Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
You might think news about Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine wouldn’t appear on a blog devoted to cannabis, but you’d be wrong. Two of the former mayor’s associates were indicted for moving foreign money into U.S. elections. One of their targets was a Nevada gubernatorial candidate; they hoped he would provide them with a cannabis license.
In more traditional marijuana news, two Pennsylvania state senators introduced a bill to legalize cannabis in the state. The legislation includes provisions concerning home grow, delivery, expungement and a low bar to entry.
In New Mexico, an expert panel appointed by the state’s governor recommended using proceeds from recreational marijuana to provide low-interest loans to small cannabis businesses and eliminating taxes on medical marijuana. We’ll be keeping our eye on the Land of Enchantment in 2020.
California made a lot of news this week. The governor signed bills on: social equity, vape packaging, labor peace agreements, “specialty cottage” growers, allowing medical patients to receive free cannabis, and allowing students to use medical marijuana at school. He also approved an overhaul of the cannabis tax system, but vetoed legislation that would have allowed the use of marijuana in hospitals.
The news wasn’t just on the state level this week. A former IRS trial attorney predicted a “tsunami” of 280E audits, as a change in agency policy means that associated companies could come under increased scrutiny.
Meanwhile, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with cannabis industry representatives to discuss banking and other issues. The passage of the SAFE Banking Act has increased banking interest (no pun intended) in serving the marijuana industry.
Finally, times have changed in higher education. When I was in college (many years ago), marijuana was certainly on campus. Now, however, it’s on the syllabus.
See you next week!