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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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Another former anti-cannabis congressman joins company board (Newsletter: October 14, 2019)

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Mexican leaders to release legalization bill this week; Former FDA head floats cannabis compromise; California gov signs & vetoes marijuana bills

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Former Rep. Stephen Buyer (R-IN) joined the board of cannabis firm FSD Pharma. Marijuana Moment took a deep dive into his record as a congressman, including consistent votes against measures to protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference and cosponsoring legislation seeking to overturn local policies.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that Congress “take marijuana out of the existing paradigm for drug scheduling” and wrote that regulating “potency of THC compounds, the forms they take, how they’re manufactured, and who can make purchases ought to be possible.”

Key Mexican Senate committees have declared themselves in permanent session as they work to merge provisions of various marijuana legalization proposals into a comprehensive bill they plan to propose on Thursday.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed several cannabis bills into law, including measures concerning medical marijuana donations to low-income patients, tax fairness for businesses, a legal hemp program, research and more. But he also vetoed a bill to allow medical cannabis in healthcare facilities.

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued vaping guidance noting that “products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources…are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak” and recommending that “persons should not use e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain THC” but also that “persons consider refraining from using e-cigarette, or vaping, products that contain nicotine.”

The House of Representatives is expected to consider legislation on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy this week.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) toured several marijuana businesses and said he is optimistic about cannabis banking legislation after speaking to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “1️⃣ Legalize marijuana at the federal level 2️⃣ Legitimize the industry with resources and banking opportunities  3️⃣Provide restorative justice to communities of color most impacted by the failed War on Drugs”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 48.

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) formed a multi-state agency special task force to investigate potential corruption or criminal influences in the state’s marijuana industry.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “‘88,000 people die each year in the United States due to causes related to alcohol use. Cigarette smoking.. more than 480,000 deaths.  Yet there’s no serious talk of prohibition of those products.’ It must be all those none cannabis overdose deaths.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands Committee on Rules and Judiciary rejected the nomination of a former senator who authored the territory’s medical cannabis law to serve on an implementation advisory board.

Oregon regulators filed temporary rules for a six-month ban on flavored vaping products and also released a compliance education bulletin.

Washington State regulators published guidance about the state’s flavored vaping ban.

The Colorado Supreme Court will hear a case on Thursday concerning medical cannabis use by people on probation.

Florida regulators proposed hemp rules and will hold hearings to receive public comment this month.

Louisiana regulators published hemp rules they intend to adopt.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office reviewed two proposed marijuana ballot measures.

The Oklahoma legislture’s interim study on medical cannabis advertising has been delayed.

An Indiana senator authored an op-ed on the need to decriminalize marijuana.

Missouri regulators are hiring attorneys to work to defend against challenges to medical cannabis business license denials.

Alabama regulators began accepting hemp applications.


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 Pinellas County, Florida sheriff and state attorney issued a memo advising police not to make certain marijuana arrests.

The Broward County, Florida sheriff said it is “only a matter of time” until marijuana is legalized.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australia’s health minister is asking officials to share information they considered before enacting a local marijuana legalization law.

Canada’s Conservative Party paid for Facebook ads falsely accusing the Liberal government of wanting to “legalize hard drugs.”

A Russian court sentenced an Israeli-American woman to seven and a half years in prison for allegedly smuggling nine grams marijuana into the country after Israel rejected an offer to exchange her for a Russian hacker set to be extradited to the U.S.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A dermatological science review concluded that “cannabinoids have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, anti-aging, and antimalignancy properties by various mechanisms including interacting with the newly found endocannabinoid system of the skin thereby providing a promising alternative to traditional treatments.”

The University of California San Diego School of Medicine’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research announced $3 million in grants to study medical cannabis as a supplementary or alternative treatment for schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, insomnia, alcohol dependence and anxiety linked to anorexia.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Florida likely voters support legalizing marijuana, 67%-29%.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board is calling on Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill.

/ BUSINESS

Ohio medical cannabis companies are jointly moving to disclose vaping product ingredients.

Cura Cannabis settled a defamation lawsuit against Bloom Farms.

Mother Jones looks for clues as to who the unnamed foreign national allegedly involved in funding a scheme to win marijuana business licenses was in a federal indictment filed last week.

/ CULTURE

Anderson Cooper led a 60 Minutes report on psychedelic research.

Actor Woody Harrelson spoke to Ellen DeGeneres about the potency of his marijuana.

The finance editor of The Economist wrote about her experiences with psychedelics.

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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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Inside McConnell’s cannabis industry lunch (Newsletter: October 11, 2019)

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Mexican cabinet member accepts marijuana gift; Trucking org adopts cannabis stance; Scratch-n-sniff cannabis packaging; Texas cancels dispensary apps

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 445 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

Marijuana Moment got a look inside a private luncheon Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held with cannabis industry representatives during a marijuana-focused visit to Southern California.

Ahead of an expected vote on marijuana legalization this month, a  key Mexican cabinet member happily accepted a lawmaker’s gift of a joint during a legislative session.

American Trucking Associations adopted new cannabis policy recommendations, including removing federal research roadblocks, creating a “marijuana victim’s compensation fund” paid for by the industry and reporting purchases to prescription drug monitoring programs.

The congressional marijuana banking vote “signals a positive shift in House members’ attitudes toward marijuana” but “does not go nearly far enough,” The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights wrote in a letter asking lawmakers to cosponsor a comprehensive cannabis descheduling bill.

Texas regulators won’t explain why they suddenly suspended the application process for low-THC medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

Inventors filed a patent application for scratch-and-sniff marijuana packaging. One concept uses terpenes to mimic cannabis smells, while another would use scents like bacon, fish and chips, the seaside, shampoo and a Sunday roast.

/ FEDERAL

Two associates of President Trump’s attorney Rudolph Giuliani were arrested on charges that they, along with two other defendants, allegedly plotted to illegally funnel foreign money to politicians in an effort to secure marijuana business licenses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there are now 1,299 known cases of severe lung injury believed to be associated with vaping, including 26 deaths.

The Drug Enforcement Administration published technical corrections to information about marijuana cultivation license applications.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested in an op-ed that Congress “take marijuana out of the existing paradigm for drug scheduling” and that “regulation of the potency of THC compounds, the forms they take, how they’re manufactured, and who can make purchases ought to be possible.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke about the importance of solving banking and tax issues for the marijuana industry.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “The House did the right thing by passing the SAFE Banking Act to allow legal marijuana businesses to bank without fear of federal interference. Now, the Senate should do the same.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, “I come from the pro-science wing of the Republican Party. I understand that the Earth is warming, that medical marijuana can help people live better lives and no one chooses to be gay.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The failed War on Drugs has disproportionately targeted and continues to harm communities of color. As our country continues to move forward on decriminalizing cannabis, it’s critical we prioritize real marijuana justice.”

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Ted Terry, the Clarkston mayor, touted his local marijuana decriminalization policy and launched an online petition calling on Congress to enact cannabis reform.

/ STATES

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) defended his administration’s temporary ban on vaping products in response to criticism. Separately, regulators are publishing guidance warning marijuana entrepreneurs about scams targeting small businesses. They also approved licenses for companies to train cannabis business employees.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said it is important to legalize marijuana for social justice reasons. (About 16:45 into the audio.)

Mississippi Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Hood, currently the state attorney general, said medical cannabis should be up to doctors to decide and that he has seen studies indicating it can help people get off of opioids. Republican candidate Tate Reeves, the current lieutenant governor, said he plans to vote against a medical marijuana ballot measure.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor clashed with prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana on Twitter.

Florida’s surgeon general appointed a new marijuana coordinator.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner visited a hemp farm at harvest time.

A Louisiana judge halted juror selection in a felony marijuana case after too many potential jurors in the pool said they support legalization.

The California Veterinary Medical Board’s Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee discussed guidelines for the appropriate administration of medical cannabis to animals. Separately, regulators are being sued over a decision to allow some marijuana billboards.

Oregon regulators will discuss vaping issues in a special meeting on Friday.

Michigan regulators will hold a meeting to take public comments on marijuana on October 28.


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

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor tweeted, “Why is municipal government in the marijuana ordinance enforcement business at all? #KCMO is considering 100 gram decriminalization as an ordinance matter, but the better move may be to remove marijuana as an offense from the municipal code altogether. It doesn’t change state treatment of marijuana possession, distribution, etc., as an offense, and thus our 4 local prosecutors would still have ability to prosecute or decline. We won’t create inconsistency with state law… instead we will just get out of the business.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Quebec, Canada government is appealing a court ruling that invalidated the province’s ban on marijuana home cultivation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “although cannabis use is mostly found to be associated with increased incidence of anxiety disorders, these findings are generally not sustained in adjusted analyses controlling for multiple confounders” and that “the scarce data available indicates no clear effect of cannabis use on the course and treatment outcomes of anxiety disorders.”

A study examines how environmental movement organizations “have avoided America’s fastest growing agricultural sector: newly legalized cannabis.”

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation named Constellation Brands, Inc.’s chief financial officer as the chair of its board.

Canopy Growth Corporation and Go Farm Hemp are suing each other in federal court over allegations of missed payments and poor crops.

New Frontier Data announced plans to acquire Civilized Worldwide Inc.

HEXO Corp reported that quarterly revenues are below initial expectations.

Leafly informed customers of a breach of one of its databases involving customer records.

Colorado retailers sold more than $173.2 million in marijuana products in August, a new monthly record.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Jamal Mashburn was appointed as an advisor to the board of directors of cannabis company Revolution Global.

Anderson Cooper will lead a 60 Minutes report on psychedelic research on Sunday.

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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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McConnell meets with cannabis industry leaders (Newsletter: October 10, 2019)

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Gabbard backs legalizing drugs; Congress pushed on pesticides & marijuana; Rogen & Snoop offer cannabis tips; 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.

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There are now 1,204 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.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to meet with marijuana industry representatives and tour at least one California cannabis business this week.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate,  said the country should move toward legalizing drugs like cocaine and heroin.

The Oregon Education Association says it supports the aims of a proposed drug decriminalization ballot measure but is concerned about provisions to redirect cannabis tax revenue away from schools and toward drug treatment.

The advocacy group Beyond Pesticides is urging Congress to take action to prevent the misuse of pesticides on marijuana. The lack of federal regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency leaves states making up their own rules, and that puts consumers at risk, the group says.

A study on medical cannabis and chronic pain found that more than a quarter of patients stopped taking opioids altogether after using marijuana, while another 55% of participants reduced their opioid use by an average of 30%.

Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg spoke to Howard Stern about how they enjoy smoking marijuana together, and they offered advice for cannabis novices.

/ FEDERAL

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll discussed his concerns with marijuana legalization in a Drug Enforcement Administration podcast.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture official participated in a Pennsylvania hemp summit.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied a request to take up a case challenging a Michigan court’s ruling overturning marijuana charges that stemmed from police “knock and talk”interviews.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit directed a lower court to take another look at a case challenging a Kansas police raid on a home that resulted from officers mistakenly thinking tomato plants and loose-leaf tea were evidence of a marijuana grow.

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julián Castro, a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Addressing the injustice of the failed war on drugs means that we must legalize and regulate marijuana, and ensure victims of these policies — a majority of whom were Black and Brown—have their records expunged and are given access to economic development opportunities.”

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said that “the impact on the ability of small and large businesses to operate justifies our attention” to marijuana banking issues.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 47.

/ STATES

Washington State regulators approved a 120-day ban on flavored marijuana vaping products.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill to let parents administer medical cannabis to students at schools. He also signed legislation to remove a sentencing enhancement that added an extra year to sentences for each prior prison or felony jail term a person had. Separately, regulators awarded grants to local jurisdictions to support marijuana equity efforts.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he is continuing to push for marijuana legalization.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “The majority of Pennsylvanians told @FettermanLT they want adult-use, recreational marijuana to be legal. I’m asking the legislature to seriously consider a legalization bill and get it to my desk.”

Louisiana gubernatorial candidates agreed on opposing legalizing marijuana during a debate.

Maine lawmakers are starting to file marijuana reform bills for the new legislative session.

Texas regulators unexpectedly suspended the application process for low-THC medical cannabis business licenses.

Illinois regulators released information on social equity cannabis loans, dispensary licenses and industry scams.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about marijuana business employee background checks. They also updated inspection guides.


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 Anchorage, Alaska Assembly voted to place a question about allowing on-site consumption at marijuana dispensaries before voters.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “CBD did not consistently influence the effects of THC across all studies and outcomes” but suggested that “CBD may interact with some acute effects of THC.”

A survey of pharmacy students found that “91% of students believed that [medical cannabis] should be legalized nationally” but that “a low number of students correctly identify approved indications.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Drug Policy Alliance is hiring a director for its office of national affairs.

/ BUSINESS

A hypothesis put forth by Colorado Green Lab suggests that the outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries could be caused by a metal ingredient in vaping devices themselves—instead of a contaminant in nicotine or cannabis oils.

Nielsen and Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. teamed up to launch a CBD retail market analysis program.

New Frontier Data is acquiring  Zefyr, Inc.

Iron Laboratories, LLC paid a $100,000 fine as part of a settlement with Michigan regulators over violations related to its marijuana testing and reporting results.

The marijuana-focused app Social Club was removed from Apple’s App Store after it was reportedly flooded with posts about drug sales, weapons and pornography.

/ CULTURE

Musician Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth spoke about the time she got busted smoking marijuana at Disneyland.

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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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