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Senators vote to allow cannabis for veterans (Newsletter: June 8, 2018)

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Details on Senate marijuana bill; Canadian lawmakers approve legalization; MPP cuts staff

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to allow military veterans to get medical cannabis recommendations from Department of Veterans Affairs doctors and to protect them from being denied VA services because of their participation in state medical marijuana programs.

U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) held a press conference to announce legislation they are introducing to end federal marijuana prohibition. Marijuana Moment has the full text, analysis and quotes from President Trump’s new conversation about the bill with Gardner. Plus, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has pledged to allow a vote on the bill, per Warren.

The Canadian Senate approved the government’s marijuana legalization bill. It now heads back to the House of Commons, which will consider senators’ amendments.

In an interview with Marijuana Moment, Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis, currently a congressman, criticized incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) vetoes of several cannabis bills.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump reportedly signed a letter saying that the rescission of Obama-era marijuana enforcement guidance was “a return of discretion to Federal prosecutors, who know where and how to deploy their resources most effectively to reduce violent crime, stem the tide of the drug crisis, and dismantle criminal gangs.”

The head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Oklahoma office appears to be campaigning against the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “The time has come to decriminalize marijuana. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tweeted a video about a man who used medical cannabis to get through chemotherapy.

Congressman Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and Congressman Denny Heck (D-WA) welcomed support for their marijuana banking legislation from the Independent Community Bankers of America.

Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) said she’s optimistic that legislation to allow marijuana businesses to access banks will move forward after the next election.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, tweeted about the need to allow military veteran to access medical cannabis.

The White House is touting new public service announcements about the use of opioids.

The U.S. Senate comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 13.

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got one new cosponsor, for a total of 92.

/ STATES

A Florida appeals court is expediting its review of a case challenging the state’s ban on smoking medical cannabis.

The Arkansas Supreme Court heard arguments in the state’s appeal of a lower court decision preventing regulators from awarding medical cannabis cultivation licenses. The court revealed a letter claiming that a license applicant tried to bribe regulators.

A New Jersey senator is filing a bill to legalize marijuana and expand the state’s medical cannabis program.

Ohio regulators’ medical cannabis license application process was faulted in an audit by Ernst & Young.

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

Colorado regulators released an updated bulletin concerning the use of marijuana by pregnant women.

/ LOCAL

Minneapolis, Minnesota is ending low-level marijuana stings after it was revealed that nearly all people targeted by such actions are black.

The New Paltz, New York village and town boards approved a resolution endorsing marijuana legalization.

Savannah, Georgia police are preparing to implement a marijuana decriminalization ordinance starting on July 1.

Denver, Colorado regulators are considering another marijuana social use license application.

Detroit, Michigan is considering new regulations for medical cannabis businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Jamaica’s Ministry of Health established a medical cannabis unit.

/ ADVOCACY

The Marijuana Policy Project cut its staff by 30%.

Colorado activists held a rally to protest Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) veto of several marijuana bills.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board is calling on Florida to allow the smoking of medical cannabis.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board is criticizing U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) for supporting marijuana reform legislation.

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

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.

Tom Angell is the editor of Marijuana Moment. A 15-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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

Newsletter

UN delays cannabis rescheduling recommendation (Newsletter: Dec. 10, 2018)

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Where Trump AG pick stands on drugs; Study: Marijuana improves working memory; Cannabis bills already being pre-filed for 2019

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 349 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

  • Adam Gordon of the Oya Group (soon to be Euphoric Cannabis Marketing): “We need more Toms in the cannabis industry; voices that are clear, factual, and and mature. He must have some great sources, because he’s really on top of what’s going on. He saves me hours of research every week.”

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

President Trump announced that he intends to nominate William Barr as U.S. attorney general. Marijuana Moment took a look at his record on drug policy.

In a surprise move, the World Health Organization decided not to publicly release its recommendations on whether marijuana should be rescheduled under international treaties.

Elon Musk told 60 Minutes that his on-camera marijuana smoking earlier this year was just a fluke:

  • “I have no idea how to smoke pot or anything. I don’t know how to smoke anything, honestly.”

2018 isn’t even over yet but lawmakers in a number of states are already pre-filing marijuana bills for 2019 legislative sessions.

A new study seems to undermine the stereotype about forgetful stoners. The research, which involved rats,  found that “cannabis smoke improved working memory accuracy.”

/ FEDERAL

President Trump tweeted, “Hopefully Mitch McConnell will ask for a VOTE on Criminal Justice Reform. It is extremely popular and has strong bipartisan support. It will also help a lot of people, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our communities safe. Go for it Mitch!”

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said “there’s no such thing as medical marijuana.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration clarified in a Federal Register filing that it increased 2018 marijuana production quotas “based solely on increased usage projections for federally approved research projects.”

The Buffalo News looks at the effects of a Department of Housing and Urban Development policy allowing landlords to evict people from public housing for medical cannabis.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is endorsing criminal justice reform legislation after successfully seeking an amendment to “exclude violent offenders from being released early” from prison.

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Florida Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis (R) indicated he plans to drop at least one of the state’s fights to appeal court rulings striking down medical cannabis regulations.

California regulators publicly released final marijuana rules that have been submitted to the state Office of Administrative Law. The plan would allow cannabis delivery throughout the state, even in cities that ban dispensaries.

New Jersey’s Assembly speaker won’t commit to bringing a marijuana legalization bill to a vote by the end of the year. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) reiterated that he supports ending prohibition for social justice reasons. Separately, an Assemblyman filed legislation to apply conflict of interest standards to marijuana regulators and to put constitutional amendment on the ballot directing cannabis revenue to property tax relief.

Oklahoma regulators have licensed 743 medical cannabis dispensaries.

Kentucky’s Senate president is under fire for making a joke comparing medical cannabis to bourbon.

Michigan regulators approved a plan to let medical cannabis businesses obtain products from individual caregivers in order to avoid a shortage. They also rejected a business license application filed by former National Football League players.

Wisconsin’s Supreme Court threw out a marijuana conviction stemming from a police officer’s illegal entry into a home.

Pennsylvania regulators officially launched a process to accept applications for new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Utah regulators are hiring a cannabis program manager to oversee the state’s industrial hemp and medical marijuana programs.

Maine regulators hired a consulting firm to help write marijuana rules.

Here’s a look at the prospects for legalizing marijuana in Minnesota.

North Dakota is likely a few months away from patient access to medical cannabis.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) suggested funding the subway with “all the proceeds that can come from legalizing marijuana.”

The New York Times looks at how Needles, California is banking on marijuana businesses to boost its economy.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the country will “put a framework in place for medical cannabis within the next week or so.”

Malawi’s parliament voted to move forward on considering medical cannabis legislation.

Ireland’s health minister supports medical cannabis.

Canadian lawmakers debated a bill to expunge marijuana convictions.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “cannabidiol tolerance exists and it limits the efficacy of this antiseizure treatment in the long-term clinical management of epilepsy.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

An online survey found that more Americans would choose to ban alcohol than marijuana if forced to choose.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board is urging Missouri officials not to deny welfare benefits to medical cannabis patients.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial board called Altria’s investment in the marijuana industry “promising.”

/ BUSINESS

Altria Group, Inc. is investing $1.8 billion in Cronos Group Inc., for a a 45% equity stake.

Instagram admitted that it inappropriately closed down some Maryland medical cannabis businesses’ accounts.

Maryland’s first year of legal medical cannabis saw $96.3 million in sales to nearly 52,000 patients.

Alaska collected $1.8 million in marijuana tax revenue in October, a monthly record.

Shoppers Drug Mart got a license to sell medical cannabis online in Canada.

Prominent marijuana attorney Robert Raich is being accused of molesting his stepson, which he denied in court testimony.

/ CULTURE

The New York Times looks at how more older Americans are using medical cannabis.

Kentucky racehorse tested positive for CBD.

MMA fighter Elias Theodorou gave an after-win speech about the need to allow marijuana use.

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

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.
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Surgeon general says Schedule I blocks cannabis research (Newsletter: Dec. 7, 2018)

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Marijuana’s biggest wins of 2018; Advocates say don’t give NY legalization revenue to subways; Report: Former AG considered as Sessions replacement

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 344 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams criticized marijuana’s Schedule I status, saying that it creates unnecessary “difficulty” for scientists who want to research cannabis.

Marijuana had several huge political victories in 2018, including:

  • Legislatures passing legalization for the first time
  • Red states approving medical cannabis
  • President Trump backing reform
  • Longtime prohibitionists in Congress flipping
  • Canada legalizing and Mexico moving  to do so
  • Hemp legalization being included in the Farm Bill

Check out Marijuana Moment’s overview of the ten biggest wins for cannabis this year.

The Drug Policy Alliance and other advocates are pushing back on plans to fund subways with potential New York marijuana tax revenue and instead want the money to go to communities harmed by prohibition.

/ FEDERAL

Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr is reportedly being considered for the job again by President Trump. Also in the running is Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX).

/ STATES

Texas’s agriculture commissioner called on Congress to legalize hemp.

The New York Assembly Republican leader launched a Twitter poll about legalizing marijuana.

Maryland regulators voted to ban most advertising by cannabis companies.

Colorado cannabis reform advocates hope that under Gov.-elect Jared Polis (D) they can pass legislation allowing marijuana social use areas, delivery services and broader investments in the industry. Meanwhile, lawmakers and the state’s attorney general-elect are pushing for legislation to clear past marijuana convictions.

The Washington State Supreme Court blocked a proposed local ballot measure that would have banned public funding for safe injection sites.

Michigan regulators released information about the implementation of legalization and changed their agency’s name to the Bureau of Marijuana Regulation. Also, regulators will consider several medical cannabis license applications on Friday.

Connecticut’s House Progressive Caucus plans to push for legalizing marijuana in 2019.

Massachusetts marijuana regulators are set to take over control of the state’s medical cannabis program from the Department of Public Health this month.

A member of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission plans to resign prior to the end of his term.

Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

The Hill looks at the growing push to legalize marijuana through state legislatures.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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

Cincinnati, Ohio City Council members want to place a marijuana decriminalization question before voters. 

The Appleton, Wisconsin Common Council endorsed a resolution calling on the state to legalize medical cannabis.

Denver, Colorado is punishing a landlord for his tenant’s marijuana cultivation violations.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A top Israeli lawmaker said the nation will likely allow medical cannabis exports by the end of the year.

Uruguay regulators will accept applications for additional marijuana production and distribution licenses in February.

Dominican President Charles Savarin is asking Israel to assist the Caribbean nations with research on marijuana as the region considers decriminalization.

Politico looks at European countries’ moves to allow medical cannabis. 

/ ADVOCACY

The Connecticut Republican Party included legalizing marijuana in a survey about “the most important issues” people want lawmakers to address in 2019.

Fire It Up Kansas launched a marijuana legalization billboard campaign.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A report found that “supervised injectable [heroin-assisted treatment] — with optional oral methadone — can offer benefits over oral methadone alone” and that “scientific evidence about the effectiveness of [supervised consumption sites] is limited in quality and the number of locations evaluated.”

/ BUSINESS

Wiz Khalifa and Supreme Cannabis are partnering on a line of marijuana products.

MedMen is facing a class action lawsuit from former employees alleging labor law violations by the company.

Canopy Growth Corporation is acquiring vaporizer company Storz & Bickel.

The Lansing City Pulse newspaper handed out free joints on the first day of Michigan marijuana legalization.

/ CULTURE

Singer Toni Braxton spoke about how she uses cannabis products to treat pain associated with lupus.

Seth Meyers joked about using marijuana tax revenue to fund the New York City subway.

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

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.
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NY might use cannabis taxes to fund subway repairs (Newsletter: Dec. 6, 2018)

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New Missouri marijuana legalization bill; Cannabis org wants crackdown on unlicensed dispensaries; Feds block tribe’s medical marijuana policy

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.

Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 342 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York lawmakers are considering using legal marijuana tax revenue to fund repairs to the New York City subway system.

Missouri voters only approved medical cannabis one month ago, but now a state representative has already prefiled a bill to legalize marijuana in 2019.

The United Cannabis Business Association is calling on the Los Angeles, California city attorney to crack down on unlicensed marijuana dispensaries.

/ FEDERAL

Farm Bill compromise language would reportedly prevent people with felony drug convictions from participating in the hemp industry for a period of 10 years after being convicted, instead of permanently.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs moved to block a Montana tribe’s legalization of medical cannabis.

President Trump tweeted, “One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States. It will now be considered a ‘controlled substance.’ This could be a game changer on what is considered to be the worst and most dangerous, addictive and deadly substance of them all. Last year over 77,000 people died from Fentanyl. If China cracks down on this “horror drug,” using the Death Penalty for distributors and pushers, the results will be incredible!”

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Looking forward to invite-only marijuana symposium next week. Facts not propaganda. Facts about Colorado. Facts about ecology & environment. Facts about health. Facts about black market. FACTS!Public deserves facts & policy makers, media, law enforcement should know the facts.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act would ensure the #marijuana industry can access our banking system and reduce the public safety risk of having cash on our streets & in our communities. @RepDennyHeck and I plan to continue pushing our legislation in the next Congress.”

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted, “I cosponsored the SAFE Banking Act to ensure San Diego #marijuana businesses can safely operate, as permitted by California law. Thanks to @RepPerlmutter and @RepDennyHeck for continuing to advocate for this public safety fix.”

Former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) wrote about meeting mothers whose children use medical cannabis to treat autism.

/ STATES

Michigan’s legalization of marijuana possession and home cultivation went into effect on Thursday. Separately,  the House of Representatives advanced bills concerning disclosure of medical cannabis licensee information to financial institutions and making other changes.

Missouri’s medical cannabis law went into effect on Thursday.

Nevada Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak (D) is floating the idea of creating a new body to regulate marijuana.

Utah medical cannabis advocates filed a lawsuit against Gov. Gary Herbert (R) and the head of the state Department of Health over the “compromise” legislation lawmakers passed to replace the voter-approved ballot measure.

Pennsylvania regulators will open a second round of applications for the state’s medical cannabis research program after no clinical registrant approvals were issued in the first round.

Washington State regulators issued a reminder that cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages are illegal.

A Illinois senator said it is “rather inevitable” that the state will legalize marijuana next year.


Marijuana Moment is currently tracking more than 900 cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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 Statesboro, Georgia City Council approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Luxembourg’s governing coalition released details of a marijuana legalization plan.

Israeli lawmakers gave initial approval to a bill allowing medical cannabis exports.

The International Criminal Court said it is continuing to investigate extrajudicial killings in the bloody Philippine drug war. Meanwhile, a senator is calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to take a drug test after he joked about using marijuana.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “cannabidiol probably reduces seizures among children with drug‐resistant epilepsy.”

A study examining the differences between Canadian licensed marijuana producers and unlicensed dispensaries found that “rather than attempts to construct a credible shared identity for legitimacy, the emphasis is on building a distinct identity narrative in the face of market competition.”

A survey determined that “there was discordance among transplant centers in their perceived risks of marijuana use as opposed to complications actually observed.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board is calling on Congress to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks.

/ BUSINESS

The CEO of Philip Morris International Inc. said it’s not “our priority right now to consider cannabis.”

/ CULTURE

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern says that marijuana may have been “unfairly demonized.”

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

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.
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