VT legal cannabis sales bill finalized (Newsletter: September 17, 2020)

Lawmakers push SCOTUS to take marijuana case; MS’s confusing cannabis ballot Qs; Record IL sales; PA lt. gov. challenges NJ to grow better marijuana

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Vermont House of Representatives Senate negotiators have finally reached a deal on a bill to legalize marijuana sales. The full House is expected to vote on the final proposal as soon as Thursday, with the Senate likely sending it to the governor’s desk next week.

Seven members of Congress and several reform groups filed briefs urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case against the Drug Enforcement Administration that challenges marijuana’s federally restricted classification.

  • The lawmakers’ brief argues the Court needs to act because enacting marijuana reform through legislation is “made practically impossible by complicated political realities”—a point that could be undermined if the House approves a cannabis descheduling bill next week.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), appearing at a rally alongside Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said that farmers in his state can grow better marijuana than those in New Jersey can, and that’s one reason lawmakers should hurry up and legalize it before voters next door in the Garden State do so.

The way medical cannabis appears on Mississippi’s ballot is a confusing, two-step set of questions. And that was exactly the intent of lawmakers who advanced a competing measure to undermine support for the activist-driven original, advocates say.

Illinois set a new monthly marijuana sales record again in August, with more than 1.3 million cannabis products sold, amounting to nearly $64 million in total sales— with out-of-state visitors accounting for more than $17 million of that.

/ FEDERAL

Officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration met with representatives of the National Industrial Hemp Council, who shared concerns about the agency’s new proposed hemp rules.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) tweeted, “There are far too many racial disparities in our criminal justice system. We must keep fighting for change. If Democrats retake the Senate, I am going to do EVERYTHING I can to end the federal prohibition on marijuana and undo harms of the War on Drugs.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “Cannabis should be legalized & records should be expunged ASAP. It’s strange that the more conservative step of decriminalization is seen by some as too controversial or ‘risky.’ Each day we postpone is a day we let communities be ravaged & profiled. It must end. #LegalizeIt”

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) tweeted, “I’ve been a long-time supporter of legalizing marijuana, and the MORE Act gets us one step closer. Looking forward to voting YES.”

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) tweeted, “In our state the price for the failed drug war has been paid disproportionately by Black and Latino Texans. We can do much better. @RolandForTexas is running for the Texas Senate and has put cannabis legalization at the forefront of his campaign.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got three new cosponsors for a total of 111.

/ STATES

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) team plans to hold meetings with stakeholders who are concerned about the state’s marijuana business licensing process.

The Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee approved a House-passed bill to prevent police from conducting searches based on the smell of marijuana.

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court ruled that a rejected medical cannabis business license applicant can see its application scores.

California regulators released a unified marijuana license search tool.

Washington State’s WorkSource program is blocking some job listings for not only marijuana businesses, but also for people who work in the cannabis industry and are looking to hire child care workers.

Colorado regulators adopted emergency coronavirus-related rules for marijuana businesses.

Florida’s Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee’s Seed Certification Subcommittee will meet on September 23.

Michigan regulators are holding a marijuana business social equity resource workshop on September 24.


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

Portland, Maine officials sent a reminder that marijuana businesses must be licensed to operate in the city.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Barbados’s government revealed details of a marijuana decriminalization plan.

A Colombian House committee approved a bill to allow marijuana use.

Brazilian lawmakers heard presentations from Canadian and Israeli lawmakers about their countries’ experiences with medical cannabis.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study identified a “significant substitution effect between light cannabis and anxiolytics, sedatives, opioids, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.”

The first clinical trial on psilocybin therapy with simultaneous administration and one-on-one patient support to treat depression in cancer patients was launched.

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The National Narcotic Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Family Research Council and other groups sent a letter calling on House leadership to cancel a planned vote to federally legalize marijuana.

The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis projected that legalizing marijuana would boost the state’s GDP by between $953 million and $1.7 billion and generate $188 to $223 million in new tax revenue for the state in the fifth year of sales, while creating more than 10,000 jobs within three years.

Green Flower for Business, Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards and Association of Food and Drug Officials are partnering to train state and local regulators about cannabis issues.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute published a report highlighting what it says is a “double standard” whereby marijuana is treated more favorably than nicotine.

/ BUSINESS

Playboy launched a line of CBD products.

AdvisorShares and CB1 Capital Management LLC formed a strategic partnership.

Trulieve Cannabis Corp. acquired Pennsylvania medical cannabis businesses.

MedMen Enterprises Inc. announced it got an additional $20 million from lenders and investors.

Canopy Rivers Inc. announced that its joint venture PharmHouse Inc. received creditor protection from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

Vireo Health changed the name of its Minnesota Medical Solutions cannabis dispensaries to Green Goods.

A lawsuit against Travis and Leah Maurer over a venture to start a marijuana cultivation operation and dispensary that was filed by Randy Quast has been dismissed in the couple’s favor.

Terrapin donated $30,000 to help Boulder, Colorado’s live music venues impacted by coronavirus-related closures.

/ CULTURE

Musician David Crosby tweeted, “If smoking marijuana causes short-term memory loss, what does smoking marijuana do?”

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tweeted, “CBD from hemp extract is not necessarily safer than a marijuana extract.”

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