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MN cannabis bill gets 1st hearing (Newsletter: February 12, 2021)

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WI GOP against gov’s marijuana plan; TX psychedelics bill; NC cannabis support; IA senators OK patient fee cut; Marijuana helps/hinders biz ideas

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Top Wisconsin Republican leaders are not on board with Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) new plan to legalize marijuana, but some GOP lawmakers are floating more modest reforms such as decriminalizing possession or allowing medical cannabis.

The Minnesota House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee scheduled the first hearing on a marijuana legalization bill sponsored by the majority leader and speaker for Wednesday.

  • “As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand the amount of resources the state expends on current cannabis restrictions,” the chairman of the committee said,

The Virginia House General Laws Committee took a procedural step to get lawmakers closer to working out the differences between separate marijuana legalization bills approved on the floor of both chambers last week.

A new poll found that a majority of North Carolina adults support legalizing marijuana and that three out of four back medical cannabis. The survey also asked about the morality of marijuana use and whether it is a gateway drug.

A Texas representative filed a bill to require the state to study psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine as alternative therapies to treat PTSD, depression, chronic pain and other disorders.

An Iowa Senate Judiciary subcommittee approved a bill to slash medical cannabis patient fees from $100 annually to just $10 every two years. Fees on medical marijuana providers would also be cut.

A new study found that using marijuana both helps and hinders the brainstorming process for coming up with new business ideas.

  • “Despite generating more original ideas, we found that cannabis users’ ideas were less feasible.”

/ FEDERAL

The Biden administration is reviewing a Trump-era Office of the Comptroller of the Currency rule preventing banks from denying service for non-financial reasons that cannabis and other businesses say could benefit them.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture official spoke about hemp-related research and data projects the government is undertaking.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wrote in a constituent letter that he will “continue to push for legislation that addresses the systemic and racial inequities that have plagued our drug laws and criminal justice system for decades.”

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said she would “not be inclined to sign” any marijuana legalization bill that lawmakers pass. Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to remove some marijuana convictions from background checks.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) budget proposal contains funding for marijuana regulation and social equity initiatives and for a “Clean Slate” program to clear prior criminal records.

The Idaho House Agriculture Committee introduced a bill to legalize hemp.

A Georgia House Regulated Industries subcommittee approved a bill to add ulcerative colitis as a low-THC medical cannabis qualifying condition.

The Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to limit the potency of marijuana products on Friday.

A Connecticut senator said he is “embarrassed” by the lack of detail on equity in Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) marijuana legalization plan.

A Kentucky representative filed a marijuana legalization bill.

Colorado regulators issued the state’s first recreational marijuana delivery permit.

Maryland’s Department of Agriculture tweeted about a participant in the state’s hemp pilot program becoming “the first in the U.S. to commercially produce hemp using aquaponic methods.”

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on Wednesday.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis and Hemp Advisory Committees will meet on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 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

Broward County, Florida’s state’s attorney issued a memo aimed at reducing marijuana possession cases.

The Missoula County, Montana clerk and treasurer published an op-ed calling on lawmakers and the governor to immediately implement the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study indicated that “hemp extracts can be a valuable source of biologically active substances that reduce oxidative stress, inhibit skin aging processes and positively affect the viability of skin cells.”

A study concluded that “cannabis use is associated with a reduced risk of elevated fatty liver index in HIV-HCV co-infected patients.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A FiveThirtyEight analyst predicted that marijuana will not be federally legalized by the end of President Joe Biden’s first term.

The Hemp Feed Coalition is pushing for hemp to become an approved animal feed ingredient.

The International Drug Policy Consortium released a new strategic plan.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of C$67.7 million and an adjusted EBITDA loss of C$16.8 million.

Columbia Care Inc.  entered into an agreement to sell C$25 million worth of shares.

Ayr Strategies Inc. changed its corporate name to Ayr Wellness Inc.

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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.

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

Federal legal cannabis bill gets vote this week in House panel (Newsletter: September 27, 2021)

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More banks work with cannabis biz; Seattle psychedelics decrim advances; KC restricts marijuana testing; WashPost cannabis prisoner ad

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  • Mark: “I joined because your excellently researched newsletter keeps me up to date instantly on what’s happening with the struggle to end marijuana prohibition in states, federally, and worldwide. I live in Pennsylvania, and while the states around us are now largely legal for recreational use, we are not, due to some residual ‘reefer madness’ adherents in PA’s state government. Those of us fortunate to be able to get medical marijuana in PA want the rest of the folks who don’t qualify for it to be able to use MJ too, without fear of being arrested, jailed, and ruined. Yours is an extremely useful newsletter, and I read it every day.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Judiciary Committee will vote on Chairman Jerrold Nadler’s (D-NY)  federal marijuana legalization bill on Wednesday. The measure passed the full House last Congress but did not advance in the Senate. Advocates are hoping this time will be different.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network reported that the number of banks and credit unions that say they’re serving marijuana businesses ticked up in the past three months following several quarters of declines.

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council approved the mayor’s proposal to ban pre-employment marijuana testing for most city workers.

The Seattle, Washington City Council Public Safety and Human Services Committee considered a measure to decriminalize psychedelics. The full Council is expected to take up the measure within the next few weeks.

The family of a marijuana prisoner took out a full-page Washington Post ad calling for his freedom and noting that large cannabis companies and celebrities—including Beyonce, Jay Z, Seth Rogen and others—stand to make money in the industry.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report on China’s hemp market.

Customs and Border Protection sent a warning to travelers to stop trying to bring marijuana through the Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “‘An estimated 321,000 Americans now work in the legal cannabis industry, outnumbering the country’s dentists, paramedics & electrical engineers.’ Yet the industry & their employees are still forced to operate in cash. It’s past time to pass #SAFEBanking.”

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tweeted that the National Defense Authorization Act “includes ‘red flag’ provisions that deprive servicemembers of their Second Amendment rights and a provision to allow illicit cannabis businesses to use the banking system, advancing the legalization agenda.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got two new cosponsors for a total of 66.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill on waivers and deferrals for marijuana licensing and application fees.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) reportedly dismissed Norman Birenbaum, director of cannabis programs under former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), whom advocates had opposed becoming the head of the new Office of Cannabis Management.

Mississippi’s lieutenant governor and House speaker asked Gov. Tate Reeves (R) to schedule a special session to consider medical cannabis and other legislation this Friday. Meanwhile, the Special Select Committee of the Legislative Black Caucus will hold a medical marijuana hearing on Tuesday.

The Washington State Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s decision that had allowed Chelan Count to shut down a marijuana business.

The Vermont Supreme Court ruled that evidence of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms discovered during a search by a Customs and Border Protection officer is inadmissible in state court.

Illinois regulators are facing new lawsuits from companies whose applications for marijuana craft grower and transporter applications were disqualified.

Oregon regulators expanded a recall of products with mislabeled THC content.

Michigan regulators announced a voluntary recall of marijuana products due to use of a contaminated trimmer.

Oklahoma’s top medical cannabis regulator met with industry representatives.

New Jersey regulators published an updated list of medical cannabis dispensaries.

A former Maryland delegate authored an op-ed calling for a free market approach to regulating the marijuana industry.

Nevada’s Cannabis Advisory Commission Public Health Subcommittee will meet on Wednesday.

The Louisiana House Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

Anne Arundel County, Maryland School Board members expressed concerns about a state law requiring policies allowing medical cannabis use at schools.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Italian municipal elections officials are missing deadlines to certify signatures on a marijuana referendum, jeopardizing its chances of qualifying.

Gibraltar’s Parliament approved a medical cannabis bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “medical cannabis and cannabinoids may improve impaired sleep among people living with chronic pain, but the magnitude of benefit is likely small.”

The University of California, Berkeley’s Center for the Science of Psychedelics received five philanthropic donations worth a total of $7 million.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Washington Post editorial board is urging the Biden administration to support safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Des Moines Register editorial board is calling on Iowa lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

The Brookings Institution published a blog post calling on President Joe Biden to end the war on drugs.

The Marijuana Policy Project is hiring a legislative counsel for the southeastern U.S.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $42 million and a net loss of $46.2 million.

Vice looks at the tension between psychedelic companies that want access limited to a medical model and the broader decriminalization movement.

/ CULTURE

Football player La’el Collins was suspended for allegedly trying to bribe a drug test collector.

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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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Newsletter

MS medical cannabis deal reached for special session (Newsletter: September 24, 2021)

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House officials sends marijuana banking to Senate; Feds fund psilocybin for cigarette cessation study; FBI changes marijuana policy again

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives formally passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which contains marijuana banking provisions. But the path ahead in the Senate is complicated, with key lawmakers indicating they are not in favor of the move.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which loosened its marijuana policy for agent applicants earlier this summer, more recently added a new arbitrary restriction:  Anyone who has used cannabis more than 24 times as an adult is disqualified.

Mississippi lawmakers reached a deal on medical cannabis legislation to replace the voter-approved measure that was overturned by the state Supreme Court, and they’ll ask Gov. Tate Reeves (R) for a special session as soon as Friday. In a related development, the commissioner of agriculture and commerce told lawmakers in a letter that he wants no part of regulating medical marijuana as long as it remains federally illegal.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is funding research on whether psilocybin can help people quit smoking cigarettes.

  • “To my knowledge it’s the 1st grant from the US government in over a half century to directly study therapeutics of a classic psychedelic.”

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Health and Human Services said a study it funded on differences in opioid-related outcomes among pregnant and parenting women in states with and without medical cannabis laws has been submitted to a scientific journal for publication.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) spoke in a Senate floor speech about a departing staffer’s role in helping to craft cannabis legislation.

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) tweeted, “A few months ago, the largest illegal drug bust in LA County History was conducted in #CA25. While progress was made to combat the illegal marijuana grows, there is still more work to be done to eradicate this problem. I promise to continue to work to combat this problem.”

Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman, currently the state’s lieutenant governor, spoke about both major parties’ reluctance to embrace marijuana reform.

Kentucky Democratic congressional candidate William Compton tweeted, “Here is something that hasn’t been talked about lately: Marijuana. It needs to be legalized. The revenue, alone, would create a massive boost to KY’s economy. Tobacco is our cash crop, it’s time we add Marijuana into that!”

/ STATES

Florida Senate Agriculture Committee members pressed regulators on the lack of medical cannabis licenses awarded to black farmers.

Oklahoma regulators are being sued over the revocation of medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Montana regulators gave lawmakers an update on formulating marijuana rules. They also revealed that regulations will ban hemp-derived CBD from being sold in marijuana dispensaries.

A new Washington State policy will take effect next month that makes it easier for people with criminal records to participate in the marijuana industry.

An Ohio representative who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill tweeted that it’s been referred to the House Finance Committee and that he’s pushing to get a hearing scheduled.

Missouri regulators said that some medical cannabis products were put on hold in the state’s track and trace system “inadvertently.” Meanwhile, the state has now spent more than $6.7 million defending against legal challenges to licensing decisions.

Maryland’s Medical Cannabis Commission met.

Nevada regulators will discuss marijuana business issues on Tuesday.

New Jersey regulators will host a webinar on marijuana rules on Tuesday.

Maine regulators will convene the first meeting of the new Medical Marijuana Workgroup on Tuesday.

Michigan regulators will hold a quarterly meeting on marijuana issues on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

Missoula County, Montana officials held a meeting to explain a marijuana tax ballot measure.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Scotland’s lord advocate announced a plan to allow police to issue warnings for Class A drugs instead of making arrests.

Canadian retailers sold C$338.9 million worth of legal marijuana in July.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “the price of Ohio’s medical marijuana continues to drive dissatisfaction” with the state program.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Cannabis Regulators Association sent comments about federal marijuana legalization provisions to senators.

The Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association, Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association and other groups sent a letter asking regulators to place a moratorium on issuing new medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

NBC’s Brian Williams made a marijuana edibles joke on air.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs Inc. is acquiring Bay, LLC d/b/a Cure Pennsylvania.

Green Market Report is being acquired by Crain Communications.

Investors in Civilized are pushing out the company’s founders.

Several unlicensed marijuana dispensaries are now operating on the St. Regis Mohawk reservation located within New York.

Eaze launched a program to bring free medical cannabis to low-income patients.

Cookies launched a new product that combines THC and non-psychedelic mushrooms.

The Associated Press Stylebook tweeted, “THC is OK in all references to tetrahydrocannabinol, the compound that gives marijuana its high. CBD is OK for cannabidiol, a compound in cannabis that does not cause a high and is often sold as a dietary supplement or included in creams and other personal care products.”

/ CULTURE

Clint Eastwood won a court default against the CEO of Norok Innovation Inc., which the actor says misappropriated his name to falsely make people think he endorsed its CBD products.

PBS’s Nova will air an episode on the science and criminalization of cannabis on Wednesday.

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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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Newsletter

Cannabis banking sponsor discusses Senate path (Newsletter: September 23, 2021)

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OK marijuana ballot measures finalized; NY cannabis board fully seated; USDA’s anti-weed hemp effort; PA medical cannabis DUI hearing

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

SAFE Banking Act sponsor Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) spoke to Marijuana Moment about the prospects for finally getting his now five-times House-passed cannabis reform through the Senate and onto the president’s desk.

  • “I think the fifth time is the charm.”

Oklahoma activists finalized the language for separate initiatives to legalize marijuana and revise the existing medical cannabis program that they want to place on the 2022 ballot.

With two final appointments, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) completed the makeup of the Cannabis Control Board—setting up the state to finally begin implementing a legal recreational marijuana market.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funding research to help hemp farmers manage weed issues.

The Pennsylvania Senate Transportation Committee held a hearing on a bill to protect medical cannabis patients from being charged with DUI unless they are actually impaired behind the wheel.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s long past time to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, enact criminal justice reforms, and invest in communities hurt by the War on Drugs. That’s why @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said he opposes adding marijuana banking to the National Defense Authorization Act. Separately, he announced that efforts to negotiate a deal on police reform legislation have ended after Republicans failed to accept Democrats’ final offer of compromise.

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) reacted to the House including marijuana banking in the National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “It’s not a great vehicle for it, but if it’s a vehicle that can carry it, I think it’d be fine… Any vehicle’s good that gets it to pass it.”

Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted, “Proudly cosponsored @RepPerlmutter’s #SAFEBanking amendment. By denying state-legal cannabis business access to financial services the federal govt is – endangering public safety – crippling the economic recovery of #smallbiz – refusing states’ rights to implement their own laws

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “I support the Safe Banking Act. Let’s begin to decriminalize cannabis federally. All legal cannabis businesses across our country pay their employees, bills, and FEDERAL taxes with cash! Cannabis businesses and customers deserve access to a banking system!”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted, “As part of the #FY22NDAA, I’m proud to support these 3 #SmallBiz Amendments:… ✅The SAFE Banking Act (for #cannabis businesses, approved last night!)…”

Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Dave Joyce (R-OH) filed a bill aimed at protecting Customs and Border Protection officers from accidental exposure to fentanyl and other drugs they may encounter on the job, but advocates say the bill is seeking to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist and is “created from hysteria, not science.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got five new cosponsors for a total of 64.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he expects recreational marijuana sales to begin through existing medical cannabis dispensaries in the first or second quarter of 2022.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “My Ohio comeback plan is pretty simple. We’re going to legalize and tax marijuana and we’re going to give Ohioans a dividend of our energy profits. This will create 120,000 jobs that pay $60,000 a year, reduce unemployment, and cut poverty in half.”

North Carolina’s Senate president pro tem indicated that a medical cannabis bill might not get a floor vote until next year. Meanwhile, the legislation’s sponsor is working on some changes requested by the state attorney general.

A Pennsylvania senator is hosting a cannabis opportunities conference on Friday.

Arkansas activists say they’ve collected more than 20,000 signatures so far for their proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Oregon regulators issued a mandatory recall for a hemp product with undisclosed levels of THC.

California regulators are modifying the text of warnings about exposure to marijuana smoke and THC.

An Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics official told lawmakers at a hearing that the number of fraudulently licensed medical cannabis cultivation operations may soon decrease.

West Virginia’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Board will meet on Thursday.

Nevada’s Cannabis Advisory Subcommittee on Social Equity, Diversity & Inclusion will meet on Monday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 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

New York City filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a man who launched an apparel brand called “NYC New York Cannabis” that uses logos similar to the city’s official ones.

A Wake County, North Carolina district attorney candidate said he won’t prosecute low-level marijuana cases if elected.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Kenya’s attorney general has until October 18 to respond to a lawsuit seeking to legalize marijuana that was filed by Rastafarians.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that medical cannabis “had a favorable effect on pain level and quality of sleep among all spectrums of problems at the rheumatology clinic.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana Moment Senior Editor Kyle Jaeger spoke about cannabis banking legislation on C-SPAN’s Washington Today.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials released a position statement on the use of hemp and hemp byproducts in animal food.

The American Bankers Association tweeted, “ABA strongly supports the #SAFEBanking Act which would help achieve important public safety goals and expand access to credit for cannabis-related businesses in states where it is legal, making the industry more equitable while growing jobs and the economy.”

Concerned Women for America tweeted, “More #FY22NDAA Insanity: Last night House voted to unleash the predatory marijuana industry through the U.S. banking system while drugs are pouring across our borders. Dems want America on pot and our daughters in war. @HouseGOP must say NO.”

The Massachusetts Package Stores Association said a senator’s bill to ban billboard advertising for alcohol or marijuana products is unconstitutional.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is closing down its Edmonton, Alberta, Canada facility.

A lawsuit that Legacy Hemp LLC filed against Terramax Holdings Corp. for allegedly breaching a hemp seed distribution contract was revived by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit after it was previously dismissed.

/ CULTURE

UFC fighter Chris Barnett was suspended and fined over a positive marijuana test.

Melissa Etheridge spoke about her cannabis brand Etheridge Botanicals.

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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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