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New Mexico lawmakers vote to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 11, 2019)

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AG blames marijuana licensing delay on UN; S. 420 would deschedule cannabis (really!); Mexican Senate publishes legalization report

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) filed three separate far-reaching marijuana bills, one of which is designated as S.420. Some of the provisions of the legislation would deschedule marijuana, solve the 280E tax issue, create a system of permits for businesses to engage in cannabis commerce and authorize regulations on packaging and labeling, among many other reforms. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced House companion legislation.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testified before the House Judiciary Committee that international treaties prevent the US from approving more cultivators of marijuana for research. But the State Department said three years ago that the claim is false.

The New Mexico House Health and Human Services Committee approved a marijuana legalization bill.

An official report by Mexico’s Senate takes a look at the many policy considerations at play as lawmakers actively consider bills to legalize marijuana in the country.

/ FEDERAL

A Food and Drug Administration spokesperson only vaguely responded to queries about whether it is helping to coordinate a crackdown on CBD products in states across the country.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, included marijuana legalization in a list of issues that millennials from across the political spectrum support.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said he thinks marijuana “is more dangerous than the popular narrative usually suggests.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “All too often, our criminal justice system – from tickets to convictions – is treated as a game, where the one racks up the most ‘points’ wins. Paired w/ foolish criminalization of marijuana, poverty,etc, it wrecks chaos on people’s lives + stagnates communities for generations.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted about trash in the ocean, saying, “One answer to plastic pollution is biodegradable materials like hemp.”

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) tweeted about a new marijuana lobbying organization he is part of, the National Cannabis Roundtable, saying he is “pleased to be honorary chair of an industry effort to transform and modernize national cannabis policy and ensure it is done safely, thoughtfully, comprehensively.” In an interview, he said that rescheduling isn’t the group’s top priority.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) included “end the global war on drugs” in a list of action items to help solve immigration and border issues.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and legislative leaders have reportedly made significant progress in negotiations on provisions of marijuana legalization legislation, with a deal potentially coming “any day now.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) is asking lawmakers to delay consideration of legalizing hemp.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee’s (D) initiative to issue pardons for certain past marijuana convictions has so far helped only a very limited number of people.

Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero (D) said lawmakers should pass a marijuana legalization bill regardless of concerns about a conflict with federal law.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) said he’s “never had the desire to smoke marijuana. I never thought it was the cool thing to do.”

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted about public support for legalizing marijuana.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “Patient & consumer safety is just one reason why getting #cannabis right is a top priority—that’s why I’ve appointed Florida’s first ever Cannabis Director. Floridians using CBD deserve to know exactly what’s in their products and that they’re safe.”

Massachusetts regulators ordered a medical cannabis dispensary to temporarily cease its operations over violations related to security, sanitation, waste disposal and product labeling. Separately, here’s a look at legislation that lawmakers are considering to amend the state’s legal marijuana law.

California regulators launched enforcement actions against unlicensed marijuana businesses.

Utah’s former House speaker is pushing the state’s largest healthcare provider to allow its doctors to recommend medical cannabis.

The Hawaiian Senate Commerce, Consumer Protection and Health Committee rejected a bill to allow the sale of medical cannabis edibles but they did advance legislation directing regulators to develop rules to potentially allow edibles in the future.

Minnesota lawmakers are considering legislation to expand the state’s medical cannabis program.

North Dakota lawmakers are weighing proposals to expand medical cannabis access.

Kansas regulators began accepting industrial hemp research applications.


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

Boston, Massachusetts officials have added an extra “secret” step to approval processes for marijuana business licensing.

Dayton, Ohio’s marijuana decriminalization ordinance took effect.

Denver, Colorado officials held the city’s first event aimed at helping people expunge past marijuana convictions.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Israel’s health ministry approved the limited use of MDMA to treat PTSD.

The head of Malaysia’s National Anti-Drug Agency said that the law allows growing medical cannabis with approval from regulators.

The UK’s top law enforcement officer revealed that she doesn’t have the ability to smell cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “evidence supports the use of cannabinoids, especially cannabidiol, in similar forms of refractory epilepsy including Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes.”

A review found “strong evidence of CBD’s benefit” for  refractory seizures and that “acute CBD dosing before anxiety‐provoking events like public speaking and the chronic use of CBD in schizophrenia are promising but not proven.”

A study found that “chronic pain is commonly experienced among young adult cannabis users and pain-relief is the primary motivation for users with pain.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New York voters support legalizing marijuana, 52%-42%.

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board is happy about progress in Florida’s medical cannabis law.

Members of the Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial board weighed in on Rep. David Joyce’s (R-OH) leadership of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

/ BUSINESS

The publisher of Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado is launching a marijuana newsletter.

/ CULTURE

Talk show host Maury Povich said that he and his wife, journalist Connie Chung, smoked a marijuana strain that is named after her.

Former NBA player Lamar Odom is launching his own line of CBD vape pens.

Former professional cyclist Floyd Landis is opening a bicycle showroom and coffee shop that will sell cannabis products.

Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted, “I drove down sunset boulevard today looking at tons of billboards promoting shows starring people of color mixed with billboards for cannabis. So, while we are dealing with all of this current madness, there is progress being made. (If you’re into that sort of thing.)” In a separate interview, she also spoke about her involvement in the marijuana industry and the fact that she recently tripped on toad venom.

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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.

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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Cannabis use undermines “good moral character” for immigrants, feds say (Newsletter: April 22, 2019)

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Congressional committees publish marijuana plans; USDA clarifies hemp seed rules; POTUS candidates’ 4/20 tweets; Ben & Jerry’s is woke on drug war

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,047 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

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a memo saying that using marijuana or working in the cannabis industry—even if it is legal under state law—makes immigrants ineligible for citizenship because it means they don’t have “good moral character.”

Several congressional committees issued reports highlighting the marijuana reforms they plan to address in 2019.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture clarified that farmers are allowed to import hemp seeds from other countries and that there’s nothing the Drug Enforcement Administration can do to stop them.

Ben & Jerry’s used 4/20 to call attention to ongoing racial disparities in marijuana enforcement—and partnered with a dispensary that donated partial proceeds to expungement efforts—in stark contrast to other mainstream brands that just seemed to be trying to make a buck off the cannabis holiday.

Several presidential candidates—along with many other politicians and brands—commemorated 4/20 with marijuana-themed tweets.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge ruled that Salem, West Virginia officials must place a measure to remove municipal marijuana penalties on the June 4 ballot.

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about his evolution on marijuana legalization.

Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV), along with Reps. Charlie Crist (D-FL), Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Lou Correa (D-CA) sent video messages to be played at a marijuana conference, with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) delivering a keynote address.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, sent a 4/20-themed fundraising email. She also spoke about her support for marijuana reform in an interview.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) predicted that the House will vote on marijuana banking legislation this spring.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “Yesterday I introduced a bill to permit marijuana use in federal housing in states where marijuana use is legal. No American should fear eviction for using a legal substance in their state. It’s time Congress catch up with the American people. With Democratic control of the House, I will also continue to push to remove anti-home rule provisions preventing DC from commercializing recreational marijuana use. Congress has no business interfering with DC local government.”

The House marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 166.

The House comprehensive medical cannabis bill got two new cosponsors, for a total of eight.

The House bill to force the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor, for a total of 60.

The House bill to require the Department of Justice to license additional marijuana growers for research got one new cosponsor, for a total of nine.

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed a commercial hemp bill into law.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) spokesperson said there is “still opportunity to reach consensus” on legalizing marijuana sales, and he is “not at the point at which he will draw lines on issues.”

Nevada’s treasurer tweeted about discussing marijuana banking access with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate.

The Colorado Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill to allow publicly traded companies and out-of-state investors in the marijuana industry.

A Michigan judge continued a temporary restraining order allowing some unlicensed marijuana businesses to remain open.

Missouri regulators are being sued by BioTrackTHC over their awarding of a contract to Metrc LLC.

The New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on marijuana legalization on Tuesday.

Nebraska lawmakers are considering compromise language for a medical cannabis bill.

Here’s a look at pending Louisiana marijuana legislation.

A study found that Wisconsin could generate $1.1 billion in economic benefits in the first five years of legal medical cannabis.


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

Denver, Colorado’s mayor sent a letter to other mayors urging they work with him to reverse federal policies that negatively count working in the marijuana industry against immigrants’ citizenship status.

New York City’s mayor said he will be looking into the issue of people losing child custody over marijuana.

A Baltimore, Maryland mayoral candidate is calling for marijuana legalization.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley is meeting with Canadian marijuana companies interested in operating in the country.

Uganda’s first lady said a deal to allow an Israeli firm to grow medical cannabis in the country is “satanic.”

/ ADVOCACY

NAACP’s president said that the organization will develop a position on marijuana legalization by July.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBD may have independent positive effects on [quality of life] beyond improved seizure control.”

A review concluded that marijuana “may play a safe role in [chronic migraine] management by helping to improve headache profile, anxiety, sleep, mood, and opioid reduction.”

Louisiana State University launched a study on treating epilepsy with medical cannabis.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Americans found that 65% support legalizing marijuana and 62% oppose federal intervention in state laws, among other findings.

BuzzFeed conducted a lengthy survey of U.S. and Canadian adults about attitudes toward marijuana and policies surrounding it.

/ BUSINESS

MenMen’s chief operating officer, general counsel and senior vice president of corporate communications have resigned.

CNN is starting a new marijuana coverage initiative, to be led by former Cannabist reporter Alicia Wallace.

Eaze’s website crashed on 4/20.

Pax Labs closed a $420 million funding round.

/ CULTURE

Actor Seth Rogen is calling on the Canadian government to expunge marijuana convictions.

The Onion endorsed legalizing marijuana in the most Onion way possible.

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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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Texas cannabis bills advance to House floor (Newsletter: April 19, 2019)

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Congressional bill would allow marijuana in public housing; FDA receives hundreds of CBD comments; Boehner could cash in big with Acreage/Canopy deal

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 422 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

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) filed a bill that would allow people to use marijuana in public housing.

More than 400 people have already submitted CBD regulation comments to the Food and Drug Administration ahead of an upcoming public hearing on the topic.

Three major Texas cannabis reform bills—to decriminalize marijuana, legalize hemp and expand medical cannabis—have cleared committees and are on their way to the House floor.

/ FEDERAL

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly stands to make nearly $20 million from a deal involving the marijuana firm he is a board member for.

Former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) tweeted, “When will Congress catch up with the American people on #cannabis? Representatives like @RepDaveJoyce and @mattgaetz are leading the way.”

/ STATES

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) said that a marijuana sales legalization bill would need to allow roadside saliva testing in order to win his support.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) is not on board with a proposal to send most of the revenue from legal marijuana to municipalities.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) and regulators announced the launch of a hemp pilot program. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives approved legislation to block unlicensed marijuana businesses that remain open after June 1 from becoming licensed for a year.

The Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill to defelonize drug possession.

The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved bills concerning medical cannabis disposal and businesses in foreclosure or bankruptcy.

The Florida House of Representatives approved legislation to expand syringe exchange programs around the state. Separately, the House State Affairs Committee advanced a hemp bill.

Wisconsin representatives filed a marijuana legalization bill.

Oregon regulators approved six marijuana violation settlement agreements and indicated they would consider stiffening penalties in the future.

Arkansas medical cannabis sales are expected to begin on May 12.

Washington State regulators certified a lab to test for heavy metals in marijuana. Separately, here’s a look at where cannabis bills stand in the legislature.

Guam’s marijuana regulatory board has been formed and will meet soon.

Montana activists are working to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the state’s 2020 ballot.


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.


/ SCIENCE & HEALTH


A study found that “life satisfaction at age 21 was not associated with cannabis cessation,” suggesting that “the predictive value of life satisfaction in cannabis use is questionable and may be accounted for by other behaviors, such as tobacco and alcohol use.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Americans found that 53% support legalizing marijuana and 76% back medical cannabis.

A poll found that Louisiana residents support legalizing marijuana, 55%-42%.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corp. plans to acquire Acreage Holdings Inc. in a $3.4 billion deal that will be triggered when cannabis is federally legalized in the U.S.

Eaze is donating $4.20 for every delivery on April 20, up to $100,000, to Code for America’s efforts to expunge drug convictions.

Lyft is offering $4.20 rides in Massachusetts on 4/20.

New England Treatment Access is being sued for alleged trademark infringement in its logo by Boise Cascade Company.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Kodak Black was arrested for possessing marijuana and a firearm at the U.S.-Canada border.

The office of Denver’s CBS affiliate received a  mistaken delivery of a large box of marijuana products.

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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Alabama lawmakers approve cannabis decrim in committee (Newsletter: April 18, 2019)

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McConnell touts hemp legalization in campaign ad; Study: CBD helps epileptic dogs; Georgia medical marijuana expansion signed

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 1,041 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.

  • Holly DeLorenzo: “I pledged because I found Marijuana Moment to be a trusted and valuable resource. Thank you for all the work that goes into keeping track of the latest information on cannabis legislation.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) reelection campaign launch ad prominently touts his leadership on hemp legalization.

A study on treating epileptic dogs with CBD found that “seizure frequency improved considerably and owners reported a positive impression.”

/ FEDERAL

A Farm Services Agency official is being sued in federal court for allegedly threatening Oklahoma farmers who express interest in growing hemp.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The effort to legalize marijuana –and I can’t emphasize this enough– MUST include criminal justice measures like expunging records & investing in communities hurt by the failed war on drugs. I will not support legalization efforts that don’t address this.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The failed War On Drugs disproportionately affects communities of color – we have to take real steps to right the wrongs of history.”

/ STATES

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a bill allowing in-state cultivation and sales of low-THC medical cannabis products.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a spending bill containing start-up funding for the state’s medical cannabis program. Separately, the House of Representatives defeated a marijuana decriminalization amendment.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed off on a settlement deal to approve eight new medical cannabis nurseries so that a lawsuit challenging how the state’s determines awards such licenses will be dropped.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “3 YEARS AGO TODAY: I signed the law that legalized medical marijuana in PA. Now, more than 100,000 Pennsylvanians with serious illnesses have a medical marijuana patient certification and can access life-changing medication.” Separately, regulators revoked the medical license of a prolific medical marijuana doctor.

Alaska lawmakers rejected Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s (R) nomination of a cannabis opponent to serve on the state Marijuana Control Board.

The Arizona House of Representatives defeated a bill to require the release of more information about medical cannabis businesses.

The Texas House Public Health Committee amended and approved a bill to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Nevada regulators shuttered marijuana dispensaries over a failure to pay taxes.

The Massachusetts Securities Division charged an investment adviser with allegedly soliciting funds for medical cannabis projects that were never licensed.

Louisiana regulators are working to test medical cannabis in time for a planned May rollout of legal sales to patients.

Here’s a look at why New Mexico’s marijuana legalization bill died this session and the future prospects of legislation to end prohibition.


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 Daytona Beach, Florida City Commission voted to approve a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

The Los Angeles, California city attorney sued an unlicensed marijuana dispensary for allegedly selling product tainted with an unapproved pesticide.

Jefferson County, Alabama’s district attorney is working with other officials on a plan to end low-level marijuana arrests.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ghana’s Mental Health Authority is raising concerns about the possible legalization of marijuana.

A Malaysian medical cannabis advocate who faced the death penalty for trafficking was instead sentenced to 15 years in prison and 10 strokes of the cane.

Vice looks at the prospects for marijuana reform in countries around the world.

/ ADVOCACY

The Kansas Democratic Party tweeted about Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signing a hemp bill.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

Commentator Geraldo Rivera tweeted, “Agree with @BetoORourke His Big Ideas and gymnastic speaking style aside, he is right about ending marijuana prohibition, halting all arrest for pot now, and purging criminal records that are small scale pot related. This appeals to right and left, stop #ReeferMadness”

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corp. is reportedly nearing a deal to buy Acreage Holdings Inc.

The Vitamin Shoppe began selling CBD products.

Carl’s Jr. is testing a CBD burger.

Bank of America began covering marijuana stocks.

/ CULTURE

Musician Jimmy Buffett’s marijuana product brand is launching on Friday.

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Photo courtesy of Mike Latimer.

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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