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FDA rejects move to further restrict cannabis (Newsletter: July 6, 2018)

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McConnell & Schumer tour hemp biz; “Alcohol and Drug Abuse Lake” is a real place; Veterans step up push for marijuana reform

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected a prohibitionist group’s petition to add marijuana to a list of drugs that are not “generally recognized as safe and effective.” The agency said that the move is “not necessary for the protection of public health.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) both toured home-state hemp facilities, as did U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

On a lighter note, Marijuana Moment takes a look at some of the bizarre drug-related place names that are officially recognized by the federal government. Among others, we found Alcohol and Drug Abuse Lake, Bong Bridge, Drug Island and Reefer Creek. There’s also a dried-up reservoir called Marijuana Tank.

/ FEDERAL

Reason spoke to some of the would-be licensed cannabis growers whose research applications have been held up by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The White House pushed back against growing calls to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying the move “would mean more dangerous illegal drugs flowing into our communities, causing more Americans to needlessly suffer.”

The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology is teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Administration and German police to launch a website where forensic chemists can share data on new synthetic drug variants.

A federal judge in Brooklyn said he will stop reincarcerating people who are on supervised release just for using marijuana.

The chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court will speak on a marijuana panel at the American Bankruptcy Institute’s conference in November.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) still opposes medical cannabis even though voters in his state legalized it.

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) tweeted, “People who are addicted to marijuana are 3 times more likely to become addicted to heroin.”

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) named a new top marijuana regulator for the state.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed a bill making it easier for terminally ill patients to qualify for medical cannabis.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) said he doesn’t see the state moving to legalize marijuana “at this point.”

Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy.

Here’s a look at where Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on legalizing marijuana and other criminal justice issues.

Oklahoma regulators released public comments they have so far received about proposed medical cannabis rules.

Arizona activists failed to collect enough signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the November ballot.

/ LOCAL

The Associated Press looks at how Los Angeles, California’s legal and illegal marijuana markets coexist.

Denver, Colorado regulators stripped Sweet Leaf marijuana stores of their licenses following the chain’s legal troubles.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK government granted an emergency license to use medical cannabis to a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy. Meanwhile, the House of Commons could debate a medical marijuana bill on Friday.

The Mexican Senate’s international policy research center published an overview of Canada’s new marijuana legalization law.

/ ADVOCACY

Learn about the Veterans Cannabis Coalition’s efforts to move marijuana legislation on Capitol Hill in this powerful post about fighting “the good war” after returning home from battle. (Sponsored)

Former Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Rob Kampia’s Marijuana Leadership Campaign is hiring for two fundraising positions.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that state medical cannabis laws “in general have a null effect on cannabis-positive driving, as do state laws with specific supply provisions including home cultivation and unlicensed or quasi-legal dispensaries” but that only “in jurisdictions with state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries did the odds of marijuana-involved driving increase significantly.”

Slow federal approvals are delaying the start of Utah state-funded research on the effect of medical cannabis on pain.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation launched a Latin America affiliate.

Canadian food companies are rolling out marijuana-focused ad campaigns.

Marijuana delivery service Eaze filed a motion to compel arbitration in a lawsuit filed by a woman who alleges the company improperly sent her text messages.

/ CULTURE

Musician Melissa Etheridge said she’s “really jealous” of Canada’s legalization of marijuana.

Musician Carly Simon uses CBD to treat knee pain.

Netflix’s marijuana-themed “Cooking on High” is getting bad reviews.

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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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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

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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.
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/ 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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Biden pledges federal funds for cannabis expungement (Newsletter: July 30, 2020)

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White House meets with hemp groups on CBD enforcement; McConnell says marijuana banking ‘non-germane’ to COVID bill; Senators press USDA on hemp regs

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 479 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is proposing federal aid to help states expunge cannabis and other convictions.

  • “Getting caught for smoking marijuana when you’re young surely shouldn’t deny you, the rest your life, being able to have a good paying job or a career or a loan or an ability to rent an apartment.”

The White House Office of Management and Budget is hosting several hemp industry groups for meetings about CBD enforcement policy this week and next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that including marijuana banking provisions in coronavirus relief legislation, as the House did, would be “non-germane.”

  • “I would hope all of the non-COVID-related measures are out no matter what bills they were in at the start.”

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sent a letter calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to change several restrictive hemp regulations. They say that despite the temporary suspension of a rule allowing only labs certified by the Drug Enforcement Administration to do THC testing, USDA’s site still lists only those facilities.

  • “This signals that there is no intent to remove this unnecessary requirement in the final rules.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing changes to rules for reporting theft or loss of controlled substances.

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen tweeted, “On Day One I will pardon all those who have been imprisoned for victimless crimes. Anyone convicted and incarcerated for possessing or using an illegal drug will be pardoned. End the War on Drugs now.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Democrats released their socialist wish list (disguised as COVID19 relief) over two months ago, so we would forget that it included items like:…Marijuana banking.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “Legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge records for cannabis-related offenses.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) criticized Democrats for including “three trillion dollars of marijuana banking” in their coronavirus relief bill.

Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “It may seem an insignificant thing compared to healthcare, the environment, housing, and justice reform. But legalizing marijuana is an integral component of the general reforms that are needed. Rep Lee could not have gotten this more wrong.”

Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, “Why is it that kids and veterans in Tennessee who smoke marijuana have criminal records but Wall Street executives who committed massive fraud and wrecked our economy do not? I’ll be the most pro-weed Congressman God ever made.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman tweeted, “Decriminalize & legalize marijuana.”

/ STATES

A former Maryland delegate who pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting bribes from medical cannabis companies was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Nevada regulators are investigating three dispensaries for allegedly selling marijuana products that failed microbial testing.

Maine’s top marijuana regulator said cultivation, manufacturing and processing facilities should be able to open by the end of September, with sales beginning by the end of the year.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission Patient Equity Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday.

Montana regulators will hold a hearing on proposed hemp rules on August 13.

Alaska regulators will consider marijuana business license applications and rules on August 19 and 20.


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 Plymouth, Ohio Village Council approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

St. Lucia’s government is drafting legislation to legalize marijuana.

Dominica’s government is moving ahead with plans to decriminalize marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “in the first randomised clinical trial of cannabidiol for cannabis use disorder, cannabidiol 400 mg and 800 mg were safe and more efficacious than placebo at reducing cannabis use.”

A review found that “industrial hemp biomass is an excellent alternative candidate for biofuel production” and “has higher cellulose content compared with other agricultural residues.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board is encouraging local officials to target landlords when seeking to close unlicensed marijuana shops.

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $152.2 million and a net loss of $98.8 million.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company reported that $303 million in quarterly revenue for its cannabis-focused Hawthorne unit.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a number of people with allegedly defrauding investors in several marijuana businesses.

A Marijuana Business Daily analysis concludes that the number of people working in the U.S. cannabis industry will increase to 240,000-295,000 by the end of the year.

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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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House to vote on protecting state cannabis laws this week (Newsletter: July 29, 2020)

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Senate leaves marijuana banking out of COVID bill; Cannabis Caucus chair votes against DNC legalization amendment; Poll: NJ cannabis referendum leads

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 476 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.

  • Harry Bernstein of Verde Compliance Partners: “We support Marijuana Moment because it provides up to date and detailed information, which we combine with our knowledge, experience, and relationships to help our clients navigate current and proposed federal cannabis regulation.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee cleared the way for an amendment protecting all state, territory and tribal marijuana laws from federal interference to be considered on the floor this week. The panel also blocked separate measures that would have stripped funds from certain legal cannabis states.

The Senate’s new package of coronavirus relief legislation does not contain any marijuana banking provisions, whereas the most recent House COVID bill included language to let banks service the cannabis industry. It remains to be seen if any senators will push amendments on the issue or if it can be advanced by bicameral negotiators later in the process.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) joined former top Obama administration officials and other establishment figures in voting to defeat an effort to put marijuana legalization in the 2020 Democratic platform.

A poll found that 68% of New Jersey likely voters support a marijuana legalization referendum that’s on the November ballot. They also back cannabis delivery services, social consumption lounges and expunging past convictions.

/ FEDERAL

The House of Representatives approved an amendment to restrict the use of funds to support aerial fumigation of drug crops in Colombia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $200,000 grant to study THC levels in hemp.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) criticized Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA)’s recent evolution on marijuana legalization during a debate.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again criticized Democrats for passing a coronavirus relief bill that “mention[s] ‘cannabis’ more than it mentions ‘research’ or ‘jobs.’”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement in a House floor speech.

Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate Antonia Eliason tweeted, “I believe that both medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized, and strongly support Mississippi taking the first step, to legalize medical marijuana. Vote for Initiative 65 in November to legalize medical marijuana, NOT for Initiative 65A.”

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Hilary Turner tweeted, “What do we have if no major party supports things that the majority of people want?  The Democratic Platform Committee is out of touch. I vow to continue to fight for single-payer universal healthcare, and legalizing cannabis, regardless of the party platform.”

/ STATES

Nebraska’s secretary of state reported that medical cannabis activists turned in more than 196,000 raw signatures in support of their ballot measure.

North Carolina Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Jenna Wadsworth tweeted, “Cannabis legalization in NC will benefit farmers & rural tourism, generate tax 💵 for public education, & combat an opioid epidemic. Plus, it holds the promise of social justice for communities of color through decriminalization & dismissal of past misdemeanor possession charges.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) tweeted, “Not that I would vote for a Democrat, but can someone explain the party platform? Turns out they’re actually anti-marijuana when #cannabis is LEGAL in over half the country.”

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the smell of marijuana, on its own, does not give police probable cause for a search.

A Nevada judge is considering a motion to issue a temporary restraining order preventing regulators from settling with some litigants in a case challenging the state’s marijuana licensing process.

California regulators posted warnings about the health impacts of marijuana smoke and THC.

Alaska regulators voted to extend rules allowing marijuana curbside and window pickup through November 15.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission’s Industrial Hemp Industry Development Work Group met.

California lawmakers are considering a marijuana banking bill.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.


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


Mexican regulators published draft medical cannabis rules.

Scotland’s first medical cannabis prescription has been made.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD treatment was shown to enhance bone healing, but needs validation in clinical trials” and that “while research shows that [endocannabinoid] activity protects against bone loss, studies on CB1 and CB2 agonists in bone regeneration models are lacking.”

Researchers developed a method to that “converts nearly 100% of the hemp plant into useable components, such as cellulose fiber for use in textiles and construction, resinous lignin for use in bioplastics, sugars for use as sweeteners, and extractives for use in wellness products.”

/ BUSINESS

Medically Correct announced it has decided against pursuing a proposed acquisition by Schwazze.

Organigram Holdings Inc. launched a new cannabis-infused chocolate bar.

/ CULTURE

Run the Jewels launched a new line of marijuana products.

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

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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