Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we turn our attention to Europe, where we have an update on the German legalization situation. Closer to home, we check in with both New York and Alabama, to see how things are going in those jurisdictions. And finally, we have to agree with Ohio Governor DeWine that the marijuana situation there is goofy.


Germany has been considering legalizing cannabis for adult-use for a while now, as we most recently reported last month. The latest news is that Health Minister Karl Lauterbach believes a law will be considered in February and go into effect in April of this year. The legislation would not set up a retail market, but would decriminalize cannabis, allow home cultivation and possession, and allow for the establishment of “cultivation clubs,” which would start in July. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this will go forward, as not all of Germany’s states are on board with this plan.


New York’s retail market roll-out has been, well, less than smooth. As we reported last month, the program is facing a lawsuit, alleging that it illegally favors New York residents. Now, applicants are unhappy with the way that licenses are being awarded. See this article for a description of the process and the cause of the angst. But, in a last-minute twist to the story, a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 24 that was to have begun this unpopular process was cancelled. So, no licenses for anyone! Better luck next time?


Speaking of unhappy license-seekers, let’s check in on Alabama. Last month, we noted that medical cannabis dispensary licenses had been paused due to litigation. Now, the court has delayed a hearing on that preliminary injunction from this week to February 28. “It doesn’t smell right” sums up the situation quite accurately.


Ohio voters passed a ballot initiative last year legalizing adult-use cannabis. Now, Ohio finds itself in what Governor Mike DeWine (R) describes as a “goofy situation.” Residents can grow, consume and possess cannabis. What can’t they do? Buy it in a retail market. Guess what this leads to? A rampant black market for unregulated products – just ask DC, New York or Virginia. Here’s hoping the legislature comes together to develop a way to set up a legal market, sooner rather than later.