Connect with us


Senator cosponsors three legal cannabis bills amid primary challenge (Newsletter: September 30, 2019)



Breaking down Congress’s marijuana banking vote; Virginia lawmakers lobby for hemp insurance; Trump signs hemp funding into law

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.

Get our daily newsletter.

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.


Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) cosponsored three separate marijuana legalization bills in the same day— less than a week after Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) announced he would mount a primary challenge against the senator, who has never before signed onto descheduling legislation during his more than 40 years in Congress.

Marijuana Moment’s latest analysis takes a deep dive into the recent House of Representatives vote on a cannabis banking bill. Among other angles, we look at those lawmakers who flipped their position on the issue since the last time Congress voted on financial services for marijuana businesses in 2014.

Virginia’s congressional delegation—Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA)and Mark Warner (D-VA), along with Reps. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Ben Cline (R-VA), Elaine Luria (D-VA) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA)—successfully convinced an agricultural insurance program to cover the state’s hemp farmers.


Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law, a short-term spending bill that includes nearly $16.5 million to fund hemp legalization implementation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that most people with vaping-related severe lung injuries reported using THC-containing products, or both THC-containing products and nicotine-containing products.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its first-ever patent for a hemp cultivar.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Last week, the House passed a bill to give marijuana businesses access to banking. That’s important, but it’s not enough. We need to legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and create paths for people of color to enter the legal marijuana industry.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, again joked that marijuana is safer than french fries.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he wants to include measures on “legacy cash” and marijuana potency in cannabis banking legislation.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted a graphic of growth projections for the marijuana industry, adding, “Imagine how much higher these numbers would be if cannabis were legal nationwide. Ending the federal prohibition of marijuana will keep people out of jail and also create strong economic growth.”

The Senate bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the damage of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of five.

The Senate bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funds from states with disproportionate enforcement got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

The Senate bill to deschedule marijuana and fun expungement efforts got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

The House bill to  deschedule marijuana and withhold funds from states with disproportionate enforcement got one new cosponsor for a total of 45.

The House bill to move marijuana to Schedule III and expand research got one new cosponsor for a total of three.


Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued an executive order banning flavored nicotine and marijuana vaping devices and directing regulators to take steps to increase oversight, including requiring the disclosure of ingredients.

Oregon regulators recommended that Gov. Kate Brown (D) consider a six-month moratorium on sales of vaping products, including for marijuana.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) urged voters not to sign marijuana legalization ballot petitions.

Pennsylvania’s attorney general endorsed marijuana legalization. The lieutenant governor tweeted that “Cannabis Prohibition is a True Minority View in 2019 Pennsylvania.”

Colorado’s attorney general tweeted, “Our experience in Colorado is that legalizing cannabis is a positive step forward.  As you move forward in Pennsylvania, we are happy to help you learn from our expertise in creating a new regulatory regime and addressing both the opportunities and challenges.”

Nevada’s treasurer is holding stakeholder meetings about a marijuana banking pilot program this week.

Illinois’s newly appointed marijuana czar said recreational sales will start on time for January 1.

New Mexico regulators are being sued over rules imposing medical cannabis plant count limits.

Connecticut regulators added chronic pain and Ehler-Danlos Syndrome as medical cannabis qualifying conditions, but rejected a move to add night terrors.

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 Kansas City, Missouri police chief claims that marijuana is tied to murders.


Mexico’s Senate is convening a colloquium of cannabis consumers on Monday.

The Australian Capital Territory’s chief minister said that the decriminalization of MDMA and other drugs could follow a local move to legalize marijuana.


A review concluded that “several cannabinoid-based medications that entered clinical trials have shown promising results in reducing withdrawal symptoms in cannabis and opioid users.”

Researchers announced they developed a method to formulate stable synthetic cannabinoid acids, including versions of THC and CBD.


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial board is urging Pennsylvania officials to decriminalize marijuana while they think carefully about whether and how to go further by enacting legalization.

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board cheered the advancement of marijuana banking legislation in Congress.

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta published an op-ed about his support for medical cannabis.


An NBC News investigation found that three cannabis vaping products purchased from legal dispensaries in California were free of heavy metals, pesticides or residual solvents such as Vitamin E acetate but that 13 out of the another 15 samples from unregulated market THC cartridges were found to contain Vitamin E oil. The unregulated products also contained pesticides and myclobutanil, which can transform into hydrogen cyanide when burned.

Elemental Processing filed a $44 million lawsuit against HP Farms for allegedly selling it bad hemp seeds.

Here’s a look at the top investment banks operating in the cannabis industry.


Miley Cyrus and Chris Rock are investors in the nation’s first marijuana cafe, which opens on Monday.

Willie Nelson, Melissa Etheridge, Gov’t Mule, Damian Marley, Stephen Marley and Lukas Nelson tweeted about The Last Prisoner Project’s efforts to expunge prior marijuana convictions.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

Get our daily newsletter.

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.
Become a patron at Patreon!

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.


Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Get our daily newsletter.

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox


Get our daily newsletter.