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GOP congressman visits cannabis store with busload of senior citizens (Newsletter: Oct. 17, 2018)

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Dem’s memo on passing marijuana bills in 2019; ND legalization oppo outraises supporters; Senator congratulates Canada on legalization

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  • Chris Hager: “As an attorney representing people victimized by civil rights violations at work and outside of work, I am certain that the legalization of marijuana will continue to challenge our society’s norms and progress. I look to use my legal skills and commitment to representing people to further that crucial progress. I look forward to seeing your newsletter and updates.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) issued a memo to his party’s leadership laying out a step-by-step process for how they can pass marijuana legislation in 2019 should they control one or both chambers of Congress.

The congressman is also filing legislation addressing border-related cannabis issues in light of Canada’s legalization law going into effect on Wednesday.

In less than a week, the Food and Drug Administration has already received more than 2,000 submissions in response to its request for cannabis rescheduling comments. Marijuana Moment compiled some of the best (and worst).

New North Dakota campaign finance filings show that supporters of the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure are being heavily outraised by prohibitionists.

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued a statement celebrating Canada’s marijuana legalization policy going into effect.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) took time to accompany a literal busload of senior citizens on their trip to a marijuana dispensary.

/ FEDERAL

A Customs and Border Protection official said that a Canadian move to grant pardons for past marijuana offenses wouldn’t necessarily shield those individuals from being denied entry into the U.S.

The head of the U.S. Consulate in Calgary met with local business leaders to discuss Canada’s legalization of marijuana.

The National Transportation Safety Board is calling on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop standards for devices police can use  test drivers for drug impairment on the roadside.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted, “Reason #6 why you should vote: to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Too many lives have been ruined because of our regressive policies.”

Rep. Dan Donovan (R) and Democratic challenger Max Rose debated marijuana policy reform.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) said he’s hopeful for the prospects of marijuana law reform if Democrats take control of Congress.

/ STATES

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation prohibiting marijuana-infused alcoholic beverages.

New Mexico gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy reform.

Rhode Island regulators added autism spectrum disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Four New York Assembly committees held a joint hearing on marijuana legalization.

Vermont’s Opioid Coordination Council said it is “virtually impossible” to open a safe injection site for illegal drug consumers due to legal obstacles.

Louisiana’s first medical cannabis crop is being harvested this week.

Utah Democratic lawmakers will hold a town hall meeting on medical cannabis next week.

Ohio regulators extended the deadline for medical cannabis processor license applicants to submit clarifications on their plans.

Arkansas regulators met to discuss scoring of medical cannabis dispensary license applications and a change in ownership by a cultivation licensee.

Guam regulators made medical cannabis license applications available.

Kentucky regulators held an informational session about applying for industrial hemp licenses.

/ LOCAL

Chicago, Illinois Democratic mayoral candidate Paul Vallas said the city should demand half of the tax revenue from any marijuana sales in city after legalization.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government will launch a process to grant pardons to people with past convictions for simple possession of marijuana under 30 grams. Separately, a former Canadian army captain who was in the U.S. waiting to get a green card after marrying an American woman has spent the past 75 days detained because of a decades-old marijuana conviction for which he was pardoned in Canada.

A Thai lawmaker said that the vast majority of members of the public who have weighed in on potential marijuana legislation support reform.

/ ADVOCACY

The Michigan Republican Party criticized Democratic gubernatorial nominee Gretchen Whitmer for supporting marijuana legalization and greater restrictions on tobacco.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “It’s important to remember that this future billion dollar industry was opposed by Republicans like Susana Martinez because they couldn’t understand the difference between hemp and marijuana.”

The Marijuana Policy Project published new voter guides for Illinois, South Carolina and Vermont.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Almost half of the most popular hip-hop and R & B music videos depict marijuana or tobacco consumption, a new study found.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Utah voters narrowly support the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure, 51%-45%.

A poll found that U.S. likely voters support drug testing lawmakers in their state, 65%-26%.

/ BUSINESS

Terra Tech placed ads in the Wall Street Journal and on Fox & Friends urging President Trump to support marijuana reform.

Acreage Holdings is adding former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to its board of directors.

The CEO of Starbucks Corp. said the company has no plans to enter the marijuana industry.

Poynter looks at parts of the marijuana media landscape.

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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.)

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Cannabis banking senator wants dispensary welfare ban (Newsletter: August 2, 2021)

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RI speaker: “no consensus” on legal marijuana; OH legalization bill filed; CA lawmaker pushes feds on cannabis in hospitals; Hemp lawsuit damages

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)—who is the lead GOP cosponsor of cannabis banking legislation—filed a new bill that has a provision that would prevent people from accessing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits at marijuana dispensaries. The relevant section of the legislation is titled, “Welfare For Needs Not Weed.”

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there’s still “no consensus” on the details for marijuana legalization between the two legislative chambers and the governor, but it’s “workable” to reach a deal on the “priority” issue by a potential fall special session.

Ohio lawmakers formally introduced a new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana sales—the first-ever filed in the state legislature. Meanwhile, activists are also pursuing statewide and local cannabis ballot measures.

A California senator is asking to meet with the federal secretary of health and human services and Medicare and Medicaid officials to get clarity on whether hospitals that let terminally ill patients use medical marijuana risk losing their funding.

A Montana jury awarded $65 million in damages—the second-highest amount ever in the state—to 25 hemp farmers who say they were victims of negligence, fraud and deceit perpetrated by American and Canadian businessmen who failed to fulfill contracts.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prisoners who were released to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic—including some with marijuana convictions—will have to go back behind bars under a decision made by Biden administration lawyers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a medical cannabis business owner’s appeal of federal drug convictions, ruling that he did not comply with Michigan law.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC.) filed a bill to expand eligibility for expungement for first-time, low-level federal drug possession offenses.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Marijuana reform is backed by Americans of all backgrounds, in red states and blue states. We can come together to get this done.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about the growth in support of her psychedelics research amendment from the last vote on it two years ago.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) tweeted about the Westchester, New York district attorney dismissing marijuana cases, saying, “Grateful for @WestchesterDA’s bold leadership in taking this long-overdue step to end the racist war on drugs in Westchester. Congress needs to follow her lead and legalize cannabis nationwide.”

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he still opposes legalizing marijuana.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the state’s agriculture commissioner, responded to an op-ed from two lawmakers, saying, “It’s long past time to right the wrongs when it comes to historic discrimination against farmers of color, including the state’s medical marijuana licensing.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham tweeted about an editorial cartoon that joked about his support for cannabis reform, saying, “Love it! But in all seriousness, ending the prohibition of marijuana is no joke. It’ll provide a safer alternative to opioids, end the racial disparities in our drug laws, bring in hundreds of millions in new revenue each year & allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime!”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a city’s right to not enter into a host community agreement with a marijuana retail operation, but urged lawmakers to consider how the local approval process may be preventing the state from meeting its equity goals.

Missouri activists said they need to fix a clerical issue with their recently filed marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Washington, D.C.’s police chief reiterated his views about marijuana sales being tied to violence.

Oklahoma medical cannabis regulators are being sued for allegedly violating open meeting laws.

Colorado regulators are holding work group meetings this month to inform implementation of new marijuana rules.

Arkansas regulators issued guidelines for homemade hemp food production.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on revised proposed marijuana rules on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

The Arcata, California City Council’s Public Safety Committee advanced a measure to decriminalize psychedelics.

The Santa Fe County, New Mexico Commission approved marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Cayman Islands’s deputy premier said the government is committed to decriminalizing marijuana possession, but not full legalization.

Belize’s minister of home affairs said establishing a legal marijuana industry is a practical move that would bring benefits in several areas.

An Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly committee held a hearing on a drug decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “most respondents report cannabis is very or somewhat helpful for their” multiple sclerosis.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mississippi voters oppose the state Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the voter-approved medical cannabis measure, 68 percent to 28 percent.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board said city officials should not allow marijuana businesses in the central business district.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to reject MJ Munchies Inc.’s request to register “Half-Baked” as a trademark.

4Front Ventures Corp’.s co-founder and Mission Dispensaries President Kris Krane is stepping down from his full-time job with the company.

Jushi Holdings Inc. received a $14.4 million arbitration award in a dispute against San Felasco Nurseries, Inc.

A securities violations case against former CannTrust Holdings Inc. executives has been remanded until September 20.

The Parent Company announced that certain insiders voluntarily entered into lock-up agreements with respect to their shares.

Emjay launched a marijuana delivery app on iOs.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. and Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences completed the first of three collaborative studies to research the chemical profile of full spectrum hemp extracts.

/ CULTURE

Soulja Boy launched his own cannabis brand.

The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is endorsing congressional legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

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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 approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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  • David Strouse: “I’m glad I found you. Your legislation tracker was exactly what I was looking for.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


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

The Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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Conflicting cannabis amendments cleared for House votes (Newsletter: July 29, 2021)

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Support grows for AOC’s psychedelics reform; New CO marijuana business office; FL officials slam OR hemp & say buy local

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  • Shawna Seldon McGregor of Maverick Public Relations: “As a political junkie, I’ve been reading Marijuana Moment for years. Now as so many legislative issues are heating up, I’m turning to the website for the latest news on policy movement. I’m long overdue in pledging my support. Bonus: I’m also excited to take advantage of the legislative tracking tools.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee advanced competing marijuana amendments to the floor for votes. One would shield all state legalization laws from federal interference, while another would delete existing medical cannabis protections. Those votes could take place as soon as Thursday.

A new Marijuana Moment analysis looks at how even though Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) psychedelics research amendment fell short on the House floor this week, support grew considerably from the last time it was voted on in 2019. We examine how the advancement of state psychedelics legislation likely flipped a number of votes, and how some Democratic leaders are still not on board with the reform.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced the launch of a new Cannabis Business Office aimed at providing economic support for the state’s marijuana industry—with a focus on social equity.

  • “Where the federal government has fallen behind, Colorado will lead. Colorado is, and always has been, the best place to live, work, grow and sell cannabis.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services put out an alert warning consumers about poor quality hemp products from Oregon that contain “rocks, sticks and other foreign material.” People should buy hemp with “Fresh From Florida” logos instead, they say.

/ FEDERAL

The acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reiterated President Joe Biden’s position that no one should be incarcerated for drug use alone.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and we are pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about the need to federally legalize marijuana.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “Thank you @BrooklynDA for dismissing 3,500 marijuana cases following legalization by NY state. This is an important step in remedying all the harm inflicted on our communities by the so called ‘war on drugs.'”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the drug war’s harms got seven new cosponsors for a total of 59.

/ STATES

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor said senators should have a draft medical cannabis bill next week.

Oklahoma’s public safety secretary said the medical cannabis industry needs to be more tightly regulated.

The Arizona Supreme Court publicized an event to help people expunge marijuana charges.

New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on law enforcement issues related to marijuana legalization. Separately, regulators will host a cannabis entrepreneur informational workshop on Thursday.

A lawsuit challenging Illinois marijuana business licensing rules was dropped by the plaintiff, and regulators are set to hold the first of three lotteries on Thursday. A judge in a separate case, however, said no licenses can be awarded until an August 9 hearing.

Nevada regulators shared updated mask guidelines with marijuana businesses.

Oregon’s Cannabis Commission met.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Israeli lawmakers rejected a bill to decriminalize marijuana and reclassify CBD as a food additive.

Australia’s federal police commissioner said legalizing drugs “will not stop organised crime— it will likely embolden them, make them richer and enable them to buy more guns and pay for more murders.”

Gabon’s sovereign wealth fund is investigating how to monetize interest in ibogaine.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on whether external stress is a factor in “hot hemp” found “no evidence that any of these stresses caused THC concentration or the ratio of THC to CBD to increase at harvest.”

A study of bees found that “hemp supplementation positively influences the immune system of workers, and the appropriate method of administration may be adapted to the health problems of bees.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Governors Association noted how a number of governors discussed marijuana during their state of the state addresses this year.

Decriminalize Nature launched a new campaign it says is intended to expose corporate influences seeking to undermine access to psychedelic plants and fungi.

The executive director of Minority Veterans of America authored an op-ed calling for marijuana reform.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $142.2 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation ended its relationship with Seth Rogen’s Houseplant brand.

GoDaddy refused technical support to cannabis news outlet Heady NJ because its website “shows marijuana imagery.”

Frankenmuth Credit Union launched a cannabis banking program.

A subsidiary of Avicanna Inc. completed its first export of THC cannabis extracts from Colombia to Austria.

/ CULTURE

Actor Colin Hanks is partnering with Jushi Holdings Inc. to bring his Hanks Kerchiefs to the company’s BEYOND / HELLO marijuana retail stores.

Football player Julio Jones is being sued by cannabis company Genetixs for alleged fraud and money laundering.

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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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