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Michigan legal cannabis measure has enough signatures for ballot (Newsletter: April 24, 2018)

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All US senators surveyed on legalization; MO House approves medical cannabis; OK hemp bill signed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Michigan activists collected enough signatures to place a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot, state elections officials have determined. Formal certification is expected to take place on Thursday.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump nominated former White House Deputy Chief of Staff James Carroll to serve as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is optimistic about his marijuana descheduling bill.

VICE surveyed every U.S. senator about marijuana legalization; some responded.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said marijuana should be decriminalized and, for some reason, continues to describe the war on drugs in the past tense. (Her staff said in the VICE story above that she will soon cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act.)

Politico looks at the rapid shift in the politics of marijuana on Capitol Hill.

The U.S. Senate comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 12.

The U.S. Senate industrial hemp bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of eight.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Donna Shalala, a former U.S. Health and Human Services secretary during the Clinton administration, now says she support marijuana law reform.

Massachusetts Democratic congressional candidate Dan Koh tweeted, “The enforcement of our current marijuana laws disproportionately penalizes people of color and wastes our taxpayer dollars. It’s time to legalize and decriminalize marijuana nationwide.”

Wisconsin Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce tweeted, “John Boehner profits from marijuana while hundreds of thousands of people of color are arrested each year for marijuana possession. We can’t forget about the people who have had to bear the costs of the failed War on Drugs. We need marijuana amnesty.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Dayna Steele tweeted, “Let’s legalize marijuana and release the hundreds of thousands of people from prisons across the country who are there for possession of pot.”

New York Democratic congressional candidate Suraj Patel tweeted about legalizing marijuana.

Wisconsin Democratic congressional candidate Kyle Frenette supports legalizing marijuana.

Kentucky congressional candidates debated marijuana reform.

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed an industrial hemp bill into law.

Missouri’s House of Representatives approved a medical cannabis bill.

The Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee voted to approve a medical cannabis expansion bill.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D) said he’s not sure how he feels about marijuana legalization.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), a gubernatorial candidate, said his past struggles with alcohol misuse informed his efforts to legalize marijuana and support criminal justice reform. And Republican gubernatorial candidate John Cox said cannabis consumers should be hospitalized. Separately, here’s a look at where several pending marijuana bills are in the legislature.

Michigan regulators warned about fake cease-and-desist letters being sent to medical cannabis dispensaries.

Nevada regulators clarified rules to spell out that casinos can’t let people who are high on marijuana or other drugs gamble, in addition to having to turn away those who are visibly drunk.

Pennsylvania medical cannabis businesses are trying to shut down the state’s research program. Separately, a judge dismissed a lawsuit from a business that failed to win a medical marijuana license.

Florida now has more than 100,000 registered medical cannabis patients.

Ohio regulators allocated $2 million to defend the state’s medical cannabis licensing program from lawsuits.

North Dakota activists are continuing to collect signatures for a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure. Separately, regulators received 19 applications for medical cannabis production licenses.

Arkanskas’s attorney general rejected the language of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

The ex-wife of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) took to Twitter to say she disagrees with him on marijuana legalization’s impact on kids.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s government released more details about its marijuana legalization implementation plans.

The St. Kitts and Nevis government is conducting a survey to determine marijuana consumption levels.

/ ADVOCACY

NORML delivered more than 10,000 public comments in support of marijuana rescheduling to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The American Medical Association disclosed that it is lobbying in support of medical cannabis research legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “when climate attributes are favorable for [marijuana] cultivation, support for [legalization] measures increase.”

A study is starting on May 1 to “examine how medical cannabis use affects opioid analgesic use over time, with particular attention to THC/CBD content, HIV outcomes, and severe adverse events.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that San Diego County, California residents think marijuana legalization has been good for society and the economy.

/ BUSINESS  

USA Today looks at marijuana sales numbers for 4/20.

Nevada retailers sold more than $35 million in recreational marijuana products in February.

/ CULTURE     

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote an open letter about medical cannabis to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Cheech and Chong jokingly told Stephen Colbert they no longer do comedy about marijuana because it’s legal and not cool anymore.

Comedian Amy Schumer told Oprah Winfrey that she wants to smoke marijuana with CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King.

The Washington Post looks at the evolving slang of marijuana.

The Onion takes on U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) newfound marijuana law reform support.

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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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House approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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Conflicting cannabis amendments cleared for House votes (Newsletter: July 29, 2021)

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Support grows for AOC’s psychedelics reform; New CO marijuana business office; FL officials slam OR hemp & say buy local

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee advanced competing marijuana amendments to the floor for votes. One would shield all state legalization laws from federal interference, while another would delete existing medical cannabis protections. Those votes could take place as soon as Thursday.

A new Marijuana Moment analysis looks at how even though Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) psychedelics research amendment fell short on the House floor this week, support grew considerably from the last time it was voted on in 2019. We examine how the advancement of state psychedelics legislation likely flipped a number of votes, and how some Democratic leaders are still not on board with the reform.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced the launch of a new Cannabis Business Office aimed at providing economic support for the state’s marijuana industry—with a focus on social equity.

  • “Where the federal government has fallen behind, Colorado will lead. Colorado is, and always has been, the best place to live, work, grow and sell cannabis.”

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services put out an alert warning consumers about poor quality hemp products from Oregon that contain “rocks, sticks and other foreign material.” People should buy hemp with “Fresh From Florida” logos instead, they say.

/ FEDERAL

The acting director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy reiterated President Joe Biden’s position that no one should be incarcerated for drug use alone.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and we are pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about the need to federally legalize marijuana.

House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “Thank you @BrooklynDA for dismissing 3,500 marijuana cases following legalization by NY state. This is an important step in remedying all the harm inflicted on our communities by the so called ‘war on drugs.'”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the drug war’s harms got seven new cosponsors for a total of 59.

/ STATES

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor said senators should have a draft medical cannabis bill next week.

Oklahoma’s public safety secretary said the medical cannabis industry needs to be more tightly regulated.

The Arizona Supreme Court publicized an event to help people expunge marijuana charges.

New Mexico lawmakers held a hearing on law enforcement issues related to marijuana legalization. Separately, regulators will host a cannabis entrepreneur informational workshop on Thursday.

A lawsuit challenging Illinois marijuana business licensing rules was dropped by the plaintiff, and regulators are set to hold the first of three lotteries on Thursday. A judge in a separate case, however, said no licenses can be awarded until an August 9 hearing.

Nevada regulators shared updated mask guidelines with marijuana businesses.

Oregon’s Cannabis Commission met.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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


Israeli lawmakers rejected a bill to decriminalize marijuana and reclassify CBD as a food additive.

Australia’s federal police commissioner said legalizing drugs “will not stop organised crime— it will likely embolden them, make them richer and enable them to buy more guns and pay for more murders.”

Gabon’s sovereign wealth fund is investigating how to monetize interest in ibogaine.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on whether external stress is a factor in “hot hemp” found “no evidence that any of these stresses caused THC concentration or the ratio of THC to CBD to increase at harvest.”

A study of bees found that “hemp supplementation positively influences the immune system of workers, and the appropriate method of administration may be adapted to the health problems of bees.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Governors Association noted how a number of governors discussed marijuana during their state of the state addresses this year.

Decriminalize Nature launched a new campaign it says is intended to expose corporate influences seeking to undermine access to psychedelic plants and fungi.

The executive director of Minority Veterans of America authored an op-ed calling for marijuana reform.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $142.2 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation ended its relationship with Seth Rogen’s Houseplant brand.

GoDaddy refused technical support to cannabis news outlet Heady NJ because its website “shows marijuana imagery.”

Frankenmuth Credit Union launched a cannabis banking program.

A subsidiary of Avicanna Inc. completed its first export of THC cannabis extracts from Colombia to Austria.

/ CULTURE

Actor Colin Hanks is partnering with Jushi Holdings Inc. to bring his Hanks Kerchiefs to the company’s BEYOND / HELLO marijuana retail stores.

Football player Julio Jones is being sued by cannabis company Genetixs for alleged fraud and money laundering.

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Congress rejects AOC’s psychedelics amendment but adopts CBD one (Newsletter: July 28, 2021)

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OH 2022 marijuana initiative; MA psychedelics hearing; Global sports authority: Reconsider cannabis penalties; Study on artisanal CBD benefits

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives defeated an amendment from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to expand research on the medical benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA. Amid a growing national reform movement, however, the measure failed by a narrower margin than her previous attempt two years ago.

  • Separately, lawmakers approved an amendment from Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) that encourages the Food and Drug Administration to issue regulations allowing CBD as a dietary supplement and food ingredient. They also rejected a proposal from Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) to remove protections for universities that study marijuana. She argued on the floor that she’s worried schools will “offer a class called ‘Pot Smoking 101’ [that’s] dedicated to smoking pot.”

Ohio activists launched a new marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign. The plan is to pressure lawmakers to end cannabis prohibition through the legislature, but organizers say they’re prepared to go directly to voters if need be.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill to create a task force charged with studying the legalization of psychedelics like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

The president of global sports governing body World Athletics said it’s “sensible” to reevaluate marijuana penalties for Olympic athletes after Sha’Carri Richardson’s suspension.

  • “Nothing is set in tablets of stone. You adapt and occasionally reassess.”

A new study found that epilepsy patients who use “artisanal CBD” have “higher quality of life, lower psychiatric symptom severity and improved sleep.” They also use fewer prescription medications, take fewer sick days and are less likely to visit the hospital.

/ FEDERAL

Patients made a new filing in a lawsuit seeing to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to let them use psilocybin.

A former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor who was federally convicted of extorting marijuana businesses filed a motion for acquittal or a new trial.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and other senators sent a letter urging Secretary of State Antony Blinken to press the Philippine government for human rights violations in its bloody “war on drugs.”

Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) cited the marijuana regulatory experience of a U.S. attorney nominee for the Western District of Washington.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) spoke about the need to center social justice and equity in marijuana legalization implementation. Separately, a judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s voter-approved cannabis legalization referendum.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) office said he is in the process of appointing people to the Cannabis Control Board. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader said the governor should “send his appointees down and we’ll take a look at them.”

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Lee Merritt tweeted, “Due in part to the so-called ‘war on drugs’ U.S. police are the deadliest in the modern world. We can eradicate the demand for illegal drugs by providing healthcare and affordable housing. Not war.”

New Mexico regulators issued a cease and desist order to a business that has been “gifting” marijuana in exchange for the purchase of store merchandise. Separately, the top regulator told lawmakers it is ” highly likely” retailers will run out of cannabis in the first week or two of recreational sales. She also said she fears that local residents will be prevented from entering the industry due to difficulties accessing bank loans.

California regulators named a leadership team for the new Department of Cannabis Control.

Rhode Island regulators again delayed a lottery to award new medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Oklahoma representatives discussed challenges in regulating medical cannabis on a podcast.

Vermont regulators will consider marijuana-related highway safety issues, criminal justice data and banking access on Thursday.

South Dakota regulators scheduled an August 18 public hearing on proposed medical cannabis rules.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Brooklyn, New York’s district attorney moved to dismiss more than 3,500 marijuana-related warrant cases.

New York City’s mayor criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) for the state’s slow rollout of a new marijuana legalization law. He also encouraged people to store cannabis edibles out of the reach of children.

Santa Fe, New Mexico officials are seeking public comment on marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Guyana President Irfaan Ali said he is focused on regulating hemp before addressing broader marijuana reform issues.

Israeli lawmakers are expected to vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill on Wednesday.

Canada’s health minister is being sued by patients who want her to act on stalled applications to legally use psilocybin.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review identified how “epigenetic modulations caused by cannabinoids lead to the suppression of inflammation.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tennessee Democratic Party criticized Fox News hosts tying marijuana to violence, tweeting, “Reminder that this is how the Republican party views weed, violent crime, and mental health. What we actually need is to legalize it, clear all marijuana-related convictions from people’s criminal records, and provide people with the resources and healthcare that they deserve.”

Koch Industries CEO Charles Koch spoke about his support for marijuana legalization and drug policy reform.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies has a new board chair.

/ BUSINESS

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. is being sued for allegedly failing to inform investors of the terms of its proposed acquisition by Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

Curaleaf International launched its second range of medical cannabis flower products for the UK market.

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