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

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

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There are now 1,217 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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  • Rochelle Koch of Whole Circle Farms: “We believe it is important to support organizations in our industry so that our collective voice can be heard, even if these organizations such as Marijuana Moment are only a voice of information. Thanks Tom for your work.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

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.

/ FEDERAL

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.

/ STATES

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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

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.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

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.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

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].”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

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.

/ BUSINESS

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.

/ CULTURE

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

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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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House leaders push legal cannabis states on impaired driving (Newsletter: June 4, 2020)

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VA gov cites marijuana decrim as racial justice move; USVI gov touts legal cannabis revenue; VT activist seeks high bailiff office

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,506 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.

  • Jim Higdon of Cornbread Hemp: “There’s two newsletters I read every morning: Politico Playbook and Tom Angell’s Marijuana Moment. The MM newsletter is the daily heartbeat of the cannabis community. It’s absolutely amazing what Tom and Kyle get done every day to keep us informed.”  

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Transportation Committee leaders filed a bill requiring legal marijuana states—and only those states—to consider creating programs to “educate drivers on the risks associated with marijuana-impaired driving and to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from individuals driving motor vehicles while impaired by marijuana.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) cited a marijuana decriminalization bill he recently signed as an example of how the state is addressing racial inequities that have inspired recent protests of police violence against black Americans.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) touted marijuana legalization’s economic impact at a conference focused on boosting revenue for the territory. Cruise passengers and hotel guests would buy an estimated $43 million worth of cannabis every year, according to a projection commissioned by his office.

  • “We need to get this measure done as quickly as possible in order to start impacting our economy in a very positive way.”

Dave Silberman is a Vermont marijuana legalization advocate who is running for a county elected office actually called “high bailiff.” It might sound funny, but he’s using his campaign to highlight a serious drug policy reform platform.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted an updated list of approved hemp testing laboratories.

The White House  Office of National Drug Control Policy designated 12 additional areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said that the Senate Banking Committee is not a particularly favorable place to have marijuana legislation referred to.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) budget is projecting declining marijuana sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. Separately, regulators are holding a cannabis business payroll tax compliance webinar on Thursday.

Louisiana lawmakers sent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) a bill to regulate hemp and CBD.

Iowa lawmakers sent Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) a bill to set a per-person medical cannabis THC limit of 4.5 grams in 90 days.

The North Carolina House of Representatives approved a revised agriculture bill with controversial smokable hemp ban language removed.

Washington State regulators posted an overview of coronavirus-related policies for marijuana businesses.

Michigan regulators released a bulletin outlining the requirements for annual financial statements for medical cannabis businesses.

Oregon regulators approved marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.


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

A Myrtle Beach, South Carolina City Council member said he would consider supporting a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

A security guard was shot and killed at an unlicensed Spring Valley, California marijuana dispensary.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “data support the safety and effectiveness of [medical cannabis] as a complementary option for improving pain control, appetite and quality of life in [supportive cancer care].”

A study found that cannabis consumers “generally had low accuracy in identifying effective harm reduction techniques and low rates of utilizing effective harm reduction techniques, using them at the same rate overall as techniques without empirical support.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Cannabis Industry Association filed an amicus brief in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case in which Harborside Health Center is challenging the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses.

The National Cannabis Roundtable released a statement about its member businesses’ efforts to combat injustice and inequality.

/ BUSINESS

Sundial Herbal Products has been ordered by a federal judge to stop distributing unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs, including a hemp seed oil it claimed  “suppresses the growth of cancer.”

FSD Pharma Inc. received Food and Drug Administration approval to submit an Investigational New Drug Application for the use of a substance to increase endogenous levels of endocannabinoids to treat patients with coronavirus.

Michigan dispensaries Pharmhouse Wellness,, The Botanical Co. and Om of Medicine are offering a 10 percent discount to customers convicted of marijuana-related felonies and a 5 percent discount to those convicted of marijuana-related misdemeanors.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is selling its shares in Alcanna Inc.

/ CULTURE

Pornstar Nacho Vidal was arrested on manslaughter charges after another man died during a ritual involving psychedelic toad venom.

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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

White House reviewing cannabis research plan from FDA (Newsletter: June 3, 2020)

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Trump campaign attacks Biden’s drug war record. Poll: 2/3 AZ voters back legal marijuana; Booker calls out cannabis arrest disparity

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By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.

  • James Rowland of Rowland Strategy Group, LLC: “Tom Angell’s Marijuana Moment beats the Politico Pro Cannabis newsletter hands down. A must-have tool for government affairs professionals working in the cannabis policy space.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing draft Food and Drug Administration guidance on marijuana and CBD research.

President Trump’s reelection campaign is attacking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as “the chief architect of mass incarceration and the War on Drugs, which targeted Black Americans.”

  • “Joe Biden’s policies destroyed millions of black lives. Joe Biden may not remember. But we do.”

A poll found that two-thirds of Arizona likely voters support a marijuana legalization measure that is on track to qualify for the November ballot.

  • “All signs point to 2020 being the year that recreational marijuana finally becomes legal in Arizona.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) cited racial disparities in marijuana enforcement as an example of what’s motivating police accountability protests.

  • People “can’t get a job, can’t get a loan from the bank for doing things that two of the last three presidents have admitted to doing.”

In an op-ed, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri makes the case for how legalizing marijuana is just one part of the broader fight for racial justice, but an important one.

  • “Of course, marijuana prohibition isn’t the sole cause of America’s racial inequities, nor is it the sole reason why certain members of the police continue to engage in racially-aggressive policing and misconduct. But its criminalization is one of the tools commonly used to justify and perpetuate these injustices.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been given temporary authority to “enforce any federal crime committed as a result of protests over the death of George Floyd” and to “conduct covert surveillance” on protestors.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) spoke during a Judiciary Committee hearing about a man who died of coronavirus while serving a federal prison sentence for marijuana.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, “We hold more prisoners, by far, than any other country in the world.  This is largely due to the failed war on drugs, which disproportionately and unjustly targeted people of color.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said that “too often marijuana arrests and prosecutions are a gateway to criminalizing the minority population.”

/ STATES

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) reiterated his call for lawmakers to pass marijuana legalization legislation and celebrated federal approval of the territory’s hemp program.

Maine regulators are being sued over a decision not to enforce a state residency requirement for marijuana business licensees.

California regulators are seeking funding to hire 87 officers to enforce marijuana rules.

The Connecticut legislature’s Regulations Review Committee approved adding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and certain instances of chronic pain as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Massachusetts regulators are investigating the looting of multiple marijuana dispensaries.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK secretary of state for health and social care pledged to look into medical cannabis access delays.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “there is substantial evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in treating cancer-related pain; specifically, oromucosal THC/CBD spray” and that “there is conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in relieving chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; specifically, oral THC.”

A study found that hemp protein products “may improve chronic inflammatory states and promote regenerative processes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights led more than 400 organizations in calling on Congress to enact policing reforms, including legislation to “prohibit the use of no-knock warrants, especially for drug searches.”

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is organizing a virtual lobby day next week.

/ BUSINESS

Hightimes Holding Corp. plans to launch a marijuana delivery service in California next month.

PetSmart is being sued for allegedly using  false and deceptive practices to sell hemp products for pets.

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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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LA lawmakers send medical cannabis expansion to gov’s desk (Newsletter: June 2, 2020)

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MI lawmakers vote on letting their spouses get marijuana licenses; MedMen closes all stores; Study discovers cannabis use at ancient biblical site

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,506 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Louisiana lawmakers sent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) a bill to let doctors recommend medical cannabis for any debilitating condition they see fit. They also approved legislation on marijuana business banking access, legal immunity for doctors and a study on the cannabis industry workforce.

The Michigan House of Representatives is set to vote Tuesday on a bill to let elected officials’ spouses get medical cannabis business licenses. Meanwhile, many people with past drug convictions remain ineligible.

Researchers discovered evidence of marijuana use at an ancient biblical site in Israel.

  • “It seems likely that cannabis was used at Arad as a deliberate psychoactive, to stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies.”

MedMen has closed all of its marijuana stores nationwide following the looting of several locations over the weekend.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), in a letter to Attorney General William Barr about transferring incarcerated people to home confinement, cited the case of a man who died from coronavirus while serving a marijuana sentence.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) said in a press release that “the history and trauma of racism and Jim Crow is not a memory of the past, but is a reality still today, exacerbated by the fact that Black Americans are disproportionately the targets of injustices ranging from mass incarceration and police brutality, to the War on Drugs and COVID-19.”

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Qasim Rashid tweeted, “We must decriminalize & stop the drug war, invest in treatment, invest in training officers, stop militarization of police, and divert those resources to education & healthcare.”

New York Democratic congressional candidate Suraj Patel tweeted, “Sentencing disparities, selective enforcement of the law, and police brutality disproportionately harm Black Americans. We must legalize marijuana and retroactively expunge all marijuana related records.”

/ STATES

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill tying state approval of cannabis-based medicines to federal law.

West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith tweeted, “We’re the only leading campaign that supports full cannabis legalization. With that extra $194mil/year, what would you fix first?”

The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit from a medical cannabis patient who was fired by his employer for refusing to take a drug test.

The Virginia State Police reported that marijuana arrests declined more than eight percent from 2018 to 2019.

Missouri regulators have approved more than 50,000 medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

Ohio regulators sent reminders about medical cannabis vaporizer requirements and the issue of dispensaries permitting entry to non-patient juveniles.


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

A majority of Baltimore, Maryland mayoral and City Council candidates said in a survey that they would “actively support establishing overdose prevention sites.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

A former New Zealand prime minister is part of a campaign urging voters to approve a marijuana legalization referendum.

Maltese regulators said they are weighing five applications to cultivate cannabis for medical and research purposes.

Colombian regulators touted a new digital tool they are using for medical cannabis licensing.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “inhaled cannabis acutely reduced PTSD symptoms by more than 50%” and “higher doses of cannabis predicted larger reductions in anxiety and intrusions,” but “cannabis did not appear to improve or worsen PTSD symptoms in the long-term.”

A study concluded that “hemp supplementation improved HDL cholesterol, tended to support psychometric measures of perceived sleep, stress response, and perceived life pleasure and was well tolerated with no clinically relevant safety concerns.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Minority Cannabis Business Association issued a statement of solidarity with people protesting police violence.

/ BUSINESS

PAX Labs launched a web-based desktop app to control its vaporization devices after Apple removed its former product from the App Store.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced it entered into two agreements worth up to $60 million in gross proceeds.

Leafs by Snoop is the most recognizable cannabis brand, according to a survey conducted by Green Horizons.

Oklahoma dispensaries sold more than $73 million worth of medical cannabis products in May.

/ CULTURE

A survey found that 49.5% of MMA fighters currently use marijuana, and 76.5% say they have used CBD products.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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