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Feds sue California cannabis regulators for biz info (Newsletter: July 21, 2020)

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House OKs CBD for military members; Hemp advocate joins fed advisory board; MA bill sends cannabis $ to police; Green/Libertarian/Kanye talk marijuana

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Department of Justice asked a federal court to force the California Bureau of Cannabis Control to comply with a Drug Enforcement Administration subpoena for information on marijuana businesses’ licenses and shipping manifests.

  • “Not one reason permits the BCC to refuse to comply with the Subpoena. And even if a state law does purport to prevent compliance, the Supremacy Clause would preempt such law.”

The House of Representatives approved an amendment to let military service members use CBD and hemp products. This comes after several branches issued memos banning the products despite their federal legality.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative appointed a hemp industry advocate to a federal trade advisory committee, where he will serve alongside representatives from the Kraft Heinz Company, Brewers Association, Wine Institute, PepsiCo., Campbell’s and National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

Equity advocates are criticizing a Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee proposal to use marijuana tax revenue to fund police training—instead of to help people harmed by the war on drugs.

  • “Where are the funds for communities of color promised in this law?” a regulator told Marijuana Moment.

Presidential nominees Howie Hawkins of the Green Party and Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party recently spoke about their support for legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing drugs—policies opposed by President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

  • “The biggest problem we have right now is not the drugs, it’s the drug prohibition. Now, do drugs and alcohol cause problems? Of course they do. However, they’d be much more manageable if it were legal.”

Rapper Kanye West said during the rambling first rally of his presidential campaign that he smoked cannabis the night before and pledged that if he is elected, “Every black man on trial for marijuana will be freed.” (He did not promise free marijuana, as some reported.)

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy appointed members to a Senior Executive Service Performance Review Board.

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) wrote in a column that the Senate won’t include “promotion of cannabis” in its next coronavirus relief bill.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) cheered the House Appropriations Committee’s approval of spending legislation that doesn’t interfere with Washington, D..C’s right to set its own marijuana and drug policies.

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff said, “I won’t just push for decriminalization; I’ll push for nationwide legalization of cannabis. The prohibition of this substance is irrational. It’s hugely expensive. It has a terrible human toll.”

Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Keeda Haynes previously spent time in prison for a marijuana-related felony she says she’s innocent of.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Legal marijuana is a jobs issue. Legal marijuana is a farmers issue. Legal marijuana is a revenue issue. Legal marijuana is a freedom issue.  Legal marijuana is a safety issue. Legal marijuana is a COVID-19 issue. Legal marijuana is a 🟥➕🟦 issue.”

New York lawmakers are not expected to tackle marijuana legalization during a rare summer session this week.

Rhode Island regulators licensed the state’s first marijuana sampling and testing lab.

Massachusetts regulators approved draft changes to marijuana rules, and a public comment period will soon begin. Separately, two regulators authored an op-ed urging state lawmakers to pass legislation to fund cannabis social equity programs.

Michigan lawmakers updated a bulletin on coronavirus-related guidance for marijuana businesses.

California lawmakers are expected to vote on legislation to create hefty fines for assisting in illegal marijuana sales this month.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission met.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet 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

The Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney tweeted, “Poor communities & people of color have long been disproportionately impacted by the failed war on drugs. The progress we’re seeing across the nation is vital to right the wrongs of the past & must be part of our work for a more equitable justice system.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s health minister said she is open to considering proposals to decriminalize drugs.

Colombian senators plan to introduce legislation to legalize and regulate cocaine.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested a “a potential protective role for CBD during [acute respiratory distress syndrome] that may extend CBD as part of the treatment of COVID-19 by reducing the cytokine storm, protecting pulmonary tissues, and re-establishing inflammatory homeostasis.”

A review concluded that “Cannabi(noid)s do not induce clinical remission or affect inflammation in [inflammatory bowel diseases] patients” but that “cannabi(noid)s significantly improve patient-reported symptoms and” quality of life.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is closing down some of its European operations.

High Times hasn’t published a print issue of its magazine since April and the company hasn’t announced when it will end the circulation suspension it says is due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. closed on sale-leaseback transactions for New Jersey properties with subsidiaries of Columbia Care Inc.

Organigram Holdings Inc’s senior vice president of marketing and communications left the company.

The CEO of Lord Jones stepped down.

Investor Tyler Winklevoss tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a colossal failure. It has devastated generations of men and women (disproportionately Black), their families and their communities. All the money spent on prisons, enforcement, etc. could have been spent on education, treatment and healing.”

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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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DEA cannabis biz investigation details revealed (Newsletter: August 7, 2020)

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VT to finalize legal marijuana sales bill within weeks; TX smokable hemp ban lawsuit filed; Tulsi Gabbard talks Biden, DNC and cannabis

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Subscribers who value this daily dispatch enough to show their support with a few dollars help us keep doing this. Please chip in and help ensure Marijuana Moment’s continued operations.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Department of Justice revealed details of a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation of marijuana businesses in the latest filing in a case seeking to force California regulators to reveal cannabis licensee information.

  • “Specifically, the DEA told the BCC that it was looking into the possible importation/transportation of a controlled substance from Mexico by specific licensees.”

The Vermont House speaker’s office told Marijuana Moment that she expects a bicameral conference committee to meet within the next eight weeks to finalize a cannabis sales legalization bill that has already passed both chambers in differing forms.

Texas regulators are being sued over the state’s new ban on selling smokable hemp products.

  • “If allowed to move forward, these bans on smokable hemp products will shutter businesses across the state, resulting in a loss of jobs and tax revenue. They impede the economic liberty of Texas businesses, pose an existential threat to Texas hemp manufacturers, farmers, and retailers, and are sure to stifle growth of a budding Texas industry.”

Marijuana Moment spoke to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) about her House-passed amendment to let military members use CBD, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s legalization opposition and the House-Senate clash over cannabis banking.

  • Marijuana Moment Patreon supporters get access to the full audio of our conversation with Gabbard, including unpublished answers on whether she plans to be involved in the cannabis industry after leaving Capitol Hill and her reaction to the Democratic National Committee’s refusal to endorse legalization.

/ FEDERAL

The House Republican Conference tweeted, “What are Democrats demanding? ✖️ ‘environmental justice grants’ ✖️ checks for illegal immigrants ✖️ changes to election law ✖️ marijuana banking With just one look, it’s easy to see how out of touch their priorities are with Americans who need real relief.”

Rep. Steve Horsford (D-NV) is conducting a survey on which marijuana issues Congress should focus on.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana is legal in 11 states and Washington D.C. Most Americans support legalization regardless of political party. How is this common sense policy to reduce mass incarceration and end the war on drugs not included in the Democratic Party platform?”

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) cheered marijuana policy victories achieved through spending bills.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “With the addition of @RepKatiePorter, our bill to legalize marijuana and enact restorative justice now has 80 House co-sponsors! Momentum is growing to end the failed prohibition of cannabis that has ruined countless lives and disproportionately impacted communities of color.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted, “Places #COVIDー19 thrives according to Democrats: -Church -Work -School -Voting booths -Bars after 10 p.m.  Places #COVIDー19 ceases to exist according to Democrats: -Protests -Liquor stores -Marijuana shops -Bars before 10 p.m.”

Rep. Betty McCollum’s (D-MN) reelection campaign tweeted about her “votes and legislation she co-sponsors to earn an ‘A’ rating on cannabis issues from NORML.”

Massachusetts Democratic congressional candidate Ihssane Leckey tweeted, “Legalize marijuana and expunge records.”

/ STATES

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) tweeted about an American Heart Association paper expressing concerns about the health impacts of marijuana use, but didn’t mention the part of the document that calls for federal rescheduling.

Illinois regulators reported that the state took in $14 million in recreational marijuana revenue in July.

A California court ruled that Granny Purps Inc. can pursue a case to force Santa Cruz police to return seized marijuana plants. Another judge in a separate case said some cities suing to stop regulators from allowing cannabis home delivery services in their jurisdictions don’t have standing, but agreed to hear their arguments on why they should remain valid plaintiffs in November.

Michigan regulators issued a health and safety bulletin about marijuana pre-rolls contaminated with human saliva.

Massachusetts regulators fined Revolutionary Clinics $120,000 to settle charges it sold marijuana vaporizers with excessive levels of ethanol to other dispensaries.

Colorado regulators posted an agenda for a marijuana rulemaking work group meeting on Tuesday.

Washington State regulators proposed rules on a marijuana consultation and education program.


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

Littleton, Colorado is likely to vote on a ballot measure to legalize marijuana sales in the city.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s president signed decrees authorizing the export of medical cannabis and hemp.

Peru rejected a U.S. government report claiming that there’s been an increase in cocaine production in the country.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “the use of cannabinoids could be beneficial in traumatic brain injuries and multiple sclerosis treatment, especially in those patients who display resistance to conventional treatment.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Civil Liberties Union launched a campaign aimed at encouraging governors to use their clemency powers to release people incarcerated on drug and other charges.

The U.S. Hemp Roundtable’s board of directors adopted an equity and inclusion framework.

The Marijuana Policy Project published voter guides for Connecticut’s legislative primary elections on Tuesday.

/ BUSINESS

GW Pharmaceuticals plc reported quarterly revenue of $121.3 million and a loss of $8.8 million.

Cronos Group Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $9.9 million and a net loss of $55.8 million.

TerrAscend Corp. announced quarterly sales of C$47.2 million.

CV Sciences, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $5.4 million and an operating loss of $4.7 million.

Fusion Pharm, Inc.’s CEO is settling a Securities and Exchange Commission fraud case against him.

Redemption Cannabis is forming a new nonprofit focused on helping people harmed by marijuana prohibition.

/ CULTURE

Seth Meyers quipped that “Trump talks about hydroxychloroquine more than your yoga instructor talks about CBD oil.”

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Photo by Aphiwat chuangchoem.

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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Psychedelics decrim qualifies for DC ballot (Newsletter: August 6, 2020)

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Biden mocks drug testing; Colorado teen marijuana use stable after legalization; Grandma sues Disney for CBD arrest; MI AG pushes cannabis clemency

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Washington, D.C. Board of Elections formally certified that activists collected enough valid signatures to place a psychedelics decriminalization measure on the November ballot.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden seemed to mock drug testing—a policy he helped to expand as a senator— in response to a reporter’s question about whether he has undergone cognitive assessments.

  • “That’s like saying, ‘You—before you got on this program did you take a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?’”

New data released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows that “youth marijuana use has not significantly changed since legalization”—despite spin from prohibitionists. Methods of cannabis consumption are shifting, however.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is pushing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to commute the decades-long marijuana sales sentence of Michael Thompson, who has been hospitalized for a coronavirus infection.

A grandmother who was arrested for possessing CBD oil at Disney World is suing the company with the help of a powerful civil rights lawyer who also represents the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

  • “We need people of good moral character to stand up to Mickey Mouse and say that civil rights come in many different forms. Mickey Mouse has an obligation to all the people.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) criticized House Democrats in a Senate floor speech for including provisions for marijuana industry diversity studies in their coronavirus relief bill.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Speaking as someone with an MD, scratching the backs of marijuana special interests is unrelated to #COVID19. A better use of @SpeakerPelosi and all of our time would be to focus on patient health, opening schools, and relief for struggling families.”

Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) touted his work to extend the federal Industrial Hemp Pilot Program for another year.

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) discussed his reasons for coming around to supporting marijuana legalization.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “As we work to ultimately end the senseless prohibition of cannabis and the failed war on drugs, we must ensure the protection of legal state and tribal cannabis programs. Last week, the House passed my bill to do just that. The Senate must do the same.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of 80.

The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

Here’s a look at where Wisconsin congressional candidates stand on marijuana.

Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Jess Scarane tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana is a question of economic, health, and racial justice. A majority of Delawareans support legalization, but Senator Coons doesn’t.”

Hawaii Democratic congressional candidate Brian Evans tweeted, “Marijuana must be legalized in #Hawaii. If we started taking advantage of all of our resources we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. Tax the shops and we would bring in millions.”

/ STATES

A New Jersey campaign working to pass a marijuana legalization referendum launched a new website.

A California court will begin hearing a case this week challenging a state rule that allows marijuana to be delivered to localities that ban sales.

Colorado regulators released reports on THC concentrations in marijuana products.

Oklahoma regulators launched an online dashboard to track medical cannabis revenue.

Pennsylvania regulators approved the final clinical registrant for the state’s medical cannabis research program.

A Virginia senator who sponsored a marijuana decriminalization bill that was enacted authored an op-ed on the need to enact full cannabis legalization.


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 winner of the Pima County, Arizona prosecutor Democratic primary has pledged to stop marijuana prosecutions and deprioritize drug possession cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s health minister presented reforms aimed at lowering the price of medical cannabis by 50%.

The Canadian government is giving marijuana businesses an extra six months to pay owed annual fees.

The UK Home Office rejected claims that psilocybin’s current illegal classification blocks research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “endo‐, synthetic and phytocannabinoids can reduce neuroinflammation by inhibiting afferent firing and inflammatory neuropeptide release.”

A study found that “compared with no use, daily/near-daily cannabis use was associated with [viral load] suppression” in people living with HIV who use cocaine.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Heart Association said that cannabis “laws should be harmonized in ways that limit confusion and better reflect the existing science behind cannabis, starting in the United States at the federal level with removal of cannabis from Schedule 1 of the US Controlled Substances Act, followed by a proactive approach to labeling that standardizes concentrations of THC and CBD content.”

The Albany Times Union editorial board wants New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to appoint a commission to study issues related to marijuana legalization.

The Cannabis Business Association of Illinois is pressing Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) to use marijuana tax revenue to reimburse social equity business applicants who have experienced delays in processing their proposals.

/ BUSINESS

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $24.3 million.

Tilray recalled cannabis extracts in Germany due to incorrect THC content.

TerrAscend Corp. announced executive changes.

CFAM and Lowell Herb have been ordered by a judge to pay more than $500,000 in penalties and fees for allegedly illegally subletting to an unlicensed marijuana business.

/ CULTURE

Actor Seth Rogen pushed back on an interviewer’s suggestion that the fight for marijuana legalization is effectively over.

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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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McConnell bashes Pelosi’s cannabis therapy claim (Newsletter: August 5, 2020)

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Canada issues legal psilocybin exemptions for patients; #3 House Dem talks marijuana; AZ gov files argument against legalization measure

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There are now 1,532 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the Senate floor to bash House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) recent comment about marijuana as a “therapy that has proven successful” amid the coronavirus debate.

  • “I hope she shares her breakthrough with Dr. Fauci.”

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu granted the right to legally use psilocybin mushrooms to cancer patients who had applied for an exemption.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) sat down for a cannabis chat with an executive at Canopy Growth Corp.

  • “Decriminalization carries the day in the caucus,” the 3rd-ranking House Democrat said.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) and other officials filed voter guide arguments against a marijuana legalization measure that’s likely to be on the state’s November ballot.

  • “We know from states that have fully legalized marijuana that it has real consequences: more deaths on highways caused by high drivers, dramatic increases in teen drug use, and more newborns exposed to marijuana.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled that state drug law violations don’t necessarily trigger deportation for immigrants with green cards.

Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and 31 cosponsors filed a bill to lift the federal ban on people with felony drug convictions from being able to use Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits through December 2022.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and other senators wrote a letter pressing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the U.S. response to human rights violations in the bloody Philippine “drug war.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Americans need real solutions to get through this pandemic, not @SpeakerPelosi’s liberal wishlist. When a coronavirus relief bill mentions marijuana more times than jobs, it cannot be taken seriously.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted, “The House may have passed the HEROES Act, but it’s nothing more than a long list of liberal priorities that have nothing to do with #COVID19 – like tax breaks for the rich & marijuana subsidies. We need to stay in session & pass REAL relief for Texans.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted a meme about “when people want to legalize cannabis without ensuring restorative justice for those unfairly impacted by the failed war on drugs.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) touted marijuana and psychedelics policy victories in House-passed spending legislation.

Delaware Democratic Senate candidate Jess Scarane tweeted, “I will fight to legalize cannabis at the federal level, release people in…jail because of marijuana, expunge records, and ensure communities most affected by the war on drugs are the ones that benefit from legalization tax revenue.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Julie Oliver tweeted, “End the federal prohibition on marijuana, expunge the records of low-level drug offenders, and make sure that those most targeted by the war on drugs have equitable  access to a cannabis industry that will pump billions in revenue into the Texas economy.”

/ STATES

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a hemp bill into law.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It has been 314 days since Governor Tom Wolf and I called on the legislature to immediately decriminalize marijuana and work on legislation to legalize. We need action now.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Everyone can play a role in the fight for #justice—even you!  Volunteer to review #R3 grant applications to make sure adult-use cannabis tax revenue is reinvested in communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.”

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andru Volinsky spoke about the economic potential of legalizing marijuana.

Texas regulators are now accepting applications for licenses to manufacture or sell consumable hemp products.

California regulators published guidance on the use of pesticides on marijuana.

Colorado regulators are seeking nominations for people to serve on the Hemp Advisory Committee.

Nevada regulators will consider a proposed settlement in a case challenging the state’s marijuana business license awarding process on Friday.

Oklahoma regulators released an updated list of licensed medical cannabis testing labs.


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

Portland, Maine officials argued in federal court that Acreage Holdings can’t pursue a lawsuit against the city’s marijuana business ownership residency policy due to ongoing national prohibition.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s cabinet approved a policy allowing patients and healers to grow cannabis.

The UK Food Standards Agency is co-hosting a webinar on the approval process for CBD products on August 18.

Canadian regulators provided a marijuana licensing update.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “overall teen marijuana use decreased or remained stable following legalization.”

A review concluded that “cannabinoids have incredible potential as antineoplastic agents as experimental models demonstrate that they can reduce tumor volume and [aberrant crypt foci] formation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project sent letters urging President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to support cannabis reform.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced that former basketball player Al Harrington joined its board of directors.

Organigram Holdings Inc. launched three new strains.

New Mexico dispensaries sold $92 million worth of medical cannabis products in the first six months of 2020.

/ CULTURE

“The Next Marijuana Millionaire” is a new reality TV show.

Former model Kathy Ireland responded to a question about whether she smokes marijuana, tweeting, “Great question. Nope. Am too much of a control freak. Let’s separate  CBD from THC. Have seen great CBD results in skin care, stress relief, nutrition. Anecdotal results for pain, nausea, seizures and more from physician prescribed THC. So much to learn about these therapies.”

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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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