Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
We have an update on the SAFE Act, as it makes yet another foray into the weeds of enactment. The state of Maryland seriously discusses adult-use legalization. Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority says they won’t supply electricity to marijuana growers with state-legal operations. We’ve got news of a federal hemp bill that growers will welcome. And finally, you won’t see any cannabis ads during the Super Bowl, but hemp is making an appearance at the Olympics.
The House of Representatives passed the America COMPETES Act late last week, with the SAFE Act as an amendment. This makes the sixth time the House has passed a provision allowing cannabis businesses to access the federal banking system. So now it’s on to the Senate, the graveyard of previous SAFE Act incarnations. What does Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have to say about this measure? “China has been steadily building up its military and economic might, and the Democrats’ answer is to help Americans get high.” So, not a fan. And he’s not the only one with concerns; Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) is in negotiations now with Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) to see if some changes to the measure could win their support.
As of this writing, medical marijuana is legal in Maryland, but adult-use marijuana is not. Now, all of that could change, as legislators recently introduced three different measures that would fully legalize cannabis. It’s hard to tell which will emerge as a possible winner, but competition from neighboring Virginia may put some pressure on Annapolis to pass something.
tennessee valley authority
You might not have expected to hear news of a regional electric power company in a marijuana blog, but this is just further proof that there’s a cannabis angle to every story. This item involves the new medical marijuana industry in, you guessed it, Mississippi. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has decided that, as a federally owned utility, it must follow federal laws. Thus, no power for pot.
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) introduced a bill this week that would address several hemp industry concerns. The Hemp Advancement Act of 2022 would allow hemp to contain 1% THC, up from 0.3% currently. It would allow THC levels above 1% during extraction. The bill would also permit non-DEA labs to test the crop for THC, and would count delta-8 in allowable THC amounts.
The Super Bowl is coming up this Sunday, and although there will be a slew of ads to occupy your time between plays, you won’t see any for cannabis. It’s in a “restricted” category, and that means it’s not happening. Of course, you might see Snoop Dogg’s halftime show as an advertisement…
But it’s not just the Super Bowl on this Sunday; the Olympics are happening as well. If you’re a fan of luge and bobsled, know that the sliding tracks are constructed with hemp.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!