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CT gov asks for legal cannabis advice from NM gov (Newsletter: April 26, 2021)

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Bills on marijuana & guns; Fed psilocybin series; WA lawmakers pass drug re-crim with sunset; Another poll: Legal cannabis support

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) called New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) for advice on how to get marijuana legalization through the legislature, as she just did. She told him to break social justice provisions off into a separate bill.

The National Institutes of Health organized a psilocybin research event at which scientists used the federally hosted platform to slam the war on drugs for making studies more difficult and being out of step with voters.

  • “The public, to a significant degree, is done with the drug war—and I certainly would applaud that.”

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and two cosponsors filed a bill that would finally allow people who consume marijuana to also legally exercise their Second Amendment rights to own guns.

The Washington State House and Senate sent Gov. Jay Inslee (D)  a bill to recriminalize drug possession as a misdemeanor after the Supreme Court overturned prohibition. But penalties are set to expire in 2023, which advocates believe will give lawmakers incentive to craft a comprehensive health-focused policy in the meantime.

Another new poll found that a supermajority of Americans support marijuana reform, with this one showing that only 11% want the federal government to keep cannabis illegal across the board—as well as other results, including on the benefits of tax revenue and whether marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture tweeted about studies focusing on hemp as a possible feed alternative for cattle.

A Congressional Research Service report on Washington, D.C.’s budget provides an overview of the history of Congress interfering with the city’s marijuana laws.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “I’m glad to see more and more states legalize marijuana. But too many states haven’t taken the critical step of expunging records of past marijuana use and possession crimes. Federal legalization must also include expungement provisions.”

The federal probe into Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) reportedly involves scrutiny of “potential public corruption tied to the medical marijuana industry” and possible “pay-to-play arrangements” related to his work on cannabis reform legislation.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “Over 90% of Americans support legalizing marijuana in some fashion.  Let’s legalize it, expunge records, and invest in the communities hit hardest by the racist War on Drugs.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis is a racial justice issue and the communities of color who have been decimated by the so-called War on Drugs must be the direct beneficiaries of legalization. Pass the #SafeBankingAct. Expunge records. Restore voting rights.”

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) tweeted, “Cartels aren’t making much money from marijuana anymore because so many states are legalizing it. So, they are smuggling even more dangerous drugs, like fentanyl, into America. That is why we need to secure the border NOW!”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “We need to make sure that the booming legal cannabis industry does not become monopolized by a few big companies. It’s important we put small, local businesses at the center — especially in communities impacted by the drug war.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Voters in 47 states, 4 US territories & D.C. have legalized some form of recreational or medical marijuana, including CBD. Yet current law restricts legitimate marijuana businesses from accessing banking services. I urge my Senate colleagues to take up & pass the #SAFEBankingAct.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will participate in a virtual marijuana convention alongside Willie Nelson this week.

The House bill to federally legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got one new cosponsor for a total of 12.

/ STATES

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said he is inclined to support a bill to allow medical cannabis flower.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) spoke about efforts to implement marijuana legalization.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Our #BadgerBounceback agenda would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, much like we do with alcohol. This could generate over $165M in tax revenue starting in 2022 and we’d invest $80M of that revenue back into our communities through equity initiatives.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) spoke about her plan to fund Medicaid expansion by legalizing medical cannabis.

Medical cannabis companies are holding a fundraiser for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R).

An advisor to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said she sees a “path forward” for federal marijuana legalization.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “2022 will be a referendum on marijuana — and getting rid of any electeds standing in the way.”

The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill to direct medical cannabis tax revenue to schools.

Alabama’s House speaker said he thinks the floor vote on a medical cannabis bill is going to be close.

New York’s Assembly majority leader spoke about how people can clear their past marijuana convictions.

The South Dakota legislature is forming a 24-member committee to study marijuana issues.

Nevada regulators issued updated coronavirus guidance for marijuana businesses.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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

Miami, Florida is being sued over its refusal to issue medical cannabis dispensary permits.

A Jefferson County, Washington commissioner is hosting a public meeting about psychedelics reform on Monday.

An Austin, Texas City Council member celebrated the end of local marijuana arrests.

The Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Public Defender’s office held an event to educate people about how they can apply to have marijuana convictions pardoned.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s government hosted a press briefing on its efforts to develop “cannabis and hemp for medical use and economic benefits.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of rats found that “CBD attenuated brainstem seizures and prevented the development of limbic seizures.”

A review concluded that “psychedelics are promising therapies, with rapid and lasting efficacy, the use of which seems to be well tolerated.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “@govkristinoem blocked voter-approved legalization in South Dakota & is determined to defy the will of her constituents. 54% of voters simultaneously approved legalization of medical & recreational marijuana.”

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted in support of the Birmingham mayor’s move to pardon thousands of past marijuana convictions. The party also launched new cannabis-related merch.

/ BUSINESS

MindMed was approved to begin trading on the Nasdaq.

Sundial Growers Inc. increased its commitment to the joint venture SunStream Bancorp Inc. to $188 million.

Arizona regulators reported marijuana sales data from February.

/ CULTURE

A new Snoop Dogg song seems to imply that he smoked marijuana with former President Barack Obama.

Ellen DeGeneres said she drove after drinking three cannabis-infused drinks.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee did an episode about marijuana.

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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 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.)

Newsletter

Cannabis banking senator wants dispensary welfare ban (Newsletter: August 2, 2021)

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RI speaker: “no consensus” on legal marijuana; OH legalization bill filed; CA lawmaker pushes feds on cannabis in hospitals; Hemp lawsuit damages

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)—who is the lead GOP cosponsor of cannabis banking legislation—filed a new bill that has a provision that would prevent people from accessing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits at marijuana dispensaries. The relevant section of the legislation is titled, “Welfare For Needs Not Weed.”

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there’s still “no consensus” on the details for marijuana legalization between the two legislative chambers and the governor, but it’s “workable” to reach a deal on the “priority” issue by a potential fall special session.

Ohio lawmakers formally introduced a new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana sales—the first-ever filed in the state legislature. Meanwhile, activists are also pursuing statewide and local cannabis ballot measures.

A California senator is asking to meet with the federal secretary of health and human services and Medicare and Medicaid officials to get clarity on whether hospitals that let terminally ill patients use medical marijuana risk losing their funding.

A Montana jury awarded $65 million in damages—the second-highest amount ever in the state—to 25 hemp farmers who say they were victims of negligence, fraud and deceit perpetrated by American and Canadian businessmen who failed to fulfill contracts.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prisoners who were released to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic—including some with marijuana convictions—will have to go back behind bars under a decision made by Biden administration lawyers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a medical cannabis business owner’s appeal of federal drug convictions, ruling that he did not comply with Michigan law.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC.) filed a bill to expand eligibility for expungement for first-time, low-level federal drug possession offenses.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Marijuana reform is backed by Americans of all backgrounds, in red states and blue states. We can come together to get this done.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about the growth in support of her psychedelics research amendment from the last vote on it two years ago.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) tweeted about the Westchester, New York district attorney dismissing marijuana cases, saying, “Grateful for @WestchesterDA’s bold leadership in taking this long-overdue step to end the racist war on drugs in Westchester. Congress needs to follow her lead and legalize cannabis nationwide.”

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he still opposes legalizing marijuana.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the state’s agriculture commissioner, responded to an op-ed from two lawmakers, saying, “It’s long past time to right the wrongs when it comes to historic discrimination against farmers of color, including the state’s medical marijuana licensing.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham tweeted about an editorial cartoon that joked about his support for cannabis reform, saying, “Love it! But in all seriousness, ending the prohibition of marijuana is no joke. It’ll provide a safer alternative to opioids, end the racial disparities in our drug laws, bring in hundreds of millions in new revenue each year & allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime!”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a city’s right to not enter into a host community agreement with a marijuana retail operation, but urged lawmakers to consider how the local approval process may be preventing the state from meeting its equity goals.

Missouri activists said they need to fix a clerical issue with their recently filed marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Washington, D.C.’s police chief reiterated his views about marijuana sales being tied to violence.

Oklahoma medical cannabis regulators are being sued for allegedly violating open meeting laws.

Colorado regulators are holding work group meetings this month to inform implementation of new marijuana rules.

Arkansas regulators issued guidelines for homemade hemp food production.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on revised proposed marijuana rules on 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

The Arcata, California City Council’s Public Safety Committee advanced a measure to decriminalize psychedelics.

The Santa Fe County, New Mexico Commission approved marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Cayman Islands’s deputy premier said the government is committed to decriminalizing marijuana possession, but not full legalization.

Belize’s minister of home affairs said establishing a legal marijuana industry is a practical move that would bring benefits in several areas.

An Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly committee held a hearing on a drug decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “most respondents report cannabis is very or somewhat helpful for their” multiple sclerosis.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mississippi voters oppose the state Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the voter-approved medical cannabis measure, 68 percent to 28 percent.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board said city officials should not allow marijuana businesses in the central business district.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to reject MJ Munchies Inc.’s request to register “Half-Baked” as a trademark.

4Front Ventures Corp’.s co-founder and Mission Dispensaries President Kris Krane is stepping down from his full-time job with the company.

Jushi Holdings Inc. received a $14.4 million arbitration award in a dispute against San Felasco Nurseries, Inc.

A securities violations case against former CannTrust Holdings Inc. executives has been remanded until September 20.

The Parent Company announced that certain insiders voluntarily entered into lock-up agreements with respect to their shares.

Emjay launched a marijuana delivery app on iOs.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. and Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences completed the first of three collaborative studies to research the chemical profile of full spectrum hemp extracts.

/ CULTURE

Soulja Boy launched his own cannabis brand.

The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is endorsing congressional legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

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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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House approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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

The Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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Conflicting cannabis amendments cleared for House votes (Newsletter: July 29, 2021)

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Support grows for AOC’s psychedelics reform; New CO marijuana business office; FL officials slam OR hemp & say buy local

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee advanced competing marijuana amendments to the floor for votes. One would shield all state legalization laws from federal interference, while another would delete existing medical cannabis protections. Those votes could take place as soon as Thursday.

A new Marijuana Moment analysis looks at how even though Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) psychedelics research amendment fell short on the House floor this week, support grew considerably from the last time it was voted on in 2019. We examine how the advancement of state psychedelics legislation likely flipped a number of votes, and how some Democratic leaders are still not on board with the reform.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced the launch of a new Cannabis Business Office aimed at providing economic support for the state’s marijuana industry—with a focus on social equity.

  • “Where the federal government has fallen behind, Colorado will lead. Colorado is, and always has been, the best place to live, work, grow and sell cannabis.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services put out an alert warning consumers about poor quality hemp products from Oregon that contain “rocks, sticks and other foreign material.” People should buy hemp with “Fresh From Florida” logos instead, they say.

/ FEDERAL

The acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reiterated President Joe Biden’s position that no one should be incarcerated for drug use alone.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and we are pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about the need to federally legalize marijuana.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “Thank you @BrooklynDA for dismissing 3,500 marijuana cases following legalization by NY state. This is an important step in remedying all the harm inflicted on our communities by the so called ‘war on drugs.'”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the drug war’s harms got seven new cosponsors for a total of 59.

/ STATES

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor said senators should have a draft medical cannabis bill next week.

Oklahoma’s public safety secretary said the medical cannabis industry needs to be more tightly regulated.

The Arizona Supreme Court publicized an event to help people expunge marijuana charges.

New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on law enforcement issues related to marijuana legalization. Separately, regulators will host a cannabis entrepreneur informational workshop on Thursday.

A lawsuit challenging Illinois marijuana business licensing rules was dropped by the plaintiff, and regulators are set to hold the first of three lotteries on Thursday. A judge in a separate case, however, said no licenses can be awarded until an August 9 hearing.

Nevada regulators shared updated mask guidelines with marijuana businesses.

Oregon’s Cannabis Commission met.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Israeli lawmakers rejected a bill to decriminalize marijuana and reclassify CBD as a food additive.

Australia’s federal police commissioner said legalizing drugs “will not stop organised crime— it will likely embolden them, make them richer and enable them to buy more guns and pay for more murders.”

Gabon’s sovereign wealth fund is investigating how to monetize interest in ibogaine.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on whether external stress is a factor in “hot hemp” found “no evidence that any of these stresses caused THC concentration or the ratio of THC to CBD to increase at harvest.”

A study of bees found that “hemp supplementation positively influences the immune system of workers, and the appropriate method of administration may be adapted to the health problems of bees.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Governors Association noted how a number of governors discussed marijuana during their state of the state addresses this year.

Decriminalize Nature launched a new campaign it says is intended to expose corporate influences seeking to undermine access to psychedelic plants and fungi.

The executive director of Minority Veterans of America authored an op-ed calling for marijuana reform.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $142.2 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation ended its relationship with Seth Rogen’s Houseplant brand.

GoDaddy refused technical support to cannabis news outlet Heady NJ because its website “shows marijuana imagery.”

Frankenmuth Credit Union launched a cannabis banking program.

A subsidiary of Avicanna Inc. completed its first export of THC cannabis extracts from Colombia to Austria.

/ CULTURE

Actor Colin Hanks is partnering with Jushi Holdings Inc. to bring his Hanks Kerchiefs to the company’s BEYOND / HELLO marijuana retail stores.

Football player Julio Jones is being sued by cannabis company Genetixs for alleged fraud and money laundering.

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