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Feds acknowledge Schedule I barriers to cannabis research (Newsletter: Jan. 11, 2019)



Legal marijuana bills filed in red states; Alcohol lobby says legal cannabis not hurting sales; CO gov touts hemp during State of the State speech

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Federal officials with the National Institute on Drug Abuse and other agencies openly acknowledged the barriers that cannabis’s restrictive Schedule I status places on scientific research at an event last month, presentation materials obtained by Marijuana Moment show.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) touted legal marijuana’s benefits for the economy and the need to expand industrial hemp during his first State of the State speech.

Lawmakers in half a dozen red states have already filed marijuana legalization bills for 2019 sessions that began only days ago.

An analysis from the Distilled Spirits Council, a liquor industry trade association, says that alcohol sales are not impacted by marijuana legalization.


Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director John Walters said he believes President Trump’s proposed Mexican border wall will “discourage people from trying to penetrate with drugs.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) dinged a Rolling Stone reporter for asking him a marijuana question but not also posing one to Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA).

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Honored to be the first woman and African American co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. I’m ready to: ✅ End discrimination + mass incarceration in the cannabis industry ✅ Support medical marijuana research ✅ Legalize marijuana”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Congress can’t continue to be out of touch with a movement that a growing majority of Americans support, which is why I introduced H.R. 420, the Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol Act.  #CommonSenseCannabis”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “#LegalizeIt, and demand justice for communities ravaged by the War on Drugs.”


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is expected to reveal details of his marijuana legalization plan in his State of the State speech on Tuesday. Separately, he said that it is “important” that wealth generated by marijuana legalization “assist those people who paid the price in the first place” in the war on drugs.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has not yet moved to drop the state’s appeals of various court rulings striking down medical cannabis regulations and restrictions.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) budget projects that the state’s marijuana excise taxes will generate $514 million in Fiscal Year 2019-20.

A company owned by a major donor to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) was awarded one of the state’s new medical cannabis dispensary licenses. Separately, state officials temporarily suspended the license of a doctor who allegedly “created a multimillion dollar enterprise by indiscriminately authorizing marijuana use for thousands of patients he met in hotel conference centers across the state.”

West Virginia’s attorney general said his office will publish “a major legal opinion on West Virginia’s cannabis law”on Friday.

A subcommittee of the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee approved a resolution calling on the federal government to remove barriers to medical cannabis research.

The Texas House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock released a report recommending industrial hemp legislation.

Massachusetts regulators voted to request that lawmakers give them authority to review and regulate host community agreements between municipalities and marijuana businesses.

Maryland regulators said in a report that there is “no credible scientific evidence backing up the claims that cannabis is beneficial in treating addiction” but said that there is “mounting anecdotal evidence” that it “may offer an effective tool for lowering” opioid cravings and for addressing withdrawal symptoms.

Missouri regulators said they have received more than 250 proposals and more than $2 million in fees in the first week of accepting medical cannabis business license applications. They also announced that they have begun the rulemaking process for the program.

Louisiana regulators filed an emergency rule concerning medical cannabis concentrate testing.

Maine lawmakers are pursuing legislation to seal or expunge records of people with past marijuana convictions.

The fate of a New Mexico Senate vote on legalizing marijuana could come down to just one lawmaker. Separately, a senator introduced a bill to allow medical cannabis in schools.

A Nebraska senator filed a medical cannabis bill.

Tennessee lawmakers announced plans to file medical cannabis legislation.

Kansas lawmakers from both major parties are embracing hemp.

Here’s a look at the prospects for Hawaiian marijuana legislation in 2019.

Marijuana Moment is tracking key cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said in his State of the City speech that he would work with the state to legalize marijuana “the right way by expunging arrest records and making sure the grassroots, not the big corporations, run this new business.” He also suggested that tax revenue from cannabis sales could be used to fund the subway.

The mayors of Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts will tour safe injection facilities for illegal drug consumers in Canada next week

The Wood County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors will consider two potential April marijuana advisory ballot questions on Tuesday.


Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she will ask her government to look into whether it can do more to help a young boy with epilepsy obtain medical cannabis.

Greece’s minister of agricultural development and food will appear at a cannabis conference on Friday.


The Cannabis Trade Federation says it has hired 15 lobbyists to work on marijuana reform on Capitol Hill.

The National Cannabis Industry Association’s federal lobbyist said that “politicians are gonna be former politicians if they’re not on the right side of this.”


A study found that “vaporization [of marijuana] appears to be a more efficient method of delivery compared with smoking.”

The Cleveland Clinic said its providers should not recommend medical cannabis because “there are better alternatives.”


A survey of Americans found that 24% are not aware that driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in all 50 states.

The Washington Times editorial board is skeptical of marijuana legalization.


Aphria’s CEO will reportedly step down.

Some DSW shoe stores will begin carrying CBD products.

A Washington, D.C. medical cannabis dispensary is offering government employees a 20% discount on some products during the federal shutdown.

An analysis of Yelp data ranked the top retail stores selling CBD products in the U.S.


Jimmy Kimmel enlisted a Transportation Security Administration agent to help play a game of “Who’s High?”

The TV show Madam Secretary recently featured a marijuana legalization storyline, and prohibitionists are upset about it.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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