issues.

Arkansas medical cannabis dispensaries are selling an average of nearly $900,000 worth of product every day.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Ralo plans to plead guilty in a pending marijuana trafficking case.

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Biden DEA pick open to medical cannabis laws (Newsletter: April 14, 2021)

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IL marijuana revenue outweighs alcohol; Tribute to cannabis pioneer Steve Fox; CT legalization poll; CO sales data

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  • Kevin Kovacic:”Your morning emails rock!!! Keep ’em coming!! Every morning I start my day with the Marijuana Moment email, hoping to read that Wisconsin legalized. The governor is trying, but not trying hard enough.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Anne Milgram, President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration, called a New Jersey medical cannabis bill “workable” while serving as the state’s attorney general. Those are very limited comments, but a DEA head who potentially understands the medical benefits of marijuana would undermine its ongoing status as a Schedule I drug.

Longtime marijuana activist Steve Fox, who was a driving force behind Colorado’s historic cannabis legalization measure and so many other movement wins, has passed away. His colleagues have launched a GoFundMe to support his family during this difficult time.

The Illinois Department of Revenue reported that as of last quarter the state now takes in more tax revenue from marijuana sales than from alcohol.

A new poll found that 67% of Connecticut residents support legalizing marijuana. The public backing comes as two cannabis legalization bills are advancing in the legislature.

Colorado retailers sold $167 million worth of legal marijuana in February. Cannabis sales for the first two months of 2021 are $78 million higher than for the same period last year.

/ FEDERAL

The Biden administration is reportedly expected to support a temporary extension of a Trump-era policy expanding mandatory minimum sentencing for a range of fentanyl-related substances.

Sen. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) tweeted, “By legalizing adult-use cannabis, New Mexico is taking bold steps to get our economy moving again, create new jobs and economic opportunities, and begin to undo the disparate harm of criminalization.”

The House resolution that calls for legalizing marijuana, expunging drug convictions and allowing safe consumption sites got one new cosponsor for a total of 18.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) sent a press release about an auction of marijuana-themed license plates to benefit the state Disability Funding Committee.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “The war on drugs has forever been a story of racial injustice. Even last year — during a global pandemic — a disproportionate number of Black PA’ians were arrested for marijuana. It’s time we #LegalizeIt and stop locking people up for possession.” He also tweeted, “Yesterday, New Mexico became the seventh state since November to legalize adult-use marijuana. Pennsylvania is falling behind. Residents want legalization.”

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) authored an op-ed criticizing pending marijuana reform legislation.

Michigan’s attorney general launched a new webpage to inform people about a new law that expunges prior marijuana and other convictions.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that a construction company needs to pay for the cost of its injured worker’s medical cannabis.

Virginia’s House speaker posted a video of herself singing the recently approved marijuana legalization bill.

Connecticut House leaders are working to craft a marijuana legalization bill that can get enough votes to pass even if a number of Democrats oppose it.

The Illinois House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill to regulate CBD and Delta-8-THC products this week.

The Iowa Department of Human Services is being sued by a woman who says she is being blocked from becoming a preschool teacher due to an expunged prior marijuana charge.

Oklahoma regulators revoked the license of a medical cannabis testing lab.

A member of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is stepping down.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will hold a training session on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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

San Francisco, California’s mayor held a press conference to emphasize that the annual 4/20 rally in Golden Gate Park is canceled.

New York City Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams criticized rivals for supporting drug policy reform.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she wants a bipartisan approach to treating drugs as a health issue, but the opposition National Party doesn’t seem interested.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “all studies exhibited anxiolytic and antidepressant activities after CBD use.”

A study found that “the vast majority of patients self-selecting into cannabis use for treatment of nausea likely experience relief within a relative short duration of time, but the level of antiemetic effect varies with the characteristics of the cannabis products consumed in vivo.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Mexico Republican Party criticized Democrats for enacting a marijuana legalization law.

Americans for Safe Access launched an action alert urging House and Urban Development Sec. Marcia Fudge to issue guidance allowing patients to use medical cannabis in federal housing.

AAA is hosting an event about New Jersey marijuana laws on 4/20.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram Holdings Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$14.6 million and a net loss of C$66.3 million.

Mydecine Innovations Group says it has identified previously uncharacterized compounds in psilocybin mushrooms and is going to screen them to test for therapeutic effects.

/ CULTURE

South Park is partnering with adidas to launch a Towlie shoe on 4/20.

Actor Jaleel White launched a Purple Urkle cannabis brand with 710 Labs.

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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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