Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we remind everyone that retail sales of cannabis will begin on Saturday in Maryland. Florida’s attorney general is looking to prevent that in her state. We have an update on the Alabama medical cannabis licensing situation. We note that SAFE Banking is still a topic of conversation on Capitol Hill, and that cannabis made an appearance in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. And finally, we note that the California State Fair crowned some winners in the marijuana category.
Last of the capital area jurisdictions to legalize; first to have a retail market. Sales of cannabis for adult use will officially begin in Maryland on July 1, 2023. Less than a year after the success of a legalization ballot initiative, existing medical dispensaries will now offer products to all adults. Maryland’s geography may work in its favor, as it borders several jurisdictions where adult use is either still illegal (Pennsylvania, West Virginia) or where retail markets do not exist (Virginia, DC). We’ll have a report next week on how the market launch unfolds.
Meanwhile, Florida‘s Attorney General, Ashley Moody is asking the state’s highest court to reject a legalization ballot initiative. The initiative gained enough signatures to appear on the 2024 ballot, but the Florida Supreme Court has to sign off, ensuring that the measure is understandable to voters and contains only one subject. Moody argues in her petition that the initiative does not make clear that cannabis remains federally illegal, and overstates the law’s effect with regards to prices and setting up a market. Further bulletins as events warrant.
An update on last week’s piece on Alabama’s medical licensing woes. Applicants who were denied a license now have until July 13 to appeal that decision. The original deadline was June 26, but due to the issues surrounding application scoring, the deadline was extended.
SAFE Banking is getting some rhetorical love in the Senate. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) believes the measure has bipartisan support and describes the bill as a priority for him when the Senate reconvenes next month. Sponsor Steve Daines (R-MT) also seems optimistic about passage, but cautions against adding provisions that his fellow Republicans will not be able to support.
On the House side, the Armed Services Committee added a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act that would set up a pilot program to study medical marijuana and psychedelics. Sponsored by Nancy Mace (R-SC) and Morgan Luttrell (R-TX), this is still a long way from enactment, but it’s a first step.
The results are in! The California State Fair Cannabis Awards announced its second annual winners this week.
The CA State Fair Cannabis Awards today announced this year’s award-winning cultivars and cultivators from throughout California. More than 250 entries were evaluated for this year’s competition. A total of 63 trophies and medals were awarded, consisting of gold and silver medals by division and category, as well as the coveted Golden Bear trophies for the “Best of California” overall winners.BusinessWire
Be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!