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USDA makes hemp intellectual property move; Study: smoking psychedelic toad venom decreases depression; McConnell visits hemp company

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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee approved a medical cannabis bill, just days after advancing separate legislation to decriminalize marijuana.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture began accepting applications to protect intellectual property rights related to hemp varieties.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared at a Kentucky hemp company facility to tout his role in federally legalizing the crop amid his 2020 reelection effort.

A study found that smoking a single dose of psychedelic toad venom “produces rapid and persistent improvements in satisfaction with life, mindfulness and psychopathological symptoms” and that “ratings of depression, anxiety and stress decreased.”

/ FEDERAL

President Trump said he believes that anti-drug advertisements have been effective.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and Mike Lee (R-UT) are pressing the Office of Personnel Management to drop a proposal requiring federal job applicants to disclose whether they’ve ever been through a criminal diversion program.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a presidential candidate, spoke about her support for marijuana legalization and providing drug treatment on demand. She also said that people caught in in the drug war should be first in line to get jobs in the legal cannabis industry, and said she would pardon some non-violent drug offenders.

Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) tweeted, “Nevada’s marijuana businesses deserve the same access to financial services and banking as every other business. The #SAFEBankingAct would finally provide equal access to banks for all of Nevada’s law-abiding businesses.” She also tweeted, “Lack of access to banking causes financial and safety issues for Nevada’s marijuana industry. I’ll continue to push for equal access to financial services for Nevada’s booming new businesses.”

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) predicted that his marijuana banking bill will hit the House floor within the next four to six weeks and that it has 50-50 prospects in the Senate.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) mentioned marijuana policy in a news advisory about a Friday press conference she is holding with Washington, D.C.’s mayor about congressional interference in the city’s laws.

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT) tweeted about a podcast interview he did “to discuss all things # Hemp – it’s history, future, & most importantly its positive economic implications for #Connecticut.”

/ STATES

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed bills to expand medical cannabis access for more patients, and regulators implemented the changes immediately. Separately, a conference committee altered a decriminalization bill to increase penalties for certain amounts of marijuana.

Alaska  Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) said he does not plan to file legislation this session to eliminate the state’s marijuana regulatory body.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) touted his signing a medical cannabis expansion bill as part of a blog post looking back at his first 100 days in office.

Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidates agreed during a debate that medical cannabis should be legalized, with one going further to say that marijuana should be decriminalized.

Illinois’s treasurer tweeted, “Medical marijuana businesses are legitimate businesses. Without access to banking services, they deal in cash. That makes them more likely to be a target for crime, or makes them more likely to engage in fraud, or tax evasion.”

Indiana lawmakers sent a hemp bill to the desk of Gov. Eric Holcomb (R).

The Texas House of Representatives unanimously gave its final approval to a hemp legalization bill. Meanwhile, a House committee approved a medical cannabis bill. Separately, a representative sponsoring a marijuana decriminalization bill scheduled for a Thursday vote offered an amendment to increase its chances of passage.

The New Hampshire Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved a House-passed bill to allow home cultivation of medical cannabis.

Pennsylvania House and Senate Democrats will hold a Policy Committee hearing on marijuana legalization on Monday.

Mississippi lawmakers created a task force to study hemp.

South Dakota lawmakers will conduct a study on hemp during the legislative interim.

Arkansas regulators will reissue medical cannabis cards to patients who received them but haven’t been able to access the drug due to slow program implementation.

Massachusetts regulators launched an online open data platform with information about the state’s marijuana market.

Michigan regulators will consider medical cannabis business license applications on Thursday.


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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/ LOCAL

Columbus, Ohio’s City Council president is proposing to lower marijuana penalties.

The Denver, Colorado City Council’s Safety, Housing, Education & Homelessness Committee took public comment on the city’s program to help people seal marijuana records.

/ INTERNATIONAL

British Columbia, Canada’s top health official is calling for the decriminalization of drug possession.

Thailand’s government created a committee to consider a request to allow medical cannabis home cultivation.

The president of Uruguay’s House of Representatives met with medical cannabis companies.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

A review concluded that CBD “showed efficacy as anti-seizure, antipsychotic, neuroprotective, antidepressant and anxiolytic” and that its “neuroprotective activity appears linked to its excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.”

/ BUSINESS

Fotmer Life Sciences of Uruguay and Clever Leaves of Colombia became the first two Latin American companies to win approval to export medical cannabis to Europe.

/ CULTURE

Rapper B-Real spoke about smoking marijuana with former boxer Mike Tyson.

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