Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. Happy 2024 – let’s start the year off with a shout-out to Colorado, where the retail market is celebrating an anniversary. There’s an update on Alabama’s medical cannabis licensing program (meet the new year; same as the old year). The DEA is conducting a review of cannabis scheduling. And finally, we have an update on the Weed Nuns.

COLORADO

January 1, 2014 marked the opening of Colorado’s retail market for adult-use cannabis. Since that time, the industry has taken in $15 billion in revenue, with the state collecting $2.6 million in taxes and fees. As of January 2024, 24 states have legalized adult-use cannabis; over half the US population lives in a state where it is legal.

Since Colorado voters legalized cannabis a decade ago, Colorado has developed one of the leading regulatory systems in the world and inspired countless others like it across the country and around the globe.

Governor Jared Polis (D-CO)

ALABAMA

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… Alabama’s medical cannabis licensing program has hit another road bump. This time, it’s dispensary licenses that have been put on pause, while a judge hears a challenge to the selection process. Other licenses have been issued, but it must be a bit nervous-making for those able to cultivate, transport or test cannabis, if they don’t know if they’ll be able to sell their product.

DEA REVIEW

What better way to start the New Year than by catching up with old friends? The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sent a letter to lawmakers last month that was less a holiday catch-up and more of a “yeah, we know the HHS says we should re-schedule cannabis, but we’ll make up our own mind” update. As always, further bulletins as events warrant.

AND FINALLY

A year ago, we had an update on the Weed Nuns, noting that they had expanded their operations into countries outside the U.S. One of those countries is Mexico, where the Sisters of the Valley (the official name of the group) has set up shop. Most of their marketing is conducted online, as laws are much stricter in Mexico than in much of the US. They bring in much less money than the US operation, $10,000 annually, compared to $500,000. But hey, you gotta start somewhere!

Be well everyone – we’ll be off next week, but will return on Friday, January 19.