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Congress pushes fed employee cannabis protections (Newsletter: July 15, 2020)



NJ gov: Legal marijuana would help COVID recovery; ID medical cannabis activists threaten lawsuit; IL announces legalization tax haul

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  • Rob from Michigan: “I pledged to help Tom and Marijuana Moment in hopes that the silence about cannabis from Republican legislators will be broken. Republican House and Senate members need to be publicly questioned, recorded and forced to stop ignoring all matters related to removing marijuana from the Schedule I list of the Controlled Substances Act. If this happens, we may just get Trump to finally submit his clear stance on the matter. So we need journalists out there to ask these questions.”


The House Appropriations Committee is directing the Office of Personnel Management to reconsider the current practice of firing federal employees for state-legal marijuana use. Other new directives attached to annual spending bills include expanding cannabis research and funding hemp and CBD regulations.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said legalizing marijuana should be a “no-brainer” part of the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “It’s a job creator, it’s a tax revenue raiser, it checks a lot of boxes.”

Idaho medical cannabis activists are threatening to sue the state if officials don’t give them an electronic signature gathering option for their ballot measure by Thursday. A federal judge already granted that relief to a separate education campaign.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that the state brought in $52 million in marijuana tax revenue in the first six months of legal sales.

  • “Since January, over $239 million has been spent on recreational cannabis in Illinois translating to $52 million in tax revenue, and a portion of every dollar spent will be reinvested in communities that have suffered from decades of disinvestment.”

The Drug Policy Alliance is urging the House Appropriations Committee to reject a possible amendment on Wednesday that would block Washington, D.C. from decriminalizing psychedelics through a measure likely to appear on the November ballot.


The Department of Transportation’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee heard a presentation on the impact of hemp legalization on road safety.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration enacted a final rule making changes to regulations on the confidentiality of substance use disorder patient records.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that licensed hemp businesses are eligible for the Delta Health Care Services grant program.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) tweeted about the case of a military veteran sentenced to five years in prison for marijuana possession, saying, “Folks, there is a lot to unpack here, but first and foremost we cannot allow our veterans to be treated this way. Second, we have to find a way for medical marijuana to be allowed in all 50 states.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Communities of color are still being targeted as a result of discriminatory cannabis policies. We need to focus on restorative justice, which includes ensuring those most impacted by the failed war on drugs have equal access to this industry. We need to pass the MORE Act.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman tweeted, “I support marijuana legalization. My opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, does not.”


The Florida Supreme Court ordered a second round of oral arguments in a case challenging the state’s medical cannabis business vertical integration requirements.

Missouri marijuana activists are looking ahead to working to place a legalization measure on the 2022 ballot.

Maryland regulators proposed hemp rules.

Nebraska regulators certified the state’s first hemp testing lab.

Michigan regulators published an updated coronavirus-related advisory bulletin for marijuana businesses.

Utah regulators are now accepting applications from retailers that want to sell hemp products.

Massachusetts regulators sent a reminder that Wednesday is the deadline to submit public comments about quarantined marijuana vaping products.

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.


The attorney general of the Bahamas said a draft marijuana legalization bill will be presented to the Cabinet “in very short order.”


A study concluded that “medicinal cannabis is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for a number of [spinal cord injury]-related symptoms.”

A study found that “cannabis use decreased among patients with opioid use disorder” and “increased…in patients with chronic regional pain syndrome, trauma, spondylosis, and failed back surgery syndrome.”


A poll of U.S. voters found that 65% support banning no-knock warrants in drug cases.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana circulated a sign-on letter thanking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for refusing to support cannabis legalization.

Code for America’s senior program director authored an op-ed on the organization’s efforts to help people clear their past records.


Aphria Inc. and Aurora Cannabis Inc. reportedly held ultimately unsuccessful talks about a potential merger.

4Front Ventures Corp. announced quarterly revenue of $17 million and an adjusted loss of $2.8 million.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. closed on a Blue Harbor, New Jersey property and reached a lease agreement to rent it to a subsidiary of Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. announced that since more than 50% of its issued and outstanding subordinate voting shares are owned by U.S. shareholders, it will receive domestic issuer status.

NC3 Systems, which does business as Caliva is facing a lawsuit over allegations that its website is not Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant.

Metrc LLC is asking a Missouri appellate court to overturn a judge’s decision blocking it from charging fees to medical cannabis businesses for RFID tags.


Mike Tyson’s The Ranch Companies is printing CBD-infused cups that can be filled with water to create cannabis beverages.

Jane Fonda appears in an ad campaign for Uncle Bud’s hemp and CBD products.

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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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