Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. Ohio legislators are busy writing a marijuana law. STATES 2.0 makes an appearance in Congress. The Department of Health and Human Services released documents related to rescheduling cannabis. The DEA sends a letter to Georgia pharmacies. And finally, if you’re planning a wedding, you have a cannabis option.

OHIO

Last month, Ohio voters told the state legislature that they wanted legal adult-use marijuana. This month, those legislators are adjourning without acting on that directive. Unable to reconcile the divide between pro-cannabis and anti-cannabis members, the legislative session is about to come to an end with no bill to implement the ballot initiative. Those in favor of setting up a retail market can take comfort in the fact that the initiative’s language hasn’t been completely re-written. But anyone who’s watched the drama that is New York’s rollout must be concerned that the illicit market is the only group that will profit.

The longer you have legal possession without legal procurement, the illicit market proliferates rapidly

Trent Woloveck, chief strategy director at Jushi

Fasten your seatbelts folks, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

STATES 2.0

Suppose that rather than attempt federal legalization, the way to legalize cannabis was to let the states do it, without federal interference? This is the rationale behind the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act. If that title sounds familiar, it’s because we’ve seen it before. STATES 2.0, described as a modernized version of the bill introduced several years ago, would allow states to legalize cannabis or not, as they wish, with some restrictions involving interstate commerce, consumption by those under 21 and sales at transportation facilities. The text of the bill is available here.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

If you’re wondering what progress the federal government is making on rescheduling cannabis, you *may* get some sense of that from a large batch of documents released from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently. Why the qualifier? The documents are heavily redacted, so you may glean less information than you might think. Apparently, HHS was interested in the experiences of medical marijuana users, and how cannabis helped them with their conditions. This shows some willingness to consider that cannabis has a medical use, but until there’s a final decision, who knows?

GEORGIA

Earlier this fall, we noted that independent pharmacies in Georgia would begin offering low THC oil to medical marijuana patients. Well, apparently the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) noted that as well, and they didn’t take kindly to it. Pharmacies received a letter from the agency recently telling them the practice is a violation of federal law. But wait, isn’t there a provision that prohibits the Department of Justice (of which DEA is a part) from interfering with state legal medical marijuana programs? We’ve not heard the last of this, for sure.

AND FINALLY

Are you looking to tie the knot in Ohio in late 2024 or anytime in 2025? Would you like a cannabis theme? Weeded Bliss is ready to make that happen. You provide the marijuana; they’ll handle everything else.

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