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Pennsylvania lawmakers to vote on cannabis decrim (Newsletter: Oct. 9, 2018)

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Poll: Legal marijuana support continues to increase; Study tracks interesting teen cannabis use attitudes; Missouri medical marijuana ad

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A Pew poll found that support for marijuana legalization continues to increase, with Americans now backing ending cannabis prohibition by a margin of 62%-34%.

The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a marijuana decriminalization bill on Tuesday.

A  study found that teens who don’t use marijuana are becoming increasingly tolerant of their peers who do.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Customs and Border Protection data shows that border patrol seizures of marijuana are at the lowest point in more than a decade and that only a small minority of its cannabis enforcement actions involve unauthorized immigrants as opposed to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Several members of Congress expressed frustration with the White House’s position on marijuana:

  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ): “I think it’s despicable. To me this has always been an issue around justice — and restorative justice — and to see that there may be forces in the White House that are working against those issues of justice is just sad, frustrating, and, frankly, against the things that we stand for as a nation, which is truth and justice.”
  • Congressman Tom Garrett (R-VA): “Every time I speak to someone in the administration, despite what the president has said, they tell me it isn’t happening. My question is, who is in charge over there? It borders on ridiculous. The president is right on this issue. The gatekeepers need to do their job, not undermine good policy.”
  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR): “Trump is on all sides of issues, sometimes within a matter of minutes, so people shouldn’t be shocked. It is an illustration of another area where the administration has an incoherent policy framework…. They’re on the wrong side of history. They’re on the wrong side of their own base. They have something that if they actually tried to implement something that is draconian there will be open revolt, and in a way I’d love for them to do that before the November election, they’d lose the Senate. They’d lose more seats in the House.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “When more Americans are arrested for marijuana than for committing violent crimes, it’s clear that the priorities of our justice system are completely out of order. The ‘war on drugs’ has destroyed too many lives. It’s imperative that we legalize marijuana.”

Virginia congressional candidates agreed on marijuana decriminalization during a debate.

Kansas Democratic congressional candidate Alan LaPolice said marijuana should be federally decriminalized.

/ STATES

Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo signed a bill allowing medical cannabis home cultivation. The territory’s gubernatorial candidates said they back the legislation.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) is expected this week to name his appointees to the territory’s marijuana regulatory commission, and is urging mayors to name their picks soon as well.

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) incorporated a nonprofit that will work to open a safe injection site for illegal drug consumers despite federal threats.

A Missouri medical cannabis campaign released a video ad featuring an Afghanistan veteran who suffers from chronic pain and PTSD.

Colorado gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy.

Here’s a look at where Connecticut gubernatorial candidates stand on legalizing marijuana.

Pennsylvania lieutenant governor candidates debated marijuana legalization.

Massachusetts lawmakers are traveling to Portugal to study its drug decriminalization law.

As a key Florida deadline approaches for school districts to report if they plan to allow students to access medical cannabis on campus, a consulting firm representing several districts is urging its clients not to allow such use, citing concerns with federal law.

Oklahoma has a 12:1 ratio of medical cannabis dispensary license applications to patient applications.

California’s insurance commissioner released an updated list of cannabis insurance agents and brokers. Separately, regulators released a fact sheet on provisional cannabis cultivation licenses.

Michigan regulators added an additional medical cannabis licensing meeting this month.

Here’s a look at marijuana-focused lobbying spending and campaign contributions in New York.

/ LOCAL

A Green Bay, Wisconsin City Council committee voted to delay consideration of a proposed ordinance to lower marijuana possession penalties.

A Goochland County, Virginia supervisor deleted a tweet in which he suggested shooting protesters that smoked marijuana outside the office of Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD).

/ INTERNATIONAL

Welsh political party Plaid Cymru is calling for drug decriminalization.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is directing officers to avoid consuming marijuana for 28 days before shifts.

/ ADVOCACY

Smart Approaches to Marijuana and other prohibitionists are hosting a Capitol Hill briefing on cannabis legalization and opioids on Tuesday.

The president of the Medical Society of the State of New York expressed concerns about marijuana legalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “in a sample of individuals in treatment for [alcohol use disorder], using cannabis 12x/month or more during treatment is associated with increased rates of physical consequences attributed to alcohol use.”

A study suggested that “social media use was associated with affecting support for marijuana legalization and that more time spent on social media was also associated with supporting marijuana legalization.”

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis filed to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

The owners of Colorado dispensary chain Sweet Leaf reached an agreement with regulators that will allow them to sell their licenses following multiple violations.

Tilray, Inc. completed an acquisition of Chilean company Alef Biotechnology SpA.

A study found that “small community banks in marijuana states are, on average, further from the best practice frontier relative to medium-to-large banks.”

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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.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-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.)

Newsletter

Vaping outbreak hasn’t hurt legal cannabis support, Gallup poll shows (Newsletter: October 23, 2019)

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Feds warn another CBD company; Senator compares marijuana claims to old tobacco ads; Study: Legalization doesn’t increase youth cannabis use

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new Gallup poll found that Americans support legalizing marijuana, 66%-33%. That’s the same level of support the firm found last year, indicating that cannabis-related vaping injuries and surgeon general warnings have not turned voters against ending prohibition. The survey shows majority support across party and racial lines, with 81 percent of people under 30 now on board.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) compared medical cannabis claims to decades-old tobacco ads in a floor speech.

  • “We’re hearing a lot of the same happy talk with regard to marijuana and none of the facts that we need to understand about the public health impact.”

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission sent another warning letter to a CBD company over allegedly making unsupported health claims about its products.

A scientific review concluded that state medical marijuana laws “increase adult but not adolescent cannabis use” and “may reduce some opioid-related harms,” while recreational legalization seems to have “little impact on the prevalence of adolescent cannabis use.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing changes to processes for managing quotas for production of controlled substances.

U.S. Tax Court ruled that Harborside Inc. owes a tax deficiency of approximately $11 million, down from an Internal Revenue Service claim of $36 million.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he thinks the time is “not too far off” until more Republicans embrace marijuana reform.

The House bill to protect veterans from losing their benefits over marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 10.

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the legislature’s move to give lawmakers more direct control over cannabis regulations.

PolitiFact ruled that a claim from Florida’s agriculture commissioner about using hemp to replace plastics, styrofoam and concrete is “mostly false.”

Massachusetts regulators are removing medical cannabis patient registration and renewal fees.

The Connecticut legislature’s Regulations Review Committee approved adding Tourette syndrome, intractable pain and other disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Maryland regulators plan two independent reviews of their medical cannabis licensing process.

A Virginia judge dismissed charges against a man after the state lab said it couldn’t distinguish between hemp flower and marijuana.

A South Dakota grand jury indicted on drug charges a Colorado man who claimed he was transporting hemp to Minnesota.

Washington State regulators busted an unlicensed marijuana retailer.

A New Jersey Reentry Services Commission released a report that endorses legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition. Separately, a senator published an op-ed taking issue with claims that cannabis legalization will benefit communities of color.

Michigan regulators published a marijuana licensing report.


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

The Miami Beach, Florida City Commission approved an ordinance outlawing public smoking of marijuana and hemp.

Cincinnati, Ohio city councilmembers filed a proposal to remove misdemeanor marijuana convictions from consideration in  background checks for city hiring.

Denver, Colorado’s auditor plans to review the city’s marijuana taxation program next year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on marijuana and driving found that “smoked cannabis (12.5% THC) led to an acute decrease in speed in young adults,” that “there was no clear effect of smoked cannabis on lateral control” and that “there was little evidence of residual effects of smoked cannabis on driving performance.”

A study “explored the ways in which marijuana using mothers come to identify as such and how they structure their relationships and parenting as a result.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Safe Access New Mexico is asking Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) to direct the legislature to consider several medical cannabis bills during the 2020 session.

/ BUSINESS

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.’s CEO said that better-than-expected quarterly results were due in part to shorting cannabis stocks.

Cresco Labs Inc. announced that a Department of Justice review period for its planned acquisition of Origin House has expired.

The Weedmaps Museum of Weed will host an event on cannabis’s role in treating people with HIV/AIDS in conjunction with LGBTQ History Month.

Sparx launched an ad campaign modeled on old anti-drug public service announcements.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg signed on as a brand ambassador for Seedo’s marijuana growing machine.

The brother of Jimi Hendrix settled a lawsuit with the late musician’s estate and agreed to stop using his name and likeness to sell marijuana and alcohol products.

Podcaster Joe Rogan said, in response to a cryptic tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Did you steal some of my weed when you left my studio?”

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Newsletter

Senate to hold cannabis and health hearing this week (Newsletter: October 22, 2019)

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USDA says hemp regs coming soon; Leading Mexican lawmaker backs legalizing drugs; Michael J. Fox Foundation supports marijuana research

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control will hold a hearing focused on “Marijuana and America’s Health” on Wednesday. The Surgeon General Jerome Adams, National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow and several academics are scheduled to testify.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky testified before a Senate committee that rules implementing hemp legalization will be filed “within the next couple of weeks.”

The head of Mexico’s ruling party in the Chamber of Deputies says the country should legalize drugs—starting with marijuana—to combat cartel violence.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is supporting three pieces of pending congressional legislation to expand marijuana research.

  • “Current policies hinder comprehensive medical research on cannabis, making it difficult to generate the evidence needed for clear recommendations.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We must legalize marijuana the right way. That means correcting failed drug policies that disproportionately hurt people of color, & creating new opportunities for people of color to participate in the industry.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana has long been a driving force for mass incarceration and it’s about time we change our outdated laws. We are closer than ever to legalizing marijuana and providing restorative justice to communities most impacted by the failed #WarOnDrugs.”

Former Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA), a U.S. Senate candidate, tweeted, “Decriminalize at federal level. Let states vote the policies they want w/respect to #cannabis. Current policy makes it a cash business (more dangerous), unevenly incarcerates-making criminals of people who shouldn’t be (disproportionately minority) & makes zero practical sense.”

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is considering filing a lawsuit over legislators’ move to give themselves more direct control over cannabis regulations. Meanwhile, the House speaker appears ready to walk back the policy.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor called out prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana for paying to promote anti-reform tweets.

A Massachusetts judge gave regulators a week to fix a ban on vaping products before he potentially strikes down its reach to nicotine products, but left its impact on marijuana products in place. Medical cannabis patients have joined the case.

A Montana judge issued a temporary restraining order on a ban on flavored vaping products.

The Louisiana House and Senate Agriculture Committees considered hemp regulations at a joint hearing.

Maine regulators adopted a symbol that must be displayed on marijuana products. Separately, the legislature’s Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the prospects for marijuana reform in Virginia.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo signed hemp regulations into law.

New Zealand lawmakers debated marijuana legalization in a TV appearance.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “although current available studies show promising results regarding both the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol and oxytocin for the treatment of [social anxiety disorder], most studies were performed using single or few doses of these compounds, with small sample sizes.”

The University of Connecticut opened a hemp research lab.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. adults support legalizing marijuana, 67%-31%.

Trump reelection advisory board member Rob Astorino dismissed a C-SPAN caller’s concerns by jokingly saying, “I know marijuana is legal in California.”

The scientific advisory board of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana sent a letter urging Congress to halt cannabis reform action, hold oversight hearings and support efforts to remove vaping products from store shelves.

/ BUSINESS

Pax Labs laid off a quarter of its workforce.

/ CULTURE

Actor Michael Douglas had his young son hand out marijuana joints to other celebrities at parties, the younger Douglas wrote in a new book.

The Onion joked that medical cannabis is “effective for treating long-term pain over Jerry Garcia’s death.”

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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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Newsletter

Mexican committees release legal cannabis bill for vote this month (Newsletter: October 21, 2019)

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Court tosses DEA cultivation app lawsuit; Former VA head now backs marijuana research; NFL owners ready to make cannabis concessions

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There are now 1,211 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Several Mexican Senate committees jointly negotiated and released a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill that leaders aim to pass this by the end of this month in accordance with a Supreme Court deadline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Drug Enforcement Administration’s delays in considering marijuana cultivation license applications.

Former Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin, who oversaw VA efforts to block veterans’ participation in medical marijuana research while in office, said in a new interview that “the time is now” to expand cannabis studies.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration will accept vaping devices and cartridges as part of its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, pledged to “end the horrifically destructive war on drugs and legalize marijuana” at a large rally.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tweeted about Murray State University’s “leading Center for Agricultural Hemp.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) cited his House-passed amendment to recognize tribal sovereignty over marijuana programs in a newsletter for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of 49.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got four new cosponsors for a total of 49.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of 34.

The House bill to protect veterans from losing their benefits for marijuana use got two new cosponsors for a total of nine.

The House bill to create a safe harbor for veterans who use medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) declared last Friday as “Wisconsin Hemp Day.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) tweeted a video summarizing his marijuana legalization summit with regional governors, saying, “I know that by collaborating together, sharing resources, and thinking collectively, our states can come up with smart cannabis policy and protect the public health.”

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) Office of Community Affairs tweeted a link to a petition calling on Congress to stop interfering with the city’s marijuana laws.

Utah regulators advised medical cannabis patients not to use THC vaping products.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee On Cannabis policy will hold a hearing on several marijuana and hemp bills on Tuesday.

Nevada regulators suspended the license of marijuana grower Helios for unspecified reasons.

Oregon regulators approved marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Alaska regulators will consider marijuana licensing decisions on Tuesday.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed medical cannabis rules on November 22.

Here’s a look at how former Michigan lawmakers are working in the marijuana industry.

The Los Angeles Times examines how marijuana legislation fared in California this session.

Georgia’s medical cannabis expansion is stalled because officials still haven’t appointed members of the commission who are charged with overseeing implementation.


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

Denver, Colorado officials will hold two cannabis community public forums over the next week.

San Diego, California officials ordered roughly two dozen marijuana growing and processing businesses to close because they haven’t received permits.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australia’s attorney general warned local officials that their marijuana legalization law doesn’t protect people from being punished under ongoing federal prohibition.

A Brazilian court ruled that a couple can grow medical cannabis for their son.

A Canadian member of Parliament is under fire for failing to disclose his involvement in a marijuana start-up company.

Dutch regulators opened a public comment period on a “controlled cannabis supply chain experiment.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of marijuana products in Oregon found that “both recreational and medicinal cannabis samples contained high levels of residual pesticides and pesticides not legally allowed to be used on cannabis products” and that “medicinal cannabis products were found to have mean levels of residual pesticides that were 3–12 times higher than recreational products.”

A review concluded that “psilocybin appear[s] to be potentially useful as a treatment for cancer related depression and anxiety.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Australians oppose the federal government overturning a local marijuana legalization law, 62%-27%.

The Rhode Island Republican Party is questioning ties of associates of the Democratic House speaker to a hemp company whose license was suspended by regulators.

The chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “Marijuana legalization is not just an economic opportunity. It’s a chance to right a societal wrong: mass incarceration. This is the reparations discussion we should be having.”

The Anchorage Daily News editorial board is in favor of a local proposal to allow on-site consumption at marijuana dispensaries.

/ BUSINESS

The CEO and COO of DionyMed Brands Inc. resigned and a creditor is seeking an immediate payment of $24.8 million.

Southern University plans to roll out CBD medical cannabis products next month.

/ CULTURE

USA Triathlon is partnering with CBD company Pure Spectrum.

National Football League owners are reportedly prepared to make concessions to the players’ union on lessening marijuana penalties. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly discussed his support for the change at a recent meeting.

The PGA Tour suspended golfer Matt Every for using medical cannabis for mental health in accordance with Florida state law.

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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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