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Senate committee slams Schedule I barriers to cannabis research (Newsletter: July 5, 2018)

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Mexico’s new administration open to legalization; UK gov’t finds support for medical cannabis; NY’s Cuomo wants banks to work with marijuana biz

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  • Sean-Patrick Burke: “I’m a Connecticut medical patient who would like the same homegrow rights that my neighbors 22 miles to the north have, and appreciate the news and insight that Marijuana Moment offers. I’m hoping to be more involved IRL as Connecticut slouches towards legalization this electoral season; MM motivates and educates me for going out there and hopefully making a change.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee issued a report slamming marijuana’s federal status, saying that its Schedule I designation blocks research.

Here’s a look at where Mexican President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador stands on marijuana and drug policy. His incoming interior secretary — a very high-ranking cabinet position — said she will push to legalize cannabis as well as the growth of opium poppies.

A UK government review found “conclusive evidence of medicinal benefit of cannabis based products for certain medical conditions.” That could pave the way to medical marijuana rescheduling soon.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) administration issued a document that “encourages” banks to work with medical marijuana and hemp businesses.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is talking up his hemp legalization push at town hall meetings in Kentucky.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) toured hemp fields.

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “In America, you’re labelled as a criminal if you seek political asylum across the border or smoke marijuana, but destabilize an entire economy and you’ll be rewarded with a golden parachute.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled against a Colorado marijuana dispensary that argued the Internal Revenue Service inappropriately applied the 280E tax penalty on it.

/ STATES

A Florida appeals court rejected a lower judge’s decision to allow patients to smoke medical cannabis while a lawsuit seeking to overturn the state’s smoking ban is considered.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (NPP) released medical cannabis regulations.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) named members to a panel that will consider objections from marijuana businesses that are denied permits or are facing penalties for violating regulations.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) received a $20,000 campaign contribution from a marijuana business.

New Hampshire’s top Senate Democrat launched a petition to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, law enforcement is concerned about the impact of legalization in nearby states.

Oklahoma activists say they have collected nearly half the required signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization ballot measure.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety reported that traffic deaths have dropped more than 10 percent in the year since marijuana legalization was implemented. Meanwhile, the state Democratic Party is calling out Republican gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt for not doing more to defend the state’s cannabis laws as attorney general.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Our medical marijuana program sets us apart from the rest of the nation. I am proud to sign a bill that will help Pennsylvania’s premiere medical schools shape the future of treatment for patients.”

/ LOCAL

The Los Angeles, California City Council gave preliminary approval to place a measure on the November ballot to enact new marijuana taxes and fees.

Los Angeles County, California supervisors voted to crack down on unlicensed marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Swiss government is moving to allow local pilot projects on marijuana legalization and wants to increase access to medical cannabis.

Luxembourg lawmakers voted to legalize medical cannabis.

A survey found that the majority of UK members of Parliament support legalizing medical cannabis.

An organization of Caribbean nations is expected to release a report recommending marijuana legalization next week.

The Canadian government is spending nearly a million dollars on research about marijuana-impaired driving.

/ ADVOCACY

Headcount launched a project to track the marijuana law reform positions of elected officials. They also have a related effort to register marijuana reform supporters to vote.

Prohibitionist organization Parents Opposed to Pot penned a lengthy blog post attempting to blame mass murders on marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “support for [marijuana] legalization was significantly related to students’ attitudes towards police officers,” which suggests “that non-legalization of marijuana will lead to less support for law enforcement by an important sector of the population.”

A study concluded that “low-strength evidence suggests that smoking marijuana is associated with cough, sputum production, and wheezing” but that “evidence on the association between marijuana use and obstructive lung disease and pulmonary function is insufficient.”

A survey found that more than one-third of homeless jail inmates who have come to Colorado since 2012 moved there, at least in part, because of legal marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

The New York Times looks at local pushback that marijuana businesses often face.

Alaska collected more than $1 million in marijuana tax revenue in May.

/ CULTURE

Willie Nelson’s marijuana brand is teaming up with New Belgium Brewing and Vote Hemp to build support for commercial hemp farming.

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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

UN delays cannabis rescheduling recommendation (Newsletter: Dec. 10, 2018)

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Where Trump AG pick stands on drugs; Study: Marijuana improves working memory; Cannabis bills already being pre-filed for 2019

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 349 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

  • Adam Gordon of the Oya Group (soon to be Euphoric Cannabis Marketing): “We need more Toms in the cannabis industry; voices that are clear, factual, and and mature. He must have some great sources, because he’s really on top of what’s going on. He saves me hours of research every week.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

President Trump announced that he intends to nominate William Barr as U.S. attorney general. Marijuana Moment took a look at his record on drug policy.

In a surprise move, the World Health Organization decided not to publicly release its recommendations on whether marijuana should be rescheduled under international treaties.

Elon Musk told 60 Minutes that his on-camera marijuana smoking earlier this year was just a fluke:

  • “I have no idea how to smoke pot or anything. I don’t know how to smoke anything, honestly.”

2018 isn’t even over yet but lawmakers in a number of states are already pre-filing marijuana bills for 2019 legislative sessions.

A new study seems to undermine the stereotype about forgetful stoners. The research, which involved rats,  found that “cannabis smoke improved working memory accuracy.”

/ FEDERAL

President Trump tweeted, “Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Criminal Justice Reform. It is extremely popular and has strong bipartisan support. It will also help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe. Go for it Mitch!”

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said “there’s no such thing as medical marijuana.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration clarified in a Federal Register filing that it increased 2018 marijuana production quotas “based solely on increased usage projections for federally approved research projects.”

The Buffalo News looks at the effects of a Department of Housing and Urban Development policy allowing landlords to evict people from public housing for medical cannabis.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is endorsing criminal justice reform legislation after successfully seeking an amendment to “exclude violent offenders from being released early” from prison.

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) indicated he plans to drop at least one of the state’s fights to appeal court rulings striking down medical cannabis regulations.

California regulators publicly released final marijuana rules that have been submitted to the state Office of Administrative Law. The plan would allow cannabis delivery throughout the state, even in cities that ban dispensaries.

New Jersey’s Assembly speaker won’t commit to bringing a marijuana legalization bill to a vote by the end of the year. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) reiterated that he supports ending prohibition for social justice reasons. Separately, an Assemblyman filed legislation to apply conflict of interest standards to marijuana regulators and to put constitutional amendment on the ballot directing cannabis revenue to property tax relief.

Oklahoma regulators have licensed 743 medical cannabis dispensaries.

Kentucky’s Senate president is under fire for making a joke comparing medical cannabis to bourbon.

Michigan regulators approved a plan to let medical cannabis businesses obtain products from individual caregivers in order to avoid a shortage. They also rejected a business license application filed by former National Football League players.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court threw out a marijuana conviction stemming from a police officer’s illegal entry into a home.

Pennsylvania regulators officially launched a process to accept applications for new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Utah regulators are hiring a cannabis program manager to oversee the state’s industrial hemp and medical marijuana programs.

Maine regulators hired a consulting firm to help write marijuana rules.

Here’s a look at the prospects for legalizing marijuana in Minnesota.

North Dakota is likely a few months away from patient access to medical cannabis.


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

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) suggested funding the subway with “all the proceeds that can come from legalizing marijuana.”

The New York Times looks at how Needles, California is banking on marijuana businesses to boost its economy.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the country will “put a framework in place for medical cannabis within the next week or so.”

Malawi’s parliament voted to move forward on considering medical cannabis legislation.

Ireland’s health minister supports medical cannabis.

Canadian lawmakers debated a bill to expunge marijuana convictions.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “cannabidiol tolerance exists and it limits the efficacy of this antiseizure treatment in the long-term clinical management of epilepsy.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

An online survey found that more Americans would choose to ban alcohol than marijuana if forced to choose.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board is urging Missouri officials not to deny welfare benefits to medical cannabis patients.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board called Altria’s investment in the marijuana industry “promising.”

/ BUSINESS

Altria Group, Inc. is investing $1.8 billion in Cronos Group Inc., for a a 45% equity stake.

Instagram admitted that it inappropriately closed down some Maryland medical cannabis businesses’ accounts.

Maryland’s first year of legal medical cannabis saw $96.3 million in sales to nearly 52,000 patients.

Alaska collected $1.8 million in marijuana tax revenue in October, a monthly record.

Shoppers Drug Mart got a license to sell medical cannabis online in Canada.

Prominent marijuana attorney Robert Raich is being accused of molesting his stepson, which he denied in court testimony.

/ CULTURE

The New York Times looks at how more older Americans are using medical cannabis.

Kentucky racehorse tested positive for CBD.

MMA fighter Elias Theodorou gave an after-win speech about the need to allow marijuana use.

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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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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.

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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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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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