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NJ legal cannabis deal reached by governor and lawmakers (Newsletter: March 13, 2019)



Treasury pressed on marijuana banking; UN agencies call for drug decrim; GOP lawmaker speaks out on deportations for cannabis

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and legislative leaders announced a deal on marijuana legalization legislation—after months of contentious negotiations.

An executive board representing 31 United Nations agencies unanimously issued a report calling on countries around the world to decriminalize drugs.

A top Treasury Department official was pressed about marijuana businesses’ access to banks by two lawmakers during a House hearing.

Alaska’s lieutenant governor signed off on regulations allowing on-site consumption at marijuana retail stores.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) spoke out against the practice of deporting people for marijuana possession.

  • “I personally don’t think anybody…should be told to leave this country because you smoked a joint when you were 19 years old.”


President Trump said he is “very seriously” considering designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations.

President Trump’s budget request proposes slashing funding for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy by more than 95% by shifting its key programs elsewhere in the government.

The Air Force Ethics Office reportedly instructed legal offices to “stand by” for guidance on the allowability of marijuana investments by servicemembers.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “As president I will continue to fight to legalize marijuana, but we should go further—we need to expunge records and reinvest in communities most hurt by the failed drug war. Let’s focus on restorative justice, not just ending the prohibition on marijuana.”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The marijuana bill that passed the Senate this evening is the next big step to bring fairness and justice to those with marijuana convictions on their records.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted that a new model ordinance on cannabis equity “is a crucial step toward bringing our marijuana policies up to date with the American people. The @MinCannBusAssoc is doing outstanding work to make sure that social equity in the cannabis industry comes first. This continued effort will result in real change.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Proud to stand with @repblumenauer as co-chairs of the Cannabis Caucus. It’s past time to reform our nation’s outdated laws and legalize marijuana at the federal level.”

The House marijuana banking bill got five new cosponsors, for a total of 113.


The South Dakota House of Representatives overrode a hemp legalization veto from Gov. Kristi Noem (R), but there was not enough support in the Senate to do so.

The New York Senate included Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) marijuana legalization proposal in its budget legislation, with modifications.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) tweeted that “hemp is a cover for selling unregulated CBD oil and a road map to legalization of marijuana.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said he has no plans to convene a task force to study marijuana legalization, though he called Republican senators “out of touch” for blocking cannabis legislation.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) sent a press release thanking people for participating in marijuana legalization listening sessions and submitting feedback online.

Georgia’s lieutenant governor gave qualified support to expanding the state’s limited medical cannabis law.

The Utah House of Representatives approved a bill to require medical cannabis testing and other changes. The Senate made some amendments and sent it back to the House.

The chairman of the New Mexico Senate Finance Committee seems skeptical that a marijuana legalization bill will make it through his committee.

The Maryland Senate appears poised to pass legislation allowing companies to own as many as five medical cannabis dispensaries.

California lawmakers filed a bill to let local governments charter their own banks to serve the marijuana industry.

Arkansas regulators approved a second medical cannabis cultivator to begin operations.

Here’s a look at pending Massachusetts marijuana reform legislation.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 900 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.


The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors approved a proposal to permit marijuana sales and consumption at events.

Los Angeles, California’s City Council president filed a resolution aimed at accelerating expungement of marijuana convictions.

The Nassau County, New York executive said she will oppose allowing legal marijuana sales.


Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana is distancing itself from one of its operatives for the effort to defeat medical cannabis in Nebraska after it was discovered that he reportedly posted “racist, anti-Jewish and homophobic” material online.

The Nebraska Democratic Party tweeted, “Gov. Ricketts, like his buddy President Trump, only hires the best people. Right? Omaha World-Herald: Former Ricketts campaign staffer who posted hate comments is out at anti-marijuana group.”

The South Dakota Democratic Party posted a tweet encouraging people to ask their lawmakers to override a hemp veto by Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

The Illinois Republican Party tweeted, “Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are telling @GovPritzker to pump the brakes on his efforts to ram through legislation that legalizes the recreational use of marijuana.”

The Medical Society of the State of New York.  New York State Parent Teacher Association and the New York State Association of County Health Officials, among other groups, signed a letter opposing marijuana legalization in the state.


An analysis indicated that “the 2012 legalization policy in Colorado appears to reduce the number of deaths due to opioid overdoses.”

A study found that “none of the six of the most common terpenoids in Cannabis directly activated CB1 or CB2, or modulated the signalling of the phytocannabinoid agonist Δ9-THC,” suggesting that “if a phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effect exists, it is not at the CB1 or CB2 receptor level.”


The Tulsa World editorial board is happy with a medical cannabis regulation bill that Oklahoma lawmakers passed.


Acreage Holdings Inc. reported fourth quarter net losses of $217.6 million.

Weedmaps has a new CEO.

Uber’s 2019 Lost and Found index includes “medium sized medical marijuana pipe” as number nine in the list of most unique lost items left behind in cars.


The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency fielded a question about marijuana use by athletes.

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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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