Feds announce cannabis research priorities (Newsletter: August 16, 2019)


McConnell pens hemp legalization update; POTUS candidate Andrew Yang on marijuana; Former congressman touts longtime legal cannabis support

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There are now 1,170 cannabis-related bills moving through state legislatures and Congress for 2019 sessions.

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  • Rob Arnold: “These are exciting times, with the era of cannabis prohibition coming to an end. Marijuana Moment helps me stay on top of the issues so that I can do my part to end prohibition by calling politicians with accurate and leading edge information.”



The heads of five federal financial regulatory agencies responded to a letter from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), a presidential candidate, seeking guidance on banking access for hemp businesses. The letters were shared with Marijuana Moment exclusively.

  • The chair of one body clarified that federal reporting guidelines in place for institutions that work with marijuana businesses no longer apply to hemp companies and said she has “personally discussed the changes during banker outreach meetings both in Washington, D.C. and across the country.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) gave an update on hemp legalization progress in an op-ed.

  • “Whatever obstacles Kentucky hemp farmers, processors and manufacturers might encounter as they try to take full advantage of this hemp revolution, I’ll be there to help in any way I can.”

Marijuana Moment’s latest presidential candidate overview takes a comprehensive look at where 2020 contender Andrew Yang stands on cannabis and drug policy reform. Beyond legalizing marijuana, he backs decriminalizing opioids and says he will high-five people he pardons as they leave prison.

Former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), who for many years was one of the only lawmakers to push marijuana reform on Capitol Hill, showed up at a Massachusetts cannabis regulatory meeting and touted a state legalization bill he filed back in 1972.

  • “I am getting old, but at least one thing that I have found improves with age and that is the pleasure of getting to say ‘I told you so.’”


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended that physicians “should screen all adults for illicit drug use.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a new anti-impaired driving ad campaign titled, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a presidential candidate, suggested she would repeal the 1994 Crime Bill.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D), a presidential candidate, spoke about his support for legalizing marijuana and ending incarceration for drug possession.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R), a presidential candidate, discussed CBD’s role in treating cancer.

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) compared Marijuana Policy Project lobbyist Don Murphy to “gum on one shoe” because of his constant presence on Capitol Hill.


New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) intervened in a court case concerning whether regulators must issue medical cannabis cards to out-of-state patients. Meanwhile, the state’s marijuana legalization working group held its first meeting.

New Jersey’s Senate president spoke about ongoing efforts to build support for a marijuana legalization bill as a backup plan for a ballot measure is considered. He also discussed his concerns about home cultivation and cannabis edibles.

Ohio’s House speaker is critical of local moves to stop prosecuting marijuana cases in light of confusion caused by the state’s hemp law. Separately, the Medical Marijuana Control Program’s expert review committee rescinded a recommendation to add anxiety and autism spectrum disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions.

New York’s Assembly speaker toured a hemp farm.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that “the mere odor of marijuana coupled with possession of what is clearly less than ten grams of marijuana, absent other circumstances, does not grant officers probable cause to effectuate an arrest and conduct a search incident thereto.”

A Nevada court held another hearing in an ongoing case challenging the state’s marijuana business license awarding process.

Massachusetts regulators took public testimony on proposed rules allowing marijuana delivery services and social use areas. Separately, officials launched a public education campaign to deter impaired driving which includes ads that feature cannabis consumers discussing their experiences.

Utah regulators selected Akerna to run the state’s seed-to-sale medical cannabis tracking system.

Iowa’s second CBD medical cannabis manufacturer begins operations on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the differences between competing bills to legalize marijuana in Washington, D.C.

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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Several Philadelphia, Pennsylvania police officers were shot following a narcotics enforcement action.

The Somerville, Massachusetts mayor plans to open a safe consumption facility for illegal drugs next year.

The DeKalb County, Georgia solicitor-general is dismissing low-level marijuana cases in light of confusion in light of the state’s new hemp law.

The Richmond County, Georgia state solicitor is putting misdemeanor marijuana possession cases on hold while hemp testing issues are worked out.

The Little Rock, Arkansas City Board is expected to vote next week on a proposal to make marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority.


Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled that regulators have 180 days to issue medical cannabis rules.


A study found that “people seeking advice online about dabbing inquired most often about logistics of use, but less often about health, tolerance, and legal risks.”

A review suggested that “cannabis-only smoking is associated with changes in vocal fold appearance, respiratory symptoms, and negative lung function changes, especially in heavy smokers.”


A survey found that Hispanic Americans are more likely than the general U.S. population to be involved in promoting the legalization of cannabis, and are more interested in the wellness and leisure uses of marijuana and CBD products.


Canopy Growth Corporation reported a 250% increase in quarterly revenue from a year ago but also a $1.2 billion loss.

Facebook asked an Oklahoma judge for more time to respond to a lawsuit alleging the site is illegally discriminating against medical cannabis businesses.

Silver Spike Capital raised $250 million for a marijuana-focused investment firm.

Eaze is reportedly seeking to raise $50 million to $75 million in a new funding round.

Several marijuana companies were included in the Inc. 5,000 rankings.


Football player Bryan Cox Jr. was cited for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Singer Toni Braxton tweeted about a CBD billboard in Times Square.

Actor Dean Cain tweeted that the National Football League “NOT be testing for marijuana– it’s NOT performance-enhancing.”

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Photo courtesy of Chris Wallis // Side Pocket Images.

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