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Former AG warns Sessions against cannabis crackdown (Newsletter: Nov. 24, 2017)

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Feds seize marijuana at polling place; IL legalization hearing; UK PM on drug war

 

TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Former Bush administration U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is warning Jeff Sessions not to crack down on marijuana.
https://www.marijuanamoment.net/former-republican-g-warns-sessions-marijuana-crackdown/

Illinois lawmakers will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization’s economic impact on Tuesday.
http://salsa4.salsalabs.com/o/51609/t/0/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=1365083

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized marijuana that two Maine women were giving away to voters at a polling station this month.
http://thecounty.me/2017/11/22/news/seizure-of-marijuana-on-election-day-highlights-contradiction-in-state-federal-laws/

 

FEDERAL

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) is calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to “allow medical marijuana to serve as an alternative pain management treatment to opioids to help curb the ongoing opioid epidemic.”
https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-facebook-urging-hhs-use-medical-marijuana-curb-opioid-abuse

Former Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who was the initial sponsor of the state medical cannabis protection amendment that later became enacted and known as Rohrabacher-Farr, has died.
http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/2017/11/22/breaking-maurice-hinchey-former-ny-representative-dead-79/890412001/

The U.S. House bill to remove the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to 40.
https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1810/cosponsors?pageSort=lastToFirst

 

STATES

Here’s a look at what new Colorado marijuana regulations going into effect on January 1 mean for business and consumers.
http://www.thecannabist.co/2017/11/21/colorado-marijuana-enforcement-division-new-rules-2018/92884/
The state’s former “marijuana czar” spoke about lessons learned from implementing legalization.
http://www.krdo.com/news/top-stories/marijuana-mistake/660945084

Here’s a look at the prospects for legalizing marijuana in New Jersey in 2018.
http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/new-jersey/2017/11/24/marijuana-could-coming-new-jersey/849505001/

A Virginia senator prefiled a bill to remove a requirement of receiving federal assurances before exempting people from losing driver’s licenses as a punishment for marijuana possession.
http://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?181+sum+SB33

North Dakota regulators are accepting proposals for a medical cannabis track-and-trace system.
http://www.inforum.com/news/4363803-nd-health-department-wants-medical-marijuana-tracking-system-proposals

A licensed Connecticut medical cannabis producer is facing charges of diverting product to the illegal market.
http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/First-misuse-of-medical-marijuana-heading-to-court-12378460.php

 

LOCAL

Here’s a look at how Dallas County, Texas plans to implement a new “cite and release” program for people caught with marijuana after December 1.
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2017/11/22/happens-peoplecaught-marijuana-dallas-dec-1

 

INTERNATIONAL

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said she thinks it’s important to “continue to fight the war against drugs.”
http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/9851d847-d695-4764-b919-29948da956af?in=12:30:17
//
http://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2017/november/prime-ministers-questions-22-november-2017/

A Canadian Supreme Court case on government-run alcohol monopolies could have implications for the soon-to-be-legal marijuana market.
https://globalnews.ca/news/3876894/provincial-marijuana-monopoly/

Officials from Caribbean nations met to discuss marijuana policy issues.
http://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/156472

 

SCIENCE & HEALTH

An article in JAMA Internal Medicine says that marijuana’s high makes it hard to do blind studies on its effects.
https://www.marijuanamoment.net/marijuanas-high-makes-blind-studies-difficult/

 

BUSINESS

Cannabis Business Executive canceled a planned Washington, D.C. conference.
https://www.cannabisbusinessexecutive.com/2017/11/know-hold-em-know-fold-em/

Here’s a look at the marijuana industry’s ongoing banking issues.
http://www.aspendailynews.com/section/home/177362

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Secret Sessions cannabis meeting busted open (Newsletter: Dec. 14, 2017)

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Another fed survey: Teen use down since legalization; Feds warn VT over safe injection sites; Norway decriminalizing drugs


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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Thanks to some high-tech sleuthing and the fact that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions inadvertently showed a meeting agenda to a TV camera, we now know what he and a group of anti-marijuana activists discussed behind closed doors last week.

Another federally-funded survey found that despite a slight annual uptick in youth marijuana use, consumption levels are generally lower than when states began legalizing cannabis in 2012.

 

/ FEDERAL

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) introduced legislation to continue federal funding levels and policy riders like the state medical cannabis protections through January 19.

The U.S. attorney in Vermont warned a county state’s attorney over her endorsement of safe injection facilities for illegal drugs, saying it sends the “wrong message to children in Vermont: the government will help you use heroin.”

  • “Of equal importance, the proposed SIFs would violate several federal criminal laws, including those prohibiting use of narcotics and maintaining a premises for the purpose of narcotics use. It is a crime, not only to use illicit narcotics, but to manage and maintain sites on which such drugs are used and distributed. Thus, exposure to criminal charges would arise for users and SIF workers and overseers. The properties that host SIFs would also be subject to federal forfeiture.”

The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Justice has adopted some, but not all, previous recommendations to reduce the prison population by pursuing alternatives to incarceration for low-level nonviolent crimes.

Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) said he supports letting states set their own marijuana laws and that legalization comes with “the possibility to create jobs.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted about marijuana again.

Two Michigan men pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to bribe local officials to get approval to open a medical cannabis dispensary.

Anthony Clark, a Democratic congressional candidate in Illinois, supports legalizing marijuana.

 

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) reportedly said he has no problem with medical cannabis.

Here’s a look at decisions Massachusetts regulators made this week about marijuana legalization implementation.

Maine regulators are threatening to crack down on processors that make cannabis edibles and tinctures.

An Arizona senator filed legislation to restrict outdoor marijuana advertising.

North Dakota regulators held a meeting to take public input on proposed medical cannabis rules.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday. In a related development, a company that failed to win a medical marijuana business license sued regulators.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Thursday.

Alaska regulators will discuss marijuana testing next week.

Maryland lawmakers filed several bills to tweak the state’s medical cannabis program.

 

/ LOCAL

Cook, County Illinois commissioners unanimously voted to place a nonbinding marijuana legalization question on the March primary ballot.

Las Vegas, Nevada officials held a public meeting to discuss proposed regulations on marijuana social use areas.

 

/ INTERNATIONAL

The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has recommended not scheduling cannabidiol under international conventions.

Norway is decriminalizing drugs.

The Trump administration appears to be prioritizing drug and immigration enforcement over human rights and democracy concerns in Honduras.

 

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A survey found that “most pediatric oncology providers are willing to consider [medical cannabis] use in children with cancer.

A study concluded that “components of cannabis, including THC, may decelerate peripheral monocyte processes that are implicated in HIV-associated neuroinflammation.”

 

/ BUSINESS

MassRoots founder Isaac Dietrich successfully engineered the departure of board members who ousted him as CEO earlier this year and reinstalled himself at the helm of the company. (Full disclosure: I am  a former employee and minority shareholder.)

Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the threat that federal civil RICO suits pose for marijuana businesses.

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CO won’t cooperate with feds, governor candidate says (Newsletter: Dec. 13. 2017)

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MA equity rules OKed; ME implementation legislation;NM MMj enrollment way up;  New CO sales data

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), a candidate for Colorado governor, says that if he is elected he will not allow state resources to be used to assist with any federal marijuana crackdown against people following state laws.

Massachusetts regulators approved proposed rules on ensuring that people from communities targeted by the war on drugs get priority consideration for marijuana business licenses.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a law that recently generated criticism over a perception that it prevents federal drug agents from cracking down on suspicious opioid shipments.

The U.S Department of Justice is increasing enforcement against doctors who over-prescribe opioids.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) spoke on the House floor about congressional interference with Washington, D.C.’s marijuana laws and other policies.

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to 57.

/ STATES

Colorado regulators announced that they will begin releasing monthly marijuana sales data. Until now, news organizations compiled projections based on reported tax revenue.

Maine lawmakers are making another attempt at passing marijuana legalization implementation legislation following a gubernatorial veto.

Guam lawmakers will hold a hearing on medical cannabis implementation legislation on Thursday.

Alaska regulators projected that marijuana taxes will generate $9.1 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2018.

Enrollment in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program grew by 77% in the last year.

A Florida judge will hear a request for an injunction on a law that calls for issuing a medical cannabis license to a black farmer on Thursday.

New Hampshire senators prefiled a bills to allow medical cannabis dispensaries to open additional locations and to waive the requirement that medical marijuana patients have a three-month relationship with doctors if they are terminally ill.

Ohio’s deadline to submit medical cannabis processor business license applications is on Friday.

Pennsylvania regulators released an updated list of doctors certified to recommend medical cannabis.

/ LOCAL

Cook County, Illinois commissioners will decide on Wednesday whether to place a nonbinding marijuana legalization question on the March 20 primary ballot.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s mayor is calling on state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana.

The San Diego, California district attorney agreed to return cash that was seized from a medical cannabis business.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Canadian senator says he is introducing a motion for the body to hear from government representatives about the marijuana legalization bill in early February.

/ ADVOCACY

Prohibitionist group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy put up a billboard about marijuana-related traffic deaths.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a court motion suppress evidence against 18 people charged with drug possession after being searched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in New Hampshire.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A survey found that support for legalizing marijuana in Uruguay has increased since the country ended prohibition.

The Orange County Register editorial board is calling on Congress to pass legislation respecting state marijuana laws.

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Teen cannabis use down in legal states, fed data shows (Newsletter: Dec. 12, 2017)

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OH 2018 legalization measure details; Congressman speaks at dispensary opening; MA social use areas approved

 

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New federal data shows that teen use of marijuana is trending downward in most states with legalization.

Ohio advocates launched a proposed 2018 marijuana legalization ballot measure.

 

/ FEDERAL

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) spoke at the opening of a medical cannabis dispensary.

Former Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT) started a company to conduct research on CBD medical cannabis.

Utah State Sen. Brian Shiozawa (R), who sponsored successful legislation to increase medical cannabis research, is resigning to take a job at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will decry Congress’s interference in Washington, DC’s marijuana laws and other policies in a House floor speech on Tuesday.

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted that “we cannot allow federal funds to be used to go after marijuana businesses.”

 

/ STATES

Massachusetts regulators approved proposed rules allowing marijuana social use businesses and setting licensing tiers for cannabis businesses.

A consultant hired to score Ohio medical cannabis business license applications worked for businesses owned by a company awarded one of the licenses.

North Dakota regulators are holding hearings this month to collect public feedback on medical cannabis implementation.

California officials proposed an emergency regulation on marijuana tax collection.

 

/ LOCAL

Syracuse, New York Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) said she supports legalizing marijuana.

Denver, Colorado officials are reviewing the city’s first application for a marijuana social use permit.

The Hartford, Connecticut City Council approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

 

/ INTERNATIONAL

Here’s a look at Canada’s options for maintaining — or breaking — compliance with international drug treaties while legalizing marijuana. In a related development, the federal government agreed to provide more cannabis tax revenue to provinces than originally proposed.

Bermuda’s House of Assembly passed a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Malta’s health minister says he expects medical cannabis regulations to go into effect in February.

 

/ ADVOCACY

Servicios de la Raza and the Marijuana Industry Group released a video to educate non-citizens on the implications of federal marijuana prohibition on their ability to stay in the U.S.

 

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that state medical cannabis laws are “associated with decreases in marijuana and other drugs in early adolescence in those states.”

A review concluded that “recent randomized, placebo-controlled trials with cannabidiol support its efficacy in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.”

A study on the effects of state medical cannabis laws found that “for men, there is a statistically significant 2.3% increase in the rate of cardiac death following passage” and “for women, there is a 1.3% increase that is also statistically significant.”

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will study the effects of marijuana on children with autism.

 

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 77% of Georgia Republican voters support medical cannabis.

 

/ BUSINESS

Colorado retailers sold nearly $121.6 million in marijuana products in October.

Marijuana Business Daily looks at the risks federal civil RICO lawsuits pose for cannabis businesses.

Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s takeover bid for CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. may have violated securities laws, the latter says.

 

/CULTURE     

Actor Cheech Marin appears in a PSA about California’s new system to registering marijuana businesses.

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