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New congressional bills on small biz aid for cannabis firms (Newsletter: July 1, 2019)

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McConnell’s FDA CBD push; NM gov preps for legal marijuana; Senate cannabis research bill; Malaysia to decrim drugs; Hickenlooper legalization claim

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Heads up from Tom: I’ll be taking a bit of “vacation” time on some days this week and next week, so the newsletter might go out a little bit later in the day, and also be slightly thinner, than usual.

Congress is also on recess during this period, so there’s not likely to be a lot of major national legislative developments—but we’ll still be sending you the newsletter most days, and will be publishing stories on the Marijuana Moment website every day.

If there’s big news, we’ll make sure you know about it. By the way, you can always follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss anything throughout the week. I’m at @tomangell and Kyle is at @kylejaeger.

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY),  Jared Golden (D-ME) and Dwight Evans (D-PA) filed three new bills aimed at helping small marijuana firms by making them eligible for loans and other Small Business Administration services.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Charles Grassley (R-IA) and others introduced legislation to remove barriers to research on marijuana and CBD.

In a meeting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pressed the head of the Food and Drug Administration to hurry up and enact regulations allowing CBD in foods and dietary supplements.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) formed a working group to prepare the state to legalize marijuana next year. The announcement says she “will place the matter of legalization on her call for the Second Session of the 54th Legislature, a 30-day session which will begin January”—meaning that the state could be the next to end cannabis prohibition, very early in 2020.

During last week’s Democratic presidential debate, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) claimed credit for the marijuana legalization law his state’s voters enacted in 2012—even though he actively campaigned against it…and advocates are not happy about it.

The health minister in Malaysia—which has hundreds of people on death row for drug offenses—says the government is now considering decriminalizing drugs.

/ FEDERAL

Surgeon General Jerome Adams again laid out his concerns about marijuana.

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released a report finding that youth use of marijuana and other drugs is down in areas with Drug-Free Communities-funded programs.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, said, “We should not be sending anyone with a drug problem into a prison, They should go into rehabilitation system.” He also reiterated his support for decriminalizing marijuana and expunging records.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Congratulations to Illinois for legalizing marijuana and expunging 770,000 marijuana-related cases. It is time to legalize marijuana nationwide.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, cited the war on drugs as a reason people from South and Central American countries are seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said she will keep fighting to remove barriers to psychedelic research.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) tweeted, “While states continue to legalize cannabis, we must do the same on the federal level. Let’s pass the Marijuana Justice Act, legalize cannabis, and implement restorative justice for people whose lives have been decimated by the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Instead of spending billions locking people up for using marijuana, we could earn billions in tax revenue by legalizing cannabis and taxing at the same levels of alcohol and tobacco. With most Americans in support, this should be a no-brainer.” He also said he hopes marijuana “will be one of the top issues that candidates run on,” giving the next president a “mandate to implement change.”

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors, for a total of 68.

The House bill to protect Second Amendment rights for medical cannabis patients got one new cosponsor, for a total of one.

/ STATES

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill allowing the CBD drug Epidioloex. Separately, a new hemp law takes effect on Monday.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he will sign a medical cannabis expansion bill on Tuesday.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) spoke about the economic benefits of marijuana legalization in his state.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) said she “won’t be the governor” to legalize marijuana.

Delaware lawmakers sent Gov. Jay Carney (D) a bill to expand the decriminalization of marijuana possession to juveniles.

Rhode Island lawmakers sent Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) a budget bill that increases the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the state.

Wisconsin’s Assembly speaker said lawmakers may take up medical cannabis legislation in the fall, but the Senate majority leader might not be on board.

The North Carolina House Agriculture Committee approved a bill with a ban on smokable hemp starting in December.

Massachusetts regulators unanimously approved draft rules allowing marijuana delivery services and social consumption, among other changes. Separately, the state awarded grant funding to a startup that has developed a method to detect THC in saliva. Meanwhile, lawmakers filed a bill to legalize CBD products.

Missouri regulators received more than 500 medical cannabis patient applications on the first day.

Monday is the deadline for California’s Department of Justice to complete a review on prior marijuana convictions that are eligible for reduction or expungement.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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 South Miami, Florida City Commission adopted a resolution endorsing marijuana legalization.

The Bexar County, Texas district attorney is implementing a program to replace arrests for some low-level marijuana offenses with citations.

A report found that Fayetteville, Arkansas marijuana arrests increased 284% in the decade since voters approved a ballot measure making it the lowest law enforcement priority.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Zambian court rejected a case seeking to force regulators to grant a medical cannabis license.

A Philippine representative refiled a medical cannabis bill for the new session.

Thirty-nine kilograms of cocaine were found on the plane transporting the team of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the G20 meeting.

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Governors Association tweeted about Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signing marijuana legalization into law.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies issued a critical response to a recent National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration letter about psychedelic research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on cannabis consumption and alcohol drinking noted a “significant interaction between marijuana use and type of user” such that “recreational users drank more on marijuana use days, but medicinal users drank less.”

A study found that “associations between problem-gambling severity and psychopathologies were weaker among the lifetime-cannabis-using group as compared to the never-using group” and that “cannabis use moderates the relationships between problem-gambling severity and psychiatric disorders.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tulsa World editorial board says that the large number of registered Oklahoma medical cannabis patients shows that voters’ approval of the legalization ballot measure last year wasn’t a fluke.

/ BUSINESS

Facebook is now allowing some CBD ads.

Eaze removed in-app purchases to comply with a new Google Play Store policy.

U.S. marijuana stocks dropped for the third month in a row.

/ CULTURE

The Onion has some fun with Illinois’s move to legalize marijuana.

Musician Liam Gallagher spoke about his decision to stop consuming marijuana.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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

First VA legal cannabis hearing (Newsletter: January 18, 2021)

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USDA’s final hemp rule; Feds launch marijuana testing program; MA city decriminalized psychedelics; ND cannabis decrim bill

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

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?

  • Dean Codgen: “After having MM in my inbox for several years, I decided to do what I could to help disseminate the facts and data to any and all who need or want to know the truth about what is going on in the sphere of cannabis.”

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 U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its final rules to regulate hemp. The update addresses some—but not all—concerns that industry stakeholders raised about the initial rules.

The Virginia Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee held an initial hearing on a marijuana legalization bill that was introduced by the governor and top legislative leaders just two days prior. More hearings in a new cannabis-focused subcommittee, as well as a vote in the full panel, are scheduled for this week.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology—a federal agency—is sending marijuana and hemp samples to labs around the world to help determine how good they are at testing for cannabinoid content and contaminants. Labs can enroll until February 5.

The Somerville, Massachusetts City Council unanimously approved a measure to decriminalize psychedelics. Several other cities have already passed similar entheogen policies as part of what is now a growing national movement.

North Dakota lawmakers filed a bill to significantly expand the decriminalization of marijuana in the state. Meanwhile, activists are working to put a full cannabis legalization measure on the 2022 ballot.

/ FEDERAL

The National Credit Union Administration said it will continue to educate financial services providers about working with hemp businesses in 2021.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and legislative leaders met to discuss outstanding disagreements about marijuana legalization implementation legislation, but did not reach a deal.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker included the legalization of marijuana and related pardons and expungements in a Twitter thread celebrating accomplishments from his first two years in office.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) received nearly 100 applications from people who want to serve on the state’s new marijuana regulatory body.

New York’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Legalization would create new jobs, raise revenue, and take us a step closer to building a more equitable New York. It’s past time. Let’s get this done.”

South Dakota assistant attorneys general argued in a court brief defending the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure that a “well-regulated market” can undercut the illegal cannabis market.

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the smell of marijuana in a rental car driving from Oregon to Colorado is not reasonable suspicion for a search.

A California judge ruled that regulators have 30 days to inform marijuana businesses that they can no longer advertise with billboards on highways that cross state lines.

New Mexico regulators are again being sued by a medical cannabis company over plant limits.

Colorado regulators announced rulemaking on marijuana business license types and testing. They also sent a bulletin about escalating reports of fraud against cannabis businesses.

Nebraska lawmakers filed legislation to legalize marijuana and medical cannabis.

A Florida representative plans to file a bill to legalize psilocybin therapy.

Washington State regulators announced a new Cannabis Compliance Consultant Team.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Kansas regulators will hold a public hearing on hemp regulations on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 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

The Jefferson County, Washington Board of Commissioners heard public testimony about decriminalizing psychedelics that came in response to a recent psilocybin arrest.

/ INTERNATIONAL

French lawmakers are conducting a citizen consultation on recreational marijuana.

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is launching a website to assist medical cannabis and hemp businesses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBD has the potential to inhibit melanoma cell growth in vertebrates, namely mice.”

A study found that “community level racial or income disparities in access to medical cannabis were not observed in Maryland” but that “access to medical cannabis, based on ability to pay out of pocket for the product, may be uneven.”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs raised$125 million with an offering of subordinate voting shares.

Agri-Kind LLC accused a fired employee of hacking its networks for ransom.

Feuerstein Kulick LLP is urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by an Arkansas medical cannabis company that claims it misrepresented itself as having expertise in the industry.

Michigan retailers sold $101 million worth of legal marijuana products in December, for a total of $984.6 million in 2020.

/ CULTURE

UFC officials are interested in enrolling their fighters in psychedelic therapy trials at John Hopkins University.

“High Maintenance” will not return to HBO for a fifth season.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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

Feds to compile cannabis tax revenue data (Newsletter: January 15, 2021)

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VA gov slams racist marijuana laws; Incoming RI gov backs legal cannabis but not state stores; USDA “superior” hemp grant; $2B in CO sales in 2020

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

BREAKING: Journalism is often consumed for free, but costs money to produce! While this newsletter is proudly sent without cost to you, our ability to send it each day depends on the financial support of readers who can afford to give it. So if you’ve got a few dollars to spare each month and believe in the work we do, please consider joining us on Patreon today.

  • Wally Wong of Meadow Software: “Marijuana Moment is an invaluable, non-partisan cannabis resource. It’s the place I come for unbiased news and reporting on all cannabis news. The rest is speculation.”

https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it plans to start collecting and compiling data on state marijuana tax revenue.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) used his State of the Commonwealth speech to highlight the racist history of marijuana prohibition and the need to legalize cannabis while expunging past records.

  • “That’s how the system was set up generations ago. In fact, one of the early leaders of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency was clear that marijuana laws should be written explicitly to target people of color. And so they were, and they’ve been targeting people for years.”

Rhode Island Lt. Gov. Dan McKee (D), who will become governor if current Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is confirmed as U.S. commerce secretary, said for the first time that he supports legalizing marijuana. He also said that he backs an “entrepreneurial strategy”of licensing private businesses  instead of Raimondo’s state-run stores plan.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making grant money available to support the “breeding, testing and development” of “superior performing” hemp varieties.

Colorado retailers sold more than $2 billion worth of legal marijuana products in 2020. Several other states also saw huge cannabis sales totals last year.

/ FEDERAL

A summary of President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus economic recovery plan does not mention cannabis banking, even though House and Senate Democrats included the reform in their COVID packages last year.

/ STATES

A candidate for Rhode Island lieutenant governor resigned from the board of a company seeking a medical cannabis dispensary license.

Oregon’s Legislative Black, Indigenous, & People of Color Caucus included a cannabis equity bill in its 2021 legislative agenda.

The chairman of Missouri’s House Special Committee on Government Oversight said the panel could renew its investigation of the state’s medical cannabis licensing process.

California regulators proposed emergency rules to implement legislation on marijuana businesses’ access to banking services.

Michigan regulators are requiring hemp growers and processor-handlers to complete a report on research activities.

Washington State regulators are seeking participants for deliberative dialogue sessions on cannabis quality assurance testing.

Massachusetts marijuana regulators held their first meeting of the new year.

A Maryland delegate filed a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

A key New York senator spoke about the prospects for legalizing marijuana in 2021.

Nevada regulators will host a regulatory workshop on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 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

Birmingham, Alabama’s mayor is publicizing a program to pardon people with misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions.

New York City mayoral candidate Andrew Yang included his support for marijuana legalization on his campaign site’s Culture, Society and Nightlife section rather than the Criminal Justice section.

/ INTERNATIONAL

British Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie said his government is still unclear about when the UK might give assent to a pending cannabis bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “users and non-users of marijuana did not have an association with the prevalence of cardiovascular disease.”

A case study looks at a man who injected psilocybin mushroom tea, after which “cultures confirmed bacteremia (ultimately cultured as Brevibacillus) and fungemia (ultimately cultured as Psilocybe cubensis – i.e. the species of mushroom he had injected was now growing in his blood).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Drug Policy Alliance, National Harm Reduction Coalition and more than 200 other organizations sent a letter calling on the incoming Biden administration to focus drug policy on harm reduction strategies, including by withdrawing a federal lawsuit that seeks to block a safe consumption site for illegal drugs from opening.

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs entered into an agreement to acquire Bluma Wellness Inc.

Aphria Inc. reported quarterly revenue of C$72.1 million and a net loss of C$120.6 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation  filed an early warning report regarding its acquisition of an option to purchase shares of TerrAscend Corp.

United Cannabis Corp.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy was thrown out by a judge.

/ CULTURE

The UFC and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency will no longer punish fighters for testing positive for marijuana metabolites.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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

VA gov files cannabis legalization bill (Newsletter: January 14, 2021)

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NM gov: legal marijuana a 2021 priority; Top TX lawmakers: Cannabis expansion on table; State drug decrim bills; Study: Marijuana reduces opioid use

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

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.

  • Frederika McClary Easley of The People’s Dispensary: “The opportunity to have state and federal cannabis news compiled, and in one place, is too good to snooze on.”

Join us for $25/month here: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and top House and Senate lawmakers filed new legislation to legalize marijuana.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that legalizing marijuana is on her priority list for the 2021 legislative session.

  • It will “establish an essential new revenue source for the state and employment source for tens of thousands of New Mexicans.”

The top lawmakers in Texas’s House and Senate—including notoriously anti-marijuana Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R)—say that an expansion to the state’s limited medical cannabis program is on the table for 2021.

Lawmakers in New York and Virginia have filed legislation to decriminalize drugs or study the issue, with additional California and Washington bills expected soon—showing that broader reform beyond marijuana is gaining momentum following Oregon’s decriminalization vote in November.

A new study found that medical cannabis is associated with reduced use of opioids and other prescription drugs, as well as increases in quality of life.

  • “The high rate of cannabis use for chronic pain and the subsequent reductions in opioid use suggest that cannabis may play a harm reduction role in the opioid overdose crisis, potentially improving the quality of life of patients and overall public health.”

/ FEDERAL

The House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment report against President Trump notes that some of his supporters smoked marijuana during their raid on the Capitol.

/ STATES

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said he looks forward to working with lawmakers to pass a marijuana legalization bill this session.

The Illinois House of Representatives did not take up a Senate-passed measure to create 75 additional marijuana business licenses, killing it.

Nevada’s attorney general participated in a Public Health Cannabis and Vaping Summit.

Colorado regulators adopted emergency coronavirus rules allowing marijuana businesses to accept orders from customers using mobile devices from outside of the premises.

New Mexico lawmakers plan to file legislation this year to legalize safe consumption sites for illegal drugs and defelonize drug possession.

Several Connecticut lawmakers discussed their views on marijuana legalization.

Here’s a look at marijuana legislation that Maine lawmakers may consider this year.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 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

The district attorney for Georgia’s Western Circuit is dropping marijuana and drug possession cases.

Portland, Maine officials shut down a marijuana testing lab for operating without a license.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jersey’s government issued its first medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that patients “reported that cannabis was a useful adjunct and substitute for prescription opioids in treating their chronic pain and had the added benefit of improving the ability to function and quality of life.”

A marijuana cultivation study found that “no [light intensity] treatment effects on cannabinoid potency, while there were minor LI treatment effects on terpene potency.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Jenny Cudd, who participated in the recent riot at the U.S. Capitol, reportedly has ownership stakes in several cannabis businesses.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp and Molson Coors Beverage Company launched a new line of non-alcoholic, sparkling CBD beverages through their joint venture Truss CBD USA.

Valley Harvest LLC and Nug Farms are being sued for allegedly wrongfully terminating workers who complained about coronavirus-related policies.

2015 Halladay Wellness, Inc. is being sued for allegedly sending unsolicited text messages.

Columbia Care Inc. announced it closed a bought deal public offering worth proceeds of proceeds of C$149.5 million.

Colorado 2020 marijuana sales surpassed $2 billion as of November.

/ CULTURE

Jimmy Fallon joked about the prospects for legalizing marijuana in New York.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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