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Senate leader wants THC potency cap in cannabis banking bill (Newsletter: December 19, 2019)

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Study: Legal marijuana reduces opioid prescriptions; Warren files cannabis bills for veterans & immigrants; Lawmakers press USDA on hemp

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he opposes House-passed marijuana banking legislation and released a lengthy document that floats potential changes to the bill, including a 2% THC potency limit and restrictions on edibles and vapes in order to access financial services.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, teamed up with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) to file two new marijuana bills aimed at protecting military veterans and immigrants from being punished for working at state-legal cannabis businesses.

The congressional delegations of Virginia and Maine sent letters urging USDA to make several changes to proposed hemp regulations.

A new study analyzing 1.5 billion opioid prescriptions found that marijuana legalization laws “reduce the total days supply of opioids prescribed, the total number of patients receiving opioids, and the probability a provider prescribes any opioids.”

  • “Medical cannabis laws reduce opioid prescriptions by the equivalent of nearly 300 milligrams of morphine, and recreational laws reduce the equivalent of well over half a kilogram of morphine.”

/ FEDERAL

The Government Accountability Office determined that the Office of National Drug Control Policy “does not have key planning elements needed to ensure it can meet” legal requirements.

The Small Business Administration publicized the U.S. Department of Education’s extension of the public comment period on hemp regulations.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “Good news for hemp farmers and advocates: there’s more time to weigh in on how the feds help this job-creating industry in Oregon and nationwide.”

A spokesperson for Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) said that while he “does not support legalizing recreational marijuana, he has voted to protect the implementation of North Dakota’s medical marijuana laws and will give careful consideration to any similar measures that are brought before the Senate on behalf of tribes.”

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted, “We shouldn’t have to wait any longer. Our communities have been devastated by unjust marijuana convictions. It’s time to legalize marijuana, expunge records, and use this industry to reinvest in our neighborhoods.”

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of 94.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an expungement bill into law. He also said that putting a marijuana legalization referendum on the ballot instead of passing legislation directly is “better than nothing.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) acknowledged that it might be hard to get a marijuana legalization bill passed in 2020 but said she will push for it.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) said that he is sympathetic to medical cannabis but isn’t ready to support full marijuana legalization “because of these potential adverse effects we’re seeing all around us.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands Senate did not vote on a marijuana legalization bill during a special session called by Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D).

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there is not an “appetite right now to legalize marijuana,” and he criticized the state’s rollout of a medical cannabis expansion.

The Georgia commission charged with expanding the state’s medical cannabis law held its first meeting.

The Alabama Medical Cannabis Study Commission is voting this week on whether to recommend a draft medical marijuana bill.

California regulators are conducting a survey about the state’s marijuana licensing and complaints processes.

A Florida senator said he will file a marijuana legalization bill within two weeks.

Missouri regulators will hold a public forum on medical cannabis vaping on January 9.


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 Chicago, Illinois City Council defeated a proposal to delay legal marijuana sales. The mayor also introduced an ordinance to establish a licensing system for cannabis consumption sites.

San Francisco, California officials awarded recreational marijuana sales permits to equity applicants.

Denver, Colorado police sent a bulletin with tips on increasing safety amid a wave of armed robberies at marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Trinidad and Tobago lawmakers sent President Paula-Mae Weekes a bill to decriminalize marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that cannabis “yields increase linearly with light intensity up to at least 1500 εmols/m2 s, which is at least twice the intensity that is most commonly used by cannabis growers” an that “for all the intensity ranges that we considered, the value of the gain in yields from increasing light intensity far exceeded the cost of using more electricity.”

A case study examined “a death of an 11-day-old white female neonate due to acute marijuana toxicity.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Consumer League is pushing Congress to take steps to regulate CBD products and inform consumers about their effects.

/ BUSINESS

Akerna Corp. announced that it is acquiring Ample Organics Inc.

The president and CEO of BCB Bank, joined the board of directors of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association.

/ CULTURE

Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart launched a line of marijuana pre-rolls.

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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.

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