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VT gov allows legal cannabis sales to take effect (Newsletter: October 8, 2020)

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Harris & Pence debate drug enforcement; IL gov plans more marijuana pardons; AZ relaxes cannabis rules for police recruits; OR psilocybin TV ad

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) pledged in a debate with Vice President Mike Pence (R) that a Biden administration would decriminalize marijuana and expunge past cannabis records but appeared uneasy when the incumbent attacked her own drug enforcement record as a prosecutor.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) is allowing a bill to legalize marijuana sales to take effect without his signature after hinting in recent days that he was considering vetoing it. He also signed separate legislation to expunge prior cannabis convictions.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) announced that he plans another round of pardons for people with past marijuana convictions as part of a broader criminal justice reform plan that also calls for “decriminalizing minor non-violent offenses” and “a public health approach” to drugs.

  • “Through the law legalizing cannabis, Governor Pritzker has already pardoned over 11,000 individuals for low-level cannabis offenses, and more are expected over the coming months. Through these pardons, thousands of families are no longer prohibited from having access to human services, financial aid for school, professional licensing, jobs, and housing.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s (R) Regulatory Review Council unanimously approved loosening restrictions on past marijuana use by police recruits.

  • “We are modernizing the standards to meet the needs of the community in the state of Arizona.”

The Oregon campaign working to pass a ballot measure to legalize psilocybin therapy has a new TV ad featuring a state senator who is also a medical doctor. Advocates are also using billboards to tout the benefits of the psychedelic treatment.

  • “Measure 109 promotes safety for a therapy that can help people who are suffering.”

/ FEDERAL

President Trump’s attorney Rudolph Giuliani again slammed the marijuana enforcement record of Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the arrest of a Michigan man who voluntarily gave police a tour of his marijuana grow.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) tweeted, “I agree with @KamalaHarris. We should legalize cannabis and expunge all prior convictions.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “💸 72% of Americans support a $15 minimum wage 🏥 70% support Medicare for All 🌿 67% support legalizing marijuana 🏫 63% support College for All – Why can’t we get these popular policies passed?  HINT: follow the 💰💰💰”

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 116.

Green Party presidential candidate Howie Hawkins spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing drugs.

Paula Overby was named the new Legal Marijuana Now Party nominee in Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district following the death of the former candidate. Meanwhile, a federal judge held a hearing on whether the election should go ahead in November or be delayed until February.

/ STATES

The Louisiana House Education Committee approved a bill to allow school nurses and other employees to administer medical cannabis to students.

The Florida Supreme Court heard additional oral arguments in a case challenging the state’s medical cannabis regulations.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is considering a case challenging municipalities’ role in approving marijuana businesses.

Washington State regulators issued an emergency suspension of a marijuana producer’s license for alleged diversion of product out of the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’s Marijuana Prevention Workgroup published a strategic plan.

Oklahoma regulators announced that a medical cannabis testing lab that has been accused of falsifying results has surrendered its license.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Research and Leadership Subcommittee will meet on Thursday.


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.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said his government is considering taking legal action against people working to legalize marijuana.

Costa Rican lawmakers are considering hemp legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “while the current evidence is still limited, emerging data do suggest a positive effect of cannabis in fibromyalgia.”

A study of mice found that “chronic treatment with CBDA reduces pain sensitivity.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand voters support the country’s marijuana legalization referendum, 46%-42%.

The Oregonian editorial board endorsed the state’s drug decriminalization ballot measure but opposed a separate measure to legalize psilocybin therapy.

An online petition is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case challenging marijuana’s restrictive federal classification.

/ BUSINESS

Pabst Blue Ribbon is launching a line of cannabis-infused beverages.

LivWell Enlightened Health became the first marijuana business to be named a Silver Partner in the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Environmental Leadership Program.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc.’s revised restructuring plan was approved by a Canadian court.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. began trading on the OTCQX Best Market.

Cresco Labs launched an advertising and marketing code.

Om of Medicine’s management is being accused of retaliating against employees for forming a union.

/ CULTURE

Travel writer Rick Steves filmed a video endorsement for Montana’s marijuana legalization ballot measures.

Andy Samberg, Craig Robinson and Common are attached to an in-development superhero film called “Super High,” which is about marijuana giving people special powers.

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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.

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. (Organization citations are for identification only and do not constitute an endorsement or partnership.)

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NY gov releases cannabis equity funding info (Newsletter: January 20, 2021)

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Biden team touts health pick’s marijuana work; VA senators debate legalization bill; WA cannabis homegrow hearing

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  • Liz Tiger: “I am a cannabis advocate in South Dakota where we are fighting our governor for access even after passing both medical and adult-use laws in November. MM has been incredibly helpful in keeping me informed and up to date on cannabis news across the nation. Thank you for all you do!”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) released more details of his latest marijuana legalization plan as part of his annual budget proposal, including tax rates and information on funding for a cannabis equity program.

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team noted the medical cannabis implementation work that his new pick for assistant health and human services secretary did in Pennsylvania. If confirmed, she’d play a key role in a health review that could reschedule marijuana.

The Virginia Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Marijuana Subcommittee held its first hearing on a legalization bill that was filed last week by the governor and top legislative leaders. Much of the debate surrounded which state agency should regulate cannabis. Another hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Washington State House Commerce and Gaming Committee held a hearing on a bill to legalize home cultivation of marijuana—and a vote could be held as soon as this Friday.

/ FEDERAL

The National Credit Union Administration touted its work to clarify hemp businesses’ access to financial services.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) spoke about Israeli innovations in medical cannabis science.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said that he and lawmakers are having “very constructive” conversations  about resolving a dispute over provisions in marijuana legalization implementation legislation concerning underage people.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) is pushing to change the name of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates marijuana, to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

New York’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It’s past time to correct an unjust system that targeted communities of color. It’s time to legalize recreational marijuana. TY @NYGovCuomo for pushing this agenda forward.”

Texas’s agriculture commissioner said new final federal hemp rules address some, but not all, of the industry’s concerns.

New Mexico’s House minority whip said marijuana is “the lazy drug” and that he will oppose legalization.

Massachusetts regulators are being sued over marijuana delivery license rules.

Michigan’s Racial Equity Advisory Workgroup recommended the creation of new taxes on marijuana sales to fund programs to improve diversity in the industry.

Missouri regulators launched an online medical cannabis patients certification system for physicians.

A Virginia delegate is preparing to file legislation to defelonize drug possession.

Colorado regulators sent a bulletin reminding marijuana businesses about changes to sampling, recall and corrective and preventive action rules.

Arizona regulators reported that medical cannabis consumption increased 27% percent last year from 2019.

Maine regulators warned that SeaWeed Co.’s mermaid logo violates rules by potentially appealing to children.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Detroit, Michigan officials began accepting applications for marijuana dispensary permits.

The city of Birmingham, Alabama’s official Twitter account posted about a program that lets people apply for pardons for marijuana convictions.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Polish lawmakers are conducting a public consultation on marijuana policy in preparation for the introduction of reform legislation.

New Zealand police are cancelling an annual marijuana eradication program.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis compounds exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in vitro in COVID-19-related inflammation in lung epithelial cells and pro-inflammatory activity in macrophages.”

A review concluded that “for patients with mood disorder, significant effect sizes were detected on the acute, medium (2–7 days after treatment), and longer-term outcomes favoring psychedelics on the reduction of depressive symptoms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The California Cannabis Industry Association announced a banking access partnership with the  North Bay Credit Union.

South Carolina medical professionals held a press conference in support of medical cannabis legislation.

/ BUSINESS

Harborside Inc. announced a brokered private placement of units at a price of C$2.55 for gross proceeds of approximately C$20 million.

Cresco Labs has a new chief operating officer.

/ CULTURE

Clint Eastwood is again suing Norok Innovation Inc. for allegedly falsely claiming that he endorses its CBD products.

Dolly Parton said Willie Nelson has offered her some of his branded marijuana products, but that she has not partaken.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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Biden taps legal cannabis supporter for DNC chair (Newsletter: January 19, 2021)

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More NY legal marijuana details; AMA asks court to overturn MS cannabis initiative; Hopes dim for NH legalization

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  • Allan Gandelman of Head & Heal: “The first email I read every morning is Tom’s MM. This industry evolves by the day and being in the know helps me make good business and policy decisions.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) released more details of his marijuana legalization plan, including an effort to “correct past harms by investing in areas that have disproportionally been impacted by the war on drugs.” The governor’s full budget language, including the cannabis proposal, is expected on Tuesday.

Jaime Harrison, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Democratic National Committee, supports marijuana legalization—unlike the president-elect.

The American Medical Association filed a brief asking the Mississippi Supreme Court to step in and overturn the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana ballot measure.

The prospects of legalizing marijuana in New Hampshire are greatly diminished this year after Republicans won control of the state Senate and House of Representatives in November’s elections.

/ FEDERAL

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) tweeted that a new Netflix documentary about crack cocaine is a “must watch.”

Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM) argued that ending construction of the wall along the U.S. border with Mexico “will only allow more drugs to flow from Mexican drug cartels, risking even more American lives.”

/ STATES

North Dakota’s agriculture commissioner is backing a bill to have state hemp policy mirror federal law.

Hawaii’s Senate majority leader said the need to raise tax revenue could boost efforts to legalize marijuana but argued that other states haven’t seen huge windfalls from the move.

The Minnesota House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee will hear an update on hemp rulemaking on Wednesday.

A New York senator said legalizing marijuana is “100% going to happen this year.”

An Idaho senator filed a proposed constitutional amendment to block the legalization of marijuana and other drugs..

Arizona regulators will begin accepting applications from medical cannabis dispensaries that want to sell recreational marijuana on Tuesday, but it’s not clear how quickly they will be processed.

New Jersey regulators released a list of prohibited hemp varieties.

Maryland regulators sent a notice reminding medical cannabis dispensaries to have their clinical directors submit required registration forms.

A New Mexico representative who has led efforts to legalize marijuana said he thinks it is going to pass this year.

The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission will meet on Tuesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 250 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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

Santa Fe, New Mexico’s district attorney announced a plan to downgrade most drug possession felony cases to misdemeanors.

The Oakland, California Cannabis Regulatory Commission will meet on Tuesday.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Tensions between Mexico and the U.S. are escalating over the latter country’s decision not to pursue a case against a former defense official who had been arrested on charges of aiding drug cartels.

An Australian former Defence Force chief supports letting people use psychedelics to treat mental health issues.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study of mice suggested that “CBD could reduce reinstatement to cocaine seeking after a period of abstinence.”

A case study showed that “cannabis alleviates neuropathic pain and reverses weight loss in diabetic neuropathic cachexia in a previous heroin abuser.”

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc. laid off an unknown number of sales employees.

Alcanna Inc. is spinning off its cannabis business, which will merge with YSS Corp.

Vireo Health International Inc. has a new board member.

MJardin Group, Inc. announced the resignations of two board members.

/ CULTURE

Bill Maher and Olivia Newton-John both called out CBD companies that are falsely claiming they are endorsing their products.

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First VA legal cannabis hearing (Newsletter: January 18, 2021)

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USDA’s final hemp rule; Feds launch marijuana testing program; MA city decriminalized psychedelics; ND cannabis decrim bill

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Cannabis in 2021: Will federal prohibition finally fall? Will growing momentum at the state level influence national policy changes? Which states will be next to experiment with reform?

  • Dean Codgen: “After having MM in my inbox for several years, I decided to do what I could to help disseminate the facts and data to any and all who need or want to know the truth about what is going on in the sphere of cannabis.”

If you support us on Patreon, you’ll not just support us as we dig into these questions but you’ll have access to tools like our Bill Tracker to help you keep an eye on developments yourself. Join us for $25/month here: https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its final rules to regulate hemp. The update addresses some—but not all—concerns that industry stakeholders raised about the initial rules.

The Virginia Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee held an initial hearing on a marijuana legalization bill that was introduced by the governor and top legislative leaders just two days prior. More hearings in a new cannabis-focused subcommittee, as well as a vote in the full panel, are scheduled for this week.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology—a federal agency—is sending marijuana and hemp samples to labs around the world to help determine how good they are at testing for cannabinoid content and contaminants. Labs can enroll until February 5.

The Somerville, Massachusetts City Council unanimously approved a measure to decriminalize psychedelics. Several other cities have already passed similar entheogen policies as part of what is now a growing national movement.

North Dakota lawmakers filed a bill to significantly expand the decriminalization of marijuana in the state. Meanwhile, activists are working to put a full cannabis legalization measure on the 2022 ballot.

/ FEDERAL

The National Credit Union Administration said it will continue to educate financial services providers about working with hemp businesses in 2021.

/ STATES

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and legislative leaders met to discuss outstanding disagreements about marijuana legalization implementation legislation, but did not reach a deal.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker included the legalization of marijuana and related pardons and expungements in a Twitter thread celebrating accomplishments from his first two years in office.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) received nearly 100 applications from people who want to serve on the state’s new marijuana regulatory body.

New York’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Legalization would create new jobs, raise revenue, and take us a step closer to building a more equitable New York. It’s past time. Let’s get this done.”

South Dakota assistant attorneys general argued in a court brief defending the state’s voter-approved marijuana legalization measure that a “well-regulated market” can undercut the illegal cannabis market.

The Oregon Court of Appeals ruled that the smell of marijuana in a rental car driving from Oregon to Colorado is not reasonable suspicion for a search.

A California judge ruled that regulators have 30 days to inform marijuana businesses that they can no longer advertise with billboards on highways that cross state lines.

New Mexico regulators are again being sued by a medical cannabis company over plant limits.

Colorado regulators announced rulemaking on marijuana business license types and testing. They also sent a bulletin about escalating reports of fraud against cannabis businesses.

Nebraska lawmakers filed legislation to legalize marijuana and medical cannabis.

A Florida representative plans to file a bill to legalize psilocybin therapy.

Washington State regulators announced a new Cannabis Compliance Consultant Team.

Ohio regulators published updated medical cannabis patient and caregiver numbers.

Kansas regulators will hold a public hearing on hemp regulations on Wednesday.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 200 cannabis, psychedelics and drug policy 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 Jefferson County, Washington Board of Commissioners heard public testimony about decriminalizing psychedelics that came in response to a recent psilocybin arrest.

/ INTERNATIONAL

French lawmakers are conducting a citizen consultation on recreational marijuana.

Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health is launching a website to assist medical cannabis and hemp businesses.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “CBD has the potential to inhibit melanoma cell growth in vertebrates, namely mice.”

A study found that “community level racial or income disparities in access to medical cannabis were not observed in Maryland” but that “access to medical cannabis, based on ability to pay out of pocket for the product, may be uneven.”

/ BUSINESS

Cresco Labs raised$125 million with an offering of subordinate voting shares.

Agri-Kind LLC accused a fired employee of hacking its networks for ransom.

Feuerstein Kulick LLP is urging a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed against it by an Arkansas medical cannabis company that claims it misrepresented itself as having expertise in the industry.

Michigan retailers sold $101 million worth of legal marijuana products in December, for a total of $984.6 million in 2020.

/ CULTURE

UFC officials are interested in enrolling their fighters in psychedelic therapy trials at John Hopkins University.

“High Maintenance” will not return to HBO for a fifth season.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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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