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GOP congressman explains legal cannabis vote (Newsletter: September 3, 2020)

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Polls: Big support for MS medical marijuana & DC psychedelics ballot measures; NORML helps draft impaired driving bill; CA cannabis & CBD bills update

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A newly released poll shows that Mississippi voters strongly support medical cannabis and are poised to approve an activist-driven initiative in November over a competing, more restrictive one placed on the ballot by lawmakers.

A new survey found that three out of five Washington, D.C. likely voters support a measure on the November ballot to decriminalize psychedelics in the nation’s capital.

In a new podcast, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) explains why he’ll vote for a bill to federally legalize marijuana on the House floor this month despite concerns over social equity provisions he describes as “reparations” for the drug war.

  • “The federal government has lied to the American people for a generation about cannabis.”

As California’s legislative session came to a close this week, lawmakers passed bills on marijuana banking, taxes and appellations. But a proposal to regulate hemp-derived CBD in food, beverages, cosmetics and dietary supplements stalled.

NORML had a hand in drafting a new impaired driving bill in Congress, helping to make sure that only evidence-based standards will be used when it comes to determining whether motorists are under the influence of marijuana.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The racist War on Drugs is a failed experiment that has devastated communities of color.  It’s time to change these outdated laws and move toward transformative justice.”

Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) tweeted, “I’m proud to cosponsor this bold legislation. We can’t address systemic inequality in our criminal-legal system without serious efforts to decriminalize marijuana. Discriminatory drug enforcement is a deep source of injustice.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got six new cosponsors for a total of 93.

Oklahoma Democratic congressional candidate Danyell Lanier tweeted, “Next month, Congress will be voting on HR3884 #MOREAct.This bill would be a major step forward in the decriminalization of Marijuana at the Federal level. It would also empower states to implement programs that can encourage economic growth when it is urgently needed.”

/ STATES

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R), asked about the case of a woman serving a life sentence for cannabis, said, ““I don’t think that two ounces of marijuana should justify a lifelong sentence. However, I will also tell you that someone who is convicted of three different felonies, that is a problem.”

Utah Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Peterson tweeted, “A majority of Utahns passed ballot measures on fair voting districts, medical marijuana, and Medicaid expansion. But politicians immediately watered-down these laws. I will protect propositions.” He also tweeted, “Growing up, my mother suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. I’ve seen firsthand the unrelenting pain many Utahns live with on a daily basis. While she has not used medical marijuana, I believe in empowering Utahns and their doctors with choices to safely alleviate suffering.”

The Nebraska Supreme Court will livestream arguments in a case challenging a medical cannabis ballot measure on Thursday. Meanwhile, the sheriff who filed the lawsuit explained his reasons for doing so.

The Texas House Democratic Caucus tweeted about a representative discussing the prospects for marijuana decriminalization in the next session.

The Oregon campaign to legalize psilocybin therapy launched an educational video about their ballot measure.

Arizona petitioners for Kanye West’s presidential campaign are reportedly using misleading tactics that imply people are signing petitions to support legalizing marijuana in order to get signatures to qualify the rapper for the ballot.

Guam regulators released proposed marijuana rules.

Washington State regulators amended rules on which entities must qualify for marijuana licenses.

California regulators released modified proposed rules for comparable-to-organic standards for marijuana.

Massachusetts’s attorney general announced that applications are open for two seats on the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.


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 Fayetteville, Arkansas City Council will consider a proposal to decriminalize marijuana on Thursday.

Los Angeles, California’s marijuana social equity program is the target of a new lawsuit.

The Sacramento, California City Council postponed a vote on approving marijuana dispensary licenses for minority-owned businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said decriminalizing drugs is “not a silver bullet” solution to the overdose crisis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “no significant differences in pedestrian-involved fatal motor vehicle crashes between legalized cannabis states and control states following medical or recreational cannabis legalization.”

A review concluded that “cannflavins demonstrate a number of promising therapeutic properties, most notably as an anti-inflammatory agent.”

The Beckley Foundation is conducting a survey on psychedelics as pain management options, with a particular focus on microdosing.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Drug Policy Alliance is hiring a chief operating officer and a managing director of communications.

/ BUSINESS

Eaze rolled out an expanded menu in Los Angeles featuring black- and people of color-owned brands, and launched a social equity partners program intended to assist and elevate equity license holders.

Weedmaps launched a docuseries on California’s challenges in implementing marijuana legalization.

The founder and president of Ample Organics resigned and sent a scathing letter about the leadership of Akerna, which acquired the company earlier this year.

An attorney who served as CEO of CWNevada has been charged with allegedly writing $400,000 worth of bad checks.

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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.)

Newsletter

AL & KS approve medical cannabis bills (Newsletter: May 7, 2021)

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TX House passes psychedelics research bill; WI lawmakers kill gov’s marijuana plan; Lawmakers want protections for colleges studying cannabis

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Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Alabama lawmakers sent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) supports medical marijuana but it will now have to go through the Senate to get her desk, and time is short in the session.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the state to study the benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA for military veterans with PTSD. It now heads to the Senate.

The Republican-led Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin legislature voted to strip Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) marijuana legalization and medical cannabis provisions from the budget.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) are calling on congressional leaders to include a rider protecting universities from losing funding for researching marijuana in an upcoming spending bill.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration published annual data on its marijuana eradication efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Legislators in New York not only legalized marijuana—but also ensured restorative justice for those harmed by the War on Drugs. This is a model for how we should deal with this issue in Congress. I will keep working to end the federal marijuana prohibition.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) touted his work to legalize hemp.

A spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, amid reports that a federal investigation is looking into his work on cannabis legislation, that he “has never accepted a gift or any other thing of value in exchange for his work on marijuana policy.”

Former Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D-IN) published an op-ed calling for the establishment of a national commission to examine marijuana issues.

/ STATES

Georgia’s  lieutenant governor appointed members to the Medical Cannabis Commission Oversight Committee.

Virginia’s attorney general touted successful marijuana reforms in his annual report.

A South Carolina senator said there is an agreement to debate and pass his medical cannabis bill in January.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will hold a hearing on several marijuana bills on Tuesday.

Colorado Senate Republicans congratulated a lawmaker for passing legislation to increase medical cannabis access in schools.

New Mexico regulators said they will stop charging sales taxes on some medical cannabis purchases, but that purchase limits and plant counts won’t immediately increase.

A Missouri appeals court heard arguments on whether regulators should let a rejected medical cannabis business license applicant access their full archive of applications.

Washington State regulators will host a listen and learn session about draft conceptual rules for background checks on cannabis applicants or licensees on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Former Calexico, California officials were sentenced to two years in federal prison for taking bribes in exchange for “guaranteeing” a permit for a cannabis business.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The European Commission added cannabigerol as an approved ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis, mostly oil products, was used by one-fifth of children with cancer during or after the completion of cancer treatment.”

A study “showed that participants felt more awe in response to videos representing funny animals and moving objects in the [psilocybin] microdosing compared to the placebo condition.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is selling marijuana-themed merch.

/ BUSINESS

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $42.9 million.

Illinois dispensaries sold more than $35 million worth of medical cannabis in April.

/ CULTURE

Family Feud had a question about confusing marijuana with other objects.

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TN sends limited medical cannabis bill to governor (Newsletter: May 6, 2021)

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CO gov signs medical marijuana bill for schools; MN legalization advances again; French lawmakers displays joint in Parliament

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Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

If you value Marijuana Moment, invest in our success on Patreon so we can expand our coverage and more readers can benefit: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill requiring schools to store medical cannabis for use by students who need it. Lawmakers also recently sent separate legislation to his desk that will double the amount of marijuana that is legal to possess.

Tennessee lawmakers sent Gov. Bill Lee (R) legislation to add new low-THC medical cannabis qualifying conditions and create a commission to study enacting a more robust medical marijuana program if federal law changes.

The Minnesota House Taxes Committee approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. That’s 11 committee approvals so far, and there’s just one more to go before it’ll be on the floor this month.

A French lawmaker caused a stir by waving around a marijuana joint on the floor of the National Assembly as a new parliamentary report recommended that the county legalize cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

Marijuana business owners testified in the federal trial against a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and other federal agencies are accepting grant applications to support research on the “effects of changes in the legal status of cannabis on health-related behaviors and outcomes” and the “effects of variations in the legal provisions applicable to legalized cannabis.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he’s “putting together the final touches” on his federal marijuana legalization bill and that “you’ll see it very soon.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act is not only an economic bill, it’s about equity too. This bill will make it easier for cannabis entrepreneurs without wealthy friends and families to get banking services and loans they need to get their businesses off the ground.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) wrote about his support for marijuana reform in a constituent letter.

The House bill to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

/ STATES

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) commuted the sentence of a man serving a 22-year prison sentence for a marijuana crime.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Doylestown is the latest Pennsylvania municipality to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Municipalities shouldn’t have to do this individually; instead, our state legislature should pass comprehensive marijuana reform, including legalization.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Legalizing and taxing marijuana, much like we do with alcohol, just makes sense. Doing so would generate an estimated $165M in revenue for our state starting in 2022, and now—as we recover from #COVID19—is not the time to be leaving dollars on the table.”

Kansas’s House majority leader said it will be “pretty tough” to pass a medical cannabis bill this year, though the chamber does plan to debate the legislation on Thursday.

The New Jersey Assembly Health Committee approved a bill to change ownership restrictions for medical cannabis businesses.

The Idaho Senate approved a bill to prohibit marijuana advertising that advocates say could also silence cannabis policy reform efforts.

A Utah bill allowing more providers to recommend medical cannabis took effect.

California regulators are extending the public comment period on proposed safe harbor warnings for marijuana smoke and THC exposures.

Colorado regulators sent a bulletin on new marijuana testing and decontamination rules.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about annual financial statements that medical cannabis businesses must file.

Mississippi regulators will hold a hearing on proposed medical cannabis testing rules on Tuesday.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Technical Assistance & Mentorship Workgroup will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Durham, North Carolina police released data on misdemeanor marijuana enforcement.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol confers neuroprotection in rats in a model of transient global cerebral ischemia.”

A study identified “a disparity between the common terms used by researchers in academia and those used by cannabis consumers.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project hired a director of social equity and inclusion.

/ BUSINESS

Credit Suisse Group AG said it will no longer execute transactions in shares of marijuana companies with U.S. operations or hold them on behalf of clients.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s cannabis-focused Hawthorne unit reported quarterly net sales of $364 million.

Jushi Holdings Inc. closed its acquisition of Dalitso LLC.

Sundial Growers Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire Inner Spirit.

Massachusetts retailers have now sold more than $1.5 billion worth of legal marijuana since sales began.

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AL House filibusters medical cannabis (Newsletter: May 5, 2021)

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AG Garland talks marijuana; KS medical cannabis bill advances to floor; IA asks DEA for federal marijuana guarantees

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Attorney General Merrick Garland reiterated during a House hearing that he does not think going after people who use marijuana in compliance with state laws is a good use of Justice Department resources.

A Senate-passed medical cannabis bill got filibustered on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives. A small number of opponents ran out the clock on the legislative day so that a vote could not be held, but supporters hope it will be brought back up on Thursday.

The Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee amended and approved a medical cannabis bill. Advocates are hopeful it can pass the legislature within the next few days as part of the veto session.

The Iowa Department of Public Health formally requested that the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal agencies guarantee protections for the state’s medical cannabis program participants after Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) was sued by an activist over her administration’s inaction.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case on the impact of sentencing reform legislation on certain people with drug convictions.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Drug Enforcement Administration hemp regulations.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse posted updated information about its marijuana cultivation contract with the University of Mississippi.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) filed a bill that includes provisions to clean up land and water damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote about his support for marijuana banking legislation in a constituent letter.

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) tweeted, “Veterans across the country continue to suffer from chronic pain & PTSD as a result of their service, and too many are being lost to opioid overdose & suicide here at home. We owe it to them to pursue alternative treatment that could be safer & more effective. There remains a need for increased research & trials on cannabis as an alternative treatment. Our bill will help ensure that the VA moves forward with these studies expeditiously. Proud to join colleagues in this bipartisan, bicameral effort.”

/ STATES

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill to provide grant funding to marijuana social equity business license applicants.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner said she is concerned that the scandal involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) could leave a “bad taint” on the marijuana industry.

Colorado lawmakers sent Gov. Jared Polis (D) a bill to double the legal marijuana possession limit to two ounces.

The Tennessee Senate approved a limited medical cannabis bill, with a House vote expected on Wednesday.

Illinois lawmakers are filing legislation to add new marijuana retail licenses with a focus on increasing minority ownership in the industry.

The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission is considering a complaint filed by activists who allege that a sheriff committed a felony by failing to disclose who paid for his successful lawsuit to remove a medical cannabis measure from last year’s ballot.

A New Mexico judge ruled that regulators must restore reciprocity to out-of-state medical cannabis patients. Separately, the top medical marijuana regulator said patients should not expect purchase limits to be expanded.

New Wisconsin hemp rules went into effect.

Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board is hiring an executive director.

New Jersey regulators met to accept public comment on social equity issues.

Subcommittees of the Oregon Cannabis Commission will meet on Wednesday.

Michigan regulators will host a marijuana social equity business resource workshop on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 mayor filed legislation to change regulations for marijuana social equity businesses.

Ardmore, Oklahoma police are investigating a shooting during a robbery at a medical cannabis dispensary that left the suspect dead.

Oakland, California’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Swiss National Council’s Health Committee advanced a parliamentary initiative to engage the Federal Council in drafting legislation allowing legal marijuana markets.

The European Union’s Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction published an overview of newly enacted U.S. marijuana laws.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “due to its wide range of pharmacological activities (e.g., antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties), CBD is considered a multimodal drug for the treatment of a range of neurodegenerative disorders, and various cancer types, including neoplasms of the neural system.”

Scientists developed a method that “predicts hallucinogenic potential” of compounds using a fluorescent sensor.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Consumers League launched a public service announcement raising concerns about CBD products.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. completed its acquisition of Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness, LLC.

Jushi Holdings Inc. closed on its acquisition of two California marijuana dispensaries.

TerrAscend Corp. completed its acquisition of HMS Health, LLC and HMS Processing, LLC from Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. sued Terphogz LLC for allegedly violating the Skittles trademark with its Zkittlez product and marketing.

BDSA and Apex Trading launched a cannabis wholesale pricing data product.

/ CULTURE

The Florida State Boxing Commission removed marijuana from its prohibited substances list.

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