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New cannabis bill in Congress actually numbered H.R. 420 (Newsletter: Jan. 10, 2019)



Virginia legal marijuana bills filed; New Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chairs named; Study: Medical marijuana reduces prescription drug use

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H.R. 420 is a new congressional bill from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) that would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and instead regulate cannabis like alcohol.

The new co-chairs of the Cannabis Caucus for the new Congress were named.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) pushed for marijuana decriminalization in State of the Commonwealth speech.

Virginia lawmakers are considering several marijuana bills already filed this session, including two new proposals that would fully legalize cannabis for adults.

A study found that “in comparison to pharmaceutical drugs, medical cannabis users rated cannabis better on effectiveness, side effects, safety, addictiveness, availability, and cost” and that “due to the medical use of cannabis, 42% stopped taking a pharmaceutical drug and 38% used less of a pharmaceutical drug.”


The House of Representatives passed legislation for the second time in less than a week that includes a provision to continue blocking Washington, D.C. from spending its own money to tax and regulate marijuana sales.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was presented with a hemp pen by Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted, “It’s past time America legalized marijuana and regulated it. But when doing so, we need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of millions of people who have been arrested and incarcerated so they can get on with their lives.”


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed the first round of pardons offered under his Marijuana Justice Initiative.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) said during his State of the State address that the state is running out of time to help people who are “hurting” and could use medical cannabis, but that he is “adamantly, etched in stone” against recreational marijuana.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said that the state should consider marijuana tax levels in nearby states when setting its own rate. Separately, the Assembly speaker said in opening remarks at the beginning of the session that lawmakers would address marijuana law reforms this year.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) approved rules for medical cannabis edibles.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) ordered marijuana businesses and casinos to provide regulators with their written sexual harassment and discrimination policies.

Maryland’s House speaker said marijuana legalization is “coming,” and he and the Senate president spoke about allocating cannabis tax revenue to education.

Kentucky lawmakers filed medical cannabis legislation. A senator who is also a former governor said he uses CBD oil three times a day.

Arkansas regulators approved medical cannabis dispensary license application scores at a meeting.

Michigan regulators released an updated list of municipalities that are opting out of allowing recreational marijuana businesses.

Ohio regulators moved to advance petitions to add autism spectrum disorder, chronic anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, depression, insomnia and opioid use disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions. They also awarded more provisional medical cannabis processing licenses. Medical marijuana sales could begin in the state next week if all goes according to plan.

Washington State regulators are giving marijuana businesses until January 1 of next year to comply with packaging, labeling and design rules.

California regulators adopted an emergency rule requiring marijuana distributors and retailers to enter the wholesale cost and the retail selling price into the state’s track-and-trace system.

Missouri regulators are rejecting public records requests for information about who is applying for medical cannabis business licenses. And here’s a brief interview with the state’s top medical marijuana regulator.

The Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board’s public safety subcommittee recommended allowing marijuana home delivery and social use areas.

Minnesota regulators discussed CBD at a meeting.

A subcommittee of the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee will consider a resolution urging the federal government to remove barriers to medical cannabis research on Thursday.

Colorado regulators are considering changes to medical cannabis rules.

Indiana lawmakers spoke at a marijuana reform forum.

Marijuana Moment is tracking key cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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.


The Dayton, Ohio City Commission voted to approve a proposal to remove fines and court fees for low-level marijuana violations. The mayor, who said she would put full legalization on the ballot if she had the power to do so, tweeted, “We hope other communities across Ohio will follow Dayton’s lead.”

Denver, Colorado officials unveiled a program to help people expunge prior marijuana convictions. The mayor tweeted, “We are moving forward with the process to help eligible Denverites Turn Over a New Leaf and clear their records of eligible, low level marijuana convictions. We know these crimes have a disproportionate impact on POC, so we’re working toward equity.”

Several candidates running for mayor of Chicago, Illinois were asked to weigh in on marijuana legalization.


The Consumer Choice Center released recommendations on provisions for marijuana legalization legislation.

The Indiana Farm Bureau included hemp legalization in its list of 2019 legislative priorities.


A member of the National Academy of Sciences committee that crafted a comprehensive marijuana report is taking issue with the way author Alex Berenson characterized its findings in his new book and related media appearances.

A study concluded that “cannabidiol may hold benefit for anxiety-related disorders.”

A study found that driving under the influence of marijuana “within [two hours] of use was reported by 56.4%” of Michigan medical cannabis patients.


The Seattle Times editorial board is calling on Washington State lawmakers to make a broader pool of people eligible to have their marijuana conviction records cleared.


Constellation Brands’s stock plunged after it reported that the impact of its recent investment in Canopy Growth was larger than initially anticipated.

MedMen said that a lawsuit filed against it by a large shareholder and former board member is “frivolous .”

MJIC Inc. plans to build a marijuana distribution “superhighway.”

Piper Jaffray started tracking marijuana stocks.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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