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Oklahoma voters approve medical cannabis (Newsletter: June 27, 2018)

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Legalization supporters win CO & MD primaries; SCOTUS cites medical marijuana in abortion case; Jamaica official touts cannabis “birthright”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oklahoma voters overwhelmingly approved a far-reaching medical cannabis ballot initiative. But Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued a statement shortly after the result was called indicating that she plans to work with lawmakers to scale back the measure.

Democratic voters in Colorado and Maryland selected vocal marijuana legalization supporters as their gubernatorial nominees.

The U.S. Supreme Court cited doctors’ free speech rights on medical cannabis in case about abortion.

A top Jamaican official says marijuana is the nation’s “birthright” and a government press release adds:

  • “Jamaica, it is said, has some of the best or finest marijuana strains in the world, which include the Jamaican Lamb’s Breath…and Marley’s Collie.”

/ FEDERAL

The White House is actively soliciting criminal justice reform groups for potential candidates for presidential clemency.

President Trump released a statement in commemoration of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up a case challenging whether asset forfeiture following a drug bust violated the Constitution’s prohibition on “excessive fines.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) touted the Farm Bill’s hemp legalization provisions in a floor speech.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) posted a video of himself talking about industrial hemp.

Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY), during a House floor speech, urged his colleagues to “consider the downstream effects on communities that were already once left behind by the failed war on drugs.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana legalization would create thousands of jobs, increase tax revenue, and address structural racism in our criminal justice system. Let us follow Canada’s example and legalize marijuana on a federal level.”

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got one new cosponsor, for a total of 94.

The U.S. House bill to require the licensing of more cannabis cultivators for research got one new cosponsor, for a total of 38.

Maine Republican U.S. Senate nominee Eric Brakey, currently a state senator, congratulated Oklahoma on its medical cannabis victory.

/ STATES

The Maine Senate voted to defeat a proposal to repeal marijuana legalization.

The Delaware House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a marijuana legalization bill on Wednesday. Earlier this week, Marijuana Moment took a look at the bill’s chances of passage and its provisions.

New Jersey lawmakers are delaying consideration of marijuana legalization legislation until later in the summer. Separately, an assemblywoman filed a bill to allow home delivery of medical cannabis.

A Florida appeals court rejected a request to immediately send a case challenging the ban on smoking medical cannabis to the state Supreme Court. Meanwhile, attorney John Morgan, who largely funded the medical cannabis voter initiative, says he is considering starting a full marijuana legalization effort for the 2020 ballot.

Massachusetts regulators approved an equity plan to ensure participation in the marijuana industry by communities that have been targeted by the war on drugs. They also voted to prioritize consideration of cannabis testing lab license applications.

The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Board of Education wants a pending marijuana legalization bill amended to ban cannabis on campuses and from public school system buildings and to exempt the agency from discriminating against employees who consume marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government will make an announcement about marijuana legalization regulations on Wednesday.

/ ADVOCACY

The California Cannabis Industry Association dropped its affiliate status with the National Cannabis Industry Association in favor of joining its Allied Associations Program.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that medical cannabis “can be an efficacious tool to make more effective the management of chronic pain and its consequences on functional and psychological dimension.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 53% of Texas voters support legalizing marijuana, with an additional 31% backing medical cannabis.

A poll of New York voters funded by prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that, when given options, 45% support legalizing marijuana, 23% back keeping current medical cannabis and decriminalization policies and 18% want to repeal decriminalization. Just 9% agree with SAM that  “all marijuana use and sales” should remain “completely illegal.”

/ BUSINESS

Lagunitas Brewing Company is launching a line of THC and CBD-infused sparkling waters.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. signed a $200 million financing deal with a major Canadian bank.

Treatwell CEO Alison Ettel has resigned in the wake of a backlash against her calling the police on an eight-year-old girl who was selling water outside her office. A number of marijuana businesses severed ties with the company in recent days.

/ CULTURE

Rapper The Game is being sued over his role in marijuana-focused cryptocurrency ParagonCoins.

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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 Marijuana.com and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

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