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Interesting non-legalization cannabis bills in state legislatures (Newsletter: Jan. 31, 2019)

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Scientists generate electricity with marijuana consumers’ urine; NJ mayors want expungements or else; Survey: Military veterans back cannabis reforms

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Several New Jersey mayors are threatening to ban marijuana stores from their cities if legalization legislation doesn’t include strong provisions to expunge past cannabis convictions.

In a new study, scientists used marijuana consumers’ urine to generate electricity.

A survey of Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans found that 83% support medical cannabis, 55% back full marijuana legalization, 89% are interested in using cannabinoid medicines and 90% want medical marijuana research, among other results.

While full legalization bills get the most attention, a new Marijuana Moment analysis takes a look at a number of other interesting cannabis proposals that state lawmakers are currently considering, including legislation to require insurance coverage for CBD, protect medical marijuana patients’ gun access, authorize veterinarians to recommend marijuana for animals and allow interstate sales.

/ FEDERAL

A press release from the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington seemed to go out of its way to note that a marijuana distribution business it prosecuted was “unlicensed.”

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer joined the board of directors of Seedo Corp., which makes marijuana cultivation equipment.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said he’s “confident” about the prospects for federal marijuana reform.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) said marijuana is the “least harmful drug.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “We shouldn’t kid ourselves – veterans use marijuana. We have an obligation to make it safe, regulate it, and protect the benefits of vets who would like to discuss it with their doctors. @mattgaetz and I intro’d legislation that would do all of the above.”

Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dina Titus (D-NV) spoked about marijuana legalization in interviews with Pod Save The People.

The House bill to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got eight new cosponsors, for a total of 25.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tweeted about a study showing that counties with marijuana dispensaries see fewer opioid overdoses.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) appointed additional members to the advisory panel working on creating a Cannabis Compliance Board.

Oregon’s secretary of state released an audit that calls into question the effectiveness of regulations on tracking and testing of marijuana.

Nebraska’s attorney general tweeted about the potential harms of marijuana.

Florida’s House speaker said he has hesitations about allowing the smoking of medical cannabis. Separately, the state agriculture commissioner plans to announce new medical marijuana and hemp advisory committees soon.

Connecticut’s House speaker and majority leader said there’s no guarantee marijuana legalization will be passed this year.

New York’s Assembly speaker spoke about the importance of equity provisions in marijuana legalization.

Wyoming’s House majority floor leader filed a medical cannabis bill.

Guam lawmakers introduced legislation to legalize marijuana.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner tweeted about Facebook’s deletion of hemp pages.

Vermont’s Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on marijuana sales legalization.

The Iowa Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to expand the state’s limited low-THC medical cannabis law.

An Illinois law allowing patients to substitute medical cannabis for opioids takes effect on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 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.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared the country’s war on drugs “over.”

A spokesman for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he thinks a recently approved medical cannabis bill is “good for those who are sick.”

The Canadian government’s marijuana point man says edibles might not hit the shelves right when their sales become allowed, because provinces need time to prepare.

Jamaica’s minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries is encouraging the production of low-THC, high-CBD medical cannabis.

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Decades of research has proven that the ‘War on Drugs’ was a colossal failure — under a new bill being considered in the Roundhouse, drug addiction would be treated as the health crisis it is.”

Canadian marijuana activist and businessman Marc Emery is being disinvited from cannabis events in the wake of media reports about alleged sexual misconduct towards employees.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “pre‐transplant marijuana use, past or current, does not appear to impact liver transplant outcomes; however, tobacco smoking remains detrimental.”

A study concluded that cannabisin F, a compound in hemp seed, reduces “inflammatory response and oxidative stress” in cells.

The  ASPCA Poison Control Center says it has seen a 756 percent increase in calls about accidental marijuana ingestion by pets over the last decade.

The University of California, Berkeley launched a new Cannabis Research Center.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 79% of Colorado voters want the state to focus more on prevention and treatment for drug issues and less on incarceration and punishment.

The Kansas City Star editorial board is encouraging Missouri lawmakers to pass legislation expunging marijuana records.

/ BUSINESS

Turkish firm TechnoArge developed an x-ray scanner for airports made with a cannabis-based composite that the company says prevents radiation from spreading to the environment.

Tilray insiders are offloading some of their stock holdings.

Hexo Corp. said it raised $43.3 million in a stock sale.

Ohio dispensaries sold more than  $300,000 worth of medical cannabis products in the first 12 days of operations.

/ CULTURE

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell mostly dodged a question about allowing players to use medical cannabis.

Musician David Crosby tweeted, “If smoking marijuana causes short-term memory loss, what does smoking marijuana do?”

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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