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Congress schedules first cannabis vote of 2019 (Newsletter: March 20, 2019)



USPS memo on mailing CBD; Feds ask for help on marijuana/opioid studies; Hawaii decrim advances

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There are now 941 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.


The House Financial Services Committee has scheduled the first congressional marijuana vote of 2019. The panel is set to consider legislation to let cannabis businesses access banks on Tuesday.

The U.S. Postal Service quietly issued a memo this month detailing how people can legally mail hemp-derived CBD cannabis products.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agency filed three separate Federal Register notices seeking public input on studies examining medical marijuana as a potential opioid alternative.

The Hawaii Senate Judiciary and Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs Committees approved a marijuana decriminalization bill in a joint hearing. The legislation has already been passed by the full House.

Denver, Colorado officials released a survey tracking the effectiveness of the city’s youth marijuana education efforts.


Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue said it “remains to be seen” how big the market potential for industrial hemp is.

The Supreme Court ruled against immigrants, including one with past marijuana convictions, who sought to restrict the government’s power to detain them after they’ve served their sentences.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “The criminal justice system has been built to criminalize African Americans, people of color, and Indigenous people. Let’s finally legalize marijuana and institute restorative justice for communities who have been devastated by the war on drugs.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) said, “I’ve used weed, and I’m not in prison. Why? Because I didn’t get caught, and it probably doesn’t hurt that I’m white. That’s the sad reality of criminal justice in America today.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The Failed #WarOnDrugs has devastated communities around the country, and more and more states are addressing that reality. It’s time for Congress to do the same, pass the #MarijuanaJusticeAct, and end the federal prohibition on cannabis once and for all.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Marijuana banking is the clearest example of the most out of touch & destructive federal cannabis policies. 47 states have taken steps toward legalization & this committee action on the SAFE Banking Act is an important first step in our blueprint to end prohibition nationwide.”

Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) tweeted about discussing hemp and cannabis banking with a local banker.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) spoke about marijuana reform in a speech before Nevada lawmakers.

The House marijuana banking bill got four new cosponsors, for a total of 138.

The House comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of six.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he’s dropping a push to include marijuana legalization in the state budget, but added that he hopes to pursue the issue later this legislative session. Separately, regulators released an updated list of doctors certified to recommend medical cannabis.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said “we’re not there yet” in getting enough legislative support to pass a marijuana legalization bill.  Here’s a look at senators who still need to be swayed on the idea.

Texas’s lieutenant governor, who oversee the state Senate, is a major roadblock to medical cannabis expansion. Meanwhile, regulators declassified hemp as a controlled substance.

The Arizona Supreme Court heard arguments in a case concerning whether extracts and oils are covered by the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Arkansas Senate approved legislation aimed at restricting medical cannabis’s appeal to children.

Oklahoma regulators are facing a lawsuit over recently passed medical cannabis legislation setting new rules.

The Rhode Island Senate Finance and Judiciary Committees held a joint hearing on marijuana legalization.

The Georgia Senate Agriculture Committee held a hearing on legislation to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

A Nevada Assembly committee held a hearing on a bill to streamline the process for sealing marijuana convictions.

A Connecticut judge set a trial date in the case of a man suing after being blocked from becoming a firefighter over state-legal medical cannabis use.

Florida regulators posted a notice acknowledging the enactment of a law lifting the ban on smoking medical cannabis.

Massachusetts is seeing less-than-expected marijuana tax revenue.

The Guam Visitors Bureau is asking lawmakers to delay considering marijuana legalization.

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.

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


New York City’s police commissioner said in a City Council hearing that officers would treat possession of THC oil in the same way as possession of marijuana.

The Lawrence, Kansas City Commission voted to lower marijuana possession fines to $1.

The Steelton, Pennsylvania Borough Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.


The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted to postpone consideration of the World Health Organization’s marijuana rescheduling recommendations.

The UK House of Commons Health and Social Care Committee held a hearing on medical cannabis access.

Finnish health officials are calling for drugs to be decriminalized.

Canada’s federal budget proposes changes to marijuana taxes.


The Democratic Attorneys General Association tweeted about marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Not only is the legalization of industrial hemp going to create thousands of new jobs, but the penalties for marijuana possession were significantly reduced — a huge win for criminal justice.”

Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted, “Received a briefing from @GovMurphy on the marijuana legalization bill in NJ. Very impressed by the strong social justice components – expedited expungement, virtual expungement, and M/WBE prioritization. It’s time to get this passed NJ!!!”

The Drug Policy Alliance released a video series titled “Rethinking the ‘Drug Dealer,'” which is intended to undermine stereotypes about people who sell drugs.


A study concluded that “daily cannabis use was associated with increased odds of psychotic disorder compared with never users, increasing to nearly five-times increased odds for daily use of high-potency types of cannabis.”

A study found that “the number of days of blunt use in the past month was a significant predictor of the average amount of cannabis per using day, the estimated average cost of cannabis and Cannabis Withdrawal Scale scores” but that “frequency of joint use did not significantly predict any of the cannabis use characteristics or consequences.”

A liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry method for quantifying ten cannabinoids in oral fluid “was able to identify and calculate the concentration of 6 of 10 cannabinoids.”


A poll found that 61% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, including majorities of Democrats and Republicans.


Three companies in the current Y Combinator accelerator class are plant-touching marijuana startups.

Com­mon­wealth Health,  Physi­cians Health Al­liance, and Moses Taylor Hospital are being sued for allegedly firing an employee for her state-legal medical cannabis use.


Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, “Smoking medical marijuana is now legal in Florida. So maybe everyone there will finally settle the fuck down.”

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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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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