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Today’s SCOTUS case could block marijuana legalization (Newsletter: Dec. 4, 2017)



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280E amendment not considered in Senate; VT gov comfortable with 2018 legalization; OK gov to announce medical cannabis vote


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U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) did not end up offering his amendment to undo the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses during the Senate’s consideration of a broad tax reform bill. He reportedly was not sure he had the votes to pass it in light of a $5 billion price tag congressional tax scorers attached to it.

A case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday could have huge implications for the ability of states to legalize marijuana. Ironically, the case on sports gambling is being brought by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a legalization opponent, who is arguing in this instance that states should be able to set their own laws despite federal prohibitions.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) says he’s “comfortable” legalizing marijuana in early 2018.



U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said he believed medical cannabis should be researched “like any other drug,” though he has concerns about the health effects of smoking it.

Prohibitionist group Drug Watch International is asking the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to add marijuana and THC to a list of drugs that cannot be marketed without approval.

The U.S. Army is granting an increasing number of enlistment waivers to recruits who have used marijuana in the past.

A CNBC analysis suggests that congressional tax reform legislation could incentivize more states to legalize marijuana because it eliminates state and local tax deductions and would ultimately reduce state and municipal revenues.

A report from the National Institute of Justice postulates that a rise in homicides is tied to “expansion in illicit drug markets brought about by the heroin and synthetic opioid epidemic.”

The U.S. House bill to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks got four new cosponsors, bringing the total to 55.

The U.S. House industrial hemp bill got two new cosponsors, bringing the total to 38.



Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said she will announce after the new year whether the already-qualified medical cannabis initiative will appear before voters on the June primary ballot or during November’s general election.

Maine Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dion, a state senator, shared his thoughts on marijuana legalization implementation.

Maryland medical cannabis sales began.

A copy of draft Michigan medical cannabis regulations has leaked.

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture will discuss marijuana cultivation regulations on Tuesday.

Arkansas regulators announced a timeline for considering and awarding medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization study commission will meet on Wednesday.

An Iowa regulator admitted that the state’s high fees and small patient pool may have dissuaded companies from applying for CBD medical cannabis licenses.

Montana medical cannabis patients and providers said at a public hearing that proposed new regulations are too restrictive.

Ohio regulators released medical cannabis cultivation license applications scores.



The Los Angeles, California City Council will consider marijuana regulations on Wednesday, including provisions concerning participation in the legal industry by people with prior convictions.



Ireland’s minister of state for the national drugs strategy says legislation to decriminalize drugs could be enacted in early 2019.

German activists collected enough petition signatures to force lawmakers to debate marijuana legalization.

The New York Times looks at cartels’ increasingly sophisticated methods for smuggling drugs into the U.S.



The National Black Caucus of State Legislators ratified a resolution urging lawmakers to approve legislation to “reduce the sentencing of non-violent drug offenders.”

The Drug Policy Alliance convened a clinic to help Californians expunge prior marijuana convictions.



A study found that “counties located in [medical cannabis] states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent.”

A review concluded that “exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke leads to cannabinoid metabolites in bodily fluids, and people experience psychoactive effects after such exposure.”



The Associated Press looks at the legal risks for lawyers who advise businesses in the marijuana industry.,-federal-pot-laws

Alaska generated just under a million dollars in marijuana tax revenue in October.

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 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.)


GOP Senate chair plans cannabis banking vote (Newsletter: September 13, 2019)



Dems debate drugs; DEA marijuana stall tactics in court; Legalization boosts Colorado population; Black Caucus cannabis focus; New rescheduling bill

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Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) said he plans to hold a vote on a marijuana banking bill in his panel by the end of the year.

Democratic presidential candidates clashed on marijuana and drug policy at a debate, with former Vice President Joe Biden (D) saying that cannabis should remain illegal as a misdemeanor.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is holding four separate panels focused on marijuana at its conference this week.

Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), who strongly opposed marijuana reform in the 1990s as secretary of health and human services during the Clinton administration, joined with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to introduce a bill that would reschedule cannabis and expand research opportunities.

A research group that applied to get Drug Enforcement Administration approval to grow marijuana to be used in scientific studies accused the agency of delay tactics in a federal court filing.

A study examined how cannabis factors into people’s decision to move to a new state and found that “marijuana legalization increased Colorado’s population by 3.2% as of 2015” because “potential migrants view legalized marijuana as a positive amenity.”


Members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology discussed detecting marijuana-related impairment among drivers at a hearing.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) blamed the Obama and Trump administrations for “a failure of political leadership not to deal with the marijuana issue.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “Systemic racism is a root ideology that propped up an extractive economic system that prioritizes profit over human & environmental considerations. The injustices of slavery evolved into Jim Crow, redlining, the War on Drugs, mass incarceration, & beyond.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Even in states where marijuana is legal, many people don’t have the time or money to individually petition the court to expunge their marijuana records. More communities need to join Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago in automatically clearing marijuana offenses.”

Police raided an illegal marijuana growing operation at a building whose owners include former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA).

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and direct money to programs to begin repairing the harms of the drug war got two new cosponsors for a total of 39.


California lawmakers sent Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) a bill to exempt medical cannabis compassion programs from taxes as well as legislation allowing terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana in healthcare facilities. They also approved a bill to let cannabis businesses deduct expenses on their state tax returns and legislation to ban marijuana party buses.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner said that when people think of his state he wants “them to think the same thing they think about hemp like they do Idaho potatoes and Florida orange juice.”

The New Jersey Senate did not vote as expected on Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) suggested changes to a marijuana expungement bill he conditionally vetoed, instead filing a new proposal for consideration.

Washington, D.C. officials moved to allow patients to use a REAL ID driver’s license issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles as proof of residency for the medical cannabis program in lieu of two other forms of acceptable identification.

Massachusetts regulators voted to require marijuana companies to disclose all specific ingredients in vaping cartridges. They also approved a requirement that body cameras be used to film cannabis home deliveries while limiting how the video footage can be used and moved to expand the reach of delivery services.

Utah’s Procurement Policy Board rejected an appeal from a medical cannabis company that was denied a cultivation license but said that regulators may have erred in selecting only eight growers.

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.


A judge is accusing New York City police of lying about smelling marijuana to justify vehicle searches.

The Miami Beach, Florida City Commission approved a proposal to treat public marijuana smoking at the same level as an open container violation.

Denver, Colorado police issued a bulletin about an uptick in burglaries at marijuana facilities.


A party in Thailand’s ruling coalition is circulating legislation to allow medical cannabis home cultivation.

South Africa’s government is considering expunging past marijuana convictions.

Paraguayan regulators began a process to license medical cannabis businesses.

Vancouver, Canada’s City Council defeated a measure to crack down on the sale of psilocybin mushrooms.


A review concluded that “use of cannabis and cannabinoids via certain administration routes could reduce different types of pain.”

A study found that in “US community samples of cannabis initiates studied soon after first use, the vast majority were free of individual [side effect] experiences counted toward Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition cannabis use disorder diagnoses.”

A review determined that while “standard field sobriety tests have advantages over per se tests for cannabis-impaired driving, limitations of both leave cannabis users and law enforcement officials little guidance in assessing an individual’s driving fitness after recent cannabis use.”


An analysis from prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that cannabis industry participants donated $305,675in campaign contributions  to members of Congress in the first half of 2019, compared with $248,504 last year.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing New Jersey over a law requiring tax-exempt organizations to disclose information about donors, saying that it will expose the names of people supporting marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform efforts.


Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s stock sunk after reporting lower-than-expected earnings.

Some Oregon marijuana retailers began pulling vaping products from their stores over uncertainty about ingredients.


Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs will serve as brand ambassadors for Alkaline Water Company Inc., which sells CBD products.

The Outline look at why some South American indigenous tribes give psychedelic drugs to dogs.

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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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DEA wants huge increase in legal cannabis growing for 2020 (Newsletter: September 12, 2019)



USDA hemp regs at White House; Marijuana biz orgs issue vape safety recs; Lawmakers buy cannabis with crypto; POTUS cannabis debate Qs

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The Drug Enforcement Administration proposed that 3.2 million grams of marijuana be legally grown in the U.S. in 2020—a more than 30 percent increase from this year’s quota for cannabis to be used in scientific studies.

At last week’s closed-door federal marijuana summit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that hemp regulations are undergoing final review at the White House and the Justice Department, and a federal prosecutor said he would not tolerate psilocybin mushroom sales in Colorado dispensaries.

The National Cannabis Industry Association and the Cannabis Trade Federation issued a series of recommendations for cannabis businesses and Congress to keep consumers safe amid an epidemic of vaping-related severe lung injuries.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at the cannabis record of former Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC), who cosponsored and voted for numerous measures supporting states’ rights to set marijuana policies during his time in Congress.

Berkeley and Emeryville, California city councilmembers purchased marijuana with cryptocurrency.

Advocates from leading marijuana policy organizations suggested cannabis questions they’d like to see asked of presidential candidates at Thursday’s debate.


The Environmental Protection Agency is being urged by the State FIFRA Issues Research and Evaluation Group to provide guidance to states on pesticide use on cannabis.

The Bay Area News Group took a look at the marijuana prosecution record of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate.

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We need to legalize cannabis nationwide and properly regulate products in order to keep folks safe.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke about her work to end federal marijuana prohibition.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) mentioned cannabis banking in a speech at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions conference.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said the “odds are very strong” that legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition will move this Congress.

Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA) tweeted about discussing marijuana policy with actor Chris Evans.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got one new cosponsor for a total of 44.

The House bill to prevent federal agencies from spending money to interfere with state marijuana laws got one new cosponsor for a total of 10.

The House bill to allow marijuana in public housing got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

The House resolution urging  states to encourage diversity in the marijuana industry got one new cosponsor for a total of eight.


Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) spoke about marijuana at a National Coalition of 100 Black Women event. She also tweeted, “702,000+ tax paying residents deserve the right to make their own decisions on how to regulate marijuana!”

Florida’s attorney general raised concerns about the length of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure. Meanwhile, a separate marijuana legalization ballot initiative campaign received more than $1 million in donations from two cannabis companies.

Kentucky’s Department of Financial Institutions commissioner said he is frustrated that some banks are still refusing to work with hemp businesses.

South Dakota’s House majority leader said lawmakers are prepared to override a potential veto on hemp legislation next year from Gov. Kristi Noem (R).

The New Jersey Senate is expected to vote Thursday on changes Gov. Phil Murphy (D) suggested to a marijuana expungement bill.

Maryland’s top medical cannabis regulator is resigning.

Texas regulators held a hearing on rules to add incurable neurodegenerative diseases as new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

The Ohio State Medical Board rejected rejected adding anxiety and autism spectrum disorder as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Illinois regulators named vendors that are approved to provide health and safety training to marijuana businesses.

A man facing Idaho felony marijuana charges for an industrial hemp shipment is pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Oregon regulators are asking marijuana retailers to review vape stocks for safety and to post warning signs on the potential dangers of vaping amidst an outbreak of severe lung injuries. Separately, they are holding a series of meetings to discuss cannabis rules changes.

Massachusetts health officials are mandating that doctors report suspected cases of severe lung injury tied to vaping.

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.


Miami Beach, Florida’s mayor is proposing an ordinance to crack down on smoking marijuana in public.


A study found that “for each of the opioids investigated (codeine, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone, fentanyl and buprenorphine), marijuana use was associated with statistically significant lower urinary opiate levels than in samples without indicators of marijuana use.”

A study concluded that “patients with isolated marijuana use had similar overall graft survival compared to non‐users” and that “marijuana use should not be an absolute contraindication to kidney transplant.”


The Boston Globe editorial board said that Massachusetts marijuana regulations need to be amended following the federal indictment of a mayor for allegedly extorting marijuana businesses.

The Center for Food Safety issued a scorecard that grades CBD companies’ practices to ensure their products are safe for consumers and the environment.


Aurora Cannabis Inc. reported 52% quarterly revenue growth and a loss of $11.7 million.

Weedmaps said it has started to implement a policy of only listing licensed businesses. Meanwhile, the United Cannabis Business Association is asking California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to retroactively fine the company for past practices.

Amazon removed from its website products that can be used to make counterfeit marijuana vapes.

Berkeley Patients Group announced it will donate $1 million to 10 nonprofits over 10 years.


Polygon takes a look at the rise of psychedelic science fiction.

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Feds warn more CBD companies about health claims (Newsletter: September 11, 2019)



FDA: scientists should study dispensary marijuana; OR ballot measure would decrim all drugs; Request to shield anti-cannabis donor names rejected

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There are now 1,184 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.


The Federal Trade Commission sent letters warning three CBD companies to stop making unsubstantiated health claims about their products.

The Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health said in a letter to Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) that researchers should be able to study marijuana products available to consumers at dispensaries. That’s significant because research has shown the current federally approved supply from the University of Mississippi more closely resembles hemp than what consumers are using, and the head of that facility recently expressed ignorance about the potency levels of cannabis products available in the marketplace.

Activists in Oregon quietly filed a proposed ballot measure to decriminalize all drugs and use marijuana tax revenue to fund expanded treatment and recovery services. Drug Policy Alliance is considering supporting the push to get it on the 2020 ballot.

A New York ethics commission rejected prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s effort to keep its list of donors secret.


The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy designated 13 new areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and removed the designation from six areas.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke to activists ahead of NORML’s congressional lobby day.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted about a man who “got life in prison for repairing trucks that distributed marijuana. 18 years later he still rots in prison and has seen murderers and rapists released with less time.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said that lung injuries associated with vaping of unregulated cannabis products “is all an argument for why we need to legalize and regulate. We need to have standards. We need to make sure people know what’s going on.”

In a House floor speech, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke about how the war on drugs “devastated our communities, tore apart families, and incarcerated millions of needlessly incarcerated fellow African Americans.” She also tweeted, “As the first African American and first woman to co-chair the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I know it’s not enough to just legalize marijuana. Including social equity and criminal justice reform is vital to our agenda.”

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) tweeted, “The mental & physical well-being of our brave veterans should come first!”

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff discussed his support for legalizing marijuana.


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that she would veto industrial hemp legislation again should another bill reach her desk.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) made appointments to the Institute of Cannabis Governing Board.

Vermont’s lieutenant governor will speak at a marijuana conference on Friday.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “Proud to receive the Vanguard Award for cannabis reform advocacy from @VANORML and @NORML! Virginia needs to decriminalize possession of small amounts, address past convictions, and take steps toward legal, regulated adult use.”

Ohio’s House speaker selected a medical cannabis cultivation business owner as the new patient advocate on the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.

The Michigan House of Representatives approved a bill requiring warning labels on marijuana products. Separately, representatives plan to file legislation to create a process to expunge cannabis convictions.

New Mexico’s marijuana legalization working group recommended that cannabis sales be done through private retailers, in contrast with a bill that advanced in the legislature this year that would have let state-run stores mostly handle the market.

A Pennsylvania judge issued an order that people on probation cannot use medical cannabis.

Washington, D.C. education officials confirmed that students can use medical cannabis in schools.

Missouri regulators released the names and locations of medical cannabis business license applicants.

Wisconsin lawmakers said they will file new medical cannabis bills this fall.

The membership of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Cannabis Commission has been completed.

Massachusetts’s Cannabis Study Group will meet on September 17.

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.


The Fall River, Massachusetts City Council temporarily removed from office the mayor, who was arrested on federal charges of allegedly extorting marijuana businesses.


The Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport announced that 10 municipalities have been selected to participate in a legal marijuana supply pilot program.

Canada’s New Democratic Party criticized the government for issuing so few pardons for marijuana convictions.

Australian lawmakers are considering legislation to drug test welfare recipients.

The Indian government is moving to allow marijuana research.


A study found that “atypical cannabinoids, like O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol, exert anti-tumorigenic effects on Paclitaxel-resistant breast cancer cells” and that “due to their lack of central sedation and psychoactive effects, these atypical cannabinoids could represent new leads for the development of additional anti-cancer treatments when resistance to conventional chemotherapy occurs during the treatment of breast and possibly other cancers.”

A study concluded that “a set of policies balancing Medication Assisted Treatment, Naloxone Access, Good Samaritan Laws, Medication Assisted Treatment, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and legalization of medical marijuana leads to a reduced number of overdose deaths, but not until its second year in force.”


The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Stop telling lies about legalized hemp @govkristinoem.”

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation published a report expressing skepticism about marijuana’s role in reducing opioid issues.

Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly tweeted, “Pot use among America’s college students is now at the highest level in 35 years according to a study from the University of Michigan. Experts have cited the increase on the legalization of marijuana in states with a high amount of college campuses.”


MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced that its planned acquisition of PharmaCann, LLC cleared a key Department of Justice waiting period.

CannabCo Pharmaceutical Corp. said it is working on “production of near odourless cannabis.”

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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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