McConnell directs DEA to work on telling hemp and marijuana apart (Newsletter: September 27, 2019)

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O’Rourke’s new video shows marijuana history; OR psilocybin campaign launches signature drive; Congresswoman says deschedule for kids with cancer

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), presidential candidate, released a campaign video looking back at his long history of advocating marijuana reform and ending the war on drugs—including how a local dispute on legalization led directly to his career in Congress and his presidential run.

Twenty-one state attorneys general sent a letter urging congressional leaders to pass the STATES Act, which would exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) testified during a House Judiciary Committee hearing that descheduling marijuana will help kids such as a 10-year-old girl in her district with brain cancer.

  • “Since cannabis is a Schedule I drug, Madison’s mother could be arrested, have her property seized, or lose her daughter to child protective services. By doing what is best for her daughter, Madison’s mother is risking everything. But she is doing exactly what any mother would do for her child.”

A campaign to legalize psilocybin mushrooms for therapeutic use in Oregon kicked off its 2020 ballot signature gathering effort with support from a new $150,000 donation by the Dr. Bronner’s hemp soap company.

In an op-ed, Marijuana Policy Project Executive Director Steven Hawkins responded to civil rights groups’ concerns about Congress voting on cannabis banking prior to broader justice-focused reform by arguing that access to financial services is actually an equity issue.

/ FEDERAL

A Forest Service report identified insecticide and pesticide use from illegal marijuana growing sites as a threat to species of conservation concern.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, said at a rally that “I’m not telling you to do marijuana—in fact I’m telling you not to do it—but people are going to do it whether I want it or not. I don’t want your lives destroyed if you choose to do it.”

Former Housing and Urban Development Sec. Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, pledged to legalize marijuana during an Iowa speech.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate,  said she will end the war on drugs and legalize marijuana at an Iowa event.

Sen. Kirsten GIllibrand (D-NY) tweeted, “It’s time to legalize and deschedule marijuana, expunge non-violent criminal records for marijuana charges, and ensure economic access for communities of color.”

Rep. Russ Fulcher (R-ID) touted his state’s efforts to “develop a test method for quantitating marijuana so that the state can comply with the federal farm bill related to interstate commerce of industrial hemp.”

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) said she appreciates Democratic senators who spoke out against a spending bill rider blocking Washington, D.C. from spending its own money to legalize marijuana sales.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted, “While investors make huge profits on marijuana and states earn millions in tax revenue, thousands of Americans are still fined or even put behind bars for use. Let’s finally end the prohibition of marijuana in the United States.”

Former Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA) says he is open to working for marijuana businesses as a registered lobbyist.

Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Lisa Ring tweeted, “We must look for innovative solutions to solve the #opioidcrisis. By legalizing marijuana, we can begin to end the failed war on drugs and its racial disparity. We can tackle the opioid crisis and more effectively meet our nation’s public health needs.”

/ STATES

Utah Gov Gary Herbert (R) signed a bill changing how the state will distribute medical cannabis.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is calling on Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill.

West Virginia’s treasurer is hiring an attorney to help with marijuana banking issues.

The Florida Supreme Court scheduled arguments on a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure for February 4.

A New Mexico judge again ruled that regulators must issue medical cannabis cards to out-of-state patients.

The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee held a hearing on hemp.

The Washington, D.C. Council Labor Committee will hold a Wednesday hearing on bills to prohibit marijuana testing as a condition of employment and job discrimination against medical cannabis program participants working for government agencies.

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation memo says its crime labs will no longer analyze cannabis  obtained during arrests to determine THC content unless it’s for a felony charge or upon special request by a district attorney.

Alaska regulators are proposing rules changes dealing with umbrella categories for marijuana products.


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.

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/ LOCAL

The Fall River, Massachusetts mayor is waiving his right to personally appear for his formal arraignment on federal charges that he extorted marijuana businesses.

Denver, Colorado officials announced changes to marijuana modification of premises application and inspection processes.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs held a meeting on proposed changes to the scheduling of cannabis and its compounds and derivatives under international treaties.

The head of Canada’s Conservative Party falsely accused the Liberal government of supporting decriminalization of all drugs.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “patients living with serious illnesses who use cannabis in the context of a multidisciplinary [ambulatory palliative care] practice use cannabis for curative intent and for pain and symptom control” and “reported improved pain, other symptoms, and a sense of well-being with few reported harms.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Boston Globe editorial board criticized progressives who want Congress to wait to pass marijuana banking legislation until broader cannabis reform is achievable.

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights tweeted, “We support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, introduced by @SenKamalaHarris and @RepJerryNadler two months ago today. This is a racial justice issue. It is an economic justice issue. And it’s the marijuana legislation Congress must now consider.”

/ BUSINESS

GW Pharmaceuticals plc announced that it received European Commission approval to market its CBD drug Epidyolex.

GenCanna Global, Inc. engaged Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC to advise on a potential initial public offering.

Akerna Corp. reported approximately $11 million in fiscal year 2019 revenue, but a net loss of $12.3 million.

Pot Network Holdings retracted statements from an article about Peak Health Center’s hops-derived CBD as part of a lawsuit settlement, the latter company announced.

/ CULTURE

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta is hosting another medical cannabis special on Sunday.

Comedian Sarah Silverman brought marijuana to the Emmys.

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