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Sessions (the other one) spouts Reefer Madness (Newsletter: Feb. 22, 2018)

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AL decrim advances; Legalization on IL ballot?; GOP candidates talk medical marijuana, but voted against; UK PM under fire on medical access

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who has blocked all marijuana amendments from advancing to the House floor for the past two years, revealed the extent of his anti-cannabis views in new wide-ranging comments.

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to approve a marijuana decriminalization bill. The House Judiciary Committee rejected a similar proposal on a 7-5 vote.

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee approved a bill to place a nonbinding marijuana legalization question before voters in November.

Congressman Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Congressman Luke Messer (R-IN), both running for their party’s nomination for U.S. Senate, voiced support for medical cannabis during a debate — but their actual voting record shows that they have consistently opposed even the most limited marijuana amendments.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary Greg Ibach said the Trump administration doesn’t want to expand existing protections for the hemp industry.

Members of Congress spoke about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s anti-marijuana moves:

  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR): “In a curious way, Sessions is actually helping. The legalization train has left the station and one way or another, it’s going to be game over in four years. Thanks to Jeff Sessions, this might be over a year or two sooner.”
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): “He thinks he’s trying to protect people from hurting themselves. In the past, I always thought conservatives thought it was about self-reliance and personal freedom. I thought we were always opposed to the nanny state taking care of this.”

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got one new cosponsor, for a total of 84.

/ STATES

Vermont Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (P) is speaking out against pending marijuana saliva testing legislation.

The Alaska legislature approved an industrial hemp bill.

The Utah Senate approved a bill to create a legal framework to process and sell CBD products.

Maine lawmakers tasked with crafting marijuana legalization implementation legislation seem set to reduce the number of plants people can grow, eliminate social use areas and to require municipalities to take affirmative action to allow cannabis businesses.

New Mexico’s Senate Judiciary Committee did not vote on a resolution to place a marijuana legalization question on the ballot, effectively killing it.

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R), a gubernatorial candidate, is under fire for potential campaign finance violations related to a mailing she sent that included a survey question on support for medical cannabis.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) approved the first surety bond program for the cannabis industry.

Ohio Auditor Dave Yost (R), a candidate for attorney general, said it is too late to pause medical cannabis business licensing to address procedural errors.

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams said she supports “decriminalization of marijuana, legalization of medical marijuana and local cultivation of medical marijuana,” adding that she is “open to legalization for recreational use.”

The Missouri Senate briefly debated a medical cannabis amendment.

The New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus held a hearing on marijuana legalization.

A Florida representative is using new marijuana arrest data to push for decriminalization.

/ LOCAL

Denver, Colorado regulators are hosting a  forum on licensing, permitting and inspections for the marijuana industry on March 7.

/ INTERNATIONAL

UK Prime Minister Theresa May faced questions about the government’s approach to medical cannabis access during an appearance in the House of Commons. And, after days of criticism, regulators said they are considering issuing a special license to allow a six-year-old boy with severe epilepsy to use medical cannabis.

The Canadian government released new data tracking marijuana use levels over time.

/ ADVOCACY

Koch Industries is paying for pro-marijuana-reform banner ads on CNN’s website.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabis use is associated with a potentially beneficial reduction in systemic inflammation and immune activation in the context of antiretroviral-treated HIV infection.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Arizona voters support legalizing marijuana, 63%-24%.

/ BUSINESS

GW Pharmaceuticals announced that its cannabinoid medicine to treat adult seizures did not outperform placebos in a study.

Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport now has marijuana disposal boxes.

The Outline looks at the evolution of marijuana journalism.

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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.

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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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Congress puts new cannabis provisions in spending bills (Newsletter: July 8, 2020)

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NYC finalizes marijuana testing ban; Study: CBD mouthwash works better than regular products; IL cannabis sales spike in June

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…

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.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

House Appropriations Committee leaders included provisions in new 2021 spending legislation to protect marijuana business banking, shield medical cannabis laws from federal interference, let Washington, D.C. legalize recreational sales, expand research and fund hemp and CBD regulations.

The New York City Commission on Human Rights finalized a local ban on pre-employment marijuana testing for most workers, but added new last-minute exceptions that will still allow some companies to screen applicants for cannabis. The policy takes effect on July 24.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that the state’s marijuana businesses had their biggest month of legal sales yet in June. Retailers sold $47.6 million worth of recreational cannabis products last month, with $12.4 million of that being bought by out-of-state residents.

A study found that mouthwash products infused with CBD, CBG and other marijuana compounds “offer a much safer, efficient and natural alternative to alcohol and/or fluoride containing mouthwashes.”

  • “Cannabinoids (CBD / CBG) infused mouthwashes together with other natural key ingredients shows promising bactericidal activity in vitro against total-culturable aerobic bacterial content in dental plaque with efficiency equivalent to or better than that of the gold standard (0.2% chlorhexidine),” the research, which was funded by a company that makes cannabinoid-based dental products, found.

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute on Drug Abuse funded a Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America publication that suggests communities enact policies banning or restricting legal marijuana businesses.

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) tweeted, “Cannabis legalization is a matter of justice for veterans & POC. We know cannabis helps vets with PTSD & chronic injuries. We know black men are 4x more likely to be jailed over cannabis. Sean Worsley is in prison for treating the injuries the VA couldn’t. Where’s his justice?”

Washington Democratic congressional candidate Jason Call tweeted, “I support the federal decriminalization of marijuana/cannabis.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor wrote in an op-ed that policing reform should include marijuana legalization.

Oklahoma regulators are ready to begin enforcing a requirement that medical cannabis products sold by processors and growers be tested by a licensed laboratory.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Oregon regulators will meet on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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

The Napa County, California district attorney announced her office has identified additional prior marijuana cases that can be reduced or dismissed.

/ INTERNATIONAL

New Zealand’s chief science advisor published an overview of evidence about marijuana ahead of a legalization referendum vote.

Mexican regulators said they plan to finalize medical cannabis regulations by September.

Jamaican regulators proposed a new medical cannabis permit with reduced fees for small and subsistence farmers.

Ontario, Canada marijuana stores must stop delivery and curbside pickup services this month.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study analyzing county-by-county support for marijuana legalization ballot measures found that “stronger Republican political leanings and/or higher percentages of Black or Hispanic residents were associated with reduced support, whereas higher education, male sex composition, and greater past criminalization were associated with increased support for cannabis legalization.”

A review concluded that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy produces a “clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms and enduring improvements in functioning and overall life satisfaction” and that “results have been promising for psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for those afflicted with Major Depressive Disorder and end of life illnesses such as terminal cancer, indicating not only improved mood and functioning, but additional peripheral benefits such as acceptance of death, participation in social relationships, and positive personality changes.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Industrial Hemp Council and Hemp Industries Association are working to explore the creation of a marketing checkoff program to promote hemp.

/ BUSINESS

Steep Hill is accusing its former CEO of improperly revealing a previously confidential transaction with EVIO, Inc.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. is reportedly at risk of losing a chance to get a Pasadena, California marijuana business permit due to substantial changes to its corporate ownership structure.

/ CULTURE

Johnny Depp acknowledged that he gave his 13-year-old daughter marijuana.

Taiwanese singer Hsieh Ho-hsien was found guilty of disseminating false information and fined after sharing a post on Instagram claiming that marijuana could “kill” coronavirus.

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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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DC psychedelics decrim campaign submits ballot signatures (Newsletter: July 7, 2020)

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Forest Service hires hazmat firm for marijuana eradication; MS medical cannabis measure avoids challenge; Study: cannabis consumers exercise more

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There are now 1,525 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Activists in Washington, D.C. submitted what they believe are more than enough signatures to qualify a psychedelics decriminalization measure for the November ballot in the nation’s capital.

  • “I can see the Capitol from my house. I think it’s really important to acknowledge that this could lay the groundwork for national reform.”

The U.S. Forest Service is hiring a hazmat firm to train agents on how to safely eradicate marijuana from illegal cultivation sites after too many were “getting sick” and “requiring trips to emergency rooms with possible long term health effects” due to “unique hazardous chemicals” used by unregulated growers.

Mississippi medical cannabis advocates are relieved after one more threat to their legalization measure on the November ballot stalled in the legislature as lawmakers went home for the summer. But they still have an alternate cannabis ballot question to deal with.

A new study of exercise behaviors and body mass index among older adults smashes the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype.

  • “Current cannabis use was associated with lower BMI and more exercise behavior in healthy older adults wishing to increase their physical activity… These findings suggest that it may be easier for older adults who endorse using cannabis to increase and maintain their exercise behavior, potentially because cannabis users have lower body weight than their non-using peers. At minimum, the evidence suggests that cannabis use does not hinder older adults’ ability to engage in physical activity, to participate in a supervised exercise program, or to increase their fitness as a result of physical activity.”

/ FEDERAL

The policy director for former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign said that “as science ends up with more conclusive evidence regarding the impact of marijuana, I think he would look at that data. But he’s being asked to make a decision right now. This is where the science guides him.”

The House Armed Services Committee approved report language directing the Department of Defense to compile data on the reasons people are being denied security clearances, including for marijuana and other drugs.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Know this:  marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug federally.  Veterans w PTSD cannot be prescribed cannabis by the VA. On my 67 County tour, we heard from veteran after veteran:  the country I defended considers me a criminal using the 1 thing that makes me feel normal.”

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “60 new full time jobs and $16 million investment in next generation AgTech jobs with @ecofibre grand opening today in Scott Co! They sell hemp products around the world and CVS stores. Congrats!”

North Dakota marijuana activists working on a proposed legalization ballot measure for 2022 say they already have between a third and a half of the signatures they will need.

Illinois regulators adopted a rule clarifying that marijuana-infused foods must be taxed at the 6.25% general merchandise rate instead of the 1% rate that applies to most groceries.

Ohio regulators rejected requests from medical cannabis cultivators to increase their capacity.

Florida regulators are considering allowing medical cannabis recommendations to be made via telehealth on a permanent basis.

Nevada’s Cannabis Compliance Board will consider adopting regulations on July 21.

Virginia regulators published a FAQ about the state’s medical cannabis law.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris created a new Medicinal Cannabis Authority.

Ireland’s health minister is standing by a prior interview in which he said marijuana possession should be decriminalized and that he supports safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Amsterdam, Netherlands City Council voted to explore how to ban marijuana-flavored products sold in tourist shops.

A member of the UK House of Lords pressed government officials on access to cannabis for medical and research purposes.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “low doses of Δ9‐THC are anticonvulsant against hyperthermia‐induced seizures in Scn1a +/ mice, effects that are enhanced by a sub‐anticonvulsant dose of CBD” but that “proconvulsant effects and increased premature mortality are observed when CBD and Δ9‐THC are subchronically dosed in combination.”

A study concluded that “stable isotope ratio analysis of marijuana seizures can significantly improve our understanding of marijuana distribution networks.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s executive director and deputy director are stepping down as the organization experiences budget shortfalls.

The University of Pennsylvania Democrats said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden should endorse legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company is selling limited edition short shorts for the price of $69.420.

Aphria Inc. issued more than 1.6 million common shares to Aleafia Health subsidiary Emblem Cannabis as part of a previously announced settlement.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. appointed a new chief commercial officer.

Schwazze terminated two planned acquisitions with Dabble Extracts.

/ CULTURE

Elton John said he “saw God” while smoking a joint and listening to a Kraftwerk album.

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia/Mushroom Observer.

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VA lawmakers announce legal cannabis plans (Newsletter: July 6, 2020)

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ID medical marijuana campaign likely to sue for ballot access; OK melts dreams of THC slushies; Senate votes to study cannabis and vaping

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…

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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Just one day after a new law decriminalizing marijuana possession took effect, Virginia’s House majority leader and other lawmakers announced plans to pursue broader cannabis legalization in the state.

  • “Decriminalizing marijuana is an important step in mitigating racial disparities in the criminal justice system, but there is still much work to do.”

Idaho’s medical cannabis campaign is “likely” to pursue the same legal accommodations for electronic signature gathering that a federal judge granted to an unrelated initiative.

  • “The medical marijuana campaign is similarly situated to the Reclaim Idaho campaign and will likely ask for a similar extension of time and permission to collect signatures electronically from the Secretary of State, and if necessary, from the District Court. I don’t know the exact timeline as there are a number of moving pieces but it will be quick.”

Oklahoma regulators are melting medical cannabis patients’ summer dreams of THC-infused slushies with a new “Slushy-Machine Guidance” memo that says the icy beverages are not likely to comply with state rules for marijuana packaging and testing.

/ FEDERAL

The Naval Criminal Investigative Service said that investigations of alleged LSD offenses in the service increased nearly 70% in the first three months of 2020.

The Senate passed an e-cigarette restriction bill that includes a provision requiring a study on the relationship between marijuana use by high school students and vaping and smoking.

Georgia congressional candidates spoke about their positions on marijuana legalization.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “I don’t know who needs to hear this jk I know who- but earnestly reforming our state prison system + legalization of marijuana could generate half of this COVID-19 deficit. It would, however, could have other unintended consequences like justice and personal freedom.”

New York’s Assembly majority leader said that “there’s no question that some of the things that are going on with law enforcement are because they smell marijuana.”

The co-chair of the New Mexico House Taxation Committee says the legislature will take up marijuana legalization again in January.

Wisconsin regulators posted guidance on a new hemp pilot research program emergency rule.

Ohio regulators will consider medical cannabis rules on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Iowa regulators posted updated lists of hemp licensees and businesses selling hemp seeds.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The British Virgin Islands House of Assembly approved a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Santa Fe, Argentina Municipal Council approved legislation allowing the cultivation of medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that cannabis use “by ancient civilizations as a source of food and textile fibers dates back over 10,000 years, while its therapeutic applications have been improved over the centuries, from the ancient East medicine of the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C. to the more recent introduction in the Western world after the 1st century A.D.”

A review found that “studies have revealed [marijuana’s] use as anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and improving testicular function in rats.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

South African cannabis activists Jules Stobbs was murdered during a robbery.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram Holdings Inc. reduced its workforce by approximately 25%.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced a financial restructuring and turnaround plan that will defer approximately $32 million in cash commitments over the next year and dilute shareholders.

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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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