Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we report (with skepticism) on the chances of SAFE Banking making it into the omnibus bill. Then we move on to Connecticut, where sales and expungement are in the news. Staying in New England, we examine the potential for New Hampshire legalization. And rounding out the state news, we check in with Missouri, where their new legalization law takes effect. And finally, there’s a new component to driver’s ed classes in Massachusetts.
SAFE BANKING (SIGH)
If it seems a bit too soon for Charlie Brown to have another stab at that football, we join you in noting that Lucy just pulled it out of the National Defense Authorization Act. But that football gag isn’t iconic because it happened once; it’s a 20th century version of Sisyphus because it happens over and over again. The latest iteration of this classic tale involves the omnibus appropriations bill currently up for debate. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) are just sure it can pass this time. Before you allow yourself to become infused with their enthusiasm, however, note that Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), John Thune (R-SD) and Cuck Grassley (R-IA) say it’s a no go.
If you’ll be in The Land of Steady Habits (Connecticut has a lot of nicknames, and this was the one we liked the best) early next month, and would like to purchase some legal cannabis, you’ll be able to do that. Sales will begin on January 10 at seven medical marijuana dispensaries that are now qualified for a hybrid license. But that’s not all that’s going on in Connecticut next month; Gov. Ned Lamont (D) will erase low-level cannabis possession convictions as of January 1.
If you look at a map of the United States showing where cannabis is legal (like this one for instance), you’ll notice one state in the Northeast that stands out. New Hampshire allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes, but adult-use generally is illegal. Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is opposed to legalization, and the state Senate has also been cannabis-hostile. A bipartisan group in the state House has decided to try again – further bulletins as events warrant.
Are 21 or older? Do you live in Missouri? Then, as of late last week, it is legal for you to posses and use marijuana in your state. As with most newly-legal states (Arizona is the outlier), it will likely be a while before you can stroll down to the dispensary to purchase cannabis. Medical outlets will be able to sell to all adults, but there’s no official timeline for that. More licenses are expected in 2025.
Information on the perils of drinking and driving have long been a part of driver’s education courses. Next year, information on cannabis impairment will be part of Massachusetts’ program. Remember: just because something is legal – alcohol, cannabis, texting – doesn’t mean you should do it while driving!
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!