Biden misspeaks on legalization; Sanders invites crowd to marijuana ceremony; USDA blames DEA for hemp rules; Trump asked for cannabis clemency
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), President Trump’s new White House chief of staff, has consistently voted against marijuana reform measures in Congress. Among amendments he opposed are ones that would expand military veterans’ medical cannabis access, shield state legalization laws from federal interference and protect kids and families who use CBD medicines from prosecution by the Department of Justice. He was also one of a small handful of lawmakers to praise then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he rescinded Obama-era protections for state marijuana laws in 2018.
For at least the second time in recent weeks, former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, appeared to voice support for legalizing marijuana—a policy his campaign says he does not endorse—before quickly correcting himself.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, has repeatedly promised that he’ll legalize marijuana nationwide on his first day in the White House. In a new speech, he added to that by inviting 15,000 people to come personally witness the signing ceremony.
Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue blamed the Drug Enforcement Administration for strict hemp testing rules in comments during a House hearing.
A group of criminal justice reform advocates, Republican officials and NBA star Kevin Garnett are calling on President Trump to pardon and/or commute the sentences of people serving time in prison for marijuana.
President Trump’s reelection campaign published a post arguing that former Vice President Joe Biden (D), a presidential candidate, “made the opioid crisis worse” through his work to pass the 1994 Crime Bill and other punitive legislation.
The U.S. attorney for Massachusetts spoke about his opposition to safe consumption sites for illegal drugs and expressed concerns about the hefty payments some municipalities require from marijuana businesses.
A Baltimore, Maryland businessman pleaded guilty in federal court to bribery and fraud charges related to efforts to obtain medical cannabis business licenses.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics released the first set of data collected under the First Step Act.
A spokesperson for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), a presidential candidate, said he would “pursue every avenue possible” to legalize marijuana.
Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) tweeted, “I got industrial hemp passed. It’s a $100 million dollar industry in Kentucky now. Other states are prospering as well.”
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) tweeted, “Companies shouldn’t be profiting off marijuana when there are thousands of African Americans disproportionately behind bars for nonviolent drug crimes. Point blank.”
California Democratic congressional candidate Liam O’Mara tweeted about discussing the war on drugs with Illinois Democratic congressional candidate Anthony Clark.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced a plan to fund hemp legalization implementation, and the Senate passed hemp legislation but not before amending it to consist of one line that says, “The state of South Dakota will implement a plan for hemp in South Dakota.”
The Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill to fix “glitches” in the state’s hemp law.
The Missouri Senate passed legislation to ban medical cannabis candies.
The chairman of Kentucky’s Senate Judiciary Committee insists he’s not blocking a medical cannabis bill from getting a vote.
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission reported that marijuana-related lobbying expenses in the state increased 32% in 2019, from $1.4 million to $1.9 million.
Ohio regulators issued an update on recalled medical cannabis products.
Michigan regulators issued an advisory bulletin on the issuance process for marijuana business licenses.
Here’s a look at pending Oklahoma medical cannabis reform legislation.
The General Council of the Eastern Shoshone tribe, located in Wyoming, is expected to consider medical cannabis and hemp resolutions on Saturday.
Massachusetts regulators canceled a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new headquarters over coronavirus concerns.
Washington State regulators rescheduled a forum on draft conceptual rules regarding a voluntary marijuana licensee consultation and education program.
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Boston, Massachusetts’s first recreational marijuana store opened.
France’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Health issued a reminder that cocaine does not protect against coronavirus.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study found that “adjunctive cannabidiol at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kg/d led to similar clinically relevant reductions in convulsive seizure frequency with a better safety and tolerability profile for the 10-mg/kg/d dose in children with treatment-resistant Dravet syndrome.”
A study suggested that an obscure cannabinoid, cannabimovone, may be “a novel bioactive compound potentially useful for the treatment of insulin resistance-related disorders.”
/ ADVOCACY, OPINION & ANALYSIS
A poll of likely Democratic primary voters found that they support legalizing marijuana, 80%-14%, back releasing people currently incarcerated on cannabis charges, 90%-6%, and want tax revenue from legal sales directed to communities harmed by the war on drugs, 71%-12%.
NJ CAN 2020 is a new coalition working to convince New Jersey voters to approve a marijuana legalization referendum on the November ballot.
Dixie Brands Inc. and BR Brands LLC signed a merger agreement.
Musician David Crosby is offering advice on rolling joints on Twitter.
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Written by Tom Angell