Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we check in on Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia – each state is in a different place and heading in a different direction as regards cannabis. On the federal level, we have yet another update on the SAFE Banking Act. Maybe it will pass this term? Or maybe not. In international news, Germany released a draft law that would legalize adult-use cannabis. And finally, the New York Media Softball League took on a CBD sponsor.


We start off this week in Pennsylvania. Two state senators, one a Democrat and one a Republican, introduced Senate Bill 846 late last week that would legalize the adult use of cannabis. The bill also includes provisions governing social equity and expungement. Both public opinion and the fact that many of their neighbors (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland) have legalized are driving this push to legalize.


Meanwhile, in Ohio (another of Pennsylvania’s neighbors), efforts to legalize are centered around a ballot initiative. Legalization advocates turned in over 200,000 signatures in favor of putting cannabis on the ballot in November’s state election. Officials must verify these signatures by July 20. A bipartisan House bill has gone nowhere since being introduced in May, so a ballot initiative seems a more likely path to legalization.


Question: remember when Virginia legalized adult-use marijuana? Whatever happened with that? Answer: not much. As the old saying goes, elections have consequences, and between legalizing and setting up a retail market, an election happened. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) initially took the position that he had no intent to overturn the Cannabis Control Act, and was waiting for legislation to implement retail sales. Recently, however, the administration’s attitude seems to have changed.

Governor Youngkin has stated that he is not interested in any further moves towards legalization of adult recreational use marijuana. So I wouldn’t expect that during his administration.

Joseph Guthrie, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services


Another week, another look at SAFE Banking. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated that marijuana banking is on his agenda for the summer, and is looking for some Republican support. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) calls this “wishful thinking.” And in what must be a melancholy remembrance for supporters of the bill, this week marked the tenth anniversary of cannabis banking’s first introduction in Congress.


Turning our attention to events beyond our shores, Germany‘s Ministry of Health released a draft legalization bill. More information on the bill and the steps necessary to finalize the law are available at the Ministry’s website. Germany has Europe’s largest economy, so one would think the impact of legalization would be far greater than legalization in Malta and Luxembourg.


The New York Media Softball League (with representatives from several New York publications, including High Times) has a new sponsor – Cornbread Hemp.