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DC legal cannabis bill filed despite federal rider (Newsletter: Jan. 9, 2019)

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Poll: 2020 primary voters value legal marijuana; CO gov says federal legalization “inevitable”; Sen. Harris talks marijuana in new book

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) writes in her new book that marijuana should be legalized and past cannabis convictions should be expunged. She also seems to imply that she might support decriminalizing other drugs:

  • “When someone is suffering from addiction, their situation is made worse, not better, by involvement in the criminal justice system.”

A Washington, D.C. councilmember filed a marijuana legalization bill in defiance of an ongoing congressional rider preventing the city from spending its own money to legalize and regulate cannabis sales, saying he “invite[s] the federal government to arrest us for doing our jobs.”

A poll asked likely New Hampshire 2020 Democratic primary voters to rank their most important issues—and more chose marijuana legalization than picked education, jobs or voting rights. Among voters who chose cannabis as their top issue, about 47% back Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) had programs printed on hemp paper at his inauguration. He also told CNN that federal marijuana legalization is “inevitable.”

New Hampshire lawmakers filed legislation to authorize medical marijuana home cultivation, to allow medical cannabis for opioid addiction and misuse and to clear criminal and court records for marijuana possession convictions that occurred prior to decriminalization.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump claimed in a prime time televised speech that his proposed Mexican border wall would stop drug smuggling.

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent said the impact of a Texas marijuana decriminalization bill “would be comparable to what you see in other states that have legalized marijuana where you have an increase in violent crimes and property crimes.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said the 116th Congress will be the “most pro-cannabis Congress in history.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) included her support for “an end to the war on drugs and for-profit prisons” in her Congressional Hispanic Caucus bio.

/ STATES

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he is “absolutely and adamantly opposed to” legalizing marijuana.

The Arizona Supreme Court agreed to take up a case concerning the legality of medical cannabis extracts.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands senators deferred action on marijuana legalization amendments.

Rhode Island’s House majority leader spoke about the prospects of legalizing marijuana in the state this year. (About 27:40 into the video.)

Connecticut’s House Republican leader said that legalizing marijuana “will not solve our underlying financial problems.” Separately, medical cannabis businesses are pushing the state Elections Enforcement Commission to allow them to make political campaign contributions.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s policy committee declined to vote on a proposal clarifying that companies can’t own more than one of each category of marijuana business licenses.

A pediatric care nurse joined Arkansas’s medical cannabis regulatory body.

New Mexico lawmakers are considering legislation to create employment protections for medical cannabis patients.

North Dakota regulators released draft medical cannabis dispensary application materials for additional parts of the state. Separately, lawmakers filed a bill to place limits on the amount of medical marijuana products patients can have.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board’s public safety subcommittee will discuss marijuana social use areas and home delivery on Wednesday.

A Pennsylvania senator tweeted a photo of a meeting where he and fellow lawmakers were finishing the “final stages” of marijuana legalization legislation.

A Virginia delegate is pushing for marijuana law reform.

North Carolina regulators awarded funding for hemp research programs.


Marijuana Moment is tracking key cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

The latest New York City marijuana arrest data continues to show racial disparities in enforcement.

Chicago, Illinois mayoral candidate Susana Mendoza (D), currently the state comptroller, included marijuana legalization in her campaign plan.

Hartford, Connecticut’s mayor tweeted, “If marijuana is going to be legalized, those communities that have born the brunt of the war on drugs must benefit from the jobs, from the ownership opportunities, and from the revenue that legal sales generate. Communities of color have been damaged disproportionately by the war on drugs for decades, and there is no question that those communities should benefit disproportionately from legalization.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the government will unveil a development program for marijuana farmers in the first quarter of this year.

The Chilean Senate Health Committee is considering medical cannabis legislation.

The Panama Assembly’s Health Commission began discussion medical cannabis legislation.

The Wall Street Journal examines the expansion of Greece’s medical cannabis industry.

/ ADVOCACY

Marijuana prohibitionist Paul Chabot said, “Just because something doesn’t work doesn’t mean that we end it.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Lexington Herald-Leader editorial board is calling on Kentucky lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

The Boston Herald editorial board is concerned about moves to allow psilocybin in Denver, Colorado and Oregon.

/ BUSINESS

One of MedMen’s largest outside shareholders and a former board member are suing the company and its executives for alleged breach of fiduciary duties.

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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.)

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House leaders push legal cannabis states on impaired driving (Newsletter: June 4, 2020)

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VA gov cites marijuana decrim as racial justice move; USVI gov touts legal cannabis revenue; VT activist seeks high bailiff office

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There are now 1,506 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Transportation Committee leaders filed a bill requiring legal marijuana states—and only those states—to consider creating programs to “educate drivers on the risks associated with marijuana-impaired driving and to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from individuals driving motor vehicles while impaired by marijuana.”

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) cited a marijuana decriminalization bill he recently signed as an example of how the state is addressing racial inequities that have inspired recent protests of police violence against black Americans.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) touted marijuana legalization’s economic impact at a conference focused on boosting revenue for the territory. Cruise passengers and hotel guests would buy an estimated $43 million worth of cannabis every year, according to a projection commissioned by his office.

  • “We need to get this measure done as quickly as possible in order to start impacting our economy in a very positive way.”

Dave Silberman is a Vermont marijuana legalization advocate who is running for a county elected office actually called “high bailiff.” It might sound funny, but he’s using his campaign to highlight a serious drug policy reform platform.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture posted an updated list of approved hemp testing laboratories.

The White House  Office of National Drug Control Policy designated 12 additional areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said that the Senate Banking Committee is not a particularly favorable place to have marijuana legislation referred to.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) budget is projecting declining marijuana sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. Separately, regulators are holding a cannabis business payroll tax compliance webinar on Thursday.

Louisiana lawmakers sent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) a bill to regulate hemp and CBD.

Iowa lawmakers sent Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) a bill to set a per-person medical cannabis THC limit of 4.5 grams in 90 days.

The North Carolina House of Representatives approved a revised agriculture bill with controversial smokable hemp ban language removed.

Washington State regulators posted an overview of coronavirus-related policies for marijuana businesses.

Michigan regulators released a bulletin outlining the requirements for annual financial statements for medical cannabis businesses.

Oregon regulators approved marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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

A Myrtle Beach, South Carolina City Council member said he would consider supporting a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

A security guard was shot and killed at an unlicensed Spring Valley, California marijuana dispensary.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “data support the safety and effectiveness of [medical cannabis] as a complementary option for improving pain control, appetite and quality of life in [supportive cancer care].”

A study found that cannabis consumers “generally had low accuracy in identifying effective harm reduction techniques and low rates of utilizing effective harm reduction techniques, using them at the same rate overall as techniques without empirical support.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Cannabis Industry Association filed an amicus brief in a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit case in which Harborside Health Center is challenging the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses.

The National Cannabis Roundtable released a statement about its member businesses’ efforts to combat injustice and inequality.

/ BUSINESS

Sundial Herbal Products has been ordered by a federal judge to stop distributing unapproved new drugs and misbranded drugs, including a hemp seed oil it claimed  “suppresses the growth of cancer.”

FSD Pharma Inc. received Food and Drug Administration approval to submit an Investigational New Drug Application for the use of a substance to increase endogenous levels of endocannabinoids to treat patients with coronavirus.

Michigan dispensaries Pharmhouse Wellness,, The Botanical Co. and Om of Medicine are offering a 10 percent discount to customers convicted of marijuana-related felonies and a 5 percent discount to those convicted of marijuana-related misdemeanors.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is selling its shares in Alcanna Inc.

/ CULTURE

Pornstar Nacho Vidal was arrested on manslaughter charges after another man died during a ritual involving psychedelic toad venom.

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White House reviewing cannabis research plan from FDA (Newsletter: June 3, 2020)

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Trump campaign attacks Biden’s drug war record. Poll: 2/3 AZ voters back legal marijuana; Booker calls out cannabis arrest disparity

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The White House Office of Management and Budget is reviewing draft Food and Drug Administration guidance on marijuana and CBD research.

President Trump’s reelection campaign is attacking presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as “the chief architect of mass incarceration and the War on Drugs, which targeted Black Americans.”

  • “Joe Biden’s policies destroyed millions of black lives. Joe Biden may not remember. But we do.”

A poll found that two-thirds of Arizona likely voters support a marijuana legalization measure that is on track to qualify for the November ballot.

  • “All signs point to 2020 being the year that recreational marijuana finally becomes legal in Arizona.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) cited racial disparities in marijuana enforcement as an example of what’s motivating police accountability protests.

  • People “can’t get a job, can’t get a loan from the bank for doing things that two of the last three presidents have admitted to doing.”

In an op-ed, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri makes the case for how legalizing marijuana is just one part of the broader fight for racial justice, but an important one.

  • “Of course, marijuana prohibition isn’t the sole cause of America’s racial inequities, nor is it the sole reason why certain members of the police continue to engage in racially-aggressive policing and misconduct. But its criminalization is one of the tools commonly used to justify and perpetuate these injustices.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration has been given temporary authority to “enforce any federal crime committed as a result of protests over the death of George Floyd” and to “conduct covert surveillance” on protestors.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) spoke during a Judiciary Committee hearing about a man who died of coronavirus while serving a federal prison sentence for marijuana.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, “We hold more prisoners, by far, than any other country in the world.  This is largely due to the failed war on drugs, which disproportionately and unjustly targeted people of color.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said that “too often marijuana arrests and prosecutions are a gateway to criminalizing the minority population.”

/ STATES

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) reiterated his call for lawmakers to pass marijuana legalization legislation and celebrated federal approval of the territory’s hemp program.

Maine regulators are being sued over a decision not to enforce a state residency requirement for marijuana business licensees.

California regulators are seeking funding to hire 87 officers to enforce marijuana rules.

The Connecticut legislature’s Regulations Review Committee approved adding Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and certain instances of chronic pain as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Massachusetts regulators are investigating the looting of multiple marijuana dispensaries.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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

The UK secretary of state for health and social care pledged to look into medical cannabis access delays.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “there is substantial evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in treating cancer-related pain; specifically, oromucosal THC/CBD spray” and that “there is conclusive evidence for the effectiveness of cannabis and cannabinoids in relieving chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting; specifically, oral THC.”

A study found that hemp protein products “may improve chronic inflammatory states and promote regenerative processes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights led more than 400 organizations in calling on Congress to enact policing reforms, including legislation to “prohibit the use of no-knock warrants, especially for drug searches.”

Students for Sensible Drug Policy is organizing a virtual lobby day next week.

/ BUSINESS

Hightimes Holding Corp. plans to launch a marijuana delivery service in California next month.

PetSmart is being sued for allegedly using  false and deceptive practices to sell hemp products for pets.

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LA lawmakers send medical cannabis expansion to gov’s desk (Newsletter: June 2, 2020)

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MI lawmakers vote on letting their spouses get marijuana licenses; MedMen closes all stores; Study discovers cannabis use at ancient biblical site

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 1,506 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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Louisiana lawmakers sent Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) a bill to let doctors recommend medical cannabis for any debilitating condition they see fit. They also approved legislation on marijuana business banking access, legal immunity for doctors and a study on the cannabis industry workforce.

The Michigan House of Representatives is set to vote Tuesday on a bill to let elected officials’ spouses get medical cannabis business licenses. Meanwhile, many people with past drug convictions remain ineligible.

Researchers discovered evidence of marijuana use at an ancient biblical site in Israel.

  • “It seems likely that cannabis was used at Arad as a deliberate psychoactive, to stimulate ecstasy as part of cultic ceremonies.”

MedMen has closed all of its marijuana stores nationwide following the looting of several locations over the weekend.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), in a letter to Attorney General William Barr about transferring incarcerated people to home confinement, cited the case of a man who died from coronavirus while serving a marijuana sentence.

Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) said in a press release that “the history and trauma of racism and Jim Crow is not a memory of the past, but is a reality still today, exacerbated by the fact that Black Americans are disproportionately the targets of injustices ranging from mass incarceration and police brutality, to the War on Drugs and COVID-19.”

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Qasim Rashid tweeted, “We must decriminalize & stop the drug war, invest in treatment, invest in training officers, stop militarization of police, and divert those resources to education & healthcare.”

New York Democratic congressional candidate Suraj Patel tweeted, “Sentencing disparities, selective enforcement of the law, and police brutality disproportionately harm Black Americans. We must legalize marijuana and retroactively expunge all marijuana related records.”

/ STATES

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a bill tying state approval of cannabis-based medicines to federal law.

West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stephen Smith tweeted, “We’re the only leading campaign that supports full cannabis legalization. With that extra $194mil/year, what would you fix first?”

The Rhode Island Supreme Court upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit from a medical cannabis patient who was fired by his employer for refusing to take a drug test.

The Virginia State Police reported that marijuana arrests declined more than eight percent from 2018 to 2019.

Missouri regulators have approved more than 50,000 medical cannabis patients and caregivers.

Ohio regulators sent reminders about medical cannabis vaporizer requirements and the issue of dispensaries permitting entry to non-patient juveniles.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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

A majority of Baltimore, Maryland mayoral and City Council candidates said in a survey that they would “actively support establishing overdose prevention sites.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

A former New Zealand prime minister is part of a campaign urging voters to approve a marijuana legalization referendum.

Maltese regulators said they are weighing five applications to cultivate cannabis for medical and research purposes.

Colombian regulators touted a new digital tool they are using for medical cannabis licensing.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “inhaled cannabis acutely reduced PTSD symptoms by more than 50%” and “higher doses of cannabis predicted larger reductions in anxiety and intrusions,” but “cannabis did not appear to improve or worsen PTSD symptoms in the long-term.”

A study concluded that “hemp supplementation improved HDL cholesterol, tended to support psychometric measures of perceived sleep, stress response, and perceived life pleasure and was well tolerated with no clinically relevant safety concerns.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Minority Cannabis Business Association issued a statement of solidarity with people protesting police violence.

/ BUSINESS

PAX Labs launched a web-based desktop app to control its vaporization devices after Apple removed its former product from the App Store.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced it entered into two agreements worth up to $60 million in gross proceeds.

Leafs by Snoop is the most recognizable cannabis brand, according to a survey conducted by Green Horizons.

Oklahoma dispensaries sold more than $73 million worth of medical cannabis products in May.

/ CULTURE

A survey found that 49.5% of MMA fighters currently use marijuana, and 76.5% say they have used CBD products.

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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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