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Virginia prosecutor drops cannabis cases (Newsletter: January 3, 2020)

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Illinois sells $3.1 million in legal marijuana on 1st day; Indiana lawmakers press USDA for hemp changes; Former top MD regulator gets industry job

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

On his first day in office, Fairfax County, Virginia’s top prosecutor announced he won’t pursue marijuana possession cases. The sweeping move ran into trouble in court, however, with a judge saying that dismissals must be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) and Rep. James Bair (R-IN) sent a letter asking the U.S. Department of Education to make four key changes to proposed federal hemp rules.

Illinois marijuana dispensaries sold more than $3.1 million worth of cannabis on the first day of legal sales. There were more than 77,000 individual transactions, and one of those involved the state’s lieutenant governor, who bought THC gummies.

/ FEDERAL

The Food and Drug Administration moved to ban the use of fruit and mint flavors in e-cigarettes cartridges.

The State Department praised Colombian leaders for agreeing to resume aerial coca eradication efforts.

A federal judge rejected Minnesota regulators’ motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a man challenging the loss of his hemp license.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) issued a statement reacting to his being barred from visiting the Philippines over a resolution he sponsored criticizing that country’s bloody “war on drugs.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “The thing marijuana has been a gateway to is the criminal justice system for people of color. To undo the damage of decades of failed drug policies, we must legalize marijuana, expunge prior offenses, and reinvest in the communities that have been harmed the most.”

California Democratic congressional candidate Ryan Blevins tweeted that he supports legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing all drugs.

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and agriculture commissioner sampled hemp tea at a farm convention.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “As America moves toward adult-use cannabis, we must correct past injustices to build a better future. Lives have been ruined for low-level cannabis possession. It’s wrong and it holds us back as a nation.”

Illinois regulators filed emergency marijuana rules. They also released a map of cannabis retail locations.

A Missouri judge denied a restraining order against issuing medical cannabis licenses requested by a company whose application was rejected.

Iowa regulators began accepting public comment on proposed hemp rules.

Maryland’s former top medical cannabis regulator joined the company Green Leaf Medical.

Washington State regulators took down an online map of marijuana cultivation and processing businesses in response to a wave of burglaries.

An Idaho representative plans to file a hemp bill in the new session.


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/ LOCAL

Activists are working to place a marijuana decriminalization measure on the Washington Court House, Ohio ballot.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Canada’s health minister said that “the best way for Canadians to protect their health is not to consume cannabis.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that there is a “general scientific consensus of therapeutic benefits for patients, especially for chronic pain, from the use of medical marijuana.”

A study concluded that “past-year cannabis use at baseline was associated with an increased hazard of non-traffic injury hospitalization and self-harm hospitalization.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter tweeted about Florida man who was arrested for biting a police dog, saying, “Another advertisement for the Democrats’ ‘Legalize Drugs’ platform.”

/ BUSINESS

Tilray, Inc. made the first medical cannabis import allowed into Israel.

Hound Labs says its marijuana breathalyzer will hit the market this year.

Weedmaps’s CEO said the company will announce expanded efforts to “support an inclusive industry that hopefully can set us on a path to redressing a fraction of the wrongs perpetrated” by the war on drugs in the first quarter of 2020.

A former employee of Nevada marijuana dispensary Greenleaf Wellness is suing the company over alleged sexual harassment by its owner and manager.

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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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