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House announces federal cannabis legalization vote (Newsletter: November 10, 2020)

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NJ marijuana sales bills advance; RI leaders: Time to legalize; Poll: Legal cannabis support highest ever; What Biden’s win means for reform in 2021

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) announced that the body will hold a floor vote on a bill to federally legalize marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs in December. This comes after Democrats planned and then cancelled a September vote on the cannabis proposal.

A new Gallup poll found that 68% of Americans now support legalizing marijuana—the highest number ever recorded since the firm began surveying the issue in 1969—including majorities in every age group for the first time.

  • 83% percent of Democrats are on board, as are 72%of independents. But Republican backing for legal cannabis actually dipped from last year’s bare majority of support and now stands at 48% in favor to 52% against.

The New Jersey Senate Judiciary and Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committees approved legal marijuana sales implementation legislation following last week’s voter passage of a legalization referendum. The panels took extensive testimony from advocates who laid out concerns that the bills do not sufficiently center equity, ban homegrow and fund police.

  • The Senate committee also advanced a separate short-term decriminalization proposal, and other panels are set to take up the sales enabling legislation on Thursday.

Rhode Island’s Senate majority leader said it’s time to legalize marijuana, and the body’s president and incoming House speaker also expressed more openness to ending cannabis prohibition than previously now that the state is seeking revenue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Marijuana Moment put together a deep dive on what Joe Biden’s presidential win means for cannabis in 2021—whether the Senate flips to Democratic control or Republicans maintain their majority.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted, “Successful ballot propositions point to the many areas that unite Americans rather than divide us, especially on cannabis. As we enter a difficult period of transition and healing, government action should capitalize on these critical and unifying issues.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “Voters in states across the country also overwhelmingly decided to legalize marijuana—joining the growing list of places throughout America who have already done the same.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “✅Marijuana legalization ✅$15 minimum wage ✅Paid family and medical leave ✅Higher taxes on the wealthy Progressive policies were winners all across the country this week, from California to Arizona to Florida. The American people agree with our economic message.”

Rep.-elect Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted, “Legalizing cannabis is half of the equation. Restorative justice is the other—expunging records, releasing those detained, ensuring that those who’ve suffered the most also profit the most.”

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) spoke about her concerns as state works to implement the voter-approved legalization of marijuana.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It’s legal for you if Pennsylvania legalizes it. Let’s just start there. Please call your legislators and tell them it’s time. Our Pennsylvania farmers will surely grow better cannabis than New Jersey.”

Florida regulators are hosting a National Hemp Regulatory Conference on Thursday and Friday.

California regulators released modified proposed regulations for comparable-to-organic cannabis standards.

Alaska regulators adopted rules on administrative hold and seizure of marijuana products.

Nevada regulators issued an automatic extension of marijuana temporary agent registration cards.

A Tennessee state trooper is being sued by a woman for allegedly twice improperly arresting her for transporting legal hemp.


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 Maricopa County, Arizona attorney’s office is dismissing all pending marijuana possession and paraphernalia charges.

A Des Moines, Iowa task force issued recommendations on making marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors is expected to approve a one-year tax reprieve for marijuana businesses on Tuesday.

New York City’s comptroller tweeted, “We can’t let @NJGov smoke us on this. Legalizing cannabis in New York is common sense. This is a chance for us to right the wrongs of the War on Drugs—we can’t afford to wait any longer.”

Cook County, Illinois’s state’s attorney tweeted, “As we continue to combat the failed war on drugs, legalization must include relief to the disproportionately impacted Black and Brown communities hurt by low-level, non-violent convictions — Just as I helped fight for here. The time for justice is NOW.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

An Israeli government committee is expected to recommend legalizing marijuana this week.

Bermuda Premier David Burt said that a cannabis licensing bill would be on the agenda this legislative session.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabinoids have an anti-proliferative and apoptotic effect on canine lymphoma cells” and “can be developed as a potential anti-cancer agent for the treatment of canine and human B cell lymphoma.”

A study concluded that “patients consistently using full-spectrum, hemp-derived products may have positive test results for THC-COOH on a urinary drug screen.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey Society of CPAs is calling on the state to decouple its tax code from that of the federal government so that marijuana businesses have access to more deductions for expenses.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation reported quarterly net revenue of $135.3 million and a net loss of  $96.6 million.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $67.8 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $57.9 million.

Tilray, Inc. reported $51.4 million in quarterly revenue and a $2.3 million net loss.

Organigram Holdings Inc. launched new holiday-themed cannabis edibles.

Vireo Health International, Inc. secured an option to purchase land to expand its New York operations.

/ CULTURE

David Attenborough is upset that CBD companies are falsely claiming he has endorsed their products.

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Photo courtesy of M a n u e l.

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

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.”

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/ 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.

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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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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  • Bryan McLaren of Zoned Properties, Inc.: “I have been following your reporting for many years and this is long overdue to provide some financial support directly! There is just so much noise and nonsense (in general these days) and especially within regulated cannabis that it makes your work that much more valuable as we all try to consumer news updates and regulatory progress. To have a reliable and consistent source of information with fact-based reporting and objectivity has been amazing. (P.S. Also very great to see you call out other ‘new sources’ for not including/embedding primary source materials… So important!).”

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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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Newsletter

NY cannabis effort gets boost from NJ, top senator says (Newsletter: November 25, 2020)

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Lawmakers tell feds to better coordinate hemp rules; N. Macedonia PM floats legal marijuana; NY poll: Voters back legalization

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Wait a sec! I could use your help. We need more subscribers to ensure the best possible cannabis news coverage for when 2021 legislative sessions start. If you can kick in a few dollars a month, we’d have funding to increase our reporting capacity in time.

  • Georgi Bohrod of GBG & Associates: “Since pivoting our business niche from communications solely in the hospitality industry to the cannabis space, I’ve been reading Marijuana Moment religiously. Subscribing to the newsletter shows my support for Tom Angell and his steady flow of important news and cannabis intelligence. Since we are new to the industry, our goal is to soak up as much information as possible so that we can serve clients knowledgeably. Tom definitely is my daily source for all things new and evolving in the cannabis world.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York’s Senate majority leader said that legalizing marijuana is inevitable, and that the effort is boosted by this month’s cannabis vote next door in New Jersey.

  • “It’s not so much a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and it’s a matter of how.”

A poll found that New York voters support legalizing marijuana, 60%-32%—the highest backing ever in a Siena College survey.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Drug Enforcement Administration, Food and Drug Administration and White House Office of Management and Budget to stop contradicting one another with their various hemp rules and do a better job coordinating to support the industry.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said the country might legalize marijuana to boost tourism.

  • “The idea is to allow consumption of marijuana in cafes, both in existing and new ones, and in tourist places, including Skopje, if they respect certain standards on ventilation, proof of origin of the marijuana and so on.”

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding a contract for technical support for marijuana and public health program activities.

Former federal drug czars and other advocates sent a letter urging President-elect Joe Biden to restore the White House Office of National Drug Control policy to cabinet-level status.

/ STATES

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) issued another round of pardons for people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) coauthored an op-ed with a delegate on the need to legalize marijuana through an equity lens.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Now that the PA election is in the books, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that the Democratic Party platform is to the right of South Dakota on legal weed. Montana. Arizona. Our party’s cowardice on weed demands courage on Psilocybin mushrooms and microdosing. If you believe we should label a person a criminal for the rest of their lives for using a plant, I literally can’t wait for you to vote for Crazy McCrazypants instead of me.”

Rhode Island’s incoming House speaker said Democrats discussed marijuana legalization on a caucus call.

A New Mexico judge gave regulators two weeks to explain their position on medical cannabis reciprocity.

Georgia regulators voted to approve requests for proposals for licenses to grow and process medical cannabis oil.

Alaska regulators voted to renew drive-thru and curbside pickup capabilities for marijuana dispensaries.

California regulators reported quarterly marijuana tax revenues.

New Jersey regulators issued an additional medical cannabis dispensary permit.

Maine regulators issued new conditional marijuana business licenses.

Oklahoma regulators released updated lists of approved medical cannabis laboratories and transporters.


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 Fort Worth, Texas Police Department is no longer arresting or citing people for small amounts of marijuana.

The Detroit, Michigan City Council approved rules for recreational marijuana businesses.

Oakland, California officials posted information about availability of loans for cannabis equity applicants to purchase property.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s former minister of health coauthored an op-ed calling for drug decriminalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “legal recreational products’ share of Canada’s overall cannabis consumption began at 7.8% in October 2018 and grew to 23.7% by September 2019, with an average of 14.5% over the first 12 months ” and that “legal recreational products captured market share to the extent they were available, accessible, and low-priced,” while “problems with those factors slowed the initial expansion of legal product sales but also suggested ways to gradually increase their market share.”

A study concluded that “cannabis users whose purposes are medical, recreational or both tend to differ in their selected administration methods.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws is urging supporters to call a local sheriff and ask him to withdraw as a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the state’s voter-approved legalization measure.

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted, “It’s not enough to just legalize marijuana. Elected officials must do so in a way that tackles racial disparities head-on.”

The National Cannabis Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee sent a letter urging Illinois officials to revamp the state’s marijuana social equity licensing process.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $24.9 million and a net loss of $30 million.

Tilray, Inc. announced an agreement to exchange $72.9 million of debt for approximately 6.4 million shares.

BevCanna Enterprises Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire Naturo Group Investments Inc.

Vireo Health International, Inc. filed a preliminary prospectus to issue up to C$260 million in securities.

Nabis Holdings settled a lawsuit against its former president and CEO.

Weedmaps is an official sponsor for the upcoming Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight.

/ CULTURE

Jay-Z joined TPCO Holding Corp. as chief visionary officer.

Former hockey player Daniel Carcillo spoke about his use of psychedelics for mental health.

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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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