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Senate schedules hemp hearing for next week (Newsletter: July 18, 2019)



DEA marijuana seizures dropped as states legalized; Study: Cannabis is alcohol substitute; FDA gets thousands of CBD comments

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There are now 1,162 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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The Senate Agriculture Committee scheduled a hearing on hemp production for next week, with U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency officials set to testify. It takes place two days after a separate Senate hearing on marijuana banking.

New Drug Enforcement Administration data appears to show that as more states enact legalization, federal agents are chopping down fewer illegal marijuana plants—as demonstrated by a  nearly 40% dip in federal cannabis eradication in California last year.

The Food and Drug Administration received more than 4,000 public comments about CBD regulations, including submissions from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, the New York State Bar Association, the National Grocers Association, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and 37 state attorneys general.

A study analyzing online search data following marijuana legalization concluded that “cannabis appears a substitute to alcohol, but not to tobacco.” It also found a “significant decrease in cannabis search[es] among” young people after legalization.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation has interviewed Missouri officials in charge of the state’s medical cannabis program, though the meetings were reportedly “not investigative in nature, but were routine meet-and-greets.”

A federal judge sentenced convicted drug cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to life in prison.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tweeted, “.@senatemajldr really created a lot of interest all across the country in the #hemp industry.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tweeted a video about his efforts to legalize hemp and his recent tour of a Kentucky hemp facility.

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for descheduling marijuana and allowing cannabis banking during a campaign stop in Iowa.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Come January, possession of small amounts of marijuana will be decriminalized in Hawai’i. This is one step forward toward fixing archaic marijuana policies. I’ll keep pushing to end the Federal Marijuana Prohibition so no person, business, or state lives in fear of federal prosecution.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that when it comes to marijuana banking legislation, “If there’s no obstruction, if we have a free chance to have a debate on the floor, I think we can get the sixty votes and pass it.”

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted about a congressional briefing he hosted on medical cannabis research.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) said she is optimistic about enacting federal marijuana reform.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “The tide is turning on marijuana legalization in America. We must fight for a future where nobody gets a criminal record or has their lives ruined for using cannabis.”

The House bill to respect state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor, for a total of 57.

The House bill to provide training programs to small marijuana businesses got one new cosponsor, for a total of one.


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said he is “very disappointed” in medical cannabis implementation delays, placing the blame on the state’s agriculture commissioner.

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) spoke about how his experience sending people to jail for marijuana and other drugs as a deputy sheriff shaped his views about criminal justice reform.

Ohio lawmakers sent a hemp bill to the desk of Gov. Mike DeWine (R).

The U.S. Virgin Islands’s agriculture commissioner is hosting a medical cannabis conference this weekend.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner tweeted about how a Louisville hemp company is “selling KY grown, processed & KY Proud hemp products! 500+ full time jobs beyond the farm gate have been created by this crop. I expect $100 million of KY product sales this year!”

The North Carolina House Judiciary Committee advanced legislation including a ban on smokable hemp.

California auditors published a report concluding that the state’s regulatory apparatus is “not sustainable to provide effective and comprehensive oversight of cannabis activities.”

Massachusetts regulators granted the state’s first marijuana business license to an economic empowerment program applicant.

Washington State regulators’ botched marijuana traceability system overhaul created problems and lost profits for businesses. Separately, they extended interim packaging and labeling policies.

Oregon regulators are accepting applications to participate in marijuana Rules Advisory Committees.

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.


The chiefs of police of large U.S. cities convened for a summit and produced a statement of principles that says “violence associated with the distribution of marijuana and other illegal drugs is a major concern in some cities.”

The Baltimore, Maryland state’s attorney authored an op-ed making the case that marijuana reform must include expungement, resentencing and reinvestment in communities harmed by prohibition.


The Canadian Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs published a report on military veteran’s medical cannabis access.

The Philippine government announced that the death toll in its bloody “war on drugs” has reached 5,526.


A study found that “THC can be reliably detected throughout the presumed 3-h impairment window following controlled administration of smoked cannabis” and that “the findings support breath THC concentrations as representing a physiological process and are correlated to blood concentrations, albeit with a shorter window of detection.”

Drug overdose deaths declined in the U.S. last year for the first time since 1990.


Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. acquired Grassroots, creating what it says is the world’s largest cannabis company.

Eaze published a study examining attitudes about driving under the influence of marijuana.


Rapper Post Malone is launching a line of hemp products.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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