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Trump-appointed prosecutor’s cannabis warning (Newsletter: October 20, 2020)

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Top NY gov aide: Legal marijuana in 2021; AOC teams up with GOP on drug reform; USDA OKs more hemp plans; NM voters back legal cannabis

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Trump-appointed U.S. attorney for Montana penned a statement warning the state’s voters that legalizing marijuana will increase car crashes, cause addiction and make it harder to take custody of kids away from parents just for using cannabis.

The top cannabis advisor to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said marijuana legalization will be included in his budget again in January, with the goal of enacting it into law by April. He also spoke about forthcoming rules to allow CBD-infused foods and drinks.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about how more Republicans are joining Democrats in working to legalize marijuana and end the war on drugs.

  • “We’ve been able to propose solutions on a wide spectrum towards decriminalization, towards legalization, and that is increasingly becoming a position that more Republicans are amenable to… There are some areas where you can find common ground.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved hemp plans from six additional states—Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma and South Dakota—and three Indian tribes. The total number of hemp proposals to have received federal clearance now stands at 69.

As Arizona appears poised to approve a marijuana legalization ballot measure next month, a new poll shows that voters next door in New Mexico also back legalizing cannabis by a strong margin and that nearly half want to decriminalize drugs as well.

/ FEDERAL

A new page about race and the criminal justice system on the campaign website of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden reiterates, “Our administration will work to end mandatory minimums and private prisons, reform our broken cash bail system, and decriminalize the use of cannabis. And let me be clear: we need to help people with mental health challenges or substance use disorders receive treatment –– not a prison sentence.”

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission sent a letter warning For Our Vets LLC dba Patriot Supreme to stop claiming its CBD products can prevent and treat coronavirus.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) and thirteen other senators briefly cited the economic opportunities created by hemp in a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to modernize rulemaking for biogenic carbon emissions.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) included several pieces of marijuana and psychedelics legislation in a list of congressional bills she is highlighting that seek to interfere in Washington, D.C.’s local affairs.

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) tweeted, “Industrial hemp production is a huge opportunity for our region’s ag sector. This bill helps give farmers the tools they need to produce this cash crop on a larger scale. Congrats to @GovNedLamont for getting this important effort across the finish line.”

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mia Mason tweeted, “I want to legalize cannabis [and] make it a cash crop for [our] 1st District farmers. We can then tax the sale of cannabis and use that revenue to pay for rebuilding and improving our infrastructure!”

/ STATES

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) tweeted, “Let’s listen to the science and vote no on legalizing marijuana.”

West Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Salango tweeted, “After years of delay, the state finally selected its medical cannabis growers, but WV based companies were left out in favor of out-of-state firms and a political donor of Jim Justice. Are you tired of the corruption? We can do better.”

Indiana attorney general candidates discussed their views on marijuana.

The New Mexico legislature’s Economic & Rural Development Committee discussed hemp production.

Oregon regulators eased marijuana business license application requirements and streamlined the process for approvals.

Washington State regulators adopted rules on a voluntary marijuana licensee consultation and education program and rescinded a policy on the use of personal funds for business.

Colorado regulators published a marijuana market report.

Nevada regulators issued guidance on marijuana agent card expiration dates.

Some Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing back against proposed marijuana delivery regulations.

Pennsylvania drug courts may face a lawsuit for barring participation by medical cannabis patients.

Oklahoma regulators touted the fact that the state Department of Education has received enough medical cannabis revenue to pay the salaries of 794 teachers.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Tuesday.

Kansas representatives will participate in a chat about the prospects of legalizing medical cannabis in the state on Tuesday.

/ LOCAL

The Henderson, Nevada City Council is considering a proposal to allow marijuana delivery services.

Paterson, New Jersey is set to enact a medical cannabis transfer tax.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The West Midlands, UK Police Department is ending arrests for low-level drug possession.

The Dutch justice minister told concerned lawmakers that no extra policies are needed to prevent people possessing or smoking marijuana in public places during the coronavirus pandemic.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review of research on Huntington disease found “strong evidence for significant improvement in the neurologic symptoms of spasms, tremors, spasticity, chorea, and quality of sleep following treatment with medical marijuana,” ” significant improvement after treatment in tremors and rigidity” and “a significant increase in average number of hours slept.”

A study identified “potentially beneficial effects of Cannabis sativa whole extracts on the initial phase of atherosclerosis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police published an op-ed outlining concerns about marijuana legalization ahead of the state’s vote on a referendum to end prohibition.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative explained its decision to fund Oregon’s drug decriminalization campaign in a press release.

The Sussex County, New Jersey Democratic Committee published an op-ed urging voters to approve the state’s marijuana legalization referendum.

/ BUSINESS

Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced the repayment of some of its debts.

Harborside Inc. reached an agreement to acquire majority ownership of FGW Haight, Inc., which has a conditional use approval to operate a dispensary in San Francisco, California.

Zenefits touted a cannabis-specific payroll guide, tweeting, “At Zenefits we support SMBs with our mission to “level the playing field” for the smaller guys. #Cannabis companies included.”

/ CULTURE

Seth Rogen spoke about how he has been smoking marijuana all day long during the coronavirus pandemic.

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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 & KS approve medical cannabis bills (Newsletter: May 7, 2021)

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TX House passes psychedelics research bill; WI lawmakers kill gov’s marijuana plan; Lawmakers want protections for colleges studying cannabis

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

If you value Marijuana Moment, invest in our success on Patreon so we can expand our coverage and more readers can benefit: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Alabama lawmakers sent Gov. Kay Ivey (R) a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) supports medical marijuana but it will now have to go through the Senate to get her desk, and time is short in the session.

The Texas House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the state to study the benefits of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA for military veterans with PTSD. It now heads to the Senate.

The Republican-led Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin legislature voted to strip Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) marijuana legalization and medical cannabis provisions from the budget.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Reps. Joe Neguse (D-CO) and Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) are calling on congressional leaders to include a rider protecting universities from losing funding for researching marijuana in an upcoming spending bill.

/ FEDERAL

The Drug Enforcement Administration published annual data on its marijuana eradication efforts.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “Legislators in New York not only legalized marijuana—but also ensured restorative justice for those harmed by the War on Drugs. This is a model for how we should deal with this issue in Congress. I will keep working to end the federal marijuana prohibition.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) touted his work to legalize hemp.

A spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said, amid reports that a federal investigation is looking into his work on cannabis legislation, that he “has never accepted a gift or any other thing of value in exchange for his work on marijuana policy.”

Former Rep. Jill Long Thompson (D-IN) published an op-ed calling for the establishment of a national commission to examine marijuana issues.

/ STATES

Georgia’s  lieutenant governor appointed members to the Medical Cannabis Commission Oversight Committee.

Virginia’s attorney general touted successful marijuana reforms in his annual report.

A South Carolina senator said there is an agreement to debate and pass his medical cannabis bill in January.

The Massachusetts legislature’s Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy will hold a hearing on several marijuana bills on Tuesday.

Colorado Senate Republicans congratulated a lawmaker for passing legislation to increase medical cannabis access in schools.

New Mexico regulators said they will stop charging sales taxes on some medical cannabis purchases, but that purchase limits and plant counts won’t immediately increase.

A Missouri appeals court heard arguments on whether regulators should let a rejected medical cannabis business license applicant access their full archive of applications.

Washington State regulators will host a listen and learn session about draft conceptual rules for background checks on cannabis applicants or licensees on Thursday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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

Former Calexico, California officials were sentenced to two years in federal prison for taking bribes in exchange for “guaranteeing” a permit for a cannabis business.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The European Commission added cannabigerol as an approved ingredient in cosmetics and skin care products.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis, mostly oil products, was used by one-fifth of children with cancer during or after the completion of cancer treatment.”

A study “showed that participants felt more awe in response to videos representing funny animals and moving objects in the [psilocybin] microdosing compared to the placebo condition.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Wisconsin Democratic Party is selling marijuana-themed merch.

/ BUSINESS

Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $42.9 million.

Illinois dispensaries sold more than $35 million worth of medical cannabis in April.

/ CULTURE

Family Feud had a question about confusing marijuana with other objects.

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TN sends limited medical cannabis bill to governor (Newsletter: May 6, 2021)

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CO gov signs medical marijuana bill for schools; MN legalization advances again; French lawmakers displays joint in Parliament

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…

Free to read (but not free to produce)! We’re proud of our newsletter and the reporting we publish at Marijuana Moment, and we’re happy to provide it for free. But it takes a lot of work and resources to make this happen.

If you value Marijuana Moment, invest in our success on Patreon so we can expand our coverage and more readers can benefit: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill requiring schools to store medical cannabis for use by students who need it. Lawmakers also recently sent separate legislation to his desk that will double the amount of marijuana that is legal to possess.

Tennessee lawmakers sent Gov. Bill Lee (R) legislation to add new low-THC medical cannabis qualifying conditions and create a commission to study enacting a more robust medical marijuana program if federal law changes.

The Minnesota House Taxes Committee approved the majority leader’s marijuana legalization bill. That’s 11 committee approvals so far, and there’s just one more to go before it’ll be on the floor this month.

A French lawmaker caused a stir by waving around a marijuana joint on the floor of the National Assembly as a new parliamentary report recommended that the county legalize cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

Marijuana business owners testified in the federal trial against a former Fall River, Massachusetts mayor.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse and other federal agencies are accepting grant applications to support research on the “effects of changes in the legal status of cannabis on health-related behaviors and outcomes” and the “effects of variations in the legal provisions applicable to legalized cannabis.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said he’s “putting together the final touches” on his federal marijuana legalization bill and that “you’ll see it very soon.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) tweeted, “The SAFE Banking Act is not only an economic bill, it’s about equity too. This bill will make it easier for cannabis entrepreneurs without wealthy friends and families to get banking services and loans they need to get their businesses off the ground.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) wrote about his support for marijuana reform in a constituent letter.

The House bill to legalize medical cannabis for military veterans got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

/ STATES

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) commuted the sentence of a man serving a 22-year prison sentence for a marijuana crime.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted, “Doylestown is the latest Pennsylvania municipality to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Municipalities shouldn’t have to do this individually; instead, our state legislature should pass comprehensive marijuana reform, including legalization.”

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) tweeted, “Legalizing and taxing marijuana, much like we do with alcohol, just makes sense. Doing so would generate an estimated $165M in revenue for our state starting in 2022, and now—as we recover from #COVID19—is not the time to be leaving dollars on the table.”

Kansas’s House majority leader said it will be “pretty tough” to pass a medical cannabis bill this year, though the chamber does plan to debate the legislation on Thursday.

The New Jersey Assembly Health Committee approved a bill to change ownership restrictions for medical cannabis businesses.

The Idaho Senate approved a bill to prohibit marijuana advertising that advocates say could also silence cannabis policy reform efforts.

A Utah bill allowing more providers to recommend medical cannabis took effect.

California regulators are extending the public comment period on proposed safe harbor warnings for marijuana smoke and THC exposures.

Colorado regulators sent a bulletin on new marijuana testing and decontamination rules.

Michigan regulators sent a bulletin about annual financial statements that medical cannabis businesses must file.

Mississippi regulators will hold a hearing on proposed medical cannabis testing rules on Tuesday.

The Washington State Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force’s Technical Assistance & Mentorship Workgroup will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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

Durham, North Carolina police released data on misdemeanor marijuana enforcement.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabidiol confers neuroprotection in rats in a model of transient global cerebral ischemia.”

A study identified “a disparity between the common terms used by researchers in academia and those used by cannabis consumers.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Marijuana Policy Project hired a director of social equity and inclusion.

/ BUSINESS

Credit Suisse Group AG said it will no longer execute transactions in shares of marijuana companies with U.S. operations or hold them on behalf of clients.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company’s cannabis-focused Hawthorne unit reported quarterly net sales of $364 million.

Jushi Holdings Inc. closed its acquisition of Dalitso LLC.

Sundial Growers Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire Inner Spirit.

Massachusetts retailers have now sold more than $1.5 billion worth of legal marijuana since sales began.

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AL House filibusters medical cannabis (Newsletter: May 5, 2021)

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AG Garland talks marijuana; KS medical cannabis bill advances to floor; IA asks DEA for federal marijuana guarantees

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Attorney General Merrick Garland reiterated during a House hearing that he does not think going after people who use marijuana in compliance with state laws is a good use of Justice Department resources.

A Senate-passed medical cannabis bill got filibustered on the floor of the Alabama House of Representatives. A small number of opponents ran out the clock on the legislative day so that a vote could not be held, but supporters hope it will be brought back up on Thursday.

The Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee amended and approved a medical cannabis bill. Advocates are hopeful it can pass the legislature within the next few days as part of the veto session.

The Iowa Department of Public Health formally requested that the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal agencies guarantee protections for the state’s medical cannabis program participants after Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) was sued by an activist over her administration’s inaction.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case on the impact of sentencing reform legislation on certain people with drug convictions.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Drug Enforcement Administration hemp regulations.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse posted updated information about its marijuana cultivation contract with the University of Mississippi.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) filed a bill that includes provisions to clean up land and water damaged by illegal marijuana cultivation.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) wrote about his support for marijuana banking legislation in a constituent letter.

Rep. Peter Meijer (R-MI) tweeted, “Veterans across the country continue to suffer from chronic pain & PTSD as a result of their service, and too many are being lost to opioid overdose & suicide here at home. We owe it to them to pursue alternative treatment that could be safer & more effective. There remains a need for increased research & trials on cannabis as an alternative treatment. Our bill will help ensure that the VA moves forward with these studies expeditiously. Proud to join colleagues in this bipartisan, bicameral effort.”

/ STATES

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill to provide grant funding to marijuana social equity business license applicants.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner said she is concerned that the scandal involving Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) could leave a “bad taint” on the marijuana industry.

Colorado lawmakers sent Gov. Jared Polis (D) a bill to double the legal marijuana possession limit to two ounces.

The Tennessee Senate approved a limited medical cannabis bill, with a House vote expected on Wednesday.

Illinois lawmakers are filing legislation to add new marijuana retail licenses with a focus on increasing minority ownership in the industry.

The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission is considering a complaint filed by activists who allege that a sheriff committed a felony by failing to disclose who paid for his successful lawsuit to remove a medical cannabis measure from last year’s ballot.

A New Mexico judge ruled that regulators must restore reciprocity to out-of-state medical cannabis patients. Separately, the top medical marijuana regulator said patients should not expect purchase limits to be expanded.

New Wisconsin hemp rules went into effect.

Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board is hiring an executive director.

New Jersey regulators met to accept public comment on social equity issues.

Subcommittees of the Oregon Cannabis Commission will meet on Wednesday.

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


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,100 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

San Francisco, California’s mayor filed legislation to change regulations for marijuana social equity businesses.

Ardmore, Oklahoma police are investigating a shooting during a robbery at a medical cannabis dispensary that left the suspect dead.

Oakland, California’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Thursday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Swiss National Council’s Health Committee advanced a parliamentary initiative to engage the Federal Council in drafting legislation allowing legal marijuana markets.

The European Union’s Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction published an overview of newly enacted U.S. marijuana laws.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “due to its wide range of pharmacological activities (e.g., antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective properties), CBD is considered a multimodal drug for the treatment of a range of neurodegenerative disorders, and various cancer types, including neoplasms of the neural system.”

Scientists developed a method that “predicts hallucinogenic potential” of compounds using a fluorescent sensor.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Consumers League launched a public service announcement raising concerns about CBD products.

/ BUSINESS

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. completed its acquisition of Maryland Compassionate Care and Wellness, LLC.

Jushi Holdings Inc. closed on its acquisition of two California marijuana dispensaries.

TerrAscend Corp. completed its acquisition of HMS Health, LLC and HMS Processing, LLC from Curaleaf Holdings, Inc.

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. sued Terphogz LLC for allegedly violating the Skittles trademark with its Zkittlez product and marketing.

BDSA and Apex Trading launched a cannabis wholesale pricing data product.

/ CULTURE

The Florida State Boxing Commission removed marijuana from its prohibited substances list.

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