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NJ lawmakers to put legal cannabis on ballot for voters to decide (Newsletter: November 19, 2019)

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Congress schedules marijuana vote; Sanders pledges legal cannabis ‘in every state’; AOC backs drug decrim

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There are now 1,232 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Judiciary Committee has officially scheduled a vote on a bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs for a vote this Wednesday, and Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) filed a new amendment to the legislation that addresses racially disproportionate enforcement and the need for equity in the cannabis industry.

New Jersey lawmakers are giving up on efforts to pass marijuana legalization during the lame duck session and instead filed referendum legislation to put the question before voters on the 2020 ballot.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, said he wants to “make marijuana legal in every state in the country.” Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is facing a backlash over his comments on cannabis as a potential gateway drug from rival contenders Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Andrew Yang, as well as from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is calling for the decriminalization of possession of all drugs—a difference with her favored presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has said several times this year that he doesn’t favor decriminalizing drugs beyond marijuana.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal of a forfeiture case involving head shops that allegedly sold synthetic cannabinoid products.

National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg expressed concerns about the challenges of detecting marijuana-impaired driving.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “There is a lot of talk out there on where I stand when it comes to our marijuana laws. Here are the facts:” and added a graphic that lays out some of his positions.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and expunging records.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), a presidential candidate, said that he supports medical cannabis and getting the federal government out of the way of state marijuana laws.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, in response to former Vice President Joe Biden (D) saying marijuana could be a gateway drug, “It is not. Prohibition is a gateway to racist policing practices and mass incarceration, though.”

Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL) tweeted, “Repeatedly Floridians vote overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to protect our environment, allow medical marijuana, restore felony voting rights (to name a few) & Republican legislatures & Republican governors do whatever the hell they want.”

/ STATES

The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled that people on probation can use medical cannabis unless there is evidence that doing so would undermine the goals of their sentence.

Indiana Senate Democrats said that a top priority for the 2020 session is to pass a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Washington State regulators banned vaping products containing vitamin E acetate.

Ohio regulators expanded a medical cannabis recall to include additional products over their “development using a non-compliant process.”

Nevada regulators suspended the license of a marijuana testing lab found to have reported inaccurate and misleading potency results.

Oklahoma regulators denied a public records request for a list of medical cannabis dispensary locations.

Florida regulators have not yet released an expected report on the state’s medical cannabis program. Separately, a representative filed a bill to add sickle cell disease as a medical marijuana qualifying condition.

The new chair of the Illinois Senate Revenue Committee said that one of her priorities is “ensuring cannabis revenue helps communities hurt by failed drug policies.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands’s medical cannabis program will likely be delayed due to contention about the confirmation of regulatory body members.

Minnesota regulators held a hemp listening session.

Here’s a look at New Mexico’s lax security regulations for medical cannabis businesses.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services launched a public service campaign about methamphetamine featuring the slogan, “Meth: We’re On It.”


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 Boston, Massachusetts City Council is expected to vote on a proposal to overhaul the approval process for marijuana businesses on Wednesday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that recreational marijuana laws are “linked to decreased binge drinking prevalence among students age 21 and older” but are “associated with increased sedative misuse among minors.”

A study suggested that “ayahuasca may show potential as an intervention for suicidality.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Anti-marijuana organization Smart Colorado is floating potential amendments to cannabis banking legislation it wants the Senate to consider.

Members of the North Dakota Young Republicans voted to back a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

MomsRising tweeted, “Marijuana, like alcohol and tobacco, does not belong as a federally scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Descheduling cannabis would permit states to establish their own marijuana regulations absent undue federal interference. #WeWantMORE”

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana praised former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) comments about cannabis’s potentially being a gateway drug.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reported $70.7 million in quarterly revenue.

Colorado retailers sold more than $155 million worth of marijuana products in September.

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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.)

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Border Patrol union head admits legal cannabis disrupts cartels (Newsletter: February 17, 2020)

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Bloomberg anti-marijuana remarks on tape; Support grows for veterans cannabis research bill; Study examines CBD for horse stress & pain

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The 2015 recording of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), a presidential candidate, discussing racist police practices that has generated controversy in recent days also contains previously unreported comments about marijuana legalization.

  • “It is just a terrible, terrible idea… I just can’t imagine why society is doing this… If you’re my age, of course you smoked a joint in the 60s—but it was very different and just because we did doesn’t make it right… Today it’s much stronger and potentially much more damaging.”

The president of the National Border Patrol Council—a labor union that represents U.S. Border Patrol agents—acknowledged in an interview that legalizing marijuana pushes cartels out of the cannabis market.

Reps. Lou Correa (D-CA) Clay Higgins (R-LA) are working to shore up support for their bill to expand medical marijuana research for veterans. Nearly a quarter of the House members are already signed on as cosponsors, but the Veterans’ Affairs Committee hasn’t yet scheduled a vote.

Marijuana Moment spoke to the lead researcher in a new study that’s examining whether CBD can help reduce stress, inflammation and obsessive compulsive behaviors in horses.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published a report on the growth of Germany’s hemp market.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The President’s new budget would end @TheJusticeDept’s policy not to interfere in states’ marijuana laws. Just more proof that federal marijuana policies are broken & outdated. I support legalization – & @SenCoryGardner & I have a bipartisan bill to end the federal marijuana ban.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), a presidential candidate, said he resigned from the board of Acreage Holdings, Inc. so he can focus on his campaign.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) visited Denver to meet with marijuana industry professionals.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Here’s our three step plan to legalize marijuana: ✅ End federal prohibition ✅ Expunge prior offenses for use ✅ Invest the tax revenue in black and brown communities across America that have been harmed by the war on drugs.”

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got two new cosponsors for a total of 104.

The House bill to shield military veterans from losing benefits over state-legal marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 17.

West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted, “I would like to open the jail cells and let everyone out who have been incarcerated for marijuana issues.  Then we can free up jail space for the real criminals.”

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) made his first appointments to the new Cannabis Compliance Board.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “Industrial hemp is creating jobs all across New Mexico! … The hemp manufacturing industry is delivering on its incredible economic potential all across New Mexico, just one example of how our investments in the state economy are reaching every corner of the state, both rural and urban.” Separately, the Senate approved a bill to limit the medical cannabis program to only in-state residents. Meanwhile, the House speaker said he will recuse himself from voting on that legislation to due to his role as an attorney for a marijuana business and patients in a related lawsuit, and the House minority leader objected to the process by which the bill is advancing.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor predicted that Republican lawmakers will come around to ending marijuana prohibition once more neighboring states enact legalization. Separately, regulators noted the two-year anniversary of medical cannabis sales in a tweet.

Kentucky’s House speaker said a floor vote on medical cannabis legalization could happen as soon as this week.

Rhode Island’s House speaker said that municipalities, rather than the state, should take the lead on regulating marijuana.

Oklahoma regulators set an April 1 deadline for all medical cannabis products to be tested prior to being sold.

The Colorado Department of Transportation partnered with Lightshade to distribute bouquets with messages about not driving under the influence of marijuana for Valentine’s Day.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office released an analysis of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) marijuana-related budget proposals.

Iowa regulators voted on recommendations to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis program.

Here’s a look at Massachusetts’s failure to fulfill a provision of the state’s legalization law aimed at allocating marijuana tax revenue to communities harmed by the drug war and to police training.

A Missouri senator said that the fact he did not disclose an investment in a medical cannabis business while criticizing regulators in a floor speech did not represent a conflict of interest.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL

St. Kitts and Nevis lawmakers approved legislation to establish medical cannabis regulations, expand marijuana decriminalization and expunge past records.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pressed by the Labour Party’s leader about the practice of deporting people convicted of drug offenses.

The former president of the United Nations’s International Narcotics Control Board has been hired as president of the Thai Cannabis Corporation.

The chairman of the Mexico Senate Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development hosted a forum on marijuana legalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “adjunctive CBD resulted in a greater reduction in convulsive seizure frequency than placebo and a higher rate of [adverse events] in patients with [Dravet syndrome] presenting with seizures uncontrolled by concomitant antiepileptic therapy.”

A study suggested that “psilocybin may increase emotional and brain plasticity, and the reported findings support the hypothesis that negative affect may be a therapeutic target for psilocybin.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The California Cannabis Industry Association distanced itself from a labor peace agreement white paper its Human Resources Committee published after it was called out as anti-union.

Questions are being raised about whether ProTech Local 33, which says it is actively organizing marijuana industry workers, is actually a bona fide labor organization.

Local Washington, D.C. sex work activists are pushing back against the involvement of Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia, who has been accused of workplace sexual misconduct, in a planned effort to put a prostitution decriminalization measure on the city’s ballot.

/ BUSINESS

Canopy Growth Corporation reported $124 million in quarterly net revenue and a loss of $92 million.

Charlotte’s Web, Inc. is facing a proposed class action lawsuit over its alleged failure to make its website compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Pennsylvania medical cannabis dispensary Justice Grown is being sued by its former pharmacist who says she was fired after refusing to illegally sample the shop’s products.

Tests by Vertosa show that liners in aluminum cans can reduce the potency of marijuana-infused drinks.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Charles Barkley said he is open to players using cannabis medicinally.

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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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NM legal cannabis bill likely dead for 2020 (Newsletter: February 14, 2020)

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GOP lawmakers praise marijuana banking delay; Pennsylvania rep unveils new legalization plan; Study: Lasers can tell hemp and marijuana apart

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 1,273 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.

  • Philip Martin: “Along with a strong coffee, Marijuana Moment’s email update is the first thing I consume in the morning!”

https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee dealt a major procedural defeat to a marijuana legalization bill that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) had considered a priority for 2020.

Twelve Republican House members sent a letter thanking Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) for delaying consideration of a marijuana financial services bill. Meanwhile, more than 1,300 cannabis industry professionals sent a separate letter urging the chairman to hold a vote on the legislation soon.

A Pennsylvania representative revealed provisions of a newly updated marijuana legalization bill in a letter to colleagues.

  • “The failed war on drugs produced countless victims to heavy handed, unreasonable drug laws.”

A new study highlights how lasers can be used to tell hemp and marijuana apart with “100% accuracy.”

  • The device “can be an ideal tool for police officers and hemp breeders to enable highly accurate diagnostics of THCA content in plants.”

/ FEDERAL

The Library of Congress published an overview of a new local Australian marijuana legalization law.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “While investors make millions on marijuana in the states where it’s legal, hundreds of thousands of Americans are arrested and end up with criminal records for use. Bold criminal justice reform must include ending the federal prohibition of cannabis in the United States.”

/ STATES

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) spoke about the importance of justice and equity provisions in marijuana legalization legislation.

Florida’s House speaker said enacting a THC cap for medical cannabis products is a priority.

The New Jersey Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee approved a bill to shield insurance companies from being punished for working with marijuana businesses and consumers.

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on a bill to sell legal marijuana in state liquor stores.

The Minnesota House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division held a hearing on the state’s hemp program.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on a medical cannabis bill next week.

Two companies with ties to Utah lawmakers applied for medical cannabis cultivation licenses, a public records request shows.

Here’s a look at where pending Massachusetts marijuana reform bills stand in the legislature.

The California Office of Administrative Law approved emergency rules on Quick Response Code requirements for marijuana businesses..

Nevada regulators approved settlements with marijuana companies for not keeping accurate records, including with a testing lab that reported THC results appearing to be inflated by as much as 10 percent.

Georgia’s number of approved medical cannabis patients has grown by more than 70% in a year.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.


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 Los Angeles County, California district attorney is partnering with Code for America to clear up to 66,000 prior marijuana convictions from people’s records.

The Kansas City, Missouri City Council approved a measure to let people apply for pardons for past marijuana or paraphernalia possession convictions without having to pay a fee.

Denver, Colorado officials are accepting applications from people who want to serve on a new Marijuana Licensing Work Group.

/ INTERNATIONAL

South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa said the country will “open up and regulate the commercial use of hemp products” and “formulate policy on the use of cannabis products for medicinal purposes” in his State of the Nation address.

Uruguayan officials released research showing that youth marijuana consumption did not rise following legalization.

The UK’s Food Safety Authority is requiring all CBD product manufacturers to submit valid novel food authorization applications by March 31, 2021 or be taken off the shelves.

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland released a study finding that the majority of CBD products analyzed were in violation of food laws and that some posed potential safety risks for consumers.

The mayor of Amsterdam, in The Netherlands, is circulating survey results showing that foreign tourists would be less likely to visit the city if they couldn’t purchase marijuana at coffee shops.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study identified “interesting implications for the potential use of CBD in treating impairment deficits after chronic exposure to psychostimulant drugs such as METH.”

A study concluded that “few consumers can understand and apply quantitative THC labelling; in contrast, THC labels that provide ‘interpretive’ information, such as descriptors, symbols, or references to servings have greater efficacy.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of New Zealand voters found that 51% plan to vote against a marijuana legalization referendum and 39% will support it.

United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council, Teamsters locals and the California Labor Federation are asking California Democratic lawmakers to leave the California Cannabis Industry Association out of negotiations on marijuana legislation because the group allegedly circulated “a piece of anti-union literature.”

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported a quarterly loss of  $80.2 million.

CannTrust Holdings Inc. appointed a new CEO and plans to file for its license to be reinstated months after it was discovered the company illegally grew marijuana in unlicensed rooms.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. announced that the Department of Justice review period for its planned acquisition of GR Companies, Inc. has expired.

Trading of Celexus, Inc. stock was suspended by the Securities and Exchange Commission as a result of ” a lack of current and accurate information concerning” the business.

/ CULTURE

Musician David Crosby, replying to a tweet about mushrooms, said, “I know a little about the psychedelic ones but I don’t like the food ones at all.”

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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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Kentucky lawmakers approve medical cannabis bill (Newsletter: February 13, 2020)

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First gov’t psychedelic body meets; Mexico vote this month? Study: Legal marijuana reduces workers’ comp claims

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 1,268 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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The chairman of the Mexico Senate Justice Committee said the full Senate will vote to pass a marijuana legalization bill by the end of this month. But advocates are skeptical of the timeline and want changes to the current version of the legislation.

The Denver, Colorado Psilocybin Mushroom Policy Review Panel—the U.S.’s first-ever government psychedelics decriminalization body—held its inaugural meeting.

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee voted 17-1 to approve a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

A study found that legalizing medical cannabis reduces workers’ compensation claims and amounts.

  • “Medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for” workers’ compensation.

/ FEDERAL

The House of Representatives approved an environmental protection bill that includes provisions to remediate land that has been damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited two Florida medical cannabis companies for violations.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted about the expansion of hemp research at Oregon State University, saying, “Exactly how I hoped my hemp legalization bill would help grow jobs & drive innovation in Oregon & nationwide.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Together we are going to expand marijuana legalization nationwide to create good jobs, generate tax revenue, expunge prior offenses and bring restorative justice to the communities that were harmed by the failed ‘war on drugs.'”

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) tweeted, “Proud to see Colorado continuing to lead the way on cannabis reform, standing up for farmers, and innovating in this new industry.”

Virginia Democratic congressional candidate John Lesinski tweeted, “The war on drugs has clogged our legal system and cost us billions from incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders. It’s time to legalize cannabis for adult use, regulate it like alcohol, and expunge the records of those convicted of possession. It’s the right thing to do.”

/ STATES

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he is “optimistic” marijuana legalization will be included in the state budget but that he doesn’t think it can pass otherwise.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) touted progress on marijuana decriminalization in an update on the midpoint of the 2020 legislative session.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “OurTime for legal weed in PA  #StonerDatingApps”

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill to allow regulators to enter into medical cannabis agreements with Indian tribes. Bills to clarify hemp laws and expand marijuana research are also advancing through the legislature.

A Hawaii Senate committee approved a bill to allow medical cannabis edibles.

California regulators adopted a 10-year ban on being involved in hemp cultivation for people with felony drug convictions.

Ohio regulators advanced petitions to consider adding anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and cachexia as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Missouri’s top medical cannabis regulator took questions from lawmakers during a House Special Committee on Government Oversight hearing.

Michigan regulators held a public hearing on proposed marijuana rules changes.

Alaska regulators proposed changes to rules on marijuana product administrative holds and seizures.

Louisiana regulators issued a notice that they intend to adopt hemp rules.


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 said during his State of the City address that he will begin pardoning people for past marijuana possession convictions next week.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Paraguayan lawmakers debated a medical cannabis regulation bill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study “using the roll out of recreational dispensaries in Colorado in 2014” estimated that “the change in retailers’ market share of antacid medications using a difference-in-differences design. Antacid market share decreases after a dispensary enters a county by 0.85 percentage points.”

A study found that “cannabis consistently increases susceptibility to false memories.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

An informal poll of Rhode Island business leaders attending a Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce event found that they support legalizing marijuana, 52%-48%.

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted, “Obesity, the vaping and marijuana culture will finish the job of destroying the healthcare system.”

/ BUSINESS

Molson Coors reported that the warrants it has received from cannabis company Hexo Corp. lost $14.3 million in value in the past quarter.

Akerna Corp. reported quarterly revenue of approximately $3.3 million and a net loss of $4.3 million.

/ CULTURE

The Doors drummer John Densmore spoke about Jim Morrison taking psychedelics prior to a show.

The Onion made fun of the University of Colorado offering a bachelor’s degree in cannabis biology and chemistry.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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