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New bill would force FDA to allow CBD; NH lawmakers take new legalization approach; Fed prosecutor says marijuana causes society’s downfall

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There are now 923 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2020 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

A new bill filed by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-MN) and bipartisan cosponsors would force the Food and Drug Administration to allow the marketing of CBD as a dietary supplement.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, urged marijuana business employees to unionize—and they seemed to listen, with an “overwhelming majority” at a Cresco Labs cultivation facility in Illinois voting on Tuesday night to do so.

New Hampshire lawmakers, frustrated with the initial advancement but ultimate failure of marijuana legalization bills in past sessions, are taking a new approach in 2020 that would legalize low-level cannabis possession and home cultivation without adding a commercial market—similar to neighboring Vermont’s law.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) weighed in on Wednesday’s congressional cannabis hearing in an interview with Marijuana Moment, saying that the Veterans’ Affairs Committee risks being seen “asleep at the switch” if it lets the Energy and Commerce panel vote on a veterans marijuana bill before they get around to it.

  • “I hope they get their act together and move quickly.”

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah said he’s worried that marijuana legalization is going to “bring down our society.”

/ FEDERAL

The National Institute on Drug Abuse said that for its upcoming International Forum in June it will give priority to abstracts that “address any aspect of cannabis or cannabinoids, including but not limited to routes of administration, prevalence, neurobiology, drugged driving, potential therapeutic benefits, and harms.”

Customs and Border Protection’s Great Lakes Region office tweeted, “#TravelAdvisory All travelers are prohibited from possessing marijuana when crossing the border. If caught you may be subject to seizure, fines, arrest, or in the case of aliens, denial of admission into the U.S.”

A federal judge ruled that CBD maker Green Roads shouldn’t face liability claims in a class action lawsuit until the Food and Drug Administration completes a review of policies for such products.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) tweeted, “I had a great meeting this weekend with @LtGovStratton, @toihutchinson & other local leaders on how Illinois is working to make legalization of recreational cannabis equitable for all. I’ll keep working with them to make sure equity & justice are at the forefront of this process.”

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) tweeted, “The war on drugs has been a spectacular failure. Families have been broken up and communities decimated. It’s time to decriminalize marijuana and #EndMassIncarceration. NOW.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Congress must pass my Veterans Medical Marijuana Safe Harbor Act to provide protection for veterans and their doctors in using medical marijuana where it’s legal. It’s past time we acknowledged the benefits of marijuana to help our struggling veterans heal.”

Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA) tweeted, “I am proud to co-sponsor @RepAlexMooney’s 2nd Amendment Protection Act which allows law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms as they legally use medical marijuana in their home state. Use of medical marijuana should not infringe on 2A rights.”

The House bill to require the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical cannabis got four new cosponsors for a total of 101.

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) discussed her willingness to sign a hemp bill that falls within certain “guardrails” during her State of the State speech.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor facetiously tweeted, “I’m grateful alcohol 🍷🍺 is illegal, because it’s so deadly. 😳🚨Thankfully in PA, marijuana -a plant- is perfectly legal, accessible, regulated, and taxed, with zero documented overdose deaths. So we’re good. and safe. 😎

Texas’s agriculture commissioner will host a public hearing on proposed hemp rules on January 22.

The Florida Senate asked the state Supreme Court to dismiss as moot a review of a proposed marijuana legalization ballot measure after organizers said they would not continue to seek to qualify the initiative for 2020.

Kentucky’s Senate president said he thinks “there’s a path forward on medicinal marijuana.”

Oregon lawmakers approved regulators’ request for funding to hire two specialists focused on hemp inspections and enforcement.

Minnesota’s Office of the Legislative Auditor found that regulators’ “internal controls were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements for the medical cannabis program.”

Illinois regulators posted the application for social equity cannabis business development fund loans. They also announced areas across the state that are eligible for Restore, Reinvest and Renew Program grant funding aimed at investing in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs.

Michigan regulators will hold a public hearing about proposed marijuana rules on February 12.

A Tennessee representative filed a bill to decriminalize marijuana and allow counties to hold cannabis legalization referendums.

Colorado lawmakers introduced legislation to protect workers from being fired for using marijuana on their own time.

A Maine representative filed a resolution calling on the federal government to increase marijuana businesses’ access to banks and insurance coverage.

Nevada collected $9.8 million in marijuana tax revenue in October.

Washington State regulators removed a marijuana transportation manifest form from their website due to “low to no utilization.”


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.

Learn more about our marijuana bill tracker and become a supporter on Patreon to get access.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Barbados’s agriculture minister said the government plans to begin issuing medical cannabis cultivation licenses next month.

A Mexican judge ordered regulators to provide cannabis-based oil to a girl suffering from epilepsy within 10 days.

Several Danish political parties are calling for drug decriminalization.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on vaping-related lung injuries found that “among 809 (50%) patients reporting data on the source of THC-containing products, 131 (16%) reported acquiring their products from only commercial sources (i.e., recreational dispensaries, medical dispensaries, or both; vape or smoke shops; stores; and pop-up shops), 627 (78%) from only informal sources (i.e., friends, family, in-person or online dealers, or other sources), and 51 (6%) from both types of sources.”

A study found that “cannabis use worked as an alternative to prescription opioids in just over half of patients with low back pain and as an adjunct to diminish use in some chronic opioid users.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll of Ohio adults found that 17% have sought information about whether they have a medical condition that can be treated with medical cannabis, and that 46% know a friend or family member who regularly uses marijuana.

The National Cannabis Industry Association, Cannabis Trade Federation, Minority Cannabis Business Association, National Cannabis Roundtable and Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce teamed up on a letter about federal marijuana reform to House Energy and Commerce Committee leaders.

/ BUSINESS

Hightimes Holding Corp.’s CEO said the company will soon be opening retail stores and may get involved in cannabis delivery.

Tilray, Inc. hired a new chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

The CEO of GW Pharmaceuticals, plc said the company’s primary focus for 2020 is increasing insurer coverage for its CBD epilepsy drug Epidiolex.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced the closing of a $78 million senior secured term loan and the closing of a $20 million offering of shares.

Arcview Group brought on a new president.

/ CULTURE

Actor Brian Cox said marijuana is “absolutely great and I recommend it to everyone.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

The post Bernie Sanders pushes cannabis workers to unionize (Newsletter: January 15, 2020) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.