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FDA exempts some cannabis testing devices from regulatory hurdles (Newsletter: January 8, 2020)

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Top Mexican senator: legal marijuana a 2020 priority; Study: Legal medical cannabis makes people have more sex; FL officials oppose legalization vote

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Food and Drug Administration is moving to exempt marijuana testing devices from cumbersome premarket notification requirements as long as they are only used for certain purposes.

A top Mexican senator confirmed that passing a bill to legalize marijuana in accordance with a Supreme Court mandate will be a priority in the 2020 legislative session.

A new study concludes that legalizing medical cannabis makes people have more sex, but is also associated with decreased use of contraceptives and increase birth rates.

  • “We find that passage of [medical marijuana laws] result in both increased engagement in sexual activity and decreases in contraceptive use conditional on being sexually active. Jointly, both mechanisms suggest that behavioral responses may be due to increased attention to the immediate hedonic effects of sexual contact, increased willingness to engage in sex, as well as delayed discounting and ignoring the future costs associated with sex.”

/ FEDERAL

Food and Drug Administration Principal Deputy Commissioner Amy Abernathy spoke at a conference about the challenges of regulating CBD “in a space that’s expanding so rapidly.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke about how she’s never done drugs but supports people’s right to consume without being criminalized.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) said he is concerned about changing attitudes about marijuana.

Texas Democratic congressional candidate John Biggan tweeted, “#LegalizeIt and expunge the records. Then take the revenue and invest it in the communities most hard hit by failed war on drugs.”

Pennsylvania Democratic congressional candidate Salem Snow tweeted, “It’s time for full federal legalization. 🌲🌬 It’s time to pardon possession charges federally. 🌱🌬 Donate $4.20 to a candidate that wants to legalize both recreational & medical cannabis nationally. 🍁🌬”

/ STATES

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) issued a posthumous pardon to an attorney arrested for possessing marijuana while fighting for tribal land rights in 1968. Separately, regulators held a public hearing on proposed hemp rules.

The Florida House of Representatives and Senate, along with prohibitionists groups, filed briefs with the state Supreme Court arguing that a proposed marijuana legalization measure should not be allowed to appear on the 2020 ballot. A brief were also filed in a separate case challenging the state’s vertical integration requirement for medical cannabis businesses.

Indiana’s Senate minority leader said his party will push for marijuana decriminalization this session.

The head of New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission said that the state’s marijuana legalization referendum could lead to big campaign finance spending this year.

Illinois regulators released applications for marijuana infuser, transporter and craft grower licenses.

The Vermont House Committee on Government Operations discussed legislation to legalize marijuana sales, while the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife is set to consider the environmental impact of cannabis regulation on Thursday.

North Carolina law enforcement agencies are calling on lawmakers to pass legislation banning smokable hemp.

Ohio regulators received a petition to make being “Bengals/Browns Fans” a medical cannabis qualifying condition. They also released updated patient and caregiver numbers.

Oklahoma brought in $7.2 million in medical cannabis tax revenue in December.


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

New York City officials plan to lobby state lawmakers to legalize marijuana this year.

Portland, Maine officials are moving forward with recreational marijuana regulations.

The Chicago, Illinois mayor’s proposal for marijuana social consumption areas is running into City Council opposition.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Russian President Vladimir Putin is proposing criminalizing the spread of pro-drug propaganda.

Morocco’s government said it will discuss marijuana legalization legislation.

Finnish regulators ordered stores to stop selling CBD-infused foods.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD and CBD-containing compounds such as nabiximols were helpful in alleviating symptoms of cannabis-related disorders, schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, and comorbidities of ASD, and ADHD with moderate recommendation” but that “there is weaker evidence for insomnia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and Tourette syndrome.”

A study identified a “new phytocannabinoid [that] could account for the pharmacological properties of some cannabis varieties difficult to explain by the presence of the sole Δ9-THC.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Maryland voters support legalizing marijuana, 57%-38%.

The Democratic Attorneys General Association tweeted about the marijuana and criminal justice reform advocacy of Virginia’s attorney general.

/ BUSINESS

Beer sales dropped 3% in the first full year of Canada’s marijuana legalization law.

Keep Labs pulled out of CES after it was told it couldn’t mentioning cannabis at its expo booth.

O’Hare International Airport and Midway Airport installed amnesty boxes where travelers can dispose of marijuana prior to boarding planes.

Leafly announced an expanded marijuana retailer order integration partnership with Cova.

The Associated Press Stylebook tweeted, “Avoid words like alcoholic, addict, user, abuser, junkie, drunk or crackhead unless they are in quotations or names of organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Instead, choose phrasing like ‘he was addicted,’ ‘people with heroin addiction’ or ‘she used drugs.

Michigan retailers sold nearly $1.8 million in recreational marijuana products last week.

The Associated Press looks at how some pet CBD products actually contain little or no CBD.

/ CULTURE

Method Man and Redman are among the featured performers announced for April’s National Cannabis Festival.

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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.)

Newsletter

Cory Gardner talks cannabis, reelection and Trump (Newsletter: May 28, 2020)

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NY blocks marijuana biz from state COVID aid; LA Senate approves medical cannabis expansion; Fmr. AG backs federal legalization waivers for states

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

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

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  • Kyle Connors: “I had been using recreationally for over 20 years, but the last 6 I have been relying on cannabis to help with the symptoms of ALS. I realize that I’m fortunate to be able to access cannabis because of advocates like yourself and I want to give back.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) spoke about cannabis, President Trump and his reelection bid in a new interview with Marijuana Moment. Among other things, he said that he would vote for legalization if it were on Colorado’s ballot again, takes issue with GOP colleagues’ rhetoric on marijuana language being included in coronavirus relief bills and expects a Senate cannabis banking vote by the end of the year.

New York’s state-level coronavirus relief program blocks marijuana dispensaries from eligibility just like the federal one does. Medical cannabis has been legal in the state since 2014, though the businesses—along with payday loan providers, pawn shops, strip clubs, liquor stores and astrologers—can’t get COVID aid.

The Louisiana Senate approved a House-passed bill to allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana for any debilitating condition they see fit. The House needs to sign off on one last amendment before it goes to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).

A task force including former officials like Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, a Georgia governor, a Philadelphia mayor and a Washington, D.C. police chief are calling on the federal government to issue waivers that would let states legalize marijuana without interference.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit put a stay on a judge’s ruling allowing Ohio marijuana activists to electronically collect signatures for local decriminalization ballot measures.

The Government Accountability Office made recommendations to improve Bureau of Prisons drug treatment and education programs.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted in support of a Pennsylvania House candidate he said would work to “end the war on drugs.”

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Mike Broihier tweeted, “Mitch won’t get away with his half-baked hemp hoax. Farmers have been left holding the bag while Mitch’s wealthy donors find a way to profit. Again.”

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Hilary Turner tweeted, “We made yard signs out of hemp! It took us a while to make it happen, but we were tired of seeing so many plastic yard signs. We’re hopeful that in the future other campaigns will follow suit in ditching plastic signs, especially those with environmental platforms.”

North Carolina Democratic congressional candidate David Wilson Brown tweeted, “We need to decriminalize marijuana use and expunge the records of drug offenders related to its use. We need to undo our nation’s drive to for-profit prisons and make reducing recidivism the priority by helping those who served their time succeed at re-integrating with society.”

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) senior marijuana advisor tweeted a link to resources on “what CA is doing to support legal cannabis businesses and consumers during COVID-19.”

One of two separate Arkansas campaigns working to qualify proposed marijuana legalization ballot measures has given up for 2020 and is now focusing on 2022.

New Jersey regulators approved two additional medical cannabis dispensaries to operate.

Michigan regulators issued an updated bulletin on marijuana business operations amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Massachusetts regulators will begin accepting applications for marijuana delivery licenses on Thursday.

A Montana law allowing medical cannabis patients to purchase from any dispensary goes into effect on Tuesday.


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

Boston, Massachusetts’s Cannabis Board is expected to hold its first meeting next month.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Czech Republic’s health minister said the government approved an amendment allowing the issuance of licenses for cultivation and export of medical cannabis.

Zimbabwe’s Health Ministry announced that all local and foreign investors involved in medical cannabis production will be offered 100% ownership of their farms and licenses to improve competitiveness.

A Mexican senator will host a discussion on marijuana legalization on Thursday.

U.S. federal prosecutors charged a former member of Venezuela’s National Assembly with participation in a cocaine importation conspiracy and related weapons offenses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “individuals believe cannabis will improve some [eating disorder] symptoms; however, these expected improvements are not associated with increased cannabis use and problems.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The State Bar of California’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct issued an opinion saying that lawyers can advise cannabis clients.

Human Rights Watch published a report on the harm the bloody Philippine “drug war” causes to children.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $45.9 million and an adjusted loss of $20.7 million.

Tilray, Inc.’s subsidiary Tilray Portugal, Unipessoal Lda. received a Good Manufacturing Practice certification in accordance with European Union standards for its medical cannabis extraction facility.

Harvest Cannabis Dispensary won a preliminary injunction from an Arkansas judge blocking facilities managed by Harvest Health & Recreation from using the Harvest name in the state.

A federal judge paused a  labeling lawsuit against CV Sciences until federal CBD regulations are enacted.

/ CULTURE

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya endorsed marijuana legalization in New Zealand.

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Newsletter

Supreme Court rejects marijuana ballot case (Newsletter: May 27, 2020)

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OR psilocybin & drug decrim campaigns file signatures; Lawmakers want investigation of botched drug raid; NE gov discourages cannabis petition

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  • Lisa Rough: “I’ve always respected and admired your reporting, especially from a legislative angle. When I need to know the backstory on a piece of cannabis-related legislation or an updated regulation, I know I can count on Marijuana Moment to have the most in-depth coverage, and I believe that is a universally-held truth across the cannabis industry.  Thank you for the work you continue to do, and I will be watching closely, and supporting to ensure that this coverage continues.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oregon campaigns seeking to legalize psilocybin therapy and decriminalize drugs while expanding treatment access have both submitted what appears to be more than enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The secretary of state’s office has 30 days to verify the petitions, and activists plan to keep collecting signatures in the meantime in case there aren’t enough valid submissions.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case from marijuana advocates who sought to challenge Ohio officials’ refusal to place their decriminalization measures on local ballots.

44 members of Congress, led by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), are calling on the Department of Justice to investigate Louisville, Kentucky police’s shooting of unarmed woman Breonna Taylor in a botched drug raid.

/ FEDERAL

In a brief in a case challenging Illinois’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, the Department of Justice said that “rules that allow recreational marijuana dispensaries to operate, but not flower shops, may be a sign that State action is impermissibly arbitrary and bears ‘no real or substantial relation’ to its proffered public health end.”

The plaintiff in a federal RICO case against Oregon marijuana dispensaries dismissed her own claims.

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Vangie Williams tweeted, “There exists enough evidence to suggest that medical cannabis can have some positive effects. Let’s conduct more studies and make an informed decision as to whether medical cannabis should be made legal.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Adam Christensen tweeted, “In terms of marijuana, I will fight to:⁠ -Legalize medical&recreational  -Vacate+expunge all past convictions⁠ -Prohibit tobacco companies from entering their market⁠ -Encourage market to be local+use $ from marijuana to reinvest in communities that suffered from War on Drugs”

/ STATES

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) discouraged people from circulating ballot petitions, including one to legalize medical cannabis, because he said it could spread coronavirus. Meanwhile, activists said they are optimistic about qualifying the measure.

The Louisiana House of Representatives approved a bill to clarify that licensed facilities and physicians serving medical cannabis patients are exempt from being prosecuted under certain drug laws.

California regulators reported that in the first quarter of the year, cannabis excise tax generated $68.3 million in revenue and the cultivation tax brought in another $16.4 million.

New Jersey’s top medical cannabis regulator suggested the state might make an announcement on allowing delivery services soon.

West Virginia regulators will begin accepting registrations for physicians to recommend medical cannabis on Thursday.

Washington State regulators will consider several marijuana rules 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.


/ SCIENCE & HEALTH


A study of nursing home residents found that “medical cannabis treatment dramatically improved patients’ symptoms and their medical indexes” and that “as a result, the local physicians stopped prescribing drugs that were defined as unnecessary,” which indicates that “medical cannabis can be an effective treatment that also reduces the environmental drug load, thereby preventing water pollution.”

A study reviewed “the nature of 10 transpersonal or parapsychological experiences that commonly occur spontaneously and in relation to the use of psychedelic substances, namely synesthesia, extradimensional percepts, out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, entity encounters, alien abduction, sleep paralysis, interspecies communication, possession, and psi (telepathy, precognition, and clairvoyance and psychokinesis).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Nevada Republican Party is calling for an investigation into allegations that MedMen’s former CEO made an illegal “straw man” donation to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D) 2018 campaign.

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. is leaving the New York Stock Exchange in favor of being listed on the Nasdaq.

Green Thumb Industries reportedly hired lobbyists to kill an Illinois bill that would have allowed dispensaries to move their locations.

Cresco Labs acquired four new medical cannabis dispensaries in Ohio.

A federal court dismissed a class-action lawsuit alleging that Elixinol, LLC’s CBD products were illegal.

Tilray, Inc. announced it is closing an Ontario cannabis greenhouse.

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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

NM gov says legal marijuana could’ve funded cut programs (Newsletter: May 26, 2020)

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OR sees cannabis sales boost during COVID; MA lawmakers OK safe consumption sites for drugs; Netflix’s Patriot Act takes on marijuana biz

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 1,505 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.

  • Joshua Radbod of The Avantpay Conference: “I’m supporting Tom Angell and Marijuana Moment because as the Co-Founder and CEO of the Avantpay Conference, the newsletter keeps me up to date and informed on all cannabis legislative, regulatory and business content.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said that if lawmakers had listened to her and legalized marijuana this year, the state probably wouldn’t have had to cut so many programs amid the coronavirus pandemic’s economic damage.

  • “If we want economic support and economic relief, then we have to use every economic idea. And I want to point out also that the vast majority of New Mexicans favor recreational cannabis.”

An Oregon Office of Economic Analysis report reveals that marijuana sales have skyrocketed during the coronavirus outbreak, though are projected to drop in the future along with population decreases.

  • “Marijuana sales during the pandemic have been quite strong. The dollar amount of recreational sales since March 1st are up 60 percent relative to a year ago. These increases are not only related to the stockpiling consumers did after the sheltering in place policies were enacted, but have continued through April and early May.”

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery approved a bill to legalize supervised consumption sites for illegal drugs. Research shows the facilities can reduce overdose deaths.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump retweeted a post about presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s role in “mass incarceration, the crime bill, war on drugs,” adding, “I HOPE ALL AFRICAN AMERICANS WILL READ AND STUDY THIS. 100% CORRECT. SLEEPY JOE WILL NEVER GET YOU THERE. HE NEVER HAS IN THE PAST. I WILL & HAVE!!!”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted, “President @realDonaldTrump you are right in taking on Joe Biden regarding your record in delivering for the African American community as well as other minority groups. The First Step Act rolled back the damage done by the Biden 1994 3-Strikes You’re Out crime bill.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted, “What about the Constitution’s freedom of religion, association?  Designating cannabis shops as essential but closing houses of worship is arbitrary.”

West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted about his support for medical cannabis.

/ STATES

Massachusetts recreational marijuana stores reopened following a coronavirus shutdown.

The California Assembly Business and Professions Committee approved legislation on enforcement against illegal cannabis operations.

The Colorado legislature’s Joint Budget Committee published a memo on marijuana tax revenue that is available for transfer to other programs.

Illinois regulators sent a bulletin about changes to municipal and county cannabis retailers occupation taxes.

Texas regulators are facing a likely lawsuit over a proposed ban on smokable hemp.


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 Malaysian Court of Appeal ruled against a medical cannabis distributor who is facing the death penalty.

Veterans Affairs Canada spent more on medical cannabis than any other medication in 2019.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “the current body of evidence does not provide sufficient evidence to support the position that cannabis users are at increased risk of occupational injury.”

A study found that medical cannabis “is an effective treatment for fibromyalgia, with nearly zero % withdrawal from this treatment” and that it “enabled nearly half of the patients to discontinue any treatment for fibromyalgia,” while “all participants recommended [medical cannabis] treatment for their loved ones in case they develop severe fibromyalgia.”

/ BUSINESS

TerrAscend Corp. announced the closing of the first tranche of a non-brokered private placement resulting in proceeds of $27.3 million.

/ CULTURE

Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj did an episode on the unfairness of how the marijuana industry is structured.

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Photo courtesy of Max Pixel.

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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