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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

Surgeon general says Schedule I blocks cannabis research (Newsletter: Dec. 7, 2018)

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Marijuana’s biggest wins of 2018; Advocates say don’t give NY legalization revenue to subways; Report: Former AG considered as Sessions replacement

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 344 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams criticized marijuana’s Schedule I status, saying that it creates unnecessary “difficulty” for scientists who want to research cannabis.

Marijuana had several huge political victories in 2018, including:

  • Legislatures passing legalization for the first time
  • Red states approving medical cannabis
  • President Trump backing reform
  • Longtime prohibitionists in Congress flipping
  • Canada legalizing and Mexico moving  to do so
  • Hemp legalization being included in the Farm Bill

Check out Marijuana Moment’s overview of the ten biggest wins for cannabis this year.

The Drug Policy Alliance and other advocates are pushing back on plans to fund subways with potential New York marijuana tax revenue and instead want the money to go to communities harmed by prohibition.

/ FEDERAL

Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr is reportedly being considered for the job again by President Trump. Also in the running is Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

/ STATES

Texas’s agriculture commissioner called on Congress to legalize hemp.

The New York Assembly Republican leader launched a Twitter poll about legalizing marijuana.

Maryland regulators voted to ban most advertising by cannabis companies.

Colorado cannabis reform advocates hope that under Gov.-elect Jared Polis (D) they can pass legislation allowing marijuana social use areas, delivery services and broader investments in the industry. Meanwhile, lawmakers and the state’s attorney general-elect are pushing for legislation to clear past marijuana convictions.

The Washington State Supreme Court blocked a proposed local ballot measure that would have banned public funding for safe injection sites.

Michigan regulators released information about the implementation of legalization and changed their agency’s name to the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation. Also, regulators will consider several medical cannabis license applications on Friday.

Connecticut’s House Progressive Caucus plans to push for legalizing marijuana in 2019.

Massachusetts marijuana regulators are set to take over control of the state’s medical cannabis program from the Department of Public Health this month.

A member of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission plans to resign prior to the end of his term.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

The Hill looks at the growing push to legalize marijuana through state legislatures.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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

Cincinnati, Ohio City Council members want to place a marijuana decriminalization question before voters. 

The Appleton, Wisconsin Common Council endorsed a resolution calling on the state to legalize medical cannabis.

Denver, Colorado is punishing a landlord for his tenant’s marijuana cultivation violations.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A top Israeli lawmaker said the nation will likely allow medical cannabis exports by the end of the year.

Uruguay regulators will accept applications for additional marijuana production and distribution licenses in February.

Dominican President Charles Savarin is asking Israel to assist the Caribbean nations with research on marijuana as the region considers decriminalization.

Politico looks at European countries’ moves to allow medical cannabis. 

/ ADVOCACY

The Connecticut Republican Party included legalizing marijuana in a survey about “the most important issues” people want lawmakers to address in 2019.

Fire It Up Kansas launched a marijuana legalization billboard campaign.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A report found that “supervised injectable [heroin-assisted treatment] — with optional oral methadone — can offer benefits over oral methadone alone” and that “scientific evidence about the effectiveness of [supervised consumption sites] is limited in quality and the number of locations evaluated.”

/ BUSINESS

Wiz Khalifa and Supreme Cannabis are partnering on a line of marijuana products.

MedMen is facing a class action lawsuit from former employees alleging labor law violations by the company.

Canopy Growth Corporation is acquiring vaporizer company Storz & Bickel.

The Lansing City Pulse newspaper handed out free joints on the first day of Michigan marijuana legalization.

/ CULTURE

Singer Toni Braxton spoke about how she uses cannabis products to treat pain associated with lupus.

Seth Meyers joked about using marijuana tax revenue to fund the New York City subway.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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

NY might use cannabis taxes to fund subway repairs (Newsletter: Dec. 6, 2018)

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New Missouri marijuana legalization bill; Cannabis org wants crackdown on unlicensed dispensaries; Feds block tribe’s medical marijuana policy

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 342 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York lawmakers are considering using legal marijuana tax revenue to fund repairs to the New York City subway system.

Missouri voters only approved medical cannabis one month ago, but now a state representative has already prefiled a bill to legalize marijuana in 2019.

The United Cannabis Business Association is calling on the Los Angeles, California city attorney to crack down on unlicensed marijuana dispensaries.

/ FEDERAL

Farm Bill compromise language would reportedly prevent people with felony drug convictions from participating in the hemp industry for a period of 10 years after being convicted, instead of permanently.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs moved to block a Montana tribe’s legalization of medical cannabis.

President Trump tweeted, “One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States. It will now be considered a ‘controlled substance.’ This could be a game changer on what is considered to be the worst and most dangerous, addictive and deadly substance of them all. Last year over 77,000 people died from Fentanyl. If China cracks down on this “horror drug,” using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible!”

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Looking forward to invite-only marijuana symposium next week. Facts not propaganda. Facts about Colorado. Facts about ecology & environment. Facts about health. Facts about black market. FACTS!Public deserves facts & policy makers, media, law enforcement should know the facts.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act would ensure the #marijuana industry can access our banking system and reduce the public safety risk of having cash on our streets & in our communities. @RepDennyHeck and I plan to continue pushing our legislation in the next Congress.”

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted, “I cosponsored the SAFE Banking Act to ensure San Diego #marijuana businesses can safely operate, as permitted by California law. Thanks to @RepPerlmutter and @RepDennyHeck for continuing to advocate for this public safety fix.”

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) wrote about meeting mothers whose children use medical cannabis to treat autism.

/ STATES

Michigan’s legalization of marijuana possession and home cultivation went into effect on Thursday. Separately,  the House of Representatives advanced bills concerning disclosure of medical cannabis licensee information to financial institutions and making other changes.

Missouri’s medical cannabis law went into effect on Thursday.

Nevada Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak (D) is floating the idea of creating a new body to regulate marijuana.

Utah medical cannabis advocates filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and the head of the state Department of Health over the “compromise” legislation lawmakers passed to replace the voter-approved ballot measure.

Pennsylvania regulators will open a second round of applications for the state’s medical cannabis research program after no clinical registrant approvals were issued in the first round.

Washington State regulators issued a reminder that cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages are illegal.

A Illinois senator said it is “rather inevitable” that the state will legalize marijuana next year.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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 Statesboro, Georgia City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg’s governing coalition released details of a marijuana legalization plan.

Israeli lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill allowing medical cannabis exports.

The International Criminal Court said it is continuing to investigate extrajudicial killings in the bloody Philippine drug war. Meanwhile, a senator is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to take a drug test after he joked about using marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabidiol probably reduces seizures among children with drug‐resistant epilepsy.”

A study examining the differences between Canadian licensed marijuana producers and unlicensed dispensaries found that “rather than attempts to construct a credible shared identity for legitimacy, the emphasis is on building a distinct identity narrative in the face of market competition.”

A survey determined that “there was discordance among transplant centers in their perceived risks of marijuana use as opposed to complications actually observed.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board is calling on Congress to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

/ BUSINESS

The CEO of Philip Morris International Inc. said it’s not “our priority right now to consider cannabis.”

/ CULTURE

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern says that marijuana may have been “unfairly demonized.”

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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

Hemp felony conviction ban scaled back in Farm Bill (Newsletter: Dec. 5, 2018)

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Marijuana stores increase home values, study finds; Top House Ag Dem considers growing hemp; DEA slams Denver’s safe injection move

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 342 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional Farm Bill negotiators reached a “compromise” on a controversial Senate-passed provision that would bar people with felony drug convictions from participating in the legal hemp industry.

Incoming U.S. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) says he is considering growing hemp on his own farm after it is legalized through the Farm Bill.

Two new studies indicated that nearby marijuana shops increase the value of homes and rentals.

/ FEDERAL

The Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver Field Office released a statement criticizing local moves to allow safe consumption facilities for people who use illegal drugs.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said he thinks Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker “is at odds with the president” on marijuana policy.

Sens. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) were asked about the prospects for federal marijuana reform at an event. (About 14:30 into the video.)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) discussed the need to ensure equity in the marijuana industry for communities harmed by the war on drugs.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) spoke about the economic benefits of legalizing hemp.

/ STATES

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) reiterated his willingness to sign a medical cannabis bill and opposition to legalizing marijuana.

Utah medical cannabis advocates plan to file a lawsuit over the legislature’s “compromise” bill that replaced the voter-approved ballot measure.

Oklahoma legislative leaders said they anticipate considering bills on medical cannabis reform in 2019.

New York regulators are now accepting applications to grow hemp and process CBD.

The Illinois Republican Senate minority leader said he has “grave concerns” about marijuana legalization. Separately, regulators released new rules on medical cannabis as an opioid alternative and marijuana business ownership.

A Maryland delegate said he thinks marijuana legalization is going to pass “if not this year, maybe next year.”

Colorado regulators issued guidance on the definition of kief.

Maine’s Marijuana Advisory Commission is taking shape.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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’s mayor is moving to vacate low-level marijuana convictions. Meanwhile, the city’s top cannabis official will host a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on Wednesday.

New York City councilmembers are pressing the NYPD on why it continues to arrest people for THC oil.

The Boston, Massachusetts City Council held a lengthy hearing on marijuana licensing.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico will begin importing cannabis products within the next two weeks. Separately, former President Vicente Fox said he thinks marijuana legalization will be approved in the country “in the first semester of 2019.”

Canada’s border security and organized crime reduction minister has been put in charge of enforcing the country’s marijuana legalization law.

A two-year-old girl is believed to be the first child to be prescribed medical cannabis in UK.

Welsh lawmakers are pressing the government to provide medical cannabis access to a teenager with epilepsy.

The Bahamian health minister said the country will move ahead on marijuana reform “with all deliberate haste.”

/ ADVOCACY

The CEO of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture spoke about the benefits of legalizing hemp.

The Parkinson’s Foundation is hosting a conference on medical cannabis.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana is upset that a Marijuana Policy Project staff member is serving on a transition team committee for Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker (D).

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

The Migraine Research Foundation is funding a study on the effects of medical cannabis on migraines.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Denver Post editorial board wants marijuana convictions to be expunged across Colorado.

/ BUSINESS

Morningstar analysis suggests that marijuana cultivation, charging electric cars and powering data centers will drive rising power demand over the next decade.

Eaze is matching donations to the Marijuana Policy Project, up to $20,000, for the remainder of 2018.

Two Massachusetts retailers sold more than $2.6 million worth of marijuana products in the second week of legalization.

Mexican cannabis businesses are forming an industry association.

/ CULTURE

Here’s a look at the rise of marijuana use among people who live in senior housing.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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