Connect with us


Governor signs medical cannabis bill in US territory (Newsletter: Jan. 18, 2019)



CT legalization sponsored by 1/4 of House; Senators press for hemp water rights; Portugal debates two legal marijuana bills; HI legalization in 2019

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Get our daily newsletter.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 364 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.


U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan (D) signed a medical cannabis bill into law.

More than a quarter of Connecticut’s House of Representatives—including the majority leader and key committee chairs—jointly filed a marijuana legalization bill. It allows home cultivation and delivery services, and would expunge some prior cannabis convictions.

Hawaii’s Senate president said that considering legalizing marijuana will be a priority for the new legislative session.

U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Jon Tester (D-MT) are pressing the Bureau of Reclamation to act on hemp growers’ water rights, saying that the ongoing federal shutdown is stalling implementation of the Farm Bill’s provisions legalizing the crop.

Lawmakers in Portugal debated two separate marijuana legalization bills.

A Marijuana Moment fact check debunks a false claim on the House floor by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) that 90% of the cannabis in the U.S. is smuggled across the Southern border.


The federal government shutdown is impeding implementation of recently enacted criminal justice reform legislation.

The Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Defense “lacks current strategy and guidance to implement the National Guard counterdrug program.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “I support adult & medical use. But that’s not enough! The failed drug war unfairly targeted the poor, veterans, brown people. It’s now not enough to just make it legal. We must have expungement. We must invest tax proceeds back into those communities targeted by the drug war.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said she will vote no on William Barr for attorney general, adding that she “fully intend[s] to hold him to these commitments” he made on “respect[ing] state laws legalizing marijuana” and other issues.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) appeared at a press conference with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and praised his moves to allow patients to smoke medical cannabis.

The House comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of two.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called on state lawmakers to repeal the law that bans patients from smoking medical cannabis, adding that he will move to withdraw the state’s appeal of a lawsuit on the issue if the legislature fails to act. For now he is filing a request for a stay of opinion in the case. Meanwhile, a senator has already introduced legislation to fix the issue.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) released her budget proposal, which includes her marijuana legalization plan.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he wants lawmakers to hold hearings on marijuana legalization this year.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) continued to defend his position that large cities and counties should be able to opt out of allowing marijuana businesses.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) said he is working with lawmakers to properly regulate and implement medical cannabis.

The South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee approved a resolution calling on the federal government to remove roadblocks to medical cannabis research.

New Hampshire lawmakers filed a marijuana legalization bill.

An Arizona representative introduced a bill to clarify that medical cannabis extracts are allowed.

A Nebraska senator who is working on marijuana reform sent a fiery letter to the state attorney general, who questioned his motives for focusing on the issue.

Utah regulators are instructing manufacturers and retailers of CBD and hemp products to register with the state.

Maine regulators will hold a hearing on an appeal filed by one marijuana implementation consulting firm that is seeking to overturn a contract awarded to another.

Oregon regulators approved fines and suspensions for marijuana business license violations.

Marijuana Moment is tracking key cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. Patreon supporters pledging at least $25/month get access to our interactive maps, charts and hearing calendar so they don’t miss any developments.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


The mayor of Jamaica, Iowa was arrested for allegedly growing marijuana.

Pawhuska, Oklahoma police seized a shipment of industrial hemp from a Colorado company in what could be a key test case on interstate transport of the crop.


Regulators in Thailand are being criticized over its handling of medical cannabis patent applications filed by companies including GW Pharma.


The Tampa Bay Times editorial board praised Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for moving to allow patients to smoke medical cannabis.


Ohio medical cannabis dispensaries sold $75,000 worth of product in the first day of sales, amounting to 8.7 pounds of marijuana.


Former boxer Mike Tyson and Joe Rogan discussed using marijuana and psychedelics.

Fox News’s Tucker Carlson got into a heated debate about marijuana with pro-legalization author David Bienenstock.

Stephen Colbert tweeted, “Florida is legalizing medical marijuana. Finally, the people of Florida can loosen up!”

Actor Pauly Shore tweeted a pic from a “stoney” photo shoot he did.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

Get our daily newsletter.

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.
Become a patron at Patreon!

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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Get our daily newsletter.