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Cannabis banking bill will pass by next month, ABA says (Newsletter: September 9, 2019)

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Berkeley votes on psychedelics decrim; Study: Overregulation causes continuing illegal marijuana market; FBI busts mayor accused of cannabiz extortion

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The president and CEO of the American Bankers Association predicted that the House of Representatives will pass marijuana banking legislation as soon as this month and no later than October.

  • “We’re excited that there’s a possibility to get this done. We’ll be pushing very hard.”

The Berkeley, California City Council is scheduled to vote on advancing a resolution to decriminalize psychedelics like psilocybin, ibogaine and ayahuasca on Tuesday.

A new study concluded that overregulation causes continuing illegal marijuana markets after states end prohibition.

  • “Regulation intensity may be one of the main factors that influences or explains the persistence of illegal cannabis transactions after legalization.”

/ FEDERAL

The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the Fall River, Massachuestts mayor on charges he allegedly extorted marijuana businesses for hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for municipal letters of non-opposition.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration officials said they still have not pinpointed a single ingredient in vaping devices believed to be associated with cases of severe lung injury, though they reported that “most of those samples with THC tested also contained significant amounts of Vitamin E acetate.”

A federal judge recommended dismissing a man’s lawsuit against Guam officials over allegedly violating federal law by legalizing marijuana.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) touted his recent work to secure crop insurance and financial services for hemp businesses.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, said he has “always believed we should legalize marijuana.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Black & brown communities—who were disproportionately affected by the failed War on Drugs—are being shut out of the legal marijuana industry. My bill would not only decriminalize marijuana but also ensure economic justice for these communities.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate,  spoke about her support for ending marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs during a speech at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted about visiting a CBD company’s facility.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and direct funding toward repairing the harms of the drug war got two new cosponsors for a total of 37.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got three new cosponsors for a total of 79.

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said she hasn’t decided yet whether to pursue legalizing marijuana again next session but said she is “inclined to.” Meanwhile, the lieutenant governor said he opposes legalization.

Oklahoma’s attorney general issued an opinion saying that preschools should be counted toward the state’s 1,000-foot barrier for medical cannabis dispensaries near schools.

Oregon officials said that a man who died from vaping-related lung injuries bought cannabis oil from two marijuana retail stores and that investigators are working to find leftover product to analyze. “It doesn’t necessarily mean the individual got sick from products that they had purchased at these dispensaries, we just know that the individual shopped at a couple of dispensaries prior to getting ill,” a health official said.

Massachusetts regulators said they are reviewing the federal indictment of Fall River’s mayor for allegedly extorting marijuana businesses in an effort to “protect the integrity of the Commonwealth’s licensing process.”

Nevada regulators are facing an updated lawsuit about the state’s marijuana business licensing process.

Alabama’s agricultural commissioner said that all hemp batches tested so far have complied with THC limits.

Montana regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed medical cannabis testing rules changes on September 26.

New Mexico regulators reported that 33 patients have been approved to use medical cannabis for opioid use disorder since it was added as a qualifying condition in June. They also issued three medical marijuana cards to out-of-state patients.

Michigan regulators held the first in a series of public information sessions about marijuana business licensing.

California tax officials are scheduled to discuss marijuana at a Thursday meeting.


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

Denver, Colorado officials granted the city’s first cannabis consumption special event license.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK secretary of state for health and social care issued a response to medical cannabis report from a House of Commons committee.

The Canadian government spent $75 million on medical cannabis for military veterans over the past fiscal year, with that figure expected to reach $100 million this year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “legalizing marijuana might contribute to a modest reduction in opioid prescriptions.”

A study suggested that “marijuana, especially for military personnel experiencing elevated PTSD symptoms may negatively impact suicidal thoughts and behavior.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

AARP published an overview of medical cannabis issues for seniors.

National Expungement Week is being held from September 21 through 28.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana published a report looking at marijuana industry campaign contributions in Illinois.

/ BUSINESS

CannTrust Holdings Inc. senior staff reportedly brought marijuana seeds from the unregulated market into its growing operations and changed the names of as many as 20 strains to those the company was licensed to sell.

A number of manufacturers of cannabis vape additives are pulling their products offline.

/ CULTURE

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association have had initial conversations about randomly testing players for opioids.

Mike Tyson’s marijuana company is reportedly planning legal action against other brands that are falsely claiming an affiliation with the former boxer.

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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 15-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

Congress to vote on cannabis banking next week (Newsletter: September 16, 2019)

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Lawmakers press FDA to allow CBD products; Marijuana rescheduling bill would fix 280E; Dan Aykroyd & Joe Rogan on psychedelics

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives plans a floor vote on cannabis banking legislation by the end of this month, the office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told Marijuana Moment.

Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and James Comer (R-KY) are asking fellow lawmakers to sign a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration to issue a memo on CBD enforcement discretion and formulate an interim final rule establishing a clear regulatory framework allowing use of CBD in food products and dietary supplements.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) filed a bill to move marijuana to Schedule III. While his stated aim is to expand research, the reform would also end the application of the 280E tax penalty on state-legal cannabis businesses.

/ FEDERAL

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing to strengthen its drug testing rules.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse published a request for information about contractors who can help recruit and screen participants for drug use surveys.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “There’s no question that people of color continue to be hit the hardest by the failed War on Drugs. Enough. It’s time we passed my bill to legalize marijuana and expand opportunities for communities of color.”

House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) said it is “a political liability not to take action on” marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) urged that any federal crackdown on vaping should focus on marijuana products.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) tweeted about discussing hemp at an agriculture town hall meeting.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “We must reinvest in the black and brown communities hardest hit by the failed war on drugs while fighting for real restorative justice.”

The House bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis and prevent the denial of benefits for marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of six.

/ STATES

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) issued an order providing guidance on workplace issues for medical cannabis patients. She also tweeted about signage that registered dispensaries can post to show their official participation in the District’s medical marijuana program.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted that “cannabis has led to- checks notes- none overdose deaths-checks notes- never.” In another tweet, he criticized a judge’s ruling barring medical marijuana for people on probation.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner and chief financial officer sent a letter urging Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation. Separately, an appeals court allowed the state House of Representatives to intervene in a lawsuit challenging medical cannabis regulations.

California’s treasurer sent an update on efforts to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banking. Separately, regulators took enforcement actions against two unlicensed marijuana retailers selling illegal vape cartridges.

Hawaii regulators said they will remove unregulated CBD products from the market.

Utah lawmakers will hold a special session on Monday to consider changes to the medical cannabis distribution system.

An Arizona grand jury indicted a woman on 10 counts of forgery and one count of fraudulent schemes related to a potential medical cannabis zoning conspiracy.

Ohio regulators are urging medical cannabis patients to avoid vaping.

Washington State regulators will hold a listen and learn session about draft conceptual marijuana penalty rules on September 26.

The company suing the Idaho State Police for seizing a hemp shipment says it will drop the lawsuit if its product is returned and officials pledge not to stop future shipments through the state.

A group of Illinois women lawmakers who worked together to pass marijuana legalization legislation are calling themselves “the Cannabitches.”


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

Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor signed an executive order stipulating that city employees and their immediate family members cannot open marijuana businesses or participate in companies seeking cannabis licenses. Shortly after, a Zoning Board of Appeal member resigned.

Davenport, Iowa activists are pushing local officials to decriminalize marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s government said it is committed to making sure the public debate in advance of next year’s marijuana legalization referendum is focused on facts and evidence.

The UK Labour Party pledged to launch a commission to review “all drugs legislation” if it forms a government.

Ontario, Canada officials accused cannabis company officials of fraudulent activity.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “patients with neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and migraine headache may benefit from the analgesic effects of a cannabis-based medicine (CBM), but not necessarily patients with chronic abdominal pain,” that “equivocal results were shown in fibromyalgia and postoperative orthopedic pain” and that “the opioid-sparing properties of CBM make it an attractive option for pain management.”

A study of mice suggested that “combination of THC+CBD suppresses neuroinflammation and attenuates clinical [experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis] development.”

/ BUSINESS

Mind Medicine Inc. will reportedly announce on Monday that it is developing a synthetic drug based on the chemical structure of ibogaine.

A Washington Post investigation looks at how pharmaceutical companies successfully worked to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioids.

Colorado retailers sold more than $166 million in marijuana products in July, setting a new monthly record.

/ CULTURE

Actor Dan Aykroyd discussed use of marijuana and psychedelics with Joe Rogan.

Rapper Lil Wayne cancelled a concert following a hotel dispute about the smell of marijuana emanating from his room.

Kim Kardashian said CBD helps her deal with a busy lifestyle as a mom and businesswoman.

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

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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Newsletter

GOP Senate chair plans cannabis banking vote (Newsletter: September 13, 2019)

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Dems debate drugs; DEA marijuana stall tactics in court; Legalization boosts Colorado population; Black Caucus cannabis focus; New rescheduling bill

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he plans to hold a vote on a marijuana banking bill in his panel by the end of the year.

Democratic presidential candidates clashed on marijuana and drug policy at a debate, with former Vice President Joe Biden (D) saying that cannabis should remain illegal as a misdemeanor.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is holding four separate panels focused on marijuana at its conference this week.

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who strongly opposed marijuana reform in the 1990s as secretary of health and human services during the Clinton administration, joined with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to introduce a bill that would reschedule cannabis and expand research opportunities.

A research group that applied to get Drug Enforcement Administration approval to grow marijuana to be used in scientific studies accused the agency of delay tactics in a federal court filing.

A study examined how cannabis factors into people’s decision to move to a new state and found that “marijuana legalization increased Colorado’s population by 3.2% as of 2015” because “potential migrants view legalized marijuana as a positive amenity.”

/ FEDERAL

Members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology discussed detecting marijuana-related impairment among drivers at a hearing.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) blamed the Obama and Trump administrations for “a failure of political leadership not to deal with the marijuana issue.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “Systemic racism is a root ideology that propped up an extractive economic system that prioritizes profit over human & environmental considerations. The injustices of slavery evolved into Jim Crow, redlining, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, & beyond.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Even in states where marijuana is legal, many people don’t have the time or money to individually petition the court to expunge their marijuana records. More communities need to join Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago in automatically clearing marijuana offenses.”

Police raided an illegal marijuana growing operation at a building whose owners include former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and direct money to programs to begin repairing the harms of the drug war got two new cosponsors for a total of 39.

/ STATES

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to exempt medical cannabis compassion programs from taxes as well as legislation allowing terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana in healthcare facilities. They also approved a bill to let cannabis businesses deduct expenses on their state tax returns and legislation to ban marijuana party buses.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner said that when people think of his state he wants “them to think the same thing they think about hemp like they do Idaho potatoes and Florida orange juice.”

The New Jersey Senate did not vote as expected on Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) suggested changes to a marijuana expungement bill he conditionally vetoed, instead filing a new proposal for consideration.

Washington, D.C. officials moved to allow patients to use a REAL ID driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of residency for the medical cannabis program in lieu of two other forms of acceptable identification.

Massachusetts regulators voted to require marijuana companies to disclose all specific ingredients in vaping cartridges. They also approved a requirement that body cameras be used to film cannabis home deliveries while limiting how the video footage can be used and moved to expand the reach of delivery services.

Utah’s Procurement Policy Board rejected an appeal from a medical cannabis company that was denied a cultivation license but said that regulators may have erred in selecting only eight growers.


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

A judge is accusing New York City police of lying about smelling marijuana to justify vehicle searches.

The Miami Beach, Florida City Commission approved a proposal to treat public marijuana smoking at the same level as an open container violation.

Denver, Colorado police issued a bulletin about an uptick in burglaries at marijuana facilities.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A party in Thailand’s ruling coalition is circulating legislation to allow medical cannabis home cultivation.

South Africa’s government is considering expunging past marijuana convictions.

Paraguayan regulators began a process to license medical cannabis businesses.

Vancouver, Canada’s City Council defeated a measure to crack down on the sale of psilocybin mushrooms.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “use of cannabis and cannabinoids via certain administration routes could reduce different types of pain.”

A study found that in “US community samples of cannabis initiates studied soon after first use, the vast majority were free of individual [side effect] experiences counted toward Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition cannabis use disorder diagnoses.”

A review determined that while “standard field sobriety tests have advantages over per se tests for cannabis-impaired driving, limitations of both leave cannabis users and law enforcement officials little guidance in assessing an individual’s driving fitness after recent cannabis use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

An analysis from prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that cannabis industry participants donated $305,675in campaign contributions  to members of Congress in the first half of 2019, compared with $248,504 last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing New Jersey over a law requiring tax-exempt organizations to disclose information about donors, saying that it will expose the names of people supporting marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform efforts.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s stock sunk after reporting lower-than-expected earnings.

Some Oregon marijuana retailers began pulling vaping products from their stores over uncertainty about ingredients.

/ CULTURE

Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs will serve as brand ambassadors for Alkaline Water Company Inc., which sells CBD products.

The Outline look at why some South American indigenous tribes give psychedelic drugs to dogs.

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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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Newsletter

DEA wants huge increase in legal cannabis growing for 2020 (Newsletter: September 12, 2019)

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USDA hemp regs at White House; Marijuana biz orgs issue vape safety recs; Lawmakers buy cannabis with crypto; POTUS cannabis debate Qs

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…

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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Drug Enforcement Administration proposed that 3.2 million grams of marijuana be legally grown in the U.S. in 2020—a more than 30 percent increase from this year’s quota for cannabis to be used in scientific studies.

At last week’s closed-door federal marijuana summit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that hemp regulations are undergoing final review at the White House and the Justice Department, and a federal prosecutor said he would not tolerate psilocybin mushroom sales in Colorado dispensaries.

The National Cannabis Industry Association and the Cannabis Trade Federation issued a series of recommendations for cannabis businesses and Congress to keep consumers safe amid an epidemic of vaping-related severe lung injuries.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at the cannabis record of former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who cosponsored and voted for numerous measures supporting states’ rights to set marijuana policies during his time in Congress.

Berkeley and Emeryville, California city councilmembers purchased marijuana with cryptocurrency.

Advocates from leading marijuana policy organizations suggested cannabis questions they’d like to see asked of presidential candidates at Thursday’s debate.

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency is being urged by the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group to provide guidance to states on pesticide use on cannabis.

The Bay Area News Group took a look at the marijuana prosecution record of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate.

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We need to legalize cannabis nationwide and properly regulate products in order to keep folks safe.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke about her work to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) mentioned cannabis banking in a speech at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions conference.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said the “odds are very strong” that legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition will move this Congress.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted about discussing marijuana policy with actor Chris Evans.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor for a total of 44.

The House bill to prevent federal agencies from spending money to interfere with state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of 10.

The House bill to allow marijuana in public housing got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

The House resolution urging  states to encourage diversity in the marijuana industry got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

/ STATES

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) spoke about marijuana at a National Coalition of 100 Black Women event. She also tweeted, “702,000+ tax paying residents deserve the right to make their own decisions on how to regulate marijuana!”

Florida’s attorney general raised concerns about the length of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure. Meanwhile, a separate marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign received more than $1 million in donations from two cannabis companies.

Kentucky’s Department of Financial Institutions commissioner said he is frustrated that some banks are still refusing to work with hemp businesses.

South Dakota’s House majority leader said lawmakers are prepared to override a potential veto on hemp legislation next year from Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

The New Jersey Senate is expected to vote Thursday on changes Gov. Phil Murphy (D) suggested to a marijuana expungement bill.

Maryland’s top medical cannabis regulator is resigning.

Texas regulators held a hearing on rules to add incurable neurodegenerative diseases as new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Ohio State Medical Board rejected rejected adding anxiety and autism spectrum disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Illinois regulators named vendors that are approved to provide health and safety training to marijuana businesses.

A man facing Idaho felony marijuana charges for an industrial hemp shipment is pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Oregon regulators are asking marijuana retailers to review vape stocks for safety and to post warning signs on the potential dangers of vaping amidst an outbreak of severe lung injuries. Separately, they are holding a series of meetings to discuss cannabis rules changes.

Massachusetts health officials are mandating that doctors report suspected cases of severe lung injury tied to vaping.


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

Miami Beach, Florida’s mayor is proposing an ordinance to crack down on smoking marijuana in public.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “for each of the opioids investigated (codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine), marijuana use was associated with statistically significant lower urinary opiate levels than in samples without indicators of marijuana use.”

A study concluded that “patients with isolated marijuana use had similar overall graft survival compared to non‐users” and that “marijuana use should not be an absolute contraindication to kidney transplant.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board said that Massachusetts marijuana regulations need to be amended following the federal indictment of a mayor for allegedly extorting marijuana businesses.

The Center for Food Safety issued a scorecard that grades CBD companies’ practices to ensure their products are safe for consumers and the environment.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported 52% quarterly revenue growth and a loss of $11.7 million.

Weedmaps said it has started to implement a policy of only listing licensed businesses. Meanwhile, the United Cannabis Business Association is asking California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to retroactively fine the company for past practices.

Amazon removed from its website products that can be used to make counterfeit marijuana vapes.

Berkeley Patients Group announced it will donate $1 million to 10 nonprofits over 10 years.

/ CULTURE

Polygon takes a look at the rise of psychedelic science fiction.

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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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