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Which industry’s workers consume the most cannabis? (Newsletter: Sep. 12, 2018)

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MI poll shows legalization winning; Rep. Gabbard talks marijuana with Joe Rogan; CO GOP & Dem pols embrace hemp ahead of ballot vote

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  • Robin Ely, MD: “I am a medical cannabis provider involved in clinical, research, and educational endeavors in the United States, Israel and internationally. Only today I became acquainted with Tom Angell’s work in cannabis legislative and related matters. I immediately recognized that his information is invaluable for me in my personal efforts to stay abreast of this rapidly evolving landscape. I have chosen to support Tom’s work as I could readily see his commitment, knowledge, attention to detail. There is so much work to be done; a great team of people with so many talents has arisen. I hope many of you who read my words are equally inspired to support this particular endeavor.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Ahead of a little-noticed Colorado ballot vote on industrial hemp, the state’s Democratic and Republican gubernatorial candidates are touring hemp farms.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) spoke with podcaster Joe Rogan about marijuana reform, psychedelic research and private prisons. (And no, she didn’t pull an Elon Musk and smoke a joint on the podcast.)

A study examined marijuana use rates across different industries, finding that food service workers, educators and retail employees are way more likely to consume cannabis than those in finance, agriculture or transportation.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Sentencing Commission launched a new podcast.

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jennifer Zimmerman tweeted, “I believe in the decriminalization of cannabis so no one is disproportionately punished. However, I believe in regulating it like alcohol. DUI charges should also apply to drug intoxication, not just alcohol & opioids.”

/ STATES

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill prohibiting the marketing of cannabis products on websites used by minors.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) is considering calling a special legislative session to address medical cannabis.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) said he would sign a medical cannabis bill and relayed a story about how it might have helped his nephew, who died of cancer at age 14.

The man behind one of Missouri’s medical cannabis ballot initiatives is withdrawing a lawsuit he filed against a competing measure, while a separate suit against a third ballot question has already been dismissed by a judge.

Massachusetts’s top marijuana regulator said full recreational licenses will be granted “in the next few weeks to a month or so.” Meanwhile, cannabis growers are considering suing regulators over their decision not to review local host community agreements that some say require excessive payments that keep smaller businesses from winning licenses.

Michigan regulators are allowing some medical cannabis businesses to remain open until December 15 without licenses, but others will have to close.

Maine regulators are hiring a consultant to help set up rules for medical cannabis and recreational marijuana.

/ LOCAL

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania City Council amended a proposed marijuana penalty reduction ordinance, with a final vote expected later this month.

The Green Bay, Wisconsin Common Council is considering lowering fines for marijuana possession.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma’s City Council heard testimony on a proposed marijuana decriminalization ordinance.

Fresno, California officials released draft marijuana regulations.

Portland, Oregon’s mayor tweeted, “Cannabis prohibition has failed. It has failed to keep our children safe; it has failed law enforcement, and it has especially failed communities of color who have disproportionately targeted and prosecuted for low-level drug offenses. It is imperative that as a community we work to create economic opportunities for communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition, and also continue to seek atonement and retroactive justice for people who have had their lives disrupted due to cannabis prohibition.”

/ INTERNATIONAL

Georgia’s government plans to legalize the cultivation of marijuana for export.

Former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo is urging West African countries to decriminalize drugs.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned citizens to consider what they say about their past marijuana use if asked by U.S. border agents. Meanwhile, the military is seeking to reassure international allies about its troops’ use of cannabis under legalization.

The Bahamian government is slowly forming a committee to study marijuana laws.

A Chilean senator is working to free a Chilean man jailed in Indonesia for possessing marijuana seeds.

French health officials created a committee to analyze how to create a medical cannabis market.

German regulators plan to issue medical cannabis cultivation licenses early next year.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that UK youth find it easier to access marijuana than alcohol.

A survey found “poor communication between patients and [primary care physicians] about medical marijuana use, which is being sanctioned by physicians other than patients’ PCPs.”

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that Michigan likely voters support the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measure, 56% – 31%.

A poll found that New Jersey residents support legalizing marijuana, 44% – 31%, and that support rises to 53% when told that legalization could help ease their local taxes.

/ BUSINESS

Slate looks at ongoing problems with marijuana track-and-trace software.

CNBC’s Jim Cramer is hosting a cannabis investment conference next month.

/ CULTURE

Charlo Greene, the former Alaska TV news anchor who quit on air and revealed her involvement in the marijuana industry, reached a plea deal on charges she illegally sold cannabis.

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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.)

Newsletter

Federal cannabis banking data shows decline in accounts (Newsletter: February 28, 2020)

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USDA suspends hemp rule enforcement; FDA: ‘fool’s game’ to ban CBD; VT House OKs legal marijuana sales; Minority cannabis org defends Sanders

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By starting a $10 per month pledge on Patreon—or about 45 cents per issue of this newsletter—you can help us rely less on ads to cover our expenses, hire more journalists and bring you even more marijuana news.

  • Mindy Coats of Kanna CBD: “I have been following along for over one year now, and I read this first thing every morning. I appreciate you and your team for all you do to keep us up to date on the latest information.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

New Financial Crimes Enforcement Network data shows that the number of cannabis-related accounts that banks are reporting to federal officials decreased at the end of 2019. But the decline seems related to removal of requirements to report legal hemp business clients, and doesn’t necessarily mean that fewer marijuana firms are accessing financial services.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will temporarily suspend enforcement of two restrictive hemp rules concerning THC testing and disposal of too-potent crops in response to concerns raised by farmers.

Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn admitted that it would be “a fool’s game” to try to keep popular CBD products off the market.

The Vermont House of Representatives formally passed a bill to legalize marijuana sales, one day after it received initial approval. Prior to final passage lawmakers added a ban advertising by cannabis businesses, but rejected expanded disclosure requirements for investors as well as a proposal to give police discretion to test the saliva of drivers suspected to be under the influence. Gov. Phil Scott (R) says he would need strong impaired driving provisions in order to sign it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, took heat for comments at this week’s Democratic debate about people of color working in the legal marijuana industry—with some saying he implied all they’re good at is selling drugs. But now the Minority Cannabis Business Association is backing him up and cheering on the remarks.

/ FEDERAL

Federal agents are investigating whether a Drug Enforcement Administration agent murdered in Mexico in 1985 may have been betrayed by a Central Intelligence Agency operative and a DEA official.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Legalizing marijuana needs to be about more than just allowing its use. We have to undo a century of racist policy, help rebuild the communities that have suffered the most harm, and ensure everyone can enjoy the opportunities this new market can provide.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) tweeted, “In Philadelphia, a nonprofit has decided to ignore drug laws and open a so-called ‘safe injection site’ that would normalize illegal drug use and spread addiction. There’s nothing safe about injecting heroin and Philadelphia is doing no favors to addicts by enabling this drug use. Instead of legalizing heroin & fentanyl, we should lock up traffickers and start protecting law-abiding citizens.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) discussed hemp during a meeting with Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner.

Maryland Democratic congressional candidate Mia Mason tweeted, “Wanna know how to pay for Kirwan, Infrastructure, and more? Allow for more legalization in Maryland for businesses and farmers. Alcohol bans were reaped and taxed, Cars and fuels became taxed in crisis, and Tobacco became taxed as well to help pay for healthcare.”

/ STATES

Utah lawmakers sent Gov. Gary Herbert (R) a bill to revise medical cannabis regulations.

The Idaho Senate approved a hemp bill.

The Arizona Senate unanimously approved legislation to allow surprise inspections of medical cannabis businesses.

The Missouri House of Representatives amended a bill focused on protecting medical cannabis patients’ privacy to add restrictions on the process of obtaining a recommendation.

A Wisconsin judge declined to dismiss charges against two men who say they accept “donations” in exchange for marijuana at their Rastafarian church.

Maryland regulators are being sued over their medical cannabis business licensing process.

Alabama’s Senate could vote on a medical cannabis bill on Thursday.

A Louisiana representative filed a bill to allow flower in the state’s medical cannabis program.

An analysis concluded that two-thirds of Massachusetts municipalities that have signed host community agreements with marijuana businesses require payments that exceed state limits.

Guam regulators will hold a series of public hearings on marijuana rules.

Washington State regulators will hold a public forum about draft conceptual rules on voluntary cannabis licensee consultation and education program on March 11.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.

/ LOCAL

A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania safe consumption site for illegal drugs had plans to open next week following a federal court ruling, but is now delaying due to a change of heart by a landlord who no longer wishes to rent space to the facility.

San Francisco, California’s mayor announced she will file legislation to allow safe consumption sites for illegal drugs.

An Aurora, Colorado City Council member is proposing to increase marijuana taxes to help fund domestic violence, mental health and gang prevention efforts.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The head of the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board suggested that it may be time to revise global drug treaties as his body released a report criticizing the spread of marijuana legalization.

Malawi’s Parliament passed a bill to legalize medical cannabis.

Mexican regulators granted the country’s first permits to import marijuana seeds.

Bermuda’s attorney general spoke about government plans to pass marijuana legalization legislation.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “cannabinoids exhibit antibacterial activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), inhibit its ability to form biofilms, and eradicate preformed biofilms and stationary phase cells persistent to antibiotics.”

A study found “little evidence to suggest that teen marijuana use is sensitive to changes in the state cigarette tax” and that there is “preliminary evidence that the recent adoption of state e-cigarette taxes is associated with a reduction in youth marijuana use.”

The first two participants in a Phase 3 clinical study on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder completed treatment.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

Vicente Sederberg LLP, Agricultural Hemp Solutions, American Herbal Products Association, U.S. Hemp Roundtable and Vote Hemp released a model hemp plan for states.

/ BUSINESS

Tilray Inc. is being sued by 420 Investments Ltd. for alleged breach of contract following a “change of heart” in a deal for the former company to acquire the latter one.

Acreage Holdings reportedly eliminated 40 staff positions.

WAMM Phytotherapies will begin distributing free and low-cost medical cannabis to low-income patients on March 1 under a new California law.

Sephora released a list of standards it will use for CBD products it carries.

Cresco Labs converted its New York dispensaries to the Sunnyside* brand and launched a medical cannabis delivery service in one area.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc.  filed a statement of claim to defend against alleged efforts to interfere in its business by Oasis Investments II Master Fund Ltd.

/ CULTURE

Here’s a look at efforts to change National Basketball Association marijuana policies.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow discussed psychedelics in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel.

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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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Vermont House approves legal cannabis sales (Newsletter: February 27, 2020)

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Mexico pres. wants medical only; Warren talks cannabis in reply to tribal concern; Anti-legalization activist’s wife backs reform in congressional bid

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Vermont House of Representatives amended and approved a Senate-passed bill to legalize marijuana sales in the state. Following another procedural vote on Thursday, the two chambers will work to reconcile the differences between their versions.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, cited her marijuana reform work in a lengthy letter responding to ongoing criticism from Native Americans.

  • “Another issue that I’ve been working hard on is ensuring that states and Tribal Nations alike can set their own policies for cannabis, without federal interference.”

As Mexican Senate committees met to begin work to finalize the details of broad marijuana legalization legislation, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that he wants to focus only on medical cannabis.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a memo that state crime labs will not run marijuana tests in simple possession cases. That means many local agencies will either have to forego pursuing cannabis prosecutions or pay for private testing.

Democratic congressional candidate Amy Kennedy, wife of prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana cofounder Patrick Kennedy, is supporting federal cannabis rescheduling—a stance opposed by her husband’s group.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Drug Enforcement Administration reached an agreement to end the requirement in federal regulations that hemp farmers have their crops tested by DEA-licensed labs.

Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue joked that state agriculture officials at a conference could ask him about anything except hemp.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) tweeted, “The failed war on drugs began in the early 1970s.  There were less than 350K people incarcerated in America at the time. Today there are 2.2 million – disproportionately black and Latino. It’s time to #EndMassIncarceration. NOW.”

The House bill to shield military veterans from losing benefits over state-legal marijuana use got one new cosponsor for a total of 18.

Democratic Senate candidate Marquita Bradshaw tweeted, “The war on drugs is a failure, wasting money and destroying families and communities. Dependence is a medical issue. The #JusticeGuarantee will decriminalize opioids and provide overdose prevention sites and no-cost addiction and mental health treatment to everyone who wants it.”

Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Trish Zorino tweeted, “Cannabis! As a US Senate cand (D-CO) I support: ✅ Federal decriminalization, regs/oversight/tax, banking ✅ Expungement of mmj criminal records ✅ Removal from Schedule I ✅ Research funds & more”Tennessee

Texas Democratic congressional candidate Julie Oliver tweeted, “We’re going to end the federal prohibition on marijuana, and expunge the records of anyone arrested solely for possession.”

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D)  rescinded plans to speak at a California Cannabis Industry Association conference after the group was criticized for distributing what labor activists saw as an anti-union document. Separately, the state Department of Food and Agriculture’s Milk Advisory Board carried out a marketing stunt that involved distributing dairy products in a setting akin to a marijuana dispensary. And an Assembly Budget subcommittee held a hearing on a proposal to consolidate cannabis regulations.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) hosted an agricultural forum that featured several panels focused on hemp.

The Oklahoma Senate approved a bill to protect the gun rights of medical cannabis patients.

The West Virginia Senate passed a bill to revise medical cannabis regulations.

The Kentucky Senate Committee On Health And Welfare approved a House-passed resolution calling on the federal government to expedite medical cannabis research.

The Virginia House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee advanced bills to allow employees at nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospices to administer CBD and THC-A oil and to remove criminal liabilities for analytical lab workers who transport those substances for work.

The Maine legislature’s Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee held a hearing on state officials’ plans to create a new office dedicated to cannabis crimes.

The South Dakota Senate is expected to vote on a hemp bill on Thursday.

Washington State regulators issued an enforcement bulletin clarifying that home delivery of marijuana is not legal.

Here’s a look at where North Carolina Democratic agriculture commissioner candidates stand on marijuana and hemp.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.

/ LOCAL

Denver, Colorado officials released a study showing that 81% of local teenagers do not use marijuana.

Portland, Maine City Council committees approved a local marijuana business licensing plan.

Some Albuquerque, New Mexico police officers are failing drug tests after using CBD products.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Lebanese lawmakers approved a bill to legalize cannabis cultivation for medical and industrial uses.

Colombia’s minister of justice visited a medical cannabis cultivation site.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study concluded that “add-on THC:CBD oromucosal spray (nabiximols) consistently relieves resistant spasticity across subgroups” and that “patients with moderate resistant [multiple sclerosis] spasticity benefit numerically from treatment; patients with severe resistant spasticity achieve significant therapeutic gains.”

A study concluded that “use of cannabis continues to increase among older adults nationally.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture conference featured a hemp panel.

/ BUSINESS

Acreage Holdings, Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $21.1 million and a net loss of $50.6 million.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. reported quarterly revenue of $44.1 million and an adjusted loss of $35.1 million.

The founders of Ben & Jerry’s spoke to a Washington, D.C. psychedelics decriminalization activist.

/ CULTURE

The NFL Players Association decided to let all players vote on a proposed new collective bargaining agreement that includes lower marijuana penalties and a reduced drug testing window.

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Deal on cannabis banking bill “close” (Newsletter: February 26, 2020)

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Bottle bill includes marijuana drinks; Dems debate cannabis; Smokable hemp bill to VA gov; Mexican senators work to finalize legalization plan

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) said in a speech at a credit union conference that he and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID) are “close” to finalizing a deal on marijuana banking legislation.

Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) filed a beverage container recycling bill that specifically includes bottles and cans for drinks “containing marijuana or hemp” as one of just five eligible categories.

Democratic presidential candidates clashed on marijuana legalization during a debate in South Carolina, with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) defending his pledge to enact legalization in all 50 states on his first day in office, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) saying she also backs ending prohibition but that it might take longer and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressing opposition to legalization but support for more modest reforms.

Virginia lawmakers sent Gov. Ralph Northam (D) a bill to legalize smokable hemp. They also passed a resolution directing a joint legislative commission to study broader marijuana legalization. Meanwhile, a cannabis decriminalization bill is advancing toward the governor’s desk.

Mexican Senate committees are meeting this week to finalize marijuana legalization legislation ahead of a Supreme Court-imposed deadline to end prohibition.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) and representatives of Disabled American Veterans discussed the potential benefits of medical cannabis at a joint congressional hearing.

/ FEDERAL

A federal judge issued an order giving final approval to a proposed Philadelphia, Pennsylvania safe consumption site for illegal drugs that the Department of Justice had opposed.

Former White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske wrote an op-ed on the challenges of regulating legal marijuana.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “Outdated federal marijuana laws prevent vets who work in a state’s legal cannabis industry from getting VA-backed home loans & immigrants who work in a state’s legal cannabis industry from getting citizenship. I have bipartisan bills to fix both problems.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tweeted, “To recap tonight’s Democratic debate. If they are elected you will get govt controlled internet, energy, schools and health care. And as a bonus, reefer for everyone!”

Arizona Republican congressional candidate Chris Taylor suspended his campaign after overdosing on heroin.

New York Democratic congressional candidate Shaniyat Chowdhury tweeted, “My opponent  @RepGregoryMeeks does not support legalizing marijuana like his endorsed candidate Bloomberg. I DO. It has helped me through mental health and no one should be criminalized for it.”

Florida Democratic congressional candidate Jen Perelman tweeted, “I also support Marijuana Legalization. My opponent, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, does not.”

/ STATES

The South Dakota Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources unanimously approved a hemp bill.

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings this week on a bill to expunge past marijuana convictions.

Alaska regulators filed rules on oversight of marijuana testing facilities, suspension or revocation of cannabis handler permits and applications and renewals.

The Texas Department of Public Safety sent an update on its efforts to be able to test cannabis samples following confusion created by the state’s hemp law.

New Mexico regulators filed medical cannabis reciprocity rules.

California regulators approved a formal rulemaking process for marijuana track-and-trace regulations.

Illinois regulators launched a technical assistance program for social equity marijuana business license applicants.

An Arkansas judge blocked regulators from issuing additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses.

A Georgia representative filed a resolution calling for a study committee to examine equity issues in the state’s limited medical cannabis market.

A Massachusetts representative is pressing state officials to explain how marijuana revenue is being spent.


Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 1,000 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.

/ LOCAL

Detroit, Michigan’s mayor spoke about the need for social equity in marijuana business licensing in his State of the City address.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Paraguayan regulators issued the country’s first medical cannabis production licenses.

The campaign of a candidate for leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada said he would not move to repeal marijuana legalization despite his concerns about the law.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that “recent clinical trials added further evidence for an antipsychotic potential of cannabidiol.”

A study found that “an increase in cannabis exposures reported to the US National Poison Data System was observed following recreational cannabis commercialization in the US.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll funded by prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana found that while Long Island, New York Senate district voters are divided on cannabis policy options, “full legalization of sales, distribution, and use” was the most popular choice in five out of six districts surveyed.

African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta included marijuana decriminalization and criminal justice reform in its agenda for a Capitol Hill lobby day.

/ BUSINESS

Eaze closed a $20 million investment.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc reported $109.1 million in quarterly revenue and a net loss of $24.9 million.

Jane Technologies hired a former Whole Foods co-CEO as retail advisor.

Green Growth Brands Inc. is selling off its CBD business to BRN Group Inc.

/ CULTURE

Actor Brian Cox spoke about how marijuana helps him relax.

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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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