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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.

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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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