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New Jersey lawmakers approve legal cannabis bill (Newsletter: Nov. 27, 2018)

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Study: Marijuana and beer ingredient are related; Connecticut lawmakers plan legal cannabis focus; South Korea approves medical cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Key New Jersey Senate and Assembly committees approved a marijuana legalization bill. They also voted to pass separate legislation expanding the state’s medical cannabis program and creating a process for expunging marijuana convictions.

Prior to the vote, the panels took about four hours of testimony from supporters and opponents, including former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), who only reluctantly answered a question about whether he wants to prohibit alcohol.

A review of marijuana’s evolution and classification over time shows that beer ingredient hops is related to cannabis, and that the two genetically diverged about 28 million years ago.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump participated in a roundtable meeting about criminal justice reform legislation.

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting said last month that he is “hopeful there’s enough momentum in that direction” toward solving marijuana businesses’ banking access issues and that forcing them to operate in cash is “generally not healthy.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the dismissal of a Montana medical cannabis patient’s lawsuit against his former employer, Charter Communications, LLC.

Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) reacted to the recent endorsement of marijuana legalization by his relative Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA).

/ STATES

Connecticut Democratic lawmakers are including marijuana legalization in a list of so-called “Big Five” issues they plan to prioritize in 2019.

New Mexico Gov.-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) will direct a legal review of employment issues faced by medical cannabis patients.

The Michigan State Board of Canvassers certified election results, meaning that the voter-approved marijuana legalization measure will take effect on December 6.

Utah lawmakers held a hearing on proposed medical cannabis compromise legislation. Separately, the state’s lieutenant governor said there’s “no question” the medical marijuana ballot measure drove increased turnout in the midterm election.

An Idaho representative who is a candidate for speaker of the House opposes marijuana legalization even though his business provides security services to an Oregon dispensary.

Indiana lawmakers held a meeting to discuss marijuana reform legislation.

A North Carolina representative is planning to discuss marijuana legalization with other lawmakers this week.

Here’s a look at the prospects for Texas marijuana reform in 2019.

Arkansas regulators are considering allegations of improprieties by medical cannabis cultivation licensees submitted by unsuccessful competitors.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 800 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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

The Denver, Colorado City Council approved a proposal to create a pilot project for safe consumption facilities for illegal drugs.

The newly elected district attorney in Dallas County, Texas said he will not prosecute first-time marijuana offenders and that cannabis “is not a dangerous drug” and “is not a gateway drug.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

South Korean lawmakers approved medical cannabis.

Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is planning to use a controversial constitutional provision that gives him unilateral authority on national order or security issues to settle a dispute about cannabis patenting.

New Zealand’s justice minister is considering holding a referendum on marijuana reform.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said his government will “act as uncompromisingly against drug dealers who steal our children’s health as we do against terrorist organizations who send young people to death. In our eyes, there is no difference between giving young people guns and handing them drugs.”

Government researchers in India are developing cannabis medicines.

Israeli and Jamaican officials met to discuss marijuana.

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “There are 58,000 New Mexicans enrolled in the our medical marijuana program, but our state offers no protections for workers who might be discriminated again — that must change.”

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin is endorsing federal criminal justice reform legislation.

Former Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann says it is time to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “marijuana use, deviant behavior, and risk preferences among U.S. adolescents declined from 2002 to 2014″ but that “associations have remained stable, with marijuana use positively associated with deviant behaviors and risk preferences.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Bismarck Tribune editorial board is calling on North Dakota lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana.

The Tulsa World editorial board is pushing for transparency in medical cannabis regulations.

/ BUSINESS

4Front Holdings, LLC and Cannex Capital Holdings Inc. are merging and will trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

GW Pharmaceuticals announced positive results in a Phase 3 trial of its CBD drug Epidiolex. The company’s stock rose.

Wright-Patt Credit Union says it will offer “limited banking services” to Ohio medical cannabis businesses.

/ CULTURE

Modest Mouse drummer Jeremiah Green spoke about using medical cannabis for depression.

Actress Amanda Bynes spoke about her past consumption of marijuana and other drugs.

Snopes felt the need to debunk a fake image of astronaut Chris Hadfield appearing to hold a bag of marijuana aboard the International Space Station.

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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.

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.)

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Two governors talk legal cannabis in big budget speeches (Newsletter: Feb. 21, 2019)

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North Dakota marijuana decrim narrowly fails; Obama urges youth to work on drug reform; Study: The munchies are real

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 377 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) both spoke about the fiscal and other benefits of legalizing marijuana in budget speeches. Pritzker included legal cannabis revenue in his formal budget proposal to lawmakers, while Lamont’s plan includes a system of hemp licensing.

Former President Barack Obama, who has in the past scolded young people for caring about marijuana policy, said during an event with young men of color that it is important for them to be involved in the process of shaping drug laws.

  • “Nothing changes if citizens…aren’t paying attention and aren’t educating themselves about…how are decisions made about drug laws.”

The North Dakota House of Representatives narrowly defeated a bill to decriminalize marijuana by a vote of 43-47.

A study showed that sales of “junk food” rise after states legalize marijuana, seemingly confirming that the munchies are a real phenomenon.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a drug case that the Constitution places limits on civil asset forfeiture policies that allow states and localities to seize private property that was allegedly used to commit crimes.

A federal judge denied a request to release a disputed cannabis crop that Idaho law enforcement seized as illegal marijuana but the Colorado company in question says is legal hemp.

The Department of Justice announced that the owners of a Colorado unlicensed marijuana business pled guilty to filing a false federal income tax return.

Several major news outlets have picked up a Jamaican website’s claim that the father of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, pointedly took issue with the way she discussed her Jamaican heritage in relation to her past marijuana use. Marijuana Moment has not been able to verify the original report.

/ STATES

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill to let farmers plant hemp crops earlier than originally planned. Separately, the House Committee on Public Safety advanced legislation to clarify that medical cannabis extracts and edibles are legal.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) has no plans to change the state’s marijuana legalization laws, a spokesman said, despite concern from industry players about his appointments to a regulatory body.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) is pushing lawmakers to hold hearings on marijuana legalization.

Delaware’s attorney general said her office will stop prosecuting people for possessing less than six ounce of marijuana in most cases.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee voted to approve a bill to let patients smoke medical cannabis.

Iowa regulators added ulcerative colitis and severe pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors as CBD medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Michigan regulators will consider medical cannabis license applications at a meeting on Thursday. Separately, the state appeals court ruled against a woman who had a job offer rescinded for state-legal medical cannabis use.

The Nevada Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor held a hearing on a bill to make it illegal to disqualify job applicants due to positive marijuana tests.

No hearings on Indiana marijuana legalization or medical cannabis bills have been scheduled ahead of key deadlines, indicating the issues are likely dead for the year.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 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

Salt Lake City, Utah’s former mayor, a medical cannabis supporter, sent a letter warning local officials that the law legislators passed to replace a voter-approved ballot initiative is preempted by federal law.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thailand’s king signed a decree legalizing medical cannabis and kratom.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May defended her government’s approach to medical cannabis in response to a question from a lawmaker.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his nation’s bloody “drug war” will get “harsher in the days to come.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

The first clinical trial looking at whole-plant marijuana in treating PTSD was completed, with data now being analyzed and prepared for publication.

A study on marijuana consumers found that “solitary users were significantly more likely to screen positive for psychosis, endorse more symptoms of cannabis abuse/dependence, report using cannabis to cope, and use cannabis on more days within the previous 30 days,” while “social users were significantly more likely to report using alcohol in addition to cannabis during their most recent cannabis‐using occasion.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. voters commissioned by prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that when given options, 39% support medical cannabis, 33% back marijuana legalization, 18% want decriminalization and 11% want broad prohibition. The survey also asked whether voters were more or less likely to support presidential candidates who take cannabis industry money.

A poll of South Carolina likely voters found that when given options, 50% support medical cannabis and 23% back marijuana legalization, with roughly 23% saying the oppose any form of legal access.

/ BUSINESS

GoDaddy announced that the number of Canadian cannabis websites built on its platform increased 700% over a year.

The Globe and Mail looks at how Canadian marijuana companies and government agencies are tracking information about visitors to their websites.

/ CULTURE

Comedy Central’s Jim Jeffries Show hosted a debate between third party candidates, including a member of the U.S. Marijuana Party.

A brick of marijuana was found in a clothing donation bin for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

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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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Lawmakers push FDA to allow CBD food products (Newsletter: Feb. 20, 2019)

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Bernie Sanders’s marijuana record; Analysis: Liberal & conservative Dems divided on legalization; NY Senate president doubts legal cannabis in budget

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 696 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

A bipartisan group of members of Congress is pushing the Food and Drug Administration to hurry up and allow CBD-infused food products in light of hemp legalization.

Marijuana Moment’s latest analysis takes a comprehensive look at the cannabis reform record of presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who in 2015 filed the Senate’s first-ever bill to end marijuana prohibition.

An analysis by Gallup shows that within the Democratic Party, self-described liberals and conservatives are sharply divided on marijuana legalization.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Moses-Ones spoke at an Albanian event about the “fight against cannabis production.”

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) discussed the need to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) tweeted photos of himself meeting with members of the Alaska Marijuana Industry Association.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he and lawmakers are still working to finalize details of a marijuana legalization deal but that’s he’s “optimistic” about getting it done.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he can “absolutely” win over Republicans on his plan for medical cannabis but that full marijuana legalization is “not going to happen right now.” He also described decriminalization as “a fairness issue.”

New York’s Senate president said she doesn’t think marijuana legalization will end up in the state’s budget this year.

Maryland’s Senate president and House speaker formed a working group to study marijuana legalization.

Ohio’s attorney general said he supports federally rescheduling marijuana. Meanwhile, senators filed a bill to legalize hemp-derived CBD.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court agreed to take a case on whether the odor of unburnt marijuana can be relied on to establish probable cause for a warrant to search a commercial building.

Florida regulators are appealing a court ruling that struck down a limit on the number of medical cannabis dispensaries that a given business can operate.

Guam’s House speaker is pushing regulators to implement the voter-approved medical cannabis law.

The Arizona Senate defeated bills that would have allowed surprise inspections at medical cannabis dispensaries and required that products be tested for carcinogens.

The New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee advanced a marijuana decriminalization bill.

The West Virginia House Health and Human Resources Committee passed a bill to raise the number of medical cannabis growers and processors that are allowed and to allow vertical integration.

The Utah Senate Health and Human Services Committee unanimously passed a bill to make technical changes to the state’s medical cannabis law.

An Iowa Senate subcommittee unanimously approved a bill to legalize hemp.

The Vermont Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously approved a bill setting fees for hemp cultivation.

Nevada Senate and Assembly committees discussed the long-term reliability of marijuana tax revenue as a school funding source.

Oklahoma regulators are urging businesses that manufacture or sell CBD-infused or medical cannabis food products to obtain food licenses.

California regulators reported that the state generated $345 million in tax revenue in 2018, far less than an originally projected $1 billion.

Maine regulators signed a three-year deal with Franwell Inc. to track marijuana products in the state.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 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

The Denver, Colorado City Council voted to repeal the sunset date of the cannabis social consumption pilot program. Separately, officials compiled tips and best practices for transferring ownership of marijuana businesses.

Seattle, Washington’s mayor spoke about the city’s moves to vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions during her State of the City address.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said his administration will explore the legal regulation of less-harmful drugs like marijuana.

/ ADVOCACY

The Rhode Island Republican Party’s chairman criticized moves to legalize marijuana, expand gambling and study allowing sex work.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico tweeted, “Our last governor tried to deprive our state of billions in potential economic benefits because she couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and marijuana  — the @NMHouseDems are fixing her mistake.”

The Drug Policy Alliance released a report looking at the costs and benefits of supervised consumption sites for illegal drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study did not find a “statistically significant association between policy ‘liberalization’ and higher odds of adolescent cannabis use.”

A study concluded that marijuana dispensaries “are associated with statistically significant increases in rates of neighborhood crime and disorder” but that associations weakened significantly over time.

/ CULTURE

Comedian Paula Poundstone tweeted, “We have an unstable man in the Presidency. He does not tell the truth about anything. How can we allow this to go on? Our forefathers couldn’t have predicted this because the marijuana wasn’t as potent back then.”

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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Wisconsin governor reveals cannabis reform details (Newsletter: Feb. 19, 2019)

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Barbara Lee questioned for Kamala Harris support; Study: Bees love hemp; Connecticut gov expected to talk marijuana & budget

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 373 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) held a press conference to announce details the marijuana decriminalization, medical cannabis and expungement provisions he is including in his budget proposal.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)—one of Congress’s strongest marijuana reform champions—endorsed Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) for president, and she’s seeing a backlash from legalization supporters who are upset about the candidate’s prosecutorial record.

A study found “industrial hemp can play an important role in providing sustained nutritional options for bees during the cropping season.”

/ FEDERAL

Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao published a blog post on drug-impaired driving, writing that “the number of drivers killed in crashes who tested positive for marijuana doubled from 2007 to 2015.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, decried the “failed war on drugs” and called for decriminalizing marijuana during a campaign speech in South Carolina.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) published an op-ed about his legislation that would use funds seized from El Chapo and other drug cartel leaders to pay for a Mexican border wall.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted photos of themselves celebrating a local business’s new hemp-based CBD donut.

Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) called on New Mexico state lawmakers to legalize marijuana in a speech in the state House chamber. (Around timestamp 12:28 in the linked video.)

/ STATES

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) is expected to discuss legalizing marijuana during his budget address on Wednesday.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) wants to repeal the board charged with regulating marijuana and instead give authority to the commissioner of commerce, community and economic development.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) spoke during a speech in New Hampshire about how the fears he had about marijuana legalization didn’t come to fruition. Separately, the state’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee will meet on February 25.

A South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee vote on legalizing hemp has been postponed at the request of Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

Delaware’s attorney general announced a series of criminal justice reforms, including “emphasis on diversion and alternatives to prosecution for several categories of low-level offenses, including simple possession of marijuana.”

The North Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill to add new medical cannabis qualifying conditions, allow edibles and authorize physician assistants to recommend the drug, among other changes.

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill allowing students to use medical cannabis in schools. Separately, Democratic legislative leaders are including hemp legalization in their plans to boost the state’s economy.

The Iowa Senate subcommittee approved a bill to add new CBD medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

A Utah representative wants the state to spend approximately $300,000 to study the “adverse human health effects from acute and/or chronic exposure to marijuana” as well as cannabis use by pregnant women.

U.S. Virgin Islands regulators are expected to make medical cannabis available to patients by the fall.

Wisconsin regulators are hiring a hemp regulatory specialist.

Arkansas activists are preparing to file language for a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Here’s a look at the prospects for Hawaii marijuana legalization legislation.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 600 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

Fairbanks, Alaska officials removed ads for CBD products from public buses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A South Korean law allowing medical cannabis exports goes into effect next month.

Canadian hemp and cannabis producers are pushing to ease restrictions on CBD.

/ ADVOCACY

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile said there are a “substantial number of Americans who are in prison because of recreational use of marijuana.”

The president of the American Bankers Association published an op-ed calling on Congress to let marijuana businesses access financial services.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is urging Gov. Tony Evers (D) to rethink his plan to decriminalize marijuana and legalize medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “dronabinol and/or medicinal cannabis are promising therapies for palliation of night sweats in cancer patients.”

A case study indicated that “cannabidiol might have led to a striking response in a patient with lung cancer.”

A survey of parents of adolescents with type 1 diabetes, rheumatic disease or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder found that 27.9% would approve of medical cannabis by their children.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. parents found that 74% support banning medical cannabis dispensaries within a certain distance of schools, with 68% saying the same of daycare centers and 44% feeling that way about places of worship.

A poll of New Jersey residents found that they support legalizing marijuana possession, 62%-32%, and that they back legal sales by a margin of 50%-34%, while 68% say it would help the state’s economy and 74% support clearing criminal records of past convictions in the event of legalization.

/ BUSINESS

Politico looks at the issue of explosions at marijuana hash oil extraction facilities.

Facebook blocked a hemp food company from boosting its posts.

/ CULTURE

Gift bags for the Oscars will include a number of CBD- and THC-infused products.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and former player Charles Barkley discussed the similarities between debates on legalizing marijuana and sports betting.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson tweeted, “Great to see the growing chorus of voices calling for sensible drug policy reform. Decriminalisation and regulation is the way to go.”

Bill Ray and Tish Cyrus are facing a backlash for posting a photograph of their sizable marijuana stash on Instagram.

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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