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Federal cannabis farm head developing THC eye drops (Newsletter: October 31, 2019)

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Wisconsin lawmakers file marijuana decrim bill; Equity advocates host regional summit; Doctors find forgotten 18-year-old cannabis in man’s nose

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Wisconsin lawmakers filed a bill to decriminalize possession of an ounce of marijuana, but Republican legislative leaders don’t seem likely to allow it to advance.

The Minority Cannabis Business Association is hosting a summit aimed at ensuring northeast states’ marijuana legalization laws are centered on social equity and involve communities harmed the most by prohibition. The December event comes in a response to regional governors coordinating cannabis plans.

Mahmoud ElSohly, the director of the U.S.’s only federally approved marijuana cultivation facility, revealed that his lab and an unnamed company are working to develop THC eye drops to treat glaucoma.

Doctors published a case study of a man who smuggled marijuana into prison in his nose, forgot about it and then had it removed 18 years later.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge authored an article about how CBD products can cause positive THC drug tests.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) tweeted, “Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the establishment of the Domestic Hemp Production Program to regulate hemp production in the United States. I am excited by the new economic opportunities that this will open for Virginia’s farmers.”

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) sent a press release saying that proposed federal hemp regulations represent “a big step forward for our farmers who have ventured into the hemp industry, and who are ready to keep producing this cash crop on a bigger scale.”

The House bill to respect state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of 63.

The House bill to federally tax marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of four.

The House bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors issue medical cannabis recommendations got one new cosponsor for a total of 18.

The House bill to remove roadblocks to marijuana research got one new cosponsor for a total of 15.

The House bill to bridge the gap between state and federal marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

CORRECTION: An item in Wednesday’s issue about U.S. Customs and Border protection seizing packaging shipments to state-licensed marijuana businesses had an incorrect link. The correct link is here.

/ STATES

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Lebanon County courts to stop blocking people on probation from using medical cannabis while it reviews a case challenging the policy.

Hemp and medical cannabis are key issues in the Kentucky agriculture commissioner’s race.

New Jersey’s Senate president said there is a “50/50” chance lawmakers will pass a marijuana legalization bill after next week’s elections.

Minnesota’s House majority leader said that the outbreak of vaping-related injuries is a good reason to legalize and regulate marijuana.

The Kansas legislature’s Special Committee on Federal and State Affairs issued recommendations for medical cannabis legislation, including a ban on smoking.

Washington State regulators approved adopted a policy allowing marijuana retailers to return now-banned flavored cannabis vaping products for credit.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it has a new testing method to distinguish marijuana from hemp.

The California Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee will hold a hearing on cannabis employment issues next Friday.

Michigan regulators reduced and eliminated medical cannabis fees.

A Vermont Agency of Agriculture official said that proposed federal hemp regulations seem to be more oriented toward law enforcement than farmers.

Oregon regulators published a podcast about the state’s ban on flavored THC vaping products.


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

Denver, Colorado officials discovered an 80% failure rate while conducting random yeast and mold tests on marijuana products.

The Detroit, Michigan City Council is expected to consider a measure next week to delay allowing recreational marijuana sales while officials work out the details of an equitable system.

Chicago, Illinois’s mayor announced $30 million in funding for neighborhood revitalization efforts, which will be available to cannabis businesses.

The Los Angeles County, California district attorney backed off a position that could have jeopardized deportation protections for immigrants with low-level drug offenses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK health secretary spoke about efforts to increase medical cannabis access.

Jamaica’s minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries said the government has a first draft of medical cannabis import and export regulations.

Dutch ministers said it is important that local trials on legal marijuana sales and supply don’t give the impression that the government is encouraging use.

Uruguayan regulators selected three companies to cultivate marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD and other cannabinoids have therapeutic effects in [Parkinson’s disease] and [l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia].”

A study found that an “abstinence message evoked greater reactance than the harm reduction message and led to less favorable attitudes toward the advocated behavior” and that “anti-[marijuana] messages designed to discourage use might heighten reactance and inadvertently lead to greater craving and intent to use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Mexicans found that 45% support legalizing marijuana, 43% oppose it and 5% back medical use only.

A poll found that Pennsylvania voters support legalizing marijuana, 58%-36%, but that most are less likely to back the change if sales were conducted through state liquor stores instead of by private companies.

/ BUSINESS

The value of Cura Cannabis has been reduced in a deal with Curaleaf from $947 million to $301 million.

Cresco Labs announced that a Department of Justice review period for its planned acquisition of Tryke Companies has expired.

CannaCraft is collecting plastic waste from marijuana packaging to convert into fuel to power its delivery trucks.

1906 announced it raised $18 million in funding.

Here’s a look at the varying “universal symbols” that marijuana businesses must include on packaging in different states.

The Wall Street Journal examines how the real estate industry is using marijuana-focused open houses to market mansions.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg spoke about his support for equity in marijuana licensing.

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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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Biden panel rejects legal cannabis recommendation (Newsletter: July 10, 2020)

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State treasurers push Congress on marijuana banking; FDA sends CBD purity update; PA Senate Dems call for legalization

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  • Joy Beckerman of Hemp Ace International: “I manage a podcast and multiple non-profit leadership roles in addition to my own consulting firm and executive positions within the hemp industries, and the sheer volume of information required for me to digest and organize on a daily basis as the crop and its infrastructure emerge is unsparing. Keeping a sharp finger on the legal and regulatory pulse of the medical and adult-use cannabis movements is also a priority for me. Tom Angell’s Marijuana Moment newsletters are a critically essential tool to execute my work and mission, and I take the time to read every word of each one.” 

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A report from a criminal justice reform task force created by the campaigns of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) does not recommend the former vice president endorse legalizing cannabis despite support for the proposal from a majority of panel members. The document mostly reiterates Biden’s existing cannabis position and adds new specifics such as letting Washington, D.C. legalize recreational sales, ending deportations for marijuana use and investing legalization revenue in communities harmed by incarceration. It also urges Biden to “reduce criminal penalties for drug possession.”

  • “We didn’t reach consensus on legalization. That conversation will have to continue,” a task force member told Marijuana Moment.

A bipartisan coalition of 16 state treasurers is pushing Congress to include marijuana banking protections in the next coronavirus relief legislation.

  • “Lack of access to financial services forces businesses to operate exclusively using cash making these businesses, their employees, and  customers targets for violent crime. In many cases, cannabis stores and dispensaries are  limiting sales to curbside pickup or delivery, forcing these all-cash transactions to take place outside, without the option of no-contact exchanges.”

The Food and Drug Administration sent a Congress a report on its efforts to test CBD products and evaluate the accuracy of their labels.

  • “Of the 102 products that indicated a specific amount of CBD, 18 products (18 percent) contained less than 80 percent of the amount of CBD indicated, 46 products (45 percent) contained CBD within 20 percent of the amount indicated, and 38 products (37 percent) contained more than 120 percent of the amount of CBD indicated.”

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council approved an ordinance ending all penalties for marijuana possession under the municipality’s local laws.

A majority of Pennsylvania Senate Democrats are calling on the state to legalize marijuana as a way to boost the economy amid coronavirus and to address racism in the criminal justice system.

  • “We need to ensure our spending on healthcare, education, housing, and small businesses continues unabated throughout this crisis. Legalizing adult-use cannabis will raise revenue and help mitigate the possible need for cuts, and additionally can serve as a revenue saving tool in agencies such as the Department of Corrections.”

/ FEDERAL

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, LLC could not register a trademark for Charlotte’s Web hemp oil extracts because they violate federal law.

A U.S. Sentencing Commission analysis found that there “was no statistically significant difference in the recidivism rates of offenders released early pursuant to retroactive application of the Drugs Minus Two Amendment and a comparable group of offenders who served their full sentences.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture updated the list of crops eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, but hemp isn’t one of them.

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D) budget proposes keeping 10 Marijuana Regulation Division positions unfilled.

North Dakota’s Pardon Advisory Board recommended another round of marijuana pardons to Gov. Doug Burgum (R).

Indiana’s attorney general cheered a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruling vacating a lower court’s decision that blocked a state law banning smokable hemp.

Massachusetts regulators fined Acreage Holdings subsidiary The Botanist $250,000 for failing to disclose its controlling relationships with other licensees. They also fined Garden Remedies and $200,000 after it admitted to falsifying documents to hide its use of banned pesticides and fined 4Front Ventures’s Health Farms $350,000 for illegal pesticide use and improper record keeping.

Washington State regulators are being sued by an Idaho businessman who is challenging the state’s residency requirement for marijuana investors.

California regulators released a fact sheet about branded marijuana company merchandise.

Pennsylvania regulators published a notice about the need for hemp to be sampled and tested for THC content.


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

A lawsuit challenging Los Angeles, California’s marijuana licensing process is being dropped after the city agreed to process more applications.

The Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors is considering a resolution that calls on Congress to pass legislation supporting the legalization of marijuana and safe consumption sites for illegal drugs and expunging prior drug convictions.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s government is delivering medical cannabis to approved patients who cannot travel to the Netherlands to get it due to the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa’s government tweeted, “We are also leading a research and innovation pillar of the Cannabis Industrialisation Master Plan. To this extent, our focus is to develop medicinal products for Covid-19, cancers, diabetes, TB, and HIV/AIDS and neurodegenerative diseases, amongst others.”

A Nigerian lawmaker filed a medical cannabis bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review found that “preclinical studies have observed robust anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and analgesic effects of CBD in animal models,” that preliminary preclinical evidence also suggests that CBD may protect against gastrointestinal damage associated with inflammation and promote healing of traumatic skeletal injuries” and that “early stage clinical studies suggest that CBD may be anxiolytic in ‘stress-inducing’ situations and in individuals with anxiety disorders.”

A research letter concluded that at a safe consumption site for illegal drugs in an undisclosed U.S. city, “there were 10,514 injections and 33 opioid-involved overdoses over 5 years, all of which were reversed by naloxone administered by trained staff” and that “no person who overdosed was transferred to an outside medical institution, and there were no deaths.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Movement for Black Lives is calling on Congress to decriminalize and retroactively expunge drug offenses.

The Marijuana Policy Project is hosting a summit on race, policing and cannabis on July 15, featuring speakers including actor Seth Rogen and the president of the NAACP.

/ BUSINESS

HighTimes Holding Corp.’s has reportedly been temporarily blocked by the Securities and Exchange Commission from selling shares because it failed to meet an extended deadline to file an audited annual report.

A judge ruled that Bloom Farms can’t close on a new round of financing while a case on allegations it cooked its books to fool an investor is ongoing.

Vireo Health International Inc. signed an exclusive licensing agreement with eBottles420 to manufacture and distribute the company’s terpene-preserving packaging system, which it says keeps cannabis potent and flavorful for longer.

Generation Hemp, Inc. and GenCanna Acquisition Corp. signed a toll processing agreement, under which the former company will dry, process and store hemp biomass for the latter firm.

A federal judge blocked S.G. Farms from being a party to a lawsuit filed by an Indian tribe whose  hemp plants were seized by San Joaquin County, California police.

Captor Capital is being sued for alleged fraud and breach of contract.

/ CULTURE

The NFL Players Association reminded players that they are subject to random drug testing when they show up to training camps beginning this month.

The Wire creator David Simon said, “The drug war is effectively a war on the poor. It’s a means of using social control on people of color and people in poverty by the ruling class. That’s all it has ever been.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Legal psilocybin therapy qualifies for Oregon ballot (Newsletter: July 9, 2020)

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Fed marijuana PSA filmed like horror movie; Congressman wants to block DC psychedelics decrim; Study: Legal cannabis reduces crime

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There are now 1,525 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Oregon secretary of state announced that activists collected enough signatures to put a measure to legalize psilocybin therapy on the November ballot. This comes one week after a separate initiative to decriminalize all drug possession in the state and expand treatment services also qualified for the ballot.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), whose budget rider has prevented Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales, is now trying to block a psychedelics decriminalization measure that could be on the November ballot in the nation’s capital.

  • “This is a bald-faced attempt to just make these very serious, very potent, very dangerous—both short-term and long-term—hallucinogenic drugs broadly available.”

A new National Highway Traffic Safety Administration PSA on impaired driving is styled like a horror film and urges people not to operate a car while high on marijuana even if they are being chased by an axe-wielding murderer.

A study found that “border counties in the Colorado region saw substantial decreases in overall property crime rate and larceny rate relative to nonborder counties following Colorado’s legalization” of marijuana.

  • “This finding suggests that recreational marijuana legalization in a state (e.g., Colorado) may not bring about negative consequences on crime in neighboring states, which challenges the assertions made by public officials in these neighboring states arguing a crime-inducing effect of legalization.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture added hemp to a list of seed kinds for which it maintains standards for certification.

Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, “Why is that kids and veterans 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. I’m asking for your support.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor is touting marijuana legalization as a fiscal stimulus for the state.

Ohio regulators added cachexia as a medical cannabis qualifying condition, but rejected anxiety and autism spectrum disorder.

Oklahoma regulators agreed to temporarily not enforce rules that could force some medical cannabis businesses to close down while a judge considers a lawsuit challenging them.

Guam regulators plan to finalize a draft of legal marijuana rules for public comment by next month.

Nevada regulators are projecting $10 million less revenue from recreational marijuana sales for Fiscal Year 2021.

Massachusetts regulators will consider marijuana vaping issues and enforcement actions on Thursday.

Florida regulators will hold a workshop on hemp rules 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.

/ LOCAL

The Grand Rapids, Michigan City Commission approved a measure to advance social equity in the marijuana industry and to fast-track approval of businesses.

The Nevada County, California district attorney filed a motion to dismiss nearly 600 prior marijuana convictions and reduce more than 50 cannabis felonies to misdemeanors.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care is conducting an open consultation looking at “the ways in which drugs are fuelling serious violence and at treatment, recovery and prevention.”

The Bahamas National Commission on Marijuana plans to resume its review of cannabis issues soon.

The Colombian government gave approval for a company to grow, produce and export high-THC medicinal cannabis extracts.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “pre-clinical and clinical data suggest a potential for therapeutic benefit [of medical cannabis] amongst some persons with [autism spectrum disorder] and that it is overall well tolerated.”

A study concluded that “current school-based cannabis prevention efforts do not appear sufficiently effective.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana activist and lobbyist Eapen Thampy pleaded guilty to federal charges of attempted cannabis distribution.

A Harm Reduction International analysis found that “around a fourth of countries implementing [coronavirus-related prison] decongestion schemes explicitly excluded people incarcerated for drug offences; effectively prioritising punitive approaches to drug control over the health of the prison population and the individual.”

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses said it will be drafting recommendations for marijuana social equity programs.

/ BUSINESS

Several ancillary marijuana businesses—including Akerna, Metrc and Arcview Group— received Paycheck Protection Program loans from the Small Business Administration.

The Justice Department is reportedly investigating whether Wirecard participated in an alleged $100 million bank fraud conspiracy connected to Eaze, which hasn’t been charged or named directly in documents in the case.

Ignite International, Ltd. is being sued by its former president who says he was fired for refusing to go along with founder Dan Bilzerian’s efforts to classify “extravagant personal expenses” as business-related.

Enlighten says it is the first cannabis company to have data listed on Amazon’s AWS Data Exchange.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $22.3 million and a net loss of approximately $13.5 million.

Insurance costs for marijuana businesses are reportedly rising as more cannabis companies face shareholder lawsuits.

/ CULTURE

Ice Cube tweeted an editorial cartoon of an incarcerated person reading a newspaper with the headline, “Marijuana Is OK Now.”

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Congress puts new cannabis provisions in spending bills (Newsletter: July 8, 2020)

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NYC finalizes marijuana testing ban; Study: CBD mouthwash works better than regular products; IL cannabis sales spike in June

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Appropriations Committee leaders included provisions in new 2021 spending legislation to protect marijuana business banking, shield medical cannabis laws from federal interference, let Washington, D.C. legalize recreational sales, expand research and fund hemp and CBD regulations.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights finalized a local ban on pre-employment marijuana testing for most workers, but added new last-minute exceptions that will still allow some companies to screen applicants for cannabis. The policy takes effect on July 24.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that the state’s marijuana businesses had their biggest month of legal sales yet in June. Retailers sold $47.6 million worth of recreational cannabis products last month, with $12.4 million of that being bought by out-of-state residents.

A study found that mouthwash products infused with CBD, CBG and other marijuana compounds “offer a much safer, efficient and natural alternative to alcohol and/or fluoride containing mouthwashes.”

  • “Cannabinoids (CBD / CBG) infused mouthwashes together with other natural key ingredients shows promising bactericidal activity in vitro against total-culturable aerobic bacterial content in dental plaque with efficiency equivalent to or better than that of the gold standard (0.2% chlorhexidine),” the research, which was funded by a company that makes cannabinoid-based dental products, found.

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded a Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America publication that suggests communities enact policies banning or restricting legal marijuana businesses.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis legalization is a matter of justice for veterans & POC. We know cannabis helps vets with PTSD & chronic injuries. We know black men are 4x more likely to be jailed over cannabis. Sean Worsley is in prison for treating the injuries the VA couldn’t. Where’s his justice?”

Washington Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “I support the federal decriminalization of marijuana/cannabis.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor wrote in an op-ed that policing reform should include marijuana legalization.

Oklahoma regulators are ready to begin enforcing a requirement that medical cannabis products sold by processors and growers be tested by a licensed laboratory.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Oregon regulators 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.

/ LOCAL

The Napa County, California district attorney announced her office has identified additional prior marijuana cases that can be reduced or dismissed.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s chief science advisor published an overview of evidence about marijuana ahead of a legalization referendum vote.

Mexican regulators said they plan to finalize medical cannabis regulations by September.

Jamaican regulators proposed a new medical cannabis permit with reduced fees for small and subsistence farmers.

Ontario, Canada marijuana stores must stop delivery and curbside pickup services this month.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study analyzing county-by-county support for marijuana legalization ballot measures found that “stronger Republican political leanings and/or higher percentages of Black or Hispanic residents were associated with reduced support, whereas higher education, male sex composition, and greater past criminalization were associated with increased support for cannabis legalization.”

A review concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy produces a “clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms and enduring improvements in functioning and overall life satisfaction” and that “results have been promising for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for those afflicted with Major Depressive Disorder and end of life illnesses such as terminal cancer, indicating not only improved mood and functioning, but additional peripheral benefits such as acceptance of death, participation in social relationships, and positive personality changes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Industrial Hemp Council and Hemp Industries Association are working to explore the creation of a marketing checkoff program to promote hemp.

/ BUSINESS

Steep Hill is accusing its former CEO of improperly revealing a previously confidential transaction with EVIO, Inc.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. is reportedly at risk of losing a chance to get a Pasadena, California marijuana business permit due to substantial changes to its corporate ownership structure.

/ CULTURE

Johnny Depp acknowledged that he gave his 13-year-old daughter marijuana.

Taiwanese singer Hsieh Ho-hsien was found guilty of disseminating false information and fined after sharing a post on Instagram claiming that marijuana could “kill” coronavirus.

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