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Congressional Dems play cannabis trivia at retreat (Newsletter: April 16, 2019)

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Study: Marijuana motivates people to exercise; POTUS candidate Eric Swalwell on cannabis; Kansas hemp bill signed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional Democrats participated in a marijuana-themed trivia round at their retreat last week. The cannabis category was called “Green New Deal” and one question was about gravity bongs.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate analysis looks at the cannabis record of Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

A new study smashes “lazy stoner” stereotypes, finding that marijuana consumption helps motivate people to exercise.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “Did you know that legal cannabis businesses don’t get to use banks like the rest of us? This week I introduced a bipartisan bill to give cannabis businesses access to banking. It’s crazy that legal cannabis businesses are forced to carry around cash in gym bags. Let them bank!”

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) tweeted, “The #SAFEBankingAct would recognize the will of Nevada voters by creating an infrastructure that would allow the marijuana industry in Nevada to operate legally and provide legitimate cannabis-related businesses with access to the banking system.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen, (D-NV) tweeted, “We should be helping our new industries thrive in Nevada, not stifle them with outdated federal laws. I’m co-sponsoring the #SAFEBankingAct to give our marijuana businesses access to the financial services they desperately need.” She also tweeted, “Nevada’s marijuana businesses are bringing in millions of dollars in revenue and creating thousands of jobs for our state, yet they continue to operate on an archaic cash-only basis as a result of outdated federal laws. I’m co-sponsoring the #SAFEBankingAct to put an end to this.”

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), a cofounder of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana, sent an open letter urging state lawmakers not to legalize cannabis.

/ STATES

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed a hemp bill into law.

The office of New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said she doesn’t believe a bill she signed will allow incarcerated people to use medical cannabis.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) shared an update on the marijuana legalization listening tour that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is conducting.

New Jersey’s Senate president said that Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) threat to expand medical cannabis if marijuana legalization doesn’t pass is “not helping.”

Florida’s agriculture commissioner and some lawmakers want health insurance plans to cover medical cannabis.

The Montana House of Representatives approved a bill to make a number of changes to the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Nebraska Senate approved a hemp bill. Separately, here’s a look at efforts to enact medical cannabis in the state, either through a ballot measure or legislation.

The Iowa Senate passed a hemp bill.

The Vermont House Committee on Government Operations has begun marking up a bill to legalize marijuana sales.

A Nevada judge delayed a hearing on lawsuits seeking to force regulators to release more details about their marijuana license awarding process.

The Bay Mills Indian Community is the first tribe in Michigan to legalize marijuana. Separately, regulators released guidance on cannabis product testing and RFID tag requirements.


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 Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney is talking to Code for America about assisting with her office’s effort to expunge marijuana convictions.

Denver, Colorado marijuana regulators and cannabis industry representatives are teaming up to urge people not to bring kids to a 4/20 festival. Separately, the City Council voted to initially approve a measure to lessen distance requirements for cannabis social use areas.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australia’s first taxpayer-funded medical cannabis cultivation facility has opened.

Panamanian lawmakers are considering medical cannabis legislation.

/ ADVOCACY

The Nebraska Democratic Party cheered lawmakers’ approval of a hemp bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoid-based treatments are a promising avenue of new research for medications that may help the Tourette syndrome population” but that “given the limited research available, the overall efficacy and safety of cannabinoid-based treatments is largely unknown.”

A study concluded that “compared with people who did not regularly use cannabis, people who regularly used cannabis required an amount of sedation for endoscopic procedures that was significantly higher.”

A study breaks down county-by-county marijuana arrest rates across the U.S.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. adults found that 62% expect marijuana to be legal across the country within 10 years, 50% support legalization and 72% back medical cannabis, among other findings.

A poll found that New York voters support legalizing marijuana, 52%-42%.

The Baltimore Sun editorial board is calling out both Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) and marijuana activists who are feuding with him for acting in a “petty and pointless” manner.

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. shares dropped.

PAX Labs is in talks to raise over $400 million.

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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.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-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.)

Newsletter

FBI seeks tips on cannabis industry corruption (Newsletter: August 18, 2019)

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Conservative org ALEC’s banking/CBD measures; Warren’s Native American plan includes legal marijuana; SD legalization initiative moves forward

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  • Ryan McQueeney of Midway Dispensary: ““I have been in the cannabis industry since 2015 as a dispensary owner and attorney specializing in cannabis. Tom Angell is without peer in providing up-to-date and accurate information on everything that is happening in this industry and if you are interested in cannabis and hemp industries at all, you must support Tom’s work.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively seeking tips on public corruption related to the marijuana industry.

  • “States require licenses to grow and sell the drug—opening the possibility for public officials to become susceptible to bribes in exchange for those licenses. The corruption is more prevalent in western states where the licensing is decentralized—meaning the level of corruption can span from the highest to the lowest level of public officials.”

The conservative lawmaker organization American Legislative Exchange Council—better known as ALEC—is floating model measures on marijuana banking and legalizing hemp and CBD for state legislatures to consider.

A new plan on the rights of Indian tribes from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, includes the ability to legalize marijuana without federal interference.

  • “A number of Tribal Nations view cannabis as an important opportunity for economic development.”

South Dakota’s attorney general filed an official summary of a proposed measure to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, activists got approval to start collecting signatures for a separate initiative focused on medical cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit from a Connecticut police officer who claimed he was wrongfully suspended because of his medical cannabis use.

A federal court ruled that a Florida lawyer who incorrectly told clients they could legally grow marijuana owes about $370,000 in damages.

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll spoke critically about marijuana legalization’s impact.

Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach toured Oregon hemp businesses with Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Hemp farmers and processors have made clear that the lack of access to the banking system is a significant hurdle to growing their business. We’ll keep working to remove this major barrier facing the hemp industry.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “America means freedom. How can we still be incarcerating people for using marijuana? This is counter to everything we stand for. As president, I’ll end the federal prohibition on marijuana, end mass incarceration, and reform our criminal justice system.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got two new cosponsors, for a total of 35.

The House bill to require the federal government to study the impact of state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor, for a total of 29.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) touted the state’s national leadership on hemp at an American Herbal Products Association conference. Separately, regulators issued a health and safety advisory about potentially unsafe levels of microbial contamination in marijuana products.

The chief of staff for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that “nothing is off the table” in negotiations about passing marijuana legalization legislation this year.

Montana’s lieutenant governor toured a marijuana testing facility and tweeted, “Learned a lot from yesterday’s tour of the longest operating state certified medical marijuana testing laboratory and how we can ensure access to safe and healthy medicine for our veterans, cancer patients, and others. Thanks for having me, Stillwater Laboratories!”

Maryland’s attorney general wants prosecutors to consider manslaughter charges for people who sell or supply drugs that cause fatal overdoses.

The California Supreme Court said it will issue an opinion on Monday in a case concerning whether the enactment of a zoning ordinance allowing the operation of medical cannabis cooperatives in certain areas may cause a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change to the environment for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act.

A Nevada judge heard closing arguments in a case challenging the state’s marijuana business licensing process and could issue a decision this week.

Texas’s Permanent School Fund Committee has a marijuana industry investment worth more than $700,000.

Medical cannabis implementation has become a top issue in the Louisiana agriculture commissioner race.

The South Dakota legislature’s industrial hemp study committee will meet on Monday.

Pennsylvania lawmakers hosted an anti-marijuana forum. Separately, regulators announced that a business relinquished medical cannabis dispensary permits as part of a settlement over violations.

Michigan regulators filed a formal complaint against and summarily suspended a marijuana testing lab for inaccurate results and/or unreliable testing and reporting practices. Separately, they are hosting a meeting to receive public comment on marijuana licensing and rules on August 29.

A Georgia representative tweeted, “The date rape drug is a federal Schedule V drug but marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug. That’s beyond a problem folks. 🤔☹”


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

Prosecutors and candidates from St. Louis County, Missouri; Nueces County, Texas and Arlington, Virginia coauthored an op-ed defending local moves to not pursue marijuana cases and enact broader reforms.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ugandan Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said his government plans to issue marijuana cultivation licenses.

Lawmakers in the Czech Republic are considering legislation requiring public insurance to cover medical cannabis.

Chile’s government is militarizing its drug war.

/ ADVOCACY

The Republican Party of Kentucky tweeted, “Now we’ve got the most educated man to have ever served Kentucky, @RyanQuarlesKY! His work on hemp and to promote our #KentuckyProud agriculture industry has helped make Kentucky great and it’s time we send him back to Frankfort as our Agriculture Commissioner.”

The Possible Plan, a new nonprofit focused on inclusion in the marijuana industry, ran an ad in the the New York Times Magazine’s special issue on slavery.

Idahoans for Healthy Kids and Communities formed to oppose a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure in the state.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of youth substance abuse treatment found that “[juvenile justice system] referrals’ retention rates were significantly higher than those of non-JJS referrals at the end of Phase I (i.e. week 7)” but that “there was no difference in abstinence rates between the groups at the end of phase I or II and any of the quarterly additional follow-up assessments up to one year from treatment onset.”

A study found that “pediatric cannabis exposure cases increased in Massachusetts after medical marijuana was legalized in 2012, despite using childproof packaging and warning labels.”

A study concluded that “recipes for cannabis edibles are easily accessible through Pinterest” but that “information about dosage, serving size, health effects, and responsible usage are all but absent.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand adults oppose legalizing marijuana, 39%-47%.

/ BUSINESS

CannTrust Holdings Inc. announced that the Ontario Securities Commission approved its request for a management cease trade order.

A half ton of marijuana produced by Sundial Growers Inc. was reportedly returned by Zenabis Global Inc. because it contained visible mold, parts of rubber gloves and other non-cannabis material.

Legal Sea Foods launched a new marijuana-themed ad campaign.

Facebook has been suspending Ohio medical cannabis pages.

/ CULTURE

Netflix is being criticized for continuing to depict marijuana consumption in its programming even as it has pledged to cut back on showing cigarette smoking.

The World Boxing Council is partnering with Craft 1861 to create a CBD wellness protocol.

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Feds announce cannabis research priorities (Newsletter: August 16, 2019)

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Women lawmakers’ marijuana conference; GOP senator talks up medical cannabis but hasn’t sponsored bills; Majority legalization support in another poll

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s new marijuana research priority list seems to indicate an acceptance that legalization is happening and will continue. Among other areas, the federal government wants to fund studies of differences in regulations, industry marketing and reasons for medical cannabis use.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) keeps saying good things about medical cannabis, but he hasn’t put his name on a single marijuana bill since joining Congress.

  • “When it comes to medical marijuana, there are too many good reasons why you need to start making that legal for that purpose.”

Women lawmakers from across the U.S. are holding a marijuana policy summit and touring a cannabis dispensary in Denver this week. Topics of discussion include CBD, licensing, potency, revenue, health and safety.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing a proposed Department of Labor rule that would allow states to drug test people who file claims for unemployment benefits.

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida said his office will continue prosecuting marijuana cases even as a number of local prosecutors are putting cannabis enforcement on hold in light of the state’s hemp law.

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona said the Food and Drug Administration is “struggling” with CBD regulations.

A number of Republican senators are reportedly reluctant to move marijuana banking legislation prior to their primary elections next year.

/ STATES

California’s treasurer tweeted, “California now has the biggest legal cannabis market in the world but an est $8.7B is spent in our illegal market due to high taxes and a refusal by most cities to allow licensed shops, making it cheaper and easier for people to buy from illicit dealers.” Separately, the top marijuana advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) spoke about ongoing efforts to implement legalization.

Montana Democratic attorney general candidate Kimberly Dudik tweeted, “Best practices in the marijuana industry & maintaining community safety is a priority for me as MT AG. I am attending a policy summit on the evolution of state marijuana policy for the next day to discuss best practices, inc the SAFE Banking Act.”

Missouri regulators extended the deadline for medical cannabis business license applications by two days.

Illinois regulators are displaying hemp plants at the State Fair.

Florida’s Agriculture Department tweeted, “With 25,000+ uses, #hemp is an incredible alternative & supplemental crop, which will strengthen Florida agriculture & our state economy. We’re working hard to create a program which will allow anyone interested to get involved in the new green economy.”

Washington State regulators announced a delay in releasing draft conceptual marijuana penalty rules.

The Maryland legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Workgroup will meet on Monday.

Michigan regulators filed emergency hemp testing rules. Separately, they released a marijuana licensing report.


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 Fairbanks, Alaska City Council approved the city’s first on-site marijuana consumption application for a dispensary.

Athens-Clarke County, Georgia police won’t carry out marijuana possession arrests in light of confusion caused by the state’s hemp law.

The Santa Barbara County, California Board of Supervisors agreed to use marijuana tax revenue to fund libraries.

The Grafton, Massachusetts Board of Selectmen approved a host community agreement with a marijuana dispensary one day after the business’s president resigned as chairman of the government body.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jamaica’s minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries said that import and export regulations for marijuana will be issued soon.

The Canadian government reported that 42% of cannabis consumers purchase at least some of their marijuana from illegal sources.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A survey found that “cancer patients from both legalized and nonlegalized states supported legalization of marijuana for medical purposes and believed in its medical use.”

A study concluded that “negative relationships found between adolescent marijuana use and adult educational attainment for each marijuana use measure and for each age group were fully explained by other factors, with one exception: among adolescents aged 12-13 years, those who used marijuana frequently were less likely to attain a high school diploma/GED than those who did not use marijuana frequently.”

A study seeking to “investigate the safety and efficacy of psilocybin in persons with chronic anorexia nervosa” will soon be recruiting participants.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 63% of Americans support legalizing marijuana and that 23% said they or someone in their home had consumed cannabis within the past six months.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corp. said it is working to bring CBD products to the U.S. by the end of the fiscal year.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. increased the size of a secured credit facility to C$360 million from C$200 million.

/ CULTURE

UFC fighter Nate Diaz appeared to smoke marijuana on stage at an open workout event.

Musician Gene Simmons abdicated his role as chief evangelist officer of Invictus.

Former football player Boomer Esiason suggested that the NFL would have to give up marijuana testing to get players to agree to an expanded season.

Family Feud had a question about what kind of businesses are booming in states where marijuana is legal.

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Newsletter

Federal agencies reply to hemp banking request from senator (Newsletter: August 15, 2019)

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McConnell pens hemp legalization update; POTUS candidate Andrew Yang on marijuana; Former congressman touts longtime legal cannabis support

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There are now 1,170 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.

  • Rob Arnold: “These are exciting times, with the era of cannabis prohibition coming to an end. Marijuana Moment helps me stay on top of the issues so that I can do my part to end prohibition by calling politicians with accurate and leading edge information.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The heads of five federal financial regulatory agencies responded to a letter from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a presidential candidate, seeking guidance on banking access for hemp businesses. The letters were shared with Marijuana Moment exclusively.

  • The chair of one body clarified that federal reporting guidelines in place for institutions that work with marijuana businesses no longer apply to hemp companies and said she has “personally discussed the changes during banker outreach meetings both in Washington, D.C. and across the country.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave an update on hemp legalization progress in an op-ed.

  • “Whatever obstacles Kentucky hemp farmers, processors and manufacturers might encounter as they try to take full advantage of this hemp revolution, I’ll be there to help in any way I can.”

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at where 2020 contender Andrew Yang stands on cannabis and drug policy reform. Beyond legalizing marijuana, he backs decriminalizing opioids and says he will high-five people he pardons as they leave prison.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who for many years was one of the only lawmakers to push marijuana reform on Capitol Hill, showed up at a Massachusetts cannabis regulatory meeting and touted a state legalization bill he filed back in 1972.

  • “I am getting old, but at least one thing that I have found improves with age and that is the pleasure of getting to say ‘I told you so.’”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that physicians “should screen all adults for illicit drug use.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a new anti-impaired driving ad campaign titled, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, suggested she would repeal the 1994 Crime Bill.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and ending incarceration for drug possession.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), a presidential candidate, discussed CBD’s role in treating cancer.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) compared Marijuana Policy Project lobbyist Don Murphy to “gum on one shoe” because of his constant presence on Capitol Hill.

/ STATES

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) intervened in a court case concerning whether regulators must issue medical cannabis cards to out-of-state patients. Meanwhile, the state’s marijuana legalization working group held its first meeting.

New Jersey’s Senate president spoke about ongoing efforts to build support for a marijuana legalization bill as a backup plan for a ballot measure is considered. He also discussed his concerns about home cultivation and cannabis edibles.

Ohio’s House speaker is critical of local moves to stop prosecuting marijuana cases in light of confusion caused by the state’s hemp law. Separately, the Medical Marijuana Control Program’s expert review committee rescinded a recommendation to add anxiety and autism spectrum disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

New York’s Assembly speaker toured a hemp farm.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that “the mere odor of marijuana coupled with possession of what is clearly less than ten grams of marijuana, absent other circumstances, does not grant officers probable cause to effectuate an arrest and conduct a search incident thereto.”

A Nevada court held another hearing in an ongoing case challenging the state’s marijuana business license awarding process.

Massachusetts regulators took public testimony on proposed rules allowing marijuana delivery services and social use areas. Separately, officials launched a public education campaign to deter impaired driving which includes ads that feature cannabis consumers discussing their experiences.

Utah regulators selected Akerna to run the state’s seed-to-sale medical cannabis tracking system.

Iowa’s second CBD medical cannabis manufacturer begins operations on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the differences between competing bills to legalize marijuana in Washington, D.C.


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

Several Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police officers were shot following a narcotics enforcement action.

The Somerville, Massachusetts mayor plans to open a safe consumption facility for illegal drugs next year.

The DeKalb County, Georgia solicitor-general is dismissing low-level marijuana cases in light of confusion in light of the state’s new hemp law.

The Richmond County, Georgia state solicitor is putting misdemeanor marijuana possession cases on hold while hemp testing issues are worked out.

The Little Rock, Arkansas City Board is expected to vote next week on a proposal to make marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that regulators have 180 days to issue medical cannabis rules.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “people seeking advice online about dabbing inquired most often about logistics of use, but less often about health, tolerance, and legal risks.”

A review suggested that “cannabis-only smoking is associated with changes in vocal fold appearance, respiratory symptoms, and negative lung function changes, especially in heavy smokers.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A survey found that Hispanic Americans are more likely than the general U.S. population to be involved in promoting the legalization of cannabis, and are more interested in the wellness and leisure uses of marijuana and CBD products.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation reported a 250% increase in quarterly revenue from a year ago but also a $1.2 billion loss.

Facebook asked an Oklahoma judge for more time to respond to a lawsuit alleging the site is illegally discriminating against medical cannabis businesses.

Silver Spike Capital raised $250 million for a marijuana-focused investment firm.

Eaze is reportedly seeking to raise $50 million to $75 million in a new funding round.

Several marijuana companies were included in the Inc. 5,000 rankings.

/ CULTURE

Football player Bryan Cox Jr. was cited for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Singer Toni Braxton tweeted about a CBD billboard in Times Square.

Actor Dean Cain tweeted that the National Football League “NOT be testing for marijuana- it’s NOT performance-enhancing.”

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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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