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Sessions admits ‘some benefits from medical marijuana’ (Newsletter: April 26, 2018)



Cannabis research bill has key GOP support; Gardner discusses draft legislation; Lawmakers talk cannabis on House floor

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U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions  admitted “there may well be some benefits from medical marijuana” and said that the Justice Department will soon issue more licenses to cultivate cannabis for research.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers took to the House floor to argue in favor of marijuana law reform, with Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) saying, “Medical marijuana is like the Fourth of July. It is almost universally accepted.”

Marijuana Moment obtained the text of a new marijuana research bill being cosponsored this week by U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).


U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) spoke about marijuana legislation he is drafting with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that they expect the White House to support in line with President Trump’s pledge to respect state cannabis laws. Gardner said the bill will be a “one stop shop that fixes and corrects” the marijuana industry’s federal problems.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee pulled a scheduled vote on a prison reform bill.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) accepted a “Friend of Hemp” award.

U.S. Sen. Dennie Stabenow (D-MI) said that as states continue to legalize marijuana, “at some point the federal government is going to have to act in order to make it uniform across the country.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) tweeted about racial disparities in marijuana arrests.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, tweeted, “From young children with epilepsy to veterans living with PTSD, families across Texas know that criminalizing marijuana often means criminalizing the medication that could improve their lives. It’s time we end the federal prohibition on marijuana.”

The U.S. Senate bill to remove marijuana research roadblocks got one new cosponsor, for a total of seven.

The U.S. House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor, for a total of 28.

California Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Hartson released an ad criticizing U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) position on marijuana.

New York Democratic congressional candidate Brian Flynn supports legalizing marijuana.

New York Democratic congressional candidate Michael DeVito supports rescheduling marijuana.


New Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Susana Martinez’s veto of hemp legislation was invalid.

In an address marking his first 100 days in office, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy touted his administration’s expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program and work “toward the legalization of marijuana to to combat the trend of mass incarceration.” Separately, the health commissioner said the state’s medical cannabis patient count is expected to more than double by June 2019.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has on his desk a bill to allow federally approved CBD medicines.

Iowa’s House speaker is opposing moves to expand the state’s CBD medical cannabis law.

An Illinois House committee approved a bill to allow the expungement of marijuana convictions.

The New Hampshire Senate Health and Human Services Committee defeated a bill to allow medical cannabis home cultivation.

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidates discussed marijuana legalization at a forum.

Puerto Rico’s Senate held a hearing on medical cannabis.

The Vermont House Human Services Committee will consider a bill to prevent medical cannabis patients from being denied organ transplants on Thursday.

The California Governance and Finance Committee approved a bill to allow state-chartered banks and credit unions to serve the marijuana industry. Separately, lawmakers are considering legislation to add workplace protections for medical cannabis patients.

Alaska regulators filed rules concerning marijuana quality control samples and the reporting of theft.

An Associated Press analysis suggests that Oregon regulators don’t have enough staff to adequately track the marijuana industry.

Washington State regulators sent an update about marijuana rules and compliance.


Canadian Conservative members of Parliament are criticizing the Liberal government about its party members adopting a resolution in support of decriminalizing all drugs. Meanwhile, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police is exploring whether to support decriminalization.


Washington State University researchers are halting development of a marijuana breath test because they fear interference from the federal government.

A study found that “cannabis users were less likely to have” atrial fibrillation.


The National Association of Cannabis Businesses released a proposed set of advertising standards for the marijuana industry and is accepting public comment on the draft for the next month.

Marijuana publisher Dope Media raised $875,000 in funding.

Leafbuyer is launching an online marijuana video platform.

Simplifya is offering a free audit compliance product to California marijuana businesses.

/ CULTURE     

Comedian Jeff Garlin encouraged Conan O’Brien to start consuming marijuana.

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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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