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First look at cannabis banking bill Dems plan to pass in 2019 (Newsletter: Feb. 12, 2019)



Kamala Harris smoked weed & listened to Snoop Dogg; POTUS candidate Klobuchar on marijuana; Fmr. DOJ official: Trump should order DEA to stand down

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There are now 633 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 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.


Congressional Democratic leaders revealed the draft text of a marijuana banking bill they plan to pass this year. The document’s release comes ahead of a Wednesday hearing on the issue by a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. The proposed legislation contains several new provisions that weren’t part of cannabis banking bills filed in years past, including protections for ancillary businesses and those regulated by Indian tribes.

Marijuana Moment’s latest analysis takes a comprehensive look at where presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) stands on cannabis.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, said in an interview that she listened to Tupac and Snoop Dogg while smoking marijuana in college.

  • “I think that it gives a lot of people joy, and we need more joy in the world.”

Former Bush administration Deputy Assistant U.S. Attorney General John Yoo—perhaps best known for authoring torture memos—says President Trump can and should order the Drug Enforcement Administration to stand down in states where marijuana is legal.


The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Research is coming fast & furious against safety of marijuana. Links of marijuana to mental illness, violence, health, drugged driving, teen truancy, and other serious health issues. More research needed to ensure public safety.”

Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon said he is “obsessed with the hempcrete,” referring to his plan to build part of a privately funded Mexican border wall with hemp.

H.R. 420, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, was the seventh-most-viewed bill on over the past week.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “It’s time for the federal government to respect the will of the voters in Oregon and across the country by ending failed prohibition of marijuana. My bill would do just that.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted, “Let me be clear: it’s time we legalized marijuana at the federal level. Marijuana laws are not applied or enforced in the same way for all Americans, many whose lives have been ruined by these regressive policies. We must change the system.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Looking forward to having broad, bipartisan support for the SAFE Banking Act this Congress and to Wednesday’s first-ever congressional hearing on the issue of #cannabis banking.”


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker created a Justice, Equity and Opportunity Initiative that will focus in part on marijuana legalization. And here’s a look at where the prospects for legal cannabis legislation stand.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) spoke about the “incredible environmental damage and environmental degradation” caused by illegal marijuana growers.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) reiterated his opposition to legalize medical cannabis but said that he’s working on legalizing hemp.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) spoke about steps toward implementing marijuana legalization.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) bashed presidential candidate Kamala Harris for laughing about smoking marijuana.

The South Carolina House of Representatives voted to approve an industrial hemp bill despite opposition from Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor held the first event of a statewide marijuana legalization listening tour. Meanwhile, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) spoke about why the state needs to at least consider ending prohibition.

Kentucky’s attorney general, who is running for governor, said he thinks marijuana, in some form, has a future in the state.

Wisconsin’s attorney general reiterated his support for legalizing medical cannabis.

Vermont’s agriculture secretary sent a letter asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the use of CBD food products.

Missouri regulators said they have “no legal authority to bar the use of CBD oil in combination with alcohol beverages as long as the oil contains no THC.”

The Idaho House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to introduce a bill to lower marijuana possession penalties.

A Connecticut court is considering a lawsuit filed by a man disqualified from becoming a firefighter due to his legal medical cannabis use.

Michigan regulators added additional products to a medical cannabis recall list.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 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.

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.


Dayton, Ohio’s police chief told officers to generally abide by a new city marijuana decriminalization policy and not issue charges under state law except in limited circumstances.

New York City’s City Council speaker testified at the state legislature in support of marijuana legalization but said that more local control and a focus on benefiting communities harmed by the war on drugs is needed.

Hartford, Connecticut’s City Council is considering forming a working group to study equity in marijuana licensing.


The Sri Lankan government is advertising to hire hangmen as is prepares to ramp up a bloody “war on drugs.”

Legislation to legalize marijuana in Canberra, Australia is being slowed down by parliamentary rules.


Here’s a look at how the Distilled Spirits Council, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, the Beer Institute and other alcohol industry groups are working to shape marijuana laws.

The president of the American Bankers Association called for “Congress to step in and reconcile the gap between state and federal law when it comes to banking cannabis.”

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Glad to see HB 1191, to legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and derivative products in the state, pass by a 65-2 margin in the House today, despite the objections of Gov. Noem. We hope Gov. Noem will change her mind on this issue and join the overwhelming bipartisan majority of people in our state who are in favor of this bill.”

The Republican Party of New York criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) “reckless plan to ram through legalizing recreational marijuana” and said, “Democrats are ignoring the risks and data to score political points.”


A study concluded that “many African Americans experience mental health issues (specifically depression and anxiety) due to direct and indirect consequences of drug penalties.”

A study’s findings “suggest marijuana legalization may not contribute to the increase in traffic fatalities” in Washington State.

The Canadian Journal of Cardiology published a case study of a 70-year-old man who had a heart attack after eating a cannabis edible. The journal also ran a related editorial.


The Kansas City Star editorial board is calling on Kansas lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.


Barneys New York announced it will start selling cannabis products.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported a second-quarter loss of $237.8 million on revenue of $54.2 million (in Canadian dollars).

MedMen was asked to resign from the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association over allegations of racist and sexist comments from company leadership.

Harborside Health Center and Apothecarium both announced reverse takeover deals with Canadian companies.

Dan Bilzerian’s Ignite Cannabis Company is under fire for its ad campaign that focuses on scantily clad women.


Actor Patrick Stewart spoke about how he uses medical cannabis to treat arthritis.

A man who broke into an empty house to smoke marijuana found an abandoned, obese tiger.

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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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