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VT gov happy with legal cannabis sales bill process (Newsletter: September 21, 2020)



Poll: GOP voters back marijuana bill Dems pulled; USDA OKs COVID aid for hemp farmers; Federal agencies accept comments on cannabis issues

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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) seems pleased with the process that led to a new marijuana sales legalization bill that just passed the House—though he stopped short of committing to sign it. One more vote in the Senate this week will put it on his desk.

A new poll found that a majority of U.S. voters—including most Republicans—support a federal marijuana legalization bill that House Democratic leaders delayed a vote on over fears about the reelection prospects of their moderate lawmakers in key districts.

A new report from the Congressional Research Service highlights four major consequences of federal marijuana prohibition. From consumers to researchers to banks, the current ban on cannabis is causing problems for a lot of people and institutions, the Capitol Hill office showed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said hemp farmers can finally participate in a coronavirus relief program that they’d been ineligible for until now.

Four separate federal agencies are now accepting public comments on cannabis issues ranging from marijuana research to hemp and CBD rules to workplace drug testing—with the deadline to send feedback on one proposal coming up on Monday.


The Drug Enforcement Administration’s proposed hemp rule is being challenged in a lawsuit by the Hemp Industries Association and RE Botanicals.

Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) sidestepped a question about whether she supports her state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, saying, she’ll “let the Arizona voters decide that.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) spoke about how she is trying to get Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to evolve on marijuana legalization.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The MORE Act is critical for ending the failed War on Drugs. The public deserves a vote on the MORE Act and we will continue to build support to meet our objective of passing it in the House & sending it to the Senate until it is the law.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs got two new cosponsors for a total of 113.

The House bill to allow CBD as a dietary supplement got two new cosponsors for a total of three.

Kansas U.S. Senate candidates debated marijuana policy.

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mia Mason tweeted, “The stigma around Marijuana was created to keep minority populations in check by white, male politicians. Now politicans are allowing pharmaceutical companies to pump addictive drugs into already vulnerable communities and refusing to allow a safe alternative to pain management.”


California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill temporarily freezing marijuana taxes.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “Imagine denying Pennsylvania’s farmers the largest cash crop, perhaps-ever-over Reefer Madness.  Cannabis is 💯 pro farmer. Cannabis is 💯 pro 🔴 county PA.  Legal Weed is pro Pennsylvania.”

Nebraska’s secretary of state is considering a request to make the Legal Marijuana Now Party a recognized third party.

The Oregon campaign to decriminalize drugs and increase funding for treatment touted its endorsements, including “33 BIPOC advocacy groups, labor unions, healthcare clinics, social service organizations, and more.”

A case challenging Maryland regulators’ medical cannabis decisions was dismissed by a federal judge.

Missouri’s top medical cannabis regulator made a campaign contribution to the opponent of a state lawmaker who led an investigation into the program he oversees.

Oklahoma regulators awarded the state’s medical cannabis tracking contact to Metrc.

Iowa regulators awarded two new medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

The Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission will consider issues related to county officials and medical cannabis regulation on Wednesday.

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.

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The Ocean County, New Jersey Board of Freeholders passed a resolution opposing the state’s marijuana legalization referendum.


The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is allowing medical cannabis companies to trade on the London Stock Exchange.

Israeli authorities are tightening requirements on medical cannabis imports.

Canadian retailers sold nearly C$236 million worth of marijuana products in July.


A review concluded that “many positive effects of CBD have been observed in experimental models of heart diseases (myocardial infarction, cardiomyopathy, myocarditis), stroke, neonatal hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, sepsis-related encephalitis, cardiovascular complications of diabetes, and ischemia/reperfusion injures of liver and kidneys” and that “CBD decreased organ damage and dysfunction, oxidative and nitrative stress, inflammatory processes and apoptosis, among others.”

Researchers at universities in 18 countries are partnering on a large-scale survey about cannabis cultivation.


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s National Cannabis Working Group called on the federal government to embrace marijuana as part of the nation’s coronavirus economic recovery effort.

The Arkansas Cannabis Industry Association elected new board members.


Acreage Holdings, Inc. received approval from the Supreme Court of British Columbia for its amended agreement with Canopy Growth Corporation.

Compass Pathways PLC debuted on the NASDAQ.

Mass General Brigham Inc. asked the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court not to require insurers to reimburse injured workers for medical cannabis.


Travel writer Rick Steves tweeted, “I’m on the (virtual) campaign trail to help end the prohibition on marijuana. I see this work as an act of good citizenship. If you care about fighting racism, defending civil liberties, and creating a regulated and taxed legal market, #vote to end the prohibition on marijuana.”

Musician Willie Nelson spoke about how marijuana is a “real medicine.”

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


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