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New York could vote to legalize cannabis this week (Newsletter: June 17, 2019)



20 governors press Congress on marijuana banking; Texas gov signs medical cannabis expansion; Canadian House committee backs drug decrim; CBD poll

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There are now 1,129 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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All of a sudden, a number of indicators are pointing to a possible vote this week on a New York marijuana legalization bill that many pronounced dead months ago. With the session set to end on Wednesday, things will have to move quickly.

A bipartisan group of 20 governors sent a letter urging congressional leaders to pass marijuana banking legislation.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill to expand the state’s limited CBD medical cannabis program.

The Canadian House of Commons Health Committee issued a report recommending that the government decriminalize drug possession.

A poll found that among Americans who are familiar with CBD, 61% want it available over the counter without a prescription required and 92% said that the cannabis-derived compound has at least some medical benefits.


The Food and Drug Administration published a blog post outlining its efforts to formulate CBD regulations.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted, “Cannabis components can be passed to baby in utero and in breast milk, and there are numerous concerns regarding exposing the developing brain to cannabis – especially with more potent strains and consumption methods that mean even more THC for baby.  #nocannabis4kids!”

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, said he thinks the federal government has a role to play in regulating the marijuana industry.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We will reform our criminal justice system so that people affected by the failed War on Drugs can apply for loans and have access to capital.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Too many fathers are unjustly away from their kids today because of a failed war on drugs waged disproportionately on communities of color, a cash bail system that punishes people for being poor, and a private prison industry funded by needlessly putting more people behind bars. To permanently reshape the justice system, we must not just end the prohibition of marijuana and expunge the records of those arrested for possession but we must end cash bail, prisons for profit, mandatory minimums, & the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline. As president, I will.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “Congrats to @OregonState on the launch of its Global Hemp Innovation Center. OSU has been blazing the trail in research and development of new and innovative ways to use hemp. This project will lead the way in unlocking the hemp industry’s huge economic potential.”

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) spoke about his failed effort to scale back marijuana banking protections in a funding bill to only cover medical cannabis financial services.

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) tweeted a video of himself visiting a hemp farm.

The House bill to respect state marijuana laws got four new cosponsors for a total of 56.

The House bill to seal marijuana convictions got two new cosponsors, for a total of 10.


Virginia’s attorney general published an op-ed arguing that the state should “decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, address past convictions and start moving toward legal and regulated adult use.” Separately, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) spoke about the role that support for marijuana reform played in recent commonwealth’s attorneys races.

Ohio’s attorney general blasted Cincinnati’s decriminalization of marijuana as showing “arrogance” and “disrespect” for state law.

Florida lawmakers sent a hemp and CBD regulation bill to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

A budget released by Rhode Island House leaders does not include a marijuana legalization plan proposed by Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) but does increase the number of medical cannabis dispensaries from three to nine.

Here’s a look at marijuana reform legislation pending on the desk of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

The Alabama House minority leader wants marijuana decriminalization and sentencing reform addressed in a special legislative session.

The Maine Legislature’s Veteran and Legal Affairs Committee approved draft marijuana rules that relax residency requirements for business license owners.

California regulators are extending the period during which marijuana growers and retailers can operate on provisional permits by five years.

Missouri regulators will begin accepting medical cannabis patient and caregiver applications a week ahead of schedule. They also posted new frequently asked questions pages.

Maryland regulators issued an advisory warning of lead contamination in medical cannabis products.

New Mexico’s medical cannabis program no longer applies solely to residents of the state.

Michigan regulators are accelerating the speed with which they process marijuana business license 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.

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Canadian regulators finalized rules for marijuana edibles, extracts and topicals, with sales set to begin no earlier than mid-December.

The head of the China National Narcotics Control Commission blamed the legalization of marijuana in Canada and U.S. states for drug smuggling in his country.

UK regulators approved a license for a facility where people can receive free heroin and consume it under medical supervision.

New Zealand’s government is investing in a marijuana startup.


A study on kidney donations concluded that “there was no difference in donor or recipient perioperative characteristics or postoperative outcomes based upon donor marijuana use” and that “considering individuals with a history of marijuana use for living kidney donation could increase the donor pool and yield acceptable outcomes.”

A study concluded that “CBD may have beneficial effects in patients with [developmental and epileptic encephalopathy] and an acceptable safety profile.”


The New York Daily News editorial board is urging lawmakers to legalize marijuana.

The Star-Ledger editorial board is calling on New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and lawmakers to expand the state’s medical cannabis program.

The Providence Journal editorial board is calling for greater transparency in the state’s medical cannabis program.


Surterra Wellness hired a former Patrón Spirits CEO as its executive director.


Former boxer Mike Tyson was spotted appearing to hold a joint at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Former basketball player Paul Pierce tweeted, “I started using CBD after i was stabbed 11 times. The recovery wasn’t easy and I’m lucky I had CBD oils to help reduce the pain and anxiety.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 20-year veteran in the cannabis law reform movement, he covers the policy and politics of marijuana. Separately, he founded the nonprofit Marijuana Majority. Previously he reported for and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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