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These states could put cannabis on the ballot in 2020 (Newsletter: December 27, 2019)

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Coke denies CBD drink rumor sparked by video; Indian tribe approves marijuana ballot measures; California legal psilocybin measure finalized

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Coca-Cola sent Marijuana Moment a statement denying a rumor that it is developing CBD-infused drinks with Aurora Cannabis. Speculation ran rampant this week after a man posted a video in which he claimed to have a prototype of the product’s packaging.

Marijuana Moment’s latest analysis shows that there are at least 16 states where cannabis measures could appear on 2020 ballots. Some have already qualified, and others are in the works.

Members of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe—located in upstate New York—have approved two marijuana ballot measures: One on medical cannabis and another on adult-use legalization.

California activists have finalized the language of a proposed ballot measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms, and they could start collecting signatures soon. If approved, the state would license businesses to sell the psychedelic fungus.

/ FEDERAL

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tweeted, “Don’t end up on next year’s naughty list by driving high. Get a ride from a sober friend, taxi, or ride service – just don’t get behind the wheel after consuming marijuana.”

Surgeon General Jerome Adams will speak at an event about syringe exchange programs on January 15.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), asked by a Twitter user when the last time the government allowed people to do something they couldn’t previously do, tweeted, “Grow hemp, but that’s ALL I can think of at the moment.”

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) tweeted, “Illinois’ cannabis industry is going to create real opportunity in communities harmed by the failed War on Drugs. @IllinoisDCEO hosted 7 workshops across the state & hundreds of entrepreneurs turned out.”

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) tweeted about a Wall Street Journal editorial raising concerns about marijuana legalization.

The Iowa attorney general’s office issued a reminder that CBD products are not legal in the state.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court declined to weigh in on whether health officials overstepped their authority by temporarily banning the sale of vaping products.

Oklahoma activists withdrew a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure and plan to file a redrafted version addressing concerns raised by medical cannabis advocates

Missouri regulators began issuing medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

The Arizona Department of Health Services’s medical cannabis testing advisory council has issued recommendations.

West Virginia regulators have so far received 75 registrations for medical cannabis business license applications.

Oregon regulators approved 16 marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Ohio regulators are accepting petitions for new medical cannabis qualifying conditions through the end of the year.


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

Weld County, Colorado officials launched a “Marijuana is Not Harmless” public education campaign that uses questionable data.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation ruled that growing marijuana plants for personal use is not a crime.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has personally asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to pardon an Israeli-American woman jailed on marijuana charges.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that cannabis-based medicines “might be effective and safe in the treatment of tics and comorbidities at least in a subgroup of adult patients with” Gilles de la Tourette syndrome and that “patients favored THC-rich cannabis over dronabinol and nabiximols, which might be related to the entourage effect of cannabis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Wall Street Journal editorial board said that legalizing marijuana is a “risky social experiment.”

/ BUSINESS

HEXO Corp. announced that it entered into an agreement with institutional investors to sell $25 million worth of stock at a share price of $1.67, diluting the value of existing shares. The company’s stock dropped more than 20% on the news.

/ CULTURE

A new trailer for the upcoming film “The Gentleman” shows Matthew McConaughey as a ruthless marijuana kingpin.

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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.

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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AL Senate approves medical cannabis (Newsletter: February 25, 2021)

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NM legal marijuana heads to floor; VA’s Sat. legalization deadline; Biden pick defends cannabis $ for schools; 1st NY hearing; PA bill’s GOP support

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Deb Haaland, President Joe Biden’s nominee for interior secretary, defended her support for using marijuana tax revenue to fund schools in response to an attack from Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). She added that we “don’t know what President Biden’s stance is on cannabis.”

The Alabama Senate passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis. It now heads to the House of Representatives.

Virginia lawmakers face a Saturday deadline to resolve differences between separate marijuana legalization bills passed by the House and Senate. Marijuana Moment compiled a look at issues that need to be hashed out by the conference committee—including timelines, licenses and a referendum.

The New Mexico House Taxation & Revenue Committee approved a bill to legalize marijuana, sending it to the House floor as the next step.

The New York Senate Finance Committee and Assembly Ways & Means Committee held the first joint hearing of the year on marijuana legalization proposals.

A bipartisan team of Pennsylvania senators announced a new marijuana legalization bill. It’s the first time a GOP lawmaker has signed onto cannabis legalization legislation in the Republican-controlled legislature.

  • “It’s clear to me that public attitudes towards marijuana have changed dramatically in the past decade, maybe more than any other issue in recent memory.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is reopening the comment period for rules on suspicious orders of controlled substances.

Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) wrote in a constituent letter that he is in favor of leaving marijuana policy up to the states.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted about New Jersey’s marijuana legislation being signed, saying, “This is great news & I continue to support federal legalization of adult-use #cannabis as well!”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Should Congress legalize cannabis? The only correct answer is: Yes”

/ STATES

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) authored an op-ed about his opposition to marijuana reform.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) tweeted, “This week, we made history by reforming a decades-old approach to marijuana that failed the meaning of justice at every level. Let’s continue building on the progress and move forward — together.” Separately, his budget proposal document touts the growth of the state’s medical cannabis program since he took office.

The South Dakota Senate approved a bill creating a framework for recreational marijuana sales in case the state’s voter-approved legalization initiative is held up in court on appeal.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives passed a bill to let patients grow their own medical cannabis.

The Arizona House of Representatives approved a marijuana testing bill.

The Montana House Business and Labor Committee held a hearing on a bill to limit the number of marijuana business licenses in the state.

A Pennsylvania court ruled that the Housing Authority of Indiana County must create a policy on medical cannabis use by residents.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture published 2020 hemp harvest data.

Colorado regulators issued bulletins on marijuana delivery and social equity.

New York officials stripped a doctor of his license for violations in New Jersey “related to the indiscriminate authorization of the use of medicinal marijuana for several patients.”

Vermont regulators are hosting a hemp conference on Friday.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 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

More than 70 New Jersey municipalities have proactively banned marijuana businesses.

The Chittenden County, Vermont state’s attorney spoke about a forthcoming drug decriminalization bill in the state legislature.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Morocco’s government is considering a marijuana legalization bill.

Jamaica’s Cannabis Licensing Authority has a new chairman and membership.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that data support “CBD’s therapeutic value in improving sleep (increased sleep duration/quality and reduction in nightmares) and depression, which are often comorbid with anxiety” and that “these features of CBD make it an attractive novel therapeutic option in COVID-related” post-traumatic stress symptoms.

New York University Langone Health is establishing a new Center for Psychedelic Medicine.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Virginia voters oppose making marijuana possession in a vehicle illegal, 59%-35%.

The Democratic Governors Association tweeted, “Democratic governors are working to legalize marijuana – bringing us closer to social, racial, and economic justice.”

The NAACP New York Branch will hold a webinar on marijuana legalization on Thursday.

/ BUSINESS

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation launched a new $2.5 million fund to support “social justice organizations working toward criminal justice reforms and economic inclusion as more states regulate cannabis.”

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $37.1 million.

Canopy Growth Corporation filed a preliminary short-form base shelf prospectus allowing it to raise up to $2 billion.

Verano Holdings Corp. announced a bought deal private placement of special warrants worth more than C$100 million. It also announced a deal to acquire three dispensaries and a cultivation and production facility in Arizona.

Aurora Nordic Cannabis A/S medical cannabis products made in Denmark are now available in German pharmacies.

/ CULTURE

Rapper Sean Paul spoke about his relationship with 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.
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ND House votes to legalize cannabis (Newsletter: February 24, 2021)

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NJ AG’s marijuana memos; Biden Treasury nom pressed on cannabis banking; MN legalization advances; Poll: SC support for medical marijuana

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The North Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill to legalize marijuana. It’s an attempt to avoid a more far-reaching cannabis measure that activists want to put on the 2022 ballot.

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D) issued a memo directing prosecutors to drop pending marijuana cases now that legalization has been signed into law. A separate memo clarifies what police can and can’t do when it comes to cannabis.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) pressed President Joe Biden’s nominee for deputy treasury secretary on revising marijuana banking guidance. Meanwhile, House Democrats left the cannabis financial services issue out of their latest coronavirus relief bill despite including it twice last year when the party didn’t control the Senate or White House.

The Minnesota House Labor, Industry, Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Committee amended and approved a bill to legalize marijuana—one week after a separate panel also advanced it.

A new poll found that South Carolina voters support legalizing medical cannabis by a five-to-one ratio.

A new federally funded study found that workers’ compensation claims and payouts decline in states that legalize marijuana.

  • “We hypothesize that access to marijuana through [recreational marijuana laws] increases its medical use and, in turn, allows better management of symptoms that impede work capacity—e.g., chronic pain, insomnia, mental health problems, nausea, and so forth.”

/ FEDERAL

Under secretary of state for political affairs nominee Victoria Nuland disclosed that she has consulted for cannabis firm Tilray.

Congressional Democrats filed an immigration reform bill that excludes some marijuana offenses from a provision that blocks people with certain convictions from citizenship eligibility.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) spoke at a Black History Month Town Hall about his work to lead marijuana reform efforts in the Senate.

House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-KY) purchased several marijuana stocks shortly after Election Day and ahead of his vote on a federal legalization bill.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK), in introducing interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland before her confirmation hearing, said, “Anybody who thinks you’re going to cut off fossil fuel immediately is smoking pot—that’s legal in the state of Alaska, by the way.” (About 37 minutes into the video.)

/ STATES

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Tell your state legislator to get a bill legalizing adult-use marijuana to my desk. I’d be more than happy to sign it into law.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) tweeted, “Let me be blunt: Today, I signed historic adult-use cannabis reform bills into law – with social justice, racial justice, and economic justice leading the way.”

New York’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Great news for farmers and small business entrepreneurs. New York State is now accepting applications from businesses seeking to operate as cannabinoid hemp processors, retailers or distributors.”

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “Florida should legalize marijuana for adult use.”

The South Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill to amend hemp rules. Separately, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to defelonize the ingestion of drugs.

The Indiana Senate approved a bill to allow the state attorney general to take over cases that local prosecutors refuse to pursue, including those for marijuana.

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office published an overview of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) plan to consolidate the state’s marijuana regulatory responsibilities.

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill to revise marijuana regulations on Thursday and Friday.

Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission awarded medical cannabis cultivation licenses to two businesses that were originally rejected by regulators. Meanwhile, regulators extended deadlines for approved businesses to open.

Arizona regulators sent guidance on tax requirements for marijuana businesses, including that the official code for such businesses is 420.

Oklahoma regulators began signing up people for trainings on medical cannabis seed-to-sale tracking.

Massachusetts regulators sent a bulletin on telehealth consultations for medical cannabis patients.

Nebraska activists held a rally to pressure lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Disproportionately Impacted Communities Workgroup will meet on Thursday.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission will meet on Thursday.

Colorado regulators will hold a marijuana rulemaking hearing on Friday.


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/ LOCAL

A St. Louis County, Missouri councilman is preparing a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Iceland’s health minister is proposing decriminalizing drugs.

A Kenyan lawmaker is pressing colleagues to pass legislation legalizing medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that medical cannabis “may represent an alternative treatment for patients with [fibromyalgia syndrome] who are unresponsive to conventional therapy.”

A study suggested that “convenience and lower cost of administering psilocybin as a fixed dose outweigh any potential advantage of weight-adjusted dosing.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Republican National Committee posted a tweet criticizing interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland’s support for legalizing marijuana.

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted about the passage of hemp legislation.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy has a new executive director.

Illinois marijuana social equity advocates erupted into disagreements about preferred legislative approaches at a press conference.

/ BUSINESS

Green Thumb Industries Inc. raised $56 million by selling shares.

The AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF announced that it has surpassed $1 billion in assets under management.

Liberty Health Sciences Inc. shareholders voted to approve its acquisition by Ayr Wellness Inc.

Canopy Growth Corporation announced that it beneficially owns approximately 20% of TerrAscend Corp. shares following the closing of its plan of arrangement with RIV Capital Inc.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced that its CFO is leaving the company.

The U.S. Tax Court ruled that Desert Organic Solutions owes taxes due to the 280E provision.

/ CULTURE

Filmmaker Kevin Smith said that in the upcoming Clerks III movie, Jay and Silent Bob run a marijuana store.

Comedy Central posted a tweet about New Jersey’s legalization of marijuana.

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AG pick Garland talks cannabis enforcement (Newsletter: February 23, 2021)

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NJ gov signs marijuana bills; NY gov releases legalization amendments; Norway moves to decrim all drugs; SD medical cannabis compromise

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  • Andrew Glashow of CLS Holdings USA, Inc.: “Marijuana Moment provides a much-needed spotlight on our industry. Promoting the viability of a legal cannabis industry that provides employment for millions of people and brings in incredible amounts of tax revenue is a tremendous public service. Cannabis businesses should be provided the same options and opportunities afforded to other legal industries, and we can get there with advocates like Marijuana Moment.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Attorney general nominee Merrick Garland said during his Senate confirmation hearing that interfering with state marijuana laws is not “a useful use of limited resources” and that cannabis enforcement is the “perfect example” of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

  • “Here’s a non-violent crime with respect to usage that does not require us to incarcerate people, and we’re incarcerating at significantly different rates of the different communities. That is wrong, and it’s the kind of problem that will then follow a person for the rest of their lives. It will make it impossible to get a job, it will lead to downward economic spiral for their family.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills into law after legislators sent him a new “clean up” proposal concerning penalties for underage people.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) released the full text of proposed amendments to his marijuana legalization plan. Cannabis delivery would be allowed, but home grow still wouldn’t.

Norway’s government proposed a bill to decriminalize drug possession.

South Dakota activists are offering a compromise that would shorten the delay in implementing medical cannabis that is being pushed by Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and lawmakers. They also want patients to have an affirmative defense in court in the meantime.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) tweeted, “States that have legalized marijuana have seen a boom in business, tourism, and tax revenue, & a drop in incarceration. As a co-sponsor of the MORE Act, I hope to see New Mexico join them and help restore communities hurt by the failed War on Drugs.”

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) sent a press release cheering New Jersey’s marijuana legislation being signed into law.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) tweeted, “The war on drugs has been a war on people, particularly people of color. It’s not enough to just legalize marijuana—we must go further to restore the lives and communities that have been destroyed by the failed war on drugs.”

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) tweeted, “I am pleased to see that NJ has officially legalized marijuana – reversing an unjust policy that has devastated vulnerable communities. Congress must take the next step by passing the #MOREAct to end the federal ban on marijuana and allow other states to legalize it as well.”

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) tweeted, “New Jersey has (finally) legalized adult-use of Marijuana. While the work to end the failed War on Drugs is not over, this is an important step.”

Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) tweeted, “Discriminatory enforcement of cannabis laws has resulted in Black Americans being more likely to face prison time, despite similar marijuana usage among other groups. It is time to take action towards equity and #CannabisJusticeNOW”

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he is “tired of seeing our tax dollars going across the border to northern Michigan or Illinois to go buy marijuana.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) sent a press release about the availability of applications for cannabinoid hemp processors retailer or distributor licenses.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) will participate in a memorial for CBD pioneer Charlotte Figi on April 7.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “40% of our population is now *officially* a 30 minute drive or less from a candyland of legal weed. Legal Weed ✅ for PA NOW Revenue ✅ Justice ✅ Jobs ✅ Freedom ✅ Farmers ✅ Veterans”

Delaware’s state auditor tweeted, “State legislators and governors have found ways previously to agree on decriminalizing marijuana and allowing expungement of marijuana convictions. Full legalization for adult use is the next logical discussion to have.”

The South Dakota House of Representatives approved a bill to let banks serve marijuana and hemp businesses.

New Mexico regulators are being sued by a medical cannabis producer that wants a tax refund.

The Montana House Business and Labor Committee will hear a bill to delay the start of recreational marijuana sales on Friday.

Tennessee lawmakers filed legislation to create a commission to study medical cannabis.

Here’s a look at cannabis bills that New Hampshire lawmakers are considering this year.

A leaked report from Illinois regulators showed that fewer than 2% of marijuana dispensary owners were Black or Latino and less than a quarter were women.

Michigan regulators will host a marijuana social equity business resource workshop on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 700 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

A Palm Beach, Florida Town Council candidate called out an opponent’s prior marijuana arrest in an an attack mailer.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The leader of the UK’s Labour Party said he opposes decriminalizing marijuana.

The Colombian government filed draft regulations allowing the export of cannabis flower.

Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration is moving to put cannabis on the country’s essential drugs list. Separately, a government spokesperson said she hopes “cannabis and hemp will be a primary cash crop for farmers.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBD users take the drug to manage self-perceived anxiety, stress, sleep, and other symptoms, often in low doses, and these patterns vary by demographic characteristics.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New York Daily News editorial board cheered Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) latest revised marijuana legalization plan.

The New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association is concerned about newly signed marijuana legislation.

Author Tim Ferriss wrote a blog post urging people to consider ethics and sustainability when choosing psychedelics.

/ BUSINESS

Parallel plans to go public at a value of $1.9 billion.

Eaze’s former CEO pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy in a case alleging a scheme to fool  financial institutions into processing credit and debit card payments for marijuana businesses.

Acreage Holdings Inc. resolved a lawsuit brought against the company by former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), who served on its board.

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp. is entering the U.S. market.

/ CULTURE

Legalization Nation is a new comic strip that chronicles cannabis developments.

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