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 in the South, where Alabama is having some issues with its medical cannabis licenses. Meanwhile, next door in Georgia, independent pharmacies will soon be selling cannabis oil. Heading north to New York, there’s news on the Cannabis Control Board. Then, it’s time for sports. The NCAA may remove cannabis from its list of banned substances, and the NBA will allow players not only to consume cannabis, but to invest in cannabis companies. And finally, Showtime is looking to bring back a popular show with a cannabis theme.
The process of awarding licenses to sell medical cannabis has ground to a halt in Alabama. Late last week, members of the state’s Medical Cannabis Commission voted to stay all proceedings, due to inconsistencies in the data used to score businesses for licenses.
The Commission will work expeditiously to investigate and identify inconsistencies in the score data. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending all current procedural timelines until those matters are resolved.Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission director, John McMillan
No word on when licensing will resume.
The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy recently released a set of rules governing the distribution of low-THC cannabis oil. Two dispensaries have already opened, but these rules would allow registered patients to obtain the oil at many more locations throughout the state. Look for pharmacies to start selling the medicine in late August or early September.
If you cast your mind back to 2021, when New York first legalized adult-use cannabis, you may recall that expectations for the market were pretty high. Not only were visions of dollar signs dancing in everyone’s head, but there was talk that New York legalizing would give momentum for federal legalization. Two years later, we see that things didn’t quite work out that way. The legal market is still small; unlicensed sellers are still omnipresent; and the last time we checked, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug. So who’s at fault here? Well, the blame pie is pretty big, but many fingers pointed at Reuben McDaniel, president of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. He resigned from the state’s Cannabis Control Board last week. Charges of conflict of interest, and a lack of startup capital for social equity licensees were two of the issues surrounding McDaniel, who will still be involved in the industry’s rollout.
THE WIDE WORLD OF SPORTS
Drug testing is a part of sports, and one of the drugs on the banned substances list for college athletes is cannabis. But perhaps not for long. The National College Athletics Association (NCAA) Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports indicated its support for allowing both medical and recreational cannabis consumption. Now the committee will ask the membership for its input. Final action could happen as soon as this fall.
Remember when TV shows ended and were never heard from again? Even if they were popular? Yeah, those days appear to be long gone. The latest show to attract reboot rumors is Weeds – the story of a suburban mom selling pot, back when that was illegal and scandalous.
And it’s not just on the college level that cannabis use is getting a second look. As part of the NBA‘s recent college bargaining agreement, players can now not only use cannabis, they can invest in the industry. The times, they are a-changin’.
Be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!