Federal judge rules for cannabis company’s free speech rights (Newsletter: Jan. 22, 2019)

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Congressional marijuana research bill revised; Where POTUS candidate Kirsten Gillibrand stands on cannabis; NORML grades governors on marijuana

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, a top Trump administration Treasury Department official, is calling on Congress to solve marijuana businesses’ banking access issues.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) refiled a new version of his marijuana research bill that the House Judiciary Committee approved last year. The revised legislation removes language from last Congress’s bill—which was approved by the House Judiciary Committee— banning participation from people with drug convictions that advocates had strongly opposed.

Marijuana Moment compiled a comprehensive overview of where presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) stands on cannabis.

A majority of U.S. state governors got passing grades in NORML’s new report card—for the first time ever. Several newly seated governors actively campaigned on legalizing cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, spoke about racial disparities in marijuana enforcement during a campaign appearance in New Hampshire.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said in a Senate floor speech that legalizing marijuana, while banning menthol, “may be the route we’re on.”

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) included marijuana policy in a list of issues he will get to work on through his new role on a key House Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees the Department of Justice.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “As a co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I will continue to work with my colleagues to end discriminatory practices in marijuana laws. The time for criminal justice reform is now.”

The House bill to codify provisions of the rescinded Cole Memo into law got two new cosponsors, for a total of eight.

/ STATES

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) said he would sign a marijuana legalization bill. Meanwhile, the state’s attorney general said he supports medical cannabis.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced in his State of the State speech that next week he will sign an executive order creating a Cannabis Compliance Board so the state can “grow this industry in a way our state can be proud of.” He also said he wants to spend some cannabis tax revenue on school safety measures.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and legislators didn’t appear to get any closer to an agreement on marijuana legalization legislation during negotiations. Meanwhile, the Senate president said in response Murphy’s State of the State address that that legalizing marijuana is among the “important goals we have taken on” and “present[s] demanding legal, social & political challenges.” He added, “We have put in the hard work in the Legislature to develop a plan that addresses the complex demands of adult-use cannabis legalization. We need the cooperative work of leaders to marshal the support of legislators in order to get this done.”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D) tweeted, “Proud to get the top grade on cannabis policy from @NORML. It’s time to legalize marijuana nationally.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he included the option for large cities and counties to opt out of allowing marijuana sales in his legalization plan “because I believe in democracy.”

California officials gave final approval to marijuana regulations, which went into effect immediately. Meanwhile, regulators released an updated marijuana business license search tool and sent a reminder about cannabis excise taxes.

The Virginia House Courts of Justice Subcommittee defeated several marijuana legalization and decriminalization bills.

The Wyoming House Judiciary Committee rejected a CBD decriminalization bill.

Vermont’s attorney general said he supports legalizing and regulating marijuana sales.

Nebraska’s attorney general is speaking out against marijuana law reform.

Virginia’s former attorney general spoke about the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.

Michigan regulators approved a measure to allow unlicensed medical cannabis provisioning centers to temporarily reopen. They also released an updated consent and waiver form for the sale or transfer of untested marijuana products.

Ohio medical cannabis sales began.

Louisiana regulators are considering the issue of how much THC should be allowed in medical cannabis doses.

A Missouri appeals court ordered the Cole County prosecutor’s office to pay a man at least $36,000 after trying to block his request for public records about drug enforcement.

Colorado lawmakers are considering at least seven bills that seek to direct marijuana tax revenue to certain programs.

An Oklahoma senator filed a bill to allow counties to opt out of allowing medical cannabis businesses.

Arizona regulators reported that medical cannabis sales increased 40.7% in 2018 as compared to 2017.


Marijuana Moment is tracking key cannabis bills in state legislatures and Congress. 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.

/ LOCAL

Denver, Colorado’s mayor walked back his support for supervised consumption sites for illegal drug users and also expressed concern about the city potentially approving a psilocybin ballot measure.

The Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin City Council approved two marijuana advisory ballot questions for the April 2 election.

Boston, Massachusetts’s mayor is concerned about a marijuana dispensary’s proximity to addiction treatment centers.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Former Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos joined the pro-legalization Global Commission on Drug Policy.

/ ADVOCACY

Minnesota marijuana legalization supporters and opponents got into a heated argument at a press conference.

Satirical activists The Yes Men included a fictional bill called the “Liberation Act To End Mass Incarceration” that would take “immediate steps to decriminalize use and possession of recreational drugs (for an estimated 1.5 million fewer arrests each year)” in a mock future copy of the Washington Post that they circulated this week to demonstrate what Democrats could and should do with their control of the House of Representatives.

Canadian cannabis activist and businessman Marc Emery issued what appears to be a pre-buttal to a pending Huffington Post article about alleged sexual misconduct.

/ BUSINESS

Oklahoma medical cannabis sales reached nearly $1 million in December, generating about $70,000 in tax revenue.

Cresco Labs and Standard Wellness both claimed in press releases that their Ohio medical cannabis dispensaries conducted the state’s first legal sales to patients.

/ CULTURE

Former boxer Mike Tyson launched a marijuana-focused podcast.

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