Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Our first big story is legalization in Illinois. The law takes effect on January 1, 2020. That makes 11 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational cannabis.
If you’re wondering why Illinois has succeeded where New York and New Jersey failed, the Marijuana Business Daily has a great piece discussing that very phenomenon.
There was some movement in New York, however. The legislature decriminalized cannabis, once legalization failed.
In other state action, Maine has approved regulations for its recreational marijuana industry. Sales are expected to begin in 2020. In New Hampshire, the governor signed a bill allowing physicians’ assistants to prescribe medical cannabis, and in Massachusetts, regulators have approved proposed rules allowing marijuana cafes and delivery services.
Moving out west, Oregon would very much like to sell its surplus cannabis in other states, but federal law stands in its way. The governor signed a bill allowing the export of marijuana, but there’s no federal policy allowing interstate transport.
Significant action happened in the U.S. House, as legislators passed an amendment to a spending bill to prohibit the Justice Department from taking action against marijuana businesses in states where it is legal. The Senate must also approve this rider, so no promises this will appear in the final bill.
We don’t often mention Idaho in this column, as its policies are among the strictest in the nation. But that might be about to change. Advocates of legalization have filed an initiative to put medical marijuana on the 2020 ballot. Assuming the initiative is approved, the next step is collecting signatures. Stay tuned for further developments.
And in international news, Ireland has legalized medical marijuana, and Switzerland is looking to do the same. In Canada, the first mobile app marketplace for alcohol (the aptly named Boozer) is looking to expand into the cannabis space.
See you next week!