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Welcome to the New Politics of Marijuana (Newsletter: March 7, 2018)

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More Canadian legalization delays?; UT medical cannabis bills pass; IL poll shows legalization support

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidates are arguing over who supports cannabis legalization the most, demonstrating that a New Politics of Marijuana have emerged. And a new poll released this week shows why.

Canada’s marijuana legalization plan faces further potential delays after senators decided to extend consideration of companion legislation dealing with impaired driving.

/ FEDERAL

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s worldview was “shaped by…ubiquitous drug use among his peers” as young man growing up in Boston.

JD Supra takes a look at a federal lawsuit recently filed by an Arizona man who claims that the Americans With Disabilities Act should protect medical cannabis patients’ employment rights.

/ STATES

The Utah Senate gave initial approval to bills allowing terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis and directing the state to grow it for them.

Massachusetts regulators approved draft marijuana rules and will begin accepting applications for retail outlets on April 1.

The Kentucky House Judiciary Committee took further testimony, but did not vote, on a medical cannabis bill. The panel is now expected to vote on Wednesday.

The Indiana Senate voted 37-12 to approve a bill loosening restrictions on CBD products.

The Idaho Senate Health and Welfare Committee vacated a decision to stall a bill allowing CBD medical cannabis because it was conducted after an open meeting law violation.

The Georgia House Health and Human Services Committee approved a resolution calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force will meet on Wednesday following a failed vote to approve its final report last week.

Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed tweeted, “Marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and has clear medical benefits. Criminalizing marijuana keeps it from people who need it, contributes to unnecessary incarceration & marginalizes people of color. We don’t need more of that – not in America, not in Michigan.”

The New Hampshire House Ways and Means Committee is stalling a marijuana legalization bill already approved by the full chamber.

Connecticut regulators are asking for more testimony about whether they should add opioid use disorder as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

Tennessee’s House Criminal Justice Committee is scheduled to hear a medical cannabis bill on Wednesday.

Hawaii senators filed a pair of resolutions urging the governor to “convene a task force to study the effects on states of state legalization of cannabis for adult recreational use of cannabis.”

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a bill to exempt THC from employer drug testing.

/ LOCAL

An analysis shows that New York City police weren’t truthful when testifying that marijuana arrest rates are directly tied to complaints about public use.

Sacramento, California officials sent cease-and-desist letters demanding that Weedmaps and the Sacramento News & Review stop advertising unlicensed marijuana businesses.

Sonoma County, California’s district attorney will review past marijuana convictions for possible expungements.

The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors voted to waive fines for marijuana businesses with building code violations discovered during inspections.

A Pueblo County, Colorado scholarship program funded by marijuana tax revenue is expected to triple in size.

Fairfax County, Virginia police filed charges, including driving while intoxicated and possessing marijuana, against a man after he ran over himself with his own car following a pursuit.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Panama National Assembly’s Labor and Health Committee approved a medical cannabis bill.

Puerto Rico lawmakers, including the Senate president, questioned whether the country should continue to allow medical cannabis in flower form.

The South Korean government warned its citizens in Canada not to use marijuana even when it becomes legal there.

/ ADVOCACY

Rhode Island legalization advocates released a report outlining options for how the state can regulate marijuana.

New Jersey lawmakers, clergy and an NAACP official will hold a forum on marijuana legalization on Thursday.

The Marijuana Policy Project released a voter guide for Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary election.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

Bloomberg looks at efforts to remove federal roadblocks on marijuana research.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Illinois voters support legalizing marijuana, 66%-32%.

/ BUSINESS

Risk Placement Services, Inc. announced that it will “immediately exit the cannabis insurance market” in light of federal marijuana enforcement policy changes.

Aurora Cannabis Inc. won support for a $950 million takeover of CanniMed Therapeutics Inc. from a sufficient number of the latter company’s shareholders.

The Connecticut Package Stores Association said it doesn’t want marijuana sold in liquor stores.

Medical cannabis provider GTI Massachusetts NP Corp. sponsored a job fair.

/ CULTURE     

Several attendees unexpectedly consumed marijuana-infused food at Crypto Sanctum, a blockchain conference held in New York last week.

Rapper Killer Mike said he wants to open a “pro marijuana hotel.”

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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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