Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we check in on Virginia, to see if there’s any progress on the retail market bill. We re-visit the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina, who are planning to set up their first dispensary. We note that Hawai’i has an adult-use bill moving through their legislature. Trulieve got a tax refund – will that lead other cannabis companies to try to get money back? And finally, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert had a piece on Germany legalizing marijuana.


Last week, we reported that a retail market bill had passed the Old Dominion’s House and Senate. This week, it appears that the retail market has gotten caught up in the debate over building a stadium in Northern Virginia. For those of you not from the Washington, DC metropolitan area, there is presently a stadium in downtown DC, where the NHL and NBA teams play. The owner of those teams, Ted Leonsis, recently announced that they would be re-locating to Northern Virginia, and that they would be getting a brand new stadium in the Potomac Yards neighborhood. An uproar has ensued. Several Virginia lawmakers have indicated that any “yes” vote from them on the stadium construction will require the Governor’s signature on the cannabis bill. Rest assured, we have not heard the last of this.


In October of last year, we reported that the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina had voted to open a cannabis dispensary on their tribal lands and had issued medical marijuana cards to prospective customers. Now, we note that they have scheduled their opening for (no surprise) April 20 of this year. Not everyone is delighted with this news. North Carolina Senators Ted Budd (R) and Thom Tillis (R) have sent a letter to various federal officials asking for a plan to enforce state and federal laws in the wake of this announcement. We’ll probably see more on this before opening day.


Hawai’i’s Senate passed an adult-use cannabis bill this week by a three-to-one margin. The bill now heads to the House, where previous legalization attempts have gone down to defeat. Will this time be different? Stay tuned.


As regular readers know, cannabis businesses are unable to deduct business expenses from their federal (and many state) taxes, like other businesses can, as cannabis is illegal on the federal level. This is a sore spot for business owners, for obvious reasons. Trulieve, one of the country’s biggest cannabis enterprises, has repeatedly filed amended tax returns in an effort to take the deduction, known as 280E. Now, they have apparently been successful in getting refunds. The company declined to say whether these were federal or state refunds and also declined to offer up their legal analysis. But other cannabis companies may decide to follow suit, as the payout to Trulieve was in the millions of dollars.


Have a look at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert‘s take on Germany legalizing cannabis.

Be well everyone. We’ll be off next week, but will return on Friday, March 15.