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Virginia gov renews cannabis decrim pledge (Newsletter: March 30, 2018)

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GA approves MMj oil for PTSD/pain; Sting operation finds no minor sales; TD Bank weighs marijuana investments; OH gov bashes legalization

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) reiterated his pledge to decriminalize marijuana in the state.

The treasurers of four states that allow medical or recreational marijuana are requesting a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

A series of sting operations on Oregon marijuana businesses found zero willing to sell cannabis to minors.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions implied in an interview that reliance on drug treatment instead of punishment is dangerous.

  • “The extraordinary surge in addiction and drug death is a product of a popular misunderstanding of the dangers of drugs. Because all too often, all we get in the media is how anybody who’s against drugs is goofy, and we just ought to chill out.”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is now accepting public comments on a request from Insys — which spent half a million dollars helping to defeat cannabis legalization in Arizona in 2016 — to be a legal “bulk manufacturer” of marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of a Washington State man who alleged that a police search of his home that led to the discovery of nearly 100 marijuana plants was illegal.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowsi (R-AK) tweeted, “For states like Alaska that have legalized marijuana, it’s important for law-abiding businesses to have access to safe financial services instead of forcing them to operate in all-cash, increasing a risk of crime and threatening public safety.”

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) inserted praise of the American Medical Marijuana Physicians Association into the Congressional Record.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The failed #WarOnDrugs has punished communities of color for far too long — Black and Brown entrepreneurs have every right to lead the legal cannabis industry.”

Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “Trump’s return to the War on Drugs is an attempt to target minorities to distract from his unpopular economic agenda.”

Indiana Democratic congressional candidate Dan Canon posted a video about his support for medical cannabis.

/ STATES

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced he will “actively oppose” the medical cannabis measure likely to be on the state’s November ballot.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) spoke about his opposition to legalizing marijuana.

Tennessee Republican gubernatorial candidate Diane Black, currently a congresswoman, defended her husband’s paying a lobbyist to oppose medical cannabis legislation, saying it has nothing to do with a drug testing company he founded.

The Georgia Senate approved a House-passed bill to add PTSD and intractable pain as low-THC medical cannabis qualifying conditions. It now heads to the desk of Gov. Nathan Deal (R).

The South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee approved a medical cannabis bill.

Minnesota representatives filed a bill to remove possession or sale of small amounts of marijuana as criteria in deciding child abuse and custody cases.

Michigan regulators have delivered more than 200 letters demanding the closure of medical cannabis businesses that did not apply for licenses.

Washington State regulators purchased illegal marijuana from a clerk at a headshop during an undercover sting operation.

Hawaii medical cannabis regulators are slowly staffing up.

Two Texas Democrats running against each other in a House primary both support legalizing marijuana.

/ LOCAL

The Easton, Pennsylvania City Council adopted a resolution urging state lawmakers to decriminalize marijuana.

Colorado Springs, Colorado appears unlikely to have a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana businesses this year.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is debunking widely circulated press reports that the agency urged Nigeria to legalize medical cannabis.

The UK’s health secretary agreed to meet with a mother who wants permission to give her six-year-old son medical cannabis for epilepsy.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A survey found that 14% of U.S. adults use marijuana as a sleep aid.

/ BUSINESS

TD Bank is considering investing in the marijuana industry after Canada’s legalization goes into effect.

Severn Bank revealed that it had $19.2 million in marijuana industry deposits at the end of 2017, accounting for 3.2% of its total deposits.

Marijuana testing lab Steep Hill Alaska is suspending operations after losing a  loan from Wells Fargo.

The Denver Post looks at Cultivated Synergy, a marijuana-focused co-working space.

People are filing marijuana-related consumer complaints with the Oregon Department of Justice and Better Business Bureau.

PayScale examines employment opportunities in the marijuana industry.

The Washington Post looks at the growth of the CBD market.

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

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