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NY gov says cannabis too complicated for remote voting (Newsletter: April 21, 2020)



ACLU report on racist marijuana enforcement; Politicians & celebs tweet on 4/20; Ben & Jerry’s pushes legalization while other brands market on 4/20

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An American Civil Liberties Union report released on 4/20 sheds light on ongoing racial disparities in marijuana enforcement, finding that black people are still nearly four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than whites are, despite similar use rates.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said legalizing marijuana might be too complicated an issue for lawmakers to negotiate and pass remotely via Zoom meetings during the coronavirus pandemic but that it’s up to them.

  • “In terms of passing legislation remotely, they can do that. That’s up to them. As far as getting into a very complex issue that requires real analysis and real data and trying to do that on Zoom conferences, I don’t know that that’s the best way to do it, but that’s up to them also.”

On 4/20, as marijuana becomes more mainstream, a growing number of major brands—including White Castle, Panda Express, Insomnia Cookies and Del Taco—marketed off of the stoner holiday with discounts and deals. But Ben & Jerry’s stood out by focusing on cannabis legalization activism rather than consumerism.

A huge number of federal and state elected officials and candidates—including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted about the need to reform marijuana laws on 4/20.

Celebrities and organizations—including Neil deGrasse Tyson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Voto Latino and PETA—posted 4/20 tweets noting the marijuana holiday.


The Drug Enforcement Administration is reopening public comments on an interim final rule concerning electronic prescriptions for controlled substances.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) published an op-ed calling for an end to the war on drugs.


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said the state moved to address racial disparities in marijuana law enforcement by enacting legalization.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) noted that 4/20 is a marijuana holiday and said that smoking anything can complicate coronavirus diagnosis and treatment.

A Florida court rejected a case from medical cannabis companies that claimed regulators did not act on their dispensary applications in a timely manner.

California’s Veterinary Medical Board will discuss use of medical cannabis products for animals on Thursday.

Hawaii regulators published tips on safe medical cannabis storage.

A Massachusetts regulator said she wants veterans to be able to submit Department of Veterans Affairs medical records in lieu of a formal doctor’s recommendation to qualify for the state’s medical cannabis program.

Ohio regulators released 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.

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Denver, Colorado officials are streamlining the process for marijuana business transfer of ownership applications.


A study found that “cannabis may have a beneficial impact on HIV-associated [blood-brain barrier] injury.”


The National Consumers League, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and Consumer Federation of America sent a letter urging state attorneys general to take action against CBD companies.


Canopy Growth Corporation launched a new line of CBD creams.

Medicine Man Technologies Inc. changed its brand name to Schwazze.

Columbia Care, Inc. launched a virtual dispensary shopping experience.

Supera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. filed a patent application for “genetically modified cannabis sativa plants and modified cannabinoid compounds for treatment of substance addiction and other disorders.”


The Onion made fun of the economic impact of legalizing marijuana.

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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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