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VA gov gets more cannabis bills on desk (Newsletter: October 5, 2020)



VT gov hints at possible marijuana veto; DC expands medical cannabis delivery; Scientists file court brief challenging DEA

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A group of scientists filed a legal brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to force the Drug Enforcement Administration to reconsider its restrictive classification of marijuana.

  • “Can DEA deny that marijuana has a ‘currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States’ when more than two-thirds of the States have enacted legislation greenlighting marijuana’s use as medicine?”

Virginia lawmakers sent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) legislation to make it so that police may not “stop, search, or seize any person, place, or thing solely on the basis of the odor of marijuana.” They also passed a bill to let people prepay fines under the state’s cannabis decriminalization policy instead of having to go to court. Separate legislation to expunge marijuana and drug convictions is advancing as well.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) again expressed racial equity concerns about a marijuana sales legalization bill that’s on his desk—suggesting he might veto it and force lawmakers to start the cannabis legislation process over in January. He has until Wednesday to act on the current proposal.

  • “I want to reflect on some of the concerns. Racial equity is important to all of us. I want to reflect them on what they’re saying versus what actually happened in the bill. And again, we can address this come January and, as with a lot of legislation, it will need some help, assistance and repair.”

Washington, D.C. regulators are making it easier to access medical cannabis during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by expanding delivery services and extending patient and caregiver registrations, among other moves.

  • Also, the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration now controls the medical marijuana program instead of the Department of Health—which will make it easier to implement recreational legalization once Congress steps out of the way.


The Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $74,882 grant to develop a more sustainable concrete made from hemp pulp.

The Senate Republican Policy Committee blasted House Democrats for mentioning cannabis more than jobs in their coronavirus relief bill.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Democratic challenger Dave Wilson debated marijuana policy.

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) and Democratic challenger Mike Cooney discussed the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measures during a debate.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) criticized Democrats for including language “legalizing marijuana banking” in their latest coronavirus relief bill.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R-MN) slammed Democrats for using the word ‘cannabis’ more than ‘jobs’ in COVID legislation.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 115.

The House bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got four new cosponsors for a total of 12.

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen spoke about her support for decriminalizing drugs.


Colorado’s attorney general tweeted, “Almost 5 million arrests for marijuana possession over the last decade.  It’s a major mistake and waste of resources.  In Colorado, we led the way forward, legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana.  Our nation is following our lead.”

North Carolina’s agriculture commissioner and his Democratic challenger discussed their views on marijuana and hemp.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It has been 374 days since Governor Tom Wolf and I called on our state’s legislature to earnestly examine legalizing adult-use cannabis. Why haven’t they gotten started? This is not a Democratic or Republican issue. It’s an everyone issue. A majority of people in PA want this.” Separately, The state Superior Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that suppressed evidence found when police searched a car based on the smell of marijuana alone.

Ohio regulators issued a mandatory product recall of Encore Edibles medical cannabis products sold by Mother Grows Best.

The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case challenging the state’s medical cannabis regulations on Wednesday.

California regulators proposed modifications to proposed regulations for appellations of origin for marijuana.

West Virginia regulators named successful medical cannabis cultivation permit applicants.

Maryland regulators issued additional medical cannabis business licenses.

Arkansas regulators voted against issuing an additional medical cannabis dispensary license.

Oregon regulators released an updated list of active marijuana retail licenses.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,500 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.


Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor praised Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s (D) move to issue mass marijuana pardons, tweeting, “I commend Governor Polis for this decision and encourage Governor Parson to consider the same in Missouri. Our legal advisors in Kansas City have advised I cannot issue a mass pardon. But we continue to issue marijuana pardons as requests come to us.”


Voting on New Zealand’s marijuana legalization referendum began.

Israel’s health minister announced a pilot program to subsidize the cost of medical cannabis.

The European Commission has no plans to address medical cannabis issues by the end of this year.


A study of domestic assaults found that “while the total number of assaults did not change, decriminalization reduced domestic assaults involving serious injuries by 18%,” which “may be partially explained by reductions in offender alcohol intoxication and weapon-involved assault.”

A study “demonstrated the feasibility, relative safety, and potential efficacy of psilocybin-assisted group therapy for demoralization in” older long-term AIDS survivors.


A poll found that Arizona likely voters support the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, 46%-34%.

The Arizona Republic editorial board endorsed the state’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative.

Opponents of Arizona’s marijuana legalization ballot initiative launched a Spanish language website.

The Montana Contractors Association and Montana Family Foundation are funding much of the campaign against the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measures.


Altria filed vaporizer patent applications earlier this year that mention cannabis.

Edible Arrangements LCC filed a lawsuit alleging that Green Thumb Industries LLC’s line of “Incredibles” marijuana products infringes on its trademark.

Louis Del Favero Orchards Inc. argued in a court filing that federal marijuana prohibition should not block what it says is its constitutional property right to a Florida medical cannabis license.

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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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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