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Paul Ryan embraces CBD and hemp (Newsletter: Oct. 31, 2018)

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More studies: Legal marijuana access reduces opioid issues; Utah campaign spending dies down after deal; Coke not interested in cannabis drinks

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is touting the medical benefits of CBD as well as the uses of industrial hemp.

Two more new studies add to evidence suggesting legal marijuana reduces opioid issues. One concluded that legalization laws are associated with lower prescriptions, doses and Medicaid spending. Another found that counties with cannabis dispensaries have fewer overdose deaths.

New Utah campaign finance reports show that fundraising and spending for committees supportive of and opposed to the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure significantly died down in the wake of a deal reached on compromise legislation earlier this month.

/ FEDERAL

A 2016 Drug Enforcement Administration filing on marijuana extracts is being challenged by the Flowering HOPE Foundation, a nonprofit.

Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and his challengers all said they support marijuana legalization during a debate.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said in a speech that he is proud of Vermont and other states that are legalizing marijuana.

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Republican challenger Steve Negron debated marijuana policy.

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) spoke in support of legalizing marijuana.

/ STATES

A Michigan judge granted a temporary restraining order on a Wednesday medical cannabis licensing deadline, which will allow dispensaries to stay open.

A New Mexico judge ordered regulators to approve two medical cannabis dispensaries.

New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) spoke about expansion of the state’s medical cannabis program.

Nevada Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak tweeted photos of himself attending the grand opening of a marijuana store.

Kansas gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy.

The Florida House of Representatives is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the state’s medical cannabis law. Separately, Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Nikki Fried and Democratic chief financial officer candidate Jeremy Ring proposed a state-run bank to serve the marijuana industry. And Democratic attorney general candidate Sean Shaw tweeted, “The voters of Florida have made their stance on medicinal marijuana extremely clear. As Attorney General, I will hold the legislature accountable and ensure that Floridians have access to the medicine that they want and need.”

California regulators issued the state’s first full annual marijuana business licenses.

Massachusetts regulators are expected to issue more final marijuana retail licenses on Thursday, but it’s still not clear when sales will begin.

Some Utah voters believe their ballots were stolen from their mailboxes due to their support for the state’s medical cannabis initiative.

South Carolina regulators offered nearly twice as many industrial hemp permits this year as in 2017.

Here’s a look at where Alabama lieutenant governor candidates stand on marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Thailand National Legislative Assembly’s public health committee is taking steps to legalize marijuana and kratom for medical research purposes by the end of the year.

Malaysian lawmakers are working on medical cannabis legislation.

Many UK doctors are wary of prescribing medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “cannabis abstinence is associated with improvements in verbal learning that appear to occur largely in the first week following last use.”

A review concluded that “in persons <25 years old, greater cannabis use is associated with more psychological symptoms, especially among those with a predisposition or existing vulnerability to such outcomes.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Michigan likely voters found that they support the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, 57%-40%.

A poll found that Rhode Island likely voters support legalizing marijuana, 56%-37%.

The Seattle Times editorial board is urging adults to do a better job of keeping marijuana edibles away from kids.

/ BUSINESS

Coca-Cola’s CEO said the company has no plans to make a cannabis beverage anytime soon.

Aphria Inc. will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday.

Wednesday is the deadline for the public to buy stock in Hightimes Holding.

/ CULTURE

Actor Ron Perlman said he doesn’t care about legalization because he’s going to obtain marijuana “wherever, however.”

TMZ looks at the rise of marijuana mansions in Los Angeles.

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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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