Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we start off with a “little state update.” The biggest news is happening in the smallest places! We look at Rhode Island, Delaware and Vermont. Then, we move on to a decision involving hemp. And finally, we report on a pigeon that delivers more than messages.
And then, there were 19. Rhode Island has joined its New England neighbors in legalizing cannabis. This brings the number of states where adult-use marijuana is legal to 19. After the legislature passed two identical bills (one in the House and one in the Senate), the governor signed the measure, allowing the use of cannabis by those 21 and older. It will take a while to set up a marketplace, but possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, and home grow of up to six plants is now legal.
But the news is not entirely rosy for legalization advocates. In Delaware, the governor vetoed a legalization measure, stating his concerns over the long-term health and economic impacts on the state. The legislature could override his veto, but that hasn’t happened since 1977, so we’ll hang on to our skepticism. Meanwhile, a bill to establish a cannabis marketplace failed in the House. Supporters were planning to bring the bill up again, but it seems a moot point, given the Governor’s actions.
To round out our look at what’s happening in our smaller jurisdictions, we travel to Vermont, where the state has issued the first license for its cannabis marketplace. “I feel like parliamentary procedure doesn’t give you an opportunity to celebrate small moments of joy, and this is kind of a small moment of joy,” said Brynn Hare, the Cannabis Control Board’s executive director.
Turning our attention to the courts, the 9th Circuit recently ruled that delta-8 THC is legal if it is derived from a hemp extract. This means that it is eligible for federal trademark protection. The decision did not opine on the legality of selling delta-8 THC, leaving that matter to the Food and Drug Administration.
In a twist on the old children’s cartoon, Stop That Pigeon, a Peruvian prison has managed to intercept a bird attempting to deliver marijuana to inmates. Prison officials relieved the bird of its cargo and took it to an animal shelter. We hope it can leave behind its life of crime.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!