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McConnell directs DEA to work on telling hemp and marijuana apart (Newsletter: September 27, 2019)



Senate doesn’t add cannabis protections; Fed health official notes Sched. I research block; South Park slams MedMen; Study: Marijuana enhances sex

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The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill containing a rider that would continue to protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference, but no senator filed an amendment to broaden its reach to shield all state marijuana laws. Marijuana Moment spoke to more than a dozen senators about the prospects for the far-reaching reform being picked up from the House version of the funding legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) inserted a provision into a spending bill that directs the Drug Enforcement Administration to develop “on-the-spot field testing technologies” to distinguish between hemp and marijuana.

National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins acknowledged during a House hearing that marijuana’s Schedule I status impedes research by creating “such an incredibly bureaucratic rigmarole that it scares away most investigators.”

South Park went after MedMen again—this time by name. In a new episode, the company is depicted as working with Tegridy Farms to oppose marijuana home grow. In real life, the firm was part of a group that asked New York’s governor to ban home grow under legalization.

  • When Marijuana Moment obtained the memo the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association—that MedMen was a member of—sent Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) asking him to ban home cultivation, the company told us it supports home grow but didn’t answer questions about its role in drafting the document. In the new episode, Tegridy tells the City Council they need to ban marijuana home grow or else “unscrupulous growers could use cheap irrigation and drown babies.” That’s a highly exaggerated version of real safety claims the NY industry group made when urging Cuomo to ban home grow.

A scientific review concluded that “when evaluating sexual pleasure, most studies show that marijuana has a positive effect.” But it adds this caveat: “Lower doses improve desire but higher doses either lower desire or do not affect desire at all.”


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the number of cases of severe lung injuries believed to be associated with vaping nicotine or marijuana has now reached 805.

Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), along with Reps. Danny Davis (D-IL) and David Schweikert (R-AZ), filed legislation to remove a current penalty that permanently blocks students with felony drug convictions from taking advantage of a tax credit for higher education expenses.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) called for an investigation of counterfeit marijuana cartridges at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight.

The House bill to remove marijuana as a deportable offense got one new cosponsor for a total of 22.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) directed regulators to consider vaping actions, including a possible ban, following the death of a second person in the state who suffered severe lung injuries after purchasing products from a licensed marijuana business.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) appointed a senator who helped lead the effort to pass a marijuana legalization bill to oversee its implementation.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted about how people can apply for pardons for past marijuana convictions. Separately, the House Republican Caucus said it has “has no plans or interest” in working with Gov. Tom Wolf (D) to legalize marijuana.

New Jersey lawmakers are expected to vote on a marijuana legalization proposal during a lame duck session.

New Mexico’s marijuana legalization work group discussed tax revenue at its final meeting.

Arizona regulators are taking steps to implement a law requiring the testing of medical cannabis.

Maryland regulators were expected to award additional medical cannabis business licenses on Thursday, but said that they need more time to evaluate applicants. The state’s Legislative Black Caucus expressed concerns about the process.

Washington State regulators will hold a listen and learn forum on draft conceptual rules for marijuana packaging and labelling on October 11.

Georgia regulators have received dozens of public comments from farmers who are concerned about restrictive proposed hemp rules.

Michigan regulators scheduled more marijuana social equity outreach meetings.

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.


The Manipur, India Cabinet decided to take public input before making a decision on marijuana legalization.


A review “suggested that medical cannabis may be effective for treating agitation, disinhibition, irritability, aberrant motor behaviour, and nocturnal behaviour disorders as well as aberrant vocalization and resting care, which are neuropsychiatric symptoms associated with dementia” and that there “was also limited evidence of improvement in rigidity and cognitive scores.”

A study landowners of landowners in Humboldt County, California found that they felt that “cannabis production has increased the cost of labor, though they acknowledge that it has increased the value of their property as well.”


Here’s a look at how marijuana stocks reacted to the House’s passage of a cannabis banking bill.

Vaping product sales are down significantly amid reports of severe lung injuries.

Marijuana review site The Gentleman Toker is shutting down because its owner doesn’t “feel good about the industry any longer.”


Actress Demi Moore said she had a seizure after consuming synthetic cannabinoids and nitrous oxide at a party.

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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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