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Trump talks cannabis in Oval Office with GOP congressman (Newsletter: Jan. 26, 2018)

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IN House slams Sched. I; NJ gov visits dispensary; Mexican tourism minister wants legal marijuana at vacation destinations

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Marijuana Moment that he spoke with President Trump about cannabis policy during an Oval Office meeting.

Mexico’s tourism minister suggested legalizing marijuana in the country’s most popular vacation destinations.

The Indiana House of Representatives unanimously approved a resolution calling on the state legislative council to study medical cannabis and criticizing the federal government’s designation of marijuana under Schedule I.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is hosting a summit on drugged driving, citing “states legalizing marijuana.”

The U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois said that federal marijuana policy changes likely won’t affect which cases he prosecutes.

Congressman Tim Walz (D-MN) is urging President Trump and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to do “everything in their power to help vets living w/ PTSD & chronic pain, including medical cannabis research.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Legalizing recreational marijuana across the United States would raise $7 billion in taxes per year. The Republicans who say that America is ‘broke’ when talking about healthcare and education should get behind the Marijuana Justice Act.”

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) toured a medical cannabis dispensary.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said that the state’s medical cannabis program is a “huge success.”

Maryland’s Senate president said he doesn’t think marijuana legalization legislation will advance this year.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant (R), a gubernatorial candidate, said that cannabis dealers are lacing their product with carfentanil, “turing their marijuana customer into an opioid addict.”

Oregon regulators stiffened penalties for underage marijuana sales.

A Florida judge heard arguments in a case challenging the state’s ban on smoking medical cannabis.

Tennessee’s Senate Republican Caucus chairman said he opposed medical cannabis until he got cancer.

Georgia senators filed a marijuana legalization bill and separate proposed constitutional amendment that would allow voters to decide on the issue.

A California senator introduced legislation creating a framework for marijuana banking. Separately, at a Democratic gubernatorial debate, the candidates were asked if they’ve ever used marijuana.

Hawaii representatives introduced a bill clarifying that having a medical cannabis recommendation can’t constitute the sole basis for denying a person’s right to own a gun.

Idaho lawmakers are considering legislation to allow CBD medical cannabis.

Officials from some legalization states are concerned that federal enforcement policy changes will impact marijuana tax revenues.

/ LOCAL

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is in talks with NYPD about opening a safe injection facilities for consumers of illegal drugs.

An Oakland, California official reported that a businessman seeking a marijuana dispensary permit offered to pay for a trip to Spain.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian government loosened restrictions on medical cannabis producers, no longer requiring them to store products in vaults or maintain 24/7 video surveillance of grows. Those old regulations “do not align with the existing evidence of risks to public health and safety,” a release said. Separately, a government report found that in 2017, about 4.9 million Canadians aged 15 to 64 spent an estimated $5.7 billion on cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes.

A presidential candidate in Ghana is campaigning on marijuana legalization.

Honduras’s national police chief reportedly helped cartels deliver drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A new scientific commentary focuses on the difficulty of detecting marijuana-impaired driving.

A study of people who consumed psilocybin found that “nature relatedness significantly increased and authoritarianism significantly decreased.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that U.S. voters broadly support criminal justice reform.

/ BUSINESS

The Associated Press formed a new beat team focusing on marijuana coverage.

The founders of Privateer Holdings made a commitment to invest some legal marijuana profits back into helping communities harmed by the war on drugs.

Colorado regulators issued a health warning about Bronnor Corp marijuana products containing unsafe levels of residual ethanol.

High Times is offering shares at $11.00.Lakewood Capital Management is shorting Canadian marijuana stocks.

Advertising Week and PRØHBTD MEDIA expanded their partnership on marijuana content.

/ CULTURE    

 The Onion had some fun with Vermont’s new marijuana legalization 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.

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

Key chairman works to clear path for cannabis floor vote (Newsletter: November 20, 2019)

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AOC blasts Biden’s marijuana comments; Virginia decrim bill filed for 2020; Yang predicts Biden evolution beyond “gateway” theory

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 1,232 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

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) told Marijuana Moment that he’s actively talking to other chairs about waiving their jurisdiction on his cannabis descheduling bill so it can go to the floor after Wednesday’s vote in his panel.

In an interview with Marijuana Moment, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blasted former Vice President Joe Biden’s comments on cannabis being a potential gateway drug as “Reagan-era talking points”:

  • “That rhetoric is rhetoric of mass incarceration. The only thing that marijuana, due to the failures of U.S. policy, is a gateway to is our mass incarceration system.”

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang predicts that former Vice President Joe Biden will stop thinking about marijuana as a potential “gateway drug” and will come around to supporting legalization once he takes a look at more evidence.

A Virginia senator prefiled a marijuana decriminalization bill for the 2020 session—a proposal that stands a good chance of being enacted with the support of the governor and the legislature’s newly elected Democratic leadership.

/ FEDERAL

The House of Representatives approved a bill to extend funding for the federal government—including riders such as the provision that protects state medical cannabis laws from federal interference—through December 20.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is taking issue with a provision in proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture hemp regulations concerning the listing of approved testing labs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance for healthcare providers on vaping-related lung injuries.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, spoke about the need to ensure equity in the marijuana industry. She also tweeted, “The War on Drugs was an abject failure. It’s time to legalize marijuana and bring justice to people of color harmed by failed drug policies. Grateful for @RepJerryNadler’s partnership on this issue. I look forward to getting our bill one step closer to becoming law.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The criminalization of marijuana has been a disaster. We are going to legalize it, expunge past convictions and invest in communities of color that have been devastated by the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, said she supports allowing interstate cannabis commerce and marijuana social use areas.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), a potential presidential candidate, criticized President Trump for backing off of a plan to ban flavored vaping products, tweeting, “If President Trump won’t take steps to protect our children, then we need someone in the office who will.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joked at an event honoring former House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) that “if his interests in marijuana started earlier he might have even enjoyed a more relaxing speakership.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) said she removed language from a draft resolution on replacing drug possession arrests with civil citations because fines “can lead to further involvement in the justice system,” but she didn’t explain why the introduced measure no longer calls for ending arrests.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) spoke about her support for federal marijuana law reform.

The House comprehensive medical cannabis bill got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

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

The House bill to shield military veterans from losing benefits due to marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 13.

/ STATES

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) issued an executive order allowing hemp to be transported across the state.

Minnesota’s House majority leader is consulting with Colorado officials to inform the drafting of a marijuana legalization bill he plans to introduce. Meanwhile, the Senate majority leader criticized Democrats for pursuing cannabis legalization

The Washington, D.C. Council approved a bill to remove the plant count cap at medical cannabis cultivation facilities.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that cities can regulate medical cannabis businesses.

A former Arizona House minority leader called out out the hypocrisy of a prosecutor who is blaming the opioid crisis in part on legal marijuana—when she led an anti-legalization campaign in 2016 that took in half a million dollars from an opioid company.

Michigan regulators awarded the state’s first recreational marijuana business licenses, clearing the way for sales to begin on December 1.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner spoke about how marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol.

Kentucky’s Agriculture Department will host a hemp summit on December 4.

West Virginia regulators will begin accepting medical cannabis business license applications on December 19.

Illinois regulators approved another group of medical cannabis dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana.

A New York senator tweeted, “On marijuana, the assignment is far from complete. In spite of some progress, heavily racialized enforcement continues in NYS. We must finally end the failed policy of prohibition and ensure that deeply impacted communities are helped to be made whole.”


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

People of color made up more than 90 percent of New York City marijuana possession arrests last quarter.

The Brooklyn, New York district attorney is planning to drop marijuana charges in a case in which police seized what a business said was legal hemp.

The Minneapolis, Minnesota mayor tweeted, “People in our state living with chronic pain shouldn’t be collateral damage in the war on drugs. Neither should victims of mass incarceration. Prohibition on cannabis has failed. It’s past time MN responsibly legalizes and begins righting these wrongs.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Malta’s economy minister said the government is working on legislation to allow the production of cannabis for veterinary medical use.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

An epilepsy study found that “CBD treatments were effective compared with placebo, regardless of the dose administered.”

A review found “no consensus among studies that cannabis use is associated with reduced opioid use or longer treatment retention when used during methadone maintenance therapy in patients with opioid use disorder.”

A study found that “people with more severe [multiple sclerosis], and men, are more likely to use cannabis for MS.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Organized crime and drug policy academic Bruce Bagley has been charged with alleged involvement in a scheme to launder $2.5 million in proceeds from bribery and corruption in Venezuela.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies is reportedly considering getting involved in the creation of a network of psychedelic psychotherapy clinics.

/ BUSINESS

Merida Capital Partners  and the Minority Cannabis Business Association announced the recipients of $500,000 in investments for minority-owned marijuana businesses.

Curaleaf Holdings, Inc. reported $61.8 million in quarterly earnings.

Heavenly Rx is doing reverse takeover of Nasdaq-listed Therapix Biosciences.

Eaze launched a new data portal for its brand and retail partners.

Leafly published an investigation into CBD product manufacturing and labeling.

A survey of marijuana investors found that “while 86 percent of individual investors are concerned about a global recession over the next 12-18 months, they remain bullish on the cannabis sector.”

/ CULTURE

Rapper Fab 5 Freddy tweeted, “Shocking that @JoeBiden said he would not legalize cannabis and that it may be a ‘Gateway’ drug. He’s right in that its a Gateway to Prison for people of color like it still is here in NYC! He needs to watch my #GrassIsGreenerFilm & LEARN!”

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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 to put legal cannabis on ballot for voters to decide (Newsletter: November 19, 2019)

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Congress schedules marijuana vote; Sanders pledges legal cannabis ‘in every state’; AOC backs drug decrim

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 1,232 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

The House Judiciary Committee has officially scheduled a vote on a bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs for a vote this Wednesday, and Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) filed a new amendment to the legislation that addresses racially disproportionate enforcement and the need for equity in the cannabis industry.

New Jersey lawmakers are giving up on efforts to pass marijuana legalization during the lame duck session and instead filed referendum legislation to put the question before voters on the 2020 ballot.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, said he wants to “make marijuana legal in every state in the country.” Meanwhile, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is facing a backlash over his comments on cannabis as a potential gateway drug from rival contenders Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Andrew Yang, as well as from Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR).

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is calling for the decriminalization of possession of all drugs—a difference with her favored presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who has said several times this year that he doesn’t favor decriminalizing drugs beyond marijuana.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S Supreme Court declined to take up an appeal of a forfeiture case involving head shops that allegedly sold synthetic cannabinoid products.

National Transportation Safety Board Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg expressed concerns about the challenges of detecting marijuana-impaired driving.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “There is a lot of talk out there on where I stand when it comes to our marijuana laws. Here are the facts:” and added a graphic that lays out some of his positions.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and expunging records.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D), a presidential candidate, said that he supports medical cannabis and getting the federal government out of the way of state marijuana laws.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) tweeted, in response to former Vice President Joe Biden (D) saying marijuana could be a gateway drug, “It is not. Prohibition is a gateway to racist policing practices and mass incarceration, though.”

Former Rep. Gwen Graham (D-FL) tweeted, “Repeatedly Floridians vote overwhelmingly for constitutional amendments to protect our environment, allow medical marijuana, restore felony voting rights (to name a few) & Republican legislatures & Republican governors do whatever the hell they want.”

/ STATES

The Colorado Supreme Court unanimously ruled that people on probation can use medical cannabis unless there is evidence that doing so would undermine the goals of their sentence.

Indiana Senate Democrats said that a top priority for the 2020 session is to pass a marijuana decriminalization bill.

Washington State regulators banned vaping products containing vitamin E acetate.

Ohio regulators expanded a medical cannabis recall to include additional products over their “development using a non-compliant process.”

Nevada regulators suspended the license of a marijuana testing lab found to have reported inaccurate and misleading potency results.

Oklahoma regulators denied a public records request for a list of medical cannabis dispensary locations.

Florida regulators have not yet released an expected report on the state’s medical cannabis program. Separately, a representative filed a bill to add sickle cell disease as a medical marijuana qualifying condition.

The new chair of the Illinois Senate Revenue Committee said that one of her priorities is “ensuring cannabis revenue helps communities hurt by failed drug policies.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands’s medical cannabis program will likely be delayed due to contention about the confirmation of regulatory body members.

Minnesota regulators held a hemp listening session.

Here’s a look at New Mexico’s lax security regulations for medical cannabis businesses.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services launched a public service campaign about methamphetamine featuring the slogan, “Meth: We’re On It.”


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 Boston, Massachusetts City Council is expected to vote on a proposal to overhaul the approval process for marijuana businesses on Wednesday.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that recreational marijuana laws are “linked to decreased binge drinking prevalence among students age 21 and older” but are “associated with increased sedative misuse among minors.”

A study suggested that “ayahuasca may show potential as an intervention for suicidality.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Anti-marijuana organization Smart Colorado is floating potential amendments to cannabis banking legislation it wants the Senate to consider.

Members of the North Dakota Young Republicans voted to back a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure.

MomsRising tweeted, “Marijuana, like alcohol and tobacco, does not belong as a federally scheduled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Descheduling cannabis would permit states to establish their own marijuana regulations absent undue federal interference. #WeWantMORE”

Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana praised former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) comments about cannabis’s potentially being a gateway drug.

/ BUSINESS

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reported $70.7 million in quarterly revenue.

Colorado retailers sold more than $155 million worth of marijuana products in September.

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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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Newsletter

Congressional vote on descheduling cannabis this week (Newsletter: November 18, 2019)

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Biden discusses marijuana as a gateway drug; Deval Patrick’s cannabis record; Study: Hemp-derived CBD reduces opioid use

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The House Judiciary Committee plans to vote on a bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the soon-to-be-announced action told Marijuana Moment.

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, said at a town hall meeting that he’s not sure if marijuana is a gateway drug, though he supports medical cannabis, modest rescheduling and letting states set their own policies.

  • “There’s not nearly been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug. It’s a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally.”

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate analysis looks at the cannabis record of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D), who opposed a voter-approved decriminalization measure and has been criticized for medical marijuana’s troubled implementation.

A study found that using hemp-derived CBD extract “enabled our patients to reduce or eliminate opioids with significant improvement in their quality of life indices,” with the benefits including less pain and improved sleep.

/ FEDERAL

Here’s a look at how President Trump changed his mind on supporting a ban on flavored vaping products.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “The American people are united on issue after issue. We must legalize marijuana now—and expunge all past marijuana convictions as a matter of racial and economic justice.”

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D), a potential presidential candidate, apologized for stop and frisk policing he once championed.

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) tweeted, “I was for #marijuana reform before it was cool. Since 1977… #LegalizeIt”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) tweeted, “Federal law prohibits marijuana use in federally assisted housing, even if marijuana is legal in that state. Erase the confusion. My bill would permit marijuana use in such housing in states where marijuana is legal and end unequal treatment of low-income residents living in such housing.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Glad to be at the State of Cannabis Summit to talk about the important progress we’re making in Congress on cannabis reform, legalization, and restorative justice, especially for communities of color!”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the damage of the drug war got two new cosponsors for a total of 55.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got four new cosponsors for a total of 92.

/ STATES

A spokesperson for New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) said she is optimistic that a well-crafted marijuana legalization proposal will be ready for January’s short 30-day session.

Pennsylvania’s pro-legalization lieutenant governor posted a tongue-in-cheek Twitter thread about why the state shouldn’t legalize marijuana.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “As we continue working to get the state #hemp program running, studies and testing are key to allowing access to safe, quality #CBD — and to ensure consumers know what they’re putting into their bodies. I’m glad to see @US_FDA is working with Florida to help move this forward.”

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory recall of medical cannabis rosin “due to product development using a non-compliant process.”

Maryland regulators issued a bulletin requiring that medical cannabis products be screened for vitamin E acetate.

Idaho activists say they’ve so far certified 11,000 signatures out of the 55,057 they need to qualify a medical cannabis measure for the state’s 2020 ballot.

Virginia is poised to decriminalize marijuana next year under the legislature’s new Democratic control, lawmakers and advocates believe.

Iowa lawmakers held a press conference to push for an expanded medical cannabis program.

Michigan regulators updated a bulletin on technical information for marijuana testing remediation and fresh frozen approvals.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is hosting a hemp summit on December 17.

New Jersey marijuana arrests have soared in recent years, according to an American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey report.

Here’s a look at the large number of former politicians and public officials in Nevada who are now part of the cannabis industry.


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

Chicago, Illinois officials held a lottery to select which medical cannabis businesses can begin selling recreational marijuana.

New York City’s mayor tweeted, “The so-called war on drugs put a disproportionate number of people of color behind bars. Lives and families were destroyed for no good reason. So we ended this immoral war in New York City and instead got to work bringing police and communities together.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Australian Senate Community Affairs References Committee launched an inquiry into barriers to patient access to medicinal cannabis.

A Brazilian judge issued an injunction allowing a Parkinson’s patient to grow and transport medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of mice concluded that “CBD can be a useful drug to prevent the parkinsonism-induced nociceptive threshold reduction.”

A study looking at “changes in eye behavior as a function of recent cannabis use within a quantified virtual reality environment” is now recruiting participants.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Minnesota Medical Association voted to take no position on marijuana legalization in the state.

Members of the Cannabis Trade Federation had a Washington, D.C. fly-in and met with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

The acting president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said he supports medical cannabis but believes its use should be carefully monitored.

/ BUSINESS

Apple is removing vaping-related apps from its app store.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced a plan to lay off more than 190 employees.

HEXO Corp disclosed that it grew marijuana in unlicensed rooms.

Canopy Growth’s New York hemp facility has qualified for a $1.7 million tax break.

Starline Tours is adding cannabis-related stops to its celebrity tours.

/ CULTURE

Actors Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen, in a promotional post for Postmates, revealed what kind of food they ordered on 4/20 and other special days.

/ CORRECTION

Friday’s issue incorrectly reported that High Times was moving to a quarterly publication schedule, but that move applies to its subsidiary Dope magazine.

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Photo courtesy of WeedPornDaily.

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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