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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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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.)

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Vaping outbreak hasn’t hurt legal cannabis support, Gallup poll shows (Newsletter: October 23, 2019)

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Feds warn another CBD company; Senator compares marijuana claims to old tobacco ads; Study: Legalization doesn’t increase youth cannabis use

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new Gallup poll found that Americans support legalizing marijuana, 66%-33%. That’s the same level of support the firm found last year, indicating that cannabis-related vaping injuries and surgeon general warnings have not turned voters against ending prohibition. The survey shows majority support across party and racial lines, with 81 percent of people under 30 now on board.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) compared medical cannabis claims to decades-old tobacco ads in a floor speech.

  • “We’re hearing a lot of the same happy talk with regard to marijuana and none of the facts that we need to understand about the public health impact.”

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission sent another warning letter to a CBD company over allegedly making unsupported health claims about its products.

A scientific review concluded that state medical marijuana laws “increase adult but not adolescent cannabis use” and “may reduce some opioid-related harms,” while recreational legalization seems to have “little impact on the prevalence of adolescent cannabis use.”

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration is proposing changes to processes for managing quotas for production of controlled substances.

U.S. Tax Court ruled that Harborside Inc. owes a tax deficiency of approximately $11 million, down from an Internal Revenue Service claim of $36 million.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said he thinks the time is “not too far off” until more Republicans embrace marijuana reform.

The House bill to protect veterans from losing their benefits over marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 10.

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the legislature’s move to give lawmakers more direct control over cannabis regulations.

PolitiFact ruled that a claim from Florida’s agriculture commissioner about using hemp to replace plastics, styrofoam and concrete is “mostly false.”

Massachusetts regulators are removing medical cannabis patient registration and renewal fees.

The Connecticut legislature’s Regulations Review Committee approved adding Tourette syndrome, intractable pain and other disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

Maryland regulators plan two independent reviews of their medical cannabis licensing process.

A Virginia judge dismissed charges against a man after the state lab said it couldn’t distinguish between hemp flower and marijuana.

A South Dakota grand jury indicted on drug charges a Colorado man who claimed he was transporting hemp to Minnesota.

Washington State regulators busted an unlicensed marijuana retailer.

A New Jersey Reentry Services Commission released a report that endorses legislation to end federal marijuana prohibition. Separately, a senator published an op-ed taking issue with claims that cannabis legalization will benefit communities of color.

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.

/ LOCAL

The Miami Beach, Florida City Commission approved an ordinance outlawing public smoking of marijuana and hemp.

Cincinnati, Ohio city councilmembers filed a proposal to remove misdemeanor marijuana convictions from consideration in  background checks for city hiring.

Denver, Colorado’s auditor plans to review the city’s marijuana taxation program next year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study on marijuana and driving found that “smoked cannabis (12.5% THC) led to an acute decrease in speed in young adults,” that “there was no clear effect of smoked cannabis on lateral control” and that “there was little evidence of residual effects of smoked cannabis on driving performance.”

A study “explored the ways in which marijuana using mothers come to identify as such and how they structure their relationships and parenting as a result.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Safe Access New Mexico is asking Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) to direct the legislature to consider several medical cannabis bills during the 2020 session.

/ BUSINESS

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.’s CEO said that better-than-expected quarterly results were due in part to shorting cannabis stocks.

Cresco Labs Inc. announced that a Department of Justice review period for its planned acquisition of Origin House has expired.

The Weedmaps Museum of Weed will host an event on cannabis’s role in treating people with HIV/AIDS in conjunction with LGBTQ History Month.

Sparx launched an ad campaign modeled on old anti-drug public service announcements.

/ CULTURE

Snoop Dogg signed on as a brand ambassador for Seedo’s marijuana growing machine.

The brother of Jimi Hendrix settled a lawsuit with the late musician’s estate and agreed to stop using his name and likeness to sell marijuana and alcohol products.

Podcaster Joe Rogan said, in response to a cryptic tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson, “Did you steal some of my weed when you left my studio?”

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Senate to hold cannabis and health hearing this week (Newsletter: October 22, 2019)

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USDA says hemp regs coming soon; Leading Mexican lawmaker backs legalizing drugs; Michael J. Fox Foundation supports marijuana research

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 450 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.

  • Toasted Collective: “Toasted Collective relies on Marijuana Moment to keep track of ever-changing advertising rules and regulations on behalf of our clients. We know our Patreon support will enable Tom and his team to continue to help our industry evolve in step with the legislation.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control will hold a hearing focused on “Marijuana and America’s Health” on Wednesday. The Surgeon General Jerome Adams, National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow and several academics are scheduled to testify.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky testified before a Senate committee that rules implementing hemp legalization will be filed “within the next couple of weeks.”

The head of Mexico’s ruling party in the Chamber of Deputies says the country should legalize drugs—starting with marijuana—to combat cartel violence.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is supporting three pieces of pending congressional legislation to expand marijuana research.

  • “Current policies hinder comprehensive medical research on cannabis, making it difficult to generate the evidence needed for clear recommendations.”

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “We must legalize marijuana the right way. That means correcting failed drug policies that disproportionately hurt people of color, & creating new opportunities for people of color to participate in the industry.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana has long been a driving force for mass incarceration and it’s about time we change our outdated laws. We are closer than ever to legalizing marijuana and providing restorative justice to communities most impacted by the failed #WarOnDrugs.”

Former Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA), a U.S. Senate candidate, tweeted, “Decriminalize at federal level. Let states vote the policies they want w/respect to #cannabis. Current policy makes it a cash business (more dangerous), unevenly incarcerates-making criminals of people who shouldn’t be (disproportionately minority) & makes zero practical sense.”

/ STATES

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) is considering filing a lawsuit over legislators’ move to give themselves more direct control over cannabis regulations. Meanwhile, the House speaker appears ready to walk back the policy.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor called out prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana for paying to promote anti-reform tweets.

A Massachusetts judge gave regulators a week to fix a ban on vaping products before he potentially strikes down its reach to nicotine products, but left its impact on marijuana products in place. Medical cannabis patients have joined the case.

A Montana judge issued a temporary restraining order on a ban on flavored vaping products.

The Louisiana House and Senate Agriculture Committees considered hemp regulations at a joint hearing.

Maine regulators adopted a symbol that must be displayed on marijuana products. Separately, the legislature’s Marijuana Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the prospects for marijuana reform in Virginia.


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

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo signed hemp regulations into law.

New Zealand lawmakers debated marijuana legalization in a TV appearance.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “although current available studies show promising results regarding both the safety and efficacy of cannabidiol and oxytocin for the treatment of [social anxiety disorder], most studies were performed using single or few doses of these compounds, with small sample sizes.”

The University of Connecticut opened a hemp research lab.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. adults support legalizing marijuana, 67%-31%.

Trump reelection advisory board member Rob Astorino dismissed a C-SPAN caller’s concerns by jokingly saying, “I know marijuana is legal in California.”

The scientific advisory board of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana sent a letter urging Congress to halt cannabis reform action, hold oversight hearings and support efforts to remove vaping products from store shelves.

/ BUSINESS

Pax Labs laid off a quarter of its workforce.

/ CULTURE

Actor Michael Douglas had his young son hand out marijuana joints to other celebrities at parties, the younger Douglas wrote in a new book.

The Onion joked that medical cannabis is “effective for treating long-term pain over Jerry Garcia’s death.”

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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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Mexican committees release legal cannabis bill for vote this month (Newsletter: October 21, 2019)

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Court tosses DEA cultivation app lawsuit; Former VA head now backs marijuana research; NFL owners ready to make cannabis concessions

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There are now 1,211 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Several Mexican Senate committees jointly negotiated and released a comprehensive marijuana legalization bill that leaders aim to pass this by the end of this month in accordance with a Supreme Court deadline.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Drug Enforcement Administration’s delays in considering marijuana cultivation license applications.

Former Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin, who oversaw VA efforts to block veterans’ participation in medical marijuana research while in office, said in a new interview that “the time is now” to expand cannabis studies.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration will accept vaping devices and cartridges as part of its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, pledged to “end the horrifically destructive war on drugs and legalize marijuana” at a large rally.

The office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tweeted about Murray State University’s “leading Center for Agricultural Hemp.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) cited his House-passed amendment to recognize tribal sovereignty over marijuana programs in a newsletter for Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got one new cosponsor for a total of 49.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and withhold funding from states with discriminatory enforcement got four new cosponsors for a total of 49.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor for a total of 34.

The House bill to protect veterans from losing their benefits for marijuana use got two new cosponsors for a total of nine.

The House bill to create a safe harbor for veterans who use medical cannabis got one new cosponsor for a total of two.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) declared last Friday as “Wisconsin Hemp Day.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) tweeted a video summarizing his marijuana legalization summit with regional governors, saying, “I know that by collaborating together, sharing resources, and thinking collectively, our states can come up with smart cannabis policy and protect the public health.”

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s (D) Office of Community Affairs tweeted a link to a petition calling on Congress to stop interfering with the city’s marijuana laws.

Utah regulators advised medical cannabis patients not to use THC vaping products.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee On Cannabis policy will hold a hearing on several marijuana and hemp bills on Tuesday.

Nevada regulators suspended the license of marijuana grower Helios for unspecified reasons.

Oregon regulators approved marijuana violation stipulated settlement agreements.

Alaska regulators will consider marijuana licensing decisions on Tuesday.

New Mexico regulators will hold a public hearing on proposed medical cannabis rules on November 22.

Here’s a look at how former Michigan lawmakers are working in the marijuana industry.

The Los Angeles Times examines how marijuana legislation fared in California this session.

Georgia’s medical cannabis expansion is stalled because officials still haven’t appointed members of the commission who are charged with overseeing implementation.


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

Denver, Colorado officials will hold two cannabis community public forums over the next week.

San Diego, California officials ordered roughly two dozen marijuana growing and processing businesses to close because they haven’t received permits.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Australia’s attorney general warned local officials that their marijuana legalization law doesn’t protect people from being punished under ongoing federal prohibition.

A Brazilian court ruled that a couple can grow medical cannabis for their son.

A Canadian member of Parliament is under fire for failing to disclose his involvement in a marijuana start-up company.

Dutch regulators opened a public comment period on a “controlled cannabis supply chain experiment.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of marijuana products in Oregon found that “both recreational and medicinal cannabis samples contained high levels of residual pesticides and pesticides not legally allowed to be used on cannabis products” and that “medicinal cannabis products were found to have mean levels of residual pesticides that were 3–12 times higher than recreational products.”

A review concluded that “psilocybin appear[s] to be potentially useful as a treatment for cancer related depression and anxiety.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Australians oppose the federal government overturning a local marijuana legalization law, 62%-27%.

The Rhode Island Republican Party is questioning ties of associates of the Democratic House speaker to a hemp company whose license was suspended by regulators.

The chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “Marijuana legalization is not just an economic opportunity. It’s a chance to right a societal wrong: mass incarceration. This is the reparations discussion we should be having.”

The Anchorage Daily News editorial board is in favor of a local proposal to allow on-site consumption at marijuana dispensaries.

/ BUSINESS

The CEO and COO of DionyMed Brands Inc. resigned and a creditor is seeking an immediate payment of $24.8 million.

Southern University plans to roll out CBD medical cannabis products next month.

/ CULTURE

USA Triathlon is partnering with CBD company Pure Spectrum.

National Football League owners are reportedly prepared to make concessions to the players’ union on lessening marijuana penalties. Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly discussed his support for the change at a recent meeting.

The PGA Tour suspended golfer Matt Every for using medical cannabis for mental health in accordance with Florida state law.

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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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