Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
To cap or not to cap, that was the question facing the state of Florida this week. Lawmakers wrestled with the issue of capping THC content in medical marijuana for those patients under the age of 21. The Senate Rules Committee questioned the rationale for such a cap, causing the measure to stall in that chamber. Undaunted, the House is now considering an identical proposal attached to a state Department of Health bill.
Turning our attention to New England, Connecticut‘s General Assembly Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week on a marijuana legalization bill. In Vermont, legislation to establish a marijuana marketplace passed on a second reading in the House. Both states might want to look at their northern neighbor, Maine, as a cautionary tale. Although recreational sales were expected to begin this month, they’ve been postponed until June.
Medical marijuana made the headlines in two states this week. In Utah, sales began at the state’s first dispensary, located in Salt Lake City. Meanwhile, in Nebraska, we see proof of that old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows. ADOPT (Adopt a Decrease in Oppressive Property Taxes) joined Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana to push for a ballot initiative allowing medical cannabis.
In Minnesota, regulators have suggested that one office should oversee all aspects of both hemp and medical marijuana. If the state legalizes adult-use cannabis, the office would handle that as well.
In Ohio, ’tis the season for ballot petitions. A group called Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol filed a petition to legalize recreational marijuana. They see legalization as a solution to problems with the medical cannabis program.
For those of you wondering whatever happened to the man transporting hemp through South Dakota, prosecutors dropped the most serious charges against him. He pleaded guilty to ingesting marijuana and cocaine.
So what’s happening on the federal level? The Department of Agriculture delayed a requirement that the DEA conduct all THC testing on hemp crops. The requirement will take effect on October 21, 2021 or upon publication of a final rule, whichever comes first. Over at the Food and Drug Administration, new director Dr. Stephen Hahn called it a “fool’s errand” to prohibit CBD use; the industry is still awaiting federal regulations.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin painted a vivid picture of the IRS’ problems with the lack of banking services to the marijuana industry. “We have to build cash rooms to take in large amounts of cash where people owe us taxes, because we want to collect the taxes, and those entities are not banked,” Mnuchin said. The Secretary indicated that his department has limited ability to handle this problem, and he urged Congress to “deal with this one way or another.”
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Finally, has Canadian marijuana legalization gone too far? An eight-year-old raffle winner at a youth hockey tournament thought he was bidding on chocolates; instead, he took home a prize of cannabis products.
See you next week!