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State Dept. highlights cannabis discrimination—overseas (Newsletter: June 23, 2020)

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GOP attacks Biden’s drug policy record; Defense Dept. hemp ban memo; VeggieTales creator explains drug war racism

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. State Department issued a report that highlighting religious discrimination faced by marijuana consumers in other counties, while ignoring domestic policies that arrest hundreds of thousands of people for cannabis every year.

A new memo from the Republican National Committee goes after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s efforts to expand the war on drugs as a senator.

  • “From the war on drugs, to police militarization, Joe Biden has a long record of supporting questionable criminal justice policies.”

A little-noticed Department of Defense memo bans the use of hemp products by all active and reserve military service members.

  • “I find that protecting the integrity of the drug testing program requires the prohibition of the use of all hemp products, subject to the exclusions set out in this memorandum, even though such a prohibition will, in some instances, extend to products the normal use of which could not cause a positive urinalysis result.”

Phil Vischer, the creator of the Christian-themed children’s show VeggieTales, published a video explaining why the war on drugs is a major driver of systemic racism.

  • “There were financial incentives for arresting more drug users. Federal grants to local police departments were tied to the number of drug arrests. Research suggests the huge surge in arrests from increased drug enforcement was due more to budget incentives than to actual increases in drug use.”

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge ruled that state police can’t search a car based on probable cause of a federal marijuana offense.

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said, “The man-made discriminatory policies that have destroyed Black lives and Black families in this country were very precise. From the original sin of bondage to redlining to the failed war on drugs.”

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) tweeted, “The war on drugs has been targeting the wrong drug dealers.”

Nebraska Democratic congressional candidate Mark Elworth Jr. is leaving the party to join the Legal Marijuana Now Party.

/ STATES

Georgia lawmakers send Gov. Brian Kemp (R) a hemp bill.

Illinois’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It’s time for our communities to breathe! R3 funding supports communities that have been most harmed by the failed War on Drugs by investing in: ✅Violence Prevention  ✅Economic Development ✅Reentry Services ✅Civil Legal Aid ✅Youth Development”

Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate Woodrow Myers tweeted, “And the last letter in our R.E.F.O.R.M. plan–Marijuana Decriminalization. We have long realized the implicit racial biases associated with the ‘War on Drugs’ and the pain and suffering that has followed. This issue has torn families and communities apart for far too long.”

The Missouri secretary of state’s office ordered Cannabis Plus Missouri LLC to cease and desist after it allegedly committed fraud in offering and selling unregistered securities.

Michigan regulators adopted several sets of marijuana rules.

New Jersey regulators published a notice about the phasing out of medical cannabis sales taxes.

Oregon regulators took steps to extend marijuana curbside pickup and to ban non-cannabis additives from inhalable cannabis products.

Arkansas regulators proposed medical cannabis processor and transporter rules.

West Virginia regulators will score medical cannabis cultivation license applications this week.


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 Des Moines, Iowa City Council approved a measure to create a task force to study minimizing marijuana enforcement.

Denver, Colorado officials posted information about participating in a June 25 Marijuana Licensing Work Group meeting.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Colombia’s justice minister said that the cannabis industry is a way for the country to generate revenue in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “recreational cannabis laws were associated with increases in traffic fatalities in Colorado (mean of 75 excess fatalities per year) but not in Washington State,” while another study concluded that “nationwide legalization would be associated with 6800 excess roadway deaths each year.”

A study found that “the COVID-19 pandemic has both introduced tremendous new challenges for the cannabis industry and exacerbated long-standing difficulties for businesses in this arena.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Montana Republican Party tweeted, “New studies offer further evidence that marijuana use leads to more traffic deaths. Despite this risk, in the legislature #ExtremeKathleen @WilliamsForMT voted AGAINST a bipartisan bill to make driving under the influence of marijuana a crime.”

The Marijuana Policy Project published a voter guide for South Carolina’s legislative primary election runoff on Tuesday.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. signed an amended agreement to acquire GR Companies, Inc.

Vireo Health International, Inc. sold a Pennsylvania subsidiary to Jushi Holdings Inc.

Canopy Growth Corp. executives signaled that more layoffs and cheaper products may be on the way.

The head of Wellcanna, which runs Louisiana State University’s medical cannabis operation, said it will lower wholesale prices in response to a new law expanding the program.

Colorado retailers sold more than $148 million worth of marijuana products in April.

/ CULTURE

Former 98 Degrees member Justin Jeffre published an op-ed arguing in favor of legalizing marijuana.

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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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Senate infrastructure deal includes cannabis research expansion (Newsletter: August 3, 2021)

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CO marijuana tax ballot measure; LA cannabis decrim takes effect; CT legalization revenue projections

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Senate’s new bipartisan infrastructure deal has a provision intended to let researchers study marijuana that consumers are actually buying from dispensaries—instead of just government-grown cannabis. The House already passed a similar measure.

Colorado voters could decide on an initiative to increase marijuana taxes to fund education programs this November after an advocacy group appeared to turn in more than enough signatures to put the proposal on the ballot.

Louisiana’s new marijuana decriminalization law officially took effect. The lawmaker who sponsored it is partnering with advocates to educate the public about what they can and can’t do without being jailed. They also say it’s time for broader cannabis legalization.

Connecticut’s Office of Fiscal Analysis released updated projections on marijuana tax revenue for the next five years.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is funding research to support model state legislation on drug harm reduction, equitable enforcement and removing stigmas.

President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. attorney for Massachusetts has declined to prosecute some drug cases and has endorsed safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

The Naval Submarine Base New London posted pun-filled marijuana warnings for sailors.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) cited the Washington, D.C. police chief’s recent remarks linking marijuana sales to violence in a Senate floor speech.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “We cannot legalize recreational use of marijuana without expunging the records of those convicted at the federal level.”

/ STATES

Texas Democratic attorney general candidate Joe Jaworski said legalizing marijuana is one of his priorities.

Ohio House Democrats tweeted about a newly filed marijuana legalization bill.

Michigan regulators proposed new draft marijuana rules. They also published an advisory bulletin about keeping cannabis edibles away from children.

Illinois regulators are being sued by marijuana dispensary license applicants who claim their proposals were improperly scored.

Massachusetts’s treasurer is accepting applications to serve on the Cannabis Advisory Board.

Oregon’s marijuana regulatory body officially changed its name to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

California tax officials said they can’t disclose data on cannabis-related tax deductions and credits due to privacy rules.

Maine regulators published an overview of hemp products and how differing regulations apply to them.

The South Dakota legislature’s Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee will meet on Wednesday.

Arkansas regulators will discuss how to select two additional medical cannabis dispensary business license winners on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Jamestown, New York is moving to end marijuana testing for most city employees.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Israeli government removed blockages on medical cannabis exports.

The UK government responded to a recent report on drug policy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD may exert anti-inflammatory effects in individuals with” cocaine use disorder.

A study found that “in proportion to their abundance, Cannabis sativa plants were consumed by sand flies much more frequently than expected (i.e., C. sativa is probably highly attractive to sand flies).”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is asking lawmakers to revise a law that it says ​​could lead to charges for officers who search or arrest minors suspected of marijuana possession or underage drinking.

Families Against Mandatory Minimums announced new staffers.

/ BUSINESS

Jushi Holdings Inc. pre-announced quarterly revenue of $47.7 million and a net loss of $11.4 million.

Green Thumb Industries Inc. acquired Mobley Pain Management and Wellness Center, LLC and Canwell Processing, LLC, which both held contractual interests in Summit Medical Compassion Center, Inc.

urban-gro, Inc. acquired MJ12 Design Studio.

A UK patent examiner said Compass Pathways Limited’s psilocybin claims are not inventive.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. is rebranding its Connecticut dispensaries to The Botanist.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg spoke about the mainstreaming of the cannabis industry.

Comedian Bill Burr spoke to Conan O’Brien about how using psychedelic mushrooms helped calm him down.

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Cannabis banking senator wants dispensary welfare ban (Newsletter: August 2, 2021)

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RI speaker: “no consensus” on legal marijuana; OH legalization bill filed; CA lawmaker pushes feds on cannabis in hospitals; Hemp lawsuit damages

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)—who is the lead GOP cosponsor of cannabis banking legislation—filed a new bill that has a provision that would prevent people from accessing federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits at marijuana dispensaries. The relevant section of the legislation is titled, “Welfare For Needs Not Weed.”

Rhode Island’s House speaker said there’s still “no consensus” on the details for marijuana legalization between the two legislative chambers and the governor, but it’s “workable” to reach a deal on the “priority” issue by a potential fall special session.

Ohio lawmakers formally introduced a new bill to legalize and regulate marijuana sales—the first-ever filed in the state legislature. Meanwhile, activists are also pursuing statewide and local cannabis ballot measures.

A California senator is asking to meet with the federal secretary of health and human services and Medicare and Medicaid officials to get clarity on whether hospitals that let terminally ill patients use medical marijuana risk losing their funding.

A Montana jury awarded $65 million in damages—the second-highest amount ever in the state—to 25 hemp farmers who say they were victims of negligence, fraud and deceit perpetrated by American and Canadian businessmen who failed to fulfill contracts.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prisoners who were released to home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic—including some with marijuana convictions—will have to go back behind bars under a decision made by Biden administration lawyers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected a medical cannabis business owner’s appeal of federal drug convictions, ruling that he did not comply with Michigan law.

Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC.) filed a bill to expand eligibility for expungement for first-time, low-level federal drug possession offenses.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Marijuana reform is backed by Americans of all backgrounds, in red states and blue states. We can come together to get this done.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about the growth in support of her psychedelics research amendment from the last vote on it two years ago.

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) tweeted about the Westchester, New York district attorney dismissing marijuana cases, saying, “Grateful for @WestchesterDA’s bold leadership in taking this long-overdue step to end the racist war on drugs in Westchester. Congress needs to follow her lead and legalize cannabis nationwide.”

/ STATES

A spokesperson for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he still opposes legalizing marijuana.

Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried, currently the state’s agriculture commissioner, responded to an op-ed from two lawmakers, saying, “It’s long past time to right the wrongs when it comes to historic discrimination against farmers of color, including the state’s medical marijuana licensing.”

South Carolina Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham tweeted about an editorial cartoon that joked about his support for cannabis reform, saying, “Love it! But in all seriousness, ending the prohibition of marijuana is no joke. It’ll provide a safer alternative to opioids, end the racial disparities in our drug laws, bring in hundreds of millions in new revenue each year & allow law enforcement to focus on violent crime!”

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed a city’s right to not enter into a host community agreement with a marijuana retail operation, but urged lawmakers to consider how the local approval process may be preventing the state from meeting its equity goals.

Missouri activists said they need to fix a clerical issue with their recently filed marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Washington, D.C.’s police chief reiterated his views about marijuana sales being tied to violence.

Oklahoma medical cannabis regulators are being sued for allegedly violating open meeting laws.

Colorado regulators are holding work group meetings this month to inform implementation of new marijuana rules.

Arkansas regulators issued guidelines for homemade hemp food production.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on revised proposed marijuana rules on Friday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Arcata, California City Council’s Public Safety Committee advanced a measure to decriminalize psychedelics.

The Santa Fe County, New Mexico Commission approved marijuana rules.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Cayman Islands’s deputy premier said the government is committed to decriminalizing marijuana possession, but not full legalization.

Belize’s minister of home affairs said establishing a legal marijuana industry is a practical move that would bring benefits in several areas.

An Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly committee held a hearing on a drug decriminalization proposal.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “most respondents report cannabis is very or somewhat helpful for their” multiple sclerosis.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Mississippi voters oppose the state Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the voter-approved medical cannabis measure, 68 percent to 28 percent.

The Chicago Tribune editorial board said city officials should not allow marijuana businesses in the central business district.

/ BUSINESS

Ben & Jerry’s asked the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to reject MJ Munchies Inc.’s request to register “Half-Baked” as a trademark.

4Front Ventures Corp’.s co-founder and Mission Dispensaries President Kris Krane is stepping down from his full-time job with the company.

Jushi Holdings Inc. received a $14.4 million arbitration award in a dispute against San Felasco Nurseries, Inc.

A securities violations case against former CannTrust Holdings Inc. executives has been remanded until September 20.

The Parent Company announced that certain insiders voluntarily entered into lock-up agreements with respect to their shares.

Emjay launched a marijuana delivery app on iOs.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. and Colorado State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences completed the first of three collaborative studies to research the chemical profile of full spectrum hemp extracts.

/ CULTURE

Soulja Boy launched his own cannabis brand.

The National Basketball Social Justice Coalition is endorsing congressional legislation to eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.

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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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House approves cannabis banking, employment & DC provisions (Newsletter: July 30, 2021)

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ID marijuana ballot measure cleared for signatures; Court tosses OH cannabis decrim lawsuit; OR psilocybin report

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  • David Strouse: “I’m glad I found you. Your legislation tracker was exactly what I was looking for.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House of Representatives passed a large-scale spending bill that includes provisions on marijuana banking, letting Washington, D.C. legalize cannabis sales, CBD regulations, employment protections, loosening hemp rules, safe consumption site for illegal drugs and psychedelic research, among other issues.

Idaho’s secretary of state has given activists the go-ahead to start collecting signatures for a proposed 2022 ballot measure to legalize marijuana possession.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit rejected Ohio activists’ case seeking signature gathering relief for marijuana decriminalization measures they had trouble qualifying for local ballots last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Without a time machine, we cannot go back and place plaintiffs’ initiatives on the 2020 ballot.”

The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board—a state panel created under the voter-approved legal psychedelic therapy initiative—published a research review finding that the substance is “efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.”

/ FEDERAL

The Environmental Protection Agency avoided acting on marijuana-related portions of a Polk County, Iowa air quality program under federal review.

The House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “The sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine offenses that persists today is a relic from the failed War on Drugs,” along with a thread containing other information about a reform bill the panel recently passed.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “Decriminalizing marijuana is not enough. We must also repair the damage done to those communities most harmed by a failed Drug War and expunge records. We should be demanding restorative justice.” He also tweeted, “Veterans should have access to all treatment options—including medical marijuana—which is why for years I’ve been pushing legislation to allow this. It’s long past time we legalize marijuana for our veterans & those who continue to suffer the consequences of our failed drug war.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) sent a press release touting that a House-passed spending bill would allow Washington, D.C. to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted that “on so many issues we should work ‘outside in'” including to “end the drug war.”

/ STATES

Colorado Senate Republicans criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for the creation of a new Cannabis Business Office, saying, “This is getting ridiculous.”

Illinois regulators announced the winners of marijuana retail licenses that were selected in a lottery.

Florida regulators proposed revisions to rules on hemp extracts.

Missouri regulators sent a warning saying that medical cannabis dispensaries cannot advertise sales events or discounts on products.

The Massachusetts Department of Correction is being sued for allegedly using a faulty drug test that falsely indicates the presence of illegal drugs on mail, resulting in improper sanctions on incarcerated people and attorneys.

Oklahoma regulators sent a warning about fraudulent text messages claiming to be from the state’s top medical cannabis regulator.

An Arkansas judge rejected regulators’ motion to dismiss a case challenging their medical cannabis licensing decisions.

Washington State regulators extended the allowance for minors being at licensed marijuana producers and processor premises though October due to daycare challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pennsylvania regulators posted information about the hemp certification process.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Westchester County, New York district attorney dismissed all pending marijuana possession cases.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors joined Oakland officials in passing a resolution endorsing state legislation to prohibit employers from discriminating against potential or current workers who test positive for inactive cannabis metabolites in their urine or hair.

The Lincoln County, South Dakota Commission approved medical cannabis rules.

A marijuana business owner pleaded guilty to bribing a San Luis Obispo County, California supervisor.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Uruguay’s government announced an update to medical cannabis regulations.

UK officials launched five local programs to offer treatment and recovery services, rather than incarceration, to people caught possessing drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A case study indicated that “medicinal cannabis could be effective in treatment of refractory stuttering.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies board member David Bronner of Dr. Bronner’s published a blog post responding to conspiracy theories circulated about the organization by Decriminalize Nature.

Fox News commentators debated legalizing marijuana.

The RAND Corporation published an overview of marijuana social equity issues.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. held a shareholder meeting to increase the authorized number of shares and make governance changes.

Lantern launched a marijuana delivery service in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Jushi Holdings Inc. contributed $50,000 to the Laundry Project to help lower-income families wash their clothes and linens.

/ CULTURE

Former basketball player Allen Iverson is partnering with Al Harrington’s Viola company to produce exclusive marijuana strains and merchandise.

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