Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Connecticut and Rhode Island may legalize adult-use cannabis, but then again, they may not. Montana makes some progress in setting up a marketplace. Louisiana decriminalizes marijuana possession. There’s a move in Congress to decriminalize all drugs, including cannabis. And finally, we see a new plant making an appearance at the Philadelphia flower show.
As Yogi Berra would have said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.” And in Connecticut, cannabis legalization is not over. Earlier this week, the Connecticut Senate passed an adult-use bill. Then Governor Lamont (D) said he would veto the measure, due to concerns over how social equity applicants would be defined. Now, the Connecticut House has passed a bill that revises the offending section. Will the Senate agree to this new version? Will the Governor sign it? Stay tuned!
Connecticut’s Senate passed the House bill, and it now heads to the governor’s desk.
So what’s going on next door in Rhode Island? A Senate committee passed a legalization bill that will make its way to the full Senate for a vote next week. What will happen after that is anyone’s guess, as the House is dealing with a budget bill that takes priority over other legislation, and they have three different bills to consider. A special session could be in their future.
Regular readers will recall that Montana was one of the states that legalized marijuana in November 2020. They’re now getting ready to open up an adult-use market. Until the end of the year, only existing medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to sell cannabis in the state, but a full market will open in 2022. Opponents of the ballot initiative dropped a lawsuit, which claimed the initiative was unconstitutional, so the sailing now looks pretty smooth.
Possession of a small amount of cannabis will no longer land you in jail in the Pelican State. As of August 1, possession of up to half an ounce will be a misdemeanor and bring a $100 fine. As for full legalization? Governor Edwards (D) thinks it will happen, but not in the near future.
So what’s happening on the federal level? There’s a new measure about to be introduced that would decriminalize possession of all drugs, including cannabis. Sponsored by Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), the bill would encourage states to decriminalize as well.
The Philadelphia Flower Show is the country’s biggest show of its kind. People (before COVID) would come from all over to see floral and landscape displays. This year, they could also see a marijuana display.