Feds want to test workers’ hair for cannabis (Newsletter: September 15, 2020) – Marijuana Moment

VA & VT marijuana expungements advance; NM gov: cannabis can fund Medicaid; NE 2022 ballot push begins; DC legalization protects man in fed court

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Internal Revenue Service released a new memo on marijuana industry tax issues, including making payments with large sums of cash. The move seems to be in response to a Treasury Department inspector general’s report from earlier this year that slammed the agency for not having cannabis-specific guidance.

Virginia’s House of Delegates and Senate both approved bills to help people expunge prior marijuana convictions. This comes after both chambers also cleared legislation to stop police from conducting searches or seizing property based on the smell of cannabis alone.

The Vermont House of Representatives advanced a bill providing for expungements of marijuana convictions and letting people grow and possess more cannabis without the threat of jail time than is currently allowed.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) argued that legalizing marijuana could help fund Medicaid amid a budget crunch the state is experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • “Recreational cannabis is one of those areas where that’s $100 million. It doesn’t fix it, but it plugs one of those holes [and] potentially would be enough to do a whole lot in the Medicaid gaps.”

Nebraska medical cannabis activists announced they will pursue a 2022 ballot initiative with “no limitations” after the state Supreme Court ruled their measure this year violated single subject laws with its regulatory and licensing structure.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned an intent to distribute conviction against a man busted by U.S. Park Police for having marijuana, scales and baggies—and it’s thanks to the legalization law D.C. voters approved.

/ FEDERAL

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released several audio spots promoting its reopening of the public comment period on hemp regulations.

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) tweeted, “Here we go again. Dems block a #COVID19 relief bill with *billions* for school safety, unemployment benefits, liability protection & much more. Why? They want to cling to their demands for cannabis research, checks for illegal immigrants & tax cuts for blue state millionaires.”

Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) said he plans to vote against a marijuana legalization bill on the House floor this month.

Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) tweeted, “Our federal #Marijuana laws have achieved nothing for the American people besides generations of incarcerated black & brown kids. It’s time to admit that ugly truth and right this wrong. I support @RepJerryNadler’s #MOREAct”

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted about Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris’s (D-CA) marijuana record as a prosecutor.

The Senate bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of seven.

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got nine new cosponsors for a total of 108.

Georgia Democratic congressional candidate Barrington Martin II tweeted, “When Marijuana is legalized on the federal level, all of those prosecuted and incarcerated for marijuana offenses should be IMMEDIATELY released and paid out a percentage of the revenue accumulated by marijuana conglomerates. This is a non-negotiable.”

/ STATES

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “The majority of Pennsylvanians in Democratic and Republican represented districts want adult-use cannabis legalized now! It is time for legislators to listen to their constituents. There is support in all 203 House Districts and all 50 Senate Districts.”

Ohio regulators disputed reports that they are in active conversations with Michigan officials about a possible agreement for patients to buy medical cannabis in the other state and bring it home.

Illinois lawmakers proposed a compromise to end a dispute about marijuana license application issues.

New Oklahoma medical cannabis rules took effect.

Oregon regulators approved permanent rules for marijuana curbside delivery.

Maine regulators issued additional marijuana business licenses.

An Alabama judge denied a motion to divert a disabled Iraq War veteran from prison to a community supervision program over a marijuana possession conviction.

Massachusetts regulators discussed whether to allow marijuana delivery services to “white label” and rebrand products.

The Virginia Marijuana Legalization Work Group’s Health Impacts Subgroup will meet on Monday.

Michigan regulators published a FAQ about annual financial statements that must be filed by medical cannabis businesses.

Tennessee regulators sent a reminder to hemp farmers about a deadline to report crop acreage to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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.

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/ LOCAL

San Francisco, California cannabis regulators are accepting proposals for technical assistance providers and will hold a bidders conference on Monday.

Harrison County, Kentucky’s judge-executive authored an op-ed calling out the Food and Drug Administration for hurting the hemp industry by slow-walking CBD regulations.

/ INTERNATIONAL

Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez vetoed a marijuana decriminalization bill.

The Philippine Dangerous Drugs Board warned against using cannabinol-infused vapes.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A study found that “cannabis use was significantly associated with greater subsequent total sleep time” and “was not related to a change in sleep efficiency nor sleep fragmentation on days with cannabis use versus days without cannabis use,” concluding that “cannabis use may have a positive effect on sleep duration in middle-aged and older adults.”

A review concluded that “although preliminary findings suggests that low-dose, short-term medical cannabis does not carry significant risk of serious mental health and cognitive adverse effects in older adults without prior psychiatric history, epidemiological studies find a correlation between past-year cannabis use and poor mental health outcomes in community-dwelling older adults.”

/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS

The Tennessee Democratic Party tweeted, “The War on Drugs unfairly targeted Black Tennesseans. @Brandon4Tenn will fight to end this New Jim Crow. Cash bail, private prisons, and long sentences for marijuana use—they’re on the chopping block.”

New Jersey marijuana activists are campaigning for a legalization referendum using banner planes.

Wrong for Montana is a new group campaigning against the state’s marijuana legalization ballot measures.

/ BUSINESS

Colorado retailers sold $226.3 million worth of marijuana products in July, a new record.

Arkansas medical cannabis patients are now collectively spending an average $600,000 a day at 29 dispensaries.

/ CULTURE

A judge granted Clint Eastwood’s request for a temporary restraining order against CBD companies from using his name or likeness to advertise their products.

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