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MS city sues to block medical cannabis measure (Newsletter: October 28, 2020)

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ID 2022 marijuana initiative filed; Schumer: Legal cannabis if Dems win; NJ lawmakers OK marijuana workers comp bill; Poll: NYers back legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The city of Madison, Mississippi is asking the state Supreme Court to block the medical cannabis ballot measures that voters are set to decide on next week. It is the latest in a string of last-minute legal challenges to cannabis initiatives in several states.

Idaho medical cannabis activists filed an initiative that they hope to get on the state’s 2022 ballot. They tried this year with virtually identical language but were impeded by the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing measures. This time they’ll have 18 months to petition.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a new interview that he will put marijuana legalization up for a floor vote if Democrats win control of the chamber in next week’s elections.

  • “I’m a big fighter for racial justice, and the marijuana laws have been one of the biggest examples of racial injustice, and so to change them makes sense. And that fits in with all of the movement now to bring equality in the policing, in economics and in everything else. Our bill is, in a certain sense, at the nexus of racial justice, individual freedom and states’ rights.”

The New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee approved a bill requiring workers’ compensation and personal injury protection plans to cover the costs of medical cannabis.

A new poll found that New York residents support legalizing marijuana by a two-to-one margin. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) recently said he thinks the need for economic recovery amid the coronavirus pandemic will encourage the state to legalize cannabis “soon.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request from a Minnesota Republican congressional candidate to delay the election following the death of the Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweed, “The daily refrain for COVID is ‘follow the science.’ Science behind marijuana raises ‘red flags’ that deserve further study. Psychosis, links to schizophrenia, links to addiction, public safety and even climate issues. More science and more facts needed on marijuana.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement in a Senate floor speech about the vote to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Indiana Democratic congressional candidate Andy Ruff tweeted, “Our neighbors in MI and IL have chosen to capture hundreds of millions in tax revenue & lessen the burden on police by legalizing marijuana. Republicans in IN have chosen to defund public education & criminalize non-violent citizens. Hoosiers deserve better”

Mississippi Democratic congressional candidate Antonia Eliason tweeted, “A reminder that you have to vote first FOR either Initiative 65 or 65A and then also vote FOR 65. Both steps are required. Let’s legalize medical marijuana! #vote65”

/ STATES

Washington, D.C.’s mayor said she won’t be voting for the psychedelics decriminalization measure on the city’s ballot.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) defended his administration’s implementation of medical cannabis, but State Auditor Nicole Galloway, who is his Democratic challenger, tweeted, “$1.6 million diverted from veterans to cover legal fees for @GovParsonMO’s corrupt rollout of medical marijuana. 68 veterans dead from COVID on his watch. It’s obvious why Gov. Parson wants to distract from his own record — he knows he can’t defend it.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said the state’s marijuana businesses are “thriving.”

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Legalizing adult-use cannabis is: 🤜🏿🤛🏼Fiscally responsible. We can save the millions of dollars we spend prosecuting our taxpayers every year and avoid the associated loss of productivity while generating billions in new revenue. 🤜🏽🤛🏾Common sense. Call your legislators.”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that workers’ compensation insurers cannot be required to pay for medical cannabis. Separately, regulators delayed adopting marijuana delivery rules and will hold a second public hearing on the issue on November 13.

New York regulators released proposed rules for CBD products that would allow infused foods and drinks.

Michigan regulators are hosting a marijuana social equity business resource workshop on Thursday.

The California Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on Friday.


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 Sahuarita, Arizona Town Council adopted a measure to ban recreational marijuana businesses.

The Rapid City, South Dakota School Board rejected a resolution opposing the state’s marijuana legalization and medical cannabis ballot measures.

The Des Moines, Iowa Marijuana Enforcement Task Force will meet on Wednesday.

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted, “Isn’t it time we become intellectually honest and morally consistent in Missouri and legalize marijuana as a closely-regulated product for all recreational use?”

/ INTERNATIONAL

An exit poll conducted by Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky found broad voter support for legalizing medical cannabis.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is being urged by some senators to release an opposition lawmaker who was jailed after being critical of the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “inhaled cannabis reduces self-reported pain severity by 42–49%” but that “these reductions appear to diminish across time, and patients use larger doses across time, suggesting that analgesic tolerance develops with continued use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Democrtic Attorneys General Association tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana just makes sense in Indiana. It works to: 🟢 dismantle racist drug policies 🟢 alleviate pressure on law enforcement 🟢 aid in medical treatment for veterans & terminally ill, & 🟢 could net $170 MILLION+ in revenue.”

NORML is stepping up its call for Virginia lawmakers to legalize marijuana in the wake of reports of consumers being harmed from potentially tainted cannabis.

Portland Community College’s Community Legal & Educational Access & Referral Clinic and the Oregon Cannabis Association are holding an expungement event on Friday.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. filed a base shelf prospectus that will allow it to offer up to $500 million worth of common shares, preferred shares, warrants, subscription receipts and debt securities.

/ CULTURE

Nas is narrating a new BET marijuana documentary.

Errol Morris has a new documentary about Timothy Leary’s love life.

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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

House begins cannabis debate, with vote Friday (Newsletter: December 4, 2020)

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Top NY GOP lawmaker: Legal marijuana in 2021; Feds host cannabis & cancer conference; Scientist sues DEA; GOP slams Dems over legalization bill

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Cannabis in 2021: Will federal prohibition finally fall? Will growing momentum at the state level influence national policy changes? Which states will be next to experiment with reform?

If you support us on Patreon, you’ll not just support us as we dig into these questions but you’ll have access to tools like our Bill Tracker to help you keep an eye on developments yourself. Join us for $25/month here: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives debated and approved the rule under which a federal marijuana legalization bill will be considered. Debate and a final vote on the cannabis legislation itself is expected on Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined dozens of other Republican lawmakers in criticizing Democrats for putting a marijuana legalization bill on the House floor this week.

  • “The House of Representatives is spending this week on pressing issues like marijuana. You know, serious, important legislation benefiting the national crisis.”

New York’s Republican Assembly minority leader said he agrees with Democrats that the state will legalize marijuana in 2021.

  • “There’s still back and forth but I suspect this year, this will actually get done.”

Another scientist is suing the Drug Enforcement Administration over its failure to act on his application to grow marijuana for research purposes. The agency said more than four years ago that it would approve new cannabis cultivators and still hasn’t done so.

The National Cancer Institute, a federal agency, is hosting a multi-day conference on marijuana, cancer treatment and research this month. The deadline to register is Friday.

/ FEDERAL

A leaked Federal Bureau of Investigation report acknowledges that some drug sellers use harm reduction measures such as testing their products for purity prior to selling them.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on a report from the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) authored an op-ed about a pending marijuana legalization vote in Congress.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, “Being a progressive means being first to the best, most just idea. Our policies are so often slandered as crazy or radical or far-left before we build the movement across America that makes them the law of the land. There are many examples, but today’s is legalizing marijuana.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, in response to a Republican congressman, “We’ve passed multiple COVID relief bills, far more generous than GOP’s for working people, that GOP are sitting on in the Senate. & the ‘pot’ bills that you are so dismissive of will expunge millions of people’s records from the unjust War on Drugs.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) spoke about the passage of marijuana ballot measures in a podcast.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) noted the success of marijuana ballot measures in an op-ed.

/ STATES

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) said that progressives worried about a centrist Biden administration should, “in the states where it’s now legal, get a good joint and just chill.

Mississippi’s attorney general issued a warning about “scams” from companies claiming to be able to pre-register medical cannabis patients.

New Jersey’s lieutenant governor spoke about provisions of marijuana legalization enabling legislation.

The Oregon Senate Interim Judiciary Committee considered marijuana equity legislation.

Connecticut’s Departments of Labor analyzed the economic potential of hemp and cannabis.

Pennsylvania regulators are accepting hemp permit applications for 2021.

Missouri regulators cleared the state’s first medical cannabis manufacturing business to begin operations.

Alaska’s Office of Management and Budget set performance targets for marijuana regulators.

California regulators published a fact sheet on branded marijuana merchandise.

Michigan regulators published a bulletin on approved active ingredients for marijuana growers.

A Guam senator said the territory’s marijuana legalization law won’t hurt its family-friendly image.


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 Santa Fe, New Mexico City Council’s Quality of Life Committee approved a proposal to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

Los Angeles, California regulators approved marijuana social equity business applicants.

A New York City mayoral candidate criticized the New York Times for focusing on her cannabis use in a short profile of her candidacy.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s district attorney spoke favorably about Oregon’s move to decriminalize drugs.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Some UK police organizations are reportedly backing a new private ID card system that allows medical cannabis patients to self-certify to get an informal level of protection from arrest.

A Canadian member of Parliament filed a bill to create a diversion framework to reduce drug arrests.

A Colombian senator spoke about his bill to legalize cocaine.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “almost one-quarter of patients with [chronic pelvic pain] report regular use of cannabis as an adjunct to their prescribed therapy” and that “although side effects are common, most users report improvement in symptoms.”

A review concluded that “current evidence does not suggest clinically significant associations between cannabis use and testicular function.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter urging members of Congress to vote for a marijuana legalization bill.

Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist tweeted, “Only the modern Democrat party could turn a simple good idea like decriminalizing cannabis into a tax and spend and regulate extravaganza. Legalization is a one sentence law.”

The National Industrial Hemp Council and Hemp Industries Association are conducting a survey about a national hemp checkoff program.

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. has a new chief revenue officer.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey spoke about the parallels he sees between the marijuana industry and the natural foods business.

Canopy Growth Corporation’s Storz & Bickel Gmbh & Go. released a gold-plated vaporizer for its 20th anniversary.

/ CULTURE

Mixed martial arts fighter Nike Price was suspended over a positive marijuana test.

The band The Mountain Goats tweeted, “This is not a hobbyhorse I ride a whole lot, but the relief that marijuana gives to people suffering from chronic pain is very real, and it helps with a ton of other ailments beside; to regard this claim as somehow frivolous is callous and grotesque.”

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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

UN votes to reschedule cannabis globally (Newsletter: December 3, 2020)

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Federal legal marijuana bill moves to floor; Cannabis could be on NJ ballot again; DEA moves to dismiss rescheduling case

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

What a long strange year it’s been! We covered cannabis from all angles in 2020—from pandemic to election—and we’re already planning our reporting for 2021. But in order to be ready for next year, we need to know how much ongoing support we can count on from our readers.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Rules Committee cleared a federal marijuana legalization bill for floor action, with debate expected on Thursday and a final vote on Friday. Several amendments were submitted to gut key provisions of the legislation, but none were deemed in order for the floor. A manager’s amendment from sponsor Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is included in the rule as considered as adopted, however.

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted to remove marijuana from the strictest global category—with U.S. support. But separate cannabis recommendations—including one to clarify that CBD does not fall under international control—were defeated..

New Jersey’s Senate president and other lawmakers are proposing putting marijuana back on the ballot—but not to undo last month’s legalization win. The new constitutional amendment would ensure cannabis revenues are steered to communities harmed by the war on drugs. Meanwhile, controversial psilocybin language is being stripped out of a marijuana decriminalization bill to speed its passage.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is again asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its decisions to reject marijuana rescheduling petitions.

Leaders of conservative organizations Competitive Enterprise Institute, Institute for Liberty, Taxpayers Protection Alliance and R Street Institute sent a letter to congressional leaders endorsing the major descheduling provisions of a federal marijuana legalization bill being voted on by the House this week—though some have concerns about tax and social equity provisions in the legislation.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture discussed hemp businesses’ eligibility for the  Rural Energy for America Program in a Federal Register notice.

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission sent a letter warning Avazo-Healthcare, LLC to stop claiming its CBD products prevent or treat coronavirus.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a Thursday hearing on a new Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission report.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) said the prospects of marijuana legalization in the Senate are a “pipe dream.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tweeted, “Democrats want to legalize drugs and #DefundThePolice. That won’t keep your neighborhood safe.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Passing the MORE Act is an opportunity to put an end to decades-long racial injustice against Black & brown communities. The people overwhelmingly support cannabis reform & it’s time for Congress to catch up.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted, “This week, the House of Representatives will vote on the MORE Act to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act. This will be the first time ever that we vote to end federal criminalization and expunge low-level convictions. It’s long past due.”

Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) tweeted, “It’s time federal law catches up with states like Illinois that have decriminalized cannabis. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of both the #MOREAct and the #SAFEBanking Act.”

/ STATES

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s (D) budget includes $5.6 million to begin implementing the state’s voter-approved legal psilocybin law.

The New Mexico legislature’s interim Courts, Corrections & Justice Committee heard presentations from advocates about marijuana legalization and other criminal justice reforms.

Pennsylvania regulators approved a medical cannabis research facility.

Alaska regulators proposed rules to allow tribal identifications to be used as proof of age while buying marijuana.

Colorado regulators issued a bulletin about medical cannabis patient card formats and sales guidelines.

An outgoing Washington, D.C. councilmember is joining a lobbying and law firm and will advise clients on cannabis and other issues.

Maryland regulators are accepting 2021 hemp permit applications.

The California Cannabis Advisory Committee  will meet on Wednesday.


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 San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors approved a measure to ban tobacco smoking in apartment buildings with three or more units, but adopted an amendment to exempt marijuana.

Oakland, California’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The European Commission revised an earlier stance that CBD should be treated as a narcotic.

Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Development highlighted the economic potential of the cannabis industry.

The New South Wales, Australia state government is reconsidering drug penalties but has ruled out decriminalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of cancer in dogs found that “CBD is effective at hindering cell proliferation and induction of autophagy and apoptosis rapidly across neoplastic cell lines.”

A case study looks at a “male adult with [obsessive compulsive disorder] who showed a clinically meaningful reduction of his OCD symptomatology after the consumption of psilocybin-containing mushrooms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey CannaBusiness Association has new leadership.

/ BUSINESS

Columbia Care Inc. completed its acquisition of Project Cannabis.

Tilray, Inc. signed a co-promotion agreement with Hormosan for its full-spectrum cannabis extracts in Germany.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. is resuming Canadian cannabis sales after being punished for maintaining unlicensed cultivation rooms.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced it expects to be late in filing its financial statements.

Jushi Holdings Inc. acquired 100% of Dalitso LLC.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. entered into a $12 million construction financing loan at an annual interest rate of 16% over 18 months.

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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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GOP lawmakers slam House cannabis vote plan (Newsletter: December 2, 2020)

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OR starts legal psilocybin process; CA marijuana sales “very strong,” state says; Study: CBD doesn’t impair driving

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Build Marijuana Moment with us. I’m so proud of our reporting around the 2020 election. Now we’ve got our work cut out covering the implementation of ballot initiatives, an incoming presidential administration, new legislative sessions and more. Activists in some states are already working to qualify for 2022 ballots. We can help readers track all of this if we have the resources.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

At least two dozen congressional Republicans have spoken up to slam House Democratic leaders’ plans to hold a floor vote on a federal marijuana legalization bill this week.

Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) joined GOP members in criticizing his party’s leadership for holding the cannabis vote this week.

  • “We should be working every minute to get a deal done & get money to people who need it. Instead, the House is voting on a piecemeal marijuana bill that won’t become law?”

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is taking the first step to implement the state’s voter-approved psilocybin therapy measure by accepting applications to serve on an advisory board that will help figure out how to best regulate access to the psychedelic treatment.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office said that marijuana sales are showing “very strong growth” that “has accelerated in 2020” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that CBD does not impair driving ability, while THC’s effects fade after four hours.

  • “There were no significant differences between CBD-dominant cannabis and placebo.”

/ FEDERAL

The congressionally created Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission issued a report with recommendations, including that the U.S. should initiate a process to reform international drug control treaties.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), in a Senate floor speech, criticized Democrats for including marijuana diversity study language in coronavirus relief legislation.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) suggested that Democrats would like to have a “slush fund to reward politically favored organizations like abortion providers or marijuana dispensaries.”

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “This week, the House will be voting on legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana and expunge records nationwide. This is a long overdue step to provide restorative justice to those devastated by the war on drugs.”

Rep.-elect Nancy Mace (R-SC) said she supports legalizing marijuana and hired a new staffer who served as chief operating officer for the Cannabis Trade Federation.

Rep.-elect Cori Bush (D-MO) tweeted, “Legalize cannabis. Release those incarcerated for related offenses. Expunge records. Direct funding to the Black and brown communities devastated by the war on drugs. And while we’re at it, abolish the private prisons profiting off of the targeted devastation of our communities.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor is sponsoring a petition about marijuana legalization and tweeted, “🟩 Revenue. 🟩 Justice. 🟩 Jobs.  🟩 Freedom. 🟩 Farmers.  🟩 Veterans. Pennsylvania is to the Right of *South Dakota* on Weed. Legal Weed 🟩 for PA. It’s time.”

The Arizona Supreme Court established a procedure for filing and hearing civil marijuana cases.

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reported that the state’s marijuana legalization referendum generated $2.3 million in fundraising, with supporters accounting for 99.5% of that.

Minnesota regulators added sickle cell disease and chronic vocal or motor tic disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Washington State Senate Labor & Commerce Committee held a hearing on social equity in the cannabis industry.

California regulators filed to readopt marijuana quick response code certificate requirements.

North Dakota’s top medical cannabis regulator spoke about the status of the program.

Michigan marijuana regulators will meet on December 10.

Maryland medical cannabis regulators will meet on December 15.


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

Several Illinois municipalities and counties will enact higher marijuana taxes on January 1.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s United Nations ambassador revealed that he owns marijuana industry investments.

New Zealand’s government is moving to legalize pill testing as a harm reduction measure.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study “identified CBD as a new potential anti-cancer compound for single or combination therapy of” head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Researchers are recruiting participants for a study to “better understand the effects of chronic cannabis (THC) use on the neural responses to subconcussive head impacts, as a form of repetitive soccer headings.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The R Street Institute is urging members of Congress to vote for a marijuana legalization bill this week.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. is indefinitely pausing operations at one of its Alberta, Canada facilities and is laying off 30 staff members.

Flower One Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $11.9 million and a net loss of $17.2 million.

Cresco Labs launched a new brand of low-dose products called Wonder Wellness Co.

/ CULTURE

Rover noted the growing popularity of some cannabis-themed pet names.

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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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