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NY legalization study details emerge (Newsletter: April 18, 2018)



FDA likely to approve cannabis drug; Koch group praises Trump marijuana pledge; Lyft’s 4/20 deal

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New York officials began to release details about the marijuana legalization study being conducted at the direction of Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration committee is poised to approve cannabis-based drug Epidiolex from GW Pharmaceuticals.


U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb faced questions about the rescheduling of marijuana and its potential medical benefits during a House hearing.

The U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City released a report on legal marijuana’s economic impact on Colorado.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said that Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is expected to run for the top GOP House spot following the retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), would be an improvement for marijuana policy.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she would use President Trump’s pledge to respect state marijuana laws to advocate that Washington, D.C. be able to set its own cannabis policies as well.

Congresswoman Jacky Rosen (D-NV) published an op-ed on marijuana’s potential to reduce opioid issues.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said in a House floor speech, “The President has proposed doubling down on mass incarceration and the war on drugs, which drains the African American labor pool.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reached a prescription drug information-sharing agreement with 48 state attorneys general.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced changes to annual opioid production limits.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is filing legislation to impose jail time for pharmaceutical executives whose companies engage in manipulative practices when marketing opioids.


Maine lawmakers gave final approval to marijuana legalization implementation legislation that Gov. Paul LePage (R) has promised to veto.

A Florida judge lifted a stay, allowing a man to begin growing his own medical cannabis.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is urging legislators to clarify laws on medical cannabis home cultivation.

Louisiana regulators approved the state’s first medical cannabis pharmacy licenses. Some lawmakers are unhappy with the award process.

New Jersey regulators are considering further expansions to the state’s medical cannabis program.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (R) noted the two-year anniversary of his signing medical cannabis into law.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) expressed frustration that President Trump visited his state to announce an opioids plan that didn’t include new funding.

Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous tweeted about legalizing marijuana.

Arkansas’s attorney general is filed an amended notice of appeal concerning a ruling that halted the medical cannabis licensing award process.

A California Assembly committee approved a bill to protect medical cannabis patients’ privacy. Separately, regulators released guidance about marijuana business licensees participation in “temporary cannabis events.”

New Mexico regulators are expected to decide soon on adding new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Washington State regulators are considering allowing medical cannabis delivery. They also released a list of pesticides that are approved for use in marijuana cultivation.


A Bethlehem, Pennsylvania city councilwoman is proposing a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

New York City’s public advocate is calling for marijuana legalization. But Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said he’s concerned about businesses trying to “hook” kids under legalization.

Jurupa Valley, California is being sued for alleged discrimination against a church that uses marijuana as a sacrament.


Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne is calling for marijuana legalization and apologizing to Rastafarians who have been harmed by prohibition.


Freedom Partners, an advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers, cheered the announcement that President Trump would support legislation to respect state marijuana laws.

The Canadian Mental Health Association is supporting decriminalizing all drugs.

The Utah Psychiatric Association is opposing a proposed medical cannabis ballot measure.


A study concluded that “medical marijuana users were significantly more likely  to report medical use of prescription drugs in the past 12 months.”

A survey conducted by Colorado officials found that “69 percent of cannabis consumers have driven under the influence of marijuana at least once in the past year—with 27 percent admitting they drive high almost daily.”

The Washington Poison Center tracked calls about “cannabis exposures” over time.


A poll found that New York voters support legalizing marijuana, 52%-44%.


Lyft is partnering with Super Troopers 2 to offer discounted rides on 4/20 in legal marijuana states.

Nike is releasing a new sneaker called “White Widow” for 4/20.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. is acquiring Sunlight Supply, the top U.S. distributor of hydroponics products, for $450 million in cash and stock.

MassRoots reported a net loss of $44 million in 2017. (Full disclosure: I am a former employee and minority shareholder in the company.)

A survey found that “the average 4/20 consumer is expected to spend $146.12 this Friday, with $71.35 of that going toward the actual product.”

/ CULTURE     

Musician Ziggy Marley is concerned about the use of pesticides on marijuana.

The California group known as The Waldos says they have proof they invented 420.

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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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