Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Our big news this week is that the American Bar Association asked the Small Business Administration to make marijuana-related companies eligible for relief funds. There’s plenty of state news also. Iowa votes to reform its medical marijuana program. Maine faces lawsuits over its out-of-state licensing. New Jersey considers decriminalization. We have a look at which states are most likely to legalize cannabis and there’s more on the Petsmart saga. Plus, we have the latest on an Oklahoma trademark dispute.
As regular readers know, marijuana businesses, including what the SBA refers to as “indirect marijuana businesses” (non-plant touching businesses, such as law firms and accounting firms that provide advice and services to plant touching businesses) are not eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relief funds. The American Bar Association would like to change that, at least for those law firms that advise cannabis companies. The organization sent a letter this week to the SBA asking them to reconsider their policy barring companies that have any dealings with cannabis firms from receiving money under the PPP. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) supports a lawsuit to force the issue with the agency.
The Iowa Senate passed a bill making changes to the state’s medical marijuana program. It sets a THC cap of 4.5 grams per patient over a 90-day period, which is more restrictive than the current limit. Terminally ill patients could get a waiver. It also broadens the number of conditions eligible for medical cannabis prescriptions. There’s some question over whether Governor Reynolds will sign the legislation, as she vetoed a similar bill last year.
Maine recently dropped a residency requirement for ownership of recreational marijuana businesses. This has been met with a lawsuit filed by the Maine Cannabis Coalition, arguing that the state had no right to eliminate the residency requirement absent action by either a court or the state legislature.
Legislators introduced a decriminalization bill this week that would remove criminal penalties for crimes involving possession of less than one pound of marijuana. It also includes expungement of past crimes and sealing of criminal records. This move comes ahead of a vote on legalization this November.
where is legalization likeliest?
Speaking of New Jersey, it tops Motley Fool’s list of four states most likely to legalize cannabis in 2020. Although they emphasize the “wow” factor of Mississippi showing up on the list, South Dakota’s appearance is even more surprising. They and Idaho are the only states in the country that allow no form of cannabis whatsoever. It will doubtless be an interesting Election Day.
cbd for pets
PetSmart has appeared more in this blog lately than one might have expected, given that it mostly sells pet food and supplies. They attempted to branch out into the CBD oil market, but were met with two lawsuits, alleging their products did not work as advertised and were not approved by the FDA. Both plaintiffs dropped their actions without prejudice (meaning we may not have seen the last of them) and without a reason. Further bulletins as events warrant.
what’s in a name?
The dispensary formerly known as the Dank of Oklahoma will choose a new moniker. The Bank of Oklahoma filed a trademark infringement suit against the company, alleging it tarnished the good name of the bank and confused customers. No word yet on a new name.