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Cannabis decrim heads to governor’s desk in New Mexico (Newsletter: March 18, 2019)



Marijuana equity activists protest Boehner SXSW speech; Mexican lawmakers start cannabis talks; Anti-legalization congressman slams DEA

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There are now 938 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 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.


New Mexico lawmakers sent a marijuana decriminalization bill to the desk of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D). Meanwhile, a broader bill to legalize cannabis sales through state-run stores stalled in committee.

Anti-legalization Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) seemed to slam the Drug Enforcement Administration for refusing to reschedule marijuana during a House hearing.

  • “The DEA is failing the American public here by not letting research take place on marijuana.”

Activists for equity in the marijuana industry protested SXSW speeches by former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and MedMen’s CEO.

New polling analysis from the Pew Research Center shows that independent voters overwhelmingly support legalizing marijuana—regardless of whether they lean Republican or Democrat.

Denver, Colorado officials launched an interactive map that tracks how marijuana tax revenue funds educational programs.

Mexican lawmakers from competing parties teamed up to discuss how to work together to enact marijuana reform.


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy invoked executive privilege to block a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the text of anti-marijuana memos submitted to the office by various federal agencies.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted, ” Hope EVERYONE agrees, we must do all we can to prevent youth marijuana use. Both the product and the delivery systems today can mean MUCH ⬆️ THC to brain than in past, and ⬆️ risk – esp to youth.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) and five cosponsors filed a House resolution that “condemns the Government of the Philippines for its role in state-sanctioned extrajudicial killings by police and other armed individuals as part of the ‘War on Drugs.'”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is about dignity & free choice. Denying both to a dying man is the real crime. I just intro’d bipartisan bill to end federal marijuana prohibition.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted about having dinner with travel writer Rick Steves, adding, “Rick’s the ultimate ethical businessman, using his platform to advocate against hunger & fascism, and for fair taxation & legalization of Marijuana. Grateful for all his work!”

The New York Times looks at how supporting marijuana legalization is a mainstream position for Democratic presidential candidates.


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said she will add marijuana legalization to the agenda for the state’s 2020 legislative session and touted a hemp bill that lawmakers approved this year. Lawmakers also sent a medical cannabis expansion bill to her desk.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tweeted, “Thank you to the Florida Legislature for honoring the will of the people and taking action on medical marijuana.”

Kentucky’s attorney general said he wants to let voters decide on medical cannabis, and that he would vote for it. Meanwhile, the agriculture commissioner tweeted, “In Kentucky, we designed our hemp program to help any family farmer willing to give it a chance.  Hemp once thrived in Kentucky and now we are bringing it back!” He’s set to release new data on the economic impact of hemp on Monday.

Illinois’s treasurer is supporting state legislation to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

Idaho’s secretary of state said that pending legislation to make it harder to qualify voter initiatives for the ballot would apply to a medical cannabis and hemp petition that was recently filed.

Delaware’s Department of Justice is supporting a bill to make the possession, use or consumption of a personal use quantity of marijuana by minors a civil violation.

A Massachusetts judge ruled that state regulators do not have the authority to review host community agreements between municipalities and marijuana businesses.

The Maryland Senate voted unanimously to allow the sale of medical cannabis edibles at dispensaries.

New York’s Assembly speaker said he’s still open to considering including marijuana legalization in the final annual state budget.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands House Committee on Cannabis approved amendments to the territory’s marijuana legalization law.

The Texas House Public Health Committee created a new subcommittee focused on medical cannabis.

Missouri regulators released draft medical cannabis rules.

An audit by Nevada regulators determined that the state missed out on $500,000 in tax revenue due to discrepancies in data entry by marijuana businesses. Meanwhile, the state’s advisory panel to form a Cannabis Compliance Board met.

A Pennsylvania senator wants to put marijuana legalization on the ballot.

Michigan regulators named 75 people to participate in marijuana legalization implementation working groups.

Alabama regulators approved 180 applications to cultivate hemp.

Arkansas regulators approved a third medical cannabis cultivation business to begin operations.

Here’s a critical look at Minnesota’s medical cannabis task force.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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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A number of New York county executives say they will seek to opt out of allowing legal marijuana sales.

The Denver, Colorado City Council’s Marijuana Committee will hold a Monday hearing on distance requirements for designated cannabis consumption areas.

Former Tallahassee, Florida Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana in an appearance on Bill Maher’s HBO show.


Several United Nations agencies released a report on human rights and drug policy.

The Philippines is withdrawing from participation in the International Criminal Court over its inquiry into the nations bloody “war on drugs.”


The Democratic Party of Wisconsin tweeted, “Despite the majority of Wisconsinites’ support for marijuana legalization, @WisGOP continues to ignore the will of the people. That’s why @GovEvers’ budget legalizes marijuana and addresses the economic and racial disparities surrounding it.”

The Democratic Party of New Mexico touted a marijuana decriminalization bill that was approved by lawmakers.


A review of studies on multiple sclerosis spasticity found “evidence for the efficacy and safety of THC:CBD in clinical practice.”

A study found “Sativex as effective and well tolerated for the management of the spasticity of patients with [multiple sclerosis] with moderate to severe grade symptoms.”


The creator of Jelly Belly launched a new line of CBD-infused jelly beans. is being called out for featuring a marijuana-themed sweatshirt in its juniors section.


Snoop Dogg launched a new video game competition called the Gangsta Gaming League, which “will most definitely allow the use of cannabis.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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