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NH & VT cannabis legalization votes this week (Newsletter: Jan. 9, 2018)

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KS lawmaker’s racist marijuana comments; More congressional Sessions reaction; NV gov wants Sessions to explain

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

I’ve continued to add congressional pushback to U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s marijuana policy change to my compilation post on Marijuana Moment. There are…a lot…of lawmakers from both parties who are speaking out against the move.

A Kansas representative justified marijuana prohibition by saying these racist comments:

  • “One of the reasons why, I hate to say it, was that the African Americans, they were basically users and they basically responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that. And so basically what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to do a complete reverse with people not remembering what has happened in the past.”

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a marijuana legalization bill on Tuesday.

The Vermont Senate is expected to vote on a House-passed marijuana legalization bill on Wednesday.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) will lead a meeting of a bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday to push back on the Trump administration’s marijuana policy reversal.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said he supports Sessions’s anti-cannabis move. Meanwhile, the U.S. attorney for Oklahoma’s Western District said the office’s “primary focus is going to be on multi-state drug trafficking organizations and I don’t anticipate that [federal marijuana]  memo will change what have been our practices here in this district.” But the state’s Eastern District U.S. attorney said  the move “opens up” marijuana laws, allowing his office to further “protect the citizens of the eastern district.” And the Northern District’s U.S. Attorney said his office is committed to “turning back the tide of the drug crisis.”

The Massachusetts U.S. attorney, in response to requests for more information about his cannabis enforcement plans, said he cannot “provide assurances that certain categories of participants in the state-level marijuana trade will be immune from federal prosecution.”

Delaware’s U.S. attorney said his office has “limited resources and [we] have got to be smart with how we utilize the. The public safety of the citizens of Delaware is our overarching priority, as far as I’m concerned, and that starts with violent crime.”

The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington said he would apply “principles [that] have always been at the core” of his office’s work in determining marijuana enforcement and will “focus on those who pose the greatest safety risk.”

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reiterated that Congress should consider extending existing state medical cannabis protections in a budget rider to cover broader recreational marijuana laws too.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)  said the federal marijuana change is “an incredibly destructive thing to do.”

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) tweeted that he sides with the New York Times editorial board over U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on marijuana.

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) said Sessions was within his right to rescind the Obama-era guidance, but he wants Congress to pass a law exempting medical cannabis from federal marijuana prohibition.

Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) is siding with Sessions.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is calling on his colleagues to change federal marijuana laws.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “”Even with all of the progress we’ve made, the ‘war on drugs’ continues to criminalize communities of color. There won’t be justice until we end this double standard which has ruined so many lives.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Lillian Salerno, who is challenging anti-marijuana Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), says she supports legalization.

Two of the top ten most-viewed bills on Congress.gov over the past week concern marijuana.

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) said he thinks legalization has gone “extremely well” in his state and will be reaching out to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about federal marijuana enforcement soon.

Virginia’s Senate majority leader discussed details of a limited marijuana decriminalization bill he plans to file soon.

Connecticut’s Senate president and other lawmakers will continue pushing marijuana legalization this year.

Oklahoma’s acting commissioner of health says that if voters approve a medical cannabis ballot measure, another agency should be in charge of regulations.

An Indiana senator introduced a medical cannabis bill. Separately, state officials are apologizing to businesses after erroneously citing them for selling CBD products.

A Virginia delegate introduced a bill to allow doctors to recommend CBD and THC-A oil for any condition.

Kentucky representatives filed resolutions urging Congress to remove hemp from the definition of marijuana and to incorporate safety and efficacy standards for medical cannabis.

A Pennsylvania senator is introducing a resolution calling on Congress to allow medical cannabis patients to purchase guns.

New Hampshire’s marijuana study commission met Monday. Also, the state’s medical cannabis patient count has more than doubled in the past year.

California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on January 18.

Rhode Island regulators are preparing to approve delivery plans from medical cannabis dispensaries.

Colorado regulators are asking people to submit “topics to study related to the potential adverse effects or public health impacts of marijuana use.”

An Ohio company that failed to win a medical cannabis business license is suing the state over an alleged “unconstitutional racial quota.”

/ LOCAL

Las Vegas, Nevada officials put plans for marijuana social use areas on hold after news of the federal cannabis policy change.

Former Baltimore, Maryland Mayor Kurt Schmoke (D) criticized the Trump administration’s anti-marijuana move.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Government of Canada’s Cannabis Legalization and Regulation Secretariat hired a staffer from marijuana website Lift. (Lift is now hiring a new editor and news writer.)

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Attorneys General Association said that “Dem AGs are vowing to push back on the [Trump administration’s new marijuana] directive.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is pressuring New Jersey prisons to stop banning incarcerated people from reading drug policy book “The New Jim Crow.”

The Minority Cannabis Business Association announced a new president and Board of Directors.

A fellow from the conservative Heritage Foundation says the federal anti-marijuana move is a good thing.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that state medical cannabis policies “decrease high school graduation rates by 0.36 percentage points, indicating that nearly 13,000 students will not graduate as a result of the [medical marijuana law]  implementation.”

A study found “a high degree of association between Cannabis use and the occurrence of traffic accidents with injuries of the driver.”

A study found that medical cannabis “dispensary users do not necessarily reside in the same area in which dispensaries are located and do not necessarily reflect the local population.” (Some readers reported trouble with the link to this study in Monday’s newsletter, so I’m trying again.)

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Denver Post editorial board slammed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s anti-marijuana move.

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board isn’t happy either.

Neither is the Seattle Times editorial board.

Nor the the Las Vegas Sun editorial board.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board says nothing much will change without the Cole memo.

The New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board is criticizing U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for slamming the Sessions marijuana move without sponsoring any cannabis reform legislation.

/ BUSINESS

The Canadian Securities Exchange is asking listed marijuana companies with U.S. operations to publicly detail any risks they face in light of federal enforcement policy changes.

A debit card processor has stopped working with Massachusetts medical cannabis dispensaries in light of the federal move.

Significant percentages of marijuana professionals reported witnessing or personally experiencing sexual harassment “specifically in the cannabis industry” in a survey.

Stateline looks at how the Justice Department’s marijuana policy change could further imperil marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

EdSource looks at how California universities are continuing to ban marijuana even in light of state legalization.

/ CULTURE     

Actress Meryl Streep says her son gave her marijuana-infused foot cream for Christmas.

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

Mexican cannabis bill draft circulates ahead of vote (Newsletter: November 29, 2021)

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More senators push marijuana banking in NDAA; PA lieutenant gov. invites cannabis pardon applications; MD drug paraphernalia decrim override urged

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…

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mexican lawmakers are circulating a revised draft of a marijuana legalization bill that the Senate majority leader wants to pass by December 15.

Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter urging passage of marijuana banking legislation through the National Defense Authorization Act.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who chairs the Board of Pardons, is urging as many people as possible to apply to have their marijuana convictions pardoned before he leaves office.

A regional ambassador with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition authored an op-ed urging Maryland lawmakers to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge delayed the sentencing of a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor convicted of extorting marijuana businesses.

/ STATES

Texas’s attorney general is being asked by the Montgomery County district attorney to issue an opinion saying that possessing or selling delta-8 THC products is a crime.

Utah’s Senate minority whip and other lawmakers are criticizing regulators for delays in implementing a law to make it easier for providers to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Florida representatives filed a bill on medical cannabis testing, delta-8 THC and other issues.

A Missouri Republican representative spoke at a psychedelics conference.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has failed to comply with a law requiring it to conduct a public education campaign about the process for sealing marijuana conviction records.

Arizona regulators proposed revised marijuana social equity rules.

New York regulators published a checklist for cannabinoid hemp packaging and labeling.

Nevada marijuana regulators will hold a public hearing on December 14.

Colorado regulators will hold a hearing on a proposed fee increase for medical cannabis registry applications on December 15.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

San Francisco, California police were caught on tape appearing to watch as a marijuana dispensary was robbed, without taking action to intervene.

The Missoula, Montana City Council will consider marijuana rules on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Italy’s labor and youth policy ministers said that the incoming German government’s commitment to legalize marijuana means that their country should also seriously consider the reform.

A Philippine vice presidential candidate said he supports allowing medical cannabis access.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration announced another public consultation on standards for medical cannabis imports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested an “antipsychotic medication sparing effect of CBD-cigarettes as adjunctive treatment of acute psychosis.”

A study indicated that “recreational cannabis legalization is associated with decreasing enrollment in medical cannabis programs, particularly for males.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Psychiatric Association is reportedly working on a policy statement about psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

A budtender at Burnside Buds in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada who was allegedly fired for union organizing has been reinstated.

/ CULTURE

Jared Leto spoke about getting fired from working at a movie theater for selling marijuana.

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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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Feds’ cannabis interference on Indian land (Newsletter: November 26, 2021)

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AGs push Congress for marijuana cooperation with states; Study looks at dogs getting high from THC in poop

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Pueblo of Picuris Indian tribe in New Mexico is accusing the federal government of a discriminatory double standard after a medical cannabis patient’s garden on tribal land was raided while marijuana businesses across many states operate without interference.

The bipartisan attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota and Vermont sent a letter urging Congress to emphasize federal-state cooperation in any plan to legalize marijuana.

A study concluded that “ingestion of human feces containing THC may lead to marijuana toxicosis in dogs.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote in an op-ed that he discussed marijuana legalization and other issues with students at a youth summit.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Including #SAFEBanking in the final NDAA will help safeguard our financial system, reduce the public safety risk & help support Veteran & minority-owned businesses now. It will help pave the way for broader, comprehensive cannabis reform & create a safer, more equitable industry.”

/ STATES

A New York senator sent a press release about his new bill to add transgender and non-binary people to the marijuana equity program.

A Tennessee representative tweeted about touring a hemp and CBD business.

Ohio regulators posted a draft resolution eliminating the medical cannabis tier system and setting a 90-day supply of plant material as nine ounces, regardless of THC percentage.

Alaska regulators will host working group meetings about marijuana products next month and in January.

Colorado regulators will host a work group meeting about changing marijuana business licensee designations on December 3.

Michigan regulators will hold a public meeting on marijuana issues on December 9.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on December 10.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Los Angeles, California regulators published a report about the city’s marijuana licensing program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill to legalize drug checking services.

Lithuanian lawmakers defeated an amendment to decriminalize drugs.

Argentina’s government approved a research project on cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes.

India’s Food Safety and Security Authority approved regulations for hemp seeds and oil as food ingredients.

Luxembourg is experiencing medical cannabis supply issues.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “recreational marijuana legalization increased the clearance rates for violent crime overall and aggravated assault” but that “the positive effect of legalization appears to shrink over time.”

A study suggested that “psychedelic-use may causally influence metaphysical beliefs—shifting them away from ‘hard materialism.’”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs closed its acquisition of Bay, LLC.

Vaseline released a new hemp-infused soothing product.

/ CULTURE

Deftones launched a line of marijuana products.

CNN will air the sixth installment of its “WEED” series 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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SD legal cannabis blocked by court (Newsletter: November 25, 2021)

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Germany to legalize marijuana; Taliban signs cannabis deal; Former TX gov talks psychedelics’ benefits

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…

Your good deed for the day: donate to an independent publisher like Marijuana Moment and ensure that as many voters as possible have access to the most in-depth cannabis reporting out there.

Support our work at https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Germany’s incoming government coalition officially announced plans to legalize marijuana. The plan also includes broader harm reduction measures such as drug checking services.

The South Dakota Supreme Court upheld a lower judge’s ruling that a voter-approved marijuana legalization measure is invalid. Activists are already working to put another initiative on the 2022 ballot, and lawmakers are considering the issue.

Afghanistan’s Taliban regime announced it signed a cannabis production deal with a company called Cpharm, though an Australian firm of that name later denied it is involved and said it has “no connection with cannabis or the Taliban” and has “no idea where the Taliban media release has come from.”

  • The project “will be officially launched soon and hundreds of people will get job opportunities,” the Ministry of Interior Affairs said.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)—who also served as U.S. energy secretary—spoke about his support for the therapeutic use of psychedelics to treat mental health conditions faced by military veterans.

  • “If you would have told me five years ago that Rick Perry, knuckle-dragging, right wing Republican governor of Texas, was going to be in the same sentence with the word ‘psychedelics,’ I would have bet you the farm, baby.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency tweeted, “Hemp offers new economic opportunities for America’s farmers, and RMA is pleased to offer coverage to hemp producers.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The War on Drugs has been a war on people—particularly people of color. We must end the federal prohibition on marijuana and make criminal justice reforms—I’m working with @SenBooker and @RonWyden to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to do just that.”

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted about his vote in favor of a psychedelics research amendment.

Former Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA) spoke about assisting someone with obtaining psilocybin therapy for depression.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got one new cosponsor for a total of 101.

/ STATES

The Cayuga Nation, located within New York, began selling marijuana at tribal stores.

California generated $322.34 million in marijuana tax revenue last quarter.

Massachusetts regulators rescinded a recommendation that municipalities should prioritize approval for marijuana social equity applicants. Separately, they are accepting public comment on hemp guidance.

Virginia regulators finalized rules removing the requirement to report prior marijuana convictions for asbestos, lead and home inspectors.

Oregon regulators reviewed plans to begin accepting new marijuana business license applications and approved stipulated settlement agreements for violations.

Minnesota regulators released the results of a medical cannabis survey of healthcare providers.

Maine regulators are conducting a survey about the hemp program.

Connecticut regulators posted updated stats about the medical cannabis program.

West Virginia regulators will host medical cannabis patient signup events next week.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Pima County, Arizona officials are having issues processing marijuana expungements.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg’s government gave an update on its marijuana legalization plans.

The Israeli Knesset created a new Cannabis Committee.

Ireland’s Medical Cannabis Access Program enrolled its first patient.

Mexico’s Senate hosted a forum on marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “all preclinic and clinic studies that have been reported show that, through the cannabinoid system, cannabinoids, particularly CBD, have many mechanisms that are effective in the treatment of patients infected by SARS-CoV-2.”

A study found that “adults who microdose psychedelics report health related motivations and lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to non-microdosers.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 61 percent of Massachusetts residents believe marijuana legalization has been positive for the state.

/ BUSINESS

Planet 13 Holdings Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $33 million and a net loss of $10.2 million.

An investor’s fraud and retaliation lawsuit against Bloom Farms was dismissed.

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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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