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DC psychedelics decrim campaign submits ballot signatures (Newsletter: July 7, 2020)

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Forest Service hires hazmat firm for marijuana eradication; MS medical cannabis measure avoids challenge; Study: cannabis consumers exercise more

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There are now 1,525 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Activists in Washington, D.C. submitted what they believe are more than enough signatures to qualify a psychedelics decriminalization measure for the November ballot in the nation’s capital.

  • “I can see the Capitol from my house. I think it’s really important to acknowledge that this could lay the groundwork for national reform.”

The U.S. Forest Service is hiring a hazmat firm to train agents on how to safely eradicate marijuana from illegal cultivation sites after too many were “getting sick” and “requiring trips to emergency rooms with possible long term health effects” due to “unique hazardous chemicals” used by unregulated growers.

Mississippi medical cannabis advocates are relieved after one more threat to their legalization measure on the November ballot stalled in the legislature as lawmakers went home for the summer. But they still have an alternate cannabis ballot question to deal with.

A new study of exercise behaviors and body mass index among older adults smashes the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype.

  • “Current cannabis use was associated with lower BMI and more exercise behavior in healthy older adults wishing to increase their physical activity… These findings suggest that it may be easier for older adults who endorse using cannabis to increase and maintain their exercise behavior, potentially because cannabis users have lower body weight than their non-using peers. At minimum, the evidence suggests that cannabis use does not hinder older adults’ ability to engage in physical activity, to participate in a supervised exercise program, or to increase their fitness as a result of physical activity.”

/ FEDERAL

The policy director for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said that “as science ends up with more conclusive evidence regarding the impact of marijuana, I think he would look at that data. But he’s being asked to make a decision right now. This is where the science guides him.”

The House Armed Services Committee approved report language directing the Department of Defense to compile data on the reasons people are being denied security clearances, including for marijuana and other drugs.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Know this:  marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug federally.  Veterans w PTSD cannot be prescribed cannabis by the VA. On my 67 County tour, we heard from veteran after veteran:  the country I defended considers me a criminal using the 1 thing that makes me feel normal.”

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “60 new full time jobs and $16 million investment in next generation AgTech jobs with @ecofibre grand opening today in Scott Co! They sell hemp products around the world and CVS stores. Congrats!”

North Dakota marijuana activists working on a proposed legalization ballot measure for 2022 say they already have between a third and a half of the signatures they will need.

Illinois regulators adopted a rule clarifying that marijuana-infused foods must be taxed at the 6.25% general merchandise rate instead of the 1% rate that applies to most groceries.

Ohio regulators rejected requests from medical cannabis cultivators to increase their capacity.

Florida regulators are considering allowing medical cannabis recommendations to be made via telehealth on a permanent basis.

Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board will consider adopting regulations on July 21.

Virginia regulators published a FAQ about the state’s medical cannabis law.


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

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris created a new Medicinal Cannabis Authority.

Ireland’s health minister is standing by a prior interview in which he said marijuana possession should be decriminalized and that he supports safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Amsterdam, Netherlands City Council voted to explore how to ban marijuana-flavored products sold in tourist shops.

A member of the UK House of Lords pressed government officials on access to cannabis for medical and research purposes.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “low doses of Δ9‐THC are anticonvulsant against hyperthermia‐induced seizures in Scn1a +/ mice, effects that are enhanced by a sub‐anticonvulsant dose of CBD” but that “proconvulsant effects and increased premature mortality are observed when CBD and Δ9‐THC are subchronically dosed in combination.”

A study concluded that “stable isotope ratio analysis of marijuana seizures can significantly improve our understanding of marijuana distribution networks.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s executive director and deputy director are stepping down as the organization experiences budget shortfalls.

The University of Pennsylvania Democrats said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should endorse legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company is selling limited edition short shorts for the price of $69.420.

Aphria Inc. issued more than 1.6 million common shares to Aleafia Health subsidiary Emblem Cannabis as part of a previously announced settlement.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. appointed a new chief commercial officer.

Schwazze terminated two planned acquisitions with Dabble Extracts.

/ CULTURE

Elton John said he “saw God” while smoking a joint and listening to a Kraftwerk album.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Mushroom Observer.

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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Congressional researchers say legal cannabis hurts cartels (Newsletter: August 4, 2020)

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Analyzing Congress’s recent marijuana vote; IL sees record cannabis sales in July; Senator engages with blunt-smoking constituent

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new Congressional Research Service report says a “decline in U.S. demand for Mexican marijuana” is partly “due to legalized cannabis or medical cannabis in several U.S. states and Canada, reducing its value as part of Mexican trafficking organizations’ portfolio.”

Marijuana Moment analyzed last week’s House of Representatives vote to protect state cannabis laws from federal interference, including an examination of lawmakers who flipped from “No” last year to “Yes” this time and vice versa, as well as the 17 Republicans from legalized states who voted to let the Department of Justice arrest their constituents.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation reported that marijuana retailers shattered monthly sales records in July with nearly 1.3 million cannabis products sold, worth about $61 million. Out-of-state visitors alone accounted for $16.2 million of that.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) reacted cheerfully to a blunt-smoking constituent who expressed support for his reelection bid.

  • “I support marijuana, by the way.”

A new ProPublica investigation reviews documents showing that “investors, many with marijuana industry ties, have seized upon the nation’s public health disaster” by flipping N95 masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “It’s quick money. And the broker game in the marijuana and industrial hemp industry — it’s exactly the same.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted about hemp crop insurance.

Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and John Kennedy (R-LA) are pushing the Drug Enforcement Administration to lower production quotas for opioids.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) tweeted about her new bill to federally legalize and regulate marijuana.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) said, “Suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid fees is a misguided relic from the ‘War on Drugs’ era that punishes people who can’t pay their bills on time by making it even harder for them to make an income to pay their bills. How stupid is that?”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) criticized House Democrats because their coronavirus relief bill “mentions marijuana more times than jobs.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said he’s “working with Team Biden in conversations” about further evolving on marijuana reform.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) tweeted, “According to the NIH, the WHO, and the American Lung Assoc., marijuana is MORE dangerous with COVID – it is NOT a treatment. Yet Speaker Pelosi insists on marijuana provisions in a COVID bill for the American people?”

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) cheered marijuana provisions in an appropriations bill passed by the House.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) tweeted, “My colleagues on the Congressional #CannabisCaucus and I were also able to include an amendment that protects individuals who engage in the state-sanctioned use, production, and dispensing of cannabis to those over age 21 from prosecution by the Department of Justice.”

Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Marquita Bradshaw tweeted about her support for legalizing marijuana.

Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate James Mackler tweeted, “Legalizing #MedicalMarijuana is overdue. We must find alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent offenders, reduce recidivism, end for-profit prisons & update flawed sentencing guidelines. If states want to legalize marijuana, the Federal govt shouldn’t stand in the way.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It has been 313 days since @GovernorTomWolf and I called on the legislature to immediately decriminalize marijuana and work on legislation to legalize. We need action now.”

Mississippi’s agriculture commissioner announced that farmers in the state can apply for hemp licenses from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Nebraska lawmakers sent Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) a hemp bill.

California regulators sent a notice about changes to cannabis business tax return procedures.

Louisiana regulators issued an emergency rule to implement medical cannabis program changes included in recently enacted legislation.

Massachusetts regulators issued an order allowing marijuana companies to retest and potentially sell quarantined marijuana vaping products.

Ohio regulators are considering resolutions on medical cannabis business employee policies.

Oregon regulators approved marijuana business violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Washington State regulators will consider marijuana rules and a compact with an Indian tribe on Wednesday.


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

San Francisco, California regulators are accepting feedback about a marijuana equity applicant grant program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New UK Ministry of Justice data shows racial disparities in marijuana enforcement.

Mexican poppy cultivation and heroin production decreased last year, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested “potential anti-inflammatory effects of recent cannabis use.”

A study identified the “plausible appearance of tolerance to cannabidiol-enriched oil,” which “may limit treatment efficacy in the long-term clinical management of refractory epilepsy in both pediatric and adult population.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

NORML and HeadCount launched a voter registration drive.

The Marijuana Policy Project published a voter guide for New Hampshire’s primary election next month.

/ CULTURE

Mixed martial arts fighters Tim Elliott and Jamahal Hill are reportedly facing suspensions and fines for positive marijuana tests.

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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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Senate bill would regulate cannabis like tobacco (Newsletter: August 3, 2020)

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Pelosi: Marijuana therapy “proven successful”; Study: Marijuana improves sex & orgasms for women; LA medical marijuana expansion takes effect

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By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.

  • Lindsay Aronson of Silver Stem Fine Cannabis: “We pledged to support Marijuana Moment because they do a great job keeping us updated on important marijuana news in the states we operate in. With two cultivation facilities and seven marijuana stores in Colorado and another store in Portland, Oregon, there are a lot of constant changes to keep up with, and Marijuana Moment helps with that. We also appreciate the affordable access to the legislative tracking tool to be able to easily keep track of marijuana law changes elsewhere.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said marijuana is a “therapy that has proven successful” in response to a question about whether cannabis banking provisions are germane to coronavirus relief legislation.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) filed a bill to federally legalize marijuana and regulate it like tobacco. U.S. Customs and Border Protection would be tasked with  developing rules for cannabis imports and exports, and there would be a federal purchasing age limit of 21.

A new Louisiana law allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis for any debilitating condition they see fit took effect. Other new laws that came into force protect banks from being punished by state regulators for working with marijuana businesses, set hemp and CBD rules and provide legal immunity for physicians and hospitals caring for medical cannabis patients.

A new study found that marijuana use is associated with “improved sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction” for women.

  • “For each additional step of cannabis use intensity (ie, times per week), the odds of reporting female sexual dysfunction declined by 21%.”

/ FEDERAL

The House of Representatives passed a funding bill that includes provisions to protect state marijuana laws from Justice Department interference, shield banks from being punished by the Treasury Department for serving cannabis businesses, prevent universities from losing funds for studying marijuana and allow Washington, D.C. to legalize recreational sales.

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) wrote a constituent letter explaining his opposition to legalizing marijuana.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) said he thinks decisions about marijuana should be made at the state level.

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) sent a press release touting his work to secure language in sending legislation urging federal agencies to reconsider policies on firing workers for marijuana use.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) celebrated provisions he helped insert into a funding bill report that encourage marijuana research.

Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) tweeted, “Congress goes another week without policing and justice reforms the people were promised and expected. End qualified immunity. End civil asset forfeiture. End the drug war. End no-knock warrants. End militarization of police. Let’s take items one by one—debate, amend, and vote!”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of 79.

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

The House bill to protect military veterans from losing their benefits for marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 19.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Richard Thripp tweeted, “The DNC’s refusal to support universal healthcare and cannabis legalization is dividing the party. These policies both have widespread, bipartisan support, for good reason. We don’t want to hand Trump another 4 years of destroying our country.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Tom Wells tweeted, “This shouldn’t even be a debate. We cannot ignore the fact that the current marijuana criminalization policy has in too many cases been used to target people of color.”

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gina Raimondo (D) said she is going to continue pushing marijuana legalization.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) vetoed a bill to change the composition of the territory’s medical cannabis regulatory body because he wants lawmakers to pass broader legislation to legalize marijuana.

The chances of qualifying an Idaho medical cannabis ballot measure seem diminished after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a campaign pushing a separate education funding measure that had previously been granted the right to electronically collect signatures by a federal judge.

Ohio activists plan to try to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the 2021 ballot.

A California court ruled that marijuana is not decriminalized in prisons.

The Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group held its first meeting on Friday, and the state’s Medical Cannabis Work Group will hold its first meeting on Monday.

Nevada tax officials approved a settlement in a case challenging the state’s marijuana business licensing process, contingent on approval from cannabis regulators.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands regulators will begin accepting marijuana business license applications on Tuesday.

Guam regulators are considering adding fines to marijuana rules.

Michigan regulators issued a bulletin about updated coronavirus-related policies for marijuana businesses.

Colorado regulators are holding a rulemaking work group on marijuana sustainability and science issues.


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 Des Moines, Iowa task force studying marijuana decriminalization held its first meeting.

The West Hollywood, California City Council is considering an anti-smoking proposal that would ban tobacco and cannabis smoking and vaping in enclosed common areas and new units in multi-family dwellings.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A South African judge ruled that a law criminalizing children for possessing or using marijuana is unconstitutional.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that there was “a 64–75% reduction in opioid dosage when used in combination with” medical cannabis, and that “opioid substitution was reported by 32–59.3% of patients with non-cancer chronic pain.”

Several midwestern universities are partnering to create a public hemp variety performance database.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints updated its handbook to clarify that medical cannabis use is permissible but it “does not approve of the use of marijuana in smoking or vaping forms.”

/ BUSINESS

GW Pharmaceuticals’s  CBD medication Epidiolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis complex.

Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen is starting a cannabis brand.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Magic Johnson spoke about his new partnership with Uncle Bud’s Hemp.

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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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Newsletter

House approves state cannabis protections (Newsletter: July 31, 2020)

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White House faith advisor bashes Biden’s marijuana record; CA AG: court should block DEA cannabiz subpoena; Legalization an issue in House primary

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 1,531 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

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to block the Department of Justice from interfering with all state, territory and tribal marijuana laws.

White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative Advisor Paula White-Cain blasted presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s record of supporting harsh criminal justice legislation that sent people to prison for cannabis and other drugs.

  • “Everyone forgets Clinton’s bill that Joe Biden went along with and signed people to prison for 30 years for three ounces of marijuana.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) filed a brief asking a federal court to block a Drug Enforcement Administration subpoena seeking to force state regulators to hand over information about marijuana businesses.

Marijuana is becoming a key issue in one of the most-watched congressional primaries of 2020. The challenger, Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse (D), is calling out longtime incumbent Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) for not acting on a cannabis legalization bill that’s before his committee and for remarks where he referred to marijuana as a “gateway drug.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that drug offenses were the most common primary offense type for federal probation and supervised release violations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration sent out an alert about “telephone calls by scammers posing as DEA employees attempting to defraud and extort victims.”

The Food and Drug Administration announced a voluntary recall of Summitt Labs CBD products due to high lead content.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized House Democrats for including “all kinds of things related to marijuana” in their coronavirus relief bill.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called it “embarrassing” that Democratic officials rejected a marijuana legalization amendment for the party platform and said she is “not confident” that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would evolve on the issue.

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) said it is “odd” that Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is criticizing the congressman for being slow to evolve on marijuana legalization when he appears to have publicly endorsed the reform before the senator did.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) tweeted, “Let’s remember just how unserious House Democrats were when they passed a so-called COVID-19 relief bill that included…benefits for lobbyists and the cannabis industry.”

California Democratic congressional candidate Shahid Buttar tweeted, “Legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge records for cannabis-related offenses. Pass it on.”

/ STATES

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) cited his previously signing a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in a message about vetoing legislation that would have allowed people to petition to have some drug crime records annulled.

Pennsylvania regulators removed the requirement for medical cannabis patients to renew their registrations in order to maintain participation in the program. The state’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “I fully, fully support, lobbied + endorse home grow for medical marijuana patients.   Especially during the pandemic.”

Nevada regulators and businesses challenging their marijuana licensing process have reached a proposed settlement in the case.

Oregon regulators will hold a hearing on proposed marijuana business inspections and on-site delivery rules on August 17.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Several countries expressed concerns about a World Health Organization recommendation to clarify that CBD is not under international control at a United National Commission on  Narcotic Drugs meeting.

Netherlands regulators received 149 applications to grow legal recreational marijuana to supply coffee shops.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study identified a “‘reverse gateway effect‘ among some street entrenched young people, whereby cannabis use was associated with the intermittent reduction, elimination or prevention of more harmful forms of drug use such as meth and opioid use.”

A study found that “high concentrations of airborne fungi were identified” at indoor marijuana grow operations.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Colorado hemp industry participants are protesting state regulators’ selection of the Marijuana Policy Group to establish the state Hemp Center of Excellence.

/ BUSINESS

High Times Productions, Inc. is being accused of reneging on its obligations in an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit related to accessibility issues at its Cannabis Cup events.

FSD Pharma Inc. is forfeiting its Canadian licenses and is exiting the marijuana business.

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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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