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Federal courts hear two big cannabis cases this week (Newsletter: Feb. 14, 2018)

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Senators push new marijuana protections; NJ gov legalization walkback?; Jackson, MS approves decrim

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A bipartisan group of 18 U.S. senators is asking congressional leaders to insert new far-reaching protections for state marijuana laws into a must-pass federal spending bill.

Federal courts are hearing arguments in two separate far-reaching cannabis cases this week.

/ FEDERAL

A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) discussed his ongoing blockade on Justice Department nominees over a marijuana policy dispute.

Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY) tweeted, “The war on drugs has created vast racial inequality in America’s justice system – we must reverse its devastating impact here in #NYC and across the nation.”

The U.S. Senate comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 10.

Pennsylvania Democratic congressional candidate Susan Wild sent a press release calling for an end to marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) seemed to potentially walk back his pledge to legalize marijuana by describing it in terms of “if we were to pursue this,” but then said “when we do, it has to be done right.” (Roughly 15 minutes into the clip.)

Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R) signed medical cannabis regulations into law.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), in his State of the State address, criticized lawmakers for trying to raise the age for tobacco purchases but thinking that “18-year-olds are adult enough to vote on complex referendums like the legalization of marijuana.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) announced the list of dispensaries where patients can begin buying medical cannabis this week.

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew White supports decriminalizing marijuana.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a former state representative, supports reducing marijuana penalties.

The Massachusetts House speaker is urging regulators to slow down implementation of rules to allow marijuana social use areas and delivery services.

The Utah House of Representatives reconsidered and approved a medical cannabis cultivation bill that it narrowly defeated last week.

The Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to allow regulators to add new CBD medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Kentucky House Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs Committee approved a resolution urging the federal government to remove hemp from the Controlled Substances Act.

A Connecticut representative will hold a Thursday press conference to tout marijuana legalization.

An Arizona senator removed a provision lowering patient registration fees from legislation mandating medical cannabis quality control testing.

West Virginia delegates filed a marijuana legalization bill.

Maryland lawmakers are considering several pending marijuana law reform bills.

Here’s a look at changes that New Jersey regulators are considering for the state’s medical cannabis program.

A Vermont man whose car was impounded by police after they smelled marijuana is appealing his case to the state Supreme Court. Separately, state lawmakers are using medical cannabis revenue to pay for other programs.

Tennessee police raided nearly two dozen stores accused of illegally selling CBD products.

A Wyoming bill to set penalties for marijuana-infused drinks and foods cleared a Senate procedural hurdle.

An Alaska senator introduced a bill to make low-level marijuana records confidential.

/ LOCAL

The Jackson, Mississippi City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

The Berkeley, California City Council approved a proposal to prevent local officials from assisting in federal marijuana crackdowns.

A St. Louis, Missouri Board of Aldermen committee debated a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Politico looks at continued racial disparities in New York City marijuana arrests. The City Council’s Public Safety and Justice System Committees will hold a joint oversight hearing on cannabis enforcement this month.

The Detroit, Michigan City Council enacted a moratorium on processing medical cannabis business license applications.

The New Haven, Connecticut Board of Alders is considering a resolution urging the state to legalize marijuana.

The Los Angeles County, California  Board of Supervisors voted to develop a policy making it easier for people to expunge marijuana convictions. And the city of Los Angeles’s top marijuana regulator hosted a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government’s point man in the Senate said he is prepared to invoke a procedural move to expedite consideration of a pending marijuana legalization bill.

Israel’s health minister, once a strong medical cannabis proponent, now opposes exporting the drug.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “daily cannabis use was associated with slower rates of injection [drug use] initiation,” a finding that “challenges the view of cannabis as a gateway substance that precipitates the progression to using harder and more addictive drugs.”

A study’s findings “support efficacy of artisanal CBD preparations in seizure reduction with few significant side effects.”

An analysis in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs recommends “requiring plain packaging and large warning labels, reducing visual appeal to minors, and putting strict limits on the potency of cannabis products.”

A study on the combined effects of marijuana and alcohol on driving is currently enrolling participants.

/ BUSINESS

US Bank alleged that it is not allowed to notarize petition signatures for a proposed North Dakota marijuana legalization ballot measure.

/ CULTURE     

Comedian Chelsea Handler announced she is launching her own line of marijuana products.

MMA fighter Conor McGregor was seen visiting an Amsterdam cannabis cafe.

Comedian Bill Maher made a marijuana joke in an interview with Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA).

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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 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

MN legal cannabis could pass Senate—if only given a vote (Newsletter: May 11, 2021)

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Top fed drug official: Consider decrim; NE legislature voting on medical marijuana this week; Air Force warns against hemp shampoo for pets

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow authored an essay saying it’s time to consider decriminalizing drugs, writing that “drug use continues to be penalized, despite the fact that punishment does not ameliorate substance use disorders or related problems.”

  • “Black people and other communities of color have been disproportionately harmed by decades of addressing drug use as a crime rather than as a matter of public health.”

The Nebraska legislature is set to take up a medical marijuana bill on Wednesday—but it will likely have to overcome a filibuster on the floor and then, if it passes, a gubernatorial veto.

Minnesota’s House majority leader spoke about his chamber’s plans to vote on a marijuana legalization bill this week and said he thinks it could pass the Republican-controlled Senate as well—if only it is given a vote there.

The U.S. Air Force is stepping up efforts to stop service members from using marijuana or hemp products—going so far as to say that even CBD shampoo for dogs is not allowed on bases.

  • “Even if it’s for your pet, it’s still illegal.”

/ FEDERAL

Closing arguments were held in the federal trial against a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor who allegedly solicited bribes from marijuana businesses.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) tweeted, “This is simple. Legal cannabis businesses in Illinois should have access to banking services.”

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “If you think the issue of the illegal grows in the Antelope Valley is about marijuana you are missing the bigger issue. My constituents are scared for their lives. People are being threatened. Taxpaying, law-abiding citizens are having their water & land stolen. It must end.”

Former Rep. Kwanza Hall (D-GA) sent a letter urging President Joe Biden to commute the marijuana sentence of rapper Ralo.

/ STATES

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill to allow 30 medical cannabis oil dispensaries to open.

The chief of staff for Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) spoke about potential amendments to the medical cannabis bill she is considering recommending to lawmakers. Meanwhile, the state attorney general spoke about his concerns regarding the legislation.

A spokesperson for Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said efforts to reform the medical cannabis program are “entirely separate” from the push to legalize marijuana.

The Kansas Senate’s vice president said he thinks there’s enough support in the body to pass a medical cannabis bill, but perhaps not enough to force an expedited vote as the end of the year’s session approaches.

New York’s Assembly majority leader will participate in a forum on implementing marijuana legalization on May 22.

A scheduled Louisiana House vote on a marijuana legalization bill was delayed until Wednesday.

The Colorado House House Business Affairs & Labor Committee killed a bill to restrict marijuana delivery services.

The South Dakota Legislature’s Rules Review Committee voted to accept proposed rules saying that police officers and 911 dispatchers can be prevented from using medical cannabis by their employers.

An Illinois judge ordered a stay on a lawsuit challenging the state’s marijuana dispensary licensing process.

The tribal council for the Cherokee in western North Carolina voted to legalize medical cannabis on tribal lands.

Minnesota’s revised hemp plan was approved by federal officials.

Questions are being raised about whether a law on transparency in Missouri medical cannabis ownership records is allowing some companies to improperly control more businesses than is allowed.

New Mexico’s top marijuana regulator spoke about plans to implement legalization.

Michigan regulators published guidance on the use of hemp in food and dairy products.

South Carolina regulators published lists of approved hemp transporters and brokers.

California regulators held a hearing on proposed warnings for marijuana smoke and THC.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Jefferson County, Washington Board of Commissioners discussed psychedelics policy reform.

The Bronx, New York’s district attorney is being criticized for being slow to drop pending marijuana cases following legalization.

Norwood, Massachusetts’s police chief authored an op-ed against automatically expunging convictions for selling marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “compared with manualized therapy with inactive placebo, MDMA-assisted therapy is highly efficacious in individuals with severe PTSD, and treatment is safe and well-tolerated, even in those with comorbidities.”

A study of rats found that “cannabidiol treatment prevented amphetamine relapse.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Alabama Democratic Party tweeted, “Alabama will become the 37th state to legalize medical marijuana, brining new healthcare options to Alabamians in need.”

The Wisconsin State Journal editorial board is calling on lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

Several member companies resigned from the Nevada Dispensary Association over concerns that it only represents the interests of large businesses.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. is acquiring Harvest Health & Recreation Inc.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $89 million and a net loss of $23 million.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $260 million and a net loss of $17.2 million.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $38.4 million and a net loss of $8.6 million.

Flower One Holdings Inc. reported preliminary quarterly revenue of $13.5 million.

A trademark dispute between BBK Tobacco & Foods LLP and Central Coast Agriculture Inc. over the use of the term “raw” is heating up in federal court.

Wesana Health Holdings Inc. began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Organigram Holdings Inc. has a new vice president of innovation.

/ CULTURE

Dave Chappelle told Joe Rogan that he used to buy marijuana from Idris Elba.

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AL gov hopes to sign medical cannabis bill (Newsletter: May 10, 2021)

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Feds set standard THC dose; MN legalization heads to floor; KS medical marijuana stalls in Senate; Cop backs cannabis banking; TX hemp scam arrest

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is setting a standard dose of 5 mg THC for marijuana research, effective immediately.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) reacted to lawmakers sending medical cannabis legislation to her desk, saying, “I hope, after thoroughly reviewing it, we can sign the bill.”

The Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. That’s the 12th—and final—panel stop for the legislation before it hits the floor. The session ends on May 17 and the vote could be this week.

Kansas’s Senate president indicated that although a medical cannabis bill passed the House in a strong bipartisan vote, the issue is unlikely to be considered in his chamber this year and may have to wait until 2022.

Sen. Steve Daines(R-MT) released a video of a Montana sheriff who says his marijuana banking bill will help keep the public and police safe. The SAFE Banking Act already passed the House and is cosponsored by more than a third of the Senate.

A top aide to Texas’s agriculture commissioner was arrested for an alleged scheme that involved soliciting money and campaign contributions in exchange for hemp licenses.

/ FEDERAL

Bipartisan House and Senate lawmakers are reportedly nearing a deal on new policing reform legislation.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “Legal marijuana businesses in Nevada and across the country don’t have access to the same banking services as other industries. That needs to change. It’s why I joined the SAFE Banking Act.”

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “When it comes to Cannabis, it’s time our Fed Govt join the ever growing states’ movement. Legalize!!!”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “…It’s marijuana legalization or the filibuster…”

/ STATES

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed an executive order winding down coronavirus restrictions that says medical cannabis patient registrations that have been extended will expire on August 1,

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted about the Texas House approving a psychedelics research bill, saying, “Years ago, when I suggested that Pennsylvania, as the literal mushroom capital of the world, embrace research of psychedelics/micro-dosing revolution they told me you’re crazy.🍄 🤪”

Michigan’s attorney general is hosting a series of expungement fairs to help people clear past marijuana and other convictions from their records.

Mississippi’s secretary of state said signature gathering for a proposed marijuana legalization ballot initiative will be delayed due to an error in the process for notifying the public about the measure.

A Washington, D.C. Council member withdrew a bill that would have given medical cannabis business licensing priority to formerly incarcerated people.

A Wisconsin Republican representative said there is a “path forward for some type of medical marijuana.”

A Rhode Island senator who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill said it is too early in negotiations to commit to specific social equity provisions.

Arizona regulators released draft marijuana social equity business rules, along with a survey about them.

Colorado’s Marijuana Enforcement Division has a new senior director.

New Mexico regulators released the names of people who applied to serve on the Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee.

Washington State regulators published updated statistics on the medical cannabis program.

Oregon regulators released an updated list of approved marijuana businesses.

California regulators published tips on starting a marijuana business.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Little Rock, Arkansas City Board will consider a proposal to make misdemeanor marijuana offenses the lowest law enforcement and prosecution priority on Tuesday.

The Sonoma County, California district attorney settled a false advertising claim for CBD products with Cannacraft, Inc.

Minneapolis, Minnesota’s mayor tweeted, “The war on drugs was a failure that disproportionately targeted people of color for decades. I applaud the House DFL for bringing legalization and expungement to the floor for the first time in state history. It’s time for the MN Senate GOP to follow suit.”

Denver, Colorado regulators released a location guide for marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The attorney general of the Bahamas said a revised medical cannabis bill is close to being filed.

New Zealand’s health minister said there are no plans to offer amnesty to people illegally supplying medical cannabis, and a leaked government document says that officials will not even consider expanding the current law to allow more people to qualify as legal patients.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that fibromyalgia “patients have commonly used [medical cannabis], with more than half continuing use. Reported symptom relief was substantial.”

A study found that “CBD does not impact the daily activity of adult dogs, but may exert an antipruritic effect.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Hawaii voters support legalizing marijuana, 43%-42%.

The Republican Party of Louisiana sent an alert asking people to pressure their lawmakers to oppose a marijuana legalization bill expected to get a House vote on Monday.

The Kansas Democratic Party tweeted about the House’s passage of a medical cannabis bill.

The Wall Street Journal looks at the growing number of lobbyists working on marijuana issues.

/ BUSINESS

Maryland NORML filed a complaint with state regulators seeking to revoke licenses of Culta, LLC for allegedly violating advertising guidelines.

Cronos Group Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $12.6 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $37.1 million.

A federal judge ruled in favor of Nerds maker Ferrara Candy Co.’s trademark infringement lawsuit against Tops Cannabis for its Medicated Nerds Rope product.

Holistic Industries plans to open Michigan’s first marijuana social consumption lounge.

/ CULTURE

Elon Musk joked about smoking marijuana on Joe rogan’s podcast during his Saturday Night Live monologue.

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AL & KS approve medical cannabis bills (Newsletter: May 7, 2021)

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TX House passes psychedelics research bill; WI lawmakers kill gov’s marijuana plan; Lawmakers want protections for colleges studying cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Alabama lawmakers sent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) supports medical marijuana but it will now have to go through the Senate to get her desk, and time is short in the session.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the state to study the benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA for military veterans with PTSD. It now heads to the Senate.

The Republican-led Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin legislature voted to strip Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) marijuana legalization and medical cannabis provisions from the budget.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) are calling on congressional leaders to include a rider protecting universities from losing funding for researching marijuana in an upcoming spending bill.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration published annual data on its marijuana eradication efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Legislators in New York not only legalized marijuana—but also ensured restorative justice for those harmed by the War on Drugs. This is a model for how we should deal with this issue in Congress. I will keep working to end the federal marijuana prohibition.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) touted his work to legalize hemp.

A spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, amid reports that a federal investigation is looking into his work on cannabis legislation, that he “has never accepted a gift or any other thing of value in exchange for his work on marijuana policy.”

Former Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D-IN) published an op-ed calling for the establishment of a national commission to examine marijuana issues.

/ STATES

Georgia’s  lieutenant governor appointed members to the Medical Cannabis Commission Oversight Committee.

Virginia’s attorney general touted successful marijuana reforms in his annual report.

A South Carolina senator said there is an agreement to debate and pass his medical cannabis bill in January.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will hold a hearing on several marijuana bills on Tuesday.

Colorado Senate Republicans congratulated a lawmaker for passing legislation to increase medical cannabis access in schools.

New Mexico regulators said they will stop charging sales taxes on some medical cannabis purchases, but that purchase limits and plant counts won’t immediately increase.

A Missouri appeals court heard arguments on whether regulators should let a rejected medical cannabis business license applicant access their full archive of applications.

Washington State regulators will host a listen and learn session about draft conceptual rules for background checks on cannabis applicants or licensees on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Former Calexico, California officials were sentenced to two years in federal prison for taking bribes in exchange for “guaranteeing” a permit for a cannabis business.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The European Commission added cannabigerol as an approved ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis, mostly oil products, was used by one-fifth of children with cancer during or after the completion of cancer treatment.”

A study “showed that participants felt more awe in response to videos representing funny animals and moving objects in the [psilocybin] microdosing compared to the placebo condition.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is selling marijuana-themed merch.

/ BUSINESS

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $42.9 million.

Illinois dispensaries sold more than $35 million worth of medical cannabis in April.

/ CULTURE

Family Feud had a question about confusing marijuana with other objects.

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