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Missouri 2020 cannabis legalization effort launches (Newsletter: January 31, 2020)

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Bernie Sanders aides float marijuana executive action in memo; USDA gets 4,600+ hemp comments; Paul Ryan disagrees with John Boehner on cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Missouri activists launched a signature gathering drive to put a marijuana legalization measure on the state’s 2020 ballot.

Top aides to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, included federally legalizing marijuana in list of potential executive orders to be signed in his first days as president.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture got more than 4,600 public comments on proposed hemp rules prior to this week’s deadline, including from state agencies, congressional delegations and advocacy groups.

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said he disagrees with fellow former speaker John Boehner (R-OH) when it comes to marijuana.

/ FEDERAL

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the agency is still working on CBD regulations and is considering safety concerns, including potential liver damage.

The Drug Enforcement Administration published the 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts said they will pursue the shipment of state-legal marijuana across state lines.

White House Counsellor Kellyanne Conway and Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll held a press conference to discuss efforts to reduce opioid overdoses.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation won’t allow Missouri regulators to access its national background check database for the purposes of screening medical cannabis business employees until there is a state law codifying the need for such checks.

The U.S. attorney for the western district of New York spoke about the “dangers of marijuana.”

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he is “open to looking at proposals or ideas from the stakeholders and interested parties as to how we solve” issues related to marijuana banking legislation.

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore said he is “not for marijuana” but that the federal government “should leave it to the states.”

/ STATES

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she thinks lawmakers will “find consensus” on expanding the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) posted on Facebook, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The cannabis industry in Colorado is thriving! We must continue to lead the way. We want Colorado to be the best state for reducing underage use and for investment, innovation, and development for this growing economic sector. I’m honored to be one of nine governors recognized with an ‘A’ in cannabis policy by NORML.”

Vermont’s attorney general spoke about the need to legalize marijuana sales.

Arkansas’s surgeon general and the state drug czar held a press conference to urge voters not to sign petitions for a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner called on the state’s congressional delegation to help pressure the Food and Drug Administration to issue CBD regulations. Separately, the Senate passed a hemp regulation bill. And the House adopted a resolution calling on federal agencies to accelerate marijuana research.

The Texas agriculture commissioner’s Hemp Advisory Council held its first meeting.

The Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill to allow police to issue a court summons instead of making an arrest for nonviolent misdemeanor crimes such as marijuana possession.

New York’s Assembly majority leader spoke about how some communities have been “under siege” by marijuana prohibition enforcement.

The South Dakota House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee delayed a scheduled vote on a hemp bill.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is considering a case challenging a county’s policy banning people on probation from using medical cannabis.

The Kansas Highway Patrol is facing a federal lawsuit for allegedly unlawfully targeting drivers based on out-of-state license plates or Colorado travel plans, due to that state’s marijuana legalization law.

Missouri regulators issued a notice clarifying that patients have the right to possess medical cannabis even though no dispensaries are yet open. They also released an information guide for patients.

Oregon regulators published a marijuana program compliance education bulletin.


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

A former Chicago, Illinois police superintendent is now a security consultant to a marijuana company.

Vail, Colorado officials launched a marijuana education campaign called “Let’s Be Blunt.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he expects federal prohibition to be enforced despite a local marijuana legalization law going into effect this week. Separately, the Senate Community Affairs References Committee held a hearing on barriers to patient access to medical cannabis.

Thailand’s cabinet approved removing marijuana from the nation’s narcotics list.

Malaysia’s health minister said the government will decriminalize drugs by the end of its first term.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his cabinet members not to visit the U.S. after entry of the former national police chief was barred due to extrajudicial killings in the nation’s bloody “drug war.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that five years after Washington State’s marijuana legalization law was passed “the proportion of fatal-crash-involved drivers who were THC-positive has remained approximately double the level observed before I-502″ and that “an estimated 21% of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in Washington State in 2017 were THC-positive, higher than in any other year in the 10-year period examined.”

A study examined marijuana as a “de-stigmatizing product.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “in 2018, there were 67,367 drug overdose deaths in the United States, a 4.1% decline from 2017 (70,237 deaths).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National District Attorneys Association, Major County Sheriffs of America, Heritage Action, Smart Approaches to Marijuana and other organizations sent a letter urging Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) a letter urging him to slow down consideration of cannabis banking legislation.

The New York State Bar Association will vote on a report endorsing statewide legalization of marijuana on Friday.

/ BUSINESS

The CEO of MedMen Enterprises Inc. is stepping down and giving up his Class A super voting shares in the company.

BOL Pharma sent Israel’s first export of medical cannabis to the UK.

/ CULTURE

NFL Players Association representatives spoke about efforts to reform the league’s marijuana policy.

The Detroit City Football Club is partnering with marijuana company Pleasantrees, which will get naming rights to the team’s practice field.

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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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Arizona legal cannabis campaign says it has enough ballot signatures (Newsletter: March 27, 2020)

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CBO: Vets marijuana measure won’t cost anything; Study: Teen treatment admissions down after legalization; Poll: Dispensaries are essential

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

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By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Arizona marijuana activists say they have more than enough signatures to put a legalization measure on the November ballot. While not validated by the state yet, the campaign now has about 80,000 more raw signatures than needed.

The Congressional Budget Office projected that passing a bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis to military veterans would cost the government absolutely nothing.

A new study shows that youth marijuana treatment admissions declined after legalization for adults in Colorado and Washington—even bigger drops than occurred in states that kept cannabis criminalization in effect, though it’s not clear what caused the change.

A poll found that, by a two-to-one margin, Americans say medical cannabis dispensaries are “essential” and should be allowed to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

An Oregon effort to put a drug decriminalization and treatment expansion measure on the November ballot is the latest reform campaign to suspend in-person signature gathering activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is asking supporters to print and mail signed petitions.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas tweeted, “I get asked all the time why we still police importation of marijuana. It’s still illegal. It still pours across the border, usually floated across, even with legalization in many states. And these loads are sources of hard currency for the cartels. That’s why.”

/ STATES

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a bill allowing sales of medical cannabis in “dry leaf or plant form.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) launched a no-interest loan program for small businesses but said that cannabis firms are not eligible.

Maryland lawmakers sent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) a bill to allow students to use medical cannabis at schools.

The New York Assembly majority leader said that it is more important than ever to legalize marijuana as a possible recession approaches.

A Louisiana judge said he opposes releasing people incarcerated for nonviolent offenses during the coronavirus pandemic because “members of this particular population are overwhelmingly drug addicts who have the worst hygiene of anyone in the community, other than the mentally ill.”

Colorado regulators released average market rates for retail marijuana.

Washington State regulators will consider an emergency rule on marijuana excise taxes and withdrawal of a rule on testing on Friday.

Here’s a look at Alabama’s harsh marijuana laws.


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

Berkeley, California officials mandated that all marijuana sales be conducted via delivery amid the coronavirus pandemic.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was indicted on drug trafficking charges by U.S. prosecutors.

The Mexican Senate’s move to suspend activities due to the coronavirus outbreak could jeopardize efforts to pass a marijuana legalization bill before a Supreme Court deadline.

Canadian regulators asked marijuana testing labs to help with coronavirus testing.

New Zealand’s medical cannabis program is on track to launch on April 1.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study did “not find a relationship between medical marijuana dispensaries and referrals for investigations of child maltreatment.”

A study of an occupational safety and health training for marijuana cultivation workers found that it “successfully reached cannabis employees in cultivation, compliance, and management” and that  participants “felt that the training was of high quality and addressed gaps in their knowledge related to safety and health hazards in the cannabis industry.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana Policy Project, NORML, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, National Cannabis Industry Association and other groups sent a letter urging law enforcement and governors to reduce arrests for marijuana and grant clemency to people incarcerated for cannabis offenses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nevada Dispensary Association said its members are committed to complying with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D) order requiring marijuana sales to be conducted by delivery only.

The National Cannabis Industry Association delayed its annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo to September 29 through October 1 from its initially scheduled June dates due to the coronavirus outbreak.

/ BUSINESS

DLA Piper launched a hemp and CBD practice.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. and Verano Holdings, LLC mutually agreed to cancel a pending merger.

Arkansas dispensaries sold more medical cannabis last Friday than on any other single day since the program’s launch.

The Selan Law Firm is being sued by a California marijuana dispensary license applicant who alleges its attorneys smoked cannabis during business meetings and provided incompetent legal services.

/ CULTURE

The Onion joked about the pros and cons of CBD for pets.

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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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GOP senator says cannabis firms aid coronavirus response (Newsletter: March 26, 2020)

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Mayor accidentally posts pic of marijuana vape?; OR psilocybin campaign hits COVID snag; NORML builds database of politician legalization positions

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 438 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) took to the Senate floor to talk about how Colorado marijuana and hemp companies are stepping up to help with the coronavirus response.

Raleigh, North Carolina Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin (D) appeared to  inadvertently tweet a picture of a marijuana vape pen alongside a large take-out order of Indian food she shared with friends.

Oregon’s campaign to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use is the latest drug policy reform effort to hit a snag amid the coronavirus pandemic. Activists have collected more than the required number of raw signatures but still want about 15,000 more to ensure a sufficient number of valid submissions and are working with state officials to “find responsible ways” to mail ballot petitions to potential supporters.

NORML is asking for help building out its database of where politicians stand on marijuana. If you know what your representatives have said about cannabis or how they’ve voted on reform bills, you can submit that info for other voters to see.

/ FEDERAL

Libertarian presidential candidate Lincoln Chafee, a former U.S. senator and Rhode Island governor, posted on Facebook, “Donald Trump does not support legalization. Joe Biden does not support legalization. I support legalization, because I support jobs and industry. 2020 is going to be the roughest for us in years for our economy. Marijuana legalization can provide a stable job source for our economy going forward to help younger people get employed. I will make it happen!”

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Patty Murray (D-WA) said that marijuana businesses should be eligible for coronavirus-related disaster aid.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s (D) coronavirus stay-at-home order exempts medical cannabis dispensaries (and curbside marijuana delivery) as critical businesses.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) coronavirus order temporarily closing many businesses exempts medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation centers as essential.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed a bill amending medical cannabis rules. Meanwhile, the state’s top medical marijuana regulator said patients can still buy their medicine from approved pharmacies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) issued an executive order allowing doctors to issue medical cannabis recommendations via telemedicine, extending patient renewal deadlines and loosening some restrictions on businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a proclamation letting regulators defer taxes and waive penalties for marijuana businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Michigan regulators are allowing people to purchase marijuana using expired drivers licenses or government-issued identification cards because they cannot process renewals during the coronavirus outbreak.

Rhode Island regulators are directing medical cannabis patients and caregivers to email their documents amid the coronavirus outbreak instead of physically going to a state office as previously required.

Oregon regulators proposed rules on sampling marijuana products to determine whether they contain undisclosed ingredients or additives.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office released an overview of cannabis-related budget provisions.

Alaska regulators hosted a Facebook Live chat to explain new hemp rules.


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

Juneau, Alaska’s coronavirus stay-at-home order exempts marijuana businesses.

A Los Angeles, California city councilman is being sued by a former staff member who alleges he demanded political donations and cash bribes in exchange for helping marijuana businesses secure licenses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Australian Senate Community Affairs References Committee published a report on barriers to patient access to medical cannabis.

Here’s a look at Macedonian lawmakers’ delays in expected passage of an amendment allowing medical cannabis flower exports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found support for the “medicinal potential of CBN in anti-cancer therapy.

A study found that “[first-episode psychosis] patients with a history of daily use of high-potency cannabis present with more positive and less negative symptoms, compared with those who never used cannabis or used low-potency types.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Anti-marijuana author Alex Berenson suggested in a Fox News appearance that there is a correlation between places with the most cannabis use and coronavirus cases.

The Alaska Marijuana Industry Association is calling on Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) to maintain legal marijuana access during the coronavirus outbreak.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced a new member of its board of directors and the resignation of another member.

Third Wave Farms is asking a federal court to void its contract with Oregon LLC Pure Valley Solutions because it says the coronavirus pandemic has made it impossible to uphold the terms of the deal.

/ CULTURE

A UFC victory by Journey Newson has been overturned due to a positive marijuana test.

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Fed cannabis prosecutions decline legalization era (Newsletter: March 25, 2020)

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Small Biz Admin: No COVID aid for marijuana firms; Denver psilocybin panel sets decrim enforcement tracking; SD legalization campaign alters plan

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New data from the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows that federal prosecutions for marijuana trafficking continue to decline year over year as more states legalize, indicating that the illegal market shrinks when consumers have a legal place to buy cannabis.

In a series of new tweets, the federal Small Business Administration confirmed that marijuana companies are not eligible for coronavirus-related disaster relief funds.

The U.S.’s first government psychedelics body approved criteria to track the impact of Denver, Colorado’s psilocybin decriminalization law. Members also discussed the need to train first responders to use harm reduction principles to deal with people under the influence of psychedelics.

A South Dakota campaign working to pass separate ballot measures to legalize marijuana and allow medical cannabis is urging voters to consider absentee registration in case coronavirus concerns prevent people from going to polling places come Election Day.

/ FEDERAL

National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow published a blog post explaining her agency’s request for input on formulating a standard dose of THC for marijuana products.

Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Mike Hood tweeted, “I am proposing legislation restricting taxation of cannabis to funding a Federal Arts Project in the spirit of the 1935 program; which also creates a new funding stream for art/music teachers.”

/ STATES

Hawaii Gov. David Ige’s (D) coronavirus stay-at-home order exempts medical cannabis businesses as essential.

Oregon marijuana businesses are allowed to stay open under Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) coronavirus stay-at-home order. Meanwhile, regulators published a FAQ on coronavirus-related issues for cannabis businesses.

Oklahoma regulators said that medical cannabis businesses are essential and exempt from Gov. Kevin Stitt’s (R) stay-at-home order issued amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor did a radio interview about coronavirus-related regulatory changes for medical cannabis businesses.

Maine regulators said that medical cannabis operations are essential and exempt from guidance urging many businesses to temporarily close during the coronavirus outbreak, but they said that the pandemic could delay the launch of the state’s recreational marijuana market.

Colorado regulators said that recreational marijuana businesses may only do curbside sales, while medical cannabis businesses can do in-store transactions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington State regulators are allowing curbside sales of recreational marijuana in addition to an earlier move covering only medical cannabis amid the coronavirus outbreak. They are also pursuing deferment and waiver of penalties for late payment of taxes, subject to a possible proclamation from Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

Florida law considers medical cannabis businesses to be essential and exempt from any coronavirus-related local shutdown orders.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin addressing building delays that marijuana business license applicants may experience due to coronavirus.

Arkansas regulators say a growing number of medical cannabis businesses are expressing interest in adding delivery services amid the coronavirus outbreak.

New Mexico’s medical cannabis program now has a higher patient count than Colorado’s, for the first time ever.

Rhode Island regulators denied a business expense tax deduction for a medical cannabis cultivation license.


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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian regulators said they will continue some marijuana licensing activity, carry out inspections at a modified pace and extend a reporting deadline amid the coronavirus outbreak.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD has the promising potential as a therapeutic agent and might be effective in alleviating the symptoms of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.”

A study found that pressurized hot water extraction “can be seen as an alternative to the classic extraction approach as the efficiency is higher and it is environmentally friendly.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Drug Policy Alliance, Harm Reduction Coalition, Marijuana Policy Project, AIDS United and other organizations sent a letter urging governors to maintain legal access to medical cannabis during the coronavirus pandemic.

Vicente Sederberg LLP, Agricultural Hemp Solutions, American Herbal Products Association, U.S. Hemp Roundtable and Vote Hemp released additional recommendations for state hemp programs.

The New York State Catholic Conference is urging lawmakers not to legalize marijuana during the coronavirus outbreak.

The Brookings Institution published a paper calling for an equity-focused “Cannabis Opportunity Agenda” in the legal industry.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted, “Every death is a tragedy, but how many of the precious few ‘under 30’ coronavirus deaths are cannabis vapers?”

/ BUSINESS

J.P Morgan offered a $10 million line of credit and banking services including merchant processing to Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. reported $22.8 million in quarterly revenue and an adjusted EBITDA loss of $10.2 million.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $75.5 million and a net loss of $27.2 million.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced the resignation of one of its board members.

CannaCraft converted a portion of its manufacturing space and production capacity to formulating and packaging hand sanitizer.

Massachusetts marijuana dispensaries are teaming up to produce hand sanitizer that will be donated to local hospitals.

/ CULTURE

Former boxer Mike Tyson reacted to The Simpsons making fun of his involvement in the marijuana industry.

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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.
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