Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we see a lot of finger-pointing over CBD regulations. The Senate now has a companion bill to the House’s PREPARE Act. Could South Dakota overturn its medical marijuana law? And finally, a former Minnesota governor looks to launch his own cannabis brand.


Late last week, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee’s subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services held a hearing on the FDA’s inaction on CBD regulations. Witness statements and a link to the hearing are available here. Everyone seems to agree that regulations are necessary for the industry. Where the consensus breaks down is in whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently possesses the authority to write those regulations. (Think of it as Dorothy and the ruby slippers…) Interestingly enough, the Republicans, usually quite concerned about executive agency overreach, are the ones saying the FDA has all the power it needs, and the Democrats are saying Congress needs to act first. See dueling quotations below:

FDA announced earlier this year that it needs a new regulatory framework for hemp and CBD. Translation: Give us more authority. Give us more money. Give us more staff and only then will we actually do our duties under the law.

Lisa McClain (R-MI)

We need reasonable regulation of the hemp and hemp derivative marketplace to protect consumers and to ensure the good actors in the hemp industry can grow their businesses and we could have a legitimate and flourishing market in hemp. FDA realistically cannot regulate the entire world of hemp and its derivatives without additional research authority and resources.

Jamie Raskin (D-MD)


Add this to the “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” file. Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) reintroduced his  Preparing Regulators Effectively for a Post-Prohibition Adult Use Regulated Environment (PREPARE) Act, in an effort to “prepare” the government for federal cannabis legalization. The bill would set up a commission to study how federal legalization could best be accomplished, using states (specifically Colorado, no surprise) as a model. The commission would be advisory only, with no rulemaking authority. Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) tweeted (or should that be X’ed?) his support:


If this were happening in any other state, one might be forgiven for taking a “the guy’s just a crackpot” view of this story. But, it’s South Dakota, where unusual things happen in the cannabis world. A longtime opponent of marijuana legalization, Travis Ismay, has submitted a measure for the 2024 ballot. His initiative would repeal the legalization of medical marijuana in the state, forcing all dispensaries to close and making any use of cannabis a crime. The state Attorney General has issued a summary of the ballot measure, and the public has until Sunday to comment on it. Assuming the proposal advances, Ismay would need to collect 17,000 signatures to put the measure up for a vote. Stay tuned…


From 1999 to 2003, a former professional wrestler was Governor of Minnesota. Now Jesse Ventura (I) would like to get into the cannabis industry. He’s looking to be the first “major politician in America” to have his own cannabis brand. Setting aside whether he meets the definition of “major politician,” he may have some competition from within his own state. Former Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL) is planning to launch a line of THC-infused beverages.

Be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!