Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. We see some movement on setting up a retail market in Virginia. Senate Democrats would like to see less re-scheduling and more de-scheduling of cannabis. Ohio released proposed rules for a retail market. Americans support cannabis legalization. And finally, what has Janet Yellen been smoking?
As we’ve discussed before, Virginia legalized cannabis, but has not yet set up a retail market. Prospects for advancing this are less than rosy, but a bill to move forward on adult-use sales passed a Senate sub-committee late last week. Legislators wrangled over the issue of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries a head start; ultimately, that provision was scrapped. The bill now moves to the full committee, which is set to take up the bill today.
As we’re reported before (most recently here), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recommended that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) move cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III. Now, some Senate Democrats are advocating that the DEA de-schedule cannabis altogether. Led by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and John Fetterman (D-PA), the group includes nine other senators, from the West and Northeast.
“(R)escheduling to Schedule III would mark a significant step forward, (but) it would not resolve the worst harms of the current system. Thus, the DEA should deschedule marijuana altogether. Marijuana’s placement in the CSA has had a devastating impact on our communities and is increasingly out of step with state law and public opinion.”Senate Democrats’ letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram
Ohio regulators have released a list of proposed rules for an adult-use retail market. The public has until February 9 to comment, so if you live in Ohio and have something to say about these regulations, there’s no time to waste! Applications for licenses would be available by June 7 and would be issued by September 7.
A new poll shows broad support among likely voters for federal cannabis legalization. Large numbers of people in almost all demographic and political categories are in favor of legalization. Overall, 57% of those surveyed support an end to federal criminalization. Support among young people was particularly strong, at 67% of those aged 18-44.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she tried marijuana in her youth, but didn’t take to it. She “over-prepared” for her trippy experience by smoking cigarettes, and developed a tobacco habit she has since kicked. Now, the Secretary enjoys the mobile game Candy Crush, as a way to take the edge off. She also supports the SAFE Banking Act and finds it “extremely frustrating” that it has not yet been passed.
Be well everyone – we’ll see you next week.