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Sessions meets with medical cannabis parents (Newsletter: Sep. 6, 2018)

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Altria looking at marijuana entry; McConnell touts hemp; Senate bill legalizes medical cannabis for veterans

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pushed for hemp legalization during the first Farm Bill conference committee meeting. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)  also spoke in support.

Executives for tobacco giant Altria said they are “exploring options” in the marijuana industry:

  • “We’re mindful of the possibility that in the future cannabis may no longer be illegal under federal law.”

Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who as House Rules Committee chairman has blocked dozens of marijuana amendments from even being voted on, met with parents of children who benefit from medical cannabis. They told Marijuana Moment that they found him “very receptive” to their concerns.

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) filed legislation to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans, allow Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to issue recommendations and require the VA to research the benefits of marijuana.

Major pro-legalization union United Food and Commercial Workers is facing backlash over its decision to  team up with law enforcement to restrict legal and regulated marijuana deliveries in California.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh briefly addressed marijuana enforcement during his confirmation hearing before being interrupted by a senator:

  • “Let’s talk about the marijuana laws. Those are constitutional, but a U.S. attorney or the attorney general could say, ‘We’re not going to devote our resources to low-level marijuana offenses.’ Those are perfectly constitutional…”

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke about the drug war and racially disparate incarceration rates during the Kavanaugh hearing.

President Trump met with Kim Kardashian West and other advocates about clemency. Kardashian West is working to free a man serving a life sentence for marijuana and cocaine possession.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released an alert on marijuana investments and fraud.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) tweeted, “Congress must hold companies like Purdue Pharma accountable and end the Federal marijuana prohibition, so those who need medicinal marijuana can access it without being targeted as criminals.”

The U.S. House bill to deschedule marijuana and punish states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor, for a total of 40.

The U.S. House bill to increase medical cannabis access for military veterans got two new cosponsors, for a total of 28.

The U.S. House bill to set a federal excise tax on marijuana products got one new cosponsor, for a total of 11.

Arizona Democratic congressional candidate David Brill tweeted, “It is time to address the issue of #cannabis on the federal level once and for all.”

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that regulators have received 146 medical cannabis dispensary  license applications from 106 businesses. He also tweeted, “Medical marijuana is used to treat chronic and debilitating pain, epilepsy, glaucoma, PTSD, ALS, side effects of cancer treatment and HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other painful illnesses. NJ will not deny people compassionate care.”

A coalition opposing North Dakota’s marijuana legalization ballot measure is launching on Thursday.

Kansas gubernatorial candidates debated medical marijuana reform.

New York officials held the first of 15 marijuana legalization listening sessions.

A Utah radio station stopped running an ad criticizing the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure after receiving complaints that it contains false and misleading information.

Mississippi activists will begin collecting signatures next week for a proposed 2020 medical cannabis ballot measure.

California regulators will hold a series of workshops this month to receive public input on the state’s cannabis appellations project. Separately, a court rejected a lawsuit alleging that Butte County’s medical cannabis ordinance violates equal protection because it grants different people differing cultivation amounts.

Here’s a look at how Maryland medical cannabis patients are obtaining edibles even though they aren’t legal.

/ LOCAL

A Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin committee approved a marijuana legalization advisory question for the Spring 2019 ballot.

The Gary, Indiana Common Council narrowly defeated a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Rachel Rollins, who won the Democratic nomination for Suffolk County, Massachusetts district attorney, has pledged to decline to prosecute cases on drug possession and drug possession with intent to distribute.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma’s police chief released details of a marijuana penalty reduction proposal he wants enacted.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government released information about its cannabis tracking system.

Israeli officials reportedly raised objections over the bloody Philippine “drug war” and are holding off on signing a police cooperation agreement because of it.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “THC significantly reduced patients’ pain compared to placebo.”

A review concluded that “no clear association between cannabis smoking and lung cancer.”

A study found that college-age marijuana use is at the highest level in three decades.

A study of a responsible marijuana vendor training program found it “was acceptable to retail recreational marijuana personnel and potentially improved responsible sales practices.”

/ BUSINESS

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged Greenview Investment Partners L.P. and its founder with defrauding investors.

Alaska generated more than $1.3 million in marijuana tax revenue in July.

Barclays Bank released an analysis of the marijuana market.

Here’s a look at the rise of marijuana stocks.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Ty Dolla $ign was arrested on marijuana and cocaine charges.

NBA player Kenneth Faried pleaded not guilty to a marijuana possession charge.

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Photo courtesy of Kyle Jaeger.

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

Congress to vote on cannabis banking next week (Newsletter: September 16, 2019)

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Lawmakers press FDA to allow CBD products; Marijuana rescheduling bill would fix 280E; Dan Aykroyd & Joe Rogan on psychedelics

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 440 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

  • Koala Authentix: “Staying up to date with hemp and cannabis news and legislation is extremely important to our clients and our business overall.  Tom Angell and Marijuana Moment are trusted primary sources for that information. We appreciate the timeliness, accuracy, and depth of coverage we get from Marijuana Moment.”   

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives plans a floor vote on cannabis banking legislation by the end of this month, the office of Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) told Marijuana Moment.

Reps. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and James Comer (R-KY) are asking fellow lawmakers to sign a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration to issue a memo on CBD enforcement discretion and formulate an interim final rule establishing a clear regulatory framework allowing use of CBD in food products and dietary supplements.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) filed a bill to move marijuana to Schedule III. While his stated aim is to expand research, the reform would also end the application of the 280E tax penalty on state-legal cannabis businesses.

/ FEDERAL

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing to strengthen its drug testing rules.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse published a request for information about contractors who can help recruit and screen participants for drug use surveys.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “There’s no question that people of color continue to be hit the hardest by the failed War on Drugs. Enough. It’s time we passed my bill to legalize marijuana and expand opportunities for communities of color.”

House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern (D-MA) said it is “a political liability not to take action on” marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) urged that any federal crackdown on vaping should focus on marijuana products.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) tweeted about discussing hemp at an agriculture town hall meeting.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “We must reinvest in the black and brown communities hardest hit by the failed war on drugs while fighting for real restorative justice.”

The House bill to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis and prevent the denial of benefits for marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of six.

/ STATES

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) issued an order providing guidance on workplace issues for medical cannabis patients. She also tweeted about signage that registered dispensaries can post to show their official participation in the District’s medical marijuana program.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted that “cannabis has led to- checks notes- none overdose deaths-checks notes- never.” In another tweet, he criticized a judge’s ruling barring medical marijuana for people on probation.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner and chief financial officer sent a letter urging Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation. Separately, an appeals court allowed the state House of Representatives to intervene in a lawsuit challenging medical cannabis regulations.

California’s treasurer sent an update on efforts to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banking. Separately, regulators took enforcement actions against two unlicensed marijuana retailers selling illegal vape cartridges.

Hawaii regulators said they will remove unregulated CBD products from the market.

Utah lawmakers will hold a special session on Monday to consider changes to the medical cannabis distribution system.

An Arizona grand jury indicted a woman on 10 counts of forgery and one count of fraudulent schemes related to a potential medical cannabis zoning conspiracy.

Ohio regulators are urging medical cannabis patients to avoid vaping.

Washington State regulators will hold a listen and learn session about draft conceptual marijuana penalty rules on September 26.

The company suing the Idaho State Police for seizing a hemp shipment says it will drop the lawsuit if its product is returned and officials pledge not to stop future shipments through the state.

A group of Illinois women lawmakers who worked together to pass marijuana legalization legislation are calling themselves “the Cannabitches.”


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.

/ LOCAL

Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor signed an executive order stipulating that city employees and their immediate family members cannot open marijuana businesses or participate in companies seeking cannabis licenses. Shortly after, a Zoning Board of Appeal member resigned.

Davenport, Iowa activists are pushing local officials to decriminalize marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s government said it is committed to making sure the public debate in advance of next year’s marijuana legalization referendum is focused on facts and evidence.

The UK Labour Party pledged to launch a commission to review “all drugs legislation” if it forms a government.

Ontario, Canada officials accused cannabis company officials of fraudulent activity.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “patients with neuropathic pain, cancer pain, and migraine headache may benefit from the analgesic effects of a cannabis-based medicine (CBM), but not necessarily patients with chronic abdominal pain,” that “equivocal results were shown in fibromyalgia and postoperative orthopedic pain” and that “the opioid-sparing properties of CBM make it an attractive option for pain management.”

A study of mice suggested that “combination of THC+CBD suppresses neuroinflammation and attenuates clinical [experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis] development.”

/ BUSINESS

Mind Medicine Inc. will reportedly announce on Monday that it is developing a synthetic drug based on the chemical structure of ibogaine.

A Washington Post investigation looks at how pharmaceutical companies successfully worked to restrict the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to regulate opioids.

Colorado retailers sold more than $166 million in marijuana products in July, setting a new monthly record.

/ CULTURE

Actor Dan Aykroyd discussed use of marijuana and psychedelics with Joe Rogan.

Rapper Lil Wayne cancelled a concert following a hotel dispute about the smell of marijuana emanating from his room.

Kim Kardashian said CBD helps her deal with a busy lifestyle as a mom and businesswoman.

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

Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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Newsletter

GOP Senate chair plans cannabis banking vote (Newsletter: September 13, 2019)

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Dems debate drugs; DEA marijuana stall tactics in court; Legalization boosts Colorado population; Black Caucus cannabis focus; New rescheduling bill

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Subscribers who value this daily dispatch enough to show their support with a few dollars help us keep doing this. Please chip in and help ensure Marijuana Moment’s continued operations.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he plans to hold a vote on a marijuana banking bill in his panel by the end of the year.

Democratic presidential candidates clashed on marijuana and drug policy at a debate, with former Vice President Joe Biden (D) saying that cannabis should remain illegal as a misdemeanor.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is holding four separate panels focused on marijuana at its conference this week.

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who strongly opposed marijuana reform in the 1990s as secretary of health and human services during the Clinton administration, joined with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to introduce a bill that would reschedule cannabis and expand research opportunities.

A research group that applied to get Drug Enforcement Administration approval to grow marijuana to be used in scientific studies accused the agency of delay tactics in a federal court filing.

A study examined how cannabis factors into people’s decision to move to a new state and found that “marijuana legalization increased Colorado’s population by 3.2% as of 2015” because “potential migrants view legalized marijuana as a positive amenity.”

/ FEDERAL

Members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology discussed detecting marijuana-related impairment among drivers at a hearing.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) blamed the Obama and Trump administrations for “a failure of political leadership not to deal with the marijuana issue.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “Systemic racism is a root ideology that propped up an extractive economic system that prioritizes profit over human & environmental considerations. The injustices of slavery evolved into Jim Crow, redlining, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, & beyond.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Even in states where marijuana is legal, many people don’t have the time or money to individually petition the court to expunge their marijuana records. More communities need to join Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago in automatically clearing marijuana offenses.”

Police raided an illegal marijuana growing operation at a building whose owners include former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and direct money to programs to begin repairing the harms of the drug war got two new cosponsors for a total of 39.

/ STATES

California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to exempt medical cannabis compassion programs from taxes as well as legislation allowing terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana in healthcare facilities. They also approved a bill to let cannabis businesses deduct expenses on their state tax returns and legislation to ban marijuana party buses.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner said that when people think of his state he wants “them to think the same thing they think about hemp like they do Idaho potatoes and Florida orange juice.”

The New Jersey Senate did not vote as expected on Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) suggested changes to a marijuana expungement bill he conditionally vetoed, instead filing a new proposal for consideration.

Washington, D.C. officials moved to allow patients to use a REAL ID driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of residency for the medical cannabis program in lieu of two other forms of acceptable identification.

Massachusetts regulators voted to require marijuana companies to disclose all specific ingredients in vaping cartridges. They also approved a requirement that body cameras be used to film cannabis home deliveries while limiting how the video footage can be used and moved to expand the reach of delivery services.

Utah’s Procurement Policy Board rejected an appeal from a medical cannabis company that was denied a cultivation license but said that regulators may have erred in selecting only eight growers.


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.

/ LOCAL

A judge is accusing New York City police of lying about smelling marijuana to justify vehicle searches.

The Miami Beach, Florida City Commission approved a proposal to treat public marijuana smoking at the same level as an open container violation.

Denver, Colorado police issued a bulletin about an uptick in burglaries at marijuana facilities.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A party in Thailand’s ruling coalition is circulating legislation to allow medical cannabis home cultivation.

South Africa’s government is considering expunging past marijuana convictions.

Paraguayan regulators began a process to license medical cannabis businesses.

Vancouver, Canada’s City Council defeated a measure to crack down on the sale of psilocybin mushrooms.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “use of cannabis and cannabinoids via certain administration routes could reduce different types of pain.”

A study found that in “US community samples of cannabis initiates studied soon after first use, the vast majority were free of individual [side effect] experiences counted toward Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition cannabis use disorder diagnoses.”

A review determined that while “standard field sobriety tests have advantages over per se tests for cannabis-impaired driving, limitations of both leave cannabis users and law enforcement officials little guidance in assessing an individual’s driving fitness after recent cannabis use.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

An analysis from prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that cannabis industry participants donated $305,675in campaign contributions  to members of Congress in the first half of 2019, compared with $248,504 last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing New Jersey over a law requiring tax-exempt organizations to disclose information about donors, saying that it will expose the names of people supporting marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform efforts.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s stock sunk after reporting lower-than-expected earnings.

Some Oregon marijuana retailers began pulling vaping products from their stores over uncertainty about ingredients.

/ CULTURE

Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs will serve as brand ambassadors for Alkaline Water Company Inc., which sells CBD products.

The Outline look at why some South American indigenous tribes give psychedelic drugs to dogs.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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Newsletter

DEA wants huge increase in legal cannabis growing for 2020 (Newsletter: September 12, 2019)

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USDA hemp regs at White House; Marijuana biz orgs issue vape safety recs; Lawmakers buy cannabis with crypto; POTUS cannabis debate Qs

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Drug Enforcement Administration proposed that 3.2 million grams of marijuana be legally grown in the U.S. in 2020—a more than 30 percent increase from this year’s quota for cannabis to be used in scientific studies.

At last week’s closed-door federal marijuana summit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that hemp regulations are undergoing final review at the White House and the Justice Department, and a federal prosecutor said he would not tolerate psilocybin mushroom sales in Colorado dispensaries.

The National Cannabis Industry Association and the Cannabis Trade Federation issued a series of recommendations for cannabis businesses and Congress to keep consumers safe amid an epidemic of vaping-related severe lung injuries.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at the cannabis record of former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who cosponsored and voted for numerous measures supporting states’ rights to set marijuana policies during his time in Congress.

Berkeley and Emeryville, California city councilmembers purchased marijuana with cryptocurrency.

Advocates from leading marijuana policy organizations suggested cannabis questions they’d like to see asked of presidential candidates at Thursday’s debate.

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency is being urged by the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group to provide guidance to states on pesticide use on cannabis.

The Bay Area News Group took a look at the marijuana prosecution record of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate.

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We need to legalize cannabis nationwide and properly regulate products in order to keep folks safe.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke about her work to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) mentioned cannabis banking in a speech at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions conference.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said the “odds are very strong” that legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition will move this Congress.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted about discussing marijuana policy with actor Chris Evans.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor for a total of 44.

The House bill to prevent federal agencies from spending money to interfere with state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of 10.

The House bill to allow marijuana in public housing got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

The House resolution urging  states to encourage diversity in the marijuana industry got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.

/ STATES

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) spoke about marijuana at a National Coalition of 100 Black Women event. She also tweeted, “702,000+ tax paying residents deserve the right to make their own decisions on how to regulate marijuana!”

Florida’s attorney general raised concerns about the length of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure. Meanwhile, a separate marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign received more than $1 million in donations from two cannabis companies.

Kentucky’s Department of Financial Institutions commissioner said he is frustrated that some banks are still refusing to work with hemp businesses.

South Dakota’s House majority leader said lawmakers are prepared to override a potential veto on hemp legislation next year from Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

The New Jersey Senate is expected to vote Thursday on changes Gov. Phil Murphy (D) suggested to a marijuana expungement bill.

Maryland’s top medical cannabis regulator is resigning.

Texas regulators held a hearing on rules to add incurable neurodegenerative diseases as new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Ohio State Medical Board rejected rejected adding anxiety and autism spectrum disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Illinois regulators named vendors that are approved to provide health and safety training to marijuana businesses.

A man facing Idaho felony marijuana charges for an industrial hemp shipment is pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Oregon regulators are asking marijuana retailers to review vape stocks for safety and to post warning signs on the potential dangers of vaping amidst an outbreak of severe lung injuries. Separately, they are holding a series of meetings to discuss cannabis rules changes.

Massachusetts health officials are mandating that doctors report suspected cases of severe lung injury tied to vaping.


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.

/ LOCAL

Miami Beach, Florida’s mayor is proposing an ordinance to crack down on smoking marijuana in public.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “for each of the opioids investigated (codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine), marijuana use was associated with statistically significant lower urinary opiate levels than in samples without indicators of marijuana use.”

A study concluded that “patients with isolated marijuana use had similar overall graft survival compared to non‐users” and that “marijuana use should not be an absolute contraindication to kidney transplant.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board said that Massachusetts marijuana regulations need to be amended following the federal indictment of a mayor for allegedly extorting marijuana businesses.

The Center for Food Safety issued a scorecard that grades CBD companies’ practices to ensure their products are safe for consumers and the environment.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported 52% quarterly revenue growth and a loss of $11.7 million.

Weedmaps said it has started to implement a policy of only listing licensed businesses. Meanwhile, the United Cannabis Business Association is asking California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to retroactively fine the company for past practices.

Amazon removed from its website products that can be used to make counterfeit marijuana vapes.

Berkeley Patients Group announced it will donate $1 million to 10 nonprofits over 10 years.

/ CULTURE

Polygon takes a look at the rise of psychedelic science fiction.

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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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