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Yelp blocks cannabis businesses from ad programs (Newsletter: June 19, 2020)

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NJ Assembly approves marijuana decrim; Kansas City mayor pushes drug reform; Sanders: Put legalization in police bill; USDA pressed on hemp farmer aid

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The New Jersey Assembly voted 63-10 to approve a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession. The move comes as voters prepare to decide on a broader cannabis legalization referendum in November.

Yelp has blocked marijuana businesses from two key advertising features on its site. The ban applies even to cannabis dispensaries that have been verified with their state-issued licenses. One business tells Marijuana Moment that its web traffic is down 60% in two days.

Kansas City, Missouri’s mayor filed a measure to completely remove all local penalties for marijuana possession. Next, he plans to pursue efforts to remove other “minor drug offenses from our code.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took to the Senate floor to argue marijuana legalization must be part of police reform.

  • “We must end police officers continuing to arrest, search or jail the people of our country, predominantly people of color, for using marijuana.”

Reps. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) and Sean Maloney (D-NY) are pushing the U.S. Department of Agriculture to make hemp farmers eligible for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. After Marijuana Moment first reported last month that hemp farmers couldn’t even apply to challenge the block, that policy was reversed.

/ FEDERAL

The Department of Justice Inspector General’s Office found that the Drug Enforcement Administration failed to follow proper procedures for carrying out and reporting undercover money laundering activities.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture submitted information collection requirements for its hemp oversight efforts.

Oklahoma Democratic Senate candidate Elysabeth Britt tweeted, “I support the decriminalization of marijuana. The effects of keeping marijuana illegal has caused a disconnect between federal and state laws and hindered many lives. With a number of states passing marijuana laws based on the public will, it’s apparent that reform is needed.”

New Jersey Democratic congressional candidate Russ Cirincione tweeted that decriminalizing cannabis “is a start, but we need federal legalization & expungement of marijuana related offenses. Racial & social justice must be at the core of our public policy.”

/ STATES

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned a policy blocking people on probation from using medical cannabis.

Colorado regulators submitted a hemp plan for federal approval.

A former Oklahoma Health Department general counsel who admitted to sending herself fake emails she claimed were from medical cannabis advocates has been suspended from practicing law for a year.

Florida regulators found elevated lead levels in hemp products.

Missouri regulators announced that two medical cannabis cultivation facilities passed initial inspections and have been cleared to begin operations.

A California assemblyman amended a bill so it would ban flavored marijuana vaping products.

Washington State regulators are holding a forum about rules to incrementally expand the marijuana plant canopy square footage allowed for some producers on June 30.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Des Moines, Iowa City Council will consider a resolution to create a task for to study making marijuana possession the lowest law enforcement priority on Monday.

Los Angeles, California regulators are proposing marijuana rules changes to foster “a more responsible and equitable Licensing and Social Equity Program.”

Denver, Colorado regulators issued the city’s first medical cannabis research and development license.

San Francisco, California regulators said that marijuana businesses must conduct community outreach meetings virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.

/ INTERNATIONAL

A move by Ireland’s Green Party to legalize drugs was blocked by other parties as part of discussions to form a government.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that a CBD aromatherapy “contributes to improved health as well as promoting the economic and social development of this economically depressed area.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party tweeted, “Our party supports the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. Harrisburg Republicans won’t even let our proposals onto the floor. Tell your friends: The fastest route to decriminalizing marijuana in PA is flipping the state legislature in November.”

Americans for Safe Access is surveying patients about the medical cannabis programs in their states.

Columnists Ezra Klein and Ross Douthat discussed psychedelics legalization.

/ BUSINESS

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Organic Cannabis Foundation LLC and Northern California Small Business Assistants Inc. cannot challenge Internal Revenue Service tax determinations because they missed the deadline after FedEx’s failed attempt to deliver their petitions.

Trulieve Inc. asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging it misused consumer reports while doing background checks on prospective employees.

iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. said it is in default from the Ontario Securities Commission for failing to file several required documents.

Charlotte’s Web Holdings, Inc. closed an underwritten public offering worth C$77,625,000 at a price of C$6.75 per unit.

Asana co-founder Justin Rosenstein donated $300,000 to support research to legalize MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD.

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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.)

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AZ legal cannabis measure gets 420k ballot signatures (Newsletter: July 2, 2020)

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OR will vote on drug decrim in Nov; OH Senate votes to double marijuana decrim limit; VA cannabis decrim takes effect

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Your support makes Marijuana Moment possible…

There are now 1,522 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

Never let a marijuana bill catch you by surprise with exclusive access to Marijuana Moment’s custom-built cannabis legislation tracker for just $25/month.
https://www.patreon.com/marijuanamoment

/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Oregon’s secretary of state announced that activists officially collected enough signatures to put a measure decriminalizing drug possession and using marijuana tax revenue to fund expanded treatment services on the November ballot.

Arizona marijuana activists filed 420,000 signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization measure for the November ballot. That’s way more than they need.

The Ohio Senate approved a bill to double the amount of marijuana that’s decriminalized in the state to 200 grams and to downgrade possession of many other drugs from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Virginia’s marijuana decriminalization law went into effect.  As of Wednesday, getting caught with up to an ounce of cannabis comes with a $25 fine, no threat of jail time and no criminal record.

/ FEDERAL

Federal prosecutors charged two men with conspiring with an unnamed “leading on-demand marijuana delivery company” to deceive banks and other financial institutions into processing more than $100 million in credit and debit card payments for cannabis transactions.

A federal judge is giving U.S. Customs and Border Protection until July 31 to provide information in response to a lawsuit on its policies for denying entry to the country over marijuana use or industry involvement.

The special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s San Antonio district suggested that high taxes for marijuana in legal states are driving an underground market in Texas.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) filed an amendment seeking to provide protections to immigrants brought to the U.S. as children that would exempt marijuana convictions in states that have since legalized from being used as grounds for ineligibility.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) again spoke on the House floor about the need to end federal marijuana prohibition.

/ STATES

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an executive order extending medical cannabis identification card renewal deadlines for another 60 days.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) touted his signing legislation to decriminalize marijuana and fast-track annulments of past records in a letter to Black Lives Matter activists.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) tweeted about the launch of the state’s Cannabis Control Board. A law transferring most marijuana regulatory responsibilities to the new body took effect on Wednesday.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor spoke about efforts to pardon people for past marijuana convictions.

Rhode Island’s House minority leader said there’s a rumored grand jury investigation of Joint Committee on Legislative Services staff benefiting from marijuana legislation.

Arkansas regulators are being sued by a company that wants to stop them from approving additional medical cannabis dispensary licenses until their licensing process can be reviewed.

Michigan regulators released guidance on marijuana retesting and remediation.

Montana’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Tuesday.


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.

/ LOCAL

The Davidson County, Tennessee district attorney said his office will no longer prosecute people for possessing less than half an ounce of marijuana, and Nashville’s mayor said he supports the policy.

The La Crosse, Wisconsin City Council’s Judiciary & Administration Committee advanced a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

The Los Angeles, California City Council approved changes to the marijuana licensing system.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “following oral consumption of cannabis, THC was detected in blood much later, and at far lower peak concentrations, compared to what has been observed with inhaled cannabis.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand Maori support a marijuana legalization referendum, 72%-27%.

NORML removed the chapter charter for MassCann after a board member of the local group who organized a “straight pride parade” and pro-police rally resigned but the national organization did not see “tangible steps to address these flaws in their organization nor movement in the right direction to address these issues within their ranks.”

The Marijuana Policy Project is asking people to send testimony requesting that the New Hampshire Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency recommend that the state legalize marijuana.

/ BUSINESS

Steep Hill, Inc.’s  former CEO and chairman is suing the company in an attempt to stop its sale to EVIO, Inc.

Earthly Labs, Denver Beer Co. and The Clinic announced the success of a pilot program to use CO2 captured in the beer fermentation process to stimulate marijuana plant growth.

New England Treatment Access cultivation facility workers voted to unionize with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445.

Terrapin announced that it will use only made-in-the-USA packaging throughout its operations.

Cresco Labs and Innovative Industrial Properties, Inc. closed on an agreement for the former company to sell and lease back a Massachusetts property to the latter firm.

/ CULTURE

“Half Baked 2” is moving toward production after it got a tax credit from the California Film Commission.

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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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AG could be impeached over cannabis biz probes (Newsletter: July 1, 2020)

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Feds’ new hemp banking memo; DC psychedelics campaign aided by OR/CO teams as sig deadline nears; TN senator visits IL marijuana dispensary?

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) and nearly three dozen other House members filed a resolution calling for an impeachment inquiry of Attorney General William Barr, who the measure says “abused the power of his office” to improperly investigate cannabis business mergers.

  • “He’s using antitrust not for the purpose of helping consumers and businesses that might be disadvantaged by monopoly, but doing it as a vehicle for his social policies, which is unheard of,” Cohen told Marijuana Moment in an interview.

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network issued new guidance on banking for hemp businesses, including how financial institutions should handle clients that sell both hemp and marijuana.

Activists behind successful psilocybin campaigns in Denver and Oregon have flown to Washington, D.C. to help collect the final signatures needed to qualify a psychedelics decriminalization measure for the city’s ballot ahead of a Monday deadline.

Did a Tennessee lawmaker take a road trip in a state vehicle to buy marijuana in Illinois? Internet sleuths are on the cannabis case after someone posted a photo of a vehicle with a state Senate license plate parked outside a dispensary.

/ FEDERAL

U.S. Border Patrol agents are reportedly seizing legal marijuana products at checkpoints in Southern California.

A White House Office of National Drug Control Policy analysis concludes that overdose deaths are rising amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse reported that almost half of commercial driver license holders’ positive drug tests so far this year were for marijuana.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) gave a House floor speech about the need to end federal marijuana prohibition.

/ STATES

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill streamlining hemp regulations.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) issued an executive order delaying the issuance of marijuana craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses as well as extending the deadline for submission of community college cannabis vocational pilot program applications due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) touted the job-creating potential of a new hemp processing lab.

New York’s Assembly majority leader said she is in “constant conversation” with the speaker about marijuana legalization and questioned Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) commitment to working to get the policy enacted.

Maine regulators adopted rules for licensing marijuana sample collectors for testing.

Nevada regulators released draft regulations allowing CBD as a dietary supplement, food additive and cosmetic.

New Mexico will begin allowing out-of-state patients to purchase medical cannabis on Wednesday.

Arkansas regulators voted to release additional medical cannabis cultivation and dispensary licenses.

The Oregon Cannabis Commission’s Governance and Frame Working Subcommittee will meet on July 15.


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


British Virgin Islands lawmakers are considering legislation to legalize medical cannabis and expunge prior marijuana records.

The Philippine government created a panel to investigate deaths in the nation’s bloody “war on drugs.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that marijuana’s “therapeutic application in areas such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and in the relief of some cancer patient’s symptoms is promising.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Colorado State Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted about a marijuana social equity bill being signed into law.

The Illinois State Senate Democratic Caucus tweeted about a grant program that is “creating opportunities for those most impacted by the War on Drugs.”

/ BUSINESS

Dixie Brands announced it will change its name due to the racist historical connotations of the word Dixie.

GW Pharmaceuticals plc announced a strategy to bring its THC and CBD drug nabiximols to the U.S. market.

Hightimes Holding Corp. extended its public stock offering deadline again.

Southern University will unveil its first line of medical cannabis products on Wednesday.

Louis Del Faveo Orchids is asking a federal court to recognize what it says is its right to a medical cannabis license.

A survey of Canadian cannabis consumers found that brand awareness is low.

/ CULTURE

Comedian Chelsea Handler tweeted to urge Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to free a man serving a life sentence for selling marijuana.

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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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Biden task force weighs legal cannabis recommendation (Newsletter: June 30, 2020)

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OR psilocybin sigs submitted; Senate marijuana research amendment; CO gov signs equity/pardons bill; Baltimore tosses drug cases; HBO gummies promo

Subscribe to receive Marijuana Moment’s newsletter in your inbox every weekday morning. It’s the best way to make sure you know which cannabis stories are shaping the day.

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Subscribers who value this daily dispatch enough to show their support with a few dollars help us keep doing this. Please chip in and help ensure Marijuana Moment’s continued operations.

  • Justin Leiby: “One can view drug policy through many lenses: economic, individual liberty, social equity, criminal justice, personal interest, etc. The common thread should always be the search for up-to-date, comprehensive information, which Marijuana Moment provides better than any news outlet. Whether you want to drill down into source documents or just browse the headlines, Marijuana Moment is the best source and it deserves our support.”

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

As more members of a criminal justice task force created by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and former rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speak out publicly about the need to reform marijuana laws, the panel has reportedly discussed behind closed doors whether to recommend the former vice president finally endorse legalizing cannabis.

An Oregon measure to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use has enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot, activists say.  A handful of petitions must still be verified by the state, but the campaign collected tens of thousands of extra submissions and is confident.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed a bill outlining criteria for marijuana business social equity applicants and expanding his ability to unilaterally grant pardons for past cannabis convictions.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) are seeking to attach an amendment to expand marijuana and CBD research to the National Defense Authorization Act that’s on the Senate floor this week.

The Baltimore, Maryland state’s attorney has closed nearly 600 warrants and dismissed cases for certain offenses, including drug possession, that her office is no longer pursuing amid the coronavirus pandemic.

HBO Max is teaming up with Kanha Edibles and Eaze to offer a new line of marijuana-infused gummies promoting the new animated series “Close Enough.”

/ FEDERAL

The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee will discuss the impact of hemp legalization on the safety oversight of commercial motor vehicle drivers at a meeting next month.

The Department of Health and Human Services tweeted, “More research is needed to understand the specific relationship between marijuana use and COVID-19. But smoking of any kind might increase a person’s risk for severe illness from the virus.”

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to take a case on whether possessing marijuana is grounds to show a person is “armed and presently dangerous” for purposes of a search.

Sen. Amy Klobychar (D-MN) tweeted, “When 1/3 of the U.S. Justice Department Antitrust resources are going to failed cannabis investigations then yes, I am calling for an immediate hearing.”

Texas Democratic congressional candidates Christine Eady Mann and Donna Imam support decriminalizing marijuana while Mann also backs legalization.

/ STATES

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a medical cannabis reform bill that replaces a 3% THC per-product cap with a 4.5 grams of THC per 90-day period limit and adds new qualifying conditions, among other changes.

A federal judge denied a request from Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) and the secretary of state to stay his ruling clearing the path for a non-marijuana initiative to the November ballot in a case that could also have implications for a proposed medical cannabis measure.

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. (D) said he will not fill remaining seats on the Cannabis Advisory Board unless lawmakers approve legislation to legalize marijuana. Meanwhile, the Senate approved legislation to change the makeup of that body and confirmed the nomination of the territory’s agriculture commissioner to join it.

California regulators are letting marijuana businesses with expiring licenses request 60-day deferrals of their license fee payments.

West Virginia regulators said they will resume accepting applications for medical cannabis testing lab licenses.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

Tennessee regulators sent a notice about the deadline to renew hemp cultivation licenses.

Alaska regulators will discuss coronavirus-related marijuana issues on July 17.


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.

/ LOCAL

Pueblo County, Colorado is using $2.3 million in marijuana excise tax revenue to fund scholarships for local students.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Thai officials prepared draft legislation to let private companies manufacture cannabis-based medicines and to allow foreigners to invest in the industry.

The Western Australia state government rejected a series of drug policy reforms such as safe injection sites and pill testing services.

The Chatham-Kent, Ontario, Canada medical officer of health is stepping up his call to decriminalize drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “the addition of cannabis flour to bakery products increases the protein content of the final product, total phenolic substance, dietary fiber, free amino acid content, protein digestibility of the products and reduces the glycemic index” and that “in spite of its negative effects on dough rheology and bread characteristics, cannabis flour has been determined to be a valuable resource in bread production with its fiber, mineral substance and total unsaturated fatty acids content.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Zealand voters oppose a marijuana legalization referendum, 49%-40%.

A poll found that New York college students support legalizing marijuana, 91%-9%,

The National Farmers Union tweeted about the Farm Bill provision that blocks people with drug felony records from getting hemp licenses.

/ BUSINESS

Aurora Cannabis Inc.’s co-founder retired from the company’s board of directors.

Acreage Holdings, Inc. closed its acquisition of a New Jersey medical cannabis company.

Vireo Health International, Inc. hired a new chief financial officer.

The Washington Post’s executive editor was reportedly concerned that a piece about people getting high and seeing the film “Cats” glorified drug use.

Arkansas dispensaries have sold nearly $100 million worth of medical cannabis products since the program launched a little more than a year ago.

Make sure to subscribe to get Marijuana Moment’s daily dispatch in your inbox.

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.
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