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NH House votes to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 28, 2019)

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FDA heads reveals CBD plans; Researchers press DOJ on marijuana cultivation; HI decrim advances; OR social use bill; NYC hearing

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to approve a marijuana legalization bill.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb revealed more details about the agency’s plans for regulating hemp-derived CBD during a hearing in which several members of Congress pressed him about the cannabis compound. He said that public meetings and working groups in development.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and several rivals for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination are joining forces to reintroduce the Marijuana Justice Act, which would deschedule cannabis and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement of marijuana laws. House companion legislation is also being filed.

The Hawaii House Judiciary Committee voted to approve a marijuana decriminalization bill.

The American Psychological Association is urging Attorney General William Barr to “take immediate action” on pending marijuana cultivation license applications that languished under Jeff Sessions.

Several New York City Council committees held a lengthy joint hearing on marijuana legalization and related reform proposals, with the Bronx district attorney announcing that his office would no longer prosecute most cannabis possession and consumption cases.

The Oregon Senate Business and General Government Committee is scheduled to hold a Thursday hearing on legislation to allow social consumption of marijuana at licensed lounges and events, and to let cannabis producers lead public tours of their facilities.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. attorney for Massachusetts said that the opening of recreational marijuana stores in the state doesn’t change his enforcement priorities.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said he has spoken to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) about moving marijuana legislation.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Happy to see San Francisco expunge more than 9,000 marijuana-related convictions. Marijuana has long been a driving force of mass incarceration in this county — it’s past time time we change that.”

/ STATES

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) touted a House committee’s passage of a bill to expand the state’s industrial hemp program.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said he used marijuana in college.

The West Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to allow vertical integration for medical cannabis companies, among other reforms.

The Utah Senate approved a bill to amend the state’s medical cannabis law.

The Georgia House of Representatives passed a hemp legalization bill.

A South Carolina senator sponsoring a medical cannabis bill is working to incorporate changes suggested by stakeholders.

Florida representatives filed marijuana legalization legislation.

Some Washington, D.C. public employees say they are being inappropriately prevented from using medical cannabis.

Oregon officials projected that the state is “poised for strong growth” in marijuana revenue and that major economic impacts will “come from higher value-added products like oils, creams, and edibles, in addition to niche, specialty strains.”

Colorado regulators released guidance on signage requirements for marijuana cultivation facilities.

The opening of North Dakota’s first medical cannabis dispensary has been delayed a day, until Friday.

A consulting firm initially awarded a Maine marijuana legalization implementation contract before a competitor appealed and won the bid instead is considering an appeal of its own.


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

Voters in several Chicago, Illinois wards approved nonbinding ballot questions saying that the city should “appropriate tax or other revenues it receives from the sales of marijuana to fund neighborhood reinvestment in low-income, disenfranchised communities hit hard by the war on drugs.”

The Baltimore, Maryland state’s attorney’s office has begun releasing, without charges, anyone brought in by police for marijuana possession.

Members of the Louisville, Kentucky Metro Council are considering making marijuana one of the lowest police priorities.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s public safety minister is filing a bill “to provide no-cost, expedited pardons for simple possession of cannabis.”

Thailand’s first legal marijuana farm has begun operations.

/ ADVOCACY

The Minority Cannabis Business Association will hold a lobby day on Capitol Hill on April 9, and the group is expressing concerns with what it sees as the “shortcomings” of legislation like the STATES Act.

The New York State Conference of Mayors hosted a conference on marijuana legalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Researchers developed a method to produce THC and CBD using yeast.

A study found that “parental sharing of negative experiences with cannabis use in fact predicted increased adolescent cannabis use.”

A qualitative study found that “several factors appear to promote marijuana vaporization, including device aspects (e.g., discreet, convenient), the subjective high, economical efficiency, and perceived harm-reducing and health-promoting effects.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Des Moines Register editorial board is calling on Iowa lawmakers to expand the state’s limited CBD medical cannabis program.

/ BUSINESS

Walmart Canada removed a cannabis vaporizer from its online store.

MedMen reported quarterly revenue growth and reduced losses.

Here’s a look at an Eli Lilly and Company shareholder’s effort to encourage the company to advocate for marijuana reform by bringing attention to its little-known past involvement with cannabis medicines.

/ CULTURE

The PGA Tour adopted a policy barring golfers from making endorsement deals with marijuana companies.

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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 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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Newsletter

Legal cannabis left out of NY budget, doc shows (Newsletter: March 31, 2020)

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Senate housing bill blocks eviction for marijuana extraction; DC psychedelic decrim effort tries another plan; NZ poll shows legalization support

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There are now 1,462 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 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

According to a draft summary document obtained by Marijuana Moment, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) proposal to legalize cannabis will not be included in the state budget set to be passed this week.

A housing bill filed by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) would block landlords from evicting people for state-legal marijuana extract manufacturing, but it contains no similar provision protecting people from losing their homes over simple cannabis possession.

Washington, D.C. officials are resisting calls to let activists digitally collect signatures to put a psychedelics decriminalization measure on the November ballot in light of the coronavirus outbreak. But before the campaign gives up, it is floating a new plan that involves mailing petitions to supporters, who would circulate it and collect signatures from voters “in their immediate vicinity, such as family, roommates, friends and close-by neighbors” and then return the signed documents to the campaign headquarters.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. military is considering using hemp fibers for Army vehicles and uniforms.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tweeted, “There are so many misconceptions about marijuana use, including rumors that marijuana can’t impair you or that marijuana use can actually make you a safer driver. #ShatterTheMyths – If you feel different, you drive different.”

The first coronavirus fatality in the U.S. prison system was a 49-year-old man serving a 27-year sentence for a drug offense.

/ STATES

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill extending the state’s syringe exchange program for another year.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) senior advisor on cannabis said that “access to legal, regulated and safe cannabis is essential, especially for California residents who rely on cannabis as their medicine.”

A Massachusetts regulator joined advocates urging Gov. Charlie Baker (R) to include recreational marijuana businesses as essential and excluded from his coronavirus stay-at-home order.

Colorado regulators issued a memo allowing recreational marijuana businesses to once again conduct in-store sales amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Maine regulators are temporarily restricting public access to their offices amid the coronavirus outbreak and are encouraging people to make marijuana business license application payments via mail.

A leader of an Oklahoma campaign currently awaiting state Supreme Court approval to begin collecting signatures for a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure said it would be “really difficult, if not impossible, to imagine a scenario in which an initiative petition campaign could responsibly and feasibly collect the signatures necessary” amid the coronavirus outbreak.

New Mexico’s Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, who killed a marijuana legalization bill, is facing a primary challenge from a candidate who backs ending prohibition.

An Illinois representative is pushing to legalize marijuana delivery services amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Georgia regulators began accepting hemp license applications.

Rhode Island regulators issued guidance on medical cannabis regulations concerning packaging and labeling, approval of business logos, the use of a universal warning symbol, product designation and advertising.

Pennsylvania officials deemed syringe exchange services “life-sustaining” and thus exempt from Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) coronavirus stay-at-home order despite the fact that they are illegal under state law.


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

Anchorage, Alaska voters are deciding on a ballot question to legalize on-site marijuana consumption at dispensaries during a vote-by-mail election with ballots due April 7.

Humboldt County, California is using satellite imagery to identify unlicensed marijuana growing operations.

The Austin, Texas City Council voted to create a coronavirus-related loan program for small businesses, but stipulated that those involved with cannabis are not eligible.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Lebanon’s deputy parliament speaker said lawmakers plan to pass a bill to legalize cannabis cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes to improve the country’s economic situation when the legislature returns from a recess caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Researchers developed a “portable saliva swab [that] serves as a roadside DUI hand-held platform for rapid identification of THC in saliva samples obtained from human subjects.”

A study concluded that the highly potent marijuana products in legal dispensaries “seem unsuitable for medicinal purposes, particularly for patients with chronic neuropathic pain.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealanders support a marijuana legalization referendum, 54%-45%.

Prohibitionist groups Smart Approaches to Marijuana and Parents Opposed to Pot are arguing that cannabis businesses should not be considered essential during the coronavirus pandemic.

/ BUSINESS

4Front Ventures Corp announced leadership changes and that it has laid off nearly 40% of its corporate staff and 45% of staffers in its Mission retail stores.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. appointed a new interim CEO and chief restructuring officer.

Cronos Group Inc. reported quarterly net revenue of $7.3 million and an adjusted operating loss of $56.6 million.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. named a new chief operating officer.

HEXO Corp. reported $17 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss of $298.2 million.

Harvest Inc. completed a purchase of Franklin Labs, LLC.

Columbia Care Inc. received approval to trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange.

Massachusetts marijuana businesses are beginning to lay off or furlough employees after recreational dispensaries were not deemed essential under a coronavirus stay-at-home order from Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Meanwhile, several cannabis businesses sent a letter urging that sales be allowed to resume.

A survey of U.S. consumer spending during the coronavirus pandemic found that marijuana is one of a handful of categories that had the fewest respondents indicating they are spending less.

Here’s a lengthy look at the case of former United Food and Commercial Workers cannabis organizer Dan Rush, who pleaded guilty to federal crimes related to his work in the industry.

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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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DEA sued over ‘secret’ cannabis law interpretation (Newsletter: March 30, 2020)

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Missouri legal marijuana effort impeded by COVID; Fed Small Biz Assn touts hemp progress; Colorado cannabis deliveries begin

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This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 440 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Scientists are suing the Drug Enforcement Administration over its alleged use of a “secret law” to delay the expansion of marijuana research. They want access to an internal Justice Department memo that could reveal how the federal government is relying on an interpretation of international treaties to impede studies.

The Missouri campaign working to put a marijuana legalization measure on the November ballot announced it has “no practical way” of collecting enough signatures to qualify amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The federal Small Business Administration published a new post touting its efforts on behalf of the legal hemp industry. Meanwhile the agency says it can’t help marijuana firms with coronavirus-related disaster aid.

  • “From rope to clothing, biodiesel to hempcrete, plant-based ingestible protein to CBD balm, the uses of hemp are far-reaching.”

Colorado’s first legal marijuana delivery service has launched.

/ FEDERAL

National Institute on Drug Abuse personnel met with Canadian officials to discuss priority areas for marijuana research including setting a standard dose of THC in cannabis products, as well as safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

A state representative who has led efforts to legalize medical cannabis is expected to be confirmed as the U.S. attorney for South Carolina on Monday.

Oregon Democratic congressional candidate Blair Reynolds urged people to sign petitions for a proposed therapeutic psilocybin legalization ballot measure.

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed a hemp legalization bill.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill repealing the regulation of marijuana financial services cooperatives.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo’s (D)  coronavirus stay-at-home order exempts medical cannabis compassion centers as critical businesses.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s (D) coronavirus stay-at-home directive exempts medical cannabis businesses as essential.

Vermont regulators said medical cannabis dispensaries can remain open under a coronavirus stay-at-home directive issued by Gov. Phil Scott (R) but are being encouraged to do phone and online transactions, and are allowed to do parking lot pickups. Patient, caregiver and dispensary staff registrations are also being extended for 90 days.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed an executive order extending the deadline to submit marijuana infuser, craft grower and transporter businesses licenses by a month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Massachusetts regulators are allowing curbside pickup of medical cannabis during the coronavirus outbreak. Separately, lawmakers sent a letter asking Gov. Charlie Baker (R) to allow recreational marijuana sales as essential during the coronavirus outbreak.

Oklahoma regulators said medical cannabis dispensaries can offer curbside pickup during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio regulators released updated guidance to medical cannabis businesses on maintaining clean and sanitary conditions amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Delaware regulators are asking medical cannabis patients and caregivers to mail, rather than deliver in person, their applications during the coronavirus pandemic.

Washington State regulators approved a rule on waiving marijuana business fees and tax penalties during the coronavirus outbreak, and withdrew a proposed rule on quality assurance sample testing.

A New Jersey court rejected a medical cannabis dispensary’s attempt to prevent a competitor from opening nearby.

Oregon generated more than $9.2 million in marijuana tax revenue for the state and an additional more than $1.4 million for local governments in February.


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 Webster Groves, Missouri City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Berkeley, California officials amended a coronavirus-related shutdown order to allow marijuana businesses to do curbside pickup.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK’S secretary of state for health and social care responded to lawmakers’ request for information about what the government is doing to increase access to and research about cannabis-based medicines.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that the “combination of CBD and [bacitracin] is suggested to be a putative novel treatment in clinical settings for treatment of infections with antibiotic resistant Gram-positive bacteria.”

A study of toxicology tests of women admitted to hospital labor and delivery units concluded that “prevalence of cannabis use until the time of delivery vary by location but were largely unchanged over a period of drug liberalization.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. adults who use marijuana found that 28% have consumed more than usual in the past two weeks, 14% have used less than usual and 36% have seen no change.

The New York Daily News editorial board is urging lawmakers to not include marijuana legalization and other policy issues in the state budget.

The National Association of Cannabis Businesses has a new executive vice president and chief operating officer.

/ BUSINESS

KushCo Holdings, Inc. got a new CFO and laid off 49 employees.

Hightimes Holding Corp. is acquiring Humboldt Heritage Inc. and its subsidiaries Humboldt Sun Growers Guild and Grateful Eight LLC.

Denver, Colorado marijuana sales jumped 392% during the hours after the mayor announced a later-rescinded closure of dispensaries due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Florida medical cannabis sales increased by nearly 40% in a week.

/ CULTURE

Quibi is launching a series starring joint-rolling artist Tony Greenhand.

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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.
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Arizona legal cannabis campaign says it has enough ballot signatures (Newsletter: March 27, 2020)

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CBO: Vets marijuana measure won’t cost anything; Study: Teen treatment admissions down after legalization; Poll: Dispensaries are essential

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Arizona marijuana activists say they have more than enough signatures to put a legalization measure on the November ballot. While not validated by the state yet, the campaign now has about 80,000 more raw signatures than needed.

The Congressional Budget Office projected that passing a bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis to military veterans would cost the government absolutely nothing.

A new study shows that youth marijuana treatment admissions declined after legalization for adults in Colorado and Washington—even bigger drops than occurred in states that kept cannabis criminalization in effect, though it’s not clear what caused the change.

A poll found that, by a two-to-one margin, Americans say medical cannabis dispensaries are “essential” and should be allowed to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic.

An Oregon effort to put a drug decriminalization and treatment expansion measure on the November ballot is the latest reform campaign to suspend in-person signature gathering activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is asking supporters to print and mail signed petitions.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas tweeted, “I get asked all the time why we still police importation of marijuana. It’s still illegal. It still pours across the border, usually floated across, even with legalization in many states. And these loads are sources of hard currency for the cartels. That’s why.”

/ STATES

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed a bill allowing sales of medical cannabis in “dry leaf or plant form.”

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) launched a no-interest loan program for small businesses but said that cannabis firms are not eligible.

Maryland lawmakers sent Gov. Larry Hogan (R) a bill to allow students to use medical cannabis at schools.

The New York Assembly majority leader said that it is more important than ever to legalize marijuana as a possible recession approaches.

A Louisiana judge said he opposes releasing people incarcerated for nonviolent offenses during the coronavirus pandemic because “members of this particular population are overwhelmingly drug addicts who have the worst hygiene of anyone in the community, other than the mentally ill.”

Colorado regulators released average market rates for retail marijuana.

Washington State regulators will consider an emergency rule on marijuana excise taxes and withdrawal of a rule on testing on Friday.

Here’s a look at Alabama’s harsh marijuana laws.


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

Berkeley, California officials mandated that all marijuana sales be conducted via delivery amid the coronavirus pandemic.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was indicted on drug trafficking charges by U.S. prosecutors.

The Mexican Senate’s move to suspend activities due to the coronavirus outbreak could jeopardize efforts to pass a marijuana legalization bill before a Supreme Court deadline.

Canadian regulators asked marijuana testing labs to help with coronavirus testing.

New Zealand’s medical cannabis program is on track to launch on April 1.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study did “not find a relationship between medical marijuana dispensaries and referrals for investigations of child maltreatment.”

A study of an occupational safety and health training for marijuana cultivation workers found that it “successfully reached cannabis employees in cultivation, compliance, and management” and that  participants “felt that the training was of high quality and addressed gaps in their knowledge related to safety and health hazards in the cannabis industry.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Marijuana Policy Project, NORML, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, National Cannabis Industry Association and other groups sent a letter urging law enforcement and governors to reduce arrests for marijuana and grant clemency to people incarcerated for cannabis offenses during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nevada Dispensary Association said its members are committed to complying with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D) order requiring marijuana sales to be conducted by delivery only.

The National Cannabis Industry Association delayed its annual Cannabis Business Summit & Expo to September 29 through October 1 from its initially scheduled June dates due to the coronavirus outbreak.

/ BUSINESS

DLA Piper launched a hemp and CBD practice.

Harvest Health & Recreation Inc. and Verano Holdings, LLC mutually agreed to cancel a pending merger.

Arkansas dispensaries sold more medical cannabis last Friday than on any other single day since the program’s launch.

The Selan Law Firm is being sued by a California marijuana dispensary license applicant who alleges its attorneys smoked cannabis during business meetings and provided incompetent legal services.

/ CULTURE

The Onion joked about the pros and cons of CBD for pets.

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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.
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