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NORML | March 19, 2019
 Marijuana Banking Bill Scheduled For Committee Markup

In the first in what are anticipated to be multiple Congressional hearings to address the federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana, the House Financial Services Committee has scheduled to convene a markup on The Safe Banking Act, HR 1595 on Tuesday, March 26th. Thousands of state-licensed and regulated businesses lack access to the banking industry and are unable to accept credit cards, deposit revenues, or write checks to meet payroll or pay taxes because federal law discourages financial institutions from engaging in such partnerships. This ongoing federal pr....
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NORML | March 19, 2019
 Oregon NORML, In Partnership With The Oregon Justice League, Files Legalization Justice Act of 2020

Justin Strekal
Chief Petitioners Madeline Martinez, Leia Flynn, and Angela Bacca filed a ballot measure to be known as The Legalization Justice Act of 2020 at the Oregon State Capitol on Monday, March 18. All three women are longtime West Coast cannabis advocates. Madeline MartinezMadeline Martinez is the executive director of Oregon NORML and the only Latina member of the board of directors of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws NORML. She generated international headlines when she opened the World Famous Cannabis Cafe in 2009, the nations first public-facing cann....
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Marijuana Moment | March 19, 2019
 First Congressional Marijuana Vote Of 2019 Officially Scheduled For Next Week
Kyle Jaeger
A bipartisan bill designed to protect banks that service the marijuana industry from being penalized by federal regulators will get a vote in a key congressional committee next week. The legislation, which was discussed during the first cannabis-related hearing of the 116th Congress last month, will go before the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday. Reps. Ed Perlmutter D-CO Denny Heck D-WA, Steve Stivers R-OH and Warren Davidson R-OH are the chief sponsors of the Secure and Fair Enforcement SAFE Banking Act. It was formally filed earlier this month, and currentl....
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Marijuana Moment | March 19, 2019
 Hawaii Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Decriminalization Bill In Joint Committee Hearing

Kyle Jaeger
Two Hawaii Senate committees approved a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in a joint hearing on Tuesday. The vote comes two weeks after the full House passed the amended legislation, which makes possession of three grams or less of cannabis a civil offense instead of a crime punishable by jail time. As approved by that full chamber, a first the offense was punishable by a $200 fine under the bill, but the Senate committees lowered it to $30 instead. While the quantity of marijuana is significantly less than in other states have decriminali....
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NORML | March 18, 2019
 New York: the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act MRTA

Tyler McFadden
A.1617, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act MRTA, has been re-introduced this legislative session. The bill would legalize the adult possession, use, and regulated sale of marijuana. Over the past twenty years, many New Yorkers have been negatively affected by the harms of prohibition in New York. With people of color accounting for nearly 85 percent of those arrested annually, the MRTA directs the benefits of taxing and regulating marijuana to these communities. Because structural racism is ingrained in marijuana prohibition, its important that the MRTA both ends ma....
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Marijuana Moment | March 18, 2019
 Cory Booker Appears To Call Out Kamala Harriss Marijuana Jokes

Kyle Jaeger
Sen. Cory Booker D-NJ explained why marijuana legalization is no laughing matter on Sunday and seemed to take a dig at Sen. Kamala Harris D-CA over the way she lightheartedly admitted to smoking cannabis in college. During a campaign stop in Iowa, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate was asked where marijuana fits in his criminal justice agenda. Booker emphasized that a lot of people have a very different perspective on marijuana than I do. His next comment appeared to be a veiled criticism of Harris, a rival presidential candidate, who spoke about her personal expe....
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NORML | March 14, 2019
 The Veterans Equal Access Act Reintroduced

Justin Strekal
In the House, Representative Earl Blumenauer D-OR, a founder and co-Chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, has reintroduced H.R. 1647, the Veterans Equal Access Act, which expands medical cannabis access to eligible military veterans. Presently, V.A. doctors are forbidden from providing the paperwork necessary to complete a recommendation, thus forcing military veterans to seek the advice of a private, out-of-network physician. Passage of this bill would lift this prohibition. At the time of introduction, Rep. Blumenauer said, For too long, our veterans have been den....
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Marijuana Moment | March 14, 2019
 Bipartisan Bill Shields Federal Workers From Being Fired For Marijuana

Kyle Jaeger
Federal agencies couldnt fire employees in legalized states simply because they test positive for marijuana if a bipartisan bill that was introduced in Congress on Tuesday is enacted. The legislation, filed by Reps. Charlie Crist D-FL and Don Young R-AK, along with eight other cosponsors, is designed to provide protections for federal workers who consume cannabis in compliance with state law. Under current law, federal employees can be terminatedor not even hired in the first placeover marijuana, regardless of state law. As Crists office noted in a bill summary obtained b....
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SFGATE | March 14, 2019
  Business Health Lifestyle Legal Activism Science Reviews Beto ORourke announces 2020 presidential bid with platform to legalize marijuana

(image:Wikimedia Commons)
Oscar Pascual
Former Rep. Beto ORourke launched his presidential bid for the 2020 election with a vision to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. The Texas Democrat began his campaign in a trip to Iowa this week, where ORourke spoke to potential voters about his political platform to legalize marijuana. We can free ourselves from the distinction of being the country that imprisons more of its citizens than any other country on the face of the planet, ORourke said during an appearance at a diner in Keokuk, Iowa. And guess what: By and large they do not look like this room. They are b....
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NORML | March 13, 2019
 New York: State legislature signals support for adult-use cannabis legalization
Tyler McFadden
In news that bodes well for the future of cannabis legalization in the state of New York, both chambers of the state legislature have included legalization language in their annual budget proposals. Both budget proposals also address the expedited expungement of certain marijuana-related convictions, implementing social equity programs in the states growing marijuana industry, and diverting tax money earned through the legal cannabis industry to benefit communities that have borne the brunt of the most brutal aspects of marijuana prohibition and the war on drugs in New Yor....
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Marijuana Business Daily | March 11, 2019
 Harvest Health sets cannabis industry standard with $850 million acquisition of multistate operator Verano

Lisa Bernard-Kuhn and Nick Thomas
Arizona-based Harvest Health & Recreation reached a binding agreement to acquire Verano Holdings of Chicago for $850 million, a deal thats considered to be the largest acquisition inked in the U.S. cannabis industry to date. The deal surpasses the previous record for a U.S. acquisition in the cannabis industry MedMens $682 million all-stock purchase of PharmaCann in October. Both acquisitions are a sign that M&A activity will remain brisk in the cannabis industry, with more blockbuster deals down the road. Upon closing, the all-stock deal with Verano will give Harvest o....
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SFGATE | March 13, 2019
 Alaska approves rules to allow marijuana use in licensed shops

(image:Drug Policy Alliance)

marijuana dispensaries to apply for licenses to allow on-site consumption
Alaskas licensed cannabis shops will soon be safe havens for anyone looking for a place to smoke a joint, blunt, or bong. Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer approved a set of regulations on Tuesday to let marijuana dispensaries apply for licenses to allow on-site consumption, according to the Associated Press. Dispensary owners can register for a special onsite use endorsement beginning April 11. Businesses will be required to adhere to a certain set of guidelines before gaining approval of the Marijuana Control Board, including factors such as proper security and ventilation. Vendors....
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Marijuana Policy Project | Mar 08, 2019
 New Mexico`s House of Representatives passes legalization bill

Kate Zawidzki
If you live in New Mexico, contact your senator today asking them to end marijuana prohibition. Yesterday, in a 36-34 vote, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed HB 356, which would legalize marijuana for adults. The bill is a product of a last-minute compromise and incorporates parts of the Republican-sponsored bill. It now heads to the Senate, where any vote is expected to be close. If enough New Mexicans reach out to their state senators, there is a chance the state will legalize marijuana this year Ask your state senator to make marijuana legal for adults tod....
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NORML | March 8, 2019
 The SAFE Banking Act Reintroduced

Justin Strekal
A bipartisan coalition of more than 100 co-sponsors has reintroduced legislation in Congress, The Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act SAFE Banking Act, HR 1595, to allow state-licensed marijuana-related businesses to engage freely in relationships with banks and other financial institutions. Click here to send a message to your member of Congress and urge them to cosponsor the bill. If enacted, banks would no longer face the threat of federal sanction for working with marijuana-related businesses and entrepreneurs. Currently, hundreds of licensed and regulated busine....
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