Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Possibly the biggest news this week was the first ever Congressional hearing on cannabis banking.  From the hearing’s webpage, you can watch the hearing, read the committee’s memorandum and read the witnesses’ prepared statements.   The committee memorandum has a great graphic of state marijuana laws – only three states allow no marijuana consumption in any form.

And speaking of state laws, several jurisdictions are moving forward with some form of legalization.  A full legalization bill was introduced in the Illinois legislature; a full legalization bill was passed out of a Senate committee in Hawaii; a House committee in New Mexico has passed another such bill, but more committees will need to weigh in before the full chamber votes.

In New Yorkthose in favor of legalization are pushing for changes to Gov. Cuomo’s bill introduced last month.   And the City of Baltimore has decriminalized marijuana possession, even though recreational cannabis is not legal in the state of Maryland.

Although no bill has yet been introduced, the Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania meanwhile has embarked on a listening tour to gather input on whether that state should legalize.

And the federal bill with the easy-to-remember number has now been introduced in the Senate.  S. 420 is a companion bill to H.R. 420 introduced last month.

One of the arguments used in favor of legalization is the amount of sales (and sales tax) generated by legal cannabis.  Colorado is looking at $6 billion in sales in 2018, and Oklahoma‘s medical marijuana program saw over $4 million in January 2019.

Since people are starting to throw their hats in the ring for the 2020 Presidential election, here’s the first in what will doubtless become a series: “Where the Candidates Stand on Marijuana.”  Kamala Harris (D-CA) has indicated that she is in favor of legalization.

And finally, the Massachusetts marijuana industry may be getting some publicity from an unlikely source: billboards in Connecticut.

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Let’s start off this week’s post with some international news.  The World Health Organization is recommending that cannabis should be removed as a controlled substance under international treaties.  The recommendations will come up for a vote in March of this year.

Banking for the cannabis industry is a subject we watch closely.  In California, it’s been revealed that a credit union has surreptitiously (until now) been providing financial services to several marijuana businesses for the past year.

Turning our attention to the Midwest, which does seem to be the latest hotbed of cannabis activity, we find that Ohio medical marijuana sales have been very strong.  Illinois is now allowing those prescribed opioids to obtain temporary certification for medical cannabis.  Yet another indication that full legalization is in the cards?

Following up on our Tennessee coverage, the legislature is now considering validating out-of-state medical marijuana cards for use in the Volunteer State.  And Arkansas has now licensed 32 medical cannabis dispensaries, with sales possible by April.

New York looked as if it was on the verge of full legalization, but that may have changed.  Governor Cuomo’s budget does not include any additional money for law enforcement dealing with a new set of circumstances after legalization.  We’ll keep our eye on this situation, obviously.

And finally, if you had to pick a stock ticker symbol for a cannabis company, could you do any better than POT?

 

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Arizona’s medical marijuana sales jumped a whopping 41% in 2018 – sales are estimated to have been $400 million.  Not chump change by anyone’s standards.

Regular readers will doubtless recall that Arkansas’ medical marijuana program was off to a sluggish start.  They have finally issued the first dispensary licenses and cultivation sites are now all under construction.

Connecticut is looking to legalize marijuana – a new legalization bill has just been introduced.  New England is rapidly giving the West Coast a run for its money as a leader in cannabis legalization.

Turning our attention to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico marijuana businesses are now without a banking option.  Not surprisingly, those in the industry are concerned about the safety issues inherent in operating in a cash-only environment.  Meanwhile, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, medical marijuana is now legal.  The hope is that this may spur additional tourism.

CBS has announced that it will not air a medical marijuana ad during the Super Bowl.  One wonders if this is the kind of decision that will provoke laughter in years to come.

And finally, if you’re a furloughed federal worker, check out the website offering free cannabis.

With just under four weeks until Election Day, the push to legalize medical marijuana in Utah continues to progress. After years of failed efforts in the state legislature, the issue is being presented directly to voters by way of Utah Proposition 2, the Medical Marijuana Initiative. If the referendum passes, it will legalize medical cannabis for individuals with qualifying conditions. Eligible conditions include autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and chronic pain where the patient is unable to use opiates, among several other ailments. Continue Reading Give and Toke: Utah Reaches Compromise Agreement on Proposed Medical Marijuana Policy

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

The latest entry in our “politicians now supporting marijuana” category is Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX).  And no, he’s no relation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The move would be a full 180 for Sessions, who has personally blocked dozens of cannabis policy amendments and bills from consideration on the floor of the House via the Rules Committee, which he chairs.

Not all government officials are in favor of legalization, however.  The former attorney general of North Dakota is actively working against the ballot initiative.

As North Dakota voters look to decide whether to approve adult-use cannabis in the state’s November general election, opposition is mounting.

Apparently, it’s not just young people using cannabis.  Older Americans are lighting up as well.

Boomers are experimenting with marijuana more than ever before.

Finally, when Canada legalized marijuana, it was only a matter of time before the National Hockey League had to issue a statement.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly says the NHL does not expect to change its rules on marijuana with the legalization of cannabis in Canada coming on Oct. 17.

California—already famous (or infamous) as a sanctuary in the immigration area—could soon become a sanctuary for medical marijuana users. A proposed bill would protect medical marijuana users from employment discrimination. Continue Reading Into the Weeds: Will California Employment Law Protect Medical Marijuana Users?

Seyfarth Synopsis: Marijuana businesses must properly label their products if they contain chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive health problems.  Failure to do so will result in a civil penalty or civil lawsuit.

Entrepreneurial Plaintiff’s attorneys have now set their sites on marijuana businesses.  Since January 1, 2017, Plaintiff’s firms have issued approximately 800 violation notice letters to marijuana businesses alleging that producers of cannabis infused edibles and vape cartridge manufacturers failed to warn consumers about specific fungicides and pesticides associated with their products.

California’s Proposition 65, or the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires cannabis business owners to provide customers with warning of the chemicals contained in their products which can cause cancer, birth defects, and other health problems.  Among the substances “known to the state of California” to cause cancer, birth defects and other health problems are marijuana smoke itself, and the chemicals myclobutanil (also a fungicide), carbaryl, and malathion, commonly-used pesticides. Continue Reading Beware: Marijuana Businesses Targeted With Product Labeling Violation Letters

We could not let 4/20, National Weed Day, pass without a post, so here is an article from the Associated Press on the history and origins of the “holiday.”