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Senate GOP chairman backs cannabis banking fix (Newsletter: August 5, 2019)

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Feds fund hemp seed bank; Nebraska A.G.: medical marijuana unconstitutional; New Mexico gov’s legalization group schedules first hearing

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There are now 1,170 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) has endorsed efforts to let banks serve marijuana businesses without being punished by federal regulators. But instead of passing an existing bill cosponsored by nearly a third of the Senate as-is, he’s suggesting changes might be needed or even that the issue could be addressed administratively.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced the construction of the U.S.’s only hemp seed bank. The federally funded Industrial Hemp Germplasm Repository will “help breeders and geneticists develop new cultivars, while also helping to identify genes for pest and disease resistance.”

Nebraska’s attorney general issued a memo opining that a pending measure to legalize medical cannabis would be preempted by federal law. The move, which legal experts say is based on a misunderstanding of Supreme Court doctrine, comes as activists are collecting signatures to place medical marijuana on the state’s 2020 ballot.

The marijuana working group that New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) formed to prepare for legalization in early 2020 scheduled its first hearing and is now accepting public comments. Among other topics of discussion is the idea of state-run cannabis stores.

/ FEDERAL

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a presidential candidate, said he “can’t ever imagine” going back to a system where marijuana is illegal. In a separate interview he discussed the lack of diversity in cannabis business ownership.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) tweeted, “Nine years ago, @BarackObama signed into law my Fair Sentencing Act, a compromise bill which dramatically lowered the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. It was the first law to counter the war on drugs by reducing unfair federal drug sentences. Last year, President Trump signed into law another step forward to criminal justice reform, my First Step Act, which made the Fair Sentencing Act retroactive and has so far led to the release of 1,100 people who were serving unjust sentences for drug offenses.”

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) launched an online petition for marijuana reform to “create economic opportunities for those disproportionately impacted by our outdated laws” and tweeted, “Times have changed and so should our outdated marijuana laws! This is about racial equality, economic justice, and ensuring local neighborhoods can participate in this profitable industry.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition. We must do more than decriminalize cannabis – we have to address the devastating effects of the failed War on Drugs to black and brown people.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “Even legitimate ancillary cannabis businesses are unable to access the banking system under current federal law. But support is growing for #SAFEBanking and I look forward to leading it to a strong vote in the House soon.”

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

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the damage of the drug war got one new cosponsor, for a total of 33.

/ STATES

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) vetoed a bill to allow patients to grow their own medical cannabis.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) cut funding for the state’s hemp pilot program.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) top marijuana advisor spoke about taxes, efforts to reduce unregulated market sales, edibles and other issues related to legalization implementation.

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands lawmakers sent a marijuana taxes and fees bill to the desk of Gov. Ralph Torres (R).

Minnesota’s House majority leader published an op-ed supporting marijuana legalization and saying he and colleagues will convene community conversations about the issue in advance of filing legislation next session. Meanwhile, the House speaker is conducting a survey on the cannabis reform.

The New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to take up the case of a funeral director fired from his job for using medical cannabis for cancer.

Missouri regulators began accepting applications for medical cannabis dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing and other licenses.

New Jersey regulators posted updated application information for medical cannabis business permits.

Iowa regulators added chronic pain as a new CBD medical cannabis qualifying condition but rejected anxiety and opioid dependence.


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 newly sworn-in Kansas City, Missouri mayor says he plans to pardon potentially thousands of people with marijuana possession convictions.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s government is moving to allow people to avoid criminal convictions for their first two drug possession offenses, though it is taking pains not to describe the policy as “decriminalization.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that if drugs are going to be decriminalized it will have to be done “with responsibility.”

The UK’s new home secretary said she wants police to not “turn a blind eye” to marijuana and other drugs.

A New Zealand opposition party is accusing the government of making a power grab in legislation enabling a planned 2020 marijuana legalization referendum by letting the Cabinet draft the question instead of leaving it to Parliament.

/ ADVOCACY

Americans for Safe Access released a report grading state medical cannabis programs.

Here’s a look at lobbying spending by Illinois marijuana companies in advance of the state’s vote to legalize.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study estimated that “in the third year after implementing a regulatory system for cannabis, between 40 percent and 60 percent of THC obtained by state residents was likely purchased in Washington’s state-licensed stores.”

A review concluded that “there is robust preclinical data regarding the relevance of the endocannabinoid system to many pain-relevant processes” but that “evidence to support cannabis-based medicines clinical use is still lacking.”

/ BUSINESS

Aphria Inc. is the first major Canadian marijuana company to report a net profit.

Politico announced the first two hires for its cannabis team.

Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University ousted the director of its Medical Marijuana Education and Research Initiative over “differences of opinion.”

Bloomberg looks at marijuana companies’ efforts to secure patents ahead of legalization.

/ CULTURE

Actress Fran Drescher spoke about her use of medical cannabis.

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

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 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

White House officials talk up states’ cannabis rights (Newsletter: August 23, 2019)

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Feds publish article highlighting marijuana prohibition harms; DOD reiterates CBD ban; Florida legalization initiative filed

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…

There are now 1,171 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Two officials with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said in separate interviews that it is up to states to decide whether they should legalize marijuana—comments that run in contrast with the longstanding approach of the “drug czar’s” office to oppose ending cannabis prohibition whenever possible.

The federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, paid to publish a new report—hosted on a dot gov site—that exposes how federal prohibition puts marijuana consumers at risk due to lack of regulatory oversight.

  • “At the federal level in the United States, cannabis is still considered an illegal drug. As a result, neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Environmental Protection Agency has provided any guidance on how to regulate contaminants or on which cannabis-related exposures can be considered safe. States have had to determine on their own how to protect millions of cannabis users, and they have come up with widely varying responses. The result is an uncertain and occasionally incoherent regulatory landscape.”

A Department of Defense official reiterated the military’s concern over the use of CBD products on a press call this week.

  • “The problem is there is no regulatory framework to ensure that the CBD products being sold meet the Farm Act.”

A new political committee chaired by a MedMen official filed a proposed marijuana legalization measure for Florida’s 2020 ballot. It would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to sell marijuana to adults over 21 and does not include provisions for home cultivation.

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating dozens of cases of severe lung illness that appear to be potentially associated with tobacco and/or marijuana vaping devices.

Customs and Border Protection officials imposed a lifetime ban on visiting the U.S. on a Canadian woman caught with CBD oil at the border.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted, “Wow. @JAMA_current piece showed calls to MA poison control centers more than doubled for kids 0-19 exposed to marijuana before & after legalization for med use. We need to protect kids from overdose, particularly from edibles & concentrated prods.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a presidential candidate, delivered a video keynote address for a cannabis conference.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “As president I’ll end the failed war on drugs, legalize marijuana, end cash bail, and ban private prisons and bring about real criminal justice reform. I’ll crack down on the overreaching intel agencies and big tech monopolies who threaten our civil liberties and free speech.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said she believes marijuana banking legislation will pass the House this year.

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed off on emergency medical cannabis regulations.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) reinstituted a marijuana legalization advocate as a member of the state’s cannabis regulatory board who was removed by the previous governor.

Questions are being raised about Florida’s agriculture commissioner having both a medical cannabis card and a firearms concealed carry permit.

California’s top marijuana regulator called Weedmaps’s announcement that it would restrict its platform to only licensed businesses “a step forward for the legal California cannabis industry.” Separately, officials reported that marijuana excise taxes brought in $74.2 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2019, while the cultivation tax generated $22.6 million.

The new Tennessee House Republican Caucus chairman has sponsored medical cannabis legislation for several sessions.

New Mexico regulators said that medical cannabis producers might have to destroy some plants under new cultivation limits.

New Jersey regulators said they received at least 198 applications for 24 medical cannabis dispensary permits over two days.

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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australian regulators don’t seem concerned that illegally grown medical cannabis from the company CannTrust may have been imported into the country from Canada.

/ ADVOCACY

The chairman of Republican organization GOPAC misspoke about people “having just shot up with marijuana” in a Fox News appearance.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “recreational marijuana legalization and availability did not have direct impact on newborns’ risk of [low birth weight] or [small for gestational age].”

A study of people who took psilocybin at a mindfulness retreat found that “the extent of ego dissolution and brain connectivity predicted positive changes in psycho-social functioning of participants 4 months later.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board said that Weedmaps’s decision to list only licensed businesses “bodes well for the legal marijuana industry.”

/ BUSINESS

New Leaf Data Services LLC added a defamation claim to a pending trademark violation lawsuit against Humboldt Marijuana Exchange LLC after the latter company allegedly retaliated with “false and baseless” accusation of racism and sexism.

/ CULTURE

Musician Ziggy Marley said he has been smoking marijuana since age nine.

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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Newsletter

Senators cite Border Patrol cannabis arrests of citizens in review request (Newsletter: August 22, 2019)

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EPA announces hemp pesticide review; Congressman backs states’ marijuana rights but voted against; Study: Whole-plant marijuana relieves pain

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…

There are now 1,171 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it is reviewing applications for pesticides to be used on hemp.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) told podcaster Joe Rogan that he supports states’ rights to set their own marijuana laws despite the fact that he recently voted against an amendment to shield local cannabis policies from federal interference.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) are asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate Border Patrol checkpoints and are citing the widespread arrest of U.S. citizens for small amounts of marijuana as a key concern.

A study on marijuana’s pain-relieving properties found that “natural cannabis flower was associated with greater anesthetic potential than were most other types of products.”

/ FEDERAL

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon toured illegal marijuana grow sites in California.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D), noting his increasing polling numbers in Colorado, tweeted, “Must be the weed 😀”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted, “Great to join @CannaGather last night & talk about issues facing the cannabis industry incl. the need to pass the SAFE Banking Act so that federal banks can finally serve cannabis biz. These biz owners shouldnt be forced to operate strictly in cash. Thx for a great discussion.”

Recent mass shootings reportedly may impact plans to attach gun-related language to congressional marijuana banking legislation in an effort to secure more Republican support.

/ STATES

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said that marijuana could be on the agenda for a potential upcoming special session and he criticized the federal government for not acting on rescheduling. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader said that lawmakers are working on legislation to move away from state control of medical cannabis distribution and allow for more private dispensaries.

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill including a ban on smokable hemp as of May 1.

The Wisconsin Senate Health Committee amended a hemp bill to address police concerns about trace amounts of THC in relation to changing people with driving under the influence.

Washington State regulators issued a notice banning CBD as a food ingredient.

Michigan regulators issued air quality guidance for the marijuana industry.

The New Jersey Department of Health hosted a forum on harm reduction drug policies.

Louisiana regulators released a list of pesticide active ingredients that can be used on medical cannabis plants.

South Dakota police arrested on marijuana trafficking charges a Colorado man who says he was transporting legal hemp to Minnesota.

Guam regulators are working to produce a fact sheet about medical cannabis-related employment issues for government workers.


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

New York City health officials forced 15 businesses to destroy edible CBD products.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s health minister said she supports cannabinoid-based medicines but not commercial cultivation of cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that medical cannabis “may serve as a potentially useful complementary therapy to conventional supportive treatment of children suffering from cancer at the end of life.”

A study estimated that Americans spend “on the order of $150 billion on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine” annually.

A study suggested that “persons who used marijuana strongly support the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana, whereas persons who primarily have opioid or stimulant misuse have less strongly held beliefs about legalization of substances within those respective categories.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly tweeted, “America’s first marijuana licensed restaurant opening in California. The Lowell Farms Cannabis Café will allow customers to light up at the dinner table.  Of course, smoke tobacco in restaurants still illegal in California. Does that make ANY sense?”

/ BUSINESS

Weedmaps launched a program to help social equity marijuana entrepreneurs. It also said that by the end of the year only licensed cannabis businesses will be able to use its platform.

Leafly is opening a new office in Austin, Texas to house product and engineering operations.

Tilray, Inc. announced an agreement to ship $3.3 million worth of medical cannabis products from Portugal to Germany.

Cresco Labs Inc. reported quarterly revenue growth of 253% from a year ago but a net loss of $3.9 million.

Bank of America closed the account of a smoke shop because it sells CBD products.

/ CULTURE

The video game DayZ is no longer banned in Australia after removing in-game cannabis consumption.

Flying Over Sunset is a new Broadway musical about the LSD experiences of Aldous Huxley, Cary Grant and Clare Booth Luce.

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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

Federal data shows teen cannabis use not up after legalization (Newsletter: August 21, 2019)

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GOP congressman to discuss marijuana licenses with AG Barr; Warren backs legal safe injection sites; NY & CT govs discuss legalization on fishing trip

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…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The latest results of the federally funded National Survey on Drug Use and Health continue to show that youth marijuana use in the U.S. is lower now than when states began legalizing cannabis.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says he will soon meet with Attorney General William Barr to discuss expanding the number of federally authorized growers of marijuana to be used in scientific research.

A new criminal justice reform plan released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, includes legalizing marijuana and safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) discussed their states’ pushes to legalize marijuana during a fishing trip.

/ FEDERAL

The National Credit Union Administration tweeted, “#creditunions that choose to serve hemp-related businesses in their field of membership need to understand the complexities & risks involved. @TheNCUA latest guidance outlines what credit unions should consider.”

A federal judge held the opening hearing in a case in which the Department of Justice is seeking to block the opening of a safe consumption site for illegal drugs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida said he won’t focus on low-level marijuana cases or prosecute medical cannabis businesses that comply with state law.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The business model of Wells Fargo is fraud. Yet how many people at Wells Fargo are going to jail? Zero. But if you smoke marijuana in this country, you get a criminal record. That is unacceptable.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke about the benefits of hemp.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted, “Cargo screening is one of the most effective tools we have to bolster national security. It pays off: @CBP officers at Otay Mesa stopped nearly four tons of marijuana from being smuggled into San Diego last week.”

/ STATES

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) signed a marijuana regulation bill into law.

An Illinois House of Representatives report on allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct in the legislature found insufficient evidence for claims that a former representative sexually harassed and bullied a medical cannabis advocate.

The North Carolina House Rules Committee voted to ban smokable hemp as of May 1.

Michigan regulators announced they will unveil the adult-use marijuana business license application at educational sessions next month.

Colorado officials announced a work group meeting and public hearing on the state’s regulated marijuana sunset accelerator program.

An Indiana senator who has sponsored marijuana reform bills is running for attorney general.

California activists filed a proposed ballot initiative to allow individuals to grow up to 99 marijuana plants.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator discussed efforts to roll out legal home delivery.


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 Livingston County, Missouri prosecuting attorney said he will no longer pursue misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.

The Little Rock, Arkansas Board of Directors rejected a measure to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority.

Two Jacksonville, Florida City Council committee rejected a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Mexican judge granted two people the right to possess, transport and use cocaine.

Jamaican regulators have issued at least 40 marijuana business licenses and are currently seeking bidders to provide seed-to-sale tracking software.

/ ADVOCACY

The National Foundation for Women Legislators tweeted that the organization’s “Evolution of Marijuana Policy Summit was a success! Our efforts were even featured in Marijuana Moment!”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD may benefit dogs with osteoarthritis-associated pain.”

A study involving LSD use by healthy subjects is slated to begin in New Zealand next year.

/ BUSINESS

The boards of the ten largest publicly traded marijuana companies are less diverse than the boards of Fortune 100 firms.

BigCommerce is rolling out a suite of tools to make it easier to sell CBD products.

BDS Analytics announced it has raised the first $7 million of a $10 million funding round.

/ CULTURE

Former boxer Mike Tyson’s Tyson Ranch will reportedly fund research on using CBD to treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

GCH, Inc., a company co-founded by Willie Nelson and his wife, is launching a line of hemp products for dogs, cats and horses.

Golf.com looks at CBD’s popularity among professional golfers.

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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