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Trump budget would end state medical cannabis protections (Newsletter: February 11, 2020)



Virginia House approves marijuana decrim; Trump talks up death penalty for drugs; Seven governors discuss cannabis at event

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President Trump’s fiscal year 20201 budget proposal contains a number of cannabis-related provisions, including an end to state medical marijuana protections, a continued block on Washington, D.C. spending its own money to legalize cannabis sales, gutting the White House drug czar’s office, funding Food and Drug Administration efforts around “regulation of cannabis and cannabis derivatives” and supporting hemp legalization implementation.

President Trump told a group of governors attending a White House meeting that countries with a “very powerful death penalty on drug dealers don’t have a drug problem.”

The Virginia House of Delegates approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana, with Senate action on a similar proposal expected later this week.

Seven governors from across the U.S. talked about marijuana policy at an event in Washington, D.C. From social equity to federal reform, a lot was on the table, with one even joking about growing cannabis in the governor’s mansion.


A federal judge approved a request to release to Massachusetts regulators the names of marijuana businesses potentially implicated in a bribery case against the Fall River mayor.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams discussed marijuana issues with Colorado officials.

Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, continued to defend his oversight of marijuana and drug enforcement in press interviews after being pressed about it during a debate.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) decried how marijuana and drug offenses disqualify people for military service.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) tweeted, “It’s time to repeal and replace Virginia’s outdated laws when it comes to marijuana.”

Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) tweeted, “The federal government has lagged behind as states like California continue to modernize how we regulate & decriminalize cannabis. I have cosponsored the #MOREAct to deschedule cannabis at the federal level and provide a roadmap for states to legalize.”

Democratic Senate candidate John Hickenlooper, a former governor and presidential candidate, visited the office of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) tweeted, “HEMP FARMERS: @USDA  announced a new program to help protect your crops from natural disasters. Hemp farming is bringing new economic activity to our area, and we’ll keep working to ensure farmers have the resources they need to succeed.”

New Jersey Democratic congressional candidate Hector Oseguera tweeted, “The most dangerous thing about marijuana is being caught with it! ✅Release those incarcerated on marijuana charges ✅Expunge marijuana convictions ✅ Prioritize licensing to directly affected communities ✅Restore voting rights”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman tweeted, “We must also legalize marijuana & end the for-profit prison system.”


Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) signed a hemp testing and transportation bill into law.

A spokesperson for Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said the governor is pushing to make marijuana legalization happen “this year.” Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court rejected a request to expand habeas corpus law by a Gambian citizen seeking to avoid deportation for a cannabis conviction.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted about CBD gummies as a sleep aid.

Colorado’s attorney general spoke about efforts to expunge past marijuana records and ensure equity in the cannabis industry for communities harmed by the drug war.

The New Jersey Senate approved a bill to let patients get medical cannabis recommendations through telemedicine.

A Florida appeals court rejected an orchid grower’s attempt to enter the medical cannabis market. Separately, here’s a look at pending marijuana legislation in the state.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services tweeted about a hemp production meeting happening next month.

The West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution calling on federal agencies to issue rules allowing states to take custody of hemp plants to lower their THC concentration.

The Maine legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs held a hearing on legislation to overhaul marijuana regulations, including restrictions on extraction and changes to information secrecy policies.

The Missouri House Government Oversight Committee wants the state’s top medical cannabis regulator to testify on Wednesday about how licensing decisions are being made.

Montana activists filed a revised proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

North Dakota’s Pardon Advisory Board is working to publicize a process through which people can apply to be pardoned for past low-level marijuana offenses.

The New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on a marijuana legalization bill on Wednesday.

Utah regulators began pre-registration of physicians who want to issue medical cannabis recommendations.

Michigan regulators published a technical bulletin on requirements for marijuana products intended for inhalation.

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.


Denver, Colorado officials announced that a marijuana business recalled products due to the presence of elevated yeast and/or mold counts.


The St. Kitts and Nevis government plans to file legislation to expand marijuana decriminalization, expunge past records and establish medical cannabis regulations.

Ontario, Canada officials are accepting public comments on allowing marijuana consumption venues and special occasion permits.

A Mexican senator is hosting a cannabis forum on Wednesday.


A study found that “adult cannabis legalization in Oregon was associated with increased juvenile cannabis allegations; increases are not explained by changes in underage cannabis use” and that “relative disparities decreased for black youth but remained unchanged for American Indian/Alaska Native youth.”

A review concluded that “approximately 1 in 4 athletes report using cannabis within the past year.”


A poll funded by prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that when given options, 30% of Vermont voters support legalizing cannabis sales, 37% want to maintain the current noncommercial legalization policy, 18% want only medical cannabis legal and 15% back total prohibition.

The California Police Chiefs Association said a proposed psilocybin legalization ballot measure is “a horrible concept aimed only at increasing crime and despair.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board said Missouri should legalize marijuana sooner rather than later.


Acreage Holdings, Inc. announced the closing of private placement of special warrants amounting to $30 million.

Weedmaps says it is now only listing licensed marijuana businesses in Michigan.


Actor Mr. T is finalizing a settlement of a trademark infringement case he filed against Leafly.

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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 and MassRoots, and handled media relations and campaigns for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy.


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