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White House slams cannabis banking in Dem COVID bill (Newsletter: August 10, 2020) – Marijuana Moment

State ag depts.: extend hemp program; Senator talks marijuana on floor; OR officials analyze drug decrim & psilocybin measures; USDA OKs hemp plans

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The Trump administration joined congressional Republicans in criticizing marijuana banking provisions in Democrats’ latest COVID bill. 

  • “In one instance they have provided guarantees for banking access for marijuana growers. That has absolutely nothing to do with coronavirus,” Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President MIke Pence and former White House legislative director said.

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the National Industrial Hemp Council are pushing Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to extend hemp pilot programs for states that haven’t yet been able to finalize regulations under the 2018 Farm Bill.

Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) took to the Senate floor to make the case that legalizing marijuana must be a part of police reform and racial justice efforts, and to discuss her new bill that would federally regulate cannabis like tobacco.

  • “It is time to legalize marijuana, and we should do it in a practical and commonsense way that protects the health and safety and the civil rights of our communities.”

Oregon officials finalized summaries of measures to decriminalize drug possession and legalize psilocybin therapy that are on the November ballot. The drug decriminalization initiative will mean “significant reductions in racial/ethnic disparities in both convictions and arrests,” a state panel said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture approved hemp plans for Maryland and another Indian tribe, bringing the total number of approved plans across states, territories and tribes to 55.


The Department of Veterans Affairs’s Veterans Health Administration tweeted, “Marijuana: natural = safe, right? Not necessarily.”

Libertarian presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen tweeted, “The DNC just refused to add legalizing marijuana to their platform, it’s been on the LP platform since day one.”

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) tweeted, “My priority is helping Louisiana families struggling during this pandemic. Democrats are using the unemployed as a point of leverage to pass the entirety of their HEROES Act, which mentions marijuana more than jobs. Lets put families first.”

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) tweeted, “Heroes Act is a cruel joke: Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, soil enhancement studies, diversity in cannabis industry, pay people not to work – nothing for schools, small businesses or jobs.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) tweeted, “Pelosi & Schumer held up relief for the American people because they wanted a liberal wishlist that talks more about “cannabis” than a ‘job.’ Today President Trump took action to make up for Democrats’ failures. He stepped up to deliver targeted relief to the American people.”

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) said a psychedelics decriminalization ballot measure will make Washington, D.C. “the mushroom capital of the United States.”

The House bill to deschedule marijuana and fund programs to repair the harms of the drug war got one new cosponsor for a total of 81.

Alabama Democratic congressional candidate Kiani Gardner tweeted, “I don’t have strong feeling about marijuana, but at least once a day, I get furious thinking about US pot laws that make (mostly white) millionaires in one states and tear apart (mostly black) families in another.  Turns out, I have really strong feelings about marijuana.”

Maryland Republican congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik tweeted, “Next week, I will introduce my proposal to lower crime, violence, the homicide rate & to truly make a dent on the war on drugs. It’s 1 piece of legislation.”


Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor tweeted, “It’s astonishing society is OK with lethal, highly addictive opioids, but a *mushroom* is illegal. Same, cannabis. Let’s all consider that- sit back with a bottle of Jack Daniels + fire up a Marlboro.”

Michigan’s attorney general and secretary of state warned voters that people are circulating ballot petitions described as “supporting medical marijuana initiatives” but that actually concern completely different policy areas.

Florida’s agriculture commissioner tweeted, “On #NationalCBDDay, if you’re out shopping for #CBD products, be sure to check for the Florida #Hemp seal. We established Florida’s State Hemp Rules to ensure quality, consistent, and safe products for consumers.”

North Carolina agriculture commissioner candidate Jenna Wadsworth tweeted, “Cannabis legalization offers a viable economic opportunity to farmers & rural communities. #Cannabis could foster true social justice opportunities for communities of color through decriminalization & HUB firms being distribution channels.”

An Arizona judge rejected a lawsuit seeking to keep a marijuana legalization measure off the ballot over claims its summary is misleading.

Nevada regulators approved a partial settlement of a lawsuit challenging the state’s marijuana business licensing process.

Oklahoma has a new top medical cannabis regulator.

Florida’s Hemp Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday.

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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The Chatham County, Georgia Board of Commissioners approved a marijuana decriminalization proposal.

Several California cities and counties will vote on local marijuana ballot measures in November.

Vermilion Parish, Louisiana prosecutors agreed to a deal to release a man who was serving a life sentence for selling $30 worth of marijuana.


South Africa’s cabinet approved a bill to legalize marijuana possession and home cultivation.

Polish authorities detained an unnamed cannabis executive and a regulator in charge of registering medical products for allegedly engaging in an illegal approval scheme.

Only 257 people have benefitted from Canada’s marijuana pardon program in its first year.


A study found that “prescription stimulant use was higher in states without medical marijuana laws.”

A study concluded that “marijuana gateway effects may exist” but that “results demonstrate that the phenomena used to motivate belief in such an effect are consistent with an alternative simple, plausible common‐factor model” and that “no gateway effect is required to explain them.”


The Pennsylvania Democratic Party tweeted, “Ending marijuana prohibition is an issue of racial justice, criminal justice, and economic justice.”


Actor Rob Lowe discussed psychedelics with Joe Rogan.

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