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Missouri & Virginia medical cannabis sales begin (Newsletter: October 19, 2020)

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Biden talks marijuana at town hall; VA gov signs decrim fine prepay bill; MT lawsuit challenges legalization initiative; NJ poll; OR drug decrim ads

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Trump addressed drug and crime policy issues at dueling town halls. Biden spoke about decriminalizing marijuana, clearing past cannabis records and forcing people into treatment instead of jail for drug possession. Meanwhile, Trump attempted to cast himself as the criminal justice reform candidate.

Missouri dispensaries made the state’s first medical marijuana sales—nearly two years after voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for approved patients.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed a bill that allows people to prepay marijuana decriminalization fines instead of having to go to court. Meanwhile, the state’s first medical cannabis dispensary opened over the weekend. The governor also has more marijuana bills on his desk for action later this month.

Montana marijuana opponents are trying to block the state’s legalization ballot measure because they say it violates the state constitution by appropriating tax revenue to specific programs. Voting is already underway, so it’s unclear what will happen if the challenge succeeds in the state Supreme Court.

A new poll shows New Jersey’s marijuana legalization ballot referendum passing by a nearly three-to-one margin.

The campaign working to pass Oregon’s drug decriminalization ballot measure released a new series of TV and online ads. 

  • “Putting people in jail ruins families, when treatment can help families. Yes on 110 will help.”

/ FEDERAL

Leaders at the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Training Academy are being accused of having a pattern of making racist comments towards recruits.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy updated its Freedom of Information Act policies.

Rep. Justin Amash (L-MI) criticized President Trump, tweeting that he “expanded civil asset forfeiture/marijuana enforcement.”

Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) and Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis shared their positions on marijuana legalization during a debate.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) tweeted, “Happy Wisconsin Hemp Day! Throughout the early part of the 20th Century, Wisconsin was proudly a national leader in #hemp production. I have championed legalizing industrial hemp for years and am glad that our farmers are once again able to produce this lucrative, useful crop.”

South Carolina Democratic Senate candidate Jaime Harrison spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

West Virginia democratic Senate candidate Paula Jean Swearengin tweeted, “This isn’t a partisan issue- it’s a greed issue. People from all walks of life want to legalize cannabis, except for those who want to make money off our backs instead of empowering our farmers, small businesses, & working people. We need restorative #cannabis legalization NOW”

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mia Mason tweeted, “I will fight to legalize cannabis, let our District 1 farmers grow it as a cash crop, & tax it to bring money into our system to fix our infrastructure!”

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) signed a proclamation declaring Wisconsin Hemp Day.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “I’m calling on the PA legislature to move toward legalizing adult-use marijuana. Here’s why: 👍 Pennsylvanians support legalization 💵 Revenues would help us recover from #COVID19 🚜 Pennsylvania agriculture would see a boost 💚 Decriminalization of marijuana is long overdue 🌱 Justice would be restored to those impacted by over-criminalization 🛡 Regulations would be implemented to keep people safe ↔️ Pennsylvanians with medical issues could better access relief 💰 Pennsylvania would keep revenue instead of losing it to neighboring states”

Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woody Myers spoke about his support for decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing medical cannabis.

Arizona’s secretary of state held two town hall meetings to discuss the state’s ballot measures, including one to legalize marijuana.

Oklahoma regulators adopted emergency rules on medical cannabis reporting and testing. They also announced a recall of products sold by Green Motavation that failed pesticide testing.

Colorado regulators adopted new marijuana waste management rules.

Tennessee regulators extended the state’s hemp pilot program.

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole granted parole to a disabled Iraqi War veteran who is serving a five-year prison sentence after being arrested for possessing medical cannabis that is legal in his home state of Arizona.

California regulators are proposing new rules on marijuana business license application requirements.

The Illinois Adult Use Cannabis Health Advisory Committee will meet on Monday.

Michigan regulators will hold a marijuana social equity education and outreach session 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 Will County, Illinois Board is advancing a proposal to use marijuana tax revenue as reparations for “Transgenerational Damage Done through Slavery, the Black Codes, the War on Drugs, and Mass Incarceration.”

San Francisco, California regulators made grant funding available to marijuana social equity businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s former defense minister was arrested on drug charges by U.S. officials.

Reelected Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke about her priorities for addressing marijuana policy regardless of the outcome of the nation’s legalization referendum. Meanwhile, the unexpected victory of a Green Party parliamentary candidate could bode well for the referendum, preliminary results of which will be announced later this month.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky included a question about legalizing medical cannabis in an exit poll to be conducted along with local elections this month.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “accommodating assisted injection within [supervised injection services] may be providing opportunities to engage and reduce harms among higher-risk subpopulations” of people who inject drugs.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Policy Center for Public Health and Safety, American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp and ASTM International launched a pilot certification program for the cannabis industry.

The Irish Farmers Association says the country could be a “major player” in the production of medicinal cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

GenGanna Global, now known as OGGUSA Inc., is suing its board chairman for allegedly diverting more than $4 million in cash and benefits to his own company, Southern Tier Hemp.

Schwazze canceled its planned acquisition of Canyon.

/ CULTURE

The NFL Players Association sent a letter warning players that they could be violating collectively bargained rules by entering into partnerships with CBD companies.

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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.)

Newsletter

Legal cannabis heads to CT gov’s desk (Newsletter: June 18, 2021)

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FL Court blocks marijuana initiative; Drug war hearing in Congress; Advocates’ federal legalization amendments; Poll: Voters back drug decrim

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Connecticut lawmakers sent a marijuana legalization bill to the desk of Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who announced he will sign it into law after recent changes addressed concerns that led him to issue a veto threat earlier this week.

On Thursday’s 50th anniversary of President Richard Nixon declaring the war on drugs, congressional lawmakers formally filed a bill to decriminalize all drugs and held a hearing on the harms of prohibition enforcement.

The Florida Supreme Court invalidated another marijuana legalization ballot measure because, the justices say, its ballot summary is “misleading.” They already blocked one cannabis initiative in April. Activists have to start all over for 2022 now.

The Parabola Center—a new organization led by former Massachusetts marijuana regulator Shaleen Title—proposed changes to a federal legalization bill to prevent big businesses from shutting communities harmed by the drug war out of the cannabis industry.

Another new poll found that a strong majority of U.S. voters support decriminalizing all drugs. The survey, published by The Appeal and Data for Progress, also shows support for removing criminal penalties for intent to distribute personal amounts.

/ FEDERAL

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the Drug Enforcement Administration to the floor.

Several Republican senators spoke about their views on federal marijuana reform.

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL), who is running for Florida governor, tweeted, “The Florida Supreme Court that @GovRonDeSantis packed with partisan judges just denied another ballot initiative to let Floridians vote on legalizing marijuana. This is wrong. Legalization should be up to the people of Florida.”

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) gave a House floor speech calling on the federal government to do more to combat illegal marijuana grow operations.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) spoke about how he is pressing senators to approve marijuana banking legislation.

/ STATES

Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) signed a bill allowing certified nurse practitioners and physician assistants to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) held a signing ceremony for a medical cannabis bill that she previously formally signed.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) tweeted, “I want South Dakota to have the best, most patient-focused medical cannabis program in America. I’ve heard from people who are hurting & hopeful for relief. We are 100% committed to starting this program as quickly & responsibly as possible. Learn more at http://MedCannabis.SD.gov.”

Former Colorado governors are endorsing a proposed ballot measure to increase marijuana taxes.

The Maine Senate and House of Representatives gave initial approval to a bill to block controversial medical cannabis regulations.

The Wyoming Supreme Court rejected a motion from the state attorney general’s office to remove from the record the identity of a police officer whom the court found lied during testimony in a case charging hemp farmers with growing marijuana.

A Michigan representative filed a bill to regulate delta-8-THC.

Washington State regulators held an emergency meeting on hemp-derived delta-9-THC. Separately, regulators sent an update to clarify that marijuana dispensaries may use their parking lots to host vaccination clinics as part of the “Joints for Jabs” program.

Massachusetts regulators will begin accepting applications for the state’s third social equity cohort on Monday.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee met.

Nevada regulators will host a webinar on health hazards in marijuana facilities on Wednesday.

Idaho regulators will hold public meetings on planned hemp rules on Wednesday and on June 30.


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

A federal judge said Detroit, Michigan’s residency rules for marijuana business ownership are “likely unconstitutional.”

The Gwinnett County, Georgia Police Citizens Advisory Board issued a recommendation to decriminalize marijuana.

A Cleveland County, Oklahoma commissioner wants the legislature to conduct an interim study on medical cannabis cultivation facilities in unincorporated areas.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK’s Taskforce on Innovation, Growth and Regulatory Reform recommended changes to regulations for CBD products.

Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos tweeted, “Fifty year ago Nixon declared the world war on drugs. A war with worse consequences each day. It’s a lost war that we must change. Prohibition is the original sin.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of marijuana purchasing choices found that “price difference between licensed and un-licensed sources was commonly discussed as a factor that influenced purchase decisions” and that “product quality characteristics (e.g. size, color, moisture content) and social influences were also considered in purchase decisions,” while “participants were generally indifferent to packaging and warning labels but expressed concern about the excessive packaging required for regulated products.”

A study provided “evidence for the beneficial effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in treating [sleep disorders] in individuals with PTSD.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Connecticut Democratic Party tweeted, “Connecticut is about to legalize marijuana.”

New Jersey Policy Perspective published a report finding that the state spent $11.6 billion over the past decade to enforce the war on drugs.

The Coalition for Cannabis Policy, Education, and Regulation  published a policy paper on opportunities for small and minority-owned marijuana businesses.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. is being sued by a former executive of a company it acquired who alleges she never received the equity she was promised as a condition of her employment.

Subway won a trademark infringement lawsuit against Canadian cannabis dispensary Budway.

Simplifya closed a $6 million Series B funding round.

Cresco Labs launched a “summer-long social justice campaign” that will feature expungement events and fundraising and petitioning drives.

Total Life Changes LLC is being sued by a former Army sergeant who alleges the company failed to warn consumers that its weight loss tea and other products contain THC.

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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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CT House amends cannabis bill after gov’s veto threat (Newsletter: June 17, 2021)

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LA gov: Legal marijuana is coming; CA senator: psychedelics bill a step to all drug decrim; NJ AG sends cannabis cease and desist letters

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a marijuana legalization bill. Because the body adopted an amendment to address a veto threat from Gov. Ned Lamont (D), it needs to head back to the Senate for one more vote on Thursday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D)—who signed a marijuana decriminalization bill this week—said he thinks the state will eventually fully legalize cannabis, but he’d be surprised if it happens before he leaves office in early 2024.

The California lawmaker who is sponsoring a Senate-passed bill to legalize possession of psychedelics says it’s a step toward eventually decriminalizing all drugs. He also spoke about the path forward for his bill in the Assembly this session

New Jersey’s attorney general sent cease and desist letters demanding that four companies stop circumventing the state’s marijuana laws by offering free “gifts” of cannabis along with purchases of overpriced products like cookies, brownies and stickers.

Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), who is introducing a federal bill to decriminalize all drugs, says she also supports allowing a “safe supply” of illegal substances for consumers as a harm reduction measure.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration posted a budget overview showing it plans to spend $5 million in Fiscal Year 2021 for “Cannabis and Cannabis Derivatives Activities.”

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the harms of the war on drugs on Thursday.

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) wrote in a constituent letter that he supports moving marijuana to Schedule II.

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) again spoke on the House floor about legalization making it so it’s “no longer profitable to bring marijuana across the southern border.”

/ STATES

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) signed a bill clarifying that the state’s driving under the influence laws apply to psilocybin.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said he anticipates calling a special session for lawmakers to pass a medical cannabis bill “sooner rather than later.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) re-extended, through July 10, an executive order for policies enacted during the coronavirus pandemic, including the allowance of remote marijuana sales transactions, suspension of fingerprinting for license renewal applications and suspension of in-person requirements for medical cannabis recommendations.

The California Assembly Public Safety Committee approved a bill to end mandatory minimum jail sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

South Dakota’s health secretary discussed medical cannabis rules with the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations.

A former Massachusetts cannabis regulator became the first customer of the state’s first recreational marijuana delivery service.

Michigan regulators updated a bulletin on common issues faced by marijuana businesses.

Ohio regulators released updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Wisconsin regulators are hiring four hemp chemists.

Nevada regulators will discuss marijuana business issues on Tuesday.


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 Manhattan, New York district attorney plans to dismiss more than 3,000 open warrants for low-level marijuana cases.

The Eau Claire County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors passed a resolution calling on the state to legalize or decriminalize marijuana.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota City Council voted to require medical cannabis businesses to apply for local permits, which won’t be available until state rules are in place.

Matawan, New Jersey is being sued by a former police officer who claims he was fired for using CBD oil in retaliation for supporting a sexual discrimination lawsuit brought by a fellow officer.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK member of Parliament presented a medical cannabis bill for debate later this year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “co-users and [exclusive cigarette] smokers demonstrated comparable levels of biomarkers of exposure to harmful constituents despite smoking similar amounts of tobacco” while [exclusive cannabis] smokers demonstrated lower levels of toxicant exposure for most biomarkers.”

A study suggested that “administering adjunctive group therapy with psilocybin may enhance the effectiveness of trauma processing by reinforcing social cohesion, safety, trust, and belonging.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Bar Association’s Law Student Division will host a cannabis webinar on June 30.

/ BUSINESS

WM Holding Company, LLC, which operates Weedmaps, completed its business combination with Silver Spike Acquisition Corp. and began trading on the Nasdaq.

The Parent Company selected The Peakz Company as its second social equity corporate venture fund investment.

Leafly is seeking to raise $30 million in a funding round.

Sanity Group closed a $44.2 million Series A financing round.

Woodstock Ventures LC and Woodstock Roots LLC are nearing a settlement in a years-long case on the right to use the “Woodstock” name in marijuana products.

4Front Ventures Corp. announced it will contribute $75,000 to the Village of Elk Grove, Illinois and local community programs to support health and wellness initiatives.

Headset and springbig launched an integration.

Arizona retailers sold $69.3 million worth of recreational marijuana in April.

/ CULTURE

George Lopez is partnering with Platinum Vape to launch a cannabis brand.

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Newsletter

CT Senate passes legal cannabis in special session (Newsletter: June 16, 2021)

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LA gov signs marijuana decrim; TX gov signs medical cannabis expansion; Drug decrim bill in Congress; Fed marijuana cases drop as more states legalize

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Connecticut Senate approved a marijuana legalization bill on the first day of a special session. The House will take it up on Wednesday. If approved there, it’ll go to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) desk. However, the governor is threatening to veto the legislation over an amendment on equity licensing eligibility.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill to decriminalize marijuana. He also has separate legislation to legalize smokable medical cannabis flower on his desk that is still pending.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill to expand the state’s limited medical marijuana program. He also has legislation on his desk to require the state to study the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, but hasn’t acted on it yet.

Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) and Cori Bush (D-MO) are filing the first-ever congressional bill to federally decriminalize all drugs. It will also incentivize local reform by withholding law enforcement grants from jurisdictions that continue criminalization.

A new analysis from the U.S. Sentencing Commission shows that federal marijuana cases are dropping significantly as more state legalization laws go into effect—even though federal prohibition hasn’t ended.

/ FEDERAL

The Supreme Court ruled that people convicted of certain low-level drug offenses are ineligible for resentencing under a 2018 criminal justice reform law.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote in a constituent letter that he has “concerns that legalization for recreational use may carry adverse unintended consequences.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) will participate in an event on the 50th anniversary of the war on drugs on Thursday.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) tweeted, “I introduced the GRAM Act to protect the gun rights of state-legal #marijuana users. Our archaic federal cannabis policies currently require legal users to risk perjuring themselves when trying to exercise their #2A rights. Frankly, it’s wrong.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “Ask candidates running for state house and state senate, either incumbents or challengers, what is their position on legalization of marijuana. Then support those that want to change the commonwealth’s policy.”

Rep, Steven Horsford (D-NV) tweeted, “I’m proud to support the #SAFEBanking Act to provide Nevada’s marijuana industry with access to the banking system and protect their employees and customers. The SAFE Banking Act is common sense — it’s time to make it law.”

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) met with state cannabis regulators.

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to provide $100 million in funding to help cities and counties transition marijuana businesses from provisional to regular licenses.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there is “no consensus” among lawmakers on reconciling three competing marijuana legalization bills.

The Oregon Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue held a hearing on a bill to let cities and counties more than triple local marijuana taxes.

The Ohio House Health Committee considered but did not vote on a bill to add autism as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy held a hearing on several marijuana social equity bills.

The chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools sent a letter pushing back against the District Council’s move to undo a policy of mandating marijuana testing for contractors.

Colorado regulators adopted rules on marijuana business licensing fees.

Michigan regulators will discuss marijuana issues on Thursday.

New Mexico regulators will host a workshop for marijuana entrepreneurs on June 22.


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

Los Angeles, California regulators filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by companies that say the city’s marijuana social equity policy is flawed and that their applications were unlawfully disfavored.

The Montgomery County, Maryland Policing Advisory Commission heard testimony about marijuana enforcement.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A UK lawmaker who was one of the winners of a drawing to earn floor debate time for a private member’s bill said he will use the opportunity for medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “minimal changes have occurred in the cannabis use patterns of service-seeking youth in the short term following legalization” and that “this holds true both for youth who have reached the age of majority and those who have not.”

A review concluded that “CBD has demonstrated efficacy in reducing nausea and vomiting, with CBDA and CBDA-ME being more potent.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 48 percent of New Zealand voters support decriminalizing marijuana, 8 percent want to decriminalize all drugs and 31 percent back the status quo.

The New Jersey Democratic State Committee filed a challenge to the nominating petitions of Legalize Marihuana Party gubernatorial candidate Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion.

The United Cannabis Business Association is holding a fundraiser for California’s attorney general on Thursday.

Dr. Bronner’s CEO David Bronner published a response to a conspiracy theory about peyote production that was circulated by Decriminalize Nature.

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. is acquiring Medicine Man Denver.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. reported quarterly revenue of C$44.1 million and a net loss of C$61.6 million.

KushCo Holdings, Inc. reported that it expects quarterly revenue to be between  $27.5 million and $28 million.

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc declared a quarterly dividend of $1.40 per share.

Harborside Inc. granted stock options to certain employees.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. has a new CFO.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Paul Pierce is launching marijuana products in Massachusetts under the “Truth” brand.

Joe Exotic is launching a marijuana brand while incarcerated.

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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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