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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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  • Sandy Jones: “I strongly believe that thoughtful regulation and taxation of the marijuana industry will create jobs, and revenues for the federal and state fiscs, which could be used for many other state and federal programs in this country.  The coverage that you provide is extensive, and unbiased (a good thing) and I am thankful for the information that is provided to all of us.”

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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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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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Cannabis biz want tax amnesty after robberies (Newsletter: November 30, 2021)

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CDC gives marijuana employment advice; KY lawmaker prefiles cannabis bills; FL drug decrim measure; 2021 ‘unprecedented’ for legalization, NORML says

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is offering workplace marijuana policy advice to businesses that employ drivers, including that “zero-tolerance…may not be possible” due to rights granted under certain legalization laws.

A Florida representative filed a bill to decriminalize possession of all drugs and provide relief for people with existing convictions.

A Kentucky representative announced she is pre-filing bills for the 2022 session that would legalize possession, limited sales and home cultivation of marijuana. One of the measures would put the cannabis question on the ballot for voters to decide.

Members of Oakland, California’s marijuana industry community—led by Supernova Women—held a press conference calling for tax amnesty after police failed to protect their businesses from a spate of robberies.

A new review from NORML shows that marijuana reform had “unprecedented” success in state legislatures in 2021. From legalization, to decriminalization to medical access, many consumer-friendly cannabis bills were enacted this year.

/ FEDERAL

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Rahul Gupta participated in a World Anti-Doping Agency meeting.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) tweeted, “The #StatesReformAct is an example of legislation that can break through partisan lines. The time is now to take down the temperature in Washington and to get things done for the American people.”

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted, “Fentanyl is coming into this country from Mexico.  Fentanyl is used to spike most illegal drugs including marijuana.  It is lethal in very small doses. Close the border to drug traffickers.   It’s not a coincidence it is a record death year and a record open border year.”

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Charles Booker tweeted, “When I was in the legislature, I sponsored a bill to legalize cannabis because I’m tired of seeing our communities criminalized. I’ll take this fight to Washington in 2022.  It’s time to get this done.”

/ STATES

Maryland lawmakers may vote to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia in a special session next week.

Montana lawmakers are seeking funding to create a new subcommittee to monitor the implementation of marijuana legalization.

Massachusetts regulators are pressing lawmakers to update marijuana laws to better achieve social equity goals.

Connecticut regulators posted draft marijuana social equity criteria.

California regulators are working to standardize cannabis testing.

Florida regulators filed a notice of receiving a petition for a waiver from a requirement that hemp testing labs be registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Vermont regulators will meet to discuss marijuana issues on Tuesday and Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Only 9 percent of New York towns and villages have moved to ban marijuana retailers and on-site consumption facilities.

Detroit, Michigan officials are hosting an event about Eaze’s Momentum cannabis business accelerator on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s medical officer of health and police department are recommending that the city ask the federal government for permission to decriminalize drugs.

The United Arab Emirates is relaxing some drug penalties, including for travelers who bring THC-containing products into the country.

Guernsey officials began issuing medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Malta’s opposition Nationalist Party continued to criticize the government’s marijuana reform legislation.

A Spanish court acquitted the directors of a cannabis association.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Researchers developed a breath test for “determining recent cannabis use within the impairment window after smoking.”

A study provided “preliminary observational evidence that cannabis may mitigate some of the negative effects of subtherapeutic [methadone maintenance treatment] dosing.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. adults support legalizing marijuana, 57 percent to 27 percent.

A poll found that Germans are divided on marijuana legalization, with 43 percent in favor and 43 percent against.

The SETI Institute hosted a podcast about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

Leafly reported $31.0 million in revenue for the first nine months of the year and a net loss of $6.8 million.

Atai Life Sciences increased its stake in Compass Pathways to 20.8 percent and reportedly plans to grow that to 29 percent in the coming weeks.

High Tide Inc. closed its acquisition of an 80 percent interest in NuLeaf Naturals, LLC, with a three-year option to purchase the remainder.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. is consolidating shares ahead of its listing on the Nasdaq.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. issued an environmental, social and governance report.

MediaJel and Smart are partnering on a programmatic ad platform for the cannabis market.

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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Mexican cannabis bill draft circulates ahead of vote (Newsletter: November 29, 2021)

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More senators push marijuana banking in NDAA; PA lieutenant gov. invites cannabis pardon applications; MD drug paraphernalia decrim override urged

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Mexican lawmakers are circulating a revised draft of a marijuana legalization bill that the Senate majority leader wants to pass by December 15.

Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) sent a letter urging passage of marijuana banking legislation through the National Defense Authorization Act.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who chairs the Board of Pardons, is urging as many people as possible to apply to have their marijuana convictions pardoned before he leaves office.

A regional ambassador with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition authored an op-ed urging Maryland lawmakers to override Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of a bill to decriminalize drug paraphernalia.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge delayed the sentencing of a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor convicted of extorting marijuana businesses.

/ STATES

Texas’s attorney general is being asked by the Montgomery County district attorney to issue an opinion saying that possessing or selling delta-8 THC products is a crime.

Utah’s Senate minority whip and other lawmakers are criticizing regulators for delays in implementing a law to make it easier for providers to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Florida representatives filed a bill on medical cannabis testing, delta-8 THC and other issues.

A Missouri Republican representative spoke at a psychedelics conference.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security has failed to comply with a law requiring it to conduct a public education campaign about the process for sealing marijuana conviction records.

Arizona regulators proposed revised marijuana social equity rules.

New York regulators published a checklist for cannabinoid hemp packaging and labeling.

Nevada marijuana regulators will hold a public hearing on December 14.

Colorado regulators will hold a hearing on a proposed fee increase for medical cannabis registry applications on December 15.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

San Francisco, California police were caught on tape appearing to watch as a marijuana dispensary was robbed, without taking action to intervene.

The Missoula, Montana City Council will consider marijuana rules on Monday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Italy’s labor and youth policy ministers said that the incoming German government’s commitment to legalize marijuana means that their country should also seriously consider the reform.

A Philippine vice presidential candidate said he supports allowing medical cannabis access.

Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration announced another public consultation on standards for medical cannabis imports.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested an “antipsychotic medication sparing effect of CBD-cigarettes as adjunctive treatment of acute psychosis.”

A study indicated that “recreational cannabis legalization is associated with decreasing enrollment in medical cannabis programs, particularly for males.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The American Psychiatric Association is reportedly working on a policy statement about psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

A budtender at Burnside Buds in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada who was allegedly fired for union organizing has been reinstated.

/ CULTURE

Jared Leto spoke about getting fired from working at a movie theater for selling marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Feds’ cannabis interference on Indian land (Newsletter: November 26, 2021)

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AGs push Congress for marijuana cooperation with states; Study looks at dogs getting high from THC in poop

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Pueblo of Picuris Indian tribe in New Mexico is accusing the federal government of a discriminatory double standard after a medical cannabis patient’s garden on tribal land was raided while marijuana businesses across many states operate without interference.

The bipartisan attorneys general of Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota and Vermont sent a letter urging Congress to emphasize federal-state cooperation in any plan to legalize marijuana.

A study concluded that “ingestion of human feces containing THC may lead to marijuana toxicosis in dogs.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wrote in an op-ed that he discussed marijuana legalization and other issues with students at a youth summit.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Including #SAFEBanking in the final NDAA will help safeguard our financial system, reduce the public safety risk & help support Veteran & minority-owned businesses now. It will help pave the way for broader, comprehensive cannabis reform & create a safer, more equitable industry.”

/ STATES

A New York senator sent a press release about his new bill to add transgender and non-binary people to the marijuana equity program.

A Tennessee representative tweeted about touring a hemp and CBD business.

Ohio regulators posted a draft resolution eliminating the medical cannabis tier system and setting a 90-day supply of plant material as nine ounces, regardless of THC percentage.

Alaska regulators will host working group meetings about marijuana products next month and in January.

Colorado regulators will host a work group meeting about changing marijuana business licensee designations on December 3.

Michigan regulators will hold a public meeting on marijuana issues on December 9.

The Tennessee Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on December 10.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Los Angeles, California regulators published a report about the city’s marijuana licensing program.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand lawmakers passed a bill to legalize drug checking services.

Lithuanian lawmakers defeated an amendment to decriminalize drugs.

Argentina’s government approved a research project on cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes.

India’s Food Safety and Security Authority approved regulations for hemp seeds and oil as food ingredients.

Luxembourg is experiencing medical cannabis supply issues.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “recreational marijuana legalization increased the clearance rates for violent crime overall and aggravated assault” but that “the positive effect of legalization appears to shrink over time.”

A study suggested that “psychedelic-use may causally influence metaphysical beliefs—shifting them away from ‘hard materialism.’”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs closed its acquisition of Bay, LLC.

Vaseline released a new hemp-infused soothing product.

/ CULTURE

Deftones launched a line of marijuana products.

CNN will air the sixth installment of its “WEED” series on Sunday.

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Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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