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Sessions blocks another cannabis vote—this one on 280E (Newsletter: Nov. 29, 2018)

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Brazil lawmakers approve medical cannabis; Bernie Sanders talks marijuana in new book; Michigan expungement bill filed

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) may have lost his reelection bid earlier this month, but that’s not stopping him from continuing to block marijuana amendments from being considered. This time he prevented a measure to remove the 280E tax penalty on cannabis businesses from reaching the House floor.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) devotes several passages of his new book to bashing the failures of marijuana prohibition, and called for ending the war on drugs in a speech about core progressive policies.

A Brazilian Senate committee approved a medical cannabis bill.

Two newly filed Michigan bills would free people serving time for marijuana offenses from prison and expunge records of those convicted of cannabis crimes.

/ FEDERAL

A administrative law judge overturned the U.S. Postal Service’s seizure of hemp-derived CBD powder.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case on asset forfeiture against a person who carried drugs in his vehicle, and several justices appeared ready to restrict the practice.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Colorado led the way in marijuana legalization, more potent marijuana & derivatives &, financially, it has been an unquestioned loser. Pathway has now led to legalized ‘safe’ injection sites for conducting addictive illegal activity. Dangerous direction.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is continuing to push for hemp legalization in the Farm Bill, with final language expected to be released soon.

Republican senators are sharply divided on criminal justice reform legislation.

A Connecticut doctor is facing federal charges for allegedly writing false medical cannabis recommendations in exchange for money.

The House bill to require the federal government to study the impact of state marijuana legalization got one new cosponsor, for a total of 34.

The House bill to codify that Department of Veterans Affairs doctors can discuss medical cannabis with their patients got two new cosponsors, for a total of five.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to survey veterans and healthcare providers about medical cannabis got two new cosponsors, for a total of five.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to train healthcare providers about medical cannabis got two new cosponsors, for a total of four.

/ STATES

Illinois lawmakers overrode Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) veto of a bill that removes a requirement to fire state troopers and corrections officers who test positive for marijuana.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the state’s legalization of marijuana is going “mostly according to plan.” Separately, cannabis regulator Shaleen Title spoke about her support for legalizing all drugs in a TV interview.

Michigan regulators are recommending allowing medical cannabis businesses to avoid a product shortage by purchasing marijuana from registered caregivers.

Nevada’s treasurer-elect is pushing a system of blockchain-backed token payments for marijuana dispensaries.

Arkansas regulators met with medical cannabis cultivation licensees, who are expecting products to be available in April at the soonest.

Pennsylvania’s agriculture secretary announced that applications for hemp research permits are available. Separately, a court will consider a lawsuit filed by dispensary operators and growers challenging the state’s medical cannabis research program.

Vermont’s marijuana legalization study commission held a meeting to receive public feedback, with several more meetings scheduled over the next week.

Wisconsin regulators extended the deadline for hemp license applications.

Washington State regulators are considering rules on marijuana signage.

Former New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), who lost last year’s gubernatorial election, said that it would be less harmful for the state to legalize prostitution than marijuana.

Medical cannabis products go on sale in Iowa on Saturday.

Colorado regulators issued another health advisory concerning potentially unsafe pesticide residues on marijuana products.


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/ LOCAL

The Statesboro, Georgia City Council is expected to vote on a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance next week.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced the opening of Latin America’s first lab that processes cannabis medicines.

New Zealand’s government announced changes to a pending medical cannabis bill.

South Korea officials said they will start importing medical cannabis early in 2019.

Irish lawmakers engaged in a heated debated about delayed medical cannabis access.

A Welsh lawmaker criticized a police commissioner for visiting a cannabis club, which he said “sends mixed messages to young people.”

Three Philippine police officers were found guilty of an extrajudicial killing in the country’s bloody “drug war.”

/ ADVOCACY

The International Association of Chiefs of Police adopted a resolution supporting former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s rescission of Obama-era guidance on marijuana enforcement.

The Utah Patients Coalition is transitioning from a political issues committee to a political action committee so that it can lobby and support or oppose candidates.

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana held a briefing on Capitol Hill.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol reduces airway inflammation and fibrosis in experimental allergic asthma.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Wisconsin adults support legalizing marijuana, 56%-35%.

/ BUSINESS

Eaze is reportedly in the process of closing $65 million in venture capital funding that would give the company a valuation in excess of $300 million.

The CEO of the Brewers Association said that smartphones are a “bigger threat” to craft beer sales than marijuana legalization is.

Dixie Brands, Inc. completed a reverse takeover that will allow it to go public on the Canadian Securities Exchange on Thursday.

Weedmaps teamed up with Virtue, Vice Media’s in-house ad agency, to create The Museum of Weed.

Nevada collected $7.49 million in marijuana taxes in September.

Cowen & Co. is partnering with Headset to offer data products about the marijuana industry.

TPG Capital founder James Coulter said he believes marijuana legalization is likely to continue across the U.S.

The New York Times looks at what it’s like to be employed as a marijuana trimmer.

/ CULTURE

Cheech Marin said marijuana legalization seems unstoppable.

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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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