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Illinois gov releases legal cannabis details (Newsletter: May 6, 2019)



Texas medical marijuana expansion advances; New Zealand legalization referendum info; Feds release 138-page app for joint rolling position

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and lawmakers released the text of marijuana legalization legislation they intend to pass this month.

The Texas House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on two medical marijuana expansion bills on Monday. A Senate committee was also slated to hear a House-passed hemp bill, but it, along with other business, was delayed for unrelated reasons.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse released a detailed 138-page document outlining the requirements for a federal contract to, among other things, roll thousands of marijuana joints.

New Zealand’s cabinet is expected to release the details of a long-promised marijuana legalization referendum this week.


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit allowed a bankruptcy plan for a company that leased property to a marijuana grower to move ahead over the Department of Justice’s objections.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee will hold a Thursday hearing on the Trump administration’s response to drug issues.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a presidential candidate, released a plan to add $100 billion in funding for drug prevention and treatment, as well as mental health care.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a presidential candidate, said he wants to legalize marijuana nationwide and joked that he didn’t bring any cannabis with him to an interview.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Bennet spoke about their work to reform federal marijuana laws.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about the economic factors behind some people’s decisions to sell illegal drugs.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “We must legalize marijuana, yes. But more importantly, we must ensure that people of color have a seat at the table and those who have been hurt by the failed #WarOnDrugs receive the justice they deserve.”

The Senate marijuana banking bill got two new cosponsors, for a total of 24.

The House bill to allow marijuana in public housing got one new cosponsor, for a total of one.


Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said that marijuana legalization is “going very well” and jokingly said that he tells other governors that they shouldn’t legalize cannabis “because there’s obviously more advantage to us when we’re a little bit special.” Separately, lawmakers sent Polis a bill to defelonize drug possession.

Kansas lawmakers sent Gov. Laura Kelly (D) a bill to create an affirmative defense for CBD medical cannabis.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said she’s hopeful that “allies in Congress” will remove a rider blocking the city from spending its own money to legalize marijuana sales. She also tweeted, “For far too long the possession of marijuana has been a pipeline to prison, especially for black men in DC and across the nation. With the Safe Cannabis Sales Act, we are taking a bold step to replace that pipeline with a pathway to prosperity.”

A consultant to Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) said that allowing consumers to grow their own marijuana at home is “dangerous” and that a ban will “save lives.” Separately, senators filed a bill to add three new medical cannabis dispensaries and allow acute pain as a qualifying condition.

Florida lawmakers sent bill creating an industrial hemp program to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The state’s agriculture commissioner cheered the move. Separately, the legislature gave final approval to a bill to expand syringe access programs statewide.

The prospects for New Jersey marijuana legalization legislation are reportedly dimming, with lawmakers more seriously considering putting a referendum on the issue before voters in 2020.

Vermont’s Senate Judiciary Committee chairman is disappointed with House changes to his marijuana sales legalization bill and says there’s only “a very narrow path” to pass something in the remaining two weeks of the session. Separately, the lieutenant governor announced he will be speaking at a cannabis conference later this month.

Alabama’s House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider a marijuana decriminalization bill on Wednesday.

Utah medical cannabis advocates dropped certain claims from a lawsuit seeking to overturn legislation that lawmakers passed to replace a voter-approved ballot measure on the topic and are instead focusing on federal preemption issues.

Maine regulators released updated draft marijuana rules.

Arkansas regulators gave final operational approval to the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee is set to vote on whether to recommend adding depression, insomnia, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and opioid use disorder as qualifying conditions on Wednesday.

Louisiana medical cannabis won’t be available by a mid-May deadline, but June is still a possibility.

California regulators carried out an enforcement action against an unlicensed marijuana business in Costa Mesa.

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 says he’s worried about a number of criminal justice reforms, including marijuana legalization.


Uganda’s agriculture minister said the government is reviewing laws that ban marijuana cultivation.

Some companies in China are moving to take advantage of the global CBD boom.


Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist tweeted, “Cannabis is not a gateway drug. It is the off ramp…. We learn this from the state by state federalist approach to ending prohibition.”


A study found “evidence of a linear correlation between CBD dosage and plasma levels, and that higher dose/levels are associated with a higher response rate for seizure improvement.”

A study on driving performance found that “cannabis containing equivalent concentrations of CBD and THC appears no less impairing than THC-dominant cannabis, and in some circumstances, CBD may actually exacerbate THC-induced impairment.”


A Koch Industries senior vice president said that “the war on drugs is a waste of time, money, resources, but especially human potential.”

Investor Warren Buffet said it would be a mistake for Coca-Cola to get into the marijuana businesses because it would tarnish its “wholesome image.”


Rapper Post Malone is reportedly starting his own marijuana company.

Comedian Bill Maher joked that he’s “for the first time in my life using marijuana for legitimate medical reasons” to deal with disappointment over the Mueller report.

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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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