Welcome to the 4/20 edition of Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

It’s been a big week for Republicans embracing legal marijuana or marijuana-related products.  Donald Trump, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell have all moved to embrace the plant.

President Donald Trump will lift his administration’s plans for a possible crackdown on states that have legalized marijuana after talks with a Colorado senator, the White House said on Friday, an action that undercuts U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The former House speaker once said he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization. Now, after joining a cannabis company’s board, he is arguing for change.

Today, the Senate Majority Leader has made good on his words. Mitch McConnell has officially filed his promised hemp farming bill.

But it’s not just the Republicans who are giving cannabis a second glance.  Both candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in the New York governor’s race are speaking about legalization.

A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based, Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that it’s now foremost a racial justice issue for her.

Is the governor paving the way to legalizing recreational marijuana in New York?

In non-political news, it looks like the FDA is going to approve the use of an epilepsy drug made from the marijuana plant.

The medication would treat seizures that typically affect children.

GW Pharma spiked to an 11-week high Tuesday after an internal review hinted at the likelihood the FDA will approve its cannabis-based anti-seizure drug.

Happy 4/20 everyone!  In case you’re wondering about the origins of this celebration, check out Leafly’s article here: The Origin and Meaning of the 4/20 Holiday.

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

California, Oregon and other marijuana-friendly states are seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in hopes of resolving the conflict between federal and state laws that has left the nation’s cannabis industry in legal limbo.

The chief executive of one of Canada’s largest banks said it would weigh financing cannabis companies after legalization takes place later this summer. TD Bank CEO Bharat Masrani said the Toronto-based financial institution is studying the issue, and any potential clients in the cannabis industry should have a presence only in countries where recreational or medical cannabis remains legal on a federal level, according to the Canadian Press.

Experts have proposed using medical marijuana to help Americans struggling with opioid addiction. Now, two studies suggest that there is merit to that strategy.

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

Protections for medical marijuana programs were included in the recently passed budget bill.

The amendment to protect state-approved medical cannabis programs, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, has been included in the federal omnibus funding package, which would keep the programs safe from federal interference until at least September.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be prohibited from going after state medical marijuana growers, retailers, and patients for at least another fiscal year.

Hot on hemp? Senator Mitch McConnell wants to remove it from the controlled substances list.

While in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell announced he will introduce a bill to legalize hemp as an “agricultural commodity.”

The head of the U.S. Senate announced on Monday that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial hemp and allocate federal money for cultivation of the crop.

Thinking of majoring in marijuana in college?  You can do that in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has released application rules for universities and hospitals in the state interested in researching medical marijuana.

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

Legal recreational marijuana was on the ballot in Illinois this week, and Chicagoland is strongly pro-pot.

Cook County voters overwhelmingly came down in favor of making weed completely legal Tuesday.

Voters in the largest county in Illinois overwhelmingly approved a ballot question calling for the legalization of marijuana on Tuesday.

Voters in dozens of suburbs outside Chicago took on ballot questions Tuesday including sales tax increase requests, referendums on whether video gaming should be legalized and various school building proposals.

“Don’t Tread on Me” may be New Hampshire’s slogan, but the phrase can also apply to the Alaska House.

State legislators send a clear message to the Trump administration.

The Alaska House is asking the federal government not to interfere in state-authorized marijuana businesses.

 

 

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

It’s no secret that Attorney General Sessions is not a fan of marijuana.  So his statement that law enforcement would not be pursuing small cases came as a bit of a surprise.

Federal prosecutors won’t take on small-time marijuana cases, despite the Justice Department’s decision to lift an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. authorities from cracking down on the pot trade in states where the drug is legal, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Saturday.

Law enforcement lacks resources to take on ‘routine cases’ and will focus on gangs and larger conspiracies, attorney general says.

California has a beef with Weedmaps and their listings of unlicensed dispensaries on their website.

Weedmaps apparently doesn’t plan to drop its listings for unlicensed California marijuana businesses any time soon.

“We note at the outset that Weedmaps is a technology company and an interactive computer service which is subject to certain federally preemptive protections…of the Communications Decency Act,” the company’s letter to Bureau of Cannabis Control chief Lori Ajax stated.

New Jersey has a new governor, and one of the big differences between him and the old governor has to do with marijuana.

Murphy, a Democrat who took office in January after eight contentious years of Republican Governor Chris Christie, said that he wanted to raise taxes on millionaires, close loopholes for hedge funds and big businesses, legalize recreational marijuana and phase in free community college.

Gov. Phil Murphy wants state lawmakers to pass legislation legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana in New Jersey by the end of the year — despite a lack of widespread support from lawmakers in his own party.

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

Massachusetts has promulgated final rules for cannabis regulation.  Look for TBT’s analysis of those new regulations shortly.  Until then, here’s some news coverage:

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has finalized the regulations for the state’s voter-approved recreational cannabis industry, four months before the program is set to go live, according to a WBUR report.

Massachusetts got closer Tuesday to making recreational marijuana sales in the state a reality this summer after the approval of final regulations for MJ companies.

Massachusetts just got a whole lot closer to welcoming its first-ever recreational marijuana shops, and it looks like they’ll be in business on schedule at the beginning of July.

Continue Reading The Week in Weed: March 9, 2018

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

Probably the biggest news this week was the dismissal of the lawsuit over the scheduling of marijuana.

A federal judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit pitting a diverse cadre of cannabis advocates against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A judge on Monday dismissed a lawsuit challenging federal laws criminalizing marijuana as unconstitutional, saying the five plaintiffs had failed to pursue changes in the drug’s legal status by first going through the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Here’s how the lawsuit fell short.

Nevada legalized recreational marijuana in July of 2017.  What’s the status of the industry?

Nevada lawmakers have green-lighted permanent rules for the state’s adult-use cannabis industry.

Since starting recreational marijuana sales six months ago, Nevada retailers have sold more than $195 million worth of cannabis, or more than $1 million a day.

Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport has installed “marijuana amnesty boxes” on the grounds for passengers who forgot to ditch their legal bud.

And finally, there’s a Illinois congressional hopeful who’s lighting up online.

It’s a true sign of the times when a congressional candidate smokes marijuana for campaign ad.

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

Less than two months after California’s legal cannabis industry launched on New Year’s Day, state officials are starting to target hundreds of marijuana companies that are operating illegally without a license.

As the opioid crisis deepens, an increasing number of researchers and advocates are looking at legal marijuana as a possible solution.

A bipartisan bill was offered in the House on Thursday seeking to circumvent attempts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to encourage stricter enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal.

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

Two weeks ago, we reported on San Francisco’s decision to wipe out past marijuana convictions.  Now Seattle is following suit.

Five years after Washington state legalized marijuana, Seattle officials say they’re moving to automatically clear past misdemeanor convictions for pot possession.

Washington voters moved to legalize the drug in 2012.

City of Seattle to Nullify All Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Convictions From Years Prior to Legalization.

Meanwhile, our neighbors to the north are making deals with companies ahead of legalization.

The Ontario government has inked a deal to use Shopify Inc.’s e-commerce platform for cannabis sales online and in stores as part of its plan to be the province’s sole distributor of legal recreational marijuana.

Six companies announced they have signed letters of intent with Quebec’s liquor board to supply cannabis and related products.

If you’re wondering how many dispensaries are operational in states where medical marijuana is legal, this listing will be of use.

Seeing how many dispensaries are in each state is a perfect illustration of evolving marijuana laws.

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

One of the problems with a new industry is coordinating supply and demand.  Maybe Oregon and California could work together to solve both their problems.

Oregon’s top federal prosecutor said the state has a “formidable” problem with marijuana overproduction that winds up on the black market.

California’s top cannabis regulator said the state deserves credit for a successful rollout of retail marijuana sales, but acknowledged that significant issues loom in the near future.

Another week, another bit of marijuana banking news, as Fourth Corner Credit Union will be able to serve the industry – but there’s a catch.

Fourth Corner Credit Union will be allowed to bank marijuana related business but has to stay away from dispensaries, Fed says.

Fourth Corner won’t serve dispensaries, focusing on ancillary businesses such as accountants and landlords.

And finally, a useful survey from The Cannabist.

It’s been a month since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, Obama-era Department of Justice guidance on enforcement of federal law in states that legalized marijuana in some form.