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Gov’t shutdown could allow Sessions medical cannabis crackdown (Newsletter: Dec. 5, 2017)

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Marijuana mentioned at SCOTUS argument; MI regulations; Warren questions Conway’s drug war role

 

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TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A potential federal government shutdown this week could allow U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a crackdown on medical cannabis patients and providers. If Congress fails to pass a budget extension the current rider protecting state medical marijuana laws would expire but, since DEA agents and federal prosecutors are exempt from furloughs, they would be empowered to go after state-legal operators.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomangell/2017/12/04/government-shutdown-could-allow-sessions-to-launch-marijuana-crackdown/

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor briefly raised the issue of marijuana during an oral argument on a gambling case that could have implications for state cannabis legalization.
https://twitter.com/tomangell/status/937758743474909189

 

FEDERAL

In a letter to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questioned Kellyanne Conway’s apparent new role leading the federal response to opioid issues.
https://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2122
//
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/elizabeth-warren-questions-kellyanne-conways-qualifications-to-lead-opioid-battle/article/2642503

A federal judge rejected a California Native American tribe’s request to resume hemp cultivation.
http://www.recordnet.com/news/20171202/hemp-farmers-lose-in-federal-court

Federal officials are investigating an unlicensed Oregon marijuana processing facility that exploded.
http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/36158045-75/overheated-machinery-sparks-fire-at-cottage-grove-cannabis-oil-business.html.csp

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted that “smart marijuana policy can lead to economic growth and boost job creation.”
https://twitter.com/RepRoKhanna/status/937807228689563648  

 

STATES

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) needs some education about marijuana, lawmakers sponsoring legalization legislation say.
https://capitolfax.com/2017/12/04/recreational-cannabis-sponsors-offer-to-educate-rauner-when-he-is-ready-to-deal-in-facts-not-scare-tactics/

Michigan regulators released emergency medical cannabis rules.
http://www.michigan.gov/som/0,4669,7-192-47796-453904–,00.html
//
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/12/04/snyder-signs-emergency-pot-rules/108310260/

Virginia’s Senate majority leader announced additional details about marijuana decriminalization legislation he intends to introduce next year.
http://www.roanoke.com/news/politics/general_assembly/crime-commission-backs-expansion-of-dna-databank-does-not-vote/article_448cf3a1-8991-51dc-9c35-349ce301454d.html

Colorado regulators certified that four industrial hemp seed varieties passed a low-THC validation.
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/agmain/news/1242017-cda-announces-colorado%E2%80%99s-2017-cda-approved-certified-hemp-seed-varieties

Ohio regulators began accepting applications for private medical cannabis testing licenses.
https://medicalmarijuana.ohio.gov/News?articleID=103

Alaska regulators rejected a proposed rule to restrict lease agreements between marijuana businesses and landlords.
http://www.alaskajournal.com/2017-12-04/marijuana-board-rejects-rule-aimed-lease-agreements

Missouri representatives prefiled bills to legalize marijuana and to allow CBD medical cannabis for more conditions.
http://www.house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill=HB1448&year=2018&code=R
//
http://www.house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill=HB1440&year=2018&code=R
//
http://www.house.mo.gov/Bill.aspx?bill=HB1441&year=2018&code=R

 

LOCAL

San Francisco, California officials are considering launching a public bank to serve the marijuana industry.
http://www.sfexaminer.com/san-francisco-advances-toward-launching-public-bank/

Here’s a look at marijuana regulations the Los Angeles, California City Council is expected to consider on Wednesday.
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-marijuana-rules-20171204-story.html

 

INTERNATIONAL

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered police to resume drug war operations.
http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2017/12/05/Duterte-allows-PDEA-drug-war.html

 

SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “adolescent cannabis use may be an independent risk factor for future hypomania, and the nature of the association suggests a potential causal link.”
https://academic.oup.com/schizophreniabulletin/advance-article/doi/10.1093/schbul/sbx158/4668709

 

OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 60% of New York voters support legalizing marijuana. When given several policy options, 40% supported legalization, 26% wanted to keep current policy (decriminalization and medical cannabis), 22% wanted to repeal medical cannabis and keep decrim and 11% wanted to make marijuana completely illegal.
http://files.constantcontact.com/d75ceb5f201/32e71155-6331-4eff-b948-42c072cba83e.pdf

The Mercury editorial board is urging U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) to cosponsor medical cannabis research legislation.
http://themercury.com/opinion/kansas-senators-should-support-bill-for-medical-marijuana-research/article_8729bef5-a30e-5d10-9b2f-5c72223a97d3.html

 

BUSINESS

GW Pharmaceuticals says it expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to rule on its CBD medical cannabis drug Epidiolex by mid-2018.
https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2017/12/04/1219873/0/en/GW-Pharmaceuticals-plc-Reports-Fiscal-Fourth-Quarter-2017-and-Year-End-Financial-Results-and-Operational-Progress.html

Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart made a deal with Aphria to supply medical cannabis products.
http://business.financialpost.com/commodities/ontario-cannabis-company-aphria-to-supply-medical-marijuana-to-shoppers-drug-mart

Maryland medical cannabis dispensaries already ran out of product.
https://mjbizdaily.com/maryland-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-sell-product-days-opening/

Adweek looks at branding for marijuana companies.
http://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/these-3-marijuana-heavyweights-want-to-become-the-pg-of-pot/

A survey found that more than a quarter of Nevada adults purchased marijuana in the last six months.
https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/whos-buying-pot-in-nevada-more-than-a-quarter-of-adults-according-to-survey

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Newsletter

Secret Sessions cannabis meeting busted open (Newsletter: Dec. 14, 2017)

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Another fed survey: Teen use down since legalization; Feds warn VT over safe injection sites; Norway decriminalizing drugs


Thanks so much to readers who value cannabis news enough to start monthly pledges to support my continued work to put these updates in your inbox every day:

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Thanks to some high-tech sleuthing and the fact that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions inadvertently showed a meeting agenda to a TV camera, we now know what he and a group of anti-marijuana activists discussed behind closed doors last week.

Another federally-funded survey found that despite a slight annual uptick in youth marijuana use, consumption levels are generally lower than when states began legalizing cannabis in 2012.

 

/ FEDERAL

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) introduced legislation to continue federal funding levels and policy riders like the state medical cannabis protections through January 19.

The U.S. attorney in Vermont warned a county state’s attorney over her endorsement of safe injection facilities for illegal drugs, saying it sends the “wrong message to children in Vermont: the government will help you use heroin.”

  • “Of equal importance, the proposed SIFs would violate several federal criminal laws, including those prohibiting use of narcotics and maintaining a premises for the purpose of narcotics use. It is a crime, not only to use illicit narcotics, but to manage and maintain sites on which such drugs are used and distributed. Thus, exposure to criminal charges would arise for users and SIF workers and overseers. The properties that host SIFs would also be subject to federal forfeiture.”

The U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the Department of Justice has adopted some, but not all, previous recommendations to reduce the prison population by pursuing alternatives to incarceration for low-level nonviolent crimes.

Congressman Scott Taylor (R-VA) said he supports letting states set their own marijuana laws and that legalization comes with “the possibility to create jobs.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted about marijuana again.

Two Michigan men pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conspiring to bribe local officials to get approval to open a medical cannabis dispensary.

Anthony Clark, a Democratic congressional candidate in Illinois, supports legalizing marijuana.

 

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) reportedly said he has no problem with medical cannabis.

Here’s a look at decisions Massachusetts regulators made this week about marijuana legalization implementation.

Maine regulators are threatening to crack down on processors that make cannabis edibles and tinctures.

An Arizona senator filed legislation to restrict outdoor marijuana advertising.

North Dakota regulators held a meeting to take public input on proposed medical cannabis rules.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday. In a related development, a company that failed to win a medical marijuana business license sued regulators.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Thursday.

Alaska regulators will discuss marijuana testing next week.

Maryland lawmakers filed several bills to tweak the state’s medical cannabis program.

 

/ LOCAL

Cook, County Illinois commissioners unanimously voted to place a nonbinding marijuana legalization question on the March primary ballot.

Las Vegas, Nevada officials held a public meeting to discuss proposed regulations on marijuana social use areas.

 

/ INTERNATIONAL

The World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence has recommended not scheduling cannabidiol under international conventions.

Norway is decriminalizing drugs.

The Trump administration appears to be prioritizing drug and immigration enforcement over human rights and democracy concerns in Honduras.

 

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A survey found that “most pediatric oncology providers are willing to consider [medical cannabis] use in children with cancer.

A study concluded that “components of cannabis, including THC, may decelerate peripheral monocyte processes that are implicated in HIV-associated neuroinflammation.”

 

/ BUSINESS

MassRoots founder Isaac Dietrich successfully engineered the departure of board members who ousted him as CEO earlier this year and reinstalled himself at the helm of the company. (Full disclosure: I am  a former employee and minority shareholder.)

Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the threat that federal civil RICO suits pose for marijuana businesses.

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Newsletter

CO won’t cooperate with feds, governor candidate says (Newsletter: Dec. 13. 2017)

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MA equity rules OKed; ME implementation legislation;NM MMj enrollment way up;  New CO sales data

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), a candidate for Colorado governor, says that if he is elected he will not allow state resources to be used to assist with any federal marijuana crackdown against people following state laws.

Massachusetts regulators approved proposed rules on ensuring that people from communities targeted by the war on drugs get priority consideration for marijuana business licenses.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a law that recently generated criticism over a perception that it prevents federal drug agents from cracking down on suspicious opioid shipments.

The U.S Department of Justice is increasing enforcement against doctors who over-prescribe opioids.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) spoke on the House floor about congressional interference with Washington, D.C.’s marijuana laws and other policies.

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to 57.

/ STATES

Colorado regulators announced that they will begin releasing monthly marijuana sales data. Until now, news organizations compiled projections based on reported tax revenue.

Maine lawmakers are making another attempt at passing marijuana legalization implementation legislation following a gubernatorial veto.

Guam lawmakers will hold a hearing on medical cannabis implementation legislation on Thursday.

Alaska regulators projected that marijuana taxes will generate $9.1 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2018.

Enrollment in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program grew by 77% in the last year.

A Florida judge will hear a request for an injunction on a law that calls for issuing a medical cannabis license to a black farmer on Thursday.

New Hampshire senators prefiled a bills to allow medical cannabis dispensaries to open additional locations and to waive the requirement that medical marijuana patients have a three-month relationship with doctors if they are terminally ill.

Ohio’s deadline to submit medical cannabis processor business license applications is on Friday.

Pennsylvania regulators released an updated list of doctors certified to recommend medical cannabis.

/ LOCAL

Cook County, Illinois commissioners will decide on Wednesday whether to place a nonbinding marijuana legalization question on the March 20 primary ballot.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama’s mayor is calling on state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana.

The San Diego, California district attorney agreed to return cash that was seized from a medical cannabis business.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Canadian senator says he is introducing a motion for the body to hear from government representatives about the marijuana legalization bill in early February.

/ ADVOCACY

Prohibitionist group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy put up a billboard about marijuana-related traffic deaths.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a court motion suppress evidence against 18 people charged with drug possession after being searched by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in New Hampshire.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A survey found that support for legalizing marijuana in Uruguay has increased since the country ended prohibition.

The Orange County Register editorial board is calling on Congress to pass legislation respecting state marijuana laws.

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Newsletter

Teen cannabis use down in legal states, fed data shows (Newsletter: Dec. 12, 2017)

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OH 2018 legalization measure details; Congressman speaks at dispensary opening; MA social use areas approved

 

Thanks so much to those readers who value Marijuana Moment enough to chip in with monthly pledges so I can keep compiling all this cannabis news for you every day. I’m so grateful that there’s a growing community — now about 130 people — whose support makes this work possible.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New federal data shows that teen use of marijuana is trending downward in most states with legalization.

Ohio advocates launched a proposed 2018 marijuana legalization ballot measure.

 

/ FEDERAL

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) spoke at the opening of a medical cannabis dispensary.

Former Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT) started a company to conduct research on CBD medical cannabis.

Utah State Sen. Brian Shiozawa (R), who sponsored successful legislation to increase medical cannabis research, is resigning to take a job at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will decry Congress’s interference in Washington, DC’s marijuana laws and other policies in a House floor speech on Tuesday.

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted that “we cannot allow federal funds to be used to go after marijuana businesses.”

 

/ STATES

Massachusetts regulators approved proposed rules allowing marijuana social use businesses and setting licensing tiers for cannabis businesses.

A consultant hired to score Ohio medical cannabis business license applications worked for businesses owned by a company awarded one of the licenses.

North Dakota regulators are holding hearings this month to collect public feedback on medical cannabis implementation.

California officials proposed an emergency regulation on marijuana tax collection.

 

/ LOCAL

Syracuse, New York Mayor Stephanie Miner (D) said she supports legalizing marijuana.

Denver, Colorado officials are reviewing the city’s first application for a marijuana social use permit.

The Hartford, Connecticut City Council approved a resolution calling on state lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

 

/ INTERNATIONAL

Here’s a look at Canada’s options for maintaining — or breaking — compliance with international drug treaties while legalizing marijuana. In a related development, the federal government agreed to provide more cannabis tax revenue to provinces than originally proposed.

Bermuda’s House of Assembly passed a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Malta’s health minister says he expects medical cannabis regulations to go into effect in February.

 

/ ADVOCACY

Servicios de la Raza and the Marijuana Industry Group released a video to educate non-citizens on the implications of federal marijuana prohibition on their ability to stay in the U.S.

 

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that state medical cannabis laws are “associated with decreases in marijuana and other drugs in early adolescence in those states.”

A review concluded that “recent randomized, placebo-controlled trials with cannabidiol support its efficacy in Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.”

A study on the effects of state medical cannabis laws found that “for men, there is a statistically significant 2.3% increase in the rate of cardiac death following passage” and “for women, there is a 1.3% increase that is also statistically significant.”

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia will study the effects of marijuana on children with autism.

 

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 77% of Georgia Republican voters support medical cannabis.

 

/ BUSINESS

Colorado retailers sold nearly $121.6 million in marijuana products in October.

Marijuana Business Daily looks at the risks federal civil RICO lawsuits pose for cannabis businesses.

Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s takeover bid for CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. may have violated securities laws, the latter says.

 

/CULTURE     

Actor Cheech Marin appears in a PSA about California’s new system to registering marijuana businesses.

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