Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we note that New York Governor Hochul has had just about enough of the problems with cannabis licensing in her state. The Vice President held a roundtable discussion on cannabis in the White House. Maryland held a cannabis lottery late last week for social equity licensees. We check in on Virginia to see how that retail market bill is coming along. And finally, the New Orleans Police Department really needs to better secure its evidence room.

NEW YORK

We’ve talked about New York’s cannabis licensing issues many times, most recently here. If you’re thinking, “Get this settled already,” the state’s Governor shares your frustration. Kathy Hochul has ordered Jeanette Moy, commissioner for the New York State Office of General Services, to conduct an examination of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management and its processes for adult-use licensing. See the full news release here.

CANNABIS ROUNDTABLE

Last Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris held a roundtable discussion on federal cannabis legalization. Guests included rapper Fat Joe and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear. Harris called on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to act quickly on its review of cannabis scheduling, and said the current scheduling of cannabis is “absurd and patently unfair.”

MARYLAND

Maryland held a lottery last Thursday for social equity cannabis licenses. 179 lucky winners will need to go through an additional round of vetting before they are able to open their businesses. That process should take about two months, after which time licensees will have up to 18 months to open their businesses.

VIRGINIA

Moving across the Potomac River to Virginia, we thought we’d see how that legislation to set up a retail market is faring. You’ll recall it passed the state legislature and was headed to Governor Youngkin (R) when we last mentioned it. And that’s still where things stand. Youngkin did indicate that he will not sign the bill, but he could allow it to become law without his signature. Or he could veto it. He has until April 8 to act.

“And I had somebody ask me the other day, ‘Are you going to sign the legislation?’” Youngkin said. “And I’ve been talking about this for 60 days. And I said anybody who thinks I’m going to sign that legislation must’ve been smoking something.”

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin at a budget discussion event on March 18

Apparently, the Governor is okay with cannabis-related puns.

AND FINALLY

A tip for police departments: if you’re going to keep cannabis in your evidence room, you need to make sure rats can’t get in. Because they will eat the pot and they will get high. The New Orleans Police Department is dealing with this very problem.

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