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Cannabis banking accounts level off, federal data shows (Newsletter: November 5, 2019)



SD marijuana ballot signatures submitted; Former VA head talks cannabis research; Another UK Parliament committee backs drug decrim

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New data from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network shows that the number of banks working with marijuana businesses leveled off during the last quarter. That could be because the House ended up voting on cannabis banking legislation later than expected—just five days before the end of the quarter.

South Dakota activists turned in what should be more than enough signatures to qualify separate marijuana legalization and medical cannabis initiatives for the state’s 2020 ballot.

Former Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin said in an interview and wrote in his new book that the VA should conduct medical cannabis research that the department had blocked under his own leadership.

  • “In my mind, the VA has a responsibility to pursue any therapeutic avenue that might bring relief to suffering veterans. My new interpretation appeared to many as a new position, and some accused me of double-talk. In fact, my personal views never changed on this; any discrepancy arose from my staff’s failure to fully explain what the law really stated.”

The UK House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee issued a report endorsing drug decriminalization and the opening of safe consumption facilities for illegal substances. It’s the second parliamentary panel to back decriminalization in as many weeks.


A federal grand jury convened by the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts is investigating agreements and payments between the state’s municipalities and the marijuana businesses they host.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture official spoke about the possibility of a federal hemp promotion program.

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced that it took in nearly 883,000 pounds of unused medications, as well as vaping products, during its annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, criticized politicians who have admitted to consuming cannabis but haven’t endorsed expunging other people’s marijuana records.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said he is pleased with proposed federal hemp regulations.


Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D) pushed back against a claim from the vice speaker of the legislature that the territory’s marijuana legalization law is encouraging young people to use cannabis.

California’s attorney general announced the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program eradicated 953,459 cannabis plants from 345 raided grow sites across the state over the past year.

Kentucky Democratic attorney general candidate Greg Stumbo tweeted, “Everyone has a loved one who’s battled cancer, knows a child who lives with autism, or has met a brave veteran who struggles with PTSD. For those Kentuckians and every other who would benefit from it, we need medical marijuana now.”

Wisconsin’s Assembly minority leader criticized Republicans for opposing marijuana law reform.

Maine regulators announced they will begin accepting applications for marijuana testing labs on November 18, and then open up the process for cultivation, manufacturing and retail business licenses on December 5.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will hear several marijuana bills on Tuesday.

Minnesota Democratic lawmakers released excerpts of comments they have received during a statewide marijuana legalization listening tour.

Alaska regulators are investigating the potential use of dangerous pesticides by a marijuana cultivation business.

Oregon regulators will hold a hearing on proposed changes to the definition of “kief” and other marijuana rules next week.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hosting a hemp summit next month.

Washington State regulators sent an update on medical cannabis issues.

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.

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Ten Michigan municipalities are voting on measures to ban, allow or limit recreational marijuana business on Tuesday.

The Kern County, California Sheriff’s Office eradicated approximately 10 million marijuana plants that were allegedly being “grown under the guise of legitimate hemp production.”


Malta’s economy minister said his country will be one of the first to offer high-grade medical cannabis in Europe.

Paraguay’s minister of health announced that regulators will issue five medical cannabis business licenses.


A study found that “CBD could be a useful option to treat social anxiety.”

A study concluded that cannabis-based medicines “might be effective and safe in the treatment of tics and comorbidities at least in a subgroup of adult patients with [Gilles de la Tourette syndrome].”


The National Cannabis Industry Association spent nearly half a million dollars engaging a lobbying firm whose principal reportedly embellished his ties to President Trump and the Republican National Committee.

The Drug Policy Alliance announced the winners of its biennial achievement awards.


Select 7-Eleven stores will house CBD dispensing machines from Greenbox Robotics.

Medical practitioners at walk-in clinics at some Walmart stores in Canada are receiving training on giving medical cannabis advice to patients.

Cronos Group Inc.’s purchase of CBD product maker Lord Jones for $300 million—75 to 150 times that company’s 2018 revenue—reportedly meant that a private equity firm co-founded by Cronos’s CEO stood to take in 40% of the purchase price, including more than $20 million in fees.

Several large wealth management firms, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, are allowing financial advisers to invest in Canadian marijuana stocks on their clients’ behalf.

Vana says it has developed age-and geographic-gated technology that is placing legal cannabis ads on BuzzFeed, USA Today and other news sites.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how brokerage firms are navigating the divide between state and federal marijuana laws.


A journalist outside a World Series game mentioned that he smelled marijuana during an on-air report.

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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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