Connect with us

Newsletter

New Jersey Gov pledges legalization in inaugural address (Newsletter: Jan. 17, 2018)

Published

on

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.

Marijuana an issue in governors races; State AGs press for banking access; VT legalization bill on gov’s desk

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Thanks so much to readers who are helping me keep compiling all this news for you with their monthly Patreon pledges…

  • Ole Rogeberg: “Cannabis policy and research is changing fast, and keeping up with the news is increasingly challenging. Tom Angell’s Marijuana Moment is a useful resource that helps me keep informed on the most recent developments.”

Subscribers who value this daily dispatch enough to show their support with a few dollars help me keep doing this. Please chip in, if you can afford it.
http://patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Legalizing marijuana is a prominent issue in many states’ 2018 gubernatorial races.

Vermont lawmakers officially transmitted a marijuana legalization bill to Gov. Phil Scott (R), who now has five days to act on the legislation or it will become law without his signature.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) reiterated a promise to legalize marijuana in his inauguration speech.

The attorneys general of 17 states, Washington, D.C and Guam  sent a letter to congressional leaders urging that they pass legislation allowing marijuana businesses to access banks.

/ FEDERAL

Newly released audio from a 2016 meeting with a Colorado newspaper includes then-candidate Donald Trump voicing support for medical cannabis and allowing states to implement their own marijuana laws.

U.S. Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin falsely claimed in a letter to members of Congress that federal law blocks the department from participating in medical cannabis research.

President Trump said that other countries respond to drug issues with “very, very tough measures,” adding: “We don’t. We’re not prepared to do that, I guess, they say, as a country.” He also tweeted that a Mexican border wall will “help stop the massive inflow of drugs pouring into our country.”

Presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway cited state-legal marijuana consumption as a behavior that people mistakenly believe doesn’t have negative health consequences.

U.S. Homeland Security Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen said that immigrants with marijuana convictions would be prioritized for deportation, just as is the case with anyone convicted of any criminal offense. (About 3:54:00 into the video.)

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) raised concerns during a Senate floor speech on surveillance legislation about marijuana convictions being searchable in a government database.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted, “I want anyone who is worried about marijuana policy to remember that every single Senate Republican voted for Jeff Sessions.”

Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA) spoke about bipartisan support for letting states enact their own marijuana laws.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Californians know that legalizing marijuana means safer communities, lower incarceration rates, fewer opioid deaths, and economic growth. It’s time to legalize marijuana nationwide.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) proposed that state health officials conduct a study on the possibility of legalizing marijuana. Republican challenger Joel Giambra said there’s no need for another study and that it’s time to legalize cannabis right now.

Leading Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates all admit to having consumed marijuana. And Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold says the state should explore legalizing cannabis. Separately, a judge ordered regulators to add intractable pain as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Vermont’s marijuana legalization study commission recommended creating another commission to study standards and testing for cannabis-impaired driving.

Nevada tax officials approved permanent recreational marijuana regulations.

The Maine Legislature’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee voted to delay marijuana social use areas until 2023.

Rhode Island’s House minority leader criticized other lawmakers for considering legalizing marijuana as a budget fix.

Oklahoma’s mental health agency is requesting $3.5 million in new funding it believes is necessary ahead of a vote on medical cannabis ballot measure.

/ LOCAL

New York City marijuana arrests dropped roughly one percent last year.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s governing Liberal Party is considering a platform resolution calling for drug decriminalization.

Thailand is moving to allow medical cannabis dispensaries.

/ ADVOCACY

The Georgia NAACP launched an investigation into the arrests of 70 people at a house party where less than an ounce of marijuana was found.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Baltimore Sun editorial board wants Maryland regulators to begin issuing more medical cannabis business licenses.

/ BUSINESS

Canadian Securities Administrators is reviewing its guidelines for companies with U.S.-based  marijuana assets.

Sunrise Genetics says it has mapped the cannabis genome.

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 15-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

Cannabis banking bill amended ahead of floor vote (Newsletter: September 20, 2019)

Published

on

Senate bill blocks D.C. legal marijuana sales; Feds fund cannabinoid & terpene research; Lawmakers press FDA on CBD regulations; AOC banking oppo?

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…

There are now 1,198 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Marijuana Moment obtained the full text of changes House leaders are making to marijuana banking legislation to shore up GOP support for an expected floor vote next week. Among other amendments are clarified protections for hemp businesses and insurance coverage.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he agrees with civil rights groups that Congress passing the cannabis financial services bill would not be enough and that broader reforms are needed.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved separate bills that would continue to block Washington, D.C. from spending its own local money to legalize marijuana sales and to fund legal hemp and CBD regulatory efforts through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration.

The National Institutes of Health announced $3 million in grant funding for studies examining marijuana components such as cannabinoids and terpenes as painkilling alternatives to opioids.

American Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, National Bankers Association and 50 state banking associations sent letters urging House leaders to move ahead with a marijuana banking vote.

  • But potential opposition from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and other progressives who want broader cannabis reform first could jeopardize passage. “She feels strongly that addressing racial justice should be the first priority,” a staffer for the congresswoman told Marijuana Moment.

Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and James Comer (R-KY) led a bipartisan group of 26 lawmakers who sent a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration to provide a legal pathway for CBD products.

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that the number of severe lung injuries believed to be associated with vaping has risen to 530.

The Food and Drug Administration launched a criminal investigation on vaping supply chains.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested that marijuana may need to be rescheduled to bolster research and floated the idea that his former agency could issue enforcement discretion guidance on CBD. He added that Congress should “contemplate a federal regime for THC that would enable it to be more easily studied in properly controlled settings for its purported medical uses, while superseding state laws that allow frivolous recreational uses.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, met with marijuana business owners in Oakland, California. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything session, he said he will “will end the war on drugs” and treat it “not as a criminal justice challenge but as a public health opportunity. People need help, treatment, support, long term recovery. They don’t need to go to jail or be locked up in prison.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) criticized O’Rourke’s plan to legalize marijuana.

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) tweeted, “Proud to introduce #MarijuanaJusticeReform legislation to address disparities that impact immigrant communities & #DREAMers & end these injustices. Marijuana use should never be grounds to separate families or deport immigrants living here legally.”

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 33.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of 83.

/ STATES

The New Hampshire Senate failed to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s (R) veto of a bill to let patients and caregivers grow medical cannabis. Separately, lawmakers successfully overrode a veto of legislation to remove a requirement of a three-month relationship between doctors and medical marijuana patients.

Virginia’s attorney general met with marijuana reform advocates.

California regulators said that almost all marijuana business will be in the state’s track and trace system by the end of next month.

Utah regulators will hold a public hearing on Tuesday to take input on proposed medical cannabis fees.

Alaska regulators proposed changes to marijuana testing facility ownership rules.

Michigan’s Supreme Court tweeted about efforts to clear marijuana convictions.

A New York senator who has sponsored marijuana legalization legislation said she wants to make sure that there are “not some giant five companies controlling” the market.


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 Forsyth County, North Carolina district attorney supports legalizing medical cannabis and said he would work to get the state Conference of District Attorneys to back such legislation.

A Chicago, Illinois alderman said he accidentally filed a proposal to allow marijuana social use areas and will withdraw it.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Lawmakers in the Australian Capital Territory could vote on marijuana legalization legislation next week.

Colombian regulators expanded the quota for medical cannabis exports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of marijuana strains concluded that “since terpene content is robustly inherited and less influenced by environmental factors, flavour perception could represent a reliable marker to predict the psychoactive effects of cannabis.”

A study found that “LSD significantly impaired executive functions, cognitive flexibility, and working memory…but did not influence the quality of decision-making and risk taking.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 34% of U.S. adults think cannabis vaping devices have caused severe lung injuries while 58% say that of electronic cigarettes like Juul.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board criticized the mayor’s plan to ban marijuana dispensaries from most of downtown.

/ BUSINESS

MJ Freeway’s medical cannabis tracking software crashed, temporarily preventing sales in Pennsylvania.

Field Trip Ventures Inc. says it is partnering with the University of the West Indies to open “the world’s first legal research and cultivation facility dedicated to psilocybin-producing mushrooms.”

BioTrackTHC’s CEO left the company.

/ CULTURE

Actors Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes are launching a line of marijuana strains.

The daughter of late actor Dennis Hopper launched a marijuana brand in his name, something he requested as a dying wish.

A Simpsons writer tweeted about a marijuana joke that got cut from the “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” episode.

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.
Continue Reading

Newsletter

Cannabis banking vote will happen over orgs’ objections, key lawmaker says (Newsletter: September 19, 2019)

Published

on

O’Rourke proposes marijuana reparations grants; Senate report slams Schedule I cannabis research block; Colombian legalization bill gains support

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…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA) told Marijuana Moment in an interview that the House will move ahead with a floor vote on cannabis banking legislation over objections from groups who want more far-reaching reforms first. A number of other lawmakers we spoke to said that while they agree with the need to push for broader reform, it would be a mistake to set aside the financial services legislation that can pass sooner.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, released a plan that includes using federal cannabis tax revenue to fund a “Drug War Justice Grant” program to give direct monthly payments to people formerly incarcerated on marijuana charges.

  • It would also incentivize states to ensure equity in the cannabis industry by tying federal funds to requirements that licensing fees be waived for low-income people who have been convicted of cannabis offenses, small marijuana businesses be protected from predatory investors and a majority of licenses are awarded to companies owned by minorities and people disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

The Senate Appropriations Committee released a draft report slamming Schedule I’s marijuana research roadblocks and calling for more studies on CBD and lesser-known cannabis compound CBG.

Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) filed a bill to shield immigrants from being deported or denied entry as a result of marijuana.

A bill to legalize marijuana in Colombia is gaining support across multiple political parties.

/ FEDERAL

The Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area released the latest in a series of critical reports about Colorado’s marijuana legalization law.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang spoke about his support for decriminalizing opioids. He also released another batch of marijuana-themed campaign hats.

A State Department funding bill set to be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee restricts use of anti-narcotics monies to aid the Philippines in enforcing its bloody “war on drugs.”

Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) said he is hopeful that hemp-specific provisions will be added to marijuana banking legislation before an expected floor vote next week.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) appeared on a marijuana podcast and tweeted, “When cannabis is legalized, we’ll have one chance to ensure that the communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs have a chance to participate in this industry. We have to get it right.”

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “Luxembourg just fully legalized cannabis joining Uruguay and Canada in ushering in this vibrant industry. Every day the United States waits to reform our laws, we fall further behind. We must act to ensure that American cannabis remains the best cannabis.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the damage of the drug war got two new cosponsors for a total of 41.

The House bill to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the Controlled Substances Act got two new cosponsors for a total of 62.

The House bill to remove roadblocks to marijuana research got six new cosponsors for a total of 14.

The House bill to end the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

The House bill to set a federal tax on marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of three.

The House bill to bridge the gap between state and federal marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of one.

/ STATES

Florida’s agriculture commissioner released draft hemp rules. Meanwhile, a former lieutenant governor is joining the Hemp Industries Association of Florida as president.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to override Gov. Chris Sununu’s (R) veto of a bill letting patients and caregivers grow medical cannabis at home. The Senate is expected to vote on Thursday.

New Mexico’s marijuana legalization working group is raising money to pay for polling on cannabis issues.

Minnesota’s House Democratic–Farmer–Labor Caucus launched an online survey to collect public input about marijuana legalization.

Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Owens spoke in support of decriminalizing marijuana.


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 Chamblee, Georgia City Council unanimously approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

The Cincinnati, Ohio City Council passed a proposal to seal past cannabis convictions.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “preclinical evidence supporting CBD treatment of seizures and alleviation of EEG abnormalities.”

A study found that “in the five years after legalization, fatal crash rates increased more in Colorado and Washington than would be expected had they continued to parallel crash rates in the control states, but not significantly so.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A global survey of Goldman Sachs interns found that 85% support medical cannabis and 48% back marijuana legalization (59% in the U.S.).

Americans for Safe Access is urging federal agencies to take steps to protect people who use cannabis vapes.

The American Bar Association is hosting a marijuana conference in Chicago on Thursday and Friday.

D.C. Marijuana Justice, Drug Policy Alliance and NORML endorsed a push for Washington, D.C. statehood.

/ BUSINESS

JPMorgan Chase’s CEO said his bank will consider serving marijuana businesses once there is a federal safe harbor.

WeWork’s CEO was reportedly kicked off a private jet after the flight crew found a significant quantity of marijuana stuffed inside of a cereal box.

/ CULTURE

Film director and screenwriter Evan Goldberg is among the jury members for the first Clio Cannabis advertising awards.

Variety reviewed celebrity-endorsed marijuana brands.

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.
Continue Reading

Newsletter

Pro-legalization groups ask Congress to delay cannabis banking vote (Newsletter: September 18, 2019)

Published

on

McConnell presses FDA on CBD access; Cuomo hints at possible NY marijuana smoking ban; Sanders seeks cannabis arrest stories

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…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.

  • Jia Zhuang of 麻.app® – Chinese Hemp: “It’s great to be supporting you and the excellent work you’re doing to bring news to the public. Our pledge is for the full legalisation and democratisation on knowledge and know-how of cannabis as a natural plant with medicinal properties founded in traditional Chinese medicine, neuroscience, and holistic healing. “

https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A coalition of groups including ACLU, Center for American Progress, Drug Policy Alliance and Human Rights Watch is urging Congress to delay a planned vote on cannabis banking legislation next week, saying it could “undermine broader and more inclusive efforts to reform our country’s marijuana laws.”

  • Meanwhile, cannabis banking access efforts hit a key Senate milestone, with a third of the entire chamber now cosponsoring the bill. Plus, outside groups are stepping up pressure, with the Independent Community Bankers of America and 43 state banking associations sending a letter urging congressional leaders to advance the legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) inserted language into a report attached to a spending bill that would direct the Food and Drug Administration to “issue a policy of enforcement discretion with regard to certain products containing CBD meeting the definition of hemp” within 120 days.

In a little-noticed TV interview, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) seemed to suggest he might support banning cannabis smoking under a legalization plan.

  • “You can legalize marijuana and sell THC in compounds that do not require you to smoke the marijuana.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, asked for a show of hands at a South Carolina campaign rally from people who know someone who’s been arrested for marijuana, and then invited people to share their stories.

  • “Holy God, whoa. That’s a lot of people.”

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of Management and Budget met with Canopy Growth Corp. to discuss hemp regulations last week.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched a new program aimed at utilizing Schedule I drugs in “treating neuropsychiatric conditions such as chronic alcohol dependence, post-traumatic stress, and treatment-resistant depression” while trying to de-couple the substances from “significant side effects, including hallucination.”

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted, “For long time permissive state laws allowed THC and CBD to flourish — often with irresponsible medical claims. It was tolerated and sometimes celebrated. Now as risks manifest, there’s more desire for a federal solution to absolve woes sowed by the states.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, met with advocates for equity in the cannabis industry. He also tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana isn’t enough. We also need to make sure those most impacted by the War on Drugs have a chance to benefit from this growing industry. Thanks to everyone at Equity First Alliance and Cage-Free Cannabis in L.A. for sharing their stories with me today.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The failed #WarOnDrugs has devastated far too many communities of color. My Marijuana Justice Act will legalize marijuana at the federal level and expunge criminal records for people incarcerated for cannabis.”

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) tweeted, “We need to know more about the medical benefits of marijuana and rescheduling the substance from schedule I to schedule III is a step in the right direction.”

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 32.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affair to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of 81.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) “has not decided what he’s going to do” on whether to push for legalizing marijuana, the state’s lieutenant governor said. Separately, a senator who played a key role in passing medical cannabis legislation was arrested on child pornography charges.

The Washington, D.C. Council  approved emergency legislation allowing students to use medical cannabis at schools. Separately, an executive order from Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) on workplace rights for medical cannabis patients does not cover all government employees.

New Mexico regulators are largely refusing to grant medical cannabis cards to out-of-state patients as they prepare to appeal a judge’s ruling directing them to do so.

California regulators published notices on marijuana advertising and promotion.

Colorado regulators released information on average market rates for marijuana products.


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

Chicago, Illinois’s mayor proposed zoning rules that would ban marijuana dispensaries in much of the city’s downtown.

Two co-conspirators in an alleged plot by the Fall River, Massachusetts mayor to extort marijuana businesses pleaded guilty in federal court.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Russian court freed an American woman who had been in prison for more than a month after getting caught with medical cannabis.

Ecuadorian lawmakers debated medical cannabis legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “there was no significant association between marijuana use and experiencing [a major depressive episode], and no association between marijuana use and suicidal ideation.”

A study examining government agencies’ Twitter posts about marijuana found that “the organizations studied provided limited information regarding how to use cannabis in ways that will minimize health-related harms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The pro-Trump super PAC America First posted a tweet about former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) record of supporting the war on drugs.

/ BUSINESS

Canadian regulators suspended the license of CannTrust Holdings Inc. after it was discovered the company illegally grew marijuana in unlicensed rooms.

Shopify launched new features allowing CBD sales on its platform.

Casper launched a line of CBD gummies.

A U.S. Tax Court judge found that an owner of Doobtubes underpaid taxes with fraudulent intent.

The Pax Labs board ousted the company’s CEO.

Vaping company Kingpen is spending millions of dollars to redesign its packaging amidst the growth of counterfeit ripoff products.

TikTok banned Cornbread Hemp hemp for alleged content violations.

Kayak published a marijuana travel guide.

/ CULTURE

Musician John Legend is partnering with CBD company Plus Products Inc.

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.
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Stay Up To The Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!