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Trump administration wants cannabis reclassification comments (Newsletter: Oct. 11, 2018)

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Feds clarify border policy for marijuana workers; More Canadian liquor stores than marijuana stores; Cannabis use by older people; Nick Kroll on LSD

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comment about whether marijuana should be rescheduled under international law ahead of a United Nations review on the question.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a clarification to a policy many feared would prevent Canadians who work or invest in marijuana businesses from entering the country.

  • “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. however, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reason related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”

New government data shows that 90% of Canadians live within 10km of a liquor store. Meanwhile, only 35% will live within the same distance of a planned marijuana store upon next week’s legalization launch.

A study of marijuana use by older people seems to suggest that recreational legalization might ease access to cannabis for medical use.

/ FEDERAL

President Trump said he is “actively looking” for more prisoners to release with his clemency power, saying “a lot” of people are jailed for long periods of time without good reason.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he will conduct a whip count and move a possible vote on criminal justice reform legislation after the midterm elections.

A top U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer spoke about how officials will handle Canada’s legalization of marijuana.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration carried out raids on suspected illegal marijuana grow houses in Colorado.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, is being criticized by conservative media for his association with longtime drug legalization activist Dean Becker, who has at times “compared America to Nazi Germany and law enforcement and military members to terrorists,” according to the Daily Caller.

Former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is scheduled to participate in an online marijuana summit later this month.

The U.S. House bill to require the federal government to study the effects of marijuana legalization got two new cosponsors, for a total of 30.

New Jersey congressional candidates debated racial disparities in drug enforcement.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) indicated he might be open to accepting a lower legal marijuana tax rate than he initially wanted.

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said marijuana legalization has “largely been a success” and the state has “not had crime associated with it.” He also predicted that U.S. federal marijuana laws will evolve soon, particularly if Democrats seize power in Washington, D.C.

Iowa gubernatorial candidates both said they oppose legalizing marijuana during a debate.

Minnesota Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tim Walz, currently a congressman, tweeted, “While no one solution will be enough, there are a number of steps we must take to move the ball forward in the fight to save the lives of our veterans. For one, Congress needs to pass my VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act.” He added, “I introduced the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act to authorize VA research into the efficacy of medicinal cannabis use by vets with PTSD and chronic pain.”

Idaho Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paulette Jordan spoke about her support for marijuana reform.

Opponents of North Dakota’s marijuana legalization ballot measure are sending out a brochure to every household in the state.

The Oklahoma legislature’s medical marijuana working group unanimously agreed on a set of proposed regulations.

A Texas lawmaker said he is optimistic about the prospects of decriminalizing marijuana.

Connecticut regulators launched a new database to track legally available medical cannabis products.

Alaska regulations on marijuana testing, inventory tracking and sample preparation were finalized.

The Blackfeet Nation tribe, based in Montana, passed a resolution allowing medical cannabis.

/ LOCAL

The Kern County, California Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to unseal a key document in a criminal case against a supervisor over an alleged failure to disclose a conflict of interest ahead of a marijuana vote.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The head of the World Health Organization is urging countries not to legalize marijuana.

The Canadian government is directing grant funding to public education programs about marijuana for young people. Separately, the Correctional Service of Canada said that prison guards will have to abstain from cannabis use for 24 hours before shifts. Meanwhile, the country’s Labour Code will not be updated ahead of next week’s legalization launch—although newly released documents show that the government weighed potential changes—leaving it up to individual workplaces to update impairment policies for now.

The Australian Senate is expected to debate a bill to allow states and territories to legalize marijuana next week.

Georgian lawmakers postponed consideration of a medical cannabis bill for two months.

New Zealand marijuana arrests have dropped 70% in the past 20 years.

/ ADVOCACY

Californians for Sensible Regulation of Adult Use is a new PAC seeking to support candidates backing marijuana reform.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Utah likely voters found that they support the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure, 64%-33%.

A survey of Coloradans found that 6% think marijuana/drugs is the “most important issue facing people in Colorado today.”

/ BUSINESS

Canadian Securities Administrators slammed marijuana companies for failing to adequately disclose basic financial information to shareholders.

Tobacco maker Altria Group Inc. is reportedly in talks to acquire an equity stake in Canadian cannabis grower Aphria Inc. The marijuana company issued a release saying no deal is final.

A Cowen analyst admitted that the legal marijuana market is likely to be bigger than she initially thought.

Cresco Labs, LLC is going public in a reverse takeover.

Lyft is offering $10.17 discounts on rides in the Toronto area on October 17 to commemorate Canada’s legalization of marijuana going into effect that day.

/ CULTURE

Actor and comedian Nick Kroll spoke with Joe Rogan about the time he saw the patterns of the universe during an LSD trip at Burning Man.

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If you value staying updated on cannabis news, please start a monthly Patreon pledge to support Marijuana Moment!

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.)

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Mexican officials visit Canada to learn about legal cannabis (Newsletter: Oct. 22, 2018)

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Poll: ND legal marijuana measure up 15 points; Canadian lawmaker vapes cannabis; Late-nite TV hosts talk marijuana

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 338 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Seven top officials from Mexico’s incoming new government will travel to Canada this week to discuss marijuana legalization, among other issues.

A poll found that North Dakota likely voters support the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, 51%-36%.

A Canadian member of Parliament openly spoke about his marijuana consumption and said that soon no one will care whether public officials use cannabis.

  • “Just as someone might have a glass of wine or a scotch on a Friday night, I would turn to my vaporizer.”

Here’s a look at  the latest in late-night TV marijuana humor. Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, South Park and The Daily Show all weighed in with cannabis quips last week.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Legalized marijuana linked to a sharp rise in car crashes. A study is not proof but it should be a cautionary sign. Public safety too important for guess work.” He also tweeted about cannabis potency.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted, “I’ve drafted, but haven’t yet introduced, a bill to remove the marijuana question from ATF form 4473 — the question that requires anyone who uses marijuana (crime) to lie (crime) in order to purchase a gun (crime) from a gun dealer. Any Democrats who would support such a bill?”

Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Republican challenger Susan Hutchison debated medical cannabis.

Sen. ELizabeth Warren (D-MA) and her Republican opponent Geoff DIehl agreed on letting states set their own marijuana laws during a debate.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and his challengers answered a question about marijuana legalization.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) recorded a video message to be played at a cannabis conference.

Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) said he supports Michigan’s marijuana legalization ballot measure.

Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) and Republican challenger Anya Tynio agreed during a debate that states should be able to set their own marijuana laws. (About 51 minutes into the video.)

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) said he hasn’t smoked marijuana since Washington State legalized it.

The U.S House bill to require the licensing of more cultivators of marijuana for research got one new cosponsor, for a total of 44.

/ STATES

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) is appealing a judge’s ruling that struck down portions of the state’s medical cannabis law as unconstitutional.

Arizona’s attorney general is asking the state Supreme Court to declare medical cannabis extracts and edibles illegal.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Democratic challenger Tony Evers clashed on marijuana policy during a debate.

Colorado Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis tweeted about the state’s record-breaking marijuana tax revenues. Separately, regulators sent a letter to Denver officials warning them against allowing indoor marijuana consumption. Also,regulators are proposing to loosen restrictions on hemp products and streamline marijuana license renewals.

New Jersey lawmakers are concerned that an investigation into sexual assault allegations into a member of Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) staff could cause a delay on considering marijuana legalization legislation.

California regulators announced changes to proposed marijuana rules.

Oklahoma regulators are being sued over medical cannabis licensing fees and taxes.

Illinois lawmakers plan to reintroduce a marijuana legalization bill in January.

The chairman of the New York Senate Health Committee said he looks at marijuana legalization “with a very suspicious, not approving view.”

A member of Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Licensing Board was reappointed by Gov. Rick Snyder (R)

/ LOCAL

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s mayor spoke in support of legalization at a marijuana event.

The Phoenix, Arizona mayor’s chief of staff resigned after unsuccessfully pushing a plan to heavily tax medical cannabis.

The San Diego, California City Council is considering a proposal to crack down on marijuana advertising.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Following a visit to Colorado, the former commissioner of London’s Metropolitan Police is calling for the UK government to undertake an urgent review of whether marijuana should be legalized.

A Georgian presidential candidate was detained by police after handing out joints.

/ ADVOCACY

The International Drug Policy Consortium released a report detailing the failure of the war on drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “low concentrations of CBD and CBDV cause damage of the genetic material in human-derived cells” and that “currently available data are indicative for potential carcinogenic properties of the cannabinoids.”

A survey found that “1 in 3 medical students has used cannabis, whereas 8.8% were current users.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Missouri likely voters shows one of three medical cannabis ballot measures winning and the other two falling short.

A poll of Utah voters found that the state’s medical cannabis ballot measure is a key motivating factor to show up at the polls this year.

The Globe and Mail editorial board is calling on Canada’s government to expunge marijuana convictions instead of just offering pardons.

/ BUSINESS

Aphria filed for listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

Payment processor Square said it won’t “support sales of CBD at this time.”

Slate’s Working podcast looks at what it’s like to be a marijuana lawyer.

/ CULTURE

Colorado nonprofit ECS Therapy Center is working to create new cannabis-related signs for the deaf community.

Songify the News did a riff on drug policy debates between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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Senator does impression of McConnell talking cannabis (Newsletter: Oct. 19, 2018)

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Study: CBD reduces public speaking anxiety; Missouri medical marijuana campaign finance reports; SXSW announces 2019 cannabis panels

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 338 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) recounted a funny marijuana conversation he had with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) on the Senate floor. In the video, the Colorado senator has a spot-on impression of the majority leader acting shocked that Utah is about to legalize medical cannabis.

South by Southwest announced that a slew of marijuana-focused panels will be featured at its 2019 event. Everything from CBD to technology, sex to aging and race issues to feminism will be covered through the lens of cannabis at SXSW2019.

A study concluded that CBD reduces anxiety during public speaking.

Marijuana Moment analyzed recently filed Missouri medical cannabis campaign finance reports. Take a look at how the various committees stack up.

/ FEDERAL

Conference committee negotiations on the Farm Bill, to which advocates are hoping to attach hemp legalization language, may slide into 2019 as a result of a potential need for lawmakers to spend time considering emergency hurricane relief legislation.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), a U.S. Senate candidate, spoke about his support for marijuana legalization at a CNN town hall.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said, “If Missouri is willing to resoundingly support medical marijuana, I think the tide changes nationally, and I think we’re in the home stretch.”

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) tweeted, “Modernized federal #Marijuana policy that respects states’ rights would be welcome news!”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Ending marijuana prohibition isn’t a radical idea. It’s common sense. Let’s expand legalization nationwide and create good jobs, generate tax revenue, expunge prior offenses and bring restorative justice to the communities that were harmed by the failed ‘war on drugs.'”

Competing New Hampshire congressional candidates agreed that states should be able to set their own marijuana policies.

South Carolina congressional candidates debated marijuana policy.

Louisiana Democratic congressional candidate Jim Francis tweeted, “I am 100% in support of legalizing marijuana.”

/ STATES

Iowa gubernatorial candidates debated medical cannabis expansion.

Connecticut Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement during a debate.

Massachusetts regulators approved a final license for a marijuana testing lab, a key step toward getting recreational sales online. And a commissioner proposed allowing microbusinesses to conduct cannabis home deliveries.

An Oklahoma judge ruled that municipalities cannot place greater restrictions on medical cannabis businesses than are allowed under state law.

Colorado regulators are accepting public feedback on proposed changes to the process for adding new medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Florida Republican lawmakers are uring Gov Rick Scott (R) to seek a temporary injunction on a court ruling invalidating portions of the state’s medical cannabis law.

Washington State regulators arrested marijuana business licensee for illegal possession and distribution.

Indiana lawmakers held a study committee meeting on medical cannabis, but did not muster enough votes to pass a resolution in support of legislative changes.

California employment regulators tweeted about their presence at an upcoming marijuana industry conference.

Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner visited a hemp farm.

Oregon regulators will meet next week to consider proposed marijuana rule changes.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted, “The old approach to #cannabis didn’t work. It was too easy for our kids to get it and gangs & drug dealers were reaping the profits. That changes from now on. #promisekept” Meanwhile, the leader of the Conservatives won’t commit to not repealing legalization if his party takes over the government.

/ ADVOCACY

A staffer for prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana appeared to be  wildly off-message in an interview, admitting, “The industry’s not targeting necessarily 12- or 13-year olds.” That seems to run counter to the group’s repeated claims that cannabis businesses are making gummy bears and “pot tarts” to appeal to kids.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a report detailing racial disparities in Alabama marijuana enforcement.

The Missouri Catholic Conference said it opposes one of the state’s medical cannabis ballot measures because it would “create a tax-funded stream of revenue for potentially unethical biomedical research.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

An analysis suggests that car crashes are up as much as 6% in states with legal marijuana, as compared with neighboring states that maintain prohibition.

A study concluded that marijuana “has a potential link to stroke owing to cerebrovascular effects of cannabinoids.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that 61% of Delawareans support legalizing marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on October 23.

As of August, Colorado retailers had sold more than $1 billion worth of marijuana products this year, generating $200 million in tax revenue.

The Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a final judgement against a founder of a medical cannabis company and twenty affiliated entities for allegedly seeking investments without having a registration statement on file.

/ CULTURE

Musician David Crosby joined NORML’s advisory board.

Former NBA player Charles Barkley said that basketball players who claim to use marijuana medicinally are “full of shit.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien tweeted, “Now that Canada has legalized marijuana, maybe Canadians will finally mellow out.”

A South Dakota judge denied a motion to dismiss a marijuana case against rapper Chief Keef.

The Onion poked fun at Canada’s legalization of marijuana.

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Photo courtesy of Kyle Jaeger.

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US government’s tame response to Canadian legalization (Newsletter: Oct. 18, 2018)

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Likely next House Judic chair suggests legalizing drugs; Bizarre legal strategy sent marijuana to DOJ & courts; Canadian pardon process announced

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…

This issue of Marijuana Moment, and our original reporting that is featured in it, are made possible by the generous support of 338 Patreon sponsors. Cannabis industry professionals receive valuable rewards for pledges of $25 and up.

Check out the perks of being a sponsor on our Patreon page.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

So far the U.S. government’s official response to Canadian marijuana legalization seems very calm and consists of just a few polite videos reminding people not to bring cannabis over the border and a FAQ explaining how use affects entry and visas.

Does the next chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee want to legalize LSD, psilocybin, MDMA or other drugs in addition to marijuana? That’s what Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) seemed to imply in a radio interview.

  • “From everything we have learned, people are going to do drugs. And certainly the softer drugs like marijuana, there’s no good reason at all that they cannot be legalized and regulated properly.”

One man’s bizarre legal strategy involved sending marijuana samples to the Department of Justice and the federal courts. Spoiler alert: It didn’t work, and now the U.S. Marshals have been informed.

/ FEDERAL

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continues to express optimism about industrial hemp.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Republican challenger Rob Arlett debated marijuana policy.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) tweeted, “Today, Canada is recognizing what Oregonians and Americans across the country already understand: marijuana prohibition is an outdated, dangerous policy. It’s time to bring America’s marijuana policy into the 21st century.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted, “It’s time for the United States to follow suit. Legalizing marijuana at the federal level would make our justice system more fair—it’s the smart thing to do and it’s the right thing to do.”

Assistant House Democratic Leader James Clyburn (D-SC) said that marijuana reform is “not important to me.”

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) and Republican challenger Vickie Yates Brown Glisson debated marijuana policy.

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), currently a U.S. Senate candidate, is pushing the federal government to let marijuana businesses access banks.

  • “I think it frankly cries out for a federal solution. And this is tough stuff — this is hard stuff to talk about — because I’m a law-and-order congressman, but it’s impossible to ignore what’s going on… If the federal government itself doesn’t do something to sort of at least provide the banking system that allows for greater oversight and regulation, I think we’re just setting ourselves up for a bit of a rogue industry rather than a highly regulated one.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and other elected officials will speak in support of a Missouri medical cannabis ballot measure at an event on Saturday.

Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted, “Proud to be endorsed by @NORML. As a member of the House Cannabis Caucus, I will continue my work to increase MJ research, change banking regs, and give vets access to MMJ.”

Several members of Congress expressed concern about border issues stemming from conflicting U.S. and Canadian marijuana laws.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said he hopes the legislature’s investigation into sexual assault allegations against an administration official won’t prevent lawmakers from being able to legalize marijuana. Separately, lawmakers filed bills to establish a state bank to serve the marijuana industry and to exempt medical cannabis from sales and use taxes. A separate resolution calling on Congress to pass legislation increasing cannabis businesses’ access to banks was also introduced.

Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R) vetoed a bill that would have given him waiver authority over certain requirements for medical cannabis program.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said he opposes legalizing marijuana but supports medical cannabis.

Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner implied that marijuana is a gateway drug.

Utah lawmakers began considering a medical cannabis compromise bill, with Republicans mostly on board with the proposal.

North Dakota regulators will begin accepting medical cannabis patient and caregiver applications on October 29.

Michigan regulators will meet on Thursday to consider medical cannabis license applications.

Here’s a look at activists’ efforts to qualify a medical cannabis measure for Mississippi’s 2020 ballot.

Iowa’s first medical cannabis facility is preparing to open.

/ LOCAL

A draft Seattle, Washington 2019 legislative agenda says the city supports state legislation to allow marijuana delivery services and cannabis vaping lounges, as well as expunging misdemeanor convictions.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors voted to establish a Cannabis Oversight Committee.

Weatherford, Oklahoma is the target of the fifth lawsuit against local medical cannabis ordinances in the state.

The Adair County, Oklahoma district attorney is dismissing a case against a registered medical cannabis patient who was charged with possession due to apparent confusion over which drug crime statute should apply.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government implemented marijuana legalization and also announced a process to expedite the process of pardoning people with past cannabis possession convictions. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented on legalization going into effect.

  • “Promise Made, Promise Kept.”

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox tweeted, “Congratulations to the Canadian government on its remarkable leadership in today legalizing the sale and use of recreational cannabis. The first country in the G7 and and an important step in the global adoption of legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use.”

/ ADVOCACY

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana launched a new microsite it says it will use to track violations of Canada’s marijuana legalization laws.

Republican operative Roger Stone says Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) was “dealing marijuana to other staffers” on Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign and is now messing up medical cannabis implementation in his state.

The Marijuana Policy Project’s Mason Tvert clashed with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson in a testy interview.

/ BUSINESS

Marijuana stocks dipped as Canada’s legalization went into effect, and by the end of the day a few had risen.

The New York Stock Exchange approved Aurora Cannabis for listing and registration.

The former owner of OG Analytics filed a defamation lawsuit against activists who exposed her ties to white nationalists.

/ CULTURE

Actor Seth Rogen tweeted, “Few moments in my life have brought me pride like I feel today. Canada, I love you.  – one of your smiling citizens.”

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah expressed frustration that Canada legalized marijuana before the U.S.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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