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GOP rep withdraws DC psychedelics decrim block (Newsletter: July 16, 2020)

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CO proposes marijuana equity franchise model; USDA approves more hemp plans; Therapists want permission to dose themselves with psilocybin

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) introduced an amendment to block Washington, D.C.’s psychedelics decriminalization ballot measure and then withdrew it before a likely losing vote in the House Appropriations Committee. But he hinted he may try again later on the House floor or in conference committee.

Colorado regulators are proposing a model where marijuana social equity applicants could essentially be franchises of existing cannabis businesses. The program could help people harmed by the drug war get to market earlier, but some advocates are skeptical that upstart entrepreneurs could be taken advantage of by larger operators.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved hemp plans from Minnesota, Tennessee and Puerto Rico, bringing the total number of proposals from states, territories and Indian tribes that the federal government has signed off on to 53.

A group of psychedelic therapists are petitioning the Canadian government for permission to legally dose themselves with psilocybin in order to better understand and treat patients, some of whom have also formally requested an exemption to use the substance.

  • Few people “would advise going to a sex therapist who’s never had sex before,” said TheraPsil  executive director Spencer Hawkswell.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Veterans Affairs said that veterans must abstain from using marijuana and other drugs while participating in the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported that marijuana accounted for nearly half of positive drug tests of transportation workers in June.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) cheered a provision in a spending bill that would protect universities from losing their funding for studying marijuana.

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) touted his work to insert a provision protecting state medical cannabis laws from federal interference in an appropriations bill.

Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain tweeted, “Sessions earned his fate. Not only was his tenure as AG a disgrace, but his laser-like focus on marijuana while he ignored much bigger issues revealed him to be the worst sort of bureaucrat.”

Wisconsin Democratic congressional candidate Matthew Boor said that decriminalizing marijuana is one of his priorities.

/ STATES

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a bill limiting the forms and packaging of medical cannabis edibles and requiring business employees and owners to submit fingerprints to the state background check system.

An aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called accusations that he hasn’t done enough to help enact marijuana legalization and other progressive priorities “small and asinine palace intrigue.”

Illinois’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “The #R3 program is an example where communities lifted their voices and said look… communities have been arrested, detained, incarcerated for cannabis—even small amounts of cannabis—for decades…and you are not going to start this new industry & make money?”

New Mexico regulators are being sued over medical cannabis testing, labelling and facility safety standards rules.

Colorado generated $33.6 million in marijuana tax revenue and fees in June.

Nevada regulators posted an agenda for a Monday meeting.

Wisconsin regulators tweeted about a hemp variety performance private-public partnership.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Newfoundland, Canada’s justice minister said he is open to having conversations about decriminalizing drug possession.

Marijuana plants are growing outside of Mexico’s Senate building.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “THC‐CBD spray improved spasticity and pain in secondary progressive” multiple sclerosis patients.

A review concluded that “the evidence regarding complementarity and substitution of cannabis and alcohol is mixed” but that “we identified stronger support for substitution than complementarity, though evidence indicates different effects in different populations and to some extent across different study designs.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that drug overdose deaths in the U.S. increased in 2019.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project, NAACP, Seth Rogen and others hosted a web chat about cannabis legalization and racial justice.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana and the Illinois NAACP launched a microsite to further the idea that legalizing cannabis is bad for social justice.

The American Psychological Association did a podcast with the head of a psychedelic research center.

/ BUSINESS

ManifestSeven received conditional approval to trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

/ CULTURE

Rapper GZA is partnering with Sackville & Co. on a cannabis stash kit, with proceeds going to the Last Prisoner Project.

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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

Congressional cannabis legalization vote this week (Newsletter: November 30, 2020)

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DEA rejects marijuana exemption petition; WA legal psilocybin push; Congressional Research Service: Cannabis bill could “reverse” policy gap

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that a bill to federally legalize marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs will receive a floor vote this week, as soon as Wednesday.

A new Congressional Research Service report says the bill up for a House floor vote, the MORE Act, could “reverse” the current cannabis policy gap “since federal marijuana law would become less strict than some state laws.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration rejected an activist’s petition to exempt Iowa’s medical cannabis program from federal prohibition—but now the state itself is considering filing its own request for the accommodation.

Inspired by Oregon’s reform votes this month, activists in Washington State are now pursuing a two-track route to legalize psilocybin therapy, including administrative exemption petitions under federal and state Right to Try laws as well as a planned 2022 ballot measure that would also include broader drug decriminalization.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration finalized production quotas for controlled substances for 2021.

Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli said he thinks President-elect Joe Biden will view drugs “primarily as a public health issue” but “there is a critical component law enforcement has to play.”

Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC) criticized Democrats for passing coronavirus relief legislation that “mentioned marijuana more times than it mentioned jobs,” and also mentioned an upcoming vote on a federal cannabis legalization bill.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “There is already a thriving marijuana market in Pennsylvania. Why not make it legal? Why not make it safe? Why not make it taxable to help Pennsylvania get back on its feet?” He also tweeted, “Legal adult-use cannabis is criminal justice reform. More than 20,000 Pennsylvanians get a criminal record every year for doing something that 1) most of us don’t even think should be illegal and 2) is legal in 11 states and decriminalized in 26 states and D.C.”

New Jersey’s Senate president is hosting a roundtable meeting on marijuana legalization and social justice on Monday. Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman authored an op-ed on the need to center social justice in cannabis legalization efforts.

Indiana’s Senate minority leader said that legalizing marijuana would generate more revenue for the state than a cigarette tax can.

A South Carolina senator said there is a “very, very good chance” the state will legalize medical cannabis in 2021.

A Wyoming representative said that marijuana legalization in neighboring states bodes well for efforts to enact reform there.

Arkansas regulators approved the sale of a medical cannabis company.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife published a flyer about reporting illegal marijuana grows on public lands.

Connecticut regulators will hold webinars on the state’s hemp program on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Oregon Cannabis Testing Workgroup will meet on December 8.


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

Prosecutors in most Arizona counties are dropping marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on Tuesday on a proposal to ban smoking or vaping cannabis and tobacco in buildings with three or more units.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK Department of Health & Social Care sent a letter to a lawmaker defending delays in getting patients access to cannabis-based medicines.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and partners are investing C$21 million in marijuana research.

The Philippine government may miss the deadline for a report on the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on the impact of recreational marijuana legalization on adolescents found that it “was not associated with a significant shift in the likelihood of marijuana use but predicted a small significant decline in the level of marijuana use among users and a small increase in the likelihood of any e-cigarette use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is calling on the incoming Biden administration and Congress to modernize federal marijuana laws.

The Globe and Mail editorial board cheered Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada’s passage of a drug decriminalization resolution.

/ BUSINESS

Patagonia is participating in a pilot project where China-sourced seeds are being used to grow hemp in Colorado for its clothing.

Original Investments LLC is asking an Oklahoma judge to overturn the state’s medical cannabis business licenses residency requirements.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson said he smoked marijuana right before his fight with Roy Jones Jr.

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Newsletter

Mexico’s president talks legal cannabis as bill advances (Newsletter: November 27, 2020)

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OR prosecutor drops drug cases after decrim vote; Prohibitionists sue to overturn marijuana ballot results

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  • Ian Benouis: “Your work makes the world a better place for all of us to live in. I pledged because the war on drugs is coming to an end and having the best and most accurate intelligence is key to finish the fight.”

Join us at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said a marijuana legalization bill that is advancing is “part of carrying out a revolution of consciences, where each of us is responsible for his actions.” The comments come as the Senate-passed legislation has been formally received by the Chamber of Deputies, where it has been referred to several committees.

The Clackamas County, Oregon District Attorney’s Office announced it will no longer pursue drug possession cases after voters passed a statewide decriminalization ballot measure. The reform doesn’t take effect until February, but the early move is “consistent with the will of the voters, which we must respect,” the office said.

  • “It is our belief that having officers investigate and submit cases for a prosecution in the weeks leading up to February 1, which will not lead to any sanction or court supervised treatment, is not the most effective use of criminal justice resources.”

Marijuana prohibitionists in three states are now waging battles to convince courts to overturn voter-approved legalization measures. These efforts come after opponents in one state succeeded in blocking voters from even getting a chance to decide on cannabis reform.

/ FEDERAL

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, in a consenting opinion in a case striking down coronavirus restrictions on religious gatherings, wrote, “In recent months, certain other Governors have issued similar edicts. At the flick of a pen, they have asserted the right to privilege restaurants, marijuana dispensaries, and casinos over churches, mosques, and temples.”

The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security addressed public comments on using marijuana offenses as bars to asylum eligibility.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) tweeted, “The President should use the pardon power to redress manifest injustices, not shamelessly cover up the corruption that touched the core of this Administration. I hope President-elect Biden will use clemency to help right the wrongs of our misguided ‘war on drugs.'”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “I agree with @NewJerseyOAG that it’s only fair to suspend marijuana possession related cases in light of the November referendum.”

/ STATES

Kentucky’s House speaker said it’s not clear where newly elected members stand on medical cannabis.

Here’s a look at where some incoming Connecticut lawmakers stand on legalizing marijuana.

Alaska regulators finalized rules on marijuana quality control.

A California appeals court ruled that “lawful possession of marijuana in a vehicle does not provide probable cause to search the vehicle.”

North Carolina published a list of registered hemp processors.

Utah regulators released a video on how to become a registered medical cannabis patient.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Governance and Frame Working Subcommittee will meet 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 Pennington County, South Dakota Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page’s rating is dropping amid complaints about the sheriff’s role in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law.

Richmond, Virginia’s mayor tweeted, ” It is past time to fully legalize marijuana and I hope the General Assembly acts quickly to get this done.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Colombian Senate committee approved a marijuana legalization bill.

The Vancouver, Canada City Council unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by the mayor that requests a federal exemption to decriminalize drug possession.

The Manitoba, Canada government introduced legislation to create a new license category for marijuana and liquor delivery services.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “preliminary clinical trials also support the efficacy of CBD as an anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and antidepressant, and more importantly, a positive risk-benefit profile.”

A study identified the “first clear evidence for the ingestion of hallucinogens at a rock art site,” concluding that “Datura was ingested in the cave and that the rock painting represents the plant itself, serving to codify communal rituals involving this powerful entheogen.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws filed to intervene against a lawsuit from police officials who are seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization law.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. entered into a strategic supply agreement with Israeli company Cantek Holdings.

Harborside Inc. shareholders approved new board members for the company.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Nas narrates a new 30-second ad for Weedmaps.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Newsletter

Trump gets list of cannabis prisoners for clemency push (Newsletter: November 26, 2020)

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CT lawmakers could put legal marijuana on ballot; NJ AG: adjourn cannabis cases; Prosecutors’ memo on dropping marijuana charges

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Republican lawmakers and celebrities like Kevin Garnett sent a letter urging President Trump to free people who are serving time in federal prison for marijuana. Organizers say the office of Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner asked them for a specific list of clemency candidates, which they attached to the letter.

Connecticut’s incoming House speaker said that if there aren’t enough votes in the legislature to pass marijuana legalization in 2021, lawmakers will put it on the ballot for voters to decide.

New Jersey’s attorney general issued a directive telling prosecutors to suspend most marijuana possession cases.

  • “Fairness demands that we suspend prosecution of marijuana possession-related cases while we await direction from the Legislature on the parameters for decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of regulated adult-use cannabis. It simply does not make sense or serve justice to proceed with prosecutions on charges that may be foreclosed soon through legislative action.”

Days earlier, a New Jersey prosecutor sent a memo to colleagues across the state urging them to stop pursuing most marijuana cases while lawmakers work out the details of legal cannabis sales legislation.

  • “The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict, but to see that justice is done.”

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) filed a resolution condemning police brutality that recognizes that the U.S., “especially under the auspices of the wars on drugs and global terrorism, has in recent decades dramatically increased its influence on the tactics, equipment, and purpose of policing around the world.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “In red and blue states alike, voters sent a clear message: we must END the war on drugs. It’s time to legalize marijuana, expunge the records of those serving time for it, and ensure BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately harmed own the profits of this new industry.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “In PA, you can get yourself a curbside, ready-to-drink mojito the size of a gas can and a criminal record for life if you sip a little weed. That’s freedom.”

A New Jersey court said regulators erred in rejecting medical cannabis business license applications and that its process lacked transparency.

California regulators are proposing emergency rules requiring marijuana businesses to post unique QR code certificates in storefront windows and carry them while transporting or delivering cannabis.

Alaska regulators are proposing rules on reinstating marijuana business licenses after a failure to renew.

Massachusetts regulators may be facing a lawsuit over marijuana delivery rules they are poised to enact next week.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is concerned that passage of two drug policy reform ballot measures this month will cause people to forage for psychedelic mushrooms in state forests.

Oklahoma regulators published a frequently asked questions document for medical cannabis business applicants.

Michigan regulators published a list of county allocations for medical cannabis operation and oversight grants.


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

New York City’s mayor tweeted, “Congratulations to @AndreaSCousins and the @NYSenDems on achieving a historic supermajority! Now’s the time to be bold — legalize marijuana and ensure the wealthiest New Yorkers pay their fair share for a real, equitable recovery for our city and state.”

Candidates for Orleans Parish, Louisiana district attorney were asked whether they would stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malawi officials said the country is ready to start producing and processing cannabis for medical and industrial uses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “11 out of 13 studies reviewed observed varying degrees of pain relief using cannabis over opioids under certain specific conditions” and that “there appears to be some benefits in certain situations however cannabis certainly does not appear to be a drop-in replacement for opioids in chronic pain management.”

A study examined “the prevalence of cannabis use for migraine relief in a sample of cannabis users, and suggests that these migraineurs experience a high level of migraine relief from cannabis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Slovaks oppose lowering penalties for marijuana, 61%-36%.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board said California should watch and learn from the implementation of Oregon’s new drug decriminalization law.

/ BUSINESS

Vireo Health International, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $11.9 million.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $22.8 million and net income of $0.2 million.

Rubicon Organics Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$3.2 million and a net loss of C$4.3 million.

/ CULTURE

Actor Ben Affleck spoke about a bad experience he had with marijuana as a teenager.

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam said he wanted to try psilocybin mushrooms for the first time for his 80th birthday.

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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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