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Nebraska medical cannabis ballot measure filed (Newsletter: Feb. 6, 2019)

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Cory Booker brings drug war prisoner to Trump speech; NH legalization hearing; Former CA gov insults cannabis consumers

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Activists and lawmakers in Nebraska officially filed a proposed medical cannabis measure they are seeking to qualify for the state’s November 2020 ballot.

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, chose as his State of the Union speech guest a man who until recently was serving a life sentence in prison for selling drugs but was released last month under recently enacted criminal justice reform legislation.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) just can’t stop insulting marijuana consumers. In a new interview with Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, he claimed legalization is “about getting stoned—nothing else, nothing more.” He also seemed to dismiss cannabis’s medical benefits, saying there are just “a couple little diseases that get help” from it.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump, in his State of the Union address, spoke about a woman whose life sentence in prison for drugs he commuted, as well as the criminal justice reform bill he signed into law. But he also spoke about drug smuggling in relation to the border and his proposed wall, though he did not include marijuana in the list of substances he is concerned with. The White House also prominently highlighted criminal justice reform in a document it circulated touting the president’s “bipartisan achievements.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) mentioned public support for marijuana legalization in his response to the president’s speech.

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he is going to “try like heck” to get marijuana legalization included in the budget.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said he’s not ready to fast track marijuana legalization.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) said her administration is working on legislation to allow the sale of CBD-infused food products.

The North Dakota Senate approved a bill to remove “growing or processing of marijuana” from the definition of “farming or ranching,” meaning that cannabis would not be included in the state’s ban on corporate farming.

The Utah Supreme Court scheduled March 28 arguments on a lawsuit challenging the legislation that state lawmakers used to replace the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis ballot measure. Meanwhile, regulators gave an update on implementation of the medical marijuana law.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner hired a director of cannabis.

Minnesota’s attorney general met with supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization.

The West Virginia House Health Committee rejected an amendment to reschedule marijuana.

Louisiana regulators are being sued over the way they are handling medical cannabis testing.

Arkansas regulators awarded business licenses to 32 medical cannabis dispensaries.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Alaska regulators will meet to discuss marijuana licensing at a February 20-22 meeting.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 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.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

New York City health officials are ordering restaurants to stop selling CBD-infused foods and beverages.

The Clark County, Nevada County Commission delayed consideration of allowing marijuana consumption lounges.

Manor Township, Pennsylvania supervisors discussed a proposed ordinance to let police officers charge low-level marijuana possession as summary offenses instead of misdemeanors.

Ann Arbor, Michigan activists are working on a proposed 2020 marijuana social use local ballot measure.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Philippine Senate Committee on Health and Demography held a hearing on a medical cannabis bill.

/ ADVOCACY

Americans for Prosperity, a Koch-funded group, testified in support of New Hampshire’s marijuana legalization bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “men who had ever smoked marijuana had significantly higher sperm concentration than men who had never smoked marijuana” and “no significant differences in sperm concentration between current and past marijuana smokers.”

A review found that “as adverse reactions of cannabinoids haven’t been described in patients under controlled medication, cannabinoids can represent future treatment for bone regeneration.”

A study found “an overall increased rate over time of marijuana detected among trauma patients at Colorado hospitals but not at non-Colorado hospitals, suggesting an increased use of marijuana or an increased risk of injury while using marijuana following the commercialization of recreational marijuana in Colorado.”

The Annals of the American Thoracic Society published a series of articles about ethical issues related to health research being funded by marijuana companies.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Utah voters found that 51% support changes made by the legislature to the voter-approved medical cannabis ballot measure, while 41% are opposed.

/ BUSINESS

Canadian marijuana producer Flowr is seeking to be listed on the NASDAQ.

4Front Advisors won an $8.7 million arbitration award against CWNevada and NuVeda for breach of contract in failing to pay fees for services provided.

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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.

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