Trump ally joins CBD board; Most marijuana-friendly Congress in history; Coast Guard bans cannabis event visits; UK PM hires legalizers for key posts

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

Democratic presidential candidates clashed on marijuana, crime and drug policy during a debate, with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) bashing former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) legislative record and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) ripping into the prosecutorial conduct of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA).

Marijuana Moment’s latest analysis shows that just seven months in, the 116th Congress is already most cannabis-friendly Congress in history. There have been at least 61 cannabis bills filed, seven hearings held and several committee and floor votes on bills or amendments.

A new U.S. Coast Guard order bans personnel from visiting cannabis businesses or participating in “any event or with any entity that sells, promotes, celebrates, encourages, or seeks to further the use of marijuana,” saying that doing so would be “contrary to our Core Values.”

Judge Jeanine Pirro, one of President Trump’s favorite Fox News hosts, has joined the board of directors of cannabis company HeavenlyRx Ltd.

  • “My interest in CBD stems from a curiosity after hearing people say how much they benefited from CBD.”

New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hired two outspoken marijuana legalization advocates for key administration posts, moves that activists say bode well for cannabis reform.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)—the Senate’s second highest ranking Democrat—filed a bill to move marijuana to Schedule III and expand research on the effects of cannabis.

/ FEDERAL

A Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on challenges in administering Crime Victims Fund programs references an earlier report uncovering improper use of funds to pay for medical cannabis.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) tweeted about how a bill she recently filed “would ask @USGAO  to create a study on the barriers to entry faced by #women & #minority entrepreneurs in the #Cannabis industry.”

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) said, “I think if someone is legitimately taking medical marijuana prescribed to them by their physician, that they shouldn’t be discriminated against for that and they shouldn’t be barred from federal employment.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Marijuana has long been a driving force in our country for mass incarceration. As co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, I know @KamalaHarris will work to end our nation’s discriminatory marijuana laws and bring about true criminal justice reform.”

/ STATES

The office of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) pushed back against county attorneys’ concerns about having local agencies distribute medical cannabis but suggested that a special session to address any needed changes in the state’s program is on the table. Separately, regulators rejected protests from companies concerning their decision to award only eight of ten medical marijuana cultivation licenses.

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R) suggested that legalizing marijuana leads to homelessness and “disease and things that have spiked up as a result of people who are coming for the fact that they can smoke pot legally.”

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) discussed opposition to marijuana reform in a podcast with a popular local former college football coach.

Mississippi Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert Shuler Smith supports legalizing medical cannabis.

The spouse of the lead sponsor of Illinois’s enacted marijuana legalization bill has taken an executive position with a cannabis company.

A Louisiana law allowing patients to inhale medical cannabis takes effect on Thursday.

West Virginia regulators announced that four companies, including JP Morgan Chase, submitted bids to handle medical cannabis banking issues for the state.

California regulators began accepting applications for local marijuana equity grant funding.

Ohio regulators issued guidance on the state’s new hemp law.

Michigan regulators will hold an education and outreach session about the state’s marijuana social equity program on Monday.

New Jersey regulators are hosting a workshop on harm reduction drug policies on August 21.


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.

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

/ LOCAL

The state attorney in Tallahassee, Florida notified police that he will no longer prosecute marijuana cases until there is a process to determine whether seized products are legal hemp.

Fayetteville, Arkansas police defended their enforcement of marijuana laws in response to a critical report from activists who say they aren’t abiding by a voter-approved measure to make misdemeanor cannabis offenses the lowest priority.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his government will introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana.

Thailand’s public health minister said that no foreign businesses will be allowed to grow marijuana in the country. Meanwhile, the justice minister confirmed that the program to allow cannabis for medical and scientific uses complies with international law.

Lesotho’s government is revamping medical cannabis rules.

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil said that in response to a recent stabbing case, he is “going to arrest potheads on the beach. Whoever is smoking marijuana on the beach will be arrested.”

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “THC measured in [oral fluid] is a good predictor of THC measured in blood” but that “as blood and OF concentrations depart from 0 ng/mL, the proportion of [true positives] (sensitivity) decreases, which might be a concern for law enforcement” and that “the likelihood of accurately predicting THCblood from THCOF is lower for drivers who were simultaneously using cannabis and other drugs.”

A study of people who had uncomfortable experiences with marijuana edibles found that “the vast majority of the sample used cannabis edibles again, reported that the experience was at least somewhat meaningful, and did not report significant problems associated with the experience.”

The University of Michigan is hosting a symposium on psychedelic neuroscience and therapy in September.

/ BUSINESS

CannTrust Holdings Inc. appointed a financial advisor to conduct a strategic review of options, including a sale of the company, following revelations it illegally grew marijuana in unlicensed rooms.

FSD Pharma removed the chair of its scientific advisory board following his resignation from a Thomas Jefferson University medical cannabis research center amidst allegations of sexual harassment.

4Front Ventures Corp. will begin trading on the Canadian Securities Exchange on Tuesday.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.’s stock surged to a record after boosting its profit forecast and reporting growing sales from its marijuana-focused subsidiary Hawthorne Gardening.

UPS customer support tweeted that “unfortunately, we don’t ship cannabis products however we do ship CBD.”

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The post Presidential candidates debate cannabis and crime (Newsletter: August 1, 2019) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.