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State AGs ask Congress to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: August 20, 2020)

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Fed court: Marijuana case against DEA can proceed; VT legalization plan in jeopardy; TX judge halts smokable hemp ban; USDA wants state plan revisions

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Four state attorneys general and a broader group of law enforcement professionals are calling on Congress to pass a marijuana legalization bill next month. Plus, a new poll shows majority voter support for the proposal to deschedule cannabis and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs—even from Republicans.

  • “As front-line public safety experts, we believe that responsible regulation and control of marijuana will be more beneficial to society than prohibiting and criminalizing it.”

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit rejected the Drug Enforcement Administration’s  motion to dismiss a lawsuit challenging its marijuana scheduling decisions

A joint committee of Vermont House and Senate lawmakers met to negotiate differences between versions of a bill to legalize marijuana sales. They want to finish it this month, but a heated dispute about the unrelated issue of seat belts could upend the whole plan.

A Texas judge temporarily lifted a ban that regulators had imposed on selling smokable hemp products. The broader case challenging the prohibition is still being considered.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking six states to revise and resubmit their hemp regulatory plans for federal approval.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge ruled that a man awaiting sentencing in a drug case can’t be deemed a career criminal offender because federal and state marijuana laws are no longer sufficiently in sync.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted, “Delays in approving grower applications for the manufacturing of research-grade marijuana have had potentially detrimental effects on Americans’ health. The DEA should move now to review applications for additional manufacturing licenses.”

Marijuana has become an issue in another Massachusetts Democratic congressional primary.

/ STATES

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) authored a column arguing that marijuana reform causes workplace issues.

An Arizona Supreme Court justice who campaigned against a 2016 marijuana legalization measure is refusing calls to recuse himself from a case concerning ballot language for a current legal cannabis initiative.

New York regulators said they will not submit a hemp plan for federal approval, calling the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s rules “unrealistic.”

Florida regulators announced the recall of medical cannabis products contaminated with mold.

Oklahoma regulators are being sued over medical cannabis business ownership residency requirements.

Michigan regulators put a stop to a plan for a marijuana dispensary to deliver products to customers at a sports bar.

The Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group’s Health Impacts Subgroup met.

California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday and Friday.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver counts.


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.

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/ LOCAL

Clark County, Nevada commissioners approved a proposal to allow marijuana dispensaries to have drive-thru windows.

Dallas County, Texas’s district attorney discussed marijuana enforcement policies with the DeSoto City Council.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government is urging prosecutors to generally avoid pursuing drug possession cases.

Brazilian lawmakers are considering a bill to legalize medical cannabis and hemp.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “the addition of oral THC:CBD to standard anti-emetics was associated with less nausea and vomiting but additional side effects” and that “most participants preferred THC:CBD to placebo.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

AAA is awarding grants to health and safety agencies to help address issues related to marijuana-impaired driving.

The Cannabis Certification Council released draft standards for organically grown marijuana for public comment.

The National Industrial Hemp Council sent CBD enforcement discretion recommendations to the Food and Drug Administration.

The Drug Policy Alliance sent a letter urging Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), the Democratic vice presidential nominee, to not renege on marijuana reform promises.

/ BUSINESS

Field Trip Health launched an app to guide people through psychedelic experiences.

Arkansas medical cannabis dispensaries are experiencing product shortages.

The Washington Post looks at growing interest in CBD products for pets.

/ CULTURE

The Professional Golfers’ Association announced a new partnership with Cannaray CBD.

Actress Tiffany Haddish joked that she got pressured into drinking psychedelic mushroom tea during a visit to comedian Dave Chappelle’s house.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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