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Maryland House votes to expand cannabis decrim (Newsletter: March 12, 2020)

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TN Senate committee OKs medical marijuana; 100k sigs for OR psilocybin measure; FDA pressed on CBD at hearing; USDA approves state hemp plans

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Maryland House of Delegates voted to expand the state’s marijuana decriminalization law from only 10 grams to a full ounce.

The Tennessee Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved a medical marijuana bill, though a last-minute amendment would prevent the program from taking effect until cannabis is federally rescheduled.

The Oregon psilocybin campaign working to put a measure to legalize therapeutic use of psychedelic mushrooms on the November ballot announced it has collected more than 100,000 signatures so far.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn faced questions about the agency’s efforts to regulate cannabidiol at a congressional hearing, saying at one point that CBD-infused “teething rings for babies” definitely won’t be allowed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved hemp plans from Georgia and Montana, bringing the number of states the federal government has now signed off on proposals for the newly legal crop from to 10. Twelve Indian tribes have also gotten clearance.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture tweeted about the availability of crop insurance for hemp.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The time is long overdue for us to legalize marijuana and expunge past marijuana convictions.”

Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) plans to file a new bill called the Hemp Opportunity Zone Act, which would increase THC limits, expand access to banking and provide tax relief for businesses, among other changes.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) sent an alert to NORML’s supporter list asking people write their representatives in support of his veterans’ medical cannabis bill being voted on by a House committee on Thursday.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) sent his constituents a survey on whether military veterans should be able to access medical cannabis.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 72.

The House bill to end the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor for a total of nine.

New Jersey Democratic congressional candidate Hector Oseguera tweeted, “✅ End the #WarOnDrugs ✅ Release those incarcerated on marijuana convictions ✅Restore voting rights ✅Prioritize licenses to directly affected communities”

/ STATES

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) named a new top medical cannabis regulator.

New York’s Senate majority leader said that marijuana legalization and other issues lawmakers hoped to address through the budget aren’t dead but are less of a priority than responding to coronavirus.

The Arizona House of Representatives approved legislation to require warning labels on medical cannabis and use proceeds from a new tax to support research on whether there is a link between marijuana consumption and schizophrenia or violent behavior.

The Vermont Senate appointed members to a conference committee to reconcile the differences in marijuana legalization legislation with the House.

A South Dakota legislature conference committee approved a hemp bill.

The Mississippi Senate Constitution Committee approved a House-passed resolution to place a competing medical cannabis question on the ballot next to an activist-driven one.

The Idaho House State Affairs Committee voted to kill a Senate-passed hemp bill.

A California court upheld Kern County’s ban on marijuana dispensaries.

Members of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, located in South Dakota, approved marijuana legalization and medical cannabis referendums while defeating a proposal to allow alcohol in the tribe’s casino.

New Mexico regulators asked the state Supreme Court to consider whether medical cannabis is exempt from gross receipts taxes like prescription drugs are.

The Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy and Agency for Substance Abuse Policy said in a report that relatively low adolescent cannabis use rates are “threatened by efforts to legalize marijuana use in the Commonwealth.”

Iowa’s hemp program is in jeopardy of missing a growing season because federal officials have not yet approved the state’s plan.

Washington State regulators canceled a meeting on marijuana quality control testing next week due to coronavirus concerns. They also rescheduled a listen and learn forum on draft conceptual rules regarding cannabis true party of interest regulations to be via webinar only.

Here’s a look at efforts to reform Indiana marijuana laws.


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

Ecorse, Michigan voters approved a ballot measure to allow marijuana businesses, while those in Clinton Township and  Sidney Township were rejected.

A report commissioned by the Los Angeles County, California Board of Supervisors recommends decriminalizing drug use and allowing safe consumption sites for illegal substances.

/ INTERNATIONAL

German regulators are accepting medical cannabis distribution license applications.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabinoids reduce the tumour growth in animal models of [glioblastoma multiforme].”

A study found that “medical marijuana law enactment in US states appears to have been associated with increased prevalence of driving under the influence of cannabis, but not alcohol.”

A case study looked at what happened to a woman who “presented with acute onset of a diffuse, blistering, maculopapular rash with over 30% total body surface area involvement two days after taking CBD oil sublingually for chronic pain” and later died of septic shock.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Americans for Safe Access changed its Unity Conference this month from an in-person event in Washington, D.C. to online-only due to coronavirus concerns.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen terminated 128 additional employees in February.

Canopy Growth Corporation and TerrAscend Canada Inc. entered into a loan financing arrangement in the amount of C$80.5 million.

Hightimes Holding Corp. announced that it will trade under the symbol “HTHC” once it clears regulatory hurdles.

Mindbloom opened a ketamine clinic in New York City.

/ CULTURE

Michigan’s Hash Bash event has been postposed from April 4 to the fall due to coronavirus concerns.

Iditarod champion Lance Mackey said he gives his dogs CBD.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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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Biden says ‘I know a lot of weed smokers’ (Newsletter: May 25, 2020)

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Marijuana banking has 50-50 Senate shot, sponsor says; NY gov believes legal cannabis can pass; OK gov’s delivery veto stands

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  • Kim Stiens: “I subscribed to MM’s Patreon the moment I knew about it, because nobody knows the cannabis culture, industry, or advocacy space better than Tom Angell. As we transition from a world of prohibition to a world of corporatization, good marijuana journalism is more important than ever. Tom knows the scene, he knows the players, and he highlights the stories that no one else can.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said “I know a lot of weed smokers” to justify his ongoing opposition to marijuana legalization.

Lead marijuana banking bill sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) says there’s a “50–50” chance its language will pass the Senate as part of coronavirus legislation. The House included it in a COVID bill earlier this month, but Republicans have largely slammed the move.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said “I believe we will” legalize marijuana. Lawmakers will reportedly reconvene this week, though it’s unclear if cannabis will be on the agenda before the end of the 2020 session.

Oklahoma lawmakers declined to override Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) veto of a bill that would have authorized medical marijuana delivery services and allowed out-of-state patients to register with the program. The bill passed earlier this month with huge margins.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump retweeted a post with an image of White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany edited to make it look like she is smoking a joint.

Federal prosecutors charged a Calexico City, California city councilman and another official with allegedly accepting bribes from an undercover FBI agent who they believed represented investors seeking to open a cannabis dispensary.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said in a Senate floor speech that the House coronavirus bill “mentions cannabis more times than it mentions doctors, hospitals, and nurses combined. It is an interesting tribute, if you ask me.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said the House coronavirus bill’s marijuana provisions are “crazy stuff.”

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) tweeted, “House Dems refuse lead. But it’s never been about leading, it’s about power. Americans and American business need help, instead House Dems pushes a bill that mentions cannabis more than jobs…”

Colorado Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper, a former governor, tweeted, “Yes, I support decriminalizing & descheduling marijuana. Colorado set the gold standard, and I’m eager to work with you and Colorado’s cannabis industry and entrepreneurs to get this done in Washington.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman tweeted, “I support: ✅ decriminalization & legalization of marijuana. ✅ eliminating for-profit prisons. My opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, does not.”

/ STATES

Utah’s treasurer joined the state attorney general in calling on Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation.

The Illinois Senate approved bills amending marijuana regulations.

Rhode Island regulators sent a bulletin about the use of hemp and hemp-derived CBD in the state’s medical cannabis program.

Guam regulators will meet to work on marijuana regulations in early June.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Policy Committee will meet to discuss draft regulations this week.

Here’s a look at pending Colorado marijuana reform legislation.

Two Pennsylvania Republican senators said they expect marijuana legalization to be up for discussion as a revenue measure to help fix the coronavirus outbreak’s economic damage.

The Texas Law Library posted a FAQ about the legality of CBD oil.


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

Denver, Colorado officials posted materials for a Marijuana Licensing Work Group meeting on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Colombia’s ministry of justice approved the export of two million cannabis seeds.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s marijuana decriminalization ordinance found that the policy “significantly reduced the risk of marijuana arrests overall,” “absolute/relative racial disparities decreased for possession-based arrests” and “relative racial disparities increased for sales/manufacturing-based arrests.

A driving study found that “after smoking cannabis, overall mean speed was reduced,” that “no effects of therapeutic cannabis were found on straightaway mean speed or straightaway lateral control for either condition (standard or cognitive load) or on brake latency” and “after smoking therapeutic cannabis in the lab, changes in speed and lateral control were negatively correlated with the amount of cannabis smoked per day.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York Times examined how CBD became a phenomenon.

/ BUSINESS

Massachusetts recreational marijuana retailers say consumers can expect a different shopping experience when they reopen from a coronavirus closure on Monday.

Florida medical cannabis sales surged last week.

Politico looks at the rise and fall of MedMen.

/ CULTURE

Model Kathy Ireland tweeted, “So much good could be done in the food and nutrition space with CBD additives.

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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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VA gov signs cannabis decrim bill (Newsletter: May 22, 2020)

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FDA announces injectable CBD recall; USVI gov files revised legal marijuana bill; DC Council approves medical cannabis employment protections

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  • Nick Kovacevich of KushCo Holdings, Inc.: “Through his unparalleled drive and commitment to always keep policymakers accountable, Tom has clearly shown why he is one of the most influential champions of cannabis law reform these past two decades. He has seen and done it all, but continues to push the industry forward and ensure it receives the recognition and status it truly deserves. Everyone in the entire legal cannabis industry owes a tremendous gratitude for Tom and the work that he does on behalf of us each and every day.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a marijuana decriminalization bill into law, making the state the 27th in the nation to remove the threat of jail time for low-level cannabis possession.

The Food and Drug Administration announced that Biota Biosciences is voluntarily recalling injectable CBD products that the federal agency sent a warning letter about last month.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) submitted a revised marijuana legalization bill to the territory’s Senate. He’s pushing it as a measure to save a struggling retirement program for government employees and to create new jobs.

The Washington, D.C. District Council passed an emergency bill extending workplace discrimination protections for medical marijuana patients who are employed by local government agencies.

/ FEDERAL

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted, “The Democrats’ $3 trillion dollar wishlist mentioned the word ‘cannabis’  more times than it did ‘jobs.’ It was a pot bill. Not a pandemic bill.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) tweeted, “A $3T monstrosity that mentions “cannabis” 68 times. How many times did it mention the word “jobs”? 52 times. What are Republicans fighting to protect? Jobs. What are Democrats fighting to protect? Pot. What a joke.”

Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX) tweeted, “Just a reminder that the Democrats’ last coronavirus relief bill said the word ‘cannabis’ more than the word ‘jobs’.  While 39 million Americans are unemployed and many are wondering if they will get their next paycheck, Democrats are focused on pot. Americans deserve better.”

Virginia Republican congressional candidate Heerak Christian Kim tweeted, “Virginia’s drug overdose problem is getting out of hand! That is why Heerak opposes legalization of marijuana in Virginia, while incumbent @RepDonBeyer supports legalization of marijuana!”

/ STATES

A former Arkansas attorney general joined the board of the U.S. Hemp Authority.

Washington, D.C. police released updated marijuana arrest data.

Members of the Red Lake Nation, located in Minnesota, approved a medical cannabis referendum.

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee held a hearing on a bill to revise marijuana regulations.

Maryland regulators revealed that 10,000 people registered as medical cannabis patients during the coronavirus outbreak, representing more than a tenth of the state’s total patient count.

A Pennsylvania senator plans to file legislation to protect medical cannabis patients from being unduly charged with driving under the influence.


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

St. Lucia’s commerce and investment minister said he would like a decision to be made on marijuana decriminalization by the end of the current government’s term.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “compared with clobazam/valproate, adjunctive cannabinoid oil may be a cost-effective treatment for Dravet syndrome.”

A review concluded that “legalization of recreational cannabis use in the US has substantially reduced the price of cannabis, increased its potency, and made cannabis more available to adult users” and “appears to have increased the frequency of cannabis use among adults, but not so far among youth.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that middle-aged New Zealanders oppose legalizing marijuana, 50%-27%.

/ BUSINESS

Ayr Strategies Inc. reported $33.6 million in quarterly revenue and a $4.9 million loss from operations.

Canopy Growth Corp.’s Houseplant launched a line of cannabis-infused beverages.

New Mexico dispensaries sold $40.1 million worth of medical cannabis products in the first quarter of the year.

/ CULTURE

Football player Montravius Adams was arrested for marijuana possession, driving without insurance and having a suspended/canceled/revoked vehicle registration.

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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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Fed judge allows e-signatures for Ohio cannabis campaigns (Newsletter: May 21, 2020)

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USDA reverses total hemp COVID aid ban; Louisiana lawmakers approve marijuana banking; Jamaica allows online cannabis ordering

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  • Business of Cannabis: “Business of Cannabis supports Marijuana Moment because without you the industry would have now way of understanding the full width and breadth of what’s happening in cannabis in the U.S. From the U.S. Capitol to every state house and thousands of municipalities throughout the country, you seem to have your finger on the pulse. By extension, the sector has its finger on the pulse. That’s why we support and why others should too.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A federal judge ruled that Ohio marijuana activists can electronically collect signatures for proposed local decriminalization ballot measures in municipalities across the state as coronavirus has hampered in-person petitioning.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture singled out hemp as one of two legal crops—along with tobacco—for which farmers are blocked from the $19 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance Program without any recourse for reconsideration. But hours after Marijuana Moment reported the story, the department deleted language from its website that said farmers couldn’t appeal for reconsideration of the ban.

The Louisiana House of Representatives approved a cannabis banking bill, and a Senate committee advanced House-passed legislation to let doctors recommend medical marijuana for any debilitating condition they see fit.

The Jamaican government is allowing patients to place online orders of medical marijuana for pickup at “herb houses” as a measure to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy updated its Freedom of Information Act implementing regulations.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blasted House Democrats’ coronavirus bill, saying, “diversity and inclusion in the marijuana industry wasn’t going to study itself, after all.”

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) tweeted, “And we must pass the immediate, bipartisan opportunities to support jobs and economic activity. The Great American Outdoors Act, the SAFE Banking Act, and infrastructure investments all enjoy bipartisan support and would help generate new investments and liquidity.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said the fate of marijuana banking provisions in coronavirus legislation will “depend on how hard the House fights for it in the final negotiations.”

Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) defended the inclusion of marijuana banking provisions in coronavirus relief legislation passed by the House.

Montana Democratic Senate candidate Mike Brohier tweeted, “We must de-schedule marijuana. We must legalize marijuana. We should tax marijuana. It will help Kentuckians in pain, it will help our budget, and it will remediate harmful opiate addictions.”

Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Michael Owens tweeted, “92% of Americans are against marijuana prohibition laws, while over 600K were arrested for simple possession. States spend more than $3B annually enforcing the ban. Marijuana should be removed from the Schedule of Controlled Substances, sentences commuted and records expunged.”

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order extending expired medical cannabis patient and caregiver identification cards.

Massachusetts regulators formally moved to allow recreational marjuana businesses to resume sales via curbside pickup on Monday.

The New York Assembly’s Health Committee chair said that “marijuana legalization is just one of the reasons the legislature should return to work as soon as possible.”

The Illinois legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules reviewed proposed rules on cannabis legalization and social equity.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin on mandatory coronavirus infection-control practices for marijuana businesses.

Colorado marijuana social equity legislation has been jeopardized by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Governance and Frame Working Subcommittee will meet on June 3.

Alaska regulators will consider marijuana business licensing and rules on June 10-11.


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

Ecuador’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock held a webinar on cannabis cultivation opportunities.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review “provided evidence in supporting the use of medical marijuana to reduce common symptoms reported in patients with” multiple sclerosis.

A study found that “rates of marijuana usage in pregnant women who underwent universal drug screening increased after legalization” and “there were no differences in neonatal outcomes between users and non-users.”

/ BUSINESS

A deal for Hightimes Holding Corp. to acquire Humboldt Heritage has been canceled.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced a deal to acquire Reliva, LLC.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reported quarterly revenue of $96.1 million.

Green Growth Brands Inc. filed for insolvency protection.

Charlotte’s Web got a utility patent for a new hemp variety.

A bankruptcy judge approved a plan to sell the bulk of GenCanna’s assets.

The entire board of directors and senior management of Great Northern Cannabis has been ousted after an audio recording appeared to reveal a conversation between personnel discussing selling moldy products as well as CBD oil that contained too much THC.

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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