Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Starting our coverage on the federal level, the Department of Veterans Affairs is opposing three bills that would facilitate veteran access to medical marijuana in states where it is legal. We last wrote about the “Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act” in Week in Weed here. Also, 30 members of Congress have asked for more federal research into medical marijuana.
In the banking realm, 33 state attorneys general (along with AGs from four territories and the District of Columbia) have signed on to a letter to Congressional leaders in favor of cannabis banking reform. Eight of the signatories are Republican.
Our look at state activity begins in Illinois this week, as Governor Pritzker has proposed a marijuana legalization plan. The plan would include retail sales, expungement of previous convictions and place an emphasis on social equity.
Meanwhile, a legalization bill has passed the Connecticut House Finance Committee. It is now headed to the full House floor.
Staying on the East Coast, Vermont and the District of Columbia have legal recreational marijuana, but neither jurisdiction permits the sale of the drug. Both of them are trying to change that. In the District, Mayor Muriel Bowser (who joins the “Politicians Now In Favor of Legalized Marijuana” Club) has proposed a cannabis sales program. Note that the Mayor is not seeking to market to tourists. In Vermont, the State Senate passed a bill setting up a marketplace a while ago, it’s now passed the House Government Operations Committee. It’s got to go through another committee and then the full House, before heading to the Governor’s office. Note that the Governor is not enthusiastic about this idea, so it may come to nothing.
In Texas, another piece of legislation to increase the number of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana has been passed by the state House and is on the way to the state Senate.
One question that comes up often in the cannabis sphere is how helpful marijuana could be in alleviating the opioid crisis. Two states have taken opposite views. In Rhode Island, the Health Department has declined to add opioid dependency to the list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana. On the other hand, in Colorado, legislators have recently approved a bill that would allow physicians to recommend medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids.
And finally, if you’ve ever thought that the only thing better than an Oreo cookie would be a CBD-infused Oreo cookie, you may be in luck.
See you next week!