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Dems forming consensus on legalizing cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 15, 2018)

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Gillibrand backs Booker bill; WH aide resigns over marijuana use; WA gov weighs pardons for cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a potential 2020 presidential candidate, signed on as the latest cosponsor of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-NJ) Marijuana Justice Act.

Gillibrand also voiced clear support for legalizing marijuana outright, signaling that ending cannabis prohibition is becoming a mainstream consensus position in the Democratic Party.

/ FEDERAL

George David Banks resigned from the White House National Economic Council after he wasn’t able to get a security clearance due to past marijuana use.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is opposing criminal justice reform legislation being considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

A federal judge weighing a lawsuit against marijuana’s Schedule I status did not immediately rule on the government’s motion to dismiss the case following oral arguments.

The president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, speaking outside the White House after a meeting with President Trump, said that marijuana leads people to use other drugs.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Godlatte (R-VA) may cosponsor a pending marijuana research bill being filed by Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL). In an interview, Gaetz decried the fact that “too many Republicans here in Washington have just reflexive opposition to any type of cannabis reform.”

Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) endorsed legalizing marijuana.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana legalization leads to fewer opioid deaths, safer communities, and economic growth.”

The U.S. House bill to prevent federal agencies from punishing people complying with state marijuana laws got two new cosponsors, for a total of nine.

The U.S. House bill to restrict civil asset forfeiture funds from being used for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication / Suppression Program got one new cosponsor, for a total of four.

A Wisconsin Indian tribe filed a federal lawsuit against the state attorney general over his objection to their hemp cultivation plans.

/ STATES

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said he would consider pardoning everyone convicted of minor marijuana crimes.

Florida advocates filed a lawsuit against the state’s restrictive medical cannabis licensing scheme.

The Colorado House Finance Committee voted 8 to 5 to approve a bill allowing marijuana deliveries.

The Missouri House General Laws Committee approved a medical cannabis bill.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force released a draft report, with a vote on adopting it expected later this month.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is urging regulators to not immediately move forward with proposed rules to allow marijuana social use areas and delivery services, the latest development in the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) escalating pushback against the Cannabis Control Commission.

The New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill.

Connecticut representatives filed two marijuana legalization bills.

A California assemblymember introduced a bill directing regulators to “establish guidelines for licensed veterinarians to discuss the use of cannabis on animal patient clients.” Separately, Rolling Stone looks at how the state is making it difficult for Native American tribes to obtain marijuana business licenses.

A Wisconsin representative plans to introduce a bill barring employers from urine testing for THC or disqualifying people for jobs based on testing positive for marijuana.

Michigan regulators released a spreadsheet tracking municipal medical cannabis licensing.

/ LOCAL

The Easton, Pennsylvania City Council is considering a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Cook County, Illinois Commissioner John Fritchey (D) released a video about his use of medical cannabis and support for marijuana legalization.

Los Angeles, California police cracked down on unlicensed marijuana shops.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faced a series of questions about the government’s marijuana legalization plans from members of Parliament.

The Saint Vincent and the Grenadines government is exploring allowing medical cannabis but is opposed to recreational legalization.

/ ADVOCACY

Massachusetts marijuana legalization activists will hold a Thursday press conference to push back against Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) “coordinated intimidation campaign” against regulators.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review found that “cannabinoids may have modest effects in [multiple sclerosis] for pain or spasticity.”

/ BUSINESS

Molson Coors Brewing Co. said in a federal filing that marijuana legalization “could result in a material adverse effect on our business and financial results.”

The Wall Street Journal looks at marijuana-focused streaming services like 420TV and Burn TV.

The Federalist Society released a video examining the marijuana industry’s banking access issues.

/ CULTURE     

Netflix marijuana series “Disjointed” was canceled.

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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.)

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CDC says cannabis prohibition slows feds’ vape crisis response (Newsletter: November 14, 2019)

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SCOTUS talks marijuana enforcement; New Mexico lawmakers consider 2020 legalization; Groups push Congress to respect DC cannabis laws

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  • Scot Carlson of Slang Worldwide: “As part of a cannabis company that operates globally, I read Marijuana Moment daily to stay on top of the latest political, business, cultural, and technological news in our rapidly evolving industry. The addition of the Cannabis Legislation Tracking Tools brings the perfect blend of industry news and legislation updates into one, easy-to-read source. Keep up the great work!”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A top Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official testified before the Senate that one reason federal officials are taking so long to investigate the cause of vaping-related lung injuries is that marijuana’s restrictive Schedule I status slows down the transfer of samples for testing.

U.S. Supreme Court justices raised questions about federal marijuana enforcement policy during oral arguments in a case concerning protections for immigrants.

  • “There’s an entire industry in a lot of states involving marijuana that would argue they’re relying on memos issued by the attorney general that we will not enforce marijuana laws… They have a lot of economic interests at stake [and] they would say our economic interests are very real, billions of dollars are at stake, we’ve relied on the attorney general’s guidance memos.”

The New Mexico legislature’s Interim Economic & Rural Development Committee began consideration of the marijuana legalization report prepared by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s (D) working group in advance of the short 30-day session beginning in January.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Competitive Enterprise Institute, R Street Institute, Drug Policy Alliance, ACLU of D.C., NORML and other groups sent a letter urging congressional leaders to let Washington, D.C. spend its own local tax money to legalize marijuana sales.

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency said it will remove Superfund protections from a site if it is purchased by a marijuana cultivation company.

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention’s Drug Testing Advisory Board will discuss the impact of marijuana laws on drug testing on December 3.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) further discussed the kinds of changes he wants to see to House-passed marijuana banking legislation.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “No more cash bail. No more death penalty. No more ‘war on drugs.’ No more mandatory minimums. No more private prisons and detention centers. We are going to fundamentally reform our broken and racist criminal justice system.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Decriminalization of marijuana does not go far enough because people — mostly communities of color — will still be disproportionately arrested for marijuana possession. We must provide restorative justice to those communities affected by the failed #WarOnDrugs.”

/ STATES

Michigan regulators moved to allow existing medical cannabis business to transfer up to half their inventories to the recreational market, meaning that adult-use sales will begin on December 1.

California’s attorney general said he thinks the federal government is “not too far away” from catching up to states on marijuana policy.

Alaska’s top marijuana regulator was fired.

The Maryland legislature’s marijuana working group will not recommend passing a legalization bill in 2020.

Connecticut Senate Democrats are proposing legalizing marijuana and sports betting to fund transportation programs.

An Illinois House committee approved legislation making changes and fixes to the state’s marijuana legalization law.

The Washington, D.C. Council’s Health and Education Committees held a hearing on a bill to let students use medical cannabis in schools.

A proposed Florida marijuana legalization ballot measure has collected enough signatures to trigger a state Supreme Court review of its language.

Another group of Arizona cannabis businesses filed a second proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Two more members of the U.S. Virgin Islands Cannabis Advisory Board received committee approval.

New Mexico regulators received petitions to add substance abuse disorder, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, and Tourette’s syndrome as medical cannabis qualifying conditions, and to allow its use to treat seizures in animals.

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board met, and officials reported that sales topped $500 million in the past two years.

Washington State regulators published hemp and CBD FAQs.


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 Chicago, Illinois mayor wants to lower fines for public marijuana use and end the practice of impounding vehicles found with cannabis inside.

The Santa Cruz, California City Council referred a measure to decriminalize certain psychedelics to its Public Safety Committee.

Denver, Colorado officials are conducting a study on creating equitable access to and participation in the cannabis industry.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Philippine House of Representatives Health Committee is expected to take up medical cannabis legislation next month.

Estonian lawmakers discussed marijuana legalization but decided that the country is not ready to pursue it.

The Wall Street Journal looks at how Chinese farmers are taking advantage of global interest in hemp and CBD despite the country’s strict ban on marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that when “comparing marijuana use before and after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the United States, the proportion of respondents aged 12 to 17 years reporting cannabis use disorder increased from 2.18% to 2.72%, while the proportion of respondents 26 years or older reporting frequent marijuana use increased from 2.13% to 2.62% and those with cannabis use disorder, from 0.90% to 1.23%.”

A review concluded that CBD is “recommended as both a preventative and therapeutic intervention in the management of traumatic brain injury, providing the anti-inflammatory and neuroregenerative mechanisms necessary for cerebral homeostasis.”

A study found that “despite restrictions that prohibit cannabis advertising on social media, adolescents are exposed to cannabis marketing via social media, and this exposure is associated with recent cannabis use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The California Medical Association adopted a resolution saying its members “oppose policies of health plans, health systems, and hospitals that have pain management programs that automatically eliminate patients who use therapeutic cannabis.”

The New York Times editorial board says that prohibiting vaping devices is not a solution to the outbreak of lung injuries.

The Albuquerque Journal editorial board is urging New Mexico not to pursue covering medical cannabis through Medicaid.

/ BUSINESS

Tests by CannSafe found formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide and illegal pesticides in illicit cannabis vaping products but not those purchased from licensed dispensaries.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $25.1 million.

Eaze announced the winners of $50,000 grants it is issuing through an accelerator program to underrepresented cannabis business founders.

PAX Labs rolled out a new feature of its app that gives consumers access to information about the products they are vaping.

Southern Illinois University refers black students to disciplinary proceedings for drug offenses at a rate twice as high as that for white students.

Here’s a look at how the Boston Globe thinks about covering marijuana news.

The Winnipeg Free Press’s cannabis vertical The Leaf News is closing down.

/ CULTURE

Cirque du Soleil cofounder Guy Laliberte was detained for allegedly growing 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.
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Newsletter

Illinois cannabis banking bill filed (Newsletter: November 13, 2019)

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Kamala Harris jokes about CBD body rubs; Senator tours marijuana chocolate factory; USDA gets hundreds of hemp comments

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…

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https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, made a joke about CBD body rubs while making a more serious point about the need for equity in the marijuana industry.

  •  “Let’s talk about CBD, right? All these products, right? That are all of a sudden going to relieve every problem I have, because I’m going to rub it all over my body, right?”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) toured a marijuana-infused chocolate factory operated by Grön Cannabis Confections.

  • “I will keep fighting for this growth industry so it can continue to generate jobs in Oregon and nationwide.”

An Illinois representative filed a bill that would allow marijuana businesses to access some basic banking services and create “special purpose checks” that cannabis operators could use to pay taxes and rent.

More than 500 people have already submitted official comments on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposed hemp regulations, weighing in on issues relating to THC testing, “hot” hemp disposal procedures, the implementation of a ban on participation by people with felony drug convictions and more.

/ FEDERAL

Former Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin again spoke in support of medical cannabis research that the department blocked under his leadership.

Sen. Angus King (I-VT) tweeted, “Maine’s hemp farmers are building businesses the right (and legal) way, but outdated federal regulations are blocking their access to vital financial services. This is backwards – we should be encouraging new businesses, not holding them back.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “#Veterans and their doctors should be empowered to make informed decisions about medical marijuana without political interference. My Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act would allow veterans to use medicinal marijuana in states where it’s legal.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in a Veterans Day message that “protecting care for our wounded warriors and giving vets recovering from PTSD and chronic pain safer alternatives to opioids through medical cannabis should be a top priority.”

/ STATES

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), the lieutenant governor and the House speaker appointed members to a body charged with expanding the state’s medical cannabis program.

Massachusetts regulators issued a quarantine order on all marijuana vaping products except for devices intended for vaping medical cannabis flower.

The Wisconsin Assembly approved a bill aligning the state’s hemp regulations with new proposed federal rules.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled against doctors who challenged state investigations into their medical cannabis recommendation practices.

Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation to undo a lifetime ban on legislators and their immediate family members from investing in marijuana stocks or owning cannabis business licenses that was mistakenly included in the legalization bill.

A proposed Florida marijuana legalization ballot measure raised more than $1 million in donations from MedMen and Surterra, while a competing measure received a $5,000 contribution from a Trulieve official.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office estimated that a proposed psilocybin decriminalization ballot measure would reduce criminal justice costs by a sum “not likely to exceed a few million dollars annually” and could potentially raise some revenues.

A Connecticut representative hosted a press conference to discuss opposition to federal marijuana banking legislation.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on December 12.


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 El Paso, Texas City Council voted to take steps toward implementing a policy to let police issue citations instead of make arrests in marijuana possession cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian Securities Administrators issued guidance warning the cannabis industry about “deficient” corporate governance disclosures.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabinoids exhibit antibacterial activity against MRSA, inhibit its ability to form biofilms and eradicate stationary phase cells persistent to antibiotics.”

A review concluded that “large-scale surveys suggest that cannabis may be effective in reducing anxiety, however, these results stand in contrast to equivocal findings from clinical trials.”

A study found that “CBD promoted cell death in gastric cancer.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Maria McFarland Sanchez-Moreno spoke about the organization’s recent restructuring and layoffs in an interview at its biennial conference.

Texas Veterans for Medical Marijuana was barred from participating in Austin’s Veterans Day parade.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board is urging people to be cautious about marijuana vaping as legalization comes online in Illinois.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly launched a program to assess and certify marijuana testing labs for accuracy and quality.

Terrapin Care Station announced a guaranteed $15/hour minimum wage for all employees.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $22.4 million.

Tilray, Inc. reported $51.1 million in quarterly revenue.

Cronos Group Inc. reported $12.7 million in quarterly revenue.

4Front Ventures Corp. announced preliminary quarterly revenue of $16.9 million.

/ CULTURE

Family Feud had a question about where grandma hides her marijuana stash.

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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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Medical cannabis included in candidates’ veterans plans (Newsletter: November 12, 2019)

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Santa Cruz considers psychedelics decrim; Barbara Lee addresses legal marijuana activists; UK approves cannabis medicines for some conditions

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…

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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) all included medical cannabis planks in Veterans Day plans their campaigns released.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) highlighted the benefits of medical cannabis for military veterans in a Veterans Day email to NORML’s list, and she delivered a video message on broader marijuana and drug reform at the Drug Policy Alliance conference over the weekend.

The Santa Cruz, California City Council will consider a proposal this week to join other cities in decriminalizing psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump tweeted, “Will be meeting with representatives of the Vaping industry, together with medical professionals and individual state representatives, to come up with an acceptable solution to the Vaping and E-cigarette dilemma. Children’s health & safety, together with jobs, will be a focus!”

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that some vaping products should be removed from the market.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Facts, figures, and justice are on our side. We will decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and we will finally provide restorative justice to communities of color hit hardest by the failed #WarOnDrugs. We will win this fight.”

/ STATES

The Wisconsin Assembly is expected to take up hemp legislation on Tuesday.

Ohio regulators adopted resolutions clarifying that pharmacists can participate in the state’s medical cannabis program without punishment.

Maine regulators are investigating marijuana advertising at a sports arena.

Michigan regulators issued a bulletin on the marijuana licensing process, and are expected to issue the first recreational business licenses by the end of the month.

The The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, located within New York, will hold referendums on medical cannabis and marijuana legalization next month.


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 El Paso, Texas City Council is set to consider a proposal to let police issue citations instead of make arrests for up to four ounces of marijuana on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended that cannabis-based medicines be allowed via the National Health Service for epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and intractable nausea and vomiting, but not for chronic pain.

Western Australia officials are moving to let general practitioners prescribe medical cannabis without the involvement of specialists.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD currently represents a promising potential novel treatment for patients with psychosis.”

Yale launched a study into medical cannabis’s effects on chronic pain and stress.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Americans found that 73% believe the “problem of drugs” is extremely serious or very serious in the U.S. and that 41% think the nation has made much or some progress in coping with the problem over the last year or two.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram Holdings Inc. announced that it intends to report quarterly revenue of approximately $16.3 million.

Greyling Insurance Brokerage & Risk Consulting launched what it says is the first nationwide Site Pollution Liability Insurance Program for the cannabis industry.

/ CULTURE

Former National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern said the league should reconsider its ban on marijuana.

Former hockey player Jeremy Roenick is promoting CBD products.

Fox News host Greg Gutfeld spoke about his interest in psychedelic drugs.

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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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