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Feds to consider hemp biz credit card clarification (Newsletter: December 6, 2019)

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Study: Legal marijuana cuts sleep aid use; Castro cites alcohol ban repeal to push legalization; Willie Nelson’s son confirms continued cannabis use

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There are now 1,298 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Federal Deposit Insurance Commission Chairwoman Jelena McWilliams said she will look into offering further clarity on hemp businesses’ ability to process credit cards in response to questioning from Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) during a hearing.

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro (D), a presidential candidate, said that Thursday’s anniversary of the repeal of alcohol prohibition is a good time to get serious about legalizing marijuana.

  • “86 years later, it’s time we end the federal prohibition of Cannabis once and for all.”

A study found that people are purchasing far fewer sleep aids as legal marijuana access expands.

  • “The magnitude of the market share decline increases as more dispensaries enter a county and with higher county-level cannabis sales.”

Willie Nelson’s son clarified that while his dad may have quit smoking marijuana, he still consumes cannabis in other forms.

  • “Between vaping, edibles, gummies, drops, etc. I think it’s safe to say Willie will never stop enjoying Mary Jane!”

/ FEDERAL

The head of the Department of Veterans Affairs’s Veterans Health Administration said it would be a “mistake” for the department to conduct studies on THC levels in medical cannabis.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health published a fact sheet on cannabis and cannabinoids.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will consider a bill on marijuana- and drug-impaired driving and transportation on Wednesday.

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) are asking the Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate Attorney General Williaam Barr’s approval of a Drug Enforcement Administration surveillance program.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) applauded new federal hemp banking guidelines.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) discussed how “our criminal justice system and the failed war on drugs continue to disproportionately impact communities of color” in a House floor speech honoring  the legacy of activist Fred Hampton.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), who is backing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president, tweeted, “[email protected] deserves to be in the debate. He led the fight in Congress on the Marijuana Justice Act & criminal justice reform. How is 21st century America going to become a truly multiracial, multiethnic democracy if strong voices of color are not making even the Democrat stage.” In response to criticism from a supporter, he added, “Booker is a strong voice on criminal justice and legalizing Marijuana and worked with Barbara Lee and me on it.”

Rep. Jared Golden (D-ME) cited his cosponsorship of medical cannabis legislation in a flyer touting his work for military veterans.

/ STATES

Massachusetts health officials revealed that six people with “probable” cases of vaping-related lung injuries reported using marijuana products from state-licensed businesses, but they “declined to say which licensed producers, products and retailers were implicated.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “Hemp production is a perfect example of value-added agriculture, an essential component of growing & diversifying New Mexico’s economy – this year’s Hemp Manufacturing Act is already resulting in industry expansion & job creation across the state.” Meanwhile, the state’s Economic Development Department is investing $400,000 in a hemp manufacturing company.

Vermont’s attorney general hosted a panel on legalizing marijuana sales.

The Washington, D.C. Council Health Committee unanimously approved a bill to let students use medical cannabis in schools.

The sponsors of a proposed Florida marijuana legalization ballot initiative filed a brief with the state Supreme Court arguing that the measure is legally valid.

Maine regulators made applications for marijuana cultivation, manufacturing and retail business licenses available.

Missouri regulators announced they will issue medical cannabis dispensary licenses next month.

Rhode Island regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to medical cannabis rules on Friday.

An Indiana lawmaker is planning to file bills to decriminalize marijuana and legalize medical cannabis.


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

Chicago, Illinois’s mayor and interim police superintendent said that “an individual using cannabis in their own backyard or balcony poses no direct threat to public safety, and no resident should be arrested or ticketed solely for such a scenario.”

Ankeny, Iowa police arrested the owner of a CBD business.

/ INTERNATIONAL

An Irish lawmaker pressed the government on its restrictive medical cannabis program.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “there was a statistically significant reduction in intense pain, sharp pain, cold and itchy sensations in the CBD group when compared to the placebo group,” concluding that  “transdermal application of CBD oil can achieve significant improvement in pain and other disturbing sensations in patients with peripheral neuropathy.”

A study comparing marijuana markets in Washington State and Oregon found that “Oregon’s relatively faster initial growth, quicker stabilization and current lower prices for concentrates could be related to more established pre-legalization medical markets, the state’s ‘soft opening’ approach, and lower tax rate.”

A study found that “young adults who were male and who reported more frequent marijuana use were at greater odds of acquiring a medical marijuana card.”

A study found that people who microdose psychedelics  are commonly doing so as a self-managed therapy for mental health, either as an alternative or adjunct to conventional treatments.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A survey of U.S. voters that pitted issues against one another to determine not only individual support but also level of importance included questions on legalizing marijuana.

The Drug Policy Alliance brought on former Center for American Progress staffer Maritza Perez as its new director of national affairs.

The Baltimore Sun editorial board is urging Maryland lawmakers to take steps to prepare for marijuana legalization, including by making it easier to expunge records.

/ BUSINESS

The publisher of High Times warned shareholders that there is “substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.” Meanwhile, the website of MassRoots has gone dark, though its CEO said it will “be back online shortly.” (Disclosure: Marijuana Moment’s publisher is a former employee of and minority shareholder in MassRoots.)

Experian predicted that burgeoning industries such as cannabis retailers “will be targeted for cyberattacks as a result of online activism or ‘hacktivism.'”

Chanel and other “luxury” retailers are trying to prevent a marijuana dispensary from opening in San Francisco’s Union Square.

The Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce launched a voluntary industry certification standard for safety and purity in marijuana product testing.

Financial Times looks at marijuana businesses’ difficulties obtaining insurance.

/ CULTURE

Football player Antwaun Woods was arrested for marijuana possession.

Cannabis-themed names for dogs and cats, such as Budder, Dank, Doobie, Blaze and Kush are becoming more common, according to Rover.

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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.

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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Congress votes for researching cannabis from dispensaries (Newsletter: July 3, 2020)

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Military marijuana use waivers advance in House; NE medical cannabis ballot sigs submitted; Austin police end marijuana arrests; 2020 ballot check in

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives approved a 2,000-plus-page infrastructure bill that contains a little-noticed provision directing federal agencies to create a plan for researchers to finally be able to study marijuana that consumers are buying at dispensaries instead of using only government cannabis.

The House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment from Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) to encourage military branches to stop blocking reenlistment over marijuana use.

  • “Smoking pot just once shouldn’t prevent a patriotic American from fighting for our country.”

Nebraska medical cannabis activists submitted more than 182,000 signatures for proposed initiative. That’s way more than they need to qualify for the November ballot.

Several other states where activists are trying to get marijuana legalization, psychedelics decriminalization and drug reform measures on November ballots have signature gathering deadlines this week and next week. Here’s a look at where things stand, from Arizona to Oregon to Washington, D.C.

The Austin, Texas Police Department said in a memo that it will stop making arrests or issuing citations for low-level marijuana possession. The move follows the passage of a City Council resolution urging the end of such cannabis enforcement.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration tweeted, “There’s also a lot of talk on the internet about CBD for treating anxiety in dogs who are afraid of loud noises. You should be aware that FDA has NOT evaluated these products. This means we can’t say whether they are safe or effective.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that licensed hemp businesses are eligible for its Rural Cooperative Development Grant program.

/ STATES

Florida’s agriculture commissioner disclosed that she owns a stake in Harvest Health and Recreation, Inc.

Massachusetts regulators are accepting public comment on the continued quarantining of marijuana vaporization products.

A case challenging Nevada regulators’ marijuana licensing process was stayed by a federal judge.

A California court ruled against hemp growers in a case challenging a restrictive count ordinance.

The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus hosted a town hall meeting about a cannabis-revenue-funded grant program to help communities harmed by the war on drugs.

Oregon regulators published an update on processing dates for marijuana business license applications.

Arkansas regulators included an update on the state’s hemp program in an annual report.

A Pennsylvania senator authored an op-ed on why the state should legalize marijuana for racial justice reasons.


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

San Francisco, California regulators warned marijuana businesses that expected protests this weekend could lead to burglaries.

The Harris County, Texas Commissioner Court adopted a resolution that notes racial disparities in drug law enforcement.

The Santa Barbara County, California Board of Supervisors was criticized by a grand jury report for allegedly mismanaging marijuana production.

Chicago, Illinois’s mayor defended a police plan to step up drug enforcement during the July 4 holiday weekend.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian regulators are discouraging marijuana brands from using “any celebrity-affiliated promotions or packaging and labeling.”

There have been no new prescriptions for full-extract cannabis oil in the 18 months since the UK legalized it.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “at least in the short term, the vast majority of patients that use cannabis experience antidepressant effects, although the magnitude of the effect and extent of side effect experiences vary with chemotypic properties of the plant.”

A review concluded that “cannabis-based medications were found most effective as an adjuvant therapy in refractory multiple sclerosis, and weak evidence was found to support the treatment of cancer pain especially in advanced stages,” while “chronic rheumatic pain showed promising results.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Nebraska Democratic Party tweeted supportively about signatures being turned in for a proposed medical cannabis ballot initiative.

A South Dakota committee called No Way on Amendment A has been formed to oppose the state’s marijuana legalization initiative.

The Hemp Industries Association hired a new executive director.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. announced a plan to raise up to C$27,500,000 in a private placement sale of shares.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. announced the full exercise of underwriters’ options to purchase an additional 402,504 shares of common stock, bringing the total to 3,085,867 shares sold in the offering and raising gross offering proceeds to approximately $258.7 million.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg posted on Facebook about a poll showing majority support for New Zealand’s marijuana legalization referendum, saying, “Gandalf smokin that good good!”

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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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AZ legal cannabis measure gets 420k ballot signatures (Newsletter: July 2, 2020)

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OR will vote on drug decrim in Nov; OH Senate votes to double marijuana decrim limit; VA cannabis decrim takes effect

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…

There are now 1,522 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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oregon’s secretary of state announced that activists officially collected enough signatures to put a measure decriminalizing drug possession and using marijuana tax revenue to fund expanded treatment services on the November ballot.

Arizona marijuana activists filed 420,000 signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the November ballot. That’s way more than they need.

The Ohio Senate approved a bill to double the amount of marijuana that’s decriminalized in the state to 200 grams and to downgrade possession of many other drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Virginia’s marijuana decriminalization law went into effect.  As of Wednesday, getting caught with up to an ounce of cannabis comes with a $25 fine, no threat of jail time and no criminal record.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prosecutors charged two men with conspiring with an unnamed “leading on-demand marijuana delivery company” to deceive banks and other financial institutions into processing more than $100 million in credit and debit card payments for cannabis transactions.

A federal judge is giving U.S. Customs and Border Protection until July 31 to provide information in response to a lawsuit on its policies for denying entry to the country over marijuana use or industry involvement.

The special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Antonio district suggested that high taxes for marijuana in legal states are driving an underground market in Texas.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) filed an amendment seeking to provide protections to immigrants brought to the U.S. as children that would exempt marijuana convictions in states that have since legalized from being used as grounds for ineligibility.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) again spoke on the House floor about the need to end federal marijuana prohibition.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order extending medical cannabis identification card renewal deadlines for another 60 days.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) touted his signing legislation to decriminalize marijuana and fast-track annulments of past records in a letter to Black Lives Matter activists.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted about the launch of the state’s Cannabis Control Board. A law transferring most marijuana regulatory responsibilities to the new body took effect on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor spoke about efforts to pardon people for past marijuana convictions.

Rhode Island’s House minority leader said there’s a rumored grand jury investigation of Joint Committee on Legislative Services staff benefiting from marijuana legislation.

Arkansas regulators are being sued by a company that wants to stop them from approving additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses until their licensing process can be reviewed.

Michigan regulators released guidance on marijuana retesting and remediation.

Montana’s Hemp Advisory Committee 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 Davidson County, Tennessee district attorney said his office will no longer prosecute people for possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana, and Nashville’s mayor said he supports the policy.

The La Crosse, Wisconsin City Council’s Judiciary & Administration Committee advanced a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

The Los Angeles, California City Council approved changes to the marijuana licensing system.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “following oral consumption of cannabis, THC was detected in blood much later, and at far lower peak concentrations, compared to what has been observed with inhaled cannabis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand Maori support a marijuana legalization referendum, 72%-27%.

NORML removed the chapter charter for MassCann after a board member of the local group who organized a “straight pride parade” and pro-police rally resigned but the national organization did not see “tangible steps to address these flaws in their organization nor movement in the right direction to address these issues within their ranks.”

The Marijuana Policy Project is asking people to send testimony requesting that the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency recommend that the state legalize marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Steep Hill, Inc.’s  former CEO and chairman is suing the company in an attempt to stop its sale to EVIO, Inc.

Earthly Labs, Denver Beer Co. and The Clinic announced the success of a pilot program to use CO2 captured in the beer fermentation process to stimulate marijuana plant growth.

New England Treatment Access cultivation facility workers voted to unionize with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445.

Terrapin announced that it will use only made-in-the-USA packaging throughout its operations.

Cresco Labs and Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. closed on an agreement for the former company to sell and lease back a Massachusetts property to the latter firm.

/ CULTURE

“Half Baked 2” is moving toward production after it got a tax credit from the California Film Commission.

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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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AG could be impeached over cannabis biz probes (Newsletter: July 1, 2020)

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Feds’ new hemp banking memo; DC psychedelics campaign aided by OR/CO teams as sig deadline nears; TN senator visits IL marijuana dispensary?

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and nearly three dozen other House members filed a resolution calling for an impeachment inquiry of Attorney General William Barr, who the measure says “abused the power of his office” to improperly investigate cannabis business mergers.

  • “He’s using antitrust not for the purpose of helping consumers and businesses that might be disadvantaged by monopoly, but doing it as a vehicle for his social policies, which is unheard of,” Cohen told Marijuana Moment in an interview.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued new guidance on banking for hemp businesses, including how financial institutions should handle clients that sell both hemp and marijuana.

Activists behind successful psilocybin campaigns in Denver and Oregon have flown to Washington, D.C. to help collect the final signatures needed to qualify a psychedelics decriminalization measure for the city’s ballot ahead of a Monday deadline.

Did a Tennessee lawmaker take a road trip in a state vehicle to buy marijuana in Illinois? Internet sleuths are on the cannabis case after someone posted a photo of a vehicle with a state Senate license plate parked outside a dispensary.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Border Patrol agents are reportedly seizing legal marijuana products at checkpoints in Southern California.

A White House Office of National Drug Control Policy analysis concludes that overdose deaths are rising amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse reported that almost half of commercial driver license holders’ positive drug tests so far this year were for marijuana.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) gave a House floor speech about the need to end federal marijuana prohibition.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill streamlining hemp regulations.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) issued an executive order delaying the issuance of marijuana craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses as well as extending the deadline for submission of community college cannabis vocational pilot program applications due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) touted the job-creating potential of a new hemp processing lab.

New York’s Assembly majority leader said she is in “constant conversation” with the speaker about marijuana legalization and questioned Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) commitment to working to get the policy enacted.

Maine regulators adopted rules for licensing marijuana sample collectors for testing.

Nevada regulators released draft regulations allowing CBD as a dietary supplement, food additive and cosmetic.

New Mexico will begin allowing out-of-state patients to purchase medical cannabis on Wednesday.

Arkansas regulators voted to release additional medical cannabis cultivation and dispensary licenses.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Governance and Frame Working Subcommittee will meet on July 15.


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


British Virgin Islands lawmakers are considering legislation to legalize medical cannabis and expunge prior marijuana records.

The Philippine government created a panel to investigate deaths in the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that marijuana’s “therapeutic application in areas such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and in the relief of some cancer patient’s symptoms is promising.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Colorado State Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted about a marijuana social equity bill being signed into law.

The Illinois State Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted about a grant program that is “creating opportunities for those most impacted by the War on Drugs.”

/ BUSINESS

Dixie Brands announced it will change its name due to the racist historical connotations of the word Dixie.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc announced a strategy to bring its THC and CBD drug nabiximols to the U.S. market.

Hightimes Holding Corp. extended its public stock offering deadline again.

Southern University will unveil its first line of medical cannabis products on Wednesday.

Louis Del Faveo Orchids is asking a federal court to recognize what it says is its right to a medical cannabis license.

A survey of Canadian cannabis consumers found that brand awareness is low.

/ CULTURE

Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted to urge Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to free a man serving a life sentence for selling marijuana.

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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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