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Congressional cannabis pushback builds against Sessions (Newsletter: Jan. 15, 2018)

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New bill handcuffs DOJ enforcement; Lawmakers push for state protections; Incoming NJ gov talks legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new congressional bill would effectively block the Justice Department and other federal agencies from punishing people for violating state marijuana laws, on a permanent basis, without actually changing cannabis’s status under the Controlled Substances Act.

A bipartisan group of 69 U.S. House lawmakers sent a letter to congressional leadership requesting that they include protections for state recreational marijuana legalization laws in funding legislation.

/ FEDERAL

Oregon’s U.S. attorney says he has “significant concerns” with the state’s marijuana law and is hosting a summit with stakeholders to inform his enforcement strategy.

Colorado’s U.S. attorney spoke about marijuana enforcement on a conference call with members of the state’s congressional delegation.

A group of 28 U.S. senators and House members signed an amicus brief urging a federal court to reject the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s argument that CBD is a Schedule I drug.

A 24-year-old former Trump campaign aide with inconsistencies in his resume somehow ascended to one of the top leadership positions at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said he agrees with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s marijuana memo.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said he is “encouraged” by the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

The former U.S. attorney for Kansas published an op-ed saying the state should consider legalizing marijuana.

Candidates in a Massachusetts congressional race are divided on legalizing marijuana.

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Kendra Fershee supports legalizing marijuana.

The U.S. House bill to deschedule marijuana got two new cosponsors, bringing the total to 24.

The U.S. House bill to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the Controlled Substances Act got two new cosponsors, bringing the total to 39.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy (D) says he wants marijuana legalization to happen “sooner than later” but doesn’t “want to marry myself to a particular day.” In a related development, an assemblymember will soon introduce a bill that allows homegrow, unlike existing legislation that has been a focus of debate. Separately, an assemblymember filed a resolution calling on Congress to pass medical cannabis legislation.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) wants to meet with the state’s U.S. attorney to discuss marijuana enforcement.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) launched an online petition in support of medical cannabis. Separately, regulators are making the state’s medical marijuana registry inaccessible on police computers to reduce the chances that patients will be flagged during federal gun-purchase background checks.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker held a press conference to push for marijuana legalization. Separately, the state attorney general’s office agreed in federal court to let an 11-year-old girl use medical cannabis at school.

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Joel Giamabra says he’d legalize marijuana and dedicate the tax revenue to fixing the subway.

Colorado’s attorney general says she thinks marijuana legalization would pass by an even higher margin today than it did in 2012, adding that it is “too late” for the federal government to shut down the legal industry.

Maine’s top health official says the state’s medical cannabis program needs significant reforms.

The West Virginia Supreme Court is asking for public input on a proposed rule change that would allow lawyers to advise medical cannabis businesses.

California’s Senate president is urging Congress to reform federal marijuana laws. Separately, the secretary of state’s office began accepting trademark applications for cannabis products.

An Alabama representative is filing legislation to decriminalize marijuana.

A Nevada state senator is calling on U.S. Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) to do more to push back against federal anti-marijuana moves.

/ LOCAL

The Savannah, Georgia City Council will discuss a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s government is considering a program of pardons for people with past marijuana convictions.

Israel’s public security minister said a retroactive marijuana decriminalization bill would soon be approved by the Knesset.

Greek lawmakers are expected to approve medical cannabis in the coming weeks.

Malta’s Parliament will take up legislation to allow medical cannabis products soon.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “half of adults in Oregon considered alcohol to be more harmful than marijuana” and “few considered marijuana to be more harmful than alcohol.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Georgia voters support legalizing marijuana, 50%-46%. And 77% support expanding the state’s current limited medical cannabis law to allow in-state cultivation.

/ BUSINESS

UPS is being sued in federal court by a former Arizona employee who was first over his state-legal medical cannabis use.

Canadian marijuana companies are on a hiring spree ahead of legalization.

Marijuana Business Daily editor Chris Walsh appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.

/ CULTURE     

Netflix released a video of several former football players pressuring the NFL to improve its marijuana policies.

San Francisco 49ers player Reuben Foster was arrested for marijuana possession.

Denver Broncos player Carlos Henderson was arrested on marijuana charges.

Actor Richard Belzer tweeted a picture of himself smoking a joint.

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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Cannabis biz want tax amnesty after robberies (Newsletter: November 30, 2021)

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CDC gives marijuana employment advice; KY lawmaker prefiles cannabis bills; FL drug decrim measure; 2021 ‘unprecedented’ for legalization, NORML says

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering workplace marijuana policy advice to businesses that employ drivers, including that “zero-tolerance…may not be possible” due to rights granted under certain legalization laws.

A Florida representative filed a bill to decriminalize possession of all drugs and provide relief for people with existing convictions.

A Kentucky representative announced she is pre-filing bills for the 2022 session that would legalize possession, limited sales and home cultivation of marijuana. One of the measures would put the cannabis question on the ballot for voters to decide.

Members of Oakland, California’s marijuana industry community—led by Supernova Women—held a press conference calling for tax amnesty after police failed to protect their businesses from a spate of robberies.

A new review from NORML shows that marijuana reform had “unprecedented” success in state legislatures in 2021. From legalization, to decriminalization to medical access, many consumer-friendly cannabis bills were enacted this year.

/ FEDERAL

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta participated in a World Anti-Doping Agency meeting.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “The #StatesReformAct is an example of legislation that can break through partisan lines. The time is now to take down the temperature in Washington and to get things done for the American people.”

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted, “Fentanyl is coming into this country from Mexico.  Fentanyl is used to spike most illegal drugs including marijuana.  It is lethal in very small doses. Close the border to drug traffickers.   It’s not a coincidence it is a record death year and a record open border year.”

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted, “When I was in the legislature, I sponsored a bill to legalize cannabis because I’m tired of seeing our communities criminalized. I’ll take this fight to Washington in 2022.  It’s time to get this done.”

/ STATES

Maryland lawmakers may vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia in a special session next week.

Montana lawmakers are seeking funding to create a new subcommittee to monitor the implementation of marijuana legalization.

Massachusetts regulators are pressing lawmakers to update marijuana laws to better achieve social equity goals.

Connecticut regulators posted draft marijuana social equity criteria.

California regulators are working to standardize cannabis testing.

Florida regulators filed a notice of receiving a petition for a waiver from a requirement that hemp testing labs be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Vermont regulators will meet to discuss marijuana issues on Tuesday and Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Only 9 percent of New York towns and villages have moved to ban marijuana retailers and on-site consumption facilities.

Detroit, Michigan officials are hosting an event about Eaze’s Momentum cannabis business accelerator on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s medical officer of health and police department are recommending that the city ask the federal government for permission to decriminalize drugs.

The United Arab Emirates is relaxing some drug penalties, including for travelers who bring THC-containing products into the country.

Guernsey officials began issuing medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Malta’s opposition Nationalist Party continued to criticize the government’s marijuana reform legislation.

A Spanish court acquitted the directors of a cannabis association.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Researchers developed a breath test for “determining recent cannabis use within the impairment window after smoking.”

A study provided “preliminary observational evidence that cannabis may mitigate some of the negative effects of subtherapeutic [methadone maintenance treatment] dosing.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. adults support legalizing marijuana, 57 percent to 27 percent.

A poll found that Germans are divided on marijuana legalization, with 43 percent in favor and 43 percent against.

The SETI Institute hosted a podcast about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly reported $31.0 million in revenue for the first nine months of the year and a net loss of $6.8 million.

Atai Life Sciences increased its stake in Compass Pathways to 20.8 percent and reportedly plans to grow that to 29 percent in the coming weeks.

High Tide Inc. closed its acquisition of an 80 percent interest in NuLeaf Naturals, LLC, with a three-year option to purchase the remainder.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. is consolidating shares ahead of its listing on the Nasdaq.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. issued an environmental, social and governance report.

MediaJel and Smart are partnering on a programmatic ad platform for the cannabis market.

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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Mexican cannabis bill draft circulates ahead of vote (Newsletter: November 29, 2021)

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More senators push marijuana banking in NDAA; PA lieutenant gov. invites cannabis pardon applications; MD drug paraphernalia decrim override urged

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mexican lawmakers are circulating a revised draft of a marijuana legalization bill that the Senate majority leader wants to pass by December 15.

Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter urging passage of marijuana banking legislation through the National Defense Authorization Act.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who chairs the Board of Pardons, is urging as many people as possible to apply to have their marijuana convictions pardoned before he leaves office.

A regional ambassador with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition authored an op-ed urging Maryland lawmakers to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge delayed the sentencing of a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor convicted of extorting marijuana businesses.

/ STATES

Texas’s attorney general is being asked by the Montgomery County district attorney to issue an opinion saying that possessing or selling delta-8 THC products is a crime.

Utah’s Senate minority whip and other lawmakers are criticizing regulators for delays in implementing a law to make it easier for providers to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Florida representatives filed a bill on medical cannabis testing, delta-8 THC and other issues.

A Missouri Republican representative spoke at a psychedelics conference.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has failed to comply with a law requiring it to conduct a public education campaign about the process for sealing marijuana conviction records.

Arizona regulators proposed revised marijuana social equity rules.

New York regulators published a checklist for cannabinoid hemp packaging and labeling.

Nevada marijuana regulators will hold a public hearing on December 14.

Colorado regulators will hold a hearing on a proposed fee increase for medical cannabis registry applications on December 15.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

San Francisco, California police were caught on tape appearing to watch as a marijuana dispensary was robbed, without taking action to intervene.

The Missoula, Montana City Council will consider marijuana rules on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Italy’s labor and youth policy ministers said that the incoming German government’s commitment to legalize marijuana means that their country should also seriously consider the reform.

A Philippine vice presidential candidate said he supports allowing medical cannabis access.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration announced another public consultation on standards for medical cannabis imports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested an “antipsychotic medication sparing effect of CBD-cigarettes as adjunctive treatment of acute psychosis.”

A study indicated that “recreational cannabis legalization is associated with decreasing enrollment in medical cannabis programs, particularly for males.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Psychiatric Association is reportedly working on a policy statement about psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

A budtender at Burnside Buds in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada who was allegedly fired for union organizing has been reinstated.

/ CULTURE

Jared Leto spoke about getting fired from working at a movie theater for selling marijuana.

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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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Feds’ cannabis interference on Indian land (Newsletter: November 26, 2021)

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AGs push Congress for marijuana cooperation with states; Study looks at dogs getting high from THC in poop

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Pueblo of Picuris Indian tribe in New Mexico is accusing the federal government of a discriminatory double standard after a medical cannabis patient’s garden on tribal land was raided while marijuana businesses across many states operate without interference.

The bipartisan attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota and Vermont sent a letter urging Congress to emphasize federal-state cooperation in any plan to legalize marijuana.

A study concluded that “ingestion of human feces containing THC may lead to marijuana toxicosis in dogs.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote in an op-ed that he discussed marijuana legalization and other issues with students at a youth summit.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Including #SAFEBanking in the final NDAA will help safeguard our financial system, reduce the public safety risk & help support Veteran & minority-owned businesses now. It will help pave the way for broader, comprehensive cannabis reform & create a safer, more equitable industry.”

/ STATES

A New York senator sent a press release about his new bill to add transgender and non-binary people to the marijuana equity program.

A Tennessee representative tweeted about touring a hemp and CBD business.

Ohio regulators posted a draft resolution eliminating the medical cannabis tier system and setting a 90-day supply of plant material as nine ounces, regardless of THC percentage.

Alaska regulators will host working group meetings about marijuana products next month and in January.

Colorado regulators will host a work group meeting about changing marijuana business licensee designations on December 3.

Michigan regulators will hold a public meeting on marijuana issues on December 9.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on December 10.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Los Angeles, California regulators published a report about the city’s marijuana licensing program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill to legalize drug checking services.

Lithuanian lawmakers defeated an amendment to decriminalize drugs.

Argentina’s government approved a research project on cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes.

India’s Food Safety and Security Authority approved regulations for hemp seeds and oil as food ingredients.

Luxembourg is experiencing medical cannabis supply issues.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “recreational marijuana legalization increased the clearance rates for violent crime overall and aggravated assault” but that “the positive effect of legalization appears to shrink over time.”

A study suggested that “psychedelic-use may causally influence metaphysical beliefs—shifting them away from ‘hard materialism.’”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs closed its acquisition of Bay, LLC.

Vaseline released a new hemp-infused soothing product.

/ CULTURE

Deftones launched a line of marijuana products.

CNN will air the sixth installment of its “WEED” series on Sunday.

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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