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Medical cannabis cleared for Mississippi ballot (Newsletter: January 9, 2020)

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Congressional committee schedules marijuana hearing; NY gov pushes for legal cannabis in 2020; POTUS candidate Chafee backs drug decrim

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mississippi’s secretary of state announced that activists collected more than enough signatures to qualify a medical cannabis initiative for the 2020 ballot.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health scheduled a hearing on “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade” for next week.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) renewed his call for marijuana legalization in his 2020 State of the State address, and he also proposed a new Global Cannabis Center for Science, Research and Education to be housed in the SUNY system.

Libertarian presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee, a former Rhode Island governor and U.S. senator, called for drug decriminalization in his announcement speech.

/ FEDERAL

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow said her agency is working with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration to develop avenues “that will not make research on marijuana so cumbersome.”

Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) sent a press release about his support for legislation to remove roadblocks to marijuana research.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to begin repairing the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 66.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to conduct a survey about marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of five.

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said she won’t veto hemp legislation again this year as long as lawmakers craft it within certain “guardrails.”

Maryland Gov, Larry Hogan (R) said the state’s medical cannabis program is a “mess.” Meanwhile, the Senate president said lawmakers can’t move to legalize marijuana “until we figure out this social equity framework.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she supports steps to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program, but not increasing the THC cap. Separately, the Iowa State Patrol said it will work with “a little extra awareness” in marijuana enforcement along the Illinois border.

Alabama’s attorney general is asking lawmakers not to legalize medical cannabis.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “As the General Assembly convenes today I’ll be pushing to: ✅ Decriminalize marijuana, resolve past convictions, move toward legal adult use… Let’s go!” Meanwhile, the House of Delegates majority leader said the Legislative Black Caucus will work to decriminalize cannabis this year.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved legislation to add insomnia and opioid use disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions, while the Senate defeated a bill to let doctors recommend it for any condition.

Vermont’s Senate president said he expects the legislature to approve a bill to legalize marijuana sales, and the House speaker said she won’t block its advancement even if she doesn’t support it yet.

Rhode Island’s Senate president and House speaker filed legislation to repeal a policy giving lawmakers an effective veto of cannabis regulations and making other changes to marijuana rules.

The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services is being sued over the right of patients to use medical cannabis while on probation.

Oklahoma regulators announced that the state now has more than 240,000 approved medical cannabis patients

Florida lawmakers filed legislation to protect medical cannabis patients’ employment rights.

A Kentucky representative introduced a resolution calling on the federal government to expedite marijuana research.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 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.

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/ LOCAL

Some Vermont municipalities are adopting resolutions calling on state lawmakers to include provisions making it easier for them to ban cannabis businesses in legislation to legalize marijuana sales.

Portland, Maine officials are putting off a decision on marijuana regulations until at least March.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Associated Press looks at efforts by South Africa’s black farmers to enter the marijuana industry.

Ontario, Canada’s attorney general’s office tweeted, ” Think of #cannabis #edibles in the same way as your kids’ Christmas gifts and find the best hiding place you can. Ensure all products are out of reach and in a locked area, in child-resistant packaging.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of rats found that “combinations of very low doses of CBD + THC or CBDA + THCA robustly reduce [nausea].

A meta-analysis found that “results tentatively support future research on psilocybin for the treatment of anxiety and depression.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno announced that she will step down from the organization on March 6 to return to work at Human Rights Watch.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board said that Illinois’s marijuana legalization law is mostly off to a smooth start so far.

/ BUSINESS

Constellation Brands reported a $71.1 million loss on its investment in Canopy Growth Corp., but its CEO said the company remains “bullish on the Canadian cannabis market.”

Harvest Health & Recreation filed a lawsuit seeking to terminate its merger with Falcon International, Inc., alleging that the latter company engaged in illegal interstate transportation of marijuana.

SOL Global Investments Corp. announced that its CannCure Investments Inc. will go public through a reverse takeover of Goldstream Minerals Inc.

Cresco Labs Inc. closed its acquisition of CannaRoyalty Corp. d/b/a Origin House.

Workers at Vireo Health International, Inc.’s subsidiary MaryMed, LLC ratified a union contract.

High Times is planning to “develop its physical and virtual distribution businesses” under a new CEO.

Here’s a look at Weedmaps’s ongoing efforts to list only licensed marijuana businesses.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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