Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

This week brought the long-awaited South Dakota Supreme Court decision on their adult-use ballot initiative, and, spoiler alert: it wasn’t what cannabis advocates had hoped.  Yet another industry comes out in favor of marijuana banking.  Germany may legalize cannabis.  Uber Eats in Canada is now offering marijuana.  And finally, we all know about Black Friday, but what about Green Wednesday?

south dakota

Despite the support of well over 50% of the Mount Rushmore state’s voters, South Dakota will need to be removed from those lists of states with legal adult-use marijuana.  Seven months ago, the South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments concerning the state’s 2020 ballot initiative legalizing adult-use cannabis.  Last week, they struck down the initiative for a violation of the state’s single subject rule.  So, it’s back to the drawing board for advocates, who are collecting signatures for the 2022 ballot.

cannabis banking

We reported earlier that many of the nation’s governors support banking reform for the marijuana industry.  Now, the credit union industry has joined their voices to the choir.  Eager to offer services in states where cannabis is legal, several trade associations sent a letter to Congress asking for a change in the banking laws.  The fly in the ointment?  Those most in favor of legalization are reluctant to allow banking without some move on federal decriminalization.

germany

Germany’s new governing coalition announced that they will be introducing a cannabis legalization bill early next year.  Of course, there are myriad details to be worked out, but perhaps Luxembourg’s decriminalization has started a trend.

uber eats

If you’d like to order some cannabis in Ontario, Uber Eats will gladly make that happen.  The app now lists Tokyo Smoke on its marketplace.  Customers can order through the app and pick up at any of their locations.  No word yet on any plans to expand to other provinces.

and finally

If you’ve been waiting for a cannabis-themed day to emerge around Thanksgiving, wait no longer.  Green Wednesday is now joining Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.  It’s the day before Thanksgiving, when consumers stock up on cannabis – perhaps with an eye to trying out a new recipe, as we reported here.

Welcome back to the Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Lawmakers called on President Biden to grant clemency to those incarcerated for non-violent marijuana crimes.  Several governors called on Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill.  Speaking of bills, we have the full text of the new Republican legalization proposal.  West Virginia opens its first medical cannabis dispensary.  And finally, if the thought of yet another holiday season has you feeling frazzled, you might want to check out some new Thanksgiving recipes.

clemency

In 2019, candidate Joe Biden spoke out in favor of decriminalizing cannabis and pardoning those in jail for marijuana-related offenses.  Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) are now asking him to make good on those promises.  In a letter sent to the President, they asked him to pardon federal non-violent offenders.  No word yet on the President’s answer to their correspondence.

banking

That’s not the only letter making its way around Capitol Hill.  Almost half the country’s governors signed a letter calling on Congress to pass a marijuana banking law.  Concerned about the dangers of a cash-only industry, they favor the SAFE Act.  This legislation currently forms part of the National Defense Authorization Act – it’s anyone’s guess if it remains.

republican cannabis bill

We reported last week that Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) planned to introduce a marijuana legalization bill.  She’s now done so.  Text of the bill available here.  Info on the bill’s progress available here.

west virginia mmj dispensary

In 2017, West Virginia governor Jim Justice (R) signed a law legalizing medical marijuana in the state.  This month, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors.  Trulieve Morgantown has four dispensary permits and plans to open an additional location in Weston.

and finally

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a way to liven up that green bean casserole, you could add some cannabis to the dish.  Just remember, a little goes a long way.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll be off next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, so look for the next Week in Weed on December 3, 2021.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

We spend a lot of time looking at what’s happening in the states, as that’s where most of the action is right now.  This week, however, let’s turn our eye to the federal government.  Polling suggests that federal legalization is popular, so what are the feds doing to respond to that?  Research on weed made its way into the infrastructure bill.  There’s a bill that would direct the VA to research cannabis and PTSD.  Republicans introduced a bill to legalize marijuana.  A CRS study says the Biden administration could take steps to legalize on its own.  There’s a lot going on!  And finally, Sir Paul McCartney talks about Bob Dylan and marijuana.

cannabis polling

68% of adults favor legal marijuana.  Democrats and Independents support it more than Republicans, but 50% of GOP voters support legalizing.  This year’s Gallup poll shows support holding steady; similar results turned up in a Pew survey earlier this year.  A Rasmussen Reports survey showed slightly higher support across all groups.

research

So what is the federal government doing to “give the people what they want?”  Well, the infrastructure bill lets researchers use something other than government-grown cannabis in their studies.  Testing the marijuana that people are actually buying should give more accurate data.

marijuana and vets

Many vets suffer from PTSD and use cannabis to treat it.  They are allowed to tell their doctors that they use marijuana, but their doctor can’t give them any advice on how best to use it.  A new bill introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) would direct the Veterans Administration to study cannabis to treat PTSD and other diseases.  Correa believes the agency is dragging its feet on research.  He hopes the legislation would spur them to action.

republican cannabis bill

Usually, it’s been Democrats who have been in favor of legalization.  Now, Republicans are getting in on the act.  Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) will introduce the States Reform Act, which would reschedule marijuana and set up a regulatory structure.  How far will this bill go?  Will Democrats sign on as co-sponsors?  We’ll keep our eyes open and let you know!

biden legalization

Could the President just legalize cannabis with a wave of his pen?  Well, not exactly.  A report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says the President has considerable power to influence federal agencies.  So if he can’t just end federal prohibition, he could certainly speed things along.

and finally

Sir Paul McCartney credits Bob Dylan with introducing the Beatles to marijuana.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

This week, we have a check in on Mississippi, Arkansas and South Dakota, to see how the move to legalize is progressing (or not) in those states.  We also link to two run-downs of election results – marijuana appeared on the ballot in many places.  And finally, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are back in the news.

mississippi

Yet another week where the headline in Mississippi is: Still No Special Session to Deal with Medical Marijuana.  The current holdup is that Gov. Reeves (R) wants clear limits on how much cannabis a patient can purchase and how much THC is in that cannabis.  A new twist in this plotline is that the state’s regular legislative session will start in a couple of months, so time is running out to hold a special session.

arkansas

A pro-legalization group, Arkansas True Grass, is gathering signatures for a 2022 ballot initiative that would allow an unlimited license adult-use cannabis market in Arkansas.  They’ve tried and failed in 2016 and 2020, so will this be a case of “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again” or “Three Strikes And You’re Out”?  We’ll keep our eye on this and let you know.

south dakota

Another pro-legalization group, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, finds themselves in a similar position.  They’re also gathering signatures to put adult-use on the ballot.  Of course, this is familiar territory for them, but they’re not counting on the legislature to deliver.  As we’ve reported before, they have every reason to be pessimistic.

election round-up

Even when there aren’t splashy, state legalization measures for voters to consider, marijuana is still on the ballot.  Marijuana Business Daily has their look at the returns here.  Cannabis Business Times focuses on five decisions here.

and finally

Snoop Dogg has released a weed anthem (our question – what took him so long?) and Martha Stewart has a new line of CBD gummies.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Luxembourg becomes the first place in Europe to legalize adult-use marijuana.  We check in on Rhode Island and Mississippi to find out where they stand in legalizing adult-use and medical cannabis.  New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued some proposed rules.  And finally, it’s the time of year when rumors of cannabis in the candy pop up – is there any truth to it?

luxembourg

Legal adult-use cannabis is coming to Europe.  The government of Luxembourg supports legalizing both cultivation and consumption by those 18 and older, in an effort to decrease use of the illegal market.  If you’re wondering where Luxembourg is exactly, it’s a small, landlocked country that borders Belgium, Germany and France.  Could this be a tipping point for the continent generally?  Probably not, but you never know!

rhode island/mississippi update

Moving from one of Europe’s smallest countries to the US’s smallest state, things look promising for legal adult-use marijuana in Rhode Island.  Lawmakers are discussing what a cannabis regulatory system would look like.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, legislators are revising a medical marijuana proposal.  Still no word from the governor on when he might call a special session.

new york

New York‘s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) issued proposed rules allowing medical cannabis patients to grow plants for their personal use.  And the state’s Office of Cannabis Management is working on expungement of cannabis records.

and finally

In the 1970s, it was widely believed that evildoers put razor blades in apples at Halloween.  Since no kid wants to eat apples when candy is available, this didn’t really put much of a damper on the festivities.  Fast forward to the 2020s, and there’s a new rumor – that there’s cannabis in the candy!  Are our children at risk?  Not really.  According to research by University of Delaware Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice Joel Best, reports of these incidents are greatly exaggerated.  So enjoy your trick-or-treating!

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Could DC be allowed to open a legal cannabis market?  The feds look at marijuana research.  We have an update on South Dakota and Mississippi.  And finally, the DEA had some visitors recently.

district of columbia

DC’s legal cannabis journey has truly been a long and winding road.  The District legalized marijuana back in 2014.  At that time, only Colorado and Washington had legalized; Alaska and Oregon joined the group the same year.  But even though cannabis was legal to possess and consume, it was not legal to buy or sell.  For a full discussion of why that is, see this post.  Spoiler alert: Congress still partially rules the District, and there’s been a section in every DC Appropriations bill since legalization that prohibits the District from spending money to set up a legal market.  But maybe, just maybe, things might change this year.  The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that does not include this budget rider.  Of course, we’re a long way from legal sales, but you have to start somewhere.

cannabis research

There are lots of opinions on the value of cannabis, from those who think it’s a cure-all to those who think it’s the devil’s lettuce.  What might help to clear the air is research.  Like all things involving marijuana and the federal government, however, spending money and time on research is not straightforward.  The Veterans Administration continues to oppose research into medical marijuana’s possible use in treating PTSD and chronic pain.  The Drug Enforcement Administration, on the other hand, is about to increase production of cannabis for research by 60 percent.

after the vote

Regular readers will doubtless recall that South Dakota and Mississippi both had legalization measures on their 2020 ballots (South Dakota both medical and adult-use; Mississippi medical only).  Those measures passed by significant margins, and that’s when things got interesting.  To get up to speed, see our most recent South Dakota post here; and our most recent Mississippi post here.  So what’s the latest?

Lawmakers in South Dakota introduced a bill to legalize cannabis for all purposes for those 21 and older, while keeping medical marijuana in place for those under 21.  The chance that the governor will sign such a bill is zero, so unless the legislature can override a veto, it seems unlikely this will go anywhere.

As for Mississippi, supporters of medical marijuana demanded that a promised special legislative session take place.  There appears to be some agreement on what a medical marijuana bill should include, so chances seem better in Jackson than they do in Pierre.

and finally

Even with the increase in research, not everyone thinks the DEA has the right attitude towards controlled substances.  And some of them are willing to dress up in gorilla costumes to get their point across.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Two senators asked the Justice Department to reschedule marijuana.  Supporters of adult-use legalization in Oklahoma began the petition process.  A supporter of adult-use legalization in Ohio went the legislative route.  We have an update on Mississippi.  And finally, a new player got into the cannabis business.

federal decriminalization

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to remove cannabis from the federal controlled substances list.  The senators describe decriminalization as a first step in effectively regulating the industry and addressing the racial impact of enforcement.  Booker and Warren requested an answer by next week.

oklahoma

Turning our attention to the states, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action filed two initiatives recently. They hope to make progress on adult-use legalization at the ballot box, rather than waiting for the legislature.  One initiative would legalize cannabis for anyone 21 or older.  The other would replace the state’s medical marijuana oversight agency.

ohio

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Lake County) announced an adult-use legalization bill.  Callender is currently looking for co-sponsors for his legislation.  The bill would impose a 10% sales tax on cannabis and grandfather in businesses involved in the state’s medical marijuana program.

mississippi

So what about our friends in the Magnolia State?  You may recall that Mississippi voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana in 2020.  It’s been a rocky road to implementation ever since, and now, we’re in a “Will They or Won’t They” situation.  Governor Tate Reeves (R) says he intends to call a special session of the legislature to enact legalization, which sounds like they will.  But, he also says he’s more concerned with getting the program done right than getting it done quickly, which sounds like they won’t.  As always, further bulletins as events warrant.

and finally

If you’re a fan of the E Street Band, or of The Sopranos, you may want to check out Little Steven’s Underground Apothecary.  Steven Van Zandt just announced he’ll be selling pre-rolls at two locations in Massachusetts, with 10% of the profits going to NORML.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Nevada legalizes cannabis lounges.  California allows medical marijuana in hospitals.  Could Nebraska legalize medical marijuana in 2022?  And finally, we check in on Clint Eastwood’s continuing fight against bogus CBD advertising.

nevada

If you’d like to open a cannabis lounge in Nevada, now’s the time to turn in your application.  Under a law that passed earlier this year, the Cannabis Compliance Board looks to award permits for public spaces that would allow cannabis consumption.  Fees range from $10,000 to $100,000, and the Board is particularly interested in hearing from Black and Latino applicants.

california

Terminally ill patients in California hospitals can now use medical marijuana for pain relief.  Under a bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom (D), known as “Ryan’s Law,” patients can consume cannabis under controlled circumstances.  Supporters of the bill hope this will decrease the need for heavy opiate use in the final stages of illness.

nebraska

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.  This adage could be the motto of Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana as they begin yet another quest to legalize medical cannabis in the state.  A previous ballot initiative collected enough signatures, but the state’s Supreme Court invalidated it.  Recent attempts to legalize in the legislature have gone nowhere.  And this effort faces opposition from the governor.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

and finally

Clint Eastwood has appeared in this segment before, most recently here, for his battle against CBD companies using his likeness without permission.  This week, a federal district court in Los Angeles awarded the actor $6.1 million in damages in his action against three CBD manufacturers.  We can only guess that they don’t feel very lucky.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

 

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Mississippi makes some progress towards legalizing medical marijuana.  Pennsylvania lawmakers introduce an adult-use bill.  There’s more news on Illinois licensing.  And finally, a pro-cannabis rally in DC featured a really big joint and a really big dog.

mississippi

When we last checked in on Mississippi, the governor said he would not call a special session of the legislature until he saw a bill he could sign.  He seems to be pleased with what has emerged from negotiations over the issue, as he now says a session could be called within days.  The only fly in the ointment?  State Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner Andy Gipson.  He opposes the idea of legalizing medical cannabis, and said, “This is not what people elected me to do, be a marijuana kingpin.”

***BREAKING NEWS***

Governor Reeves now says the legislation needs changes, but he’ll call a special session “sooner rather than later.”

pennsylvania

Members of the Pennsylvania House introduced a cannabis legalization bill late last week.  This is not their first attempt at permitting adult-use marijuana, but New Jersey’s emerging market has brought the issue to the fore yet again.  The governor and lieutenant governor are both on board, but the Senate may be more of a challenge.

illinois

The roller coaster ride that is the Illinois cannabis lottery continues to provide thrills and chills.  More lawsuits have been filed over licensing this month (subscription required).  The plaintiffs allege that their applications were wrongly rejected or that they weren’t given time to correct errors in their paperwork.

and finally

From our friends at Politico’s Morning Cannabis:

DC ADVOCATES RALLY AT CAPITOL — A 51-foot inflatable joint sat outside the Russell and Dirksen Senate Office Buildings on Tuesday for more than four hours, surrounded by advocates urging Congress to pass decriminalization legislation and to leave the Harris rider — which has prohibited Washington, D.C. from taxing and regulating a marijuana industry for almost seven years — out of the next funding bill. The highlight of the rally, however, was the Saint Bernard named Chance who came to support its owner [see photo]. Chance was a very good boi.

Kennedy and his dog, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (called Chance), call on Congress to legalize cannabis at a rally on Capitol Hill on Sept. 28, 2021. | Natalie Fertig/ POLITICO

Advocates planned their rally in the park outside two Senate office buildings in hope of starting conversations with staffers, though the overwhelming response from onlookers was to smile or laugh and snap a photo. The rally comes on the coattails of D.C.’s city council scheduling a hearing [go.politicoemail.com] to legalize the sale and regulation of cannabis. DC voters approved recreational cannabis sales in 2014.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in legalized marijuana.

Cannabis banking hitches a legislative ride on the National Defense Authorization Act.  Chicago’s new zoning restrictions allow more dispensaries.  Michigan considers tightening restrictions on caregivers.  Adult-use marijuana could become legal in Italy.  And finally, is the NJ Weedman about to go legit?

banking

Stop me when this sounds familiar.  Earlier this week, the House of Representatives voted to add the SAFE Banking Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.  The House still needs to vote on the Act itself, but it looks as if cannabis banking is headed to the Senate.  Exciting?  Not really.  Proponents of federal legalization oppose the bill, as being too narrow.  Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) put it this way, “I will lay myself down to do everything I can to stop an easy banking bill that’s going to allow all these corporations to make a lot more money off of this, as opposed to focusing on the restorative justice aspects.”

chicago

If you’d like to open a cannabis store in Chicago, that just got easier to do.  The City Council voted this week to ease limits on where stores can open and lift the cap on the number of marijuana zones in the city.  Some restrictions still remain, but retailers will now be able to open a store without regulatory approval.

michigan

Lawmakers in the Wolverine State look to crack down on medical caregivers, in an effort to limit illicit sales.  Several bills now making their way through the legislature would limit the number of patients each caregiver can treat and the number of plants they can grow.  Proponents of the legislation believe this would reduce the unregulated supply of cannabis in the state.  Opponents insist that caregivers are not the source of the problem.

italy

Supporters of adult-use cannabis in Italy gathered 500,000 signatures in just a few days on a petition to legalize marijuana in the country.  The measure now goes to the country’s Supreme Court of Cassation.  Assuming it passes muster there, a referendum could happen in early 2022.

and finally

The NJ Weedman, Ed Forchion, is about to join the system.  For years, he flouted the state’s drug laws, and initially, he was suspicious of how legalization would play out.  But after reading the new cannabis rules, he’s thinking of going the legal route.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!