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

It looks like marijuana banking will not be part of the NDAA.  Lawmakers introduced a bill to require the FDA to regulate CBD.  Medical cannabis could become part of veterans’ healthcare.  Federal assistance with state expungement programs might be on the table.  And finally, there’s an area to smoke marijuana at the New York State Fair.

marijuana banking

Advocates of allowing the banking industry to serve cannabis businesses have seen many opportunities to enact legislation come and go.  The latest idea to crash and burn was adding the SAFE Banking Act to the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass military spending bill.  The House Rules Committee put an end to that plan this week.  Although many are disappointed, including Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), some see this as an opportunity to enact more sweeping legislation later.  Further bulletins as events warrant.

cbd regulation

CBD products are increasingly popular, but their legality is less clear-cut.  New legislation would change that.  The CBD Product Safety and Standardization Act of 2021 would mandate that the Food and Drug Administration regulate CBD as a food ingredient and establish labeling requirements and other standards.  The bill has bipartisan support in the House, so perhaps it may get some traction.

medical cannabis for veterans

There’s some evidence that marijuana helps to treat PTSD symptoms, according to a researcher at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).  The problem is that the VA can’t prescribe medical cannabis for veterans suffering from the condition.  The chairs of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus want to change that.  They sent a letter to the VA, asking the department to allow veterans to access marijuana legally, and to do so quickly.  We’ll see what sort of answer they get to their correspondence.

federal expungement

Many states have expungement programs for those convicted of non-violent marijuana crimes.  Now, there’s a bill that would appropriate federal dollars to fund those programs.  Introduced by Dave Joyce (R-OH) and co-sponsored by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the bill would give $20 million to the Justice Department to assist state and local governments in carrying out review and expungement of criminal records.

and finally

In yet another sign that cannabis is increasingly mainstream, the New York State Fair will set up designated areas for smoking in 2022.  After complaints about the smoke at this year’s event, the director is working on a way to allow those who wish to avoid the smell to do so, without harshing anyone’s buzz.

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

A federal district court recently issued summary judgment in favor of a retail defendant in a trade secret misappropriation case involving the alleged misappropriation of a CBD cream formula. On September 3, 2020, Healthcare Resources Management Group, LLC (“HRMG”) filed suit in the Southern District of Florida against several parties, including hemp products retailer Medterra CBD, LLC (“Medterra”), alleging that Medterra misappropriated its proprietary trade secret formula for a CBD cooling cream by selling a product similar to HRMG’s cream. On May 14, 2021, Medterra filed an amended motion for summary judgment against HRMG, arguing that HRMG’s claims for trade secret misappropriation could not stand, as the partial list of HRMG’s ingredients disclosed to it did not constitute a protectable trade secret formula, nor did Medterra “use” or “disclose” any secret formula owned or controlled by HRMG. The court agreed with Medterra, granting its summary judgment motion in full on October 27, 2021. This case serves as an important reminder that trade secret misappropriation claims require proof that a trade secret was either wrongfully acquired, used, or disclosed by the alleged wrongdoer—mere similarity of products is insufficient to succeed on a claim absent these additional elements.

Factual & Procedural Background

The case underlying Medterra’s motion for summary judgment is Healthcare Resources Management Group, LLC v. EcoNatura All Healthy World, LLC, et al., in which HRMG sued various defendants, including Medterra, for trade secret misappropriation related to its CBD cooling cream. Specifically, HRMG alleged that Medterra misappropriated its proprietary CBD cream formula which, according to HRMG’s complaint, “consists not only of the combination of specific ingredients; it also includes the relative percentages of each individual ingredient and the manner in which the specific amount of each ingredient gets blended with the remaining ingredients to form a finished product.”

The relationship between the parties is as follows: Medterra is a hemp-product retailer, which would purchase EcoNatura All Healthy World, LLC’s (“EcoNatura”) CBD cream from HRMG and resell the product to Medterra’s customers. When Medterra and EcoNatura ended their business relationship with HRMG, Medterra began purchasing the CBD cream from EcoNatura directly. HRMG offered to sell Medterra its own CBD cream, but Medterra declined the offer. Notably, at no point did Medterra formulate or manufacture its own product: its role was limited to purchasing and reselling the cream from the supplier.

Despite this, HRMG alleged that Medterra knew the formula and process for making its CBD cream, and continued to sell a cream using HRMG’s proprietary information after their relationship ended. In reality, HRMG only disclosed to Medterra a partial list, created by EcoNatura, of ingredients that were included in the CBD cream and their relative percentages. However, Mederra allegedly did not know that these ingredients were supposedly HRMG’s propriety formula, nor did it know the process for manufacturing these ingredients. And as stated earlier, Medterra played no role in manufacturing the product.

Medterra’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Accordingly, on May 14, 2021, Medterra filed an amended motion for summary judgment, arguing that it did not misappropriate trade secret information because (1) HRMG did not identify a protectable trade secret; (2) Medterra did not misappropriate any trade secret information; and (3) HRMG did not show damages as a result of Medterra’s alleged misappropriation. Medterra further argued that it did not violate the FDUTPA, as (1) HRMG did not establish any “deceptive” or “unfair” practice; (2) the FDUTPA claim is preempted by Section 688,008, Florida Statutes; and (3) HRMG could not establish compensable “actual damages.”

Ultimately, on October 27, 2021, the court agreed with Medterra and granted its motion for summary judgment as explained below. The court found that there was no evidence that any information amounting to the alleged trade secret was conveyed to Medterra or that Medterra used or disclosed that information. It further agreed with Medterra that the FDUTPA claim was preempted.

The court also granted Medterra’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing all three causes of action against it: (1) violations of the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“FUTSA”); (2) violations of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”); and (3) violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUTPA”).

Claims for Violations of the DTSA and FUTSA

Legal Standard

To establish a violation of the DTSA, a plaintiff must show: (1) that it owns a valid trade secret; (2) that the trade secret relates to a product used, or intended for use, in interstate commerce; and (3) that the defendant misappropriated the trade secret. See 18 U.S.C. § 1836(b)(1); IT Works Mktg., Inc. v. Melaleuca, Inc., No. 8:20-cv-1743, 2021 WL 1650266, at *7 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 27, 2021). Similarly, to prevail on a FUTSA claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that “(1) it possessed a trade secret and (2) the secret was misappropriated.” Yellowfin Yachts, Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, 898 F.3d 1279, 1297 (11th Cir. 2018).

For information to be considered trade secret under both statutes, the owner must take reasonable measures to maintain the information’s secrecy, and the information must derive independent economic value from not being generally known to, or readily ascertainable through proper means, by another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of that information. 18 U.S.C. § 1839(3); § 688.002(4) Fla. Stat.

Finally, to be liable for trade secret misappropriation, a defendant must either (1) acquire the trade secret by improper means; (2) disclose the trade secret without the owner’s consent; or (3) use the trade secret without the owner’s consent.  See Hurry Fam. Revocable Tr. v. Frankel, No. 8:18-cv-2869, 2019 WL 6311115, at *13 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 25, 2019) (applying the DTSA standard); Scanz Techs., Inc. v. JewMon Enters., LLC, No. 20-22957-Civ, 2021 WL 65466, at *7 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 7, 2021) (applying the FUTSA standard).

Medterra Did Not Misappropriate HRMG’s Formula

The crux of HRMG’s misappropriation argument is that Medterra knew HRMG had a trade secret in the CBD cream yet utilized the formula for its own profit. However, the court found that even assuming that HRMG had a protectable trade secret, it failed to establish any genuine factual dispute regarding misappropriation as it relates to Medterra.

While HRMG emailed a list of ingredients in its CBD cream to EcoNatura, this email was never shared with Medterra. Further, Medterra was never provided with HRMG’s process for blending, mixing, or manufacturing the product. Although HRMG did provide Medterra with a partial ingredient list (written by EcoNatura) that revealed three ingredients in the cream and their percentages, only one of the disclosed ingredients was listed with the same percentage as that which HRMG alleged was part of its protected trade secret. In addition, there is no evidence that Medterra knew the cream was HRMG’s alleged trade secret or that Medterra knew anything about the process of manufacturing the product. Finally, considering Medterra is simply a retailer, it did not use HRMG’s information to formulate or manufacture its own products.

Therefore, as Medterra did not acquire, disclose, or use any of HRMG’s confidential or proprietary information, the court held that it cannot be liable for trade secret misappropriation.

Claim for Violation of the FDUTPA

To succeed on a FDUTPA claim, a plaintiff must show: (1) a deceptive act or unfair practice; (2) causation; and (3) actual damages. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Performance Orthapaedics & Neurosurgery, LLC, 315 F. Supp. 3d 1291, 1300 (S.D. Fla. 2018). A deceptive practice is one in which “there is a representation, omission, or practice that is likely to mislead the consumer acting reasonably in the circumstances, to the consumer’s detriment.” Zlotnick v. Premier Sales Grp., Inc., 480 F.3d 1281, 1284 (11th Cir. 2007).

However, for certain trade secret misappropriation claims, the FUTSA will preempt any FDUTPA claim.  § 688.008(1), Fla. Stat. To determine whether the FDUTPA claim will be preempted, a court must consider “whether allegations of trade secret misappropriation alone comprise the underlying wrong; if so, the cause of action is barred by § 688.008.” Sentry Data Sys., Inc. v. CVS Health, 361 F. Supp. 3d 1279, 1294-95 (S.D. Fla. 2018). “Thus, a plaintiff’s separate tort claim is preempted by [the] FUTSA if there is no material distinction between the plaintiff’s FUTSA claim and the other allegation.” Id. at 1294–95

Here, the court found that HRMG’s FDUTPA claim against Medterra was preempted by its FUTSA claim as there was no material distinction between the two claims. Both claims are premised on Medterra’s alleged trade secret misappropriation, as the basis for HRMG’s FDUTPA claim is that Medterra sold its proprietary CBD cream without authorization, therefore engaging in unfair, unconscionable, and/or deceptive methods, acts, or practices.

Accordingly, the only unfair or deceptive practice HRMG alleged was the same conduct which formed the basis of its misappropriation claims. Therefore, its FDUTPA claim was preempted.

Takeaways

Before alleging claims predicated upon trade secret misappropriation, a business should ask itself the following two questions: (1) is there any reason my claim would be preempted? (2) even if there is a similar product on the market, was my trade secret improperly acquired, disclosed, or used in creating this product? If the answer to (1) is yes, or if the answer to (2) is no, then a business should carefully analyze whether there is a legal basis to pursue a suit. Not only could you lose at the summary judgment stage, but a motion for sanctions may be brought (as happened here).

The New York State Cannabis Workforce Initiative needs your input.

The New York State Cannabis Workforce Initiative is a collaboration between the New York State School of Industrial & Labor Relations at Cornell University and the Workforce Development Institute. Their mission is to promote and support social equity in the adult-use cannabis market by providing quality workforce development and legal education. Their work, supported in part by a state budget appropriation, prioritizes diversity, equity and quality jobs in the emerging cannabis industry through skills training, entrepreneurism services, workforce supports, legal education for employees and employers, and the development of high-road career pathways.

By answering this survey, you will provide valuable information for workforce development and educational programs being designed for workers, entrepreneurs and businesses.

Please submit your responses by Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

Please share your e-mail in the designated location at the end of the survey to learn more about the project as it moves forward.

Please click here to complete the survey.

You can also access the survey at: https://cornell.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_9YpheZhExIYN74a

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. All responses and respondent information are confidential and will only be used in the aggregate. If you have any questions about the survey or the Cannabis Workforce Initiative, please contact Esta_Bigler_ilr-lel@cornell.edu.

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

This week brought the long-awaited South Dakota Supreme Court decision on their adult-use ballot initiative, and, spoiler alert: it wasn’t what cannabis advocates had hoped.  Yet another industry comes out in favor of marijuana banking.  Germany may legalize cannabis.  Uber Eats in Canada is now offering marijuana.  And finally, we all know about Black Friday, but what about Green Wednesday?

south dakota

Despite the support of well over 50% of the Mount Rushmore state’s voters, South Dakota will need to be removed from those lists of states with legal adult-use marijuana.  Seven months ago, the South Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments concerning the state’s 2020 ballot initiative legalizing adult-use cannabis.  Last week, they struck down the initiative for a violation of the state’s single subject rule.  So, it’s back to the drawing board for advocates, who are collecting signatures for the 2022 ballot.

cannabis banking

We reported earlier that many of the nation’s governors support banking reform for the marijuana industry.  Now, the credit union industry has joined their voices to the choir.  Eager to offer services in states where cannabis is legal, several trade associations sent a letter to Congress asking for a change in the banking laws.  The fly in the ointment?  Those most in favor of legalization are reluctant to allow banking without some move on federal decriminalization.

germany

Germany’s new governing coalition announced that they will be introducing a cannabis legalization bill early next year.  Of course, there are myriad details to be worked out, but perhaps Luxembourg’s decriminalization has started a trend.

uber eats

If you’d like to order some cannabis in Ontario, Uber Eats will gladly make that happen.  The app now lists Tokyo Smoke on its marketplace.  Customers can order through the app and pick up at any of their locations.  No word yet on any plans to expand to other provinces.

and finally

If you’ve been waiting for a cannabis-themed day to emerge around Thanksgiving, wait no longer.  Green Wednesday is now joining Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.  It’s the day before Thanksgiving, when consumers stock up on cannabis – perhaps with an eye to trying out a new recipe, as we reported here.

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

Lawmakers called on President Biden to grant clemency to those incarcerated for non-violent marijuana crimes.  Several governors called on Congress to pass a marijuana banking bill.  Speaking of bills, we have the full text of the new Republican legalization proposal.  West Virginia opens its first medical cannabis dispensary.  And finally, if the thought of yet another holiday season has you feeling frazzled, you might want to check out some new Thanksgiving recipes.

clemency

In 2019, candidate Joe Biden spoke out in favor of decriminalizing cannabis and pardoning those in jail for marijuana-related offenses.  Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) are now asking him to make good on those promises.  In a letter sent to the President, they asked him to pardon federal non-violent offenders.  No word yet on the President’s answer to their correspondence.

banking

That’s not the only letter making its way around Capitol Hill.  Almost half the country’s governors signed a letter calling on Congress to pass a marijuana banking law.  Concerned about the dangers of a cash-only industry, they favor the SAFE Act.  This legislation currently forms part of the National Defense Authorization Act – it’s anyone’s guess if it remains.

republican cannabis bill

We reported last week that Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) planned to introduce a marijuana legalization bill.  She’s now done so.  Text of the bill available here.  Info on the bill’s progress available here.

west virginia mmj dispensary

In 2017, West Virginia governor Jim Justice (R) signed a law legalizing medical marijuana in the state.  This month, the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors.  Trulieve Morgantown has four dispensary permits and plans to open an additional location in Weston.

and finally

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for a way to liven up that green bean casserole, you could add some cannabis to the dish.  Just remember, a little goes a long way.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll be off next week for the Thanksgiving holiday, so look for the next Week in Weed on December 3, 2021.

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

We spend a lot of time looking at what’s happening in the states, as that’s where most of the action is right now.  This week, however, let’s turn our eye to the federal government.  Polling suggests that federal legalization is popular, so what are the feds doing to respond to that?  Research on weed made its way into the infrastructure bill.  There’s a bill that would direct the VA to research cannabis and PTSD.  Republicans introduced a bill to legalize marijuana.  A CRS study says the Biden administration could take steps to legalize on its own.  There’s a lot going on!  And finally, Sir Paul McCartney talks about Bob Dylan and marijuana.

cannabis polling

68% of adults favor legal marijuana.  Democrats and Independents support it more than Republicans, but 50% of GOP voters support legalizing.  This year’s Gallup poll shows support holding steady; similar results turned up in a Pew survey earlier this year.  A Rasmussen Reports survey showed slightly higher support across all groups.

research

So what is the federal government doing to “give the people what they want?”  Well, the infrastructure bill lets researchers use something other than government-grown cannabis in their studies.  Testing the marijuana that people are actually buying should give more accurate data.

marijuana and vets

Many vets suffer from PTSD and use cannabis to treat it.  They are allowed to tell their doctors that they use marijuana, but their doctor can’t give them any advice on how best to use it.  A new bill introduced by Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) would direct the Veterans Administration to study cannabis to treat PTSD and other diseases.  Correa believes the agency is dragging its feet on research.  He hopes the legislation would spur them to action.

republican cannabis bill

Usually, it’s been Democrats who have been in favor of legalization.  Now, Republicans are getting in on the act.  Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) will introduce the States Reform Act, which would reschedule marijuana and set up a regulatory structure.  How far will this bill go?  Will Democrats sign on as co-sponsors?  We’ll keep our eyes open and let you know!

biden legalization

Could the President just legalize cannabis with a wave of his pen?  Well, not exactly.  A report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) says the President has considerable power to influence federal agencies.  So if he can’t just end federal prohibition, he could certainly speed things along.

and finally

Sir Paul McCartney credits Bob Dylan with introducing the Beatles to marijuana.

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

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

This week, we have a check in on Mississippi, Arkansas and South Dakota, to see how the move to legalize is progressing (or not) in those states.  We also link to two run-downs of election results – marijuana appeared on the ballot in many places.  And finally, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart are back in the news.

mississippi

Yet another week where the headline in Mississippi is: Still No Special Session to Deal with Medical Marijuana.  The current holdup is that Gov. Reeves (R) wants clear limits on how much cannabis a patient can purchase and how much THC is in that cannabis.  A new twist in this plotline is that the state’s regular legislative session will start in a couple of months, so time is running out to hold a special session.

arkansas

A pro-legalization group, Arkansas True Grass, is gathering signatures for a 2022 ballot initiative that would allow an unlimited license adult-use cannabis market in Arkansas.  They’ve tried and failed in 2016 and 2020, so will this be a case of “If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again” or “Three Strikes And You’re Out”?  We’ll keep our eye on this and let you know.

south dakota

Another pro-legalization group, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, finds themselves in a similar position.  They’re also gathering signatures to put adult-use on the ballot.  Of course, this is familiar territory for them, but they’re not counting on the legislature to deliver.  As we’ve reported before, they have every reason to be pessimistic.

election round-up

Even when there aren’t splashy, state legalization measures for voters to consider, marijuana is still on the ballot.  Marijuana Business Daily has their look at the returns here.  Cannabis Business Times focuses on five decisions here.

and finally

Snoop Dogg has released a weed anthem (our question – what took him so long?) and Martha Stewart has a new line of CBD gummies.

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

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

Luxembourg becomes the first place in Europe to legalize adult-use marijuana.  We check in on Rhode Island and Mississippi to find out where they stand in legalizing adult-use and medical cannabis.  New York’s Cannabis Control Board issued some proposed rules.  And finally, it’s the time of year when rumors of cannabis in the candy pop up – is there any truth to it?

luxembourg

Legal adult-use cannabis is coming to Europe.  The government of Luxembourg supports legalizing both cultivation and consumption by those 18 and older, in an effort to decrease use of the illegal market.  If you’re wondering where Luxembourg is exactly, it’s a small, landlocked country that borders Belgium, Germany and France.  Could this be a tipping point for the continent generally?  Probably not, but you never know!

rhode island/mississippi update

Moving from one of Europe’s smallest countries to the US’s smallest state, things look promising for legal adult-use marijuana in Rhode Island.  Lawmakers are discussing what a cannabis regulatory system would look like.

Meanwhile, in Mississippi, legislators are revising a medical marijuana proposal.  Still no word from the governor on when he might call a special session.

new york

New York‘s Cannabis Control Board (CCB) issued proposed rules allowing medical cannabis patients to grow plants for their personal use.  And the state’s Office of Cannabis Management is working on expungement of cannabis records.

and finally

In the 1970s, it was widely believed that evildoers put razor blades in apples at Halloween.  Since no kid wants to eat apples when candy is available, this didn’t really put much of a damper on the festivities.  Fast forward to the 2020s, and there’s a new rumor – that there’s cannabis in the candy!  Are our children at risk?  Not really.  According to research by University of Delaware Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice Joel Best, reports of these incidents are greatly exaggerated.  So enjoy your trick-or-treating!

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

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

Could DC be allowed to open a legal cannabis market?  The feds look at marijuana research.  We have an update on South Dakota and Mississippi.  And finally, the DEA had some visitors recently.

district of columbia

DC’s legal cannabis journey has truly been a long and winding road.  The District legalized marijuana back in 2014.  At that time, only Colorado and Washington had legalized; Alaska and Oregon joined the group the same year.  But even though cannabis was legal to possess and consume, it was not legal to buy or sell.  For a full discussion of why that is, see this post.  Spoiler alert: Congress still partially rules the District, and there’s been a section in every DC Appropriations bill since legalization that prohibits the District from spending money to set up a legal market.  But maybe, just maybe, things might change this year.  The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that does not include this budget rider.  Of course, we’re a long way from legal sales, but you have to start somewhere.

cannabis research

There are lots of opinions on the value of cannabis, from those who think it’s a cure-all to those who think it’s the devil’s lettuce.  What might help to clear the air is research.  Like all things involving marijuana and the federal government, however, spending money and time on research is not straightforward.  The Veterans Administration continues to oppose research into medical marijuana’s possible use in treating PTSD and chronic pain.  The Drug Enforcement Administration, on the other hand, is about to increase production of cannabis for research by 60 percent.

after the vote

Regular readers will doubtless recall that South Dakota and Mississippi both had legalization measures on their 2020 ballots (South Dakota both medical and adult-use; Mississippi medical only).  Those measures passed by significant margins, and that’s when things got interesting.  To get up to speed, see our most recent South Dakota post here; and our most recent Mississippi post here.  So what’s the latest?

Lawmakers in South Dakota introduced a bill to legalize cannabis for all purposes for those 21 and older, while keeping medical marijuana in place for those under 21.  The chance that the governor will sign such a bill is zero, so unless the legislature can override a veto, it seems unlikely this will go anywhere.

As for Mississippi, supporters of medical marijuana demanded that a promised special legislative session take place.  There appears to be some agreement on what a medical marijuana bill should include, so chances seem better in Jackson than they do in Pierre.

and finally

Even with the increase in research, not everyone thinks the DEA has the right attitude towards controlled substances.  And some of them are willing to dress up in gorilla costumes to get their point across.

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

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

Two senators asked the Justice Department to reschedule marijuana.  Supporters of adult-use legalization in Oklahoma began the petition process.  A supporter of adult-use legalization in Ohio went the legislative route.  We have an update on Mississippi.  And finally, a new player got into the cannabis business.

federal decriminalization

Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to remove cannabis from the federal controlled substances list.  The senators describe decriminalization as a first step in effectively regulating the industry and addressing the racial impact of enforcement.  Booker and Warren requested an answer by next week.

oklahoma

Turning our attention to the states, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action filed two initiatives recently. They hope to make progress on adult-use legalization at the ballot box, rather than waiting for the legislature.  One initiative would legalize cannabis for anyone 21 or older.  The other would replace the state’s medical marijuana oversight agency.

ohio

Meanwhile, in Ohio, Rep. Jamie Callender (R-Lake County) announced an adult-use legalization bill.  Callender is currently looking for co-sponsors for his legislation.  The bill would impose a 10% sales tax on cannabis and grandfather in businesses involved in the state’s medical marijuana program.

mississippi

So what about our friends in the Magnolia State?  You may recall that Mississippi voters approved a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana in 2020.  It’s been a rocky road to implementation ever since, and now, we’re in a “Will They or Won’t They” situation.  Governor Tate Reeves (R) says he intends to call a special session of the legislature to enact legalization, which sounds like they will.  But, he also says he’s more concerned with getting the program done right than getting it done quickly, which sounds like they won’t.  As always, further bulletins as events warrant.

and finally

If you’re a fan of the E Street Band, or of The Sopranos, you may want to check out Little Steven’s Underground Apothecary.  Steven Van Zandt just announced he’ll be selling pre-rolls at two locations in Massachusetts, with 10% of the profits going to NORML.

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