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Vermont legal cannabis sales bill moving again (Newsletter: August 19, 2020)



Dem lawmaker: Biden marijuana decrim plan “meaningless”; CDC pushed on cannabis & pain; Psychedelic ceremony guidelines proposed; Reps want DEA action

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A Vermont House and Senate conference committee charged with reconciling differing versions of a bill to legalize marijuana sales is finally scheduled to have its first meeting on Wednesday following months of coronavirus-imposed delays.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s platform of decriminalizing marijuana possession is “essentially meaningless” and that he needs to back full cannabis legalization instead.

  • “Your grandmother is for decriminalization.”

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and a bipartisan group of 10 other lawmakers sent a letter pushing the Drug Enforcement Administration to expeditiously finalize rules for expanding marijuana research and to issue licenses to additional growers of cannabis to be used in studies. They said the delay not only impedes science, but is also costing Americans jobs.

  • “It has also cost American jobs as other countries around the world such as Israel, the United Kingdom and Canada, have taken the lead in Cannabis research, reaping the benefits of patents and products derived from this research. Meanwhile, American researchers have resorted to importing cannabis from overseas.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it is hosting a series of meetings on pain management issues, and medical marijuana advocates want to use it as an opportunity to educate the federal agency about the benefits of cannabis.

Activists with Decriminalize Nature unveiled guidelines for psychedelic healing ceremonies that they hope to legalize in Oakland, California.


Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Investors are making millions on marijuana in states where it’s legal, while Americans continue to sit in jail, pay large fines, or live with a criminal record for possession. Not only do we need to legalize marijuana, but we need to expunge all prior convictions for use.”

Rhode Island Democratic congressional candidate Dylan Conley tweeted, “As your congressman I’ll fight to right the ship of the cannabis industry. As more and more states legalize its use, roughly 40,000 Americans continue to sit in jail for cannabis-related offenses. That must change.”


Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor spoke about the fiscal benefits of legalizing marijuana.

A Nevada judge heard closing arguments in a case challenging the state’s marijuana business licensing process.

Campaigns for and against New Jersey’s marijuana legalization referendum discussed their strategies for reaching voters.

Massachusetts regulators heard testimony about the idea of creating an incubator program to help small marijuana businesses.

Washington State regulators will hold a listen and learn session about draft conceptual rules on marijuana vaporization products on September 1.

Colorado regulators will hold a marijuana rulemaking hearing on September 22.

Here’s a look at Illinois’s struggles to diversify ownership in the marijuana industry.

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.


Maricopa County, Arizona’s attorney issued a policy allowing people arrested for marijuana possession to avoid prosecution if they get a medical cannabis recommendation.

Los Angeles County, California’s district attorney tweeted about dismissing prior marijuana convictions.

The official Denver, Colorado Twitter account and that of its mayor highlighted how the city has “decriminalized marijuana public-consumption tickets & launched the Turn Over a New Leaf program” as part of its coronavirus and public safety reform efforts.


The Philippine Supreme Court ruled to acquit a suspect in a drug case, calling out the government for violating people’s constitutional rights.


A study found that “cannabidiol significantly prolonged seizure latency and reduced seizure severity.”

A study concluded that “although state-level studies suggest that more liberal marijuana policies may result in fewer opioid overdose deaths, our results within one state suggest that local availability of medical marijuana may not reduce those deaths.”


The Hawaii Republican Party tweeted, “Joe Biden’s choice of VP Kamala Harris seems out of step with 2020. President Trump has championed criminal justice reform, whereas Harris laughed about smoking marijuana after she sent many to jail for the exact same act. Kamaka’s [sic] ‘coolness’ today rings false.”


Leafly named a new CEO.

Marijuana e-commerce provider Dutchie raised a $35 million Series B round, including support from former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. obtained an interim order from a Canadian court in connection with its proposed amended arrangement with Canopy Growth Corporation.

Organigram Holdings Inc. is partnering with Medical Cannabis by Shoppers on a program to genetically fingerprint cannabis products and them through the supply chain.

Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of New York Inc. is partnering with Kaló to distribute hemp-infused seltzer.

Anna launched a line of vending machines inside Colorado marijuana dispensaries.


Rapper Wiz Khalifa’s Khalifa Kush Enterprises ended its partnership with Supreme Cannabis Company.

Actress Mia Farrow tweeted, “I hope Biden administration will end failed ‘war on drugs’.  It has created an illicit multi billion dollar industry funding cartels & drug lords. It results in deaths from chemical laced drugs and horrific mass incarcerations. Drug addiction is a medical issue. Lets get smarter.”

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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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