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Sanders pledges nationwide legal cannabis on day one of presidency (Newsletter: February 3, 2020)

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Buttigieg would use Air Force One to boost marijuana reform support; Vermont legalization bill advances; Study: legal cannabis benefits businesses

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, pledged at an Iowa rally that if he is elected to the White House he will “legalize marijuana in every state in this country” on his “first day in office, through executive order.”

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, said that if Congress refuses to legalize marijuana when he is in the White House he will fire up Air Force One and “fly it directly into the home district of a member who is standing in the way” to rile up pressure from constituents.

The Vermont House Government Operations Committee unanimously approved a bill to legalize marijuana sales.

A Gallup poll found that Americans who are politically liberal are six times more likely to smoke marijuana than conservatives are. There are also differences in cannabis consumption across racial, gender, age and geographic lines.

A study found that businesses in states with legal marijuana see a “multitude of positive effects,” including higher market valuations, bigger stock returns, more employee productivity and increased innovation.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump’s reelection campaign ran a Super Bowl ad featuring a woman whose federal prison sentence for a nonviolent drug charge he commuted.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn said that when it comes to regulating CBD, the agency doesn’t “want to overstep our bounds but we want to make sure that safe and effective products are in the hands of people.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, participated in a forum about marijuana legalization in New Hampshire.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana.

The House bill to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got two new cosponsors for a total of seven.

The House bill to require the federal government to study the impact of state  marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of 31.

New York Democratic congressional candidate Jamaal Bowman tweeted, “Solitary confinement is legal. Marijuana is not. This is America.”

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate McKayla Wilkes tweeted, “Maryland has one of the highest rates of incarceration on Earth. We must abolish private prisons, end cash bail, end the war on drugs, and create a restorative system of justice instead of criminalizing poverty.”

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “From expanding telehealth services to improving our hemp program, to ensuring individuals who communicate non-verbally can vote, I am proud of the bipartisan work we were able to accomplish last year.”

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, to his counterpart in Illinois, “I’m inspired (and envious) of all the progress you’ve made in Illinois- particularly on marijuana.  Can we rent your legislature for a month or so?? 😆”

A New Mexico court ruled that medical cannabis producers should be able to deduct gross receipts taxes, meaning that the state may owe millions in refunds.

An Idaho judge ruled that a seized hemp shipment was not grown in accordance with federal law and cannot be returned to its owner.

Alaska regulators proposed changes in rules for marijuana quality control sampling, exit packaging and sales limits.

South Carolina regulators began accepting hemp permit applications.


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

Chicago, Illinois’s mayor spoke about the need to license marijuana social use areas. She and other officials also hosted the city’s first Cannabis Resource Fair.

Portland, Oregon’s auditor said that the city’s marijuana program needs a better regulatory strategy.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Mexico’s interior secretary suggested that only farmers’ collectives, rather than large businesses, be able to grow marijuana.

An Indonesian lawmaker suggested that the country export marijuana, but the National Anti-Narcotics Agency rejected the idea.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “a quarter of outpatient palliative care patients use THC or CBD, often on a daily basis.”

A study suggested that “psychedelics cause reductions in problematic substance use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York State Bar Association voted to support statewide marijuana legalization.

The New York State Sheriff’s Association voted to oppose statewide marijuana legalization.

/ BUSINESS

Sentia Wellness is launching a line of Sports Illustrated-branded CBD products.

Cura Cannabis will pay Oregon regulators a $110,000 penalty to settle allegations it engaged in “dishonest conduct” by mislabeling marijuana vaping products.

A Vicente Sederberg LLP analysis estimates that Massachusetts retailers have so far sold half a billion dollars in legal marijuana, generating approximately $100 million in tax revenue.

/ CULTURE

Actress Bette Middler tweeted, “The city of Santa Cruz, CA, has decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms. After the last 3 years, I feel we’ve ALL earned a vacation to Santa Cruz, you know what I’m saying?”

Family Feud had a question about other names for cannabis.

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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 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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NY moves to allow cannabis homegrow for patients (Newsletter: October 22, 2021)

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RI marijuana legalization deal nears; DC drug decriminalization campaign launches; Another local psychedelics resolution approved

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rhode Island lawmakers are nearing a deal on a marijuana legalization bill that could pass in a special session this fall. Negotiators from the Senate, House and governor’s office are approaching agreement on key issues like expungements, licensing and regulatory bodies.

New York regulators took action to allow medical cannabis patients to grow their own medicine after they previously missed the deadline to do so. The proposed rules will now undergo a public comment period before taking effect. Officials also gave an update on efforts to expunge previous marijuana conviction records.

A coalition of Washington, D.C. activists launched a campaign to pass a local measure to decriminalize drugs and expand access to treatment and harm reduction services.

The Easthampton, Massachusetts City Council approved a resolution supporting decriminalization of psychedelics and other drugs. It’s now the fourth city in the state to adopt such a measure.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) wrote about his support for marijuana reform in a constituent letter.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) voiced concerns about marijuana and other drugs at a roundtable meeting about border issues.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 33.

/ STATES

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted, “When I’m governor, I will push for the full legalization of marijuana and the expungement of all related misdemeanors and third-degree felonies.”

The chairman of the New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee said he is working on a bill to legalize marijuana.

A Michigan senator delivered a floor speech about the failure of the war on drugs.

Pennsylvania regulators are accepting applications for permits to grow or process hemp in 2022. Meanwhile, the state Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to participate in a federal hemp survey.

The California Department of Cannabis Control sent a press release marking its first 100 days of existence.

Ohio regulators published an updated list of compliant medical cannabis devices.

Oregon regulators are considering changes to cannabis testing requirements.

New Mexico’s Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee is accepting applications for open positions.

Nevada regulators will consider marijuana business issues on Tuesday.

West Virginia regulators will host a medical cannabis patient signup event on Wednesday.


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.


/ INTERNATIONAL


Mexico’s Senate majority leader published a blog post about the benefits of legalizing marijuana.

Italian activists have collected more than 620,000 signatures on a proposed marijuana legalization referendum and will deliver the measure to the Court of Cassation on October 28.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “medical cannabis was associated with reduced pain intensity/inference, lower anxiety/depression, and improved sleep and quality of life.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of U.S. adults found that 83 percent think states should require licensed cannabis producers to use secure labels that can’t be counterfeited.

The Reason Foundation published a white paper on Second Amendment rights for marijuana consumers.

Law Enforcement Action Partnership led a letter asking the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking to oppose permanently classifying fentanyl-related analogues in Schedule I.

/ BUSINESS

Amazon lobbied on federal cannabis policy last quarter, a disclosure report shows.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. is expanding its co-branded line of products with Rolling Stone to additional U.S. markets.

Jushi Holdings Inc. secured a $100 million Senior Secured Credit Facility from a portfolio company of SunStream Bancorp Inc.

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USPS says hemp and CBD vapes are banned from the mail (Newsletter: October 21, 2021)

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FDA will use Reddit to learn about CBD & delta-8; Top Mexican senator: marijuana vote soon; Activist apes erect monolith at DEA headquarters

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Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Postal Service released its final rule to implement a ban on shipping vaping devices, and it clarified that hemp, CBD and marijuana vapes are generally not mailable—even if the products are federally legal.

The Food and Drug Administration announced a plan to search Reddit and additional “novel” data sources to better understand the health effects of CBD and other marijuana-derived compounds like delta-8 THC “in real-time.”

Mexico’s Senate president said lawmakers will finally pass a marijuana legalization bill “in the coming weeks or months” because there’s “no longer room for the prohibitionist policy.”

  • “We are the Mexico of freedoms, and the people are aware of it.”

Activists dressed as apes erected a 2,001-pound monolith in front of Drug Enforcement Administration headquarters to urge the agency to “evolve” from its drug war mindset—a play on Stanley Kubrick’s classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released new podcasts about hemp.

Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control Co-chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) asked witnesses at a hearing if the U.S. has “lost the war on marijuana.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said there’s momentum behind marijuana reform at the state level and “it’s a matter of time” before it is federally legalized, though there needs to be action on cannabis banking “right now.”

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor for a total of 32.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill to ease restrictions on owning and investing in minority-, women- and veteran-owned medical cannabis businesses.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the agriculture commissioner, called for a state investigation into a new medical cannabis rule issued by regulators that she says creates financial and regulatory burdens that only apply to black farmers.

Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Cranley, currently Cincinnati’s mayor, tweeted, “Instead of criminalizing marijuana we should legalize it and invest that money back into our communities. My plan will tax marijuana and use the revenue to create 30,000 jobs per year that pay a minimum of $60,000 per year to build the vital infrastructure that Ohio needs.”

The New Hampshire House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee voted to send marijuana legalization bills to interim study, delaying their consideration.

A Mississippi senator detailed new changes in the latest version of a draft medical cannabis bill.

A New York senator slammed the New York Post for its alarmist reporting about a new law that decriminalizes syringes.

An Oklahoma activist filed a court challenge against other activists’ proposed marijuana legalization and medical cannabis ballot initiatives.

Michigan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development sent a press release urging farmers to participate in a federal hemp survey.

Montana regulators proposed marijuana rules and will hold a public hearing on November 16.

Louisiana regulators proposed changes to medical cannabis cultivation rules.

Connecticut regulators proposed recommendations for a public education campaign about marijuana.

South Dakota regulators issued a contract to a company to manage the state’s medical cannabis patient and business registration system.

Massachusetts regulators posted a medical cannabis FAQ.


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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his government will explore ways to reduce barriers to research on psilocybin and other drugs.

Switzerland’s Social Security and Health Commission of the Council of States recommended that the country legalize marijuana.

Costa Rica’s Congress approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Philippine Department of Justice released information about 50 deadly operations in the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “about half of participants who ever used CBD for pain reported improved pain, and many substitute CBD for pain medications including opioids and benzodiazepines.”

A case study suggested “a significant analgesic effect of cannabis in the treatment of symptomatic headaches.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of German citizens found that 30 percent support legalizing marijuana and 59 percent back medical cannabis.

Americans Against Legalizing Marijuana highlighted the fact that Nikolas Cruz, who pleaded guilty to committing the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said he believes “this country would do better if everyone would stop smoking marijuana and doing all these drugs” during remarks in court.

The American Family Association is working to dissuade Mississippi lawmakers from passing a medical cannabis bill.

The HIV Legal Network, Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs and other groups sent a letter urging Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to prioritize drug policy reform in mandates to his new Cabinet.

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp has a new CEO.

COMPASS Pathways plc was granted a U.S. patent for crystalline psilocybin.

/ CULTURE

Ziggy Marley called out Singapore’s government for sentencing a man to death for possessing two pounds of cannabis.

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Senate leaders back DC cannabis sales, bucking Biden (Newsletter: October 20, 2021)

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NY restricts workplace marijuana testing; SD lawmakers approve legalization proposal; CA cannabis environmental cleanup grants

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Senate Appropriations Committee released FY2022 spending legislation that would finally let Washington, D.C. legalize marijuana sales—in contravention of President Joe Biden’s budget request. The House already signed off on eliminating the ban, and Democratic leaders plan to enact a final appropriations package by December 3,

  • The new Senate bills would also protect state medical cannabis laws from federal interference, call to reconsider policies that fire federal workers for marijuana and criticize Schedule I research roadblocks.

New York’s Department of Labor issued guidance saying that employers cannot drug test most workers for marijuana—going so far as to say the odor of cannabis cannot be used to prove impairment on the job.

  • “Observable signs of use that do not indicate impairment on their own cannot be cited as an articulable symptom of impairment. Only symptoms that provide objectively observable indications that the employee’s performance of the essential duties or tasks of their position are decreased or lessened may be cited.”

The South Dakota legislature’s Adult-Use Marijuana Study Subcommittee approved a bill to legalize recreational cannabis. Activists don’t necessarily trust that lawmakers will follow through and still plan to move forward with a plan to put another legalization initiative before voters next year.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a workshop this week about a new grants program to help small marijuana cultivators with environmental clean-up and restoration. The funds come from cannabis tax revenue.

/ FEDERAL

Former President Donald Trump reportedly planned to send 250,000 troops to the border and stage military raids against drug cartels inside Mexico until he was dissuaded from doing so by the secretary of defense.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The federal prohibition on marijuana has disproportionately harmed young people of color. @SenBooker, @RonWyden, and I are working to pass our Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act to end the federal prohibition and undo the harms of the War on Drugs.”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) wrote about his support for federal marijuana law reform in a constituent letter.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release and posted a tweet cheering the removal of a rider blocking Washington, D.C. from legalizing marijuana sales in newly released Senate appropriations legislation.

Washington State Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “Let it be known that the incumbent in my district has never supported federal legalization. To be sure, worse than that, he’s voted at least 4 times to allow the DOJ to continue to prosecute people in states where cannabis has been legalized. Like my own state of WA.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair drug war harms got 11 new cosponsors for a total of 87.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got one new cosponsor of a total of 31.

/ STATES

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, currently a congressman, tweeted, “18 states have already legalized recreational marijuana — it’s time Florida does too.”

Virginia Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala, currently a delegate, highlighted marijuana legalization as a key accomplishment.

Washington, D.C.’s attorney general tweeted, “After 6 years of advocacy, I’m glad to see Congress respecting the will of DC voters. I hope DC will soon be able to regulate our local marijuana market, direct new tax revenue to communities most impacted by over-criminalization, & take steps to expunge related criminal records.” The Council chairman tweeted, “This is a step in the right direction. We hope that, as the bill moves through the Senate, no rider language is inserted so we can honor the will of District voters and set up a safe, equitable recreational cannabis market.”

California’s attorney general and other officials will participate in a conference commemorating the 25th anniversary of the state’s medical cannabis law on November 5.

Wisconsin’s Assembly speaker said he supports medical cannabis but does not support recreational marijuana legalization “at this time.” (About 18:00 into the audio.)

Pennsylvania’s House minority leader said marijuana legalization bills don’t yet have enough momentum to pass.

The chairwoman of Delaware’s Senate Health & Social Services Committee said she is eager to hold a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill if it can clear the House.

The Illinois Supreme Court ordered the consolidation of various lawsuits challenging regulators’ marijuana business licensing award processes.

The South Dakota legislature’s Rules Review Committee will consider newly revised medical cannabis regulations on Monday.

A Wisconsin senator who is sponsoring a marijuana legalization bill held a virtual roundtable meeting about the issue.

A New Jersey judge pointed out that the legalization of marijuana is reducing the number of required court appearances.

Nevada regulators proposed rules on cannabis weighing and measuring.

Colorado regulators are forming a work group on cannabis cross pollination.

Ohio regulators published question and answer responses about medical cannabis dispensary license applications.

Montana regulators will host a cannabis virtual listening session on Friday.

Michigan regulators will host a marijuana social equity education session on October 28.


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

A policy by Baltimore, Maryland’s district attorney not to prosecute minor drug possession and prostitution led to fewer new low-level drug and prostitution arrests, almost no rearrests for serious crimes for those who had charges dropped, and fewer 911 calls.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Spain’s Congress rejected a marijuana legalization bill.

Western Australia’s Parliament formed a Select Committee into Cannabis and Hemp.

The Philippine Department of Justice said it will make public information about certain killings in the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study appears to “demonstrate a possible benefit of ‘CBD oil’ intake that may have resulted in the observed tumour regression.”

A study of rats found that “cannabidiol at dose 10 mg/kg bw exerts anxiolytic effect in a model of acute cold stress.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Kristi Noem opposed medical cannabis. Now she’s using $700,00 from South Dakota taxpayers, meant to implement these measures, as thinly-veiled political ads.”

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve donated $250,000 to a campaign seeking to put a marijuana legalization measure on Florida’s 2022 ballot.

iAnthus is being sued by a former employee who alleges he was demoted because he is black.

Harmony Foundation’s former chief administrative officer filed a lawsuit claiming he was fired after speaking up about the firm’s CEO allegedly using $1 million of company money for a personal investment.

Tilray Canada has a new president.

atai Life Sciences formed a nonprofit arm called atai Impact.

Leafly is hosting a contest to celebrate budtenders.

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