Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we see Senate Democrats introduce a bill to legalize cannabis at the federal level. Florida Republicans, on the other hand, are opposing the state legalization initiative on the November ballot. Speaking of ballots, South Dakota legalization advocates are trying (yet again) to put an initiative on their ballot. As we predicted, there’s already talk of a lawsuit to prevent cannabis re-scheduling. And finally, Minnesota’s first “cannabakery” is open in Minneapolis.

FEDERAL LEGALIZATION

Last week, the news was full of re-scheduling. If Senate Democrats have their way, the new topic of discussion will be de-scheduling. The Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act would remove cannabis from the list of federally controlled substances and allow states to enact their own laws. The industry would welcome such a step, but we’ve seen so many of these measures (including an earlier version of this very bill) come and go that we’re not getting our hopes up.

FLORIDA

In contrast, the Florida Republican Party is taking a different stand on cannabis. As regular readers well know, an initiative to legalize adult-use marijuana will appear on the state’s November ballot. The state GOP has now issued a formal statement opposing the measure. Since the party’s opposition was long assumed, it’s unclear how much effect this will have on the vote. Note that Florida law requires a 60% majority to pass a ballot initiative, so it’s hard to say how this vote will go.

SOUTH DAKOTA

It’s been a while since our last update on events in the Mount Rushmore State, so let’s just see what’s happening there, shall we? South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML) turned in just over 29,000 signatures to the Secretary of State; they need 17,508 valid signatures to get a legalization initiative on the November ballot. South Dakota’s past experience with legalization has been checkered, to say the least. In 2020, voters approved measures to allow both medical and adult-use cannabis in the state. The adult-use initiative was declared invalid by the state’s Supreme Court. In 2022, another initiative failed at the ballot box. How will things go this year? Stay tuned.

RE-SCHEDULING LAWSUIT

As we predicted in our post about the DEA re-scheduling news, litigation to stop the re-scheduling is in the works. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an anti-legalization group, has announced that they will challenge the re-scheduling move in court. The group has set up a Rescheduling Legal Defense Fund and is asking for one-time or continuing donations.

AND FINALLY

If you find yourself in Minneapolis and are in the mood for baked goods, check out Chez Annalise, where you can find CBD-infused scones on offer. At present, it’s takeout only, but a brick and mortar location is set to open soon.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!