Connect with us


Trump says he can ignore medical cannabis protections (Newsletter: December 23, 2019)



Congress attached marijuana, hemp & CBD provisions to spending report; Poll: NM voters back legalization; DEA & FDA shut down THC vape sites

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…

By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.

  • Dana R. Borys, An Accountancy Corporation: “As a tax advisory CPA firm focused on emerging growth and start-up companies in the cannabis industry, we must be highly knowledgeable about the current issues surrounding the cannabis industry to ensure our clients are in excellent hands. Marijuana Moment has provided our team with the daily updates needed to stay current on the constantly changing cannabis landscape, which has translated into us being able to strategically advise our clients on how to navigate their way from a tax and business perspective.”


President Trump issued a signing statement arguing that his administration has the right to ignore a congressional rider protecting state medical cannabis laws from federal interference.

  • “My Administration will treat this provision consistent with the President’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

Report language attached to Fiscal Year 2020 federal spending legislation signed into law by President Trump contains several marijuana, CBD and hemp provisions. Among other things, Congress is directing:

  • The National Institute on Drug Abuse to compile a report on “barriers to research that result from the classification of drugs and compounds as Schedule I substances” within 120 days.
  • The Food and Drug Administration to issue an update on developing a policy of enforcement discretion for CBD products within 60 days and to “perform a sampling study of the current CBD marketplace to determine the extent to which products are mislabeled or adulterated” within 180 days.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services to fund at least $1 million in grants to research whether CBD and kratom are good opioid alternatives.

A poll commissioned by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s (D) marijuana working group found that three out of four voters in the state support legalizing cannabis.

  • “In this day and age, getting 75-percent of people to agree on the day of the week is hard if we make it political. For this many New Mexicans to say it’s time to do this is remarkable.”


The Drug Enforcement Administration and Food and Drug Administration seized 44 websites that advertise illegal THC vaping products.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new reports that “reinforce the link between Vitamin E acetate” and severe lung injuries.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Chicago office tweeted, “Illinois decriminalizes recreational marijuana on Jan. 1, but #DYK federal laws on marijuana aren’t changing? To apply to #FBI, you’ll still need to be marijuana-free for 3 yrs.” The account also tweeted, but later deleted, “We’ll be blunt: Chicago legalizes recreational marijuana 1/1, but don’t get yourself weeded out of the FBI hiring process. Marijuana-use could be a chronic problem & delay your app. 3 yrs. Reefer to our full drug policy to learn more. It’s all hashed out.”

Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Clark tweeted, “When we talk federal legalization of cannabis with a focus on racial justice, we cannot leave the decisions & policy up to the very people & institutions that profited from prohibition & oppression!”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund expungement programs got one new cosponsor for a total of 39.


Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Marijuana prohibition in Pennsylvania is a force multiplier of 7 that simultaneously reinforces and grows inequality and injustice.”

Wisconsin’s Senate majority leader said there is no medical cannabis bill he would support.

Oregon regulators approved a measure to prohibit cannabis-infused alcoholic beverages.

Massachusetts regulators announced that tests of regulated marijuana vaping products did not identify any vitamin E acetate but did find that some products contained impermissible levels of lead.

Maine regulators said that a lack of marijuana testing labs could slow the launch of legal sales.

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory recall for medical cannabis products that weren’t tested for not tested for heavy metals, water activity, microbials, mycotoxins or foreign matter.

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.


The Chicago, Illinois Police Department published a directive telling officers not to issue citations to people whose “sole violation” is using marijuana on porches, patios, balconies or in backyards.


Trinidad and Tobago President Paula-Mae Weekes gave assent to the marijuana decriminalization bill recently passed by lawmakers, with the new law set to take effect on Monday.

The UK’s National Health Service will let doctors prescribe CBD medication Epidyolex starting on January 6.


A review concluded that “cannabinoids seem to be effective in single cases but further studies are required to improve our understanding on their role as complementary treatment in dystonia.”

A study found that “social bots regularly made health claims about cannabis.”


The Detroit News editorial board criticized a push from Michigan regulators to force marijuana businesses to adopt labor peace agreements.


Aurora Cannabis Inc. announced that its chief corporate officer stepped down.

Cresco Labs’s Sunnyside dispensary in Chicago is offering people the chance to skip the lines on the first day of legal marijuana sales for $250, with proceeds going to the nonprofit The Last Prisoner Project.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. announced it received commitments from lenders for a $275 million Senior Secured Term Loan Facility.


Musician Jimmy Buffett endorsed a proposed Florida marijuana legalization ballot measure.

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

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


Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Support Marijuana Moment

Marijuana News In Your Inbox

Marijuana Moment