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Mexico begins cannabis legalization public consultation (Newsletter: August 7, 2019)

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Big funder gets behind Florida legal marijuana effort; GOP congressman’s cannabis backpack photo; Colorado marijuana sales data

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Mexican Senate announced it will hold a series of public hearings this month to help inform plans to legalize marijuana.

Florida attorney John Morgan, who bankrolled the state’s 2016 medical cannabis ballot measure, has announced he’ll help put a full marijuana legalization initiative before voters in 2020.

Rep. Steve King (R-IA)—known for a long history of racist and offensive comments, including one about marijuana traffickers with “calves the size of cantaloupes”—had a photo op with a backpack allegedly used to bring cannabis across the border.

New government data from Colorado shows that recreational marijuana sales doubled medical cannabis purchases in 2018 and that the recreational-medical gap in the state’s marijuana market increased 73 percent in one year.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, posted a campaign video about her support for legalizing marijuana.

Rep. David Scott (D-GA) tweeted about discussing marijuana banking issues with the Community Bankers Association of Georgia.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “Cannabis may prove to be a viable alternative to opioids & should be available to scientists for research. I encourage the DEA to honor its pledge to allow researchers to study marijuana. I trust we will gain a greater understanding of its medicinal value.”

Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL) tweeted, “Thanks ⁦@JohnMorganESQ⁩ for your leadership on #raisethewage and now adult use #marijuana amendments. Let’s keep Florida moving forward!”

/ STATES

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) issued an update on the state’s hemp program.

South Dakota’s attorney general published an explanation of a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure.

The Utah Supreme Court unanimously rejected a case challenging the medical cannabis law legislators passed to replace the voter-approved ballot measure on the issue.

The California Department of Justice released new medical cannabis guidelines.

Georgia’s medical cannabis expansion is stalled because state leaders haven’t appointed members to the body that is charged with crafting regulations.

Louisiana medical cannabis sales began.

Oklahoma regulators said they welcome clarity that can come from a pending lawsuit challenging a decision to share medical cannabis patient data with law enforcement.

Minnesota’s Agriculture Department tweeted that its staff is bringing a plot of hemp crops to the state’s Farmfest this week.

Washington State regulators are considering rules creating a voluntary compliance program for marijuana licensees. They also sent guidance on new requirements for lab test results.

The Ohio representative who blamed recent shootings in part on marijuana legalization said she will not resign.


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

Three Michigan municipalities voted against allowing marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Zimbabwe’s information minister said the country is repealing laws banning cannabis cultivation.

Mexico’s Supreme Court is scheduled to discuss medical cannabis regulations on Wednesday.

A Kenyan governor said that an upcoming trip to Jamaica by his country’s president will pave the way for marijuana importation.

/ ADVOCACY

Capitol Advocacy and Spiker Consulting Group are teaming up on a new marijuana-focused state and local lobbying effort in California.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review found “adequate evidence that medical cannabis is an effective treatment for chronic neuropathic pain management and can be substituted for opioids” and that “although there are some negative adverse effects, they do not measure up to the harsh consequences of opioids and the amount of overdose deaths.”

A study concluded that “cannabis abuse may be associated with an elevated risk of [myocardial infarction] independent of other cardiovascular risk factors, with higher relative risk in women and younger age groups.”

/ BUSINESS

Arizona Beverage Co. entered into a licensing deal with Dixie Brands Inc. to make cannabis-infused drinks and gummies.

4Front Ventures Corp. began trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Credit Union 1 is ending a pilot program aimed at providing accounts for marijuana businesses because it could not secure insurance coverage.

GW Pharmaceuticals reported $68.4 million in sales of its CBD drug Epidiolex during the second quarter of 2019.

/ CULTURE

A recent Doonesbury comic strip features Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) discussing her amendments to expand psychedelics research and strip funding from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

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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.

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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Trump gets list of cannabis prisoners for clemency push (Newsletter: November 26, 2020)

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CT lawmakers could put legal marijuana on ballot; NJ AG: adjourn cannabis cases; Prosecutors’ memo on dropping marijuana charges

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Republican lawmakers and celebrities like Kevin Garnett sent a letter urging President Trump to free people who are serving time in federal prison for marijuana. Organizers say the office of Trump’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner asked them for a specific list of clemency candidates, which they attached to the letter.

Connecticut’s incoming House speaker said that if there aren’t enough votes in the legislature to pass marijuana legalization in 2021, lawmakers will put it on the ballot for voters to decide.

New Jersey’s attorney general issued a directive telling prosecutors to suspend most marijuana possession cases.

  • “Fairness demands that we suspend prosecution of marijuana possession-related cases while we await direction from the Legislature on the parameters for decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of regulated adult-use cannabis. It simply does not make sense or serve justice to proceed with prosecutions on charges that may be foreclosed soon through legislative action.”

Days earlier, a New Jersey prosecutor sent a memo to colleagues across the state urging them to stop pursuing most marijuana cases while lawmakers work out the details of legal cannabis sales legislation.

  • “The primary duty of a lawyer engaged in public prosecution is not to convict, but to see that justice is done.”

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) filed a resolution condemning police brutality that recognizes that the U.S., “especially under the auspices of the wars on drugs and global terrorism, has in recent decades dramatically increased its influence on the tactics, equipment, and purpose of policing around the world.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “In red and blue states alike, voters sent a clear message: we must END the war on drugs. It’s time to legalize marijuana, expunge the records of those serving time for it, and ensure BIPOC communities that have been disproportionately harmed own the profits of this new industry.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “In PA, you can get yourself a curbside, ready-to-drink mojito the size of a gas can and a criminal record for life if you sip a little weed. That’s freedom.”

A New Jersey court said regulators erred in rejecting medical cannabis business license applications and that its process lacked transparency.

California regulators are proposing emergency rules requiring marijuana businesses to post unique QR code certificates in storefront windows and carry them while transporting or delivering cannabis.

Alaska regulators are proposing rules on reinstating marijuana business licenses after a failure to renew.

Massachusetts regulators may be facing a lawsuit over marijuana delivery rules they are poised to enact next week.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is concerned that passage of two drug policy reform ballot measures this month will cause people to forage for psychedelic mushrooms in state forests.

Oklahoma regulators published a frequently asked questions document for medical cannabis business applicants.

Michigan regulators published a list of county allocations for medical cannabis operation and oversight grants.


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

New York City’s mayor tweeted, “Congratulations to @AndreaSCousins and the @NYSenDems on achieving a historic supermajority! Now’s the time to be bold — legalize marijuana and ensure the wealthiest New Yorkers pay their fair share for a real, equitable recovery for our city and state.”

Candidates for Orleans Parish, Louisiana district attorney were asked whether they would stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malawi officials said the country is ready to start producing and processing cannabis for medical and industrial uses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “11 out of 13 studies reviewed observed varying degrees of pain relief using cannabis over opioids under certain specific conditions” and that “there appears to be some benefits in certain situations however cannabis certainly does not appear to be a drop-in replacement for opioids in chronic pain management.”

A study examined “the prevalence of cannabis use for migraine relief in a sample of cannabis users, and suggests that these migraineurs experience a high level of migraine relief from cannabis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Slovaks oppose lowering penalties for marijuana, 61%-36%.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board said California should watch and learn from the implementation of Oregon’s new drug decriminalization law.

/ BUSINESS

Vireo Health International, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $11.9 million.

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $22.8 million and net income of $0.2 million.

Rubicon Organics Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$3.2 million and a net loss of C$4.3 million.

/ CULTURE

Actor Ben Affleck spoke about a bad experience he had with marijuana as a teenager.

Filmmaker Terry Gilliam said he wanted to try psilocybin mushrooms for the first time for his 80th birthday.

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NY cannabis effort gets boost from NJ, top senator says (Newsletter: November 25, 2020)

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Lawmakers tell feds to better coordinate hemp rules; N. Macedonia PM floats legal marijuana; NY poll: Voters back legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York’s Senate majority leader said that legalizing marijuana is inevitable, and that the effort is boosted by this month’s cannabis vote next door in New Jersey.

  • “It’s not so much a matter of if, it’s a matter of when and it’s a matter of how.”

A poll found that New York voters support legalizing marijuana, 60%-32%—the highest backing ever in a Siena College survey.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) and Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Drug Enforcement Administration, Food and Drug Administration and White House Office of Management and Budget to stop contradicting one another with their various hemp rules and do a better job coordinating to support the industry.

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said the country might legalize marijuana to boost tourism.

  • “The idea is to allow consumption of marijuana in cafes, both in existing and new ones, and in tourist places, including Skopje, if they respect certain standards on ventilation, proof of origin of the marijuana and so on.”

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding a contract for technical support for marijuana and public health program activities.

Former federal drug czars and other advocates sent a letter urging President-elect Joe Biden to restore the White House Office of National Drug Control policy to cabinet-level status.

/ STATES

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) issued another round of pardons for people convicted of low-level marijuana offenses.

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) coauthored an op-ed with a delegate on the need to legalize marijuana through an equity lens.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Now that the PA election is in the books, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that the Democratic Party platform is to the right of South Dakota on legal weed. Montana. Arizona. Our party’s cowardice on weed demands courage on Psilocybin mushrooms and microdosing. If you believe we should label a person a criminal for the rest of their lives for using a plant, I literally can’t wait for you to vote for Crazy McCrazypants instead of me.”

Rhode Island’s incoming House speaker said Democrats discussed marijuana legalization on a caucus call.

A New Mexico judge gave regulators two weeks to explain their position on medical cannabis reciprocity.

Georgia regulators voted to approve requests for proposals for licenses to grow and process medical cannabis oil.

Alaska regulators voted to renew drive-thru and curbside pickup capabilities for marijuana dispensaries.

California regulators reported quarterly marijuana tax revenues.

New Jersey regulators issued an additional medical cannabis dispensary permit.

Maine regulators issued new conditional marijuana business licenses.

Oklahoma regulators released updated lists of approved medical cannabis laboratories and transporters.


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

The Fort Worth, Texas Police Department is no longer arresting or citing people for small amounts of marijuana.

The Detroit, Michigan City Council approved rules for recreational marijuana businesses.

Oakland, California officials posted information about availability of loans for cannabis equity applicants to purchase property.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s former minister of health coauthored an op-ed calling for drug decriminalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “legal recreational products’ share of Canada’s overall cannabis consumption began at 7.8% in October 2018 and grew to 23.7% by September 2019, with an average of 14.5% over the first 12 months ” and that “legal recreational products captured market share to the extent they were available, accessible, and low-priced,” while “problems with those factors slowed the initial expansion of legal product sales but also suggested ways to gradually increase their market share.”

A study concluded that “cannabis users whose purposes are medical, recreational or both tend to differ in their selected administration methods.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws is urging supporters to call a local sheriff and ask him to withdraw as a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging the state’s voter-approved legalization measure.

The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted, “It’s not enough to just legalize marijuana. Elected officials must do so in a way that tackles racial disparities head-on.”

The National Cannabis Industry Association’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee sent a letter urging Illinois officials to revamp the state’s marijuana social equity licensing process.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $24.9 million and a net loss of $30 million.

Tilray, Inc. announced an agreement to exchange $72.9 million of debt for approximately 6.4 million shares.

BevCanna Enterprises Inc. signed a letter of intent to acquire Naturo Group Investments Inc.

Vireo Health International, Inc. filed a preliminary prospectus to issue up to C$260 million in securities.

Nabis Holdings settled a lawsuit against its former president and CEO.

Weedmaps is an official sponsor for the upcoming Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight.

/ CULTURE

Jay-Z joined TPCO Holding Corp. as chief visionary officer.

Former hockey player Daniel Carcillo spoke about his use of psychedelics for mental health.

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SD cops sue to overturn cannabis ballot measure (Newsletter: November 24, 2020)

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Feds: Fewer banks work with marijuana businesses; VA gov: State can be cannabis “leader” in South; IL uses legalization revenue to expunge records

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A South Dakota sheriff and police colonel have filed a lawsuit—paid for in part with state funds—asking a court to overturn the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization ballot measure.

New data from the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network shows that the number of banks reporting working with marijuana industry clients continues to drop—for the third quarter in a row. But part of that is due to no longer having to track hemp accounts, and the coronavirus pandemic has shuttered some cannabis businesses, the agency said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said his state will be a “leader” on marijuana legalization in the South. He also spoke about whether cannabis home cultivation should be allowed under the bill he intends to pass in 2021.

  • “You could make the argument or the point that we’re able to brew beer in our home, why not grow marijuana? I’ve heard that. I understand that.”

The state of Illinois is using cannabis tax revenue to fund a new program called New Leaf that helps people expunge their prior marijuana records.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report on Japanese import regulations for hemp products.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted, “Here are 7 things Biden can do by executive order on Day One:… Ease cannabis restrictions”

/ STATES

North Carolina’s attorney general tweeted, “Research shows that Black and white populations in NC smoke marijuana at about the same rates, but Black populations are disproportionately charged and convicted of marijuana possession. The Task Force has adopted recommendations to help find a solution.”

A California judge overturned a regulation allowing marijuana billboards along highways. Separately, a recent ruling by another judge upholding state regulations on cannabis delivery services might not be as big of a win for the industry as was originally reported.

Georgia’s Access to Medical Cannabis Commission met.

The Florida Boards of Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine’s Joint Committee on Medical Marijuana met.

West Virginia regulators plan to approve medical cannabis dispensary license applications by the end of the year.

Nevada marijuana dispensaries will remain at 50% occupancy under new state coronavirus restrictions.

Kentucky regulators are allowing a hemp processing plant to resume operations following a shutdown caused by odor and emissions complaints.

A Virginia delegate is pushing to earmark any future marijuana tax revenue for reparations for Black and Indigenous people.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands lawmaker who authored the territory’s marijuana legalization law said that regulators should focus first on enabling medical cannabis access before they open the recreational market.

A claim by a Texas representative that there’s “up to 75% reduction in opioid dosage for medical cannabis users” is mostly true, according to PolitiFact.

Alaska marijuana regulators will meet on Tuesday.


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

The Tarrant County, Texas district attorney created a procedure for people to get their misdemeanor marijuana possession cases dismissed.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government granted an exemption to a woman to use psilocybin for depression.

Thailand’s justice minister issued a memo clarifying that drugs like cocaine, marijuana and opium remain generally illegal following a move to allow their use for research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that medical cannabis “is considered as a therapeutic option by many [Parkinson’s disease] patients.”

Ohio State University’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center established a marijuana research grant program.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Mexican Bishops Council criticized the passage of a marijuana legalization bill in the country’s Senate.

/ BUSINESS

ATAI Life Sciences closed a $125 million funding round, including a $12 million investment from Peter Thiel.

Folium Biosciences is being accused in a lawsuit of dumping ethanol into the ground outside a factory space and into the sewer system at an extraction facility surrounded by farmland.

Tilray, Inc. announced an agreement to exchange $124.3 million of its convertible debt for 10.9 million shares.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. announced a fundraising initiative to support food banks, homeless shelters and nonprofits working to address food insecurity.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced it is carrying former basketball player Al Harrington’s Viola products at all of its locations.

Maine retailers sold $1.4 million worth of recreational marijuana products during the first month of legal sales.

/ CULTURE

The NHL Alumni Association canceled plans for a study on marijuana.

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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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