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?
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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!