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Pelosi backs cannabis banking in COVID bill, rep says (Newsletter: April 13, 2020)

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VA gov approves marijuana decrim bill; Study: Cannabis eases opioid withdrawal symptoms; Feds tout funds for cannabinoid research

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other congressional leaders support including marijuana business banking access in an upcoming coronavirus relief aid package, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) said after presenting the issue before the Democratic caucus.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) approved a marijuana decriminalization bill, while recommending a change to push back the due date of a study on broader cannabis legalization by one year. He also signed a bill that legalizes medical CBD or THC-A oil to expand on a prior law that simply offered patients an affirmative defense.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a federal agency, is promoting the availability of funding for research on marijuana’s components as painkilling alternatives to opioids.

A study from Johns Hopkins University found that “cannabis may improve opioid withdrawal symptoms and that the size of the effect is clinically meaningful.”

  • “On average, withdrawal severity scores nearly doubled on days cannabis was not used.”

/ FEDERAL

Surgeon General Jerome Adams is being criticized for comments urging people of color in particular to avoid drug use during the coronavirus outbreak.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) called President Trump a “drug pusher” over his support for hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for coronavirus.

West Virginia Democratic Senate candidate Paula Jean Swearengin tweeted, “Hemp and cannabis can once again be a cash crop for West Virginia but in order to see real success we must decriminalize cannabis on a federal level and legalize production within our state.”

Oregon Democratic congressional candidate Albert Lee tweeted, “End the War on Drugs, eliminate mandatory minimums, apply those funds to treating drug dependency & providing supports to marginalized communities that have been oppressed and held back by institutional & structural racism.”

/ STATES

Connecticut’s Senate president said that marijuana legalization is too complicated to address this year even if lawmakers return to session following the coronavirus pandemic.

Maine regulators are delaying the launch of recreational marijuana sales due to the coronavirus outbreak.

New Hampshire regulators are extending medical cannabis patients renewal deadlines during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alaska regulators are expected to vote on emergency coronavirus-related regulations for marjuana businesses on Wednesday.

Washington State regulators sent 4/20-related social distancing guidelines to marijuana businesses to follow during the coronavirus outbreak.

Texas regulators filed an emergency rule to protect hemp and other crops from the European corn borer.

The CEO of High Times is running for a seat in Utah’s House of Representatives.

California regulators delayed a public hearing on proposed regulations for cannabis appellations of origin to May 6.


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ LOCAL

A lab housed in the Anoka County, Minnesota sheriff’s office will test cannabis products for THC content to determine if they are legal hemp or illegal marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found “behavioral economic evidence that cannabis access may modestly reduce demand for opioids in persons who have pain.”

A study identified “three non‐exclusive motivations for large cannabis firms’ participation in the space; to seek profit, to mitigate social inequity and to provide cannabis as medicine.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Consumers League, Consumer Federation of America and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America sent a letter urging major retailers to protect consumers from “unscrupulous vendors” making unsubstantiated claims about CBD products and coronavirus.

The Boston Herald editorial board called a lawsuit against Massachusetts’s shutdown of recreational marijuana businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak “tone-deaf.”

/ BUSINESS

Caliva launched its own delivery service and is no longer working with Eaze.

LivWell Enlightened Health acquired Sweet Grass Kitchen.

New England Treatment Access is reducing its workforce and placing employees on furloughs in light of Massachusetts’s shutdown of recreational marijuana businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The New York Times looks at how marijuana delivery service personnel are trying to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

/ CULTURE

Dr. Drew Pinsky spoke about his past use of marijuana and other drugs.

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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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