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Congressional committee shoots down anti-cannabis lawmakers (Newsletter: June 12, 2019)

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Oregon OKs marijuana exports; Oakland cannabis shop flooded with psychedelics calls after decrim; Common THC threshold not tied to impaired driving

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We monitored nearly eight hours of congressional debate to bring you today’s lead article. Estimated read time for you to get up to speed: 4 minutes.

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  • Mike Kaufenberg: “It’s nice to know what is going on across the country with legalization of what should have always been legal. Here in Minnesota our lawmakers are dragging their feet on what the people already want! Keep up the good work.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Appropriations Committee rejected an attempt to scale back marijuana banking protections in a spending bill, and prohibitionist Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) read the room and didn’t even try to introduce his measure blocking Washington, D.C. from spending its own local tax dollars to legalize cannabis sales.

Oregon lawmakers sent Gov. Kate Brown (D) a bill to allow marijuana imports and exports with other states in the event of federal policy change. They also approved legislation to make it easier for people to clear past cannabis convictions from their records.

At least one Oakland, California marijuana shop is now getting flooded with calls about whether they sell psilocybin mushrooms following the City Council’s vote to decriminalize psychedelics. (SPOILER ALERT: No, they don’t. Sales are still illegal.)

A study found “no evidence of increased crash risk” in drivers with 2-5 ng/mL THC blood content—a commonly used limit in legal marijuana states—and that the “impact of cannabis on road safety is relatively small at present time.”

/ FEDERAL

The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control held a hearing on the U.S.’s global anti-drug strategy.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, spoke about how he was “for an end to the war on drugs and an end of the prohibition on marijuana years before any other major candidate did it.”

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, said, “I am a supporter of making sure the federal government allows every state that wants to, to be able to go out and legalize it.”

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson spoke about her support for legalizing marijuana and toured a Nevada cannabis business. She also tweeted, “The prohibition against marijuana has been as ill-conceived and ultimately harmful as was the prohibition against alcohol. Now it’s time for it to end.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted photos of herself discussing marijuana with travel writer Rick Steves.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted a video of himself walking and talking cannabis with Steves.

Former Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) spoke about their advocacy work for the marijuana industry following their reelection losses.

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said that lawmakers should be “primaried” if they don’t advance marijuana legalization and other progressive issues.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) sent a memo to legislative leaders about changes he wants made to a medical cannabis expansion bill. Separately, a senator said he would refuse to vote for the state budget unless marijuana decriminalization is enacted.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted, “As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to expand opportunities for all Nevadans. That’s why I was proud to sign this bill into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals.”

Texas’s agriculture commissioner cheered the state’s legalization of hemp.

The U.S. Virgin Islands’s agriculture commissioner is hosting a cannabis conference next month.

Michigan lawmakers approved a budget that includes money to implement marijuana legalization. Separately, cannabis regulators will meet on Thursday. They also sent a bulletin about the use of misbranded banned pesticides.

A Montana judge ruled that a medical cannabis company can proceed with new operations despite objections from regulators.

A Rhode Island senator whose daughter owns part of a medical cannabis cultivation business did not mention that fact during a hearing on legislation he is sponsoring to add new dispensaries such operations can sell medicine to.

New Mexico regulators are proposing an increase in medical cannabis plant limits, removal of a THC concentration limit and allowing recommendations to be made through telemedicine, among other changes.

Washington State regulators are holding a forum on marijuana testing rules on June 25.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

The Associated Press looks at how broader marijuana legalization can hurt pre-existing state medical cannabis laws.

/ LOCAL

Fairfax, Virginia voters elected a commonwealth’s attorney candidate who ran on not prosecuting marijuana cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s Senate gave second reading approval to a bill to expedite record suspensions for marijuana possession convictions.

Russian police are under fire for filing dubious drug charges against an investigative journalist who has focused on exposing government corruption.

/ ADVOCACY

The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce released model federal marijuana legalization legislation.

A funeral for New York marijuana activist Doug Greene, who was killed in a subway accident last week, will be held on Thursday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “several factors prevent pervasive medical marijuana use, including stigma, cost, and the inability for healthcare providers to relay instructions regarding dosing, strain, and method of use” and that “medical patients consider marijuana to be a viable alternative for opioids and other prescription medications, though certain policy barriers inhibit widespread implementation of marijuana as a treatment option.”

A study concluded that “cannabis sleep aid use predicted longer same-night sleep duration, shorter same-night wake time after sleep onset, and greater next-day daytime fatigue within person, after controlling for daily cannabis frequency.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Long Island and Hudson Valley, New York voters support legalizing marijuana.

The New York Times editorial board cheered the early impact of a federal criminal justice reform bill signed into law last year.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly is moving into a larger Seattle office space as it expects its staff to grow.

The Verge looks at how Facebook continues to ban ads for CBD products.

New dark web drug-selling sites continue to pop up as law enforcement shuts down their predecessors.

The Patterson Inn in Denver, Colorado is seeking permission for its guests to use marijuana on site.

/ CULTURE

Travel writer Rick Steves spoke about marijuana policy in a C-SPAN interview.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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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Border Patrol union head admits legal cannabis disrupts cartels (Newsletter: February 17, 2020)

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Bloomberg anti-marijuana remarks on tape; Support grows for veterans cannabis research bill; Study examines CBD for horse stress & pain

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The 2015 recording of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), a presidential candidate, discussing racist police practices that has generated controversy in recent days also contains previously unreported comments about marijuana legalization.

  • “It is just a terrible, terrible idea… I just can’t imagine why society is doing this… If you’re my age, of course you smoked a joint in the 60s—but it was very different and just because we did doesn’t make it right… Today it’s much stronger and potentially much more damaging.”

The president of the National Border Patrol Council—a labor union that represents U.S. Border Patrol agents—acknowledged in an interview that legalizing marijuana pushes cartels out of the cannabis market.

Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) Clay Higgins (R-LA) are working to shore up support for their bill to expand medical marijuana research for veterans. Nearly a quarter of the House members are already signed on as cosponsors, but the Veterans’ Affairs Committee hasn’t yet scheduled a vote.

Marijuana Moment spoke to the lead researcher in a new study that’s examining whether CBD can help reduce stress, inflammation and obsessive compulsive behaviors in horses.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report on the growth of Germany’s hemp market.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The President’s new budget would end @TheJusticeDept’s policy not to interfere in states’ marijuana laws. Just more proof that federal marijuana policies are broken & outdated. I support legalization – & @SenCoryGardner & I have a bipartisan bill to end the federal marijuana ban.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), a presidential candidate, said he resigned from the board of Acreage Holdings, Inc. so he can focus on his campaign.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) visited Denver to meet with marijuana industry professionals.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Here’s our three step plan to legalize marijuana: ✅ End federal prohibition ✅ Expunge prior offenses for use ✅ Invest the tax revenue in black and brown communities across America that have been harmed by the war on drugs.”

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of 104.

The House bill to shield military veterans from losing benefits over state-legal marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 17.

West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted, “I would like to open the jail cells and let everyone out who have been incarcerated for marijuana issues.  Then we can free up jail space for the real criminals.”

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) made his first appointments to the new Cannabis Compliance Board.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “Industrial hemp is creating jobs all across New Mexico! … The hemp manufacturing industry is delivering on its incredible economic potential all across New Mexico, just one example of how our investments in the state economy are reaching every corner of the state, both rural and urban.” Separately, the Senate approved a bill to limit the medical cannabis program to only in-state residents. Meanwhile, the House speaker said he will recuse himself from voting on that legislation to due to his role as an attorney for a marijuana business and patients in a related lawsuit, and the House minority leader objected to the process by which the bill is advancing.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor predicted that Republican lawmakers will come around to ending marijuana prohibition once more neighboring states enact legalization. Separately, regulators noted the two-year anniversary of medical cannabis sales in a tweet.

Kentucky’s House speaker said a floor vote on medical cannabis legalization could happen as soon as this week.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said that municipalities, rather than the state, should take the lead on regulating marijuana.

Oklahoma regulators set an April 1 deadline for all medical cannabis products to be tested prior to being sold.

The Colorado Department of Transportation partnered with Lightshade to distribute bouquets with messages about not driving under the influence of marijuana for Valentine’s Day.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office released an analysis of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) marijuana-related budget proposals.

Iowa regulators voted on recommendations to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Here’s a look at Massachusetts’s failure to fulfill a provision of the state’s legalization law aimed at allocating marijuana tax revenue to communities harmed by the drug war and to police training.

A Missouri senator said that the fact he did not disclose an investment in a medical cannabis business while criticizing regulators in a floor speech did not represent a conflict of interest.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL

St. Kitts and Nevis lawmakers approved legislation to establish medical cannabis regulations, expand marijuana decriminalization and expunge past records.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pressed by the Labour Party’s leader about the practice of deporting people convicted of drug offenses.

The former president of the United Nations’s International Narcotics Control Board has been hired as president of the Thai Cannabis Corporation.

The chairman of the Mexico Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development hosted a forum on marijuana legalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “adjunctive CBD resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive seizure frequency than placebo and a higher rate of [adverse events] in patients with [Dravet syndrome] presenting with seizures uncontrolled by concomitant antiepileptic therapy.”

A study suggested that “psilocybin may increase emotional and brain plasticity, and the reported findings support the hypothesis that negative affect may be a therapeutic target for psilocybin.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The California Cannabis Industry Association distanced itself from a labor peace agreement white paper its Human Resources Committee published after it was called out as anti-union.

Questions are being raised about whether ProTech Local 33, which says it is actively organizing marijuana industry workers, is actually a bona fide labor organization.

Local Washington, D.C. sex work activists are pushing back against the involvement of Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia, who has been accused of workplace sexual misconduct, in a planned effort to put a prostitution decriminalization measure on the city’s ballot.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation reported $124 million in quarterly net revenue and a loss of $92 million.

Charlotte’s Web, Inc. is facing a proposed class action lawsuit over its alleged failure to make its website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Pennsylvania medical cannabis dispensary Justice Grown is being sued by its former pharmacist who says she was fired after refusing to illegally sample the shop’s products.

Tests by Vertosa show that liners in aluminum cans can reduce the potency of marijuana-infused drinks.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Charles Barkley said he is open to players using cannabis medicinally.

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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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NM legal cannabis bill likely dead for 2020 (Newsletter: February 14, 2020)

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GOP lawmakers praise marijuana banking delay; Pennsylvania rep unveils new legalization plan; Study: Lasers can tell hemp and marijuana apart

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There are now 1,273 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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  • Philip Martin: “Along with a strong coffee, Marijuana Moment’s email update is the first thing I consume in the morning!”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee dealt a major procedural defeat to a marijuana legalization bill that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) had considered a priority for 2020.

Twelve Republican House members sent a letter thanking Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) for delaying consideration of a marijuana financial services bill. Meanwhile, more than 1,300 cannabis industry professionals sent a separate letter urging the chairman to hold a vote on the legislation soon.

A Pennsylvania representative revealed provisions of a newly updated marijuana legalization bill in a letter to colleagues.

  • “The failed war on drugs produced countless victims to heavy handed, unreasonable drug laws.”

A new study highlights how lasers can be used to tell hemp and marijuana apart with “100% accuracy.”

  • The device “can be an ideal tool for police officers and hemp breeders to enable highly accurate diagnostics of THCA content in plants.”

/ FEDERAL

The Library of Congress published an overview of a new local Australian marijuana legalization law.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “While investors make millions on marijuana in the states where it’s legal, hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested and end up with criminal records for use. Bold criminal justice reform must include ending the federal prohibition of cannabis in the United States.”

/ STATES

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) spoke about the importance of justice and equity provisions in marijuana legalization legislation.

Florida’s House speaker said enacting a THC cap for medical cannabis products is a priority.

The New Jersey Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee approved a bill to shield insurance companies from being punished for working with marijuana businesses and consumers.

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on a bill to sell legal marijuana in state liquor stores.

The Minnesota House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division held a hearing on the state’s hemp program.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on a medical cannabis bill next week.

Two companies with ties to Utah lawmakers applied for medical cannabis cultivation licenses, a public records request shows.

Here’s a look at where pending Massachusetts marijuana reform bills stand in the legislature.

The California Office of Administrative Law approved emergency rules on Quick Response Code requirements for marijuana businesses..

Nevada regulators approved settlements with marijuana companies for not keeping accurate records, including with a testing lab that reported THC results appearing to be inflated by as much as 10 percent.

Georgia’s number of approved medical cannabis patients has grown by more than 70% in a year.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.


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

The Los Angeles County, California district attorney is partnering with Code for America to clear up to 66,000 prior marijuana convictions from people’s records.

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council approved a measure to let people apply for pardons for past marijuana or paraphernalia possession convictions without having to pay a fee.

Denver, Colorado officials are accepting applications from people who want to serve on a new Marijuana Licensing Work Group.

/ INTERNATIONAL

South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa said the country will “open up and regulate the commercial use of hemp products” and “formulate policy on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes” in his State of the Nation address.

Uruguayan officials released research showing that youth marijuana consumption did not rise following legalization.

The UK’s Food Safety Authority is requiring all CBD product manufacturers to submit valid novel food authorization applications by March 31, 2021 or be taken off the shelves.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland released a study finding that the majority of CBD products analyzed were in violation of food laws and that some posed potential safety risks for consumers.

The mayor of Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, is circulating survey results showing that foreign tourists would be less likely to visit the city if they couldn’t purchase marijuana at coffee shops.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study identified “interesting implications for the potential use of CBD in treating impairment deficits after chronic exposure to psychostimulant drugs such as METH.”

A study concluded that “few consumers can understand and apply quantitative THC labelling; in contrast, THC labels that provide ‘interpretive’ information, such as descriptors, symbols, or references to servings have greater efficacy.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of New Zealand voters found that 51% plan to vote against a marijuana legalization referendum and 39% will support it.

United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, Teamsters locals and the California Labor Federation are asking California Democratic lawmakers to leave the California Cannabis Industry Association out of negotiations on marijuana legislation because the group allegedly circulated “a piece of anti-union literature.”

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported a quarterly loss of  $80.2 million.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. appointed a new CEO and plans to file for its license to be reinstated months after it was discovered the company illegally grew marijuana in unlicensed rooms.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. announced that the Department of Justice review period for its planned acquisition of GR Companies, Inc. has expired.

Trading of Celexus, Inc. stock was suspended by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of ” a lack of current and accurate information concerning” the business.

/ CULTURE

Musician David Crosby, replying to a tweet about mushrooms, said, “I know a little about the psychedelic ones but I don’t like the food ones at all.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Kentucky lawmakers approve medical cannabis bill (Newsletter: February 13, 2020)

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First gov’t psychedelic body meets; Mexico vote this month? Study: Legal marijuana reduces workers’ comp claims

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…

There are now 1,268 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 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.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The chairman of the Mexico Senate Justice Committee said the full Senate will vote to pass a marijuana legalization bill by the end of this month. But advocates are skeptical of the timeline and want changes to the current version of the legislation.

The Denver, Colorado Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel—the U.S.’s first-ever government psychedelics decriminalization body—held its inaugural meeting.

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee voted 17-1 to approve a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

A study found that legalizing medical cannabis reduces workers’ compensation claims and amounts.

  • “Medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for” workers’ compensation.

/ FEDERAL

The House of Representatives approved an environmental protection bill that includes provisions to remediate land that has been damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited two Florida medical cannabis companies for violations.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted about the expansion of hemp research at Oregon State University, saying, “Exactly how I hoped my hemp legalization bill would help grow jobs & drive innovation in Oregon & nationwide.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Together we are going to expand marijuana legalization nationwide to create good jobs, generate tax revenue, expunge prior offenses and bring restorative justice to the communities that were harmed by the failed ‘war on drugs.'”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) tweeted, “Proud to see Colorado continuing to lead the way on cannabis reform, standing up for farmers, and innovating in this new industry.”

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate John Lesinski tweeted, “The war on drugs has clogged our legal system and cost us billions from incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders. It’s time to legalize cannabis for adult use, regulate it like alcohol, and expunge the records of those convicted of possession. It’s the right thing to do.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he is “optimistic” marijuana legalization will be included in the state budget but that he doesn’t think it can pass otherwise.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) touted progress on marijuana decriminalization in an update on the midpoint of the 2020 legislative session.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “OurTime for legal weed in PA  #StonerDatingApps”

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill to allow regulators to enter into medical cannabis agreements with Indian tribes. Bills to clarify hemp laws and expand marijuana research are also advancing through the legislature.

A Hawaii Senate committee approved a bill to allow medical cannabis edibles.

California regulators adopted a 10-year ban on being involved in hemp cultivation for people with felony drug convictions.

Ohio regulators advanced petitions to consider adding anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and cachexia as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Missouri’s top medical cannabis regulator took questions from lawmakers during a House Special Committee on Government Oversight hearing.

Michigan regulators held a public hearing on proposed marijuana rules changes.

Alaska regulators proposed changes to rules on marijuana product administrative holds and seizures.

Louisiana regulators issued a notice that they intend to adopt hemp rules.


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

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor said during his State of the City address that he will begin pardoning people for past marijuana possession convictions next week.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Paraguayan lawmakers debated a medical cannabis regulation bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study “using the roll out of recreational dispensaries in Colorado in 2014” estimated that “the change in retailers’ market share of antacid medications using a difference-in-differences design. Antacid market share decreases after a dispensary enters a county by 0.85 percentage points.”

A study found that “cannabis consistently increases susceptibility to false memories.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

An informal poll of Rhode Island business leaders attending a Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce event found that they support legalizing marijuana, 52%-48%.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted, “Obesity, the vaping and marijuana culture will finish the job of destroying the healthcare system.”

/ BUSINESS

Molson Coors reported that the warrants it has received from cannabis company Hexo Corp. lost $14.3 million in value in the past quarter.

Akerna Corp. reported quarterly revenue of approximately $3.3 million and a net loss of $4.3 million.

/ CULTURE

The Doors drummer John Densmore spoke about Jim Morrison taking psychedelics prior to a show.

The Onion made fun of the University of Colorado offering a bachelor’s degree in cannabis biology and chemistry.

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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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