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Whole Foods likely to sell cannabis products, CEO says (Newsletter: March 4, 2019)



FDA wants marijuana rescheduling input; NE medical cannabis signature gathering starts; Jay Inslee on marijuana; Bill shields tribes that legalize

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In a Federal Register notice, the Food and Drug Administration is asking the public to submit comments on marijuana’s scheduling status. The input will be used to shape how the U.S. votes on the World Health Organization’s international reclassification recommendations, potentially as soon as this month.

Rep. Don Young (R-AK) filed a bill to shield Indian tribes that legalize marijuana from federal harassment.

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview looks at the cannabis record of Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

The CEO of Whole Foods said that “chances are good” the company will begin selling marijuana products in its stores as more states legalize.

Nebraska’s proposed 2020 medical marijuana ballot measure has been cleared for signature gathering.

The Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on a marijuana decriminalization bill on Monday.


The Department of Defense views holding marijuana stocks as involvement in drug-related activities that can lead to the loss of security clearances.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams is being called out for tweeting false information about marijuana legalization’s impact on arrests and youth use. He followed up by tweeting, “Lots of passion on this issue, so let’s hit the reset button. As a parent, I hope we can all agree we should strive to limit non medical youth use of and fetal exposure to marijuana products. I think we should prioritize doing no harm to most vulnerable. That’s my top concern.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said that he supports medical cannabis, decriminalizing marijuana, banking access for businesses and letting states set their own laws, but he does not support legalization.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, spoke during a campaign rally about ending the war on drugs and touted states’ moves to change marijuana laws.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a presidential candidate, said, “I say if we have marijuana laws that are producing billions of dollars in tax money, we should be investing that tax money back into communities that were disproportionately targeted, damaged and hurt.”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, tweeted, “It’s past time for us to address the harrowing issue of mass incarceration in our country. Legalizing marijuana can begin to set things on a better path by ending some of the misplaced priorities that have made our criminal justice system less just.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, said in a campaign stop in Iowa that “it’s just time to legalize it nationally.”

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, pans to refile legislation to deschedule marijuana this week.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “The failed #WarOnDrugs has devastated far too many communities of color. My Marijuana Justice Act will legalize marijuana at the federal level and include restorative justice for those most impacted by these discriminatory policies.” She also tweeted, “Too many families of color have been devastated by the failed War on Drugs. The #MarijuanaJusticeAct is about making communities whole, ensuring justice, and repairing the damage needlessly done.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “Veterans are already using marijuana–let’s make it safe.”

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who just teamed up with marijuana company Beantown Greentown, said that Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) “guaranteed” him that cannabis banking legislation would be enacted this year.

Former Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM), now the chairman of the New Mexico Republican Party, authored an oped arguing against marijuana legalization.

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got four new cosponsors, for a total of 42.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he believes that marijuana legalization will be “decided in this cycle” but later added that “if we don’t get it done by the budget, it’s in trouble.”

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said hemp legalization “gravely concerns” her, though she added she’s working on an amendment that could win her support for a bill moving through the legislature.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) released the legislative details of his budget plan, which includes medical cannabis legalization and marijuana decriminalization. Meanwhile, former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), also a former U.S. health and human services secretary, said he isn’t sure how he feels about the decriminalization proposal.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed an executive order eliminating a current medical cannabis licensing board and creating a new marijuana regulatory agency. The state attorney general applauded the move.

Illinois Gov J.B. Pritzker (D) said that as the state considers what form marijuana legalization should take, he’s “going to make sure all the voices are heard, in particular, black and brown communities who have been put upon by the war on drugs over so many years.”

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) tweeted, “✅ HB 581, the Hemp Manufacturing Act, has successfully passed the House floor with overwhelming bipartisan support! Expanding commercial & industrial uses of hemp in New Mexico will create jobs and bring millions of dollars into our economy.” She also praised the bill in a separate statement.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) is reviewing bills to increase medical cannabis access.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted, “We had another productive meeting of the advisory panel to form the Cannabis Compliance Board this AM, where members discussed critical issues like lack of banking access. Allowing marijuana businesses & banks to work together would make our cannabis industry safer for small biz.”

The Vermont Senate gave third reading passage to a bill to legalize marijuana sales, which now heads to the House of Representatives.

The Montana House of Representatives approved a bill to let people who are on probation or parole use medical cannabis.

The Georgia House Regulated Industries Committee approved a bill to allow the production and sale of low-THC medical cannabis products.

The West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee approved a marijuana banking bill.

A Hawaii marijuana legalization bill died after a committee didn’t consider it by a key deadline.

California regulators began accepting applications for a marijuana equity grant program.

North Dakota medical cannabis sales began.

Marijuana Moment is already tracking more than 800 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.

We followed more than 900 pieces of cannabis legislation in 2018. Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.


The Atlanta, Georgia police department is no longer asking candidates for employment about past marijuana use.

Denver, Colorado’s mayor tweeted, “Time is long overdue for marijuana businesses to have access to the same banking and financial services that other legitimate U.S. businesses have. Let’s make this happen.”


The Canadian government is moving legislation to expand pardons for marijuana possession convictions.


The Republican Party of New York tweeted, “Even some common-sense Democrats are sounding the alarm on the false promises @NYGovCuomo is making about recreational marijuana legalization.”


A study found that “cannabis use may mitigate several of the well-described complications of Crohn’s disease among hospital inpatients.”

A study in Washington State found that “the prevalence of daytime THC-positive drivers increased substantially a few months after retail sales of marijuana were legal.”

Here’s a look at controversial research aimed at developing an isotope that can be added to marijuana products in order to track them.


A poll of Māori found that 75% plan to vote for a New Zealand marijuana legalization referendum.


Canopy Growth Corp. is partnering with the NHL Alumni Association on a study of whether cannabinoids can help reduce opioid use by former hockey players.

A survey found that fewer Colorado businesses are testing employees for marijuana and more are lowering punishments for positive tests.


Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones claimed in an appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast that there’s a secret government program involving intelligence agents taking massive doses of psychedelic drugs so they can meet aliens and make intergalactic deals.

Jimmy Fallon had some jokes about 2020 Democratic presidential candidates endorsing marijuana legalization.

Actor Danny Glover tweeted, “Thank you @RepBarbaraLee for sponsoring the #MarijuanaJusticeAct ! The arrests, convictions, and incarceration for Marijuana have been devastating to the American ppl & disproportionately affect black, brown & low-income communities!  LEGALIZE it!!”

American Olympic skier Devin Logan is serving a suspension for using a CBD product that contained higher-than-allowed levels of THC.

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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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