Congress to vote on cannabis banking next week (Newsletter: September 16, 2019)

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FDA: scientists should study dispensary marijuana; OR ballot measure would decrim all drugs; Request to shield anti-cannabis donor names rejected

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There are now 1,184 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Federal Trade Commission sent letters warning three CBD companies to stop making unsubstantiated health claims about their products.

The Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health said in a letter to Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) that researchers should be able to study marijuana products available to consumers at dispensaries. That’s significant because research has shown the current federally approved supply from the University of Mississippi more closely resembles hemp than what consumers are using, and the head of that facility recently expressed ignorance about the potency levels of cannabis products available in the marketplace.

Activists in Oregon quietly filed a proposed ballot measure to decriminalize all drugs and use marijuana tax revenue to fund expanded treatment and recovery services. Drug Policy Alliance is considering supporting the push to get it on the 2020 ballot.

A New York ethics commission rejected prohibitionist group Smart Approaches to Marijuana’s effort to keep its list of donors secret.

/ FEDERAL

The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy designated 13 new areas as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas and removed the designation from six areas.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), a presidential candidate, spoke to activists ahead of NORML’s congressional lobby day.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) tweeted about a man who “got life in prison for repairing trucks that distributed marijuana. 18 years later he still rots in prison and has seen murderers and rapists released with less time.”

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said that lung injuries associated with vaping of unregulated cannabis products “is all an argument for why we need to legalize and regulate. We need to have standards. We need to make sure people know what’s going on.”

In a House floor speech, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) spoke about how the war on drugs “devastated our communities, tore apart families, and incarcerated millions of needlessly incarcerated fellow African Americans.” She also tweeted, “As the first African American and first woman to co-chair the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I know it’s not enough to just legalize marijuana. Including social equity and criminal justice reform is vital to our agenda.”

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) tweeted, “The mental & physical well-being of our brave veterans should come first!”

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Jon Ossoff discussed his support for legalizing marijuana.

/ STATES

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that she would veto industrial hemp legislation again should another bill reach her desk.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) made appointments to the Institute of Cannabis Governing Board.

Vermont’s lieutenant governor will speak at a marijuana conference on Friday.

Virginia’s attorney general tweeted, “Proud to receive the Vanguard Award for cannabis reform advocacy from @VANORML and @NORML! Virginia needs to decriminalize possession of small amounts, address past convictions, and take steps toward legal, regulated adult use.”

Ohio’s House speaker selected a medical cannabis cultivation business owner as the new patient advocate on the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee.

The Michigan House of Representatives approved a bill requiring warning labels on marijuana products. Separately, representatives plan to file legislation to create a process to expunge cannabis convictions.

New Mexico’s marijuana legalization working group recommended that cannabis sales be done through private retailers, in contrast with a bill that advanced in the legislature this year that would have let state-run stores mostly handle the market.

A Pennsylvania judge issued an order that people on probation cannot use medical cannabis.

Washington, D.C. education officials confirmed that students can use medical cannabis in schools.

Missouri regulators released the names and locations of medical cannabis business license applicants.

Wisconsin lawmakers said they will file new medical cannabis bills this fall.

The membership of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Cannabis Commission has been completed.

Massachusetts’s Cannabis Study Group will meet on September 17.


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 City Council temporarily removed from office the mayor, who was arrested on federal charges of allegedly extorting marijuana businesses.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Netherlands Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport announced that 10 municipalities have been selected to participate in a legal marijuana supply pilot program.

Canada’s New Democratic Party criticized the government for issuing so few pardons for marijuana convictions.

Australian lawmakers are considering legislation to drug test welfare recipients.

The Indian government is moving to allow marijuana research.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “atypical cannabinoids, like O-1602 and abnormal cannabidiol, exert anti-tumorigenic effects on Paclitaxel-resistant breast cancer cells” and that “due to their lack of central sedation and psychoactive effects, these atypical cannabinoids could represent new leads for the development of additional anti-cancer treatments when resistance to conventional chemotherapy occurs during the treatment of breast and possibly other cancers.”

A study concluded that “a set of policies balancing Medication Assisted Treatment, Naloxone Access, Good Samaritan Laws, Medication Assisted Treatment, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and legalization of medical marijuana leads to a reduced number of overdose deaths, but not until its second year in force.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The South Dakota Democratic Party tweeted, “Stop telling lies about legalized hemp @govkristinoem.”

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation published a report expressing skepticism about marijuana’s role in reducing opioid issues.

Conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly tweeted, “Pot use among America’s college students is now at the highest level in 35 years according to a study from the University of Michigan. Experts have cited the increase on the legalization of marijuana in states with a high amount of college campuses.”

/ BUSINESS

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced that its planned acquisition of PharmaCann, LLC cleared a key Department of Justice waiting period.

CannabCo Pharmaceutical Corp. said it is working on “production of near odourless cannabis.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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