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McConnell pushes hemp bill in Senate (Newsletter: March 27, 2018)

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NJ report: expand medical cannabis; KS Senate approves CBD; UT activists have enough signatures for ballot

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced he will introduce a bill to legalize industrial hemp next month. The legislation will not only change hemp’s status under the law but will also set aside federal funds to support its cultivation.

/ FEDERAL

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) says he opposes medical cannabis.

/ STATES

New Jersey officials are expected to recommend adding new medical cannabis qualifying conditions and allowing more dispensaries in a report on Tuesday.

Utah activists say they’ve already collected more than enough verified signatures to qualify a medical cannabis measure for the November ballot. Separately, regulators released plans for implementing limited medical cannabis bills enacted by the legislature this year.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said marijuana is a gateway drug.

The Kansas House of Representatives gave initial approval to a CBD bill but defeated a comprehensive medical cannabis amendment.

Nevada elected officials who supported and opposed marijuana legalization are teaming up on an effort to direct more cannabis tax revenue to schools.

The Louisiana House Committee on Health and Welfare will hear a bill to add autism as a medical cannabis qualifying condition on Wednesday.

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee filed a marijuana legalization bill.

Maine lawmakers are considering licensing medical cannabis extraction businesses.

Massachusetts regulators rejected a company’s plan to develop a cannabis-infused beer.

An unsuccessful Ohio medical cannabis cultivation license applicant is suing regulators.

Here’s a look at the prospects for medical cannabis bills in Georgia, where the legislative session ends this week.

Washington, D.C.’s unregulated marijuana market appears to be thriving amid a congressionally imposed ban on legal cannabis sales.

/ LOCAL

Seattle, Washington’s move to vacate prior marijuana convictions could help shield people from federal immigration law.

Orlando, Florida’s medical cannabis ordinance is the subject of a lawsuit by a business that wants to open a dispensary there.

A woman is suing San Bernardino, California over its marijuana regulations, which she believes could create a monopoly and bar her from the industry.

Politico looks at Oakland, California’s efforts to diversify ownership in the marijuana industry.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australian state lawmakers are considering marijuana legalization.

/ ADVOCACY

Sanho Tree of the Institute for Policy Studies published a New York Times op-ed criticizing President Trump’s plan to use the death penalty on people who sell drugs.

The Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce is opposing a Michigan marijuana legalization ballot measure.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Trade Association withdrew its support for pending medical cannabis legislation after it was amended to remove key provisions.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that legalizing cocaine and heroin would boost the economy by reducing murders.

A study found that “cessation of cannabis use was associated with greater psychotic-like experiences, whilst continued cannabis users were more likely to report pleasurable experiences.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Eugene Register-Guard editorial board says it’s premature to put a psilocybin legalization measure on Oregon’s ballot.

/ BUSINESS

Medi Kingdom sent Africa’s first medical cannabis export to Canada.

Reddit banned several subreddits dedicated to facilitating illegal drug transactions.

American Green, which bought Nipton, California for $5 million last year for the purposes of developing it into a marijuana mecca, has sold it to an oil and gas company for $7.7 million.

Micro investment app Stash is making a play for people who are curious about cannabis stocks.

/ CULTURE     

The logo for cannabis compliance software company Kind Financial makes a cameo in the opening credits for the new season of HBO’s Silicon Valley.

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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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