Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Often, our news summary focuses on the states – they seem to have all the action. This week, however, we start with news from the federal government. The SAFE Banking Act is back. There’s new legislation that would allow cannabis companies to buy insurance. And the Biden administration takes action against staffers who have used marijuana. We have updates on two states moving towards legalization: New Mexico and New York. And finally, Arizona is offering edibles to those who get their COVID vaccinations.
safe banking act
A bipartisan group of Senators introduced the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act earlier this week. The legislation never came up for a vote in the Senate in the 116th Congress, but that chamber is now under new management. Will it be more successful this time around?
insurance for marijuana businesses
Another bill attracting bipartisan support is The Clarifying Law Around Insurance of Marijuana (CLAIM) Act. This would allow businesses to purchase insurance products, and allow insurance companies to sell them, without fear of federal penalties. It would also allow companies who provide space or services to the cannabis industry to do so openly, without fear of losing their insurance.
One of the week’s biggest stories centers around Biden administration staffers, who were fired, suspended or asked to work in a remote setting, due to previous cannabis use. Despite numerous states’ having legalized or moving rapidly in that direction, the federal prohibition poses problems for security clearances.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced that a special legislative session will convene next week to consider a cannabis legalization measure. Unable to debate the bill in the regular session that just ended, the Governor said she wanted to have more time to deal with amendments. “…rushing through amendments in the final hours of a session, when there’s a mountain of other very important work to be done, is not the right way to do something of this magnitude.”
The “Will They or Won’t They” plot line that has plagued New York’s efforts to legalize for years may finally be coming to an end. News outlets are reporting that Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) and lawmakers reached a deal to allow adult-use cannabis. A vote could come as soon as Saturday, but next week may be more likely. Once again, further bulletins as events warrant.
We’ve reported before on marijuana-related incentives for people to get their COVID vaccines. Who could forget DC Marijuana Justice’s Joint for Jabs program? Now, The Mint, an Arizona dispensary chain, is offering edibles to those who present a vaccination card at one of their stores.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!