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State officials press Congress to pass cannabis banking bill (Newsletter: April 17, 2019)

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Denver begins voting on psilocybin measure; Dems discuss how, not whether, to legalize marijuana; Colorado US attorney supports Cole memo rescission

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressional Democrats held a panel focused specifically on how—not whether—to legalize marijuana at their retreat last week.

The top financial officials from 25 states and U.S. territories sent a letter urging Congress to pass marijuana banking legislation.

The nation’s first vote to decriminalize psilocybin is happening right now, as mail ballots containing the mushroom measure were sent to Denver, Colorado voters this week.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. attorney for Colorado said he agrees with the rescission of the Cole Memo and has concerns about marijuana concentrates.

Former Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders coauthored an op-ed on modern-day “Reefer Madness.”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D), a presidential candidate, implied that he consumed high-quality marijuana in the 1970s.

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Let us not just end the prohibition of marijuana and expunge the records of those arrested solely for possession but let us also end cash bail, prisons for profit, mandatory minimums, and the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, said he is working with the sponsors of the STATES Act to try to add criminal justice reform components to the bill.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “In my view, it is long past time that we in the United States end the federal prohibition on marijuana. Now is the time to decriminalize marijuana and expunge criminal records associated with the drug.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We must not only legalize and regulate marijuana, but we need to expunge nonviolent marijuana-related offenses from the records of the millions who have been arrested or incarcerated.”

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “Nevada’s cannabis businesses are operating as cash-only because of federal laws blocking access to financial services. I’m supporting the #SAFEBankingAct to give marijuana businesses access to the banking services they need to continue to grow.”

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) spoke in support of marijuana banking access in a speech before the Nevada legislature.

Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) tweeted a photo of herself meeting with marijuana business owners who “are worried that the feds could step-in at any moment and shut them down. Marijuana is now a multi-billion-dollar industry in our state. We shouldn’t have to worry about suddenly losing a key part of our economy.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Despite dozens of states legalizing some form of cannabis, thousands of people continue to be criminalized for possession. It’s critical we do more than just legalize – we need to address the legacy of the failed War on Drugs too.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and punish states with discriminatory enforcement got two new cosponsors, for a total of 36.

The House bill to prevent federal agencies from spending money to interfere with state marijuana laws got two new cosponsors, for a total of nine.

The House bill to federally legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got one new cosponsor, for a total of one.

The House resolution calling on states to provide for equity in the marijuana industry got one new cosponsor, for a total of six.

/ STATES

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a bill to streamline the process for applications for lower-level medical cannabis and hemp business owners.

The office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has drafted a list of eight nurseries that would be allowed to cultivate medical cannabis under a tentative settlement of a lawsuit challenging how the state awards such licenses.

The Washington State House of Representatives approved a bill to vacate past marijuana convictions.

Montana’s House of Representatives approved legislation to change medical cannabis testing requirements.

The Oregon Senate defeated a bill to limit marijuana cultivation to reflect supply and demand.

The Colorado House Appropriations Committee approved a bill to defelonize drug possession. Meanwhile, the state Department of Transportation is launching a survey to inform future ad campaigns discouraging marijuana-impaired driving.

North Carolina representatives filed a marijuana decriminalization bill.

A Wisconsin representative plans to introduce a marijuana legalization bill on Thursday.


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

Here’s a look at the road to the ballot for Denver, Colorado’s psilocybin measure.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Philippine Supreme Court reiterated its request for documents related to the government’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ ADVOCACY

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin tweeted, “83% of Wisconsinites support legalizing medical marijuana — Governor Evers has proposed doing just that.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “odds of reporting a greater number of adverse health outcomes were 1.83 times higher for children of families with indoor cannabis smoking vs families without cannabis smoking, after controlling for exposure to cigarette smoke and other covariates” but that “our results do not indicate a statistically significant association.”

A study of police officers’ exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke at open-air stadium events found “measurable amounts of THC in personal and area air samples” and that “small amounts of THC-COOH, a chemical marker of THC exposure, were detected in urine samples, but not in blood samples,” but that “the amount found in the urine would not be considered positive in a routine drug screening test.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that when given options, 42% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, 42% back medical cannabis, 3% want it illegal with distributors prosecuted and 13% want consumers and sellers prosecuted.

A poll found that 46% of U.S. adults would consider investing in the marijuana industry.

/ BUSINESS

Urban Outfitters will begin selling CBD products.

Citigroup is considering ending its practice of testing job applicants for marijuana.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas Ned L. Siegel joined the board of Maridose LLC.

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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 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

White House officials talk up states’ cannabis rights (Newsletter: August 23, 2019)

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Feds publish article highlighting marijuana prohibition harms; DOD reiterates CBD ban; Florida legalization initiative filed

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…

There are now 1,171 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Two officials with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said in separate interviews that it is up to states to decide whether they should legalize marijuana—comments that run in contrast with the longstanding approach of the “drug czar’s” office to oppose ending cannabis prohibition whenever possible.

The federal government, through the National Institutes of Health, paid to publish a new report—hosted on a dot gov site—that exposes how federal prohibition puts marijuana consumers at risk due to lack of regulatory oversight.

  • “At the federal level in the United States, cannabis is still considered an illegal drug. As a result, neither the Food and Drug Administration nor the Environmental Protection Agency has provided any guidance on how to regulate contaminants or on which cannabis-related exposures can be considered safe. States have had to determine on their own how to protect millions of cannabis users, and they have come up with widely varying responses. The result is an uncertain and occasionally incoherent regulatory landscape.”

A Department of Defense official reiterated the military’s concern over the use of CBD products on a press call this week.

  • “The problem is there is no regulatory framework to ensure that the CBD products being sold meet the Farm Act.”

A new political committee chaired by a MedMen official filed a proposed marijuana legalization measure for Florida’s 2020 ballot. It would allow medical cannabis dispensaries to sell marijuana to adults over 21 and does not include provisions for home cultivation.

/ FEDERAL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating dozens of cases of severe lung illness that appear to be potentially associated with tobacco and/or marijuana vaping devices.

Customs and Border Protection officials imposed a lifetime ban on visiting the U.S. on a Canadian woman caught with CBD oil at the border.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted, “Wow. @JAMA_current piece showed calls to MA poison control centers more than doubled for kids 0-19 exposed to marijuana before & after legalization for med use. We need to protect kids from overdose, particularly from edibles & concentrated prods.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a presidential candidate, delivered a video keynote address for a cannabis conference.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “As president I’ll end the failed war on drugs, legalize marijuana, end cash bail, and ban private prisons and bring about real criminal justice reform. I’ll crack down on the overreaching intel agencies and big tech monopolies who threaten our civil liberties and free speech.”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said she believes marijuana banking legislation will pass the House this year.

/ STATES

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed off on emergency medical cannabis regulations.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) reinstituted a marijuana legalization advocate as a member of the state’s cannabis regulatory board who was removed by the previous governor.

Questions are being raised about Florida’s agriculture commissioner having both a medical cannabis card and a firearms concealed carry permit.

California’s top marijuana regulator called Weedmaps’s announcement that it would restrict its platform to only licensed businesses “a step forward for the legal California cannabis industry.” Separately, officials reported that marijuana excise taxes brought in $74.2 million in revenue during the second quarter of 2019, while the cultivation tax generated $22.6 million.

The new Tennessee House Republican Caucus chairman has sponsored medical cannabis legislation for several sessions.

New Mexico regulators said that medical cannabis producers might have to destroy some plants under new cultivation limits.

New Jersey regulators said they received at least 198 applications for 24 medical cannabis dispensary permits over two days.

Michigan regulators published a marijuana licensing report.


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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australian regulators don’t seem concerned that illegally grown medical cannabis from the company CannTrust may have been imported into the country from Canada.

/ ADVOCACY

The chairman of Republican organization GOPAC misspoke about people “having just shot up with marijuana” in a Fox News appearance.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “recreational marijuana legalization and availability did not have direct impact on newborns’ risk of [low birth weight] or [small for gestational age].”

A study of people who took psilocybin at a mindfulness retreat found that “the extent of ego dissolution and brain connectivity predicted positive changes in psycho-social functioning of participants 4 months later.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The San Diego Union-Tribune editorial board said that Weedmaps’s decision to list only licensed businesses “bodes well for the legal marijuana industry.”

/ BUSINESS

New Leaf Data Services LLC added a defamation claim to a pending trademark violation lawsuit against Humboldt Marijuana Exchange LLC after the latter company allegedly retaliated with “false and baseless” accusation of racism and sexism.

/ CULTURE

Musician Ziggy Marley said he has been smoking marijuana since age nine.

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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

Senators cite Border Patrol cannabis arrests of citizens in review request (Newsletter: August 22, 2019)

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EPA announces hemp pesticide review; Congressman backs states’ marijuana rights but voted against; Study: Whole-plant marijuana relieves pain

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…

There are now 1,171 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Environmental Protection Agency announced it is reviewing applications for pesticides to be used on hemp.

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) told podcaster Joe Rogan that he supports states’ rights to set their own marijuana laws despite the fact that he recently voted against an amendment to shield local cannabis policies from federal interference.

Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) are asking the Government Accountability Office to investigate Border Patrol checkpoints and are citing the widespread arrest of U.S. citizens for small amounts of marijuana as a key concern.

A study on marijuana’s pain-relieving properties found that “natural cannabis flower was associated with greater anesthetic potential than were most other types of products.”

/ FEDERAL

Office of National Drug Control Policy Director James Carroll and Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon toured illegal marijuana grow sites in California.

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang (D), noting his increasing polling numbers in Colorado, tweeted, “Must be the weed 😀”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted, “Great to join @CannaGather last night & talk about issues facing the cannabis industry incl. the need to pass the SAFE Banking Act so that federal banks can finally serve cannabis biz. These biz owners shouldnt be forced to operate strictly in cash. Thx for a great discussion.”

Recent mass shootings reportedly may impact plans to attach gun-related language to congressional marijuana banking legislation in an effort to secure more Republican support.

/ STATES

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) said that marijuana could be on the agenda for a potential upcoming special session and he criticized the federal government for not acting on rescheduling. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader said that lawmakers are working on legislation to move away from state control of medical cannabis distribution and allow for more private dispensaries.

The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill including a ban on smokable hemp as of May 1.

The Wisconsin Senate Health Committee amended a hemp bill to address police concerns about trace amounts of THC in relation to changing people with driving under the influence.

Washington State regulators issued a notice banning CBD as a food ingredient.

Michigan regulators issued air quality guidance for the marijuana industry.

The New Jersey Department of Health hosted a forum on harm reduction drug policies.

Louisiana regulators released a list of pesticide active ingredients that can be used on medical cannabis plants.

South Dakota police arrested on marijuana trafficking charges a Colorado man who says he was transporting legal hemp to Minnesota.

Guam regulators are working to produce a fact sheet about medical cannabis-related employment issues for government workers.


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

New York City health officials forced 15 businesses to destroy edible CBD products.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s health minister said she supports cannabinoid-based medicines but not commercial cultivation of cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that medical cannabis “may serve as a potentially useful complementary therapy to conventional supportive treatment of children suffering from cancer at the end of life.”

A study estimated that Americans spend “on the order of $150 billion on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine” annually.

A study suggested that “persons who used marijuana strongly support the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana, whereas persons who primarily have opioid or stimulant misuse have less strongly held beliefs about legalization of substances within those respective categories.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly tweeted, “America’s first marijuana licensed restaurant opening in California. The Lowell Farms Cannabis Café will allow customers to light up at the dinner table.  Of course, smoke tobacco in restaurants still illegal in California. Does that make ANY sense?”

/ BUSINESS

Weedmaps launched a program to help social equity marijuana entrepreneurs. It also said that by the end of the year only licensed cannabis businesses will be able to use its platform.

Leafly is opening a new office in Austin, Texas to house product and engineering operations.

Tilray, Inc. announced an agreement to ship $3.3 million worth of medical cannabis products from Portugal to Germany.

Cresco Labs Inc. reported quarterly revenue growth of 253% from a year ago but a net loss of $3.9 million.

Bank of America closed the account of a smoke shop because it sells CBD products.

/ CULTURE

The video game DayZ is no longer banned in Australia after removing in-game cannabis consumption.

Flying Over Sunset is a new Broadway musical about the LSD experiences of Aldous Huxley, Cary Grant and Clare Booth Luce.

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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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Newsletter

Federal data shows teen cannabis use not up after legalization (Newsletter: August 21, 2019)

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GOP congressman to discuss marijuana licenses with AG Barr; Warren backs legal safe injection sites; NY & CT govs discuss legalization on fishing trip

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https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The latest results of the federally funded National Survey on Drug Use and Health continue to show that youth marijuana use in the U.S. is lower now than when states began legalizing cannabis.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says he will soon meet with Attorney General William Barr to discuss expanding the number of federally authorized growers of marijuana to be used in scientific research.

A new criminal justice reform plan released by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, includes legalizing marijuana and safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) discussed their states’ pushes to legalize marijuana during a fishing trip.

/ FEDERAL

The National Credit Union Administration tweeted, “#creditunions that choose to serve hemp-related businesses in their field of membership need to understand the complexities & risks involved. @TheNCUA latest guidance outlines what credit unions should consider.”

A federal judge held the opening hearing in a case in which the Department of Justice is seeking to block the opening of a safe consumption site for illegal drugs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida said he won’t focus on low-level marijuana cases or prosecute medical cannabis businesses that comply with state law.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The business model of Wells Fargo is fraud. Yet how many people at Wells Fargo are going to jail? Zero. But if you smoke marijuana in this country, you get a criminal record. That is unacceptable.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) spoke about the benefits of hemp.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) tweeted, “Cargo screening is one of the most effective tools we have to bolster national security. It pays off: @CBP officers at Otay Mesa stopped nearly four tons of marijuana from being smuggled into San Diego last week.”

/ STATES

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Gov. Ralph Torres (R) signed a marijuana regulation bill into law.

An Illinois House of Representatives report on allegations of bullying and sexual misconduct in the legislature found insufficient evidence for claims that a former representative sexually harassed and bullied a medical cannabis advocate.

The North Carolina House Rules Committee voted to ban smokable hemp as of May 1.

Michigan regulators announced they will unveil the adult-use marijuana business license application at educational sessions next month.

Colorado officials announced a work group meeting and public hearing on the state’s regulated marijuana sunset accelerator program.

An Indiana senator who has sponsored marijuana reform bills is running for attorney general.

California activists filed a proposed ballot initiative to allow individuals to grow up to 99 marijuana plants.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator discussed efforts to roll out legal home delivery.


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

The Livingston County, Missouri prosecuting attorney said he will no longer pursue misdemeanor marijuana possession cases.

The Little Rock, Arkansas Board of Directors rejected a measure to make marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority.

Two Jacksonville, Florida City Council committee rejected a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A Mexican judge granted two people the right to possess, transport and use cocaine.

Jamaican regulators have issued at least 40 marijuana business licenses and are currently seeking bidders to provide seed-to-sale tracking software.

/ ADVOCACY

The National Foundation for Women Legislators tweeted that the organization’s “Evolution of Marijuana Policy Summit was a success! Our efforts were even featured in Marijuana Moment!”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study suggested that “CBD may benefit dogs with osteoarthritis-associated pain.”

A study involving LSD use by healthy subjects is slated to begin in New Zealand next year.

/ BUSINESS

The boards of the ten largest publicly traded marijuana companies are less diverse than the boards of Fortune 100 firms.

BigCommerce is rolling out a suite of tools to make it easier to sell CBD products.

BDS Analytics announced it has raised the first $7 million of a $10 million funding round.

/ CULTURE

Former boxer Mike Tyson’s Tyson Ranch will reportedly fund research on using CBD to treat chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

GCH, Inc., a company co-founded by Willie Nelson and his wife, is launching a line of hemp products for dogs, cats and horses.

Golf.com looks at CBD’s popularity among professional golfers.

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

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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