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Senate votes to let military vets get medical cannabis (Newsletter: June 26, 2018)



Hemp legalization advances in Senate; FDA OKs CBD drug; Why is this key committee becoming anti-marijuana?

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The U.S. Senate approved a funding bill that contains a provision allowing Department of Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical cannabis to military veterans. The body also took a procedural vote to advance consideration of the Farm Bill, which includes provisions to legalize hemp.

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, which legalization advocates have relied on to advance marijuana measures over the past several years, has made a number of anti-cannabis moves in recent weeks, from blocking banking access to advancing measures to prevent further reform in Washington, D.C. to issuing a report tying legalization to impaired driving. Marijuana Moment spoke to advocates on Capitol Hill to try to make sense of the panel’s shift.

Delaware lawmakers could vote on legislation to legalize marijuana before this week’s end-of-session deadline.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved GW Pharmacueticals’s CBD medication Epidiolex. But Commissioner Scott Gottlieb warned that the agency “remain[s] concerned about the proliferation and illegal marketing of unapproved CBD-containing products with unproven medical claims.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Los Angeles office misstated the scheduling of several drugs, got its agency’s own Twitter handle wrong and implied that cocaine and meth have a lower abuse potential than marijuana — all in a single tweet.

A White House Office of National Drug Control Policy analysis found that coca cultivation and cocaine production in Colombia is at an all-time high.

Congressman John Delaney (D-MD), a presidential candidate, spoke about his views on criminal justice reform.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) pushed back against a mailer that advocates sent contrasting his opposition to Oklahoma’s medical cannabis ballot measure with Bible quotes.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will participate in an event about marijuana legalization hosted by the Center for American Progress on Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted, “As our country moves toward legalizing marijuana, let’s remember how many lives have been ruined because of our regressive policies. We must also focus on restorative justice.”

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) tweeted, “Trade wars hurt Americans. Tariffs are taxes. People deserve healthcare whether or not they have a pre existing health condition. Medicaid works. College should be affordable. Marijuana shouldn’t be the reason someone is in prison. Elections matter.”

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) posted two tweets about the federal approval of a CBD medicine.

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sent a press release cheering the federal CBD medication approval.

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) toured a hemp farm.

Mississippi Democratic U.S. Senate candidate David Baria supports medical cannabis and is likely to back marijuana decriminalization.


Early voting in Oklahoma — where medical cannabis is on the ballot Tuesday — is significantly increased from the 2014 primary.

A federal judge scheduled a hearing in a case that could remove Utah’s medical cannabis initiative from the November ballot.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said legalizing marijuana is “worth taking a look at.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed a bill approving a medical cannabis research program.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) said he will veto a bill to allow medical cannabis to treat opioid addiction, substance use and withdrawal symptoms.

Rhode Island lawmakers voted to extend the deadline for the marijuana study commission’s report until February 1, 2019.

The California State Bar is considering rules changes for lawyers who work with marijuana businesses.

The New York Times looks at single-issue marijuana voters in Colorado. Separately, former Gov. Bill Ritter (D) said that the results of marijuana legalization in the state has been a “mixed bag.”

Here’s a look at where South Carolina Republican gubernatorial candidates facing off in a runoff election on Tuesday stand on medical cannabis.

Minnesota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Erin Murphy spoke about her support for legalizing marijuana and expunging records.

Connecticut regulators rejected a move to add opioid use disorder and opiate withdrawal as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.


Russia stepped up its criticism of Canada’s marijuana legalization law.

Jamaica’s minister of industry , commerce, agriculture and fisheries says he will work to make sure the country doesn’t get left behind in the global medical cannabis industry.


The Sergeants Benevolent Association, a union representing New York City police, called marijuana a “gateway drug” and slammed enforcement policy changes.

A group of more than 140 organizations issued a letter condemning President Trump’s call to use the death penalty on people convicted of some drug offenses.


A study concluded that Italy’s legalization of low-THC marijuana resulted in “forgone revenues for criminal organizations amount to at least 160-200 million Euros per year,” suggesting that “even in a short period of time and with an imperfect substitute, the organized crime’s supply of illegal drugs is displaced by the entry of official and legal retailers.”


A poll found that North Dakota voters support a potential ballot measure to legalize marijuana and seal past cannabis convictions, 46% – 39%.

Leafly tries to make sense of CBD’s confusing legal status.


The American Society for Testing and Materials International approved voluntary consensus standards for the marijuana industry concerning water activity in cannabis flower.

Treatwell’s Alison Ettel gave a TV interview explaining the events that led up to her calling the police on an eight-year-old girl who was selling water outside her office.

Marijuana delivery service Eaze hired lobbying firm Holland & Knight to represent its interests in Congress.

Stanley Brothers Holdings, which makes Charlotte’s Web CBD products, is preparing to go public.

News website Cannabis Wire relaunched.

The Michigan Cannabis Risk and Financial Association LLC is working to connect marijuana businesses with insurance coverage and other financial services.


A New Zealand man who got too high called the police on himself.

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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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