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 retail market bill make progress in the Virginia legislature. There was a Senate vote in South Carolina on medical marijuana. A cannabis initiative could make its way onto the Arkansas ballot this November. Rep. Blumenauer wants a status report on re-scheduling. And finally, Ozzy Osbourne speaks out in favor of legalization.

VIRGINIA

There’s been lots of action this week in the Old Dominion. The state’s House and Senate each passed bills setting up retail markets for cannabis. Now each bill will move to the other chamber for consideration. There are difference in the bills, so we’re probably looking at a conference committee to work those out. Of course, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R) has publicly stated he has no interest in setting up a retail market. If he’s presented with a bill, will he veto it? We’ll just have to wait and see.

SOUTH CAROLINA

While Virginia debates a retail market, South Carolina is discussing access to medical cannabis. Legislators moved a bill out of the state Senate this week; next stop the state House. Two years ago, we were in the same place, and the House tabled the bill. Will the same thing happen this year? Stay tuned…

ARKANSAS

Cannabis advocates in Arkansas would like to expand access to the state’s medical marijuana market, and they’ve decided to go the ballot initiative route to accomplish that. The state’s Attorney General recently rejected proposed language over uncertainty as to how this would work with existing laws, as well as some formatting issues. Now the Arkansans for Patient Access have submitted a new version of the initiative, which adds a section prohibiting the state legislature from making changes to the language. Smart move, based on what we’ve seen in other states.

RE-SCHEDULING

As we know, the Drug Enforcement Administration is considering rescheduling cannabis. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) would like an update on how that’s going and sent the agency a letter asking for some information.

Marijuana’s continued inappropriate scheduling is both arcane and out-of-touch with the will of the American people

Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Not everyone is on board with rescheduling of course. The agency also received correspondence from Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), an opponent of moving cannabis from Schedule I.

The current HHS recommendation to reschedule marijuana lacks both substance and data

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)

AND FINALLY

It’s no secret that Ozzy Osbourne has used a variety of substances over the course of his life. Now living a life described as “California sober” (yes to weed; no to everything else), he supports federal legalization of cannabis, in part to steer people away from tobacco.

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