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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

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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New NE medical cannabis measure filed after court loss (Newsletter: September 29, 2020)

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3 state lieutenant govs share marijuana advice; AMA campaigns against MS medical cannabis measure; New handbook on how to decriminalize psychedelics

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Nebraska medical cannabis activists—whose measure was removed from November’s ballot by the state Supreme Court because the justices determined it violated the single-subject rule—are filing a new initiative for 2022 that simply states:

  • “Persons in the State of Nebraska shall have the right to cannabis in all its forms for medical purposes.”

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) hosted a marijuana chat with Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton (D) and Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist (D), during which the legalization state officials gave advice on how to navigate cannabis legislation—including a focus on social equity.

The American Medical Association is partnering with the Mississippi State Medical Association to urge the state’s voters to reject a medical cannabis initiative on the November ballot.

The psychedelics reform group Decriminalize Nature released a 123-page guidebook for how to enact local laws lessening the criminalization of entheogens. It includes model legislation, press release templates and sample educational emails to send to lawmakers.

/ FEDERAL

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s campaign rejected President Trump’s call to take a drug test before the debates, saying the Democrat “intends to deliver his debate answers in words. If the president thinks his best case is made in urine he can have at it.” Trump responded, “Joe Biden just announced that he will not agree to a Drug Test. Gee, I wonder why?”

A federal judge ruled that workers in Pennsylvania can sue employers for alleged discrimination against their use of medical cannabis.

The Internal Revenue Service filed a brief asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to dismiss a case from Harborside Health Center appealing a ruling on the 280E tax provision.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and four cosponsors filed a resolution that includes a provision criticizing the imprisonment of the Philippine vice president over her advocacy against that nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s cancellation of the November election for her seat that was triggered by the death of the Legalize Marijuana Now Party’s candidate.

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mia Mason is hosting a series of four webinars to discuss marijuana reform issues.

/ STATES

Michigan’s attorney general opened an investigation into a group that allegedly misled voters into signing ballot petitions for a measure to reduce the governor’s powers by telling them it was for medical cannabis or other issues.

Texas’s agriculture commissioner toured a hemp farm.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands proposed an expansion of the state’s hemp pilot program.

Utah’s top medical cannabis regulator said patient enrollment is exceeding all expectations.

California regulators published information on how marijuana farmers can get access to disaster relief.

Rhode Island regulators published an annual report on the state’s medical cannabis program.

Maine regulators published guidance on marijuana business expense tax deductions.

New York regulators published information about hemp grower reporting requirements.

Ohio regulators are being sued over failure to act on a medical cannabis cultivation license application.

Wisconsin regulators posted an update on implementation of the state’s hemp program.

Colorado regulators published average market rates for marijuana.


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’s Cannabis Oversight Committee has several vacancies.

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted about how the state is “missing out” on “how cannabis-related tax revenues have helped fill budget gaps” in other places.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is part of a new poster campaign in favor of the country’s marijuana legalization referendum.

A New South Wales, Australia lawmaker is pushing to decriminalize marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review of studies on the impact of drug decriminalization policies found that “legal reform was most often not associated with changes in use.”

A study will examine the efficacy of CBD and cannabis for treating anxiety aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Pennsylvania voters support legalizing marijuana, 58%-35%.

Drug policy reform funder David Bronner published a post explaining his decision to no longer financially support Decriminalize Nature’s national leadership.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana released a report purporting to show that legalization has not gone well in states that have enacted it.

/ BUSINESS

GW Pharmaceuticals and General Nutrition Centers both met separately with White House Office of Management and Budgets officials to discuss CBD regulatory issues.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced that its senior advisor resigned.

Acreage Holdings, Inc.  announced the opening of its first marijuana dispensary in downtown Chicago, Illinois.

/ CULTURE

A new documentary shows how former basketball player Lamar Odom therapeutically used psychedelics.

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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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House lists & cancels cannabis research vote (Newsletter: September 28, 2020)

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The marijuana election has already started; 1st NJ legalization ad & new poll; Mexican official gifted cannabis plant; VT Dems back drug decrim

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Wait a sec! I could use your help. We need more subscribers to ensure the best possible cannabis news coverage between now and the 2020 election. If you can kick in a few dollars a month, we’d have funding to increase our reporting capacity in these critical final months.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Democratic leaders briefly listed a bill to expand marijuana research—including by allowing scientists to study cannabis from dispensaries—in a group of legislation that could receive a floor vote this week. But, hours later, they deleted it. 

  • “It was just an error,” a spokesperson for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told Marijuana Moment. The scheduling snafu comes shortly after Democratic leaders delayed a vote on a separate federal legalization bill.

Election Day is November 3, but the marijuana election has already started in several early voting states. Marijuana Moment compiled information about how people can get registered and make their voices heard in key states with drug policy reform measures on the ballot.

The campaign to pass New Jersey’s marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot launched its first ad. Meanwhile, a new poll shows that 65% of likely voters back the cannabis measure.

A top Mexican government official accepted a gifted marijuana plant from a senator—and pledged to plant it in her own garden. Lawmakers are expected to pass legislation legalizing cannabis by mid-December.

The Vermont Democratic Party formally adopted a platform that calls for decriminalization of all drugs and the legalization of marijuana sales.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump tweeted, “I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night. Naturally, I will agree to take one also. His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???”

The White House tweeted, “[email protected] seized nearly twice as many hard drugs—narcotics that do not include marijuana—at the U.S.-Mexico border during President @realDonaldTrump’s first term than in the last administration’s two terms.”

The Food and Drug Administration said it needs more time to respond to a petition to allow CBD products as dietary supplements.

The Library of Congress published a post about a new French law allowing police to issue immediate fines for drug possession.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “Hemp holds so much potential for Oregon. Glad that OSU was able to receive this NIFA grant to move their program and our state forward. I’ll keep fighting for the federal support they need.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “New Jersey’s marijuana laws ruin lives and waste money. Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in New Jersey and it’s time to right this wrong.”

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Democratic challenger Mia Mason spoke about their differing views on marijuana policy.

Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate Antonia Eliason tweeted, “I want to see cannabis legalized recreationally and medically at a federal level. But right now, in Mississippi, we have a chance to take the first step and legalize medical marijuana. Vote for Initiative 65 NOT for Initiative 65A.”

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed a bill that would have sunsetted the Bureau of Cannabis Control.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) included updating the state’s hemp law in a list of priorities for a special legislative session.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) received a letter from attorneys representing successful marijuana social equity business license applicants who are concerned that a revised process could make it less likely they will be able to open their businesses.

New Jersey lawmakers sent Gov. Phil Murphy (D) a bill to allow medical cannabis recommendations via telemedicine.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Today marks one full year since @GovernorTomWolf and I called on our state’s legislature to earnestly examine legalizing adult-use cannabis. Why haven’t they gotten started? Please tell your state representatives and state senators to get started, now.”

The legal firm that brought a case that kicked a Nebraska medical cannabis initiative off the November ballot is refusing to disclose who paid for its work.

Massachusetts regulators adopted draft marijuana delivery rules.

Missouri regulators announced that a medical cannabis testing lab passed its commencement inspection and touted the speed with which the system is getting off the ground compared to those in other states.

A Colorado law allowing the governor to unilaterally pardon people for certain past marijuana convictions took effect.

Hawaiian regulators approved additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Georgia’s Access to Medical Cannabis Commission met.

Michigan regulators will hold a marijuana business resource workshop on Wednesday.


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 New York City Police Department is being sued for allegedly forcing an officer off the job for using medical cannabis.

The Sacramento, California City Council’s Law and Legislation Committee will consider steps to add 10 social equity marijuana dispensaries on Tuesday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that whole plant medical cannabis “does not have a widespread impact on cognition in older chronic pain patients.”

A study concluded that “prenatal cannabis exposure after maternal knowledge of pregnancy was associated with greater psychopathology during middle childhood, even after accounting for potentially confounding variables.”

/ BUSINESS

Nature’s Medicines and AMMA Investment Group are being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over allegations that a dispensary manager sexually harassed employees.

WeedMD Inc. secured a C$30 million loan from the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada.

The Supreme Cannabis Company, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $9.5 million and a net loss of $33.3 million.

Playboy launched a marijuana reform advocacy campaign.

/ CULTURE

Basketball player Malik Beasley was arrested on charges of possessing marijuana and receiving and concealing stolen property.

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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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Bill would let cannabis biz get disaster aid (Newsletter: September 25, 2020)

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New Congressional marijuana reports; CA cannabis-funded community grants; OR Dems back legal psilocybin & drug decrim; Cannabis sales spike amid COVID

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) filed companion bills to make marijuana businesses harmed by recent wildfires and other disasters eligible to receive federal relief funds on a retroactive basis.

Two new reports from the Congressional Research Service analyze marijuana expungements and cannabis-related consequences for immigrants.

The Democratic Party of Oregon endorsed two far-reaching drug policy reform measures on the state’s November ballot. One would legalize psilocybin therapy, and the other would decriminalize possession of all drugs and increase treatment funding.

The California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced it’s accepting applications for $30 million in grants—funded by marijuana tax revenue—to help communities targeted and harmed by the war on drugs.

A report from the Oregon  Office of Economic Analysis shows how marijuana sales during the coronavirus pandemic are way higher than previous projections and says that “expectations are that some of these increases will be permanent.”

  • “Factors leading to increases in sales include higher incomes due to federal support, increased stressors in everyday life, reductions in other forms of entertainment or recreational opportunities, and simply more time on one’s hand be it due to a COVID-related layoff, or increased working from home.”

/ FEDERAL

The death of Minnesota Legal Marijuana Now Party congressional candidate Adam Weeks means that a special election for the seat will have to be held in February and that no results from Election Day in November will be reported.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again slammed Democrats for mentioning cannabis more times than jobs in their coronavirus relief bill.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) criticized House leadership’s decision to delay a vote on a bill to federally legalize marijuana.

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) reported that roughly a tenth of constituent messages she received last week were about a marijuana legalization bill.

Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, “Why is it that kids and veterans in Tennessee who smoke marijuana have criminal records, but those who committed billions of dollars of fraud on Wall Street and wrecked our economy do not?”

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order extending the expiration date for medical cannabis cards to the end of the year.

Michigan lawmakers sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) legislation to streamline the process for  expunging marijuana and other convictions. Separately, regulators issued a health and safety advisory bulletin about the presence of Vitamin E acetate in cannabis vape cartridges.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Right here in Pennsylvania, we should be offering high-paying cannabis-related jobs in this growing industry. Pennsylvania needs action now. Contact your state legislators and advocate for change.”

Ohio’s attorney general tweeted about the state’s testing method to differentiate between hemp and marijuana.

Nevada regulators extended the expiration date for marijuana temporary agent cards.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee met.


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

Denver, Colorado officials are holding a marijuana licensing work group on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK officials rejected the European Commission’s preliminary finding that CBD should be regulated as a narcotic.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “30 percent of migraine patients in the U.S. have used cannabis to relieve migraine pain and 82 percent of those who used cannabis found it useful to reduce the pain level.”

A study of rats found that “Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol administration following repeated mild traumatic brain injury was beneficial to three of the six behavioural outcomes affected by injury (reducing anxiety and depressive-like behaviours while also mitigating injury-induced deficits in short-term working memory)” and that “Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol may have potential therapeutic benefit on post-concussive symptomology when administered post-injury, but not pre-injury.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Cannabis Industry Association announced the former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang will deliver a keynote address at its November virtual conference.

Decriminalize Nature made a Facebook post calling out psychedelic reform funder David Bronner for allegedly “resorting to divide and conquer tactics to control the Decriminalize Nature movement.”

The UK Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform and Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group endorsed legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing drugs.

/ BUSINESS

4Front Ventures Corp. announced it completed its sale of three Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries to Ethos Cannabis.

California regulators filed a complaint against Vertical Bliss, Inc., aka Kushy Punch for allegedly conducting unlicensed marijuana operations.

/ CULTURE

Actor Brian Cox said using marijuana helped get him through coronavirus lockdown.

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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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