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Majority of Americans now live in cannabis decrim zones (Newsletter: Sep. 5, 2018)

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Kavanaugh’s little-noticed marijuana enforcement comments; Trump backers don’t buy anti-cannabis committee news; Farm Bill & hemp negotiations begin

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new Marijuana Moment analysis finds that a majority of Americans—55%—now live in places where first-time, low-level marijuana offenses generally do not come with the threat of jail time.

In little-noticed remarks from 2016, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh laid out thoughts about how the decision not to enforce federal marijuana laws could be related to uninhibited presidential pardon powers.

Pro-legalization Trump supporters like Roger Stone and Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams are constructing theories to undermine a recent BuzzFeed report that revealed a secret White House anti-marijuana committee.

/ FEDERAL

The congressional conference committee on the Farm Bill, the Senate version of which contains hemp legalization language, begins meeting on Wednesday.

Ohio state and county officials are defendants in a federal lawsuit that was filed over the denial of ballot access to two local marijuana depenalization initiatives.

A U.S. Government Accountability Office review of federal substance abuse grant programs identified “insufficient access to recovery services and a shortage of treatment providers.”

Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “I second my colleagues’ push for cannabis research. The VA needs to stop ignoring this potential alternative to opioids and help our veterans get their lives back.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) criticized the White House’s efforts to compile negative information about marijuana.

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted, “I stand in the fight for medical cannabis. Deschedule and get out of big pharma’s hands! #CannabisIsMedicine”

Alabama Democratic congressional candidate Tabitha Isner tweeted, “It’s time to get over our stereotypes about marijuana and recognize that the cannabis plant produces medicines that can and should be on pharmacy shelves.”

/ STATES

Utah medical cannabis supporters filed a complaint with the lieutenant governor’s office alleging that opponents are working to “mislead the public” about their ballot measure.

The Missouri Court of Appeals is being asked to reconsider a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit against a medical cannabis initiative’s ballot access.

New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana legalization.

New York Democratic gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon tweeted, “Not only do we need to legalize marijuana in NY, but when this multibillion-dollar industry comes, we need to use that revenue to invest in the communities that have been most targeted by the War on Drugs and pay for job training and education programs.”

Virginia regulators met to begin reviewing medical cannabis dispensary license applications.

Alaska regulators proposed rules concerning marijuana business ownership ownership changes, expiration of renewal and wholesale transfer of concentrates, as well as on conversion of licenses and public notices.

A New Mexico representative is optimistic about marijuana legalization legislation in 2019.

Oklahoma regulators released a list of doctors who have registered to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Here’s a look at how California marijuana legislation fared this session.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox predicted that the country will legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, regulators are being accused of blocking access to medical cannabis.

The Canadian government  announced an investment of $330,550 to the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. Separately, The Leaf profiled Canadians who have been barred from entering the U.S. due to marijuana use.

A Malaysian man who gave cannabis oil to needy patients has been sentenced to death.

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Medical marijuana isn’t just a lifeline for thousands of patients, it’s a multi-million dollar industry that’s creating jobs and lifting up our economy — electing Steve Pearce puts that in jeopardy.”

The Florida Democratic Party tweeted, “Over 71% of Floridians voted to approve Medical Marijuana – but Rick Scott and Republicans continue to block access to it. Nikki Fried will break the barriers that prevent seniors and veterans from accessing it. We need a leader like @nikkifried at the Dept. of Agriculture!”

The Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network released a voter guide for this week’s primary elections.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of marijuana consumers in Nigeria found that “most interviewees did not view the criminal identity associated with cannabis use as a deterrent to use; they considered it a risk that could be mitigated by concealment of use” and that “the ‘criminal’ stereotype from the negative societal perception about users as criminals which often resulted in stigma and lost opportunities paradoxically appeared to reinforce cannabis use among male users.”

A study of Colorado newspaper coverage found that “legalisation of marijuana has been accompanied by more positive media portrayals, suggesting that legalisation is leading to decreased stigmatisation of the drug,” but that “the more positive portrayals following legalisation, however, were only found in the headlines. Photographs, which are powerful framing devices, have remained stagnant.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

Attendees of the Minnesota State Fair support marijuana legalization, 56% – 34% in a poll conducted by the House of Representatives.

The Tulsa World editorial board is urging Oklahoma schools to keep medical cannabis off campus until federal law changes.

/ BUSINESS

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Cronos Group, Inc. for allegedly making materially false and/or misleading statements.

/ CULTURE

Rapper DJ Maseo posted to Instagram, “I have been [ridiculed], arrested, and demonized for the great benefits of Marijuana and now I’m a share holder in a few different companies.”

Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman and his wife Beth were spotted at a Los Angeles marijuana dispensary.

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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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House approves state cannabis protections (Newsletter: July 31, 2020)

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White House faith advisor bashes Biden’s marijuana record; CA AG: court should block DEA cannabiz subpoena; Legalization an issue in House primary

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,531 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to block the Department of Justice from interfering with all state, territory and tribal marijuana laws.

White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative Advisor Paula White-Cain blasted presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s record of supporting harsh criminal justice legislation that sent people to prison for cannabis and other drugs.

  • “Everyone forgets Clinton’s bill that Joe Biden went along with and signed people to prison for 30 years for three ounces of marijuana.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) filed a brief asking a federal court to block a Drug Enforcement Administration subpoena seeking to force state regulators to hand over information about marijuana businesses.

Marijuana is becoming a key issue in one of the most-watched congressional primaries of 2020. The challenger, Holyoke, Massachusetts Mayor Alex Morse (D), is calling out longtime incumbent Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA) for not acting on a cannabis legalization bill that’s before his committee and for remarks where he referred to marijuana as a “gateway drug.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Sentencing Commission reported that drug offenses were the most common primary offense type for federal probation and supervised release violations.

The Drug Enforcement Administration sent out an alert about “telephone calls by scammers posing as DEA employees attempting to defraud and extort victims.”

The Food and Drug Administration announced a voluntary recall of Summitt Labs CBD products due to high lead content.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) criticized House Democrats for including “all kinds of things related to marijuana” in their coronavirus relief bill.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called it “embarrassing” that Democratic officials rejected a marijuana legalization amendment for the party platform and said she is “not confident” that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden would evolve on the issue.

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) said it is “odd” that Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is criticizing the congressman for being slow to evolve on marijuana legalization when he appears to have publicly endorsed the reform before the senator did.

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA) tweeted, “Let’s remember just how unserious House Democrats were when they passed a so-called COVID-19 relief bill that included…benefits for lobbyists and the cannabis industry.”

California Democratic congressional candidate Shahid Buttar tweeted, “Legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge records for cannabis-related offenses. Pass it on.”

/ STATES

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) cited his previously signing a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession in a message about vetoing legislation that would have allowed people to petition to have some drug crime records annulled.

Pennsylvania regulators removed the requirement for medical cannabis patients to renew their registrations in order to maintain participation in the program. The state’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “I fully, fully support, lobbied + endorse home grow for medical marijuana patients.   Especially during the pandemic.”

Nevada regulators and businesses challenging their marijuana licensing process have reached a proposed settlement in the case.

Oregon regulators will hold a hearing on proposed marijuana business inspections and on-site delivery rules on August 17.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Several countries expressed concerns about a World Health Organization recommendation to clarify that CBD is not under international control at a United National Commission on  Narcotic Drugs meeting.

Netherlands regulators received 149 applications to grow legal recreational marijuana to supply coffee shops.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study identified a “‘reverse gateway effect‘ among some street entrenched young people, whereby cannabis use was associated with the intermittent reduction, elimination or prevention of more harmful forms of drug use such as meth and opioid use.”

A study found that “high concentrations of airborne fungi were identified” at indoor marijuana grow operations.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Colorado hemp industry participants are protesting state regulators’ selection of the Marijuana Policy Group to establish the state Hemp Center of Excellence.

/ BUSINESS

High Times Productions, Inc. is being accused of reneging on its obligations in an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit related to accessibility issues at its Cannabis Cup events.

FSD Pharma Inc. is forfeiting its Canadian licenses and is exiting the marijuana business.

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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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Biden pledges federal funds for cannabis expungement (Newsletter: July 30, 2020)

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White House meets with hemp groups on CBD enforcement; McConnell says marijuana banking ‘non-germane’ to COVID bill; Senators press USDA on hemp regs

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 479 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is proposing federal aid to help states expunge cannabis and other convictions.

  • “Getting caught for smoking marijuana when you’re young surely shouldn’t deny you, the rest your life, being able to have a good paying job or a career or a loan or an ability to rent an apartment.”

The White House Office of Management and Budget is hosting several hemp industry groups for meetings about CBD enforcement policy this week and next week.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that including marijuana banking provisions in coronavirus relief legislation, as the House did, would be “non-germane.”

  • “I would hope all of the non-COVID-related measures are out no matter what bills they were in at the start.”

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) sent a letter calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to change several restrictive hemp regulations. They say that despite the temporary suspension of a rule allowing only labs certified by the Drug Enforcement Administration to do THC testing, USDA’s site still lists only those facilities.

  • “This signals that there is no intent to remove this unnecessary requirement in the final rules.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing changes to rules for reporting theft or loss of controlled substances.

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen tweeted, “On Day One I will pardon all those who have been imprisoned for victimless crimes. Anyone convicted and incarcerated for possessing or using an illegal drug will be pardoned. End the War on Drugs now.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “Democrats released their socialist wish list (disguised as COVID19 relief) over two months ago, so we would forget that it included items like:…Marijuana banking.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “Legalize marijuana nationwide and expunge records for cannabis-related offenses.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) criticized Democrats for including “three trillion dollars of marijuana banking” in their coronavirus relief bill.

Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “It may seem an insignificant thing compared to healthcare, the environment, housing, and justice reform. But legalizing marijuana is an integral component of the general reforms that are needed. Rep Lee could not have gotten this more wrong.”

Tennessee Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale tweeted, “Why is it that kids and veterans in Tennessee who smoke marijuana have criminal records but Wall Street executives who committed massive fraud and wrecked our economy do not? I’ll be the most pro-weed Congressman God ever made.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman tweeted, “Decriminalize & legalize marijuana.”

/ STATES

A former Maryland delegate who pleaded guilty to soliciting and accepting bribes from medical cannabis companies was sentenced to two years in federal prison.

Nevada regulators are investigating three dispensaries for allegedly selling marijuana products that failed microbial testing.

Maine’s top marijuana regulator said cultivation, manufacturing and processing facilities should be able to open by the end of September, with sales beginning by the end of the year.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission Patient Equity Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday.

Montana regulators will hold a hearing on proposed hemp rules on August 13.

Alaska regulators will consider marijuana business license applications and rules on August 19 and 20.


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 Plymouth, Ohio Village Council approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

St. Lucia’s government is drafting legislation to legalize marijuana.

Dominica’s government is moving ahead with plans to decriminalize marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “in the first randomised clinical trial of cannabidiol for cannabis use disorder, cannabidiol 400 mg and 800 mg were safe and more efficacious than placebo at reducing cannabis use.”

A review found that “industrial hemp biomass is an excellent alternative candidate for biofuel production” and “has higher cellulose content compared with other agricultural residues.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board is encouraging local officials to target landlords when seeking to close unlicensed marijuana shops.

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $152.2 million and a net loss of $98.8 million.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company reported that $303 million in quarterly revenue for its cannabis-focused Hawthorne unit.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a number of people with allegedly defrauding investors in several marijuana businesses.

A Marijuana Business Daily analysis concludes that the number of people working in the U.S. cannabis industry will increase to 240,000-295,000 by the end of the year.

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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 to vote on protecting state cannabis laws this week (Newsletter: July 29, 2020)

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Senate leaves marijuana banking out of COVID bill; Cannabis Caucus chair votes against DNC legalization amendment; Poll: NJ cannabis referendum leads

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 476 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.

  • Harry Bernstein of Verde Compliance Partners: “We support Marijuana Moment because it provides up to date and detailed information, which we combine with our knowledge, experience, and relationships to help our clients navigate current and proposed federal cannabis regulation.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee cleared the way for an amendment protecting all state, territory and tribal marijuana laws from federal interference to be considered on the floor this week. The panel also blocked separate measures that would have stripped funds from certain legal cannabis states.

The Senate’s new package of coronavirus relief legislation does not contain any marijuana banking provisions, whereas the most recent House COVID bill included language to let banks service the cannabis industry. It remains to be seen if any senators will push amendments on the issue or if it can be advanced by bicameral negotiators later in the process.

Congressional Cannabis Caucus Co-chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) joined former top Obama administration officials and other establishment figures in voting to defeat an effort to put marijuana legalization in the 2020 Democratic platform.

A poll found that 68% of New Jersey likely voters support a marijuana legalization referendum that’s on the November ballot. They also back cannabis delivery services, social consumption lounges and expunging past convictions.

/ FEDERAL

The House of Representatives approved an amendment to restrict the use of funds to support aerial fumigation of drug crops in Colombia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded a $200,000 grant to study THC levels in hemp.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) criticized Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA)’s recent evolution on marijuana legalization during a debate.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) again criticized Democrats for passing a coronavirus relief bill that “mention[s] ‘cannabis’ more than it mentions ‘research’ or ‘jobs.’”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement in a House floor speech.

Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate Antonia Eliason tweeted, “I believe that both medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized, and strongly support Mississippi taking the first step, to legalize medical marijuana. Vote for Initiative 65 in November to legalize medical marijuana, NOT for Initiative 65A.”

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Hilary Turner tweeted, “What do we have if no major party supports things that the majority of people want?  The Democratic Platform Committee is out of touch. I vow to continue to fight for single-payer universal healthcare, and legalizing cannabis, regardless of the party platform.”

/ STATES

Nebraska’s secretary of state reported that medical cannabis activists turned in more than 196,000 raw signatures in support of their ballot measure.

North Carolina Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Jenna Wadsworth tweeted, “Cannabis legalization in NC will benefit farmers & rural tourism, generate tax 💵 for public education, & combat an opioid epidemic. Plus, it holds the promise of social justice for communities of color through decriminalization & dismissal of past misdemeanor possession charges.”

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura (I) tweeted, “Not that I would vote for a Democrat, but can someone explain the party platform? Turns out they’re actually anti-marijuana when #cannabis is LEGAL in over half the country.”

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that the smell of marijuana, on its own, does not give police probable cause for a search.

A Nevada judge is considering a motion to issue a temporary restraining order preventing regulators from settling with some litigants in a case challenging the state’s marijuana licensing process.

California regulators posted warnings about the health impacts of marijuana smoke and THC.

Alaska regulators voted to extend rules allowing marijuana curbside and window pickup through November 15.

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission’s Industrial Hemp Industry Development Work Group met.

California lawmakers are considering a marijuana banking bill.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Mexican regulators published draft medical cannabis rules.

Scotland’s first medical cannabis prescription has been made.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD treatment was shown to enhance bone healing, but needs validation in clinical trials” and that “while research shows that [endocannabinoid] activity protects against bone loss, studies on CB1 and CB2 agonists in bone regeneration models are lacking.”

Researchers developed a method to that “converts nearly 100% of the hemp plant into useable components, such as cellulose fiber for use in textiles and construction, resinous lignin for use in bioplastics, sugars for use as sweeteners, and extractives for use in wellness products.”

/ BUSINESS

Medically Correct announced it has decided against pursuing a proposed acquisition by Schwazze.

Organigram Holdings Inc. launched a new cannabis-infused chocolate bar.

/ CULTURE

Run the Jewels launched a new line of marijuana products.

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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