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Senate votes to legalize hemp (Newsletter: June 29, 2018)

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MA could grant 1st rec dispensary license Mon; OK GOP leaders disagree w/ gov about special session; UK moving ahead with medical cannabis access

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As a reminder, I’ll be taking a bit of “vacation” over the next two weeks. The newsletter might go out a little bit later in the day, and also be a little thinner, than usual. I’ll still be trying to send dispatches most days, but know that some days might be skipped.

We will still be aiming to publish stories on the Marijuana Moment website every day, so if there’s big news, we will make sure you know about it.

Follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss anything. I’m at @tomangell and Kyle is at @kylejaeger.

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

After a decades-long ban under broad marijuana prohibition, the U.S. Senate voted to legalize hemp as part of the Farm Bill.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) marijuana bill has seven initial cosponsors.

The Congressional Research Service published a report about industrial hemp.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about marijuana reform at a Center for American Progress event.

U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) sent press releases about their support for marijuana descheduling legislation.

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) touted the Farm Bill’s hemp legalization provisions in a Senate floor speech.

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) spoke about hemp legalization on the Senate floor.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, tweeted, “We must urgently address imbalances in our criminal justice system. Start by ending mandatory minimums for minor drug offenses, ending the fed. prohibition on marijuana, ending cash bail, stopping the use of private prisons, and providing an environment that welcomes re-entry.”

The U.S. House bill to require the licensing of more marijuana cultivators for research got one new cosponsor, for a total of 39.

West Virginia Democratic congressional candidate Richard Ojeda tweeted to a voter, “We need to give folks like you access NOW to a non addictive form of pain management. I am in your corner and will continue to fight for you and everyone in your situation that is suffering from illnesses that medical cannabis can help.”

/ STATES

Oklahoma Republican legislative leaders seem to disagree with Gov. Mary Fallin (R) about the need to call a special session to amend the medical cannabis measure that voters overwhelmingly approved this week.

Delaware’s House speaker said he abstained from voting on a marijuana legalization bill because he was upset about a late fiscal note that was attached to it.

Massachusetts regulators could license the state’s first recreational marijuana dispensary on Monday.

Florida Republican gubernatorial candidates debated marijuana policy.

Here’s a look at where Pennsylvania lawmakers stand on legalizing marijuana.

An Indiana Republican representative said he will file a medical cannabis bill next year.

/ LOCAL

Jacksonville, Arkansas police will no longer arrest people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

San Diego, California’s former police chief is being called out for manipulating data to claim that marijuana dispensaries are associated with crime.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK officials began accepting applications for medical cannabis licenses, and prescriptions could be available within two weeks.

The leader of Saint Lucia’s opposition party said that the country will “very shortly have to be on the side of decriminalising the use of marijuana.”

/ ADVOCACY

The Center for American Progress released a report calling for an end to the war on drugs.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Arizona voters support legalizing marijuana, 53% – 39%.

The Tulsa World editorial board warned Oklahoma officials not to undermine the will of voters who overwhelmingly approved medical cannabis.

/ BUSINESS

Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics project that the legal marijuana market will reach $11 billion in consumer spending in 2018 and more than $23 billion by 2022.

The Institute for Economic Affairs estimates that legalizing marijuana in the UK would generate  £1 billion in tax revenue per year.

GW Pharmaceuticals believes its CBD drug Epidiolex, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, will be placed in Schedule IV or V.

Nevada collected $6.55 million in marijuana tax revenues in April.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult film actress Stephanie Clifford in legal disputes with President Trump, spent much of last year acting as the representative of a proposed marijuana farm and processing plant in Southern California.

Marijuana industry retail and brand development firm 4Front Holdings raised $13.4 million in a Series D funding round.

A medical cannabis clinic has already opened in Oklahoma.

/ CULTURE

Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt cheered the U.S. Senate’s moves to legalize hemp.

Filmmaker Michael Moore cited Americans’ support for marijuana law reform during an interview with Stephen Colbert.

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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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