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Elizabeth Warren’s new cannabis plan (Newsletter: February 24, 2020)

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NM gov open to putting legalization on ballot; Fed Reserve hemp banking update; Congressional candidate hosts ‘weed party’

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There are now 1,352 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, gave Marijuana Moment an early look at a new plan that includes promises to begin the process of federal cannabis legalization within 100 days of taking office, involve communities harmed by the drug war in the marijuana industry, respect other nations’s drug laws and allow Washington, D.C. to enact legal sales.

At the end of a legislative session in which lawmakers failed to legalize marijuana, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said she is open to referring a cannabis question to the ballot as a constitutional amendment so that voters can decide on the issue.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis issued a reminder that hemp businesses can get bank accounts in light of the crop’s federal legalization and previewed that “banks should be looking out for additional guidance” on federal hemp rules from financial regulators soon.

Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Clark hosted what his campaign is calling the “first-ever congressional weed party.”

  • Marijuana “has literally saved my life, he told the crowd, a blunt in one hand and a shot glass in the other. “I’m a veteran with PTSD.”

/ FEDERAL

A Drug Enforcement Administration agent was arrested on charges of conspiring to launder money with a Colombian drug cartel.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City tweeted, “Year-over-year #marijuana sales growth of about 16 percent YTD in 2019 is much lower than the growth rates experienced in the first few years of legalized sales, and indicates growth in sales is moving toward a more sustainable, yet still robust, path.”

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) spoke about efforts to end the practice of evicting people from housing for drug convictions.

Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) tweeted about visiting a CBD oil business.

The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got two new cosponsors for a total of eight.

Virginia Republican congressional candidate Heerak Christian Kim tweeted about “why it is important to oppose Democratic effort to legalize marijuana, which will hurt children’s future and the American society.”

/ STATES

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said he will “certainly do what I can” to help build Senate support for a House-passed medical cannabis bill.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he will not sample any marijuana on his tour of legal states, but will bring a “taster” with him.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she is comfortable with regulators’ recommendation to let medical cannabis patients purchase 4.5 grams of THC in a 90-day period.

Massachusetts’s attorney general and marijuana regulators are recommending that lawmakers “provide additional civil enforcement tools and resources to address the illicit market” but “do not advise establishing any additional criminal penalties at this time.”

The Virginia House Appropriations Committee approved a Senate-passed marijuana decriminalizaiton bill.

A Connecticut lawmaker leading the charge for marijuana legalization said “the votes still aren’t’ there” in the legislature.

Nevada regulators issued a public health and safety advisory about marijuana products that failed secondary microbial testing.

New Mexico regulators are investing economic development money into a hemp farm.

Pennsylvania regulators approved additional clinical registrants to participate in the state’s medical cannabis research program.


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 Denver, Colorado City Council Finance and Governance Committee will consider marijuana research licenses and other cannabis issues on March 17.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is moving to clear tens of thousands of past marijuana convictions and is creating a committee to study adopting a Canadian-style legalization policy.

Philippine regulators clarified that marijuana remains illegal in the country despite the fact that they are considering allowing CBD to treat severe seizure disorders.

The Manipur, India government plans to legalize marijuana cultivation for medical and industrial purposes.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “THC use is associated with small increases in testosterone.”

A study concluded that “there are correlations between anxiety symptoms and social functioning in people with autism, and that this can be successfully treated using a combination of MDMA and psychotherapy.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of likely Nevada voters found that 66% think the state’s marijuana legalization law has had no impact on use of other drugs, 23% say it has led to less drug use and 15% say more drug use has resulted.

/ BUSINESS

Colgate subsidiary Hello Products LLC is launching a line of CBD oral care products.

DLA Piper launched a dedicated global cannabis practice.

Leafly closed its Germany-based operation.

A manager at Marijuana Club 99 in Washington State used bear spray to ward off people trying to rob the dispensary.

Business Insider looks at Instagram cannabis influencers.

/ CULTURE

The NFL Players Union delayed an expected vote on approving a new collective bargaining agreement that includes lower marijuana penalties and less stringent drug testing requirements.

Rapper Ralo is asking a federal judge to let independent experts test “alleged marijuana” that was seized from his private jet.

A TV news station sent a Mr. Rogers impersonator to a Chicago marijuana dispensary.

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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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Psychedelics decrim qualifies for DC ballot (Newsletter: August 6, 2020)

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Biden mocks drug testing; Colorado teen marijuana use stable after legalization; Grandma sues Disney for CBD arrest; MI AG pushes cannabis clemency

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Washington, D.C. Board of Elections formally certified that activists collected enough valid signatures to place a psychedelics decriminalization measure on the November ballot.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seemed to mock drug testing—a policy he helped to expand as a senator— in response to a reporter’s question about whether he has undergone cognitive assessments.

  • “That’s like saying, ‘You—before you got on this program did you take a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?’”

New data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that “youth marijuana use has not significantly changed since legalization”—despite spin from prohibitionists. Methods of cannabis consumption are shifting, however.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is pushing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to commute the decades-long marijuana sales sentence of Michael Thompson, who has been hospitalized for a coronavirus infection.

A grandmother who was arrested for possessing CBD oil at Disney World is suing the company with the help of a powerful civil rights lawyer who also represents the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

  • “We need people of good moral character to stand up to Mickey Mouse and say that civil rights come in many different forms. Mickey Mouse has an obligation to all the people.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) criticized House Democrats in a Senate floor speech for including provisions for marijuana industry diversity studies in their coronavirus relief bill.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Speaking as someone with an MD, scratching the backs of marijuana special interests is unrelated to #COVID19. A better use of @SpeakerPelosi and all of our time would be to focus on patient health, opening schools, and relief for struggling families.”

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) touted his work to extend the federal Industrial Hemp Pilot Program for another year.

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) discussed his reasons for coming around to supporting marijuana legalization.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “As we work to ultimately end the senseless prohibition of cannabis and the failed war on drugs, we must ensure the protection of legal state and tribal cannabis programs. Last week, the House passed my bill to do just that. The Senate must do the same.”

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 80.

The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

Here’s a look at where Wisconsin congressional candidates stand on marijuana.

Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Jess Scarane tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is a question of economic, health, and racial justice. A majority of Delawareans support legalization, but Senator Coons doesn’t.”

Hawaii Democratic congressional candidate Brian Evans tweeted, “Marijuana must be legalized in #Hawaii. If we started taking advantage of all of our resources we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. Tax the shops and we would bring in millions.”

/ STATES

A New Jersey campaign working to pass a marijuana legalization referendum launched a new website.

A California court will begin hearing a case this week challenging a state rule that allows marijuana to be delivered to localities that ban sales.

Colorado regulators released reports on THC concentrations in marijuana products.

Oklahoma regulators launched an online dashboard to track medical cannabis revenue.

Pennsylvania regulators approved the final clinical registrant for the state’s medical cannabis research program.

A Virginia senator who sponsored a marijuana decriminalization bill that was enacted authored an op-ed on the need to enact full cannabis legalization.


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

The winner of the Pima County, Arizona prosecutor Democratic primary has pledged to stop marijuana prosecutions and deprioritize drug possession cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s health minister presented reforms aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by 50%.

The Canadian government is giving marijuana businesses an extra six months to pay owed annual fees.

The UK Home Office rejected claims that psilocybin’s current illegal classification blocks research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “endo‐, synthetic and phytocannabinoids can reduce neuroinflammation by inhibiting afferent firing and inflammatory neuropeptide release.”

A study found that “compared with no use, daily/near-daily cannabis use was associated with [viral load] suppression” in people living with HIV who use cocaine.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Heart Association said that cannabis “laws should be harmonized in ways that limit confusion and better reflect the existing science behind cannabis, starting in the United States at the federal level with removal of cannabis from Schedule 1 of the US Controlled Substances Act, followed by a proactive approach to labeling that standardizes concentrations of THC and CBD content.”

The Albany Times Union editorial board wants New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to appoint a commission to study issues related to marijuana legalization.

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois is pressing Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to use marijuana tax revenue to reimburse social equity business applicants who have experienced delays in processing their proposals.

/ BUSINESS

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $24.3 million.

Tilray recalled cannabis extracts in Germany due to incorrect THC content.

TerrAscend Corp. announced executive changes.

CFAM and Lowell Herb have been ordered by a judge to pay more than $500,000 in penalties and fees for allegedly illegally subletting to an unlicensed marijuana business.

/ CULTURE

Actor Seth Rogen pushed back on an interviewer’s suggestion that the fight for marijuana legalization is effectively over.

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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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McConnell bashes Pelosi’s cannabis therapy claim (Newsletter: August 5, 2020)

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Canada issues legal psilocybin exemptions for patients; #3 House Dem talks marijuana; AZ gov files argument against legalization measure

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 1,532 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.

  • Frank Traylor of AgriScience Labs: “Agriscience sponsors Marijuana Moment because it provides us an excellent source of timely information. It’s one of my daily reads. Every day I find news that is relevant to our business.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the Senate floor to bash House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) recent comment about marijuana as a “therapy that has proven successful” amid the coronavirus debate.

  • “I hope she shares her breakthrough with Dr. Fauci.”

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu granted the right to legally use psilocybin mushrooms to cancer patients who had applied for an exemption.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) sat down for a cannabis chat with an executive at Canopy Growth Corp.

  • “Decriminalization carries the day in the caucus,” the 3rd-ranking House Democrat said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and other officials filed voter guide arguments against a marijuana legalization measure that’s likely to be on the state’s November ballot.

  • “We know from states that have fully legalized marijuana that it has real consequences: more deaths on highways caused by high drivers, dramatic increases in teen drug use, and more newborns exposed to marijuana.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that state drug law violations don’t necessarily trigger deportation for immigrants with green cards.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and 31 cosponsors filed a bill to lift the federal ban on people with felony drug convictions from being able to use Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits through December 2022.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and other senators wrote a letter pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the U.S. response to human rights violations in the bloody Philippine “drug war.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Americans need real solutions to get through this pandemic, not @SpeakerPelosi’s liberal wishlist. When a coronavirus relief bill mentions marijuana more times than jobs, it cannot be taken seriously.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted, “The House may have passed the HEROES Act, but it’s nothing more than a long list of liberal priorities that have nothing to do with #COVID19 – like tax breaks for the rich & marijuana subsidies. We need to stay in session & pass REAL relief for Texans.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted a meme about “when people want to legalize cannabis without ensuring restorative justice for those unfairly impacted by the failed war on drugs.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) touted marijuana and psychedelics policy victories in House-passed spending legislation.

Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Jess Scarane tweeted, “I will fight to legalize cannabis at the federal level, release people in…jail because of marijuana, expunge records, and ensure communities most affected by the war on drugs are the ones that benefit from legalization tax revenue.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Julie Oliver tweeted, “End the federal prohibition on marijuana, expunge the records of low-level drug offenders, and make sure that those most targeted by the war on drugs have equitable  access to a cannabis industry that will pump billions in revenue into the Texas economy.”

/ STATES

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a hemp bill into law.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It has been 314 days since Governor Tom Wolf and I called on the legislature to immediately decriminalize marijuana and work on legislation to legalize. We need action now.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Everyone can play a role in the fight for #justice—even you!  Volunteer to review #R3 grant applications to make sure adult-use cannabis tax revenue is reinvested in communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.”

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andru Volinsky spoke about the economic potential of legalizing marijuana.

Texas regulators are now accepting applications for licenses to manufacture or sell consumable hemp products.

California regulators published guidance on the use of pesticides on marijuana.

Colorado regulators are seeking nominations for people to serve on the Hemp Advisory Committee.

Nevada regulators will consider a proposed settlement in a case challenging the state’s marijuana business license awarding process on Friday.

Oklahoma regulators released an updated list of licensed medical cannabis testing labs.


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

Portland, Maine officials argued in federal court that Acreage Holdings can’t pursue a lawsuit against the city’s marijuana business ownership residency policy due to ongoing national prohibition.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s cabinet approved a policy allowing patients and healers to grow cannabis.

The UK Food Standards Agency is co-hosting a webinar on the approval process for CBD products on August 18.

Canadian regulators provided a marijuana licensing update.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “overall teen marijuana use decreased or remained stable following legalization.”

A review concluded that “cannabinoids have incredible potential as antineoplastic agents as experimental models demonstrate that they can reduce tumor volume and [aberrant crypt foci] formation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project sent letters urging President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to support cannabis reform.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced that former basketball player Al Harrington joined its board of directors.

Organigram Holdings Inc. launched three new strains.

New Mexico dispensaries sold $92 million worth of medical cannabis products in the first six months of 2020.

/ CULTURE

“The Next Marijuana Millionaire” is a new reality TV show.

Former model Kathy Ireland responded to a question about whether she smokes marijuana, tweeting, “Great question. Nope. Am too much of a control freak. Let’s separate  CBD from THC. Have seen great CBD results in skin care, stress relief, nutrition. Anecdotal results for pain, nausea, seizures and more from physician prescribed THC. So much to learn about these therapies.”

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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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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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Subscribers who value this daily dispatch enough to show their support with a few dollars help us keep doing this. Please chip in and help ensure Marijuana Moment’s continued operations.
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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.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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