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Trump group’s poll says let states enact cannabis laws (Newsletter: March 5, 2018)

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Health sec. slams medical marijuana; NJ legalization hearing; AMA bashes medical cannabis interference

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A pro-Trump group hired the president’s pollsters to ask voters about marijuana. They found that the administration’s anti-cannabis moves are deeply unpopular. Marijuana Moment obtained their memo about the data.

U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar claimed there’s “no such thing as medical marijuana.”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Denver office tweeted criticism of Colorado’s marijuana laws.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary David Glawe said on a visit to the Philippines that the “rule of law and the humane treatment of people” should be key principles in drug enforcement.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) said marijuana legalization is “not a matter of if, but when.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) released a video about her support for the Marijuana Justice Act.

/ STATES

The Oregon Senate approved a bill to create a grants program to help local governments cover law enforcement costs associated with illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution.

The Indiana Senate stripped an industrial hemp  bill of its major provisions following a request from Gov. Eric Holcomb (R).

A New Jersey Assembly committee is holding a hearing on marijuana legalization on Monday. And the Assembly’s deputy majority leader is expected to introduce bills to expunge cannabis possession convictions and create a tax credit program for marijuana businesses in urban enterprise zones in the event of legalization.

Rhode Island’s marijuana legalization study commission did not release its report on time, and legislative leaders are moving to expand its deadline until next year. Meanwhile, senators filed legislation directing the state to conduct a separate two-year study on cannabis, including “the impact of legalization on the production and distribution of marijuana in the illicit market as well as costs and benefits to state and local revenue.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) tweeted about bipartisan support for medical cannabis.

Here’s a look at where Tennessee gubernatorial candidates stand on medical cannabis.

Kansas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Bergeson spoke in support of legalizing marijuana during a debate.

The West Virginia Senate is expected to consider changes to the state’s medical cannabis program this week.

The Virginia House Courts of Justice Committee will hold a hearing on a bill to let people expunge first-time cannabis charges.

Louisiana representatives filed two bills to decriminalize marijuana.

The Kentucky House Standing Committee on Judiciary is scheduled to consider a medical cannabis bill on Monday. Separately, a senator introduced medical cannabis legislation.

A South Carolina senator will soon introduce a medical cannabis bill.

North Dakota activists are circulating a proposed ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana, without possession limits or regulations on sales.

A Texas judge is weighing whether a man who treated his autistic daughter with medical cannabis  is fit to be her guardian.

The Associated Press looks at the growing number of states and cities becoming marijuana “sanctuary” areas to resist federal intervention.

/ LOCAL

Albuquerque, New Mexico city councilors are stepping up the push to decriminalize marijuana.

The Little Rock, Arkansas City Council is considering a proposal to make marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority.

Las Vegas, Nevada officials say the city won’t allow marijuana social use areas until next year.

/ ADVOCACY

In an amicus brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, the American Medical Association cited a Clinton administration policy to punish doctors who discuss medical cannabis with patients as an example of when “governmental bodies attempted to restrict physician speech in order to further a thinly disguised political or non-medical social agenda.”

Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Dakota Meyer is pushing Kentucky lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

Ohio medical cannabis business license winners formed the Ohio Medical Marijuana License Holder Coalition to defend against criticism of the state’s award process.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “conflicting data exist for the use of marijuana for PTSD.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Herald editorial board says Massachusetts regulators have “managed to get things more right than not” but is not happy that they rejected a proposal to bar people with drug trafficking convictions from participating in the marijuana industry.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board said that in the eyes of other states, Colorado is “the dope-peddling menace down the street, getting rich off a Schedule 1 narcotic because other states obey federal law.”

/ BUSINESS

USA Today speculates about the possibility that Amazon could one day sell marijuana.

Bloomberg looks at the decline of pre-employment drug testing in the age of legalization.

/ CULTURE     

Jimmy Kimmel made a joke about the smell of marijuana at the Oscars.

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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.)

Newsletter

State bankers groups call on Senate to advance cannabis bill (Newsletter: May 22, 2019)

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AOC pushes HUD on marijuana evictions; Feds’ cannabis meetings this summer; Presidential candidates back descheduling; Psychedelics reduce alcohol use

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,107 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.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Bankers associations from all 50 states joined together to urge the Senate Banking Committee to stop blocking marijuana financial services legislation from advancing.

Advisory boards for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced that they will discuss issues related to marijuana’s impact on health and safety at meetings this summer.

During a House hearing, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) got Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on the record about how racial disparities in drug enforcement leave people of color vulnerable to being evicted from public housing for low-level marijuana offenses thanks to federal “one strike” and “no fault” rules.

Several presidential candidates in the Senate and House are cosponsoring newly filed marijuana descheduling legislation.

A study examining the potential of psychedelics to reduce alcohol use disorder found that “almost all respondents reported that they had greatly reduced or quit drinking alcohol since their reference psychedelic experience…”

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia tweeted, “Medicinal marijuana regimes are for medicinal purposes only as medical needs require. Abuses of system will be dealt with the same way we deal with other drug dealers and drug abusers in existing medical system- Sternly and Toughly.”

The Food and Drug Administration’s chief of staff discussed the agency’s efforts to regulate CBD in a speech at a conference.

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said “there’s no science to demonstrate that putting it in the food supply has any medicinal value, let alone [to] support that it’s safe.”

The Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-hosted a day-long event about marijuana in the Capitol.

The Senate marijuana banking bill got one new cosponsor, for a total of 28.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and punish states with discriminatory enforcement got two new cosponsors, for a total of 40.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana got one new cosponsor, for a total of 27.

The House resolution calling on states and localities to ensure equity in the marijuana industry got one new cosponsor, for a total of seven.

/ STATES

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted in support of a bill to create a Cannabis Compliance Board.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said he supports medical cannabis and added that hemp “is a tremendous cash crop.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “Can I say ‘hemp hemp, hooray!’ or would that be too much…”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) administration is “not actively” involved in marijuana legalization discussions, according to the Assembly majority leader.

The chief justice of Colorado’s Supreme Court is worried that a recent ruling on drug-sniffing dogs could put the state’s marijuana laws at greater risk from a potential federal preemption case.

Illinois’s secretary of state is investigating a state senator’s ties to the marijuana industry. Separately, lawmakers approved a bill to allow medical cannabis to be administered at schools.

The California Senate approved a bill to create a state-chartered bank to serve the marijuana industry.

The Louisiana Senate Agriculture Committee approved a hemp bill.

The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on legislation to add new medical cannabis compassion centers.

Massachusetts senators are considering legislation to create no-interest loans for social equity and economic empowerment applicants for marijuana business licenses.

Missouri regulators rejected a challenge to its award of a contract to Metrc to run the state’s medical cannabis tracking system.

North Dakota activists withdrew a marijuana legalization ballot measure they filed and plan to make changes for a new version.


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

Macon-Bibb County, Georgia commissioners approved a marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Portsmouth, Virginia judges say they will handle the dismissal of marijuana charges on a case-by-case basis.

The Clark County, Nevada Commission voted to direct nearly $1.8 million in marijuana business license fees toward programs to help homeless people.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Ireland’s Cabinet is expected to consider marijuana law reform proposals within the next few weeks.

The Canadian government will make an announcement about funding marijuana research on Wednesday.

A court in Myanmar charged an American man with growing marijuana—which he said was permitted hemp—and he now faces a potential death sentence if convicted.

/ ADVOCACY

The Hemp Industries Association launched a digital ad in Times Square urging Facebook to end its policy of rejecting hemp and CBD advertisements.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “CBD’s potential to reduce cue-induced craving and anxiety provides a strong basis for further investigation of this phytocannabinoid as a treatment option for opioid use disorder.”

A study identified “the northeastern Tibetan Plateau”—not far from where the extinct archaic human species Denisovans were known to live— as “the Cannabis centre of origin.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Texans support legalizing marijuana, 62%-28%.

A survey examined partisan differences in attitudes about marijuana legalization.

/ BUSINESS

Novartis’s CEO said that marijuana is “not a focus” for the company despite its partnership with Tilray.

Arkansas dispensaries sold $353,802 worth of medical cannabis in the first week of sales.

Here’s a look at major banks’ employee marijuana testing policies.

/ CULTURE

The UFC is partnering with Aurora Cannabis Inc. to study the effects of CBD on athlete wellness and recovery.

Former National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern said that legal marijuana is “coming and will be as crazy as sports betting.”

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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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Newsletter

NJ lawmakers advance cannabis decrim bill (Newsletter: May 21, 2019)

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McConnell gives hemp history lesson on Senate floor; POTUS candidate de Blasio’s marijuana record; Study: CA medical cannabis reduced gun suicides

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A New Jersey Assembly committee approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana. Meanwhile, legislation to expand the state’s medical cannabis program and provide for expungements of prior convictions also advanced.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave a history lesson on hemp in a floor speech while introducing a bill to raise the legal age for tobacco purchases to 21.

  • “As usual, George Washington knew what he was doing. Industrial hemp is making a comeback today.”

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes an in-depth look at  the cannabis policy record of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

A study found that California’s “rates of total suicide and gun suicide dropped significantly” after the state legalized medical cannabis in 1996.

/ FEDERAL

A Nebraska-based Drug Enforcement Administration agent will give a public presentation meant to separate “what is fact and what is fiction” about medical cannabis on Wednesday.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich tweeted, “The federal prohibition on marijuana has been a disaster. For decades, millions of Americans have been locked up and billions of dollars have been wasted. It’s also deepened racial and economic inequality. We must end this nonsensical prohibition.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), a presidential candidate, said during a meeting with marijuana industry representatives that she would “use the Small Business Administration to help women and minority-owned businesses get the financial help they need in order to compete with the wealthier, established players.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Here’s the problem with how marijuana legalization is happening in the U.S. right now: some are benefiting from a growing industry while others continue to face legal consequences. That’s why Congress must legalize marijuana at the federal level.”

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted, “The Drug War has disproportionally harmed communities of color; this should be addressed in our effort to legalize #cannabis. I’m proud to cosponsor the Marijuana Justice Act, which would invest in communities most affected by the war on drugs.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) tweeted about marijuana businesses being robbed and said, “That’s unacceptable for these businesses and employees and for our communities. It’s time for Congress to pass #SAFEBanking to get cash off our streets and into the banking system.”

Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and former Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) joined the advisory board of cannabis company Northern Swan.

/ STATES

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed a bill allowing an affirmative defense for possession of CBD medical cannabis oils.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) posted a Twitter thread about hemp’s economic benefits. Her office also sent a press release about the state Economic Development Department’s pledge of more than $2 million in assistance to a hemp company.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) spoke about his opposition to legalizing marijuana.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) tweeted, “It’s time to legalize marijuana. For years, marijuana possession has been a pipeline to prison for people of color. We must replace that pipeline with jobs, equity, and pathways to prosperity.”

Connecticut’s House majority leader said that lawmakers are discussing the idea of putting marijuana legalization on the ballot for voters to decide.

West Virginia lawmakers approved a bill to allow vertical integration in the medical cannabis industry and to raise caps on dispensary licenses, among other changes.

The California Senate approved a bill to shield medical cannabis compassion programs from taxes.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that an alert from a drug-sniffing dog trained to identify marijuana cannot be used to establish probable cause for a search. Separately, the Department of Transportation is hosting an open house to receive feedback about ad concepts aimed at deterring cannabis-impaired driving.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied an appeal of a lower court’s ruling mandating that the Health Department provide information about the panel that scores applications for medical cannabis business licenses, which was requested through a public records law.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals rejected a request from two ex-employees of Vireo to dismiss criminal charges alleging that they illegally smuggled medical cannabis from the company’s facility there to New York.

Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adam Edelen tweeted, “In Kentucky, 11,000 people were convicted for possession of small amounts of marijuana lasts year alone. Taxpayers footed a 50 million dollar bill for it. We’re going to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize small amounts for personal use.”

An Alabama senator who voted against a medical cannabis bill said that patients who need marijuana should just get it from the illegal market.

North Dakota activists filed a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.


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 mayor of Commerce, California and City Council members were reportedly involved in a fist fight following a heated discussion about legal marijuana sales.

The Cincinnati, Ohio City Council is expected to vote on a marijuana decriminalization proposal on Wednesday.

The Sarasota, Florida City Commission is expected to vote on a marijuana decriminalization proposal next month.

The New Yorker looks at how marijuana legalization has changed Humboldt County, California.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The UK House of Commons debated medical cannabis.

German regulators announced the final results of its medical cannabis cultivation license awarding process.

Ireland’s health minister said the government has “no plans” to legalize marijuana.

/ ADVOCACY

The Drug Policy Alliance is closing its offices in Colorado and New Jersey and is laying off staff in New Mexico.

The Center for American Progress issued a report calling for marijuana tax revenue to be used to fund the creation of public sector jobs in low-income communities of color that have been targeted by drug enforcement.

Koch-funded advocacy organizations are restructuring and rebranding, and some resources are being be put into studying marijuana reform.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of Washington State cannabis enforcement found that “marijuana arrest rates among both African American and White adults decreased significantly with legalization of possession, and stayed at a dramatically lower rate after the marijuana retail market opened” but that “relative disparities in marijuana arrest rates for African Americans increased for those of legal age, and remained unchanged for younger adults.”

A study concluded that “pairwise combinations of THC and CBN lead to a synergistic neuroprotective interaction” and that “non-psychoactive cannabinoids are potential lead drug candidates for [Alzheimer’s disease] and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Illinois voters support legalizing marijuana, 60%-35%.

The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial board criticized Gov. Jared Polis (D) for appointing cannabis industry veteran Ean Seeb as his marijuana advisor.

/ BUSINESS

CBD company Craft 1861 is sponsoring an Indy 500 team.

/ CULTURE

The National Football League and NFL Players Association agreed to study the use of marijuana in pain management.

Former basketball player Lamar Odom revealed that he once used a fake penis to pass a drug test for the U.S. Olympic basketball team after “smoking weed every day that summer.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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State treasurers group endorses cannabis banking legislation (Newsletter: May 20, 2019)

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Presidential candidate jokes about psychedelic decrim; GOP congressman presses feds on hemp/CBD credit; Texas medical marijuana expansion advances

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…

There are now 1,103 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.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The National Association of State Treasurers adopted a resolution endorsing congressional marijuana banking legislation.

Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) pressed federal federal regulators about hemp and CBD businesses’ access to credit card processing during a hearing.

  • “I’ve had constituent businesses tell me that their access to financial products, specifically card services, have actually deteriorated since we descheduled industrial hemp in the Farm Bill. This obviously conflicts with congressional intent.”

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a presidential candidate, had some jokes about why Denver voted to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms and how it might have something to do with the supply of marijuana.

The Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services approved a House-passed bill to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis law.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner and acting CIO posted several tweets about the agency’s efforts to formulate a regulatory strategy for CBD.

White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll will travel to China to discuss cracking down on fentanyl production.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and allowing retroactive expungements. He also listed legalization in a new issues section of his website.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a presidential candidate, published an op-ed on his efforts to expand medical cannabis access for military veterans.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has reportedly occasionally answered the phone as “Cocaine Mitch.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) tweeted about helping to initiate a marijuana competition, saying it “highlights Oregon as the nation’s best place for clean, craft cannabis & celebrates the evolution of the industry in our community, setting the bar nationally.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “It’s no secret that people of color are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement for marijuana. We must learn from the failed #WarOnDrugs and end today’s war on marijuana.”

The House marijuana banking bill got two new cosponsors, for a total of 182.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) tapped marijuana industry veteran Ean Seeb as his cannabis policy advisor. Separately, the state attorney general tweeted in support of Denver’s efforts to help people expunge marijuana records.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) directed lawmakers to consider legislation on vertical integration of medical cannabis companies during a special session.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (NP) appointed a director for the Medicinal Cannabis Regulatory Board.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) said the state isn’t generating much revenue from medical cannabis sales yet.

Missouri lawmakers sent Gov. Mike Parson (R) a bill to remove restrictions on industrial hemp.

The New Jersey Assembly is scheduled to vote on medical cannabis expansion and marijuana record expungement bills on Thursday. The expungement legislation would reportedly decriminalize cannabis possession.

The Alabama House Health Committee is reportedly stalling a Senate-passed medical cannabis bill.

A Connecticut representative who supports marijuana legalization said the chances of getting it done within the next two years are “grim” and suggested that lawmakers are considering putting the issue on the ballot.

Rhode Island regulators sent a bulletin about the prohibition on business relationships between medical cannabis dispensaries and physicians.

The Associated Press looks at efforts to ensure social equity in state marijuana legalization bills.


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

New York City’s public advocate authored an op-ed about his support for legalizing marijuana and how he used to sell it.

/ ADVOCACY

NAACP tweeted about the participation of its president and vice chairwoman in the Cannabis Trade Federation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review of research on oral fluid testing devices concluded that “no THC concentration has been determined that indicates impairment” and that “currently available devices do not meet recommended effectiveness.”

A study concluded that Colorado’s implementation of marijuana legalization is “largely and positively related with marijuana-related traffic fatalities.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Los Angeles Times editorial board is critical of California legislation to force municipalities to allow marijuana businesses.

/ BUSINESS

Organigram will begin trading on the Nasdaq on Tuesday.

Cannaramic Media, Inc. is suing Facebook for blocking marijuana-related content.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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