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Facebook considers loosening cannabis restrictions (Newsletter: March 5, 2019)



Bernie Sanders talks marijuana on campaign trail; Beto O’Rourke starts cannabis petition; Texas holds decrim hearing

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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke about marijuana reform and ending the war on drugs in the first two rallies of his campaign. In a radio appearance, he also discussed the  need for communities targeted by the war on drugs to have equity in the legal cannabis industry.

The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee took more than two hours of testimony on a marijuana decriminalization bill. Just before the hearing, four committee chairs signed on as cosponsors.

Facebook is considering loosening the site’s restrictions on marijuana-related content, an internal company presentation says. Cannabis sellers would be able to list their prices for the first time under changes being weighed by a working group.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) sent an email to his list with the subject line, “End the prohibition on marijuana.” The message, which links to a petition he can use for list building and fundraising, comes as many political observers expect him to announce a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.


The Department of Agriculture released registration information about the hemp implementation listening session it is hosting next week.

White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway spoke at two conferences about fentanyl-laced marijuana.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seemed to downplay the prospects that marijuana legislation would move through his committee, saying, “We’re trying to sit down and think of a legislative agenda where we can find common ground, and I’m not so sure that one brings us together.” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) agreed, saying. “I’d be surprised if [Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell] would want to spend a lot of time on that, particularly with the issues that involve the difference in the way the federal government looks at this issue and the way the state governments are beginning to look at this issue. We are likely to deal with it somewhere, but I think that would be more likely in the appropriations bills.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said she supports legalizing marijuana and investing the revenue in communities harmed by the war on drugs. She tweeted, “Proud to support marijuana legalization at state and federal levels. The time has come for our country to make this change. Justice demands it.”

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) his hosting a conference about ending the war on drugs in Houston in May.


Political observers expect South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) would likely veto medical cannabis legislation were it to arrive on his desk.

Florida’s House speaker said his chamber will pass legislation allowing adult patients, but not children, to smoke medical cannabis.

Rhode Island’s Senate president said he doesn’t currently support legalizing marijuana.

New Jersey’s Senate Republican minority leader said he is not whipping his caucus to vote against marijuana legalization. Meanwhile, the state Election Law Enforcement Commission reported that spending on cannabis lobbying in the state more than quadrupled from a year ago.

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill to make medical cannabis certifications last for three years instead of one year.

The Colorado House Finance Committee approved a bill to let publicly traded companies and private investment firms hold marijuana business licenses.

Georgia lawmakers referred a medical cannabis expansion bill back to a committee instead of bringing it to the floor.

Idaho lawmakers approved funding for testing equipment that police can use to determine whether cannabis crops are hemp or marijuana.

Kentucky lawmakers are moving to create another task force to study medical cannabis, possibly signaling that legalization legislation isn’t likely to be enacted this year.

The Massachusetts Commission on Harm Reduction is uring the state to allow supervised consumption facilities for illegal drugs.

Louisiana regulators accused a university and its medical cannabis cultivation partner of breaking the law by improperly expanding their operation.

New Mexico regulators enacted an emergency rule allowing medical cannabis producers to grow up to 2,500 plants. Meanwhile, some Republican lawmakers are slamming former U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), now the chair of the state Republican Party, for opposing marijuana legalization.

Maine regulators are seeking bids for a new a seed-to-sale marijuana tracking system.

California regulators announced enforcement actions against unlicensed marijuana businesses.

Alaska regulators are considering changes to rules on marijuana testing lab ownership, license denial, violation fine schedules and handler permit courses. Meanwhile, the House Labor & Commerce Committee advanced the nomination of one of the governor’s picks to sit on the state cannabis regulatory board. Separately, the lieutenant governor still hasn’t signed off on regulations to allow on-site consumption at marijuana retail operations.

Oklahoma regulators reported that they have approved 61,997 medical cannabis patient, caregiver,  dispensary, grower and processor licenses.

Wisconsin regulators say they are seeing an increase in hemp cultivation applications.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 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.

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The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania City Council Committee on Law and Government held a hearing on a proposal to place a measure on the May 21 ballot that would call on the state to legalize marijuana.

New York City councilmembers are demanding that city officials explain their move to ban CBD-infused foods and drinks.

Denver, Colorado’s mayor tweeted about the city’s latest upcoming event to help people expunge marijuana records. Meanwhile, the city’s Cannabis Health and Safety Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday.


The International Narcotics Control Board’s annual report slams national marijuana legalization and some medical cannabis laws.

The Canadian government released statistics about the size of the country’s legal marijuana market as compared to illegal supplies.

At least ten UK police chief constables are endorsing safe consumption facilities for illegal drugs.


The Republican Party of New York is launching an effort to defeat marijuana legalization. The party tweeted, “The NYGOP is turning good policy into action and slowing the rush of marijuana legalization/commercialization to study facts is critical to public health and safety. There are serious warning signs @NYGovCuomo and @nydems must not ignore.”

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Industrial hemp production is going to become a multibillion dollar business and New Mexico has the chance to lead this new industry — that’s why @GovMLG is supporting this proposal.”

The Cannabis Trade Federation announced its 24-member founding board of directors.


A review concluded that “those treated with nonsynthetic cannabinoids were 43% to 300% more likely to report a ≥30% reduction in chronic neuropathic pain compared with placebo.”

A review found that “the presence of cannabis resulted in an increased risk estimate for road traffic collisions.”

A study concluded that “marijuana use does not confer an anti-inflammatory effect and recency of use is not relevant.”


A poll of Florida voters found that 87% support letting patients smoke medical cannabis and that 62% support legalizing marijuana.

A poll of Texas voters found that 60% think lawmakers should consider legalizing marijuana as a way to increase the amount of money that can be spent on public education, with 33% opposed.


Leafly hired a former Amazon executive as its new CEO.

An analysis by Leafly concluded that there are now more than 211,000 cannabis jobs in the U.S.

The Associated Press looks at the growing number of colleges adding courses about cannabis.

Oklahoma retailers sold $7.2 million worth of medical cannabis products in February.


Miley Cyrus blamed “a lot of drugs” for the end of her Hannah Montana character.

The Onion had some fun with the fact that so many Democratic presidential candidates are endorsing marijuana legalization.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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