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House defeats AOC psychedelics amendment (Newsletter: June 14, 2019)



Committee approves marijuana military waiver; Another cannabis hearing scheduled for next week; Congress to consider several more marijuana amendments

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The House of Representatives overwhelmingly defeated an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to remove barriers to research on Schedule I drugs like cannabis, psilocybin and MDMA. A number of key Democrats voted against the measure, and while the party’s leadership urged YES votes on other Democratic amendments in a memo that Marijuana Moment obtained, they listed “NO RECOMMENDATION” for the psychedelics proposal.

The House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to carve out an exception for military members who want to reenlist after committing a low-level marijuana offense, whereas current law blocks those who have used cannabis—even legally under state law.

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee announced it will hold a hearing on four bills dealing with marijuana and military veterans next week. It’s the second cannabis-focused hearing of the week, with the Small Business Committee also convening about the issue.

The House Rules Committee is considering several new cannabis-related amendments to a spending bill expected to hit the floor next week, including proposals to shield all state marijuana laws from federal interference, provide protections to tribal legalization programs, let military veterans get medical marijuana recommendations from government doctors and fund CBD regulations.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration posted a lengthy Twitter thread about what its director sees as the harms of marijuana.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights released a report outlining the collateral consequences of drug and other criminal convictions.

The U.S. Coast Guard is being sued for allegedly chaining fishermen to their decks and sailing into a hurricane following a marijuana interdiction operation.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “On Tues we defeated serial home-rule violator @RepAndyHarrisMD’s attempt to block DC bill decriminalizing prostitution that hasn’t even had a hearing.  W/ Ds in charge, he gave up on trying to block DC recreational marijuana commercialization, aid in dying and wet wipes labeling.”

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) explained that he didn’t file an amendment to block Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales by saying, “We’re not in charge anymore.”

The House bill to seal marijuana convictions got one new cosponsor, for a total of eight.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he doesn’t think Cincinnati’s move to decriminalize marijuana is “a good idea.” Meanwhile, lawmakers passed legislation to create a Governor’s Office of Drug Policy. Separately, regulators released updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver counts.

The California Senate Health Committee approved a bill regulating CBD in food products.

Connecticut regulators added new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Massachusetts health regulators posted a frequently asked questions document about CBD in foods.

Utah regulators said they will release medical cannabis business license applicant information when licenses are awarded in mid-July.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.

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New York City’s police commissioner said he has “great concern” about legalizing marijuana.


Canadian regulators will hold a briefing about “the next steps in the legalization and regulation of cannabis” on Friday.


The Democratic Party of Wisconsin tweeted, “A majority of Wisconsinites agree: our state should legalize medical marijuana. 83% support it & voters in 16 co’s supported referendums last fall. But @WisGOP is intent on ensuring our state is an island in the Midwest w/o legalization.”

American Trucking Associations testified in a congressional hearing that marijuana legalization makes it harder to hire drug-free drivers.


A survey found that more than half of arthritis patients reported trying medical cannabis.

Oregon State University launched the nation’s largest hemp research center.


Columbia Care Inc. launched its own credit card that can be used only at its locations.

Field Trip Ventures is a new venture capital fund focused solely on psychedelics.

IBM used crowdsourced marijuana legalization arguments to demonstrate its AI-driven Project Debater — Speech by Crowd service.

Merida Capital Partners and the Minority Cannabis Industry Association are partnering to launch an accelerator for minority-owned marijuana businesses.

Regent Pacific plans to launch Asia’s first CBD e-commerce platform.

New England Treatment Access won approval from Massachusetts regulators to be sold to Surterra Wellness.

Cultivate agreed to pay a $75,000 fine as part of a settlement with Massachusetts regulators over violations found during an inspection.

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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.


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