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Illinois sold a billion dollars in cannabis in 2020 (Newsletter: January 5, 2021)

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MI gov signs veterinary medical marijuana bill; Study examines music & psychedelic therapy; TX patients want medical cannabis expansion

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Well, what’s next? With big wins in 2020 for cannabis, psilocybin and drug decriminalization, strong expert reporting is needed to closely track how these developments fully unfold. I think that —with your help—Marijuana Moment is more than equipped to do this work in 2020, and tools like our Bill Tracker can help our readers stay informed.

You can gain access to the Bill Tracker if you support Marijuana Moment on Patreon for $25/month: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a bill that allows veterinarians to consult on medical cannabis and CBD therapy for cats, dogs and other pets.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that retailers in the state sold more than $1 billion worth of legal marijuana products in 2020—and that doesn’t even include still-pending medical cannabis numbers for December.

A new Johns Hopkins study tested which music genres are most beneficial to play during psychedelic therapy sessions, finding that overtone-based tracks featuring gongs and didgeridoos slightly outperformed classical music.

  • “The lack of superiority of the Western classical playlist is even more interesting considering that some of the overtone-based playlist tracts consisted of sounds without traditionally identifiable melody and/or rhythm and therefore might not be classified as songs or music by some. This suggests that the sounds capable of supporting psychedelic therapy sessions may go beyond the bounds of traditionally defined musical genres.”

Texas lawmakers are facing pressure to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program from patients and advocates who say its current structure leaves many people without access.

/ FEDERAL

The Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration published a summary of data on marijuana-related emergency room visits.

A retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent now supports rescheduling marijuana after personally benefiting from medical cannabis.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans included a marijuana research bill in a list of accomplishments for the 116th Congress.

Sen. John Hickenlooper’s (D-CO) official Senate webpage touts that he “oversaw the creation of the first regulatory framework in the US for the legalization of recreational marijuana, which has become the gold standard for other states.”

Former Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) gave a reporter a tour of his hemp grow. He also tweeted, “I’m leaving Congress. I’m sitting on my deck watching our river-happy. Bourbon in hand (it’s past noon now) and thanking all of you for this incredible run. Time to help my wife make whiskey, grow hemp, support the IC and track conspiracy networks with @ncri_io. Grifters beware.”

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and lawmakers are nearing a deal on tweaks to marijuana legislation to address concerns about penalties for underage individuals, and floor votes are anticipated for Monday.

A Virginia delegate who is pushing for marijuana legalization revenues to fund reparations declared a run for governor.

Illinois lawmakers are reportedly working on lame-duck legislation to create more marijuana dispensary licenses and amend cannabis rules.

Maine regulators released preliminary draft medical cannabis rule revisions.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about obtaining approval to produce marijuana-infused beverages.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis dispensary and employee counts.

Here’s a look at how Rhode Island regulators will conduct a lottery to award additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Texas lawmakers discussed the prospects for marijuana legislation in the new session.

Washington State lawmakers may tackle several cannabis issues in 2021.

Colorado regulators will host a marijuana Science & Policy Work Group meeting on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 100 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

Massachusetts cities and towns generated $14.9 million in marijuana revenue in the most recent fiscal year.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Trinidad and Tobago’s attorney general said the government will hold public consultations on a pending marijuana reform bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “treatment with medical cannabis oils was safe and well tolerated, and resulted in a reduction in pain intensity, spasticity and sleep disturbances in [multiple sclerosis] patients,” suggesting that “medical cannabis oils can be used safely, especially at relatively low doses and with slow titration, as an alternative to treat MS-related symptoms when conventional therapy is inadequate.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Illinois Farm Bureau tweeted about how a database of hemp cultivators is “benefiting growers and industrial hemp research.”

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. said it experienced a “cybersecurity incident” on Christmas Day.

Harborside Inc. announced that co-founder Steve DeAngelo is leaving the company.

MedMen relaunched its MedMen Red brand.

Jushi Holdings Inc. announced a new offering of subordinate voting shares.

/ CULTURE

Mike Tyson appeared on Logan Paul’s podcast while on psilocybin mushrooms.

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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.

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.)

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MS medical cannabis deal reached for special session (Newsletter: September 24, 2021)

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House officials sends marijuana banking to Senate; Feds fund psilocybin for cigarette cessation study; FBI changes marijuana policy again

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Your good deed for the day: donate to an independent publisher like Marijuana Moment and ensure that as many voters as possible have access to the most in-depth cannabis reporting out there.

  • Steve Johnson: “We are going through a fascinating time in cannabis legislation. You provide an extremely valuable resource. I am happy to pledge. Keep up the great work. Thank you.”

Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives formally passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains marijuana banking provisions. But the path ahead in the Senate is complicated, with key lawmakers indicating they are not in favor of the move.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which loosened its marijuana policy for agent applicants earlier this summer, more recently added a new arbitrary restriction:  Anyone who has used cannabis more than 24 times as an adult is disqualified.

Mississippi lawmakers reached a deal on medical cannabis legislation to replace the voter-approved measure that was overturned by the state Supreme Court, and they’ll ask Gov. Tate Reeves (R) for a special session as soon as Friday. In a related development, the commissioner of agriculture and commerce told lawmakers in a letter that he wants no part of regulating medical marijuana as long as it remains federally illegal.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is funding research on whether psilocybin can help people quit smoking cigarettes.

  • “To my knowledge it’s the 1st grant from the US government in over a half century to directly study therapeutics of a classic psychedelic.”

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Health and Human Services said a study it funded on differences in opioid-related outcomes among pregnant and parenting women in states with and without medical cannabis laws has been submitted to a scientific journal for publication.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) spoke in a Senate floor speech about a departing staffer’s role in helping to craft cannabis legislation.

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “A few months ago, the largest illegal drug bust in LA County History was conducted in #CA25. While progress was made to combat the illegal marijuana grows, there is still more work to be done to eradicate this problem. I promise to continue to work to combat this problem.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, spoke about both major parties’ reluctance to embrace marijuana reform.

Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate William Compton tweeted, “Here is something that hasn’t been talked about lately: Marijuana. It needs to be legalized. The revenue, alone, would create a massive boost to KY’s economy. Tobacco is our cash crop, it’s time we add Marijuana into that!”

/ STATES

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee members pressed regulators on the lack of medical cannabis licenses awarded to black farmers.

Oklahoma regulators are being sued over the revocation of medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Montana regulators gave lawmakers an update on formulating marijuana rules. They also revealed that regulations will ban hemp-derived CBD from being sold in marijuana dispensaries.

A new Washington State policy will take effect next month that makes it easier for people with criminal records to participate in the marijuana industry.

An Ohio representative who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill tweeted that it’s been referred to the House Finance Committee and that he’s pushing to get a hearing scheduled.

Missouri regulators said that some medical cannabis products were put on hold in the state’s track and trace system “inadvertently.” Meanwhile, the state has now spent more than $6.7 million defending against legal challenges to licensing decisions.

Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission met.

Nevada regulators will discuss marijuana business issues on Tuesday.

New Jersey regulators will host a webinar on marijuana rules on Tuesday.

Maine regulators will convene the first meeting of the new Medical Marijuana Workgroup on Tuesday.

Michigan regulators will hold a quarterly meeting on marijuana issues on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Missoula County, Montana officials held a meeting to explain a marijuana tax ballot measure.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Scotland’s lord advocate announced a plan to allow police to issue warnings for Class A drugs instead of making arrests.

Canadian retailers sold C$338.9 million worth of legal marijuana in July.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “the price of Ohio’s medical marijuana continues to drive dissatisfaction” with the state program.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Cannabis Regulators Association sent comments about federal marijuana legalization provisions to senators.

The Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association, Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association and other groups sent a letter asking regulators to place a moratorium on issuing new medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

NBC’s Brian Williams made a marijuana edibles joke on air.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs Inc. is acquiring Bay, LLC d/b/a Cure Pennsylvania.

Green Market Report is being acquired by Crain Communications.

Investors in Civilized are pushing out the company’s founders.

Several unlicensed marijuana dispensaries are now operating on the St. Regis Mohawk reservation located within New York.

Eaze launched a program to bring free medical cannabis to low-income patients.

Cookies launched a new product that combines THC and non-psychedelic mushrooms.

The Associated Press Stylebook tweeted, “THC is OK in all references to tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that gives marijuana its high. CBD is OK for cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis that does not cause a high and is often sold as a dietary supplement or included in creams and other personal care products.”

/ CULTURE

Clint Eastwood won a court default against the CEO of Norok Innovation Inc., which the actor says misappropriated his name to falsely make people think he endorsed its CBD products.

PBS’s Nova will air an episode on the science and criminalization of cannabis on Wednesday.

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

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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Cannabis banking sponsor discusses Senate path (Newsletter: September 23, 2021)

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OK marijuana ballot measures finalized; NY cannabis board fully seated; USDA’s anti-weed hemp effort; PA medical cannabis DUI hearing

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Your good deed for the day: donate to an independent publisher like Marijuana Moment and ensure that as many voters as possible have access to the most in-depth cannabis reporting out there.

  • Todd Harrison of CB1 Capital Management: “Tom and Kyle’s fierce cannabis journalism should be championed and supported. We’re proud to be doing our part.”

Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

SAFE Banking Act sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) spoke to Marijuana Moment about the prospects for finally getting his now five-times House-passed cannabis reform through the Senate and onto the president’s desk.

  • “I think the fifth time is the charm.”

Oklahoma activists finalized the language for separate initiatives to legalize marijuana and revise the existing medical cannabis program that they want to place on the 2022 ballot.

With two final appointments, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) completed the makeup of the Cannabis Control Board—setting up the state to finally begin implementing a legal recreational marijuana market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding research to help hemp farmers manage weed issues.

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on a bill to protect medical cannabis patients from being charged with DUI unless they are actually impaired behind the wheel.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s long past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, enact criminal justice reforms, and invest in communities hurt by the War on Drugs. That’s why @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he opposes adding marijuana banking to the National Defense Authorization Act. Separately, he announced that efforts to negotiate a deal on police reform legislation have ended after Republicans failed to accept Democrats’ final offer of compromise.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) reacted to the House including marijuana banking in the National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “It’s not a great vehicle for it, but if it’s a vehicle that can carry it, I think it’d be fine… Any vehicle’s good that gets it to pass it.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “Proudly cosponsored @RepPerlmutter’s #SAFEBanking amendment. By denying state-legal cannabis business access to financial services the federal govt is – endangering public safety – crippling the economic recovery of #smallbiz – refusing states’ rights to implement their own laws

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “I support the Safe Banking Act. Let’s begin to decriminalize cannabis federally. All legal cannabis businesses across our country pay their employees, bills, and FEDERAL taxes with cash! Cannabis businesses and customers deserve access to a banking system!”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “As part of the #FY22NDAA, I’m proud to support these 3 #SmallBiz Amendments:… ✅The SAFE Banking Act (for #cannabis businesses, approved last night!)…”

Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) filed a bill aimed at protecting Customs and Border Protection officers from accidental exposure to fentanyl and other drugs they may encounter on the job, but advocates say the bill is seeking to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist and is “created from hysteria, not science.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got five new cosponsors for a total of 64.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he expects recreational marijuana sales to begin through existing medical cannabis dispensaries in the first or second quarter of 2022.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “My Ohio comeback plan is pretty simple. We’re going to legalize and tax marijuana and we’re going to give Ohioans a dividend of our energy profits. This will create 120,000 jobs that pay $60,000 a year, reduce unemployment, and cut poverty in half.”

North Carolina’s Senate president pro tem indicated that a medical cannabis bill might not get a floor vote until next year. Meanwhile, the legislation’s sponsor is working on some changes requested by the state attorney general.

A Pennsylvania senator is hosting a cannabis opportunities conference on Friday.

Arkansas activists say they’ve collected more than 20,000 signatures so far for their proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Oregon regulators issued a mandatory recall for a hemp product with undisclosed levels of THC.

California regulators are modifying the text of warnings about exposure to marijuana smoke and THC.

An Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics official told lawmakers at a hearing that the number of fraudulently licensed medical cannabis cultivation operations may soon decrease.

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

Nevada’s Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Social Equity, Diversity & Inclusion will meet on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a man who launched an apparel brand called “NYC New York Cannabis” that uses logos similar to the city’s official ones.

A Wake County, North Carolina district attorney candidate said he won’t prosecute low-level marijuana cases if elected.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Kenya’s attorney general has until October 18 to respond to a lawsuit seeking to legalize marijuana that was filed by Rastafarians.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that medical cannabis “had a favorable effect on pain level and quality of sleep among all spectrums of problems at the rheumatology clinic.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana Moment Senior Editor Kyle Jaeger spoke about cannabis banking legislation on C-SPAN’s Washington Today.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials released a position statement on the use of hemp and hemp byproducts in animal food.

The American Bankers Association tweeted, “ABA strongly supports the #SAFEBanking Act which would help achieve important public safety goals and expand access to credit for cannabis-related businesses in states where it is legal, making the industry more equitable while growing jobs and the economy.”

Concerned Women for America tweeted, “More #FY22NDAA Insanity: Last night House voted to unleash the predatory marijuana industry through the U.S. banking system while drugs are pouring across our borders. Dems want America on pot and our daughters in war. @HouseGOP must say NO.”

The Massachusetts Package Stores Association said a senator’s bill to ban billboard advertising for alcohol or marijuana products is unconstitutional.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is closing down its Edmonton, Alberta, Canada facility.

A lawsuit that Legacy Hemp LLC filed against Terramax Holdings Corp. for allegedly breaching a hemp seed distribution contract was revived by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit after it was previously dismissed.

/ CULTURE

UFC fighter Chris Barnett was suspended and fined over a positive marijuana test.

Melissa Etheridge spoke about her cannabis brand Etheridge Botanicals.

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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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House approves cannabis banking (again, in military bill this time) (Newsletter: September 22, 2021)

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Amazon expands marijuana protections; CA State Fair hosts cannabis contest; NY legalization revenue projections; Fmr GOP rep on psilocybin benefits

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

If you value Marijuana Moment, invest in our success on Patreon so we can expand our coverage and more readers can benefit: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives approved a marijuana banking amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act—on a voice vote, and no member requested a roll call. Earlier on Tuesday, the House Rules Committee cleared the measure for  floor consideration, but the panel blocked separate amendments to expand research on the benefits of psychedelics for active duty military members and to protect veterans from being denied home loans because they work in the cannabis industry.

Amazon reiterated its support for legalizing marijuana and said it will reinstate eligibility for employees and applicants who were previously punished for positive cannabis tests. Curiously, though, the company claimed in a letter to senators that it has no view on marijuana “regulation, permitting, taxation, and interstate commerce.”

The California State Fair & Expo will host a first-of-its-kind, state-sanctioned cannabis competition and awards show at next year’s event.

New York’s budget director projected in a new quarterly fiscal update that growing marijuana revenue will help offset an ongoing decline in taxes from cigarette sales.

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) shared the story of a family friend who treated alcoholism with psilocybin therapy.

  • “The first time he got the treatment, he lost all cravings for drinking. This happened about six years ago, and he has not had a craving since.”

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge sentenced a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor convicted of extorting marijuana businesses to six years in prison.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced $13.2 million in grants for 106 Drug-Free Communities Support Programs across the country.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “A pilot hemp insurance program available in select counties through Multi-Peril Crop Insurance provides coverage against loss of yield because of insurable causes of loss for hemp grown for fiber, grain, or CBD oil.”

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) toured a hemp processing facility.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted that the World Anti-Doping Agency’s move to reconsider marijuana’s banned status for athletes is “real progress for real people. Grateful to my colleagueRep. @Bonnie4Congres for shining a light on this injustice together.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, tweeted about the growth potential of psilocybin treatment.

/ STATES

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) signed a bill to allow police to refer juveniles caught with marijuana to counseling, treatment or other intervention services in lieu of having to pay fines.

A New Jersey senator spoke about why his bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana is stalled.

Connecticut’s Judicial Branch is warning people that marijuana is not allowed inside courthouses.

Oklahoma regulators filed permanent changes to medical cannabis rules.

Louisiana regulators proposed changes to hemp rules.

Vermont regulators are preparing to issue a report with marijuana recommendations for lawmakers.

Connecticut regulators published updated statistics on medical cannabis patients and registered physicians.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

The Nevada Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Public Safety will meet on Friday.

Michigan regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed marijuana rules changes on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Rapid City, South Dakota City Council approved medical cannabis business rules.

Denver, Colorado will host a Marijuana Social Equity Resource Fair on October 16.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned the international community not to interfere with his nation’s bloody “drug war” in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly.

Paraguayan officials sent a reminder about the need to register and update medical cannabis business information.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of hemp found that “CBD yield and decarboxylation rate were significantly affected by drying conditions” and that “terpene content and profile in hemp changed with the drying conditions.”

A study concluded that “psilocybin has a rapid, sizable, and long-term antidepressive effect for primary (major depression patients) and secondary depressive disorder (depressed cancer patients).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly said the government should air public  service announcements about the harms of marijuana, and he’s offering to star in them for free.

Drug Policy Alliance founder Ethan Nadelmann signed on as a cannabis consultant for PKF O’Connor Davies, LLP.

The Cannabis Freedom Alliance published a white paper on marijuana social equity programs.

The Transform Drug Policy Foundation is hiring a new CEO.

/ BUSINESS

FSD Pharma Inc. closed its acquisition of Lucid Psycheceuticals Inc.

Blue Tree LLC is reportedly being investigated by California regulators over a possible illegal marijuana smuggling operation.

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen spoke about how his passion for cannabis drives his work with his brand Houseplant.

The Onion joked that marijuana “ranks among the foremost treatments for persistent existence.”

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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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