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.

The big news this week is that hemp legalization is on its way to the President’s desk.  Noted hemp supporter Sen. Mitch McConnell even signed the bill with a hemp pen.

In other federal news, the Surgeon General has come out in favor of rescheduling cannabis.  He believes the current placement of marijuana in Schedule I has prevented research into the drug.

In California, the Bureau of Cannabis Control has finalized its regulations.  They will now make their way to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) for review.  Marijuana Business Daily has a nice summary of the provisions and what they will mean for businesses in the state.

But the action on the state level is not just on the West Coast.  The inter-state rivalry between Michigan (which just legalized adult-use cannabis) and Illinois continues, as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks out in favor of legalizing marijuana.  In other Midwestern news, Minnesota might also consider legalization, but, don’t hold your breath, votes may not be taken until 2020.

And for the latest on the Utah situation, see Jinouth Vasquez’s post which describes the state of play there, at least as of yesterday afternoon!

See you next Friday!

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

After last week’s dizzying amount of news, it’s nice to settle down a bit and have more of a “regular” news flow.  Not that things haven’t been happening; the elections have led to new initiatives surrounding marijuana.

For instance, there’s some speculation that the new governor of Illinois will seek to follow Michigan’s example and legalize cannabis.

And speaking of Michigan, politicians there are talking about expungement of criminal records related to marijuana use.

In Texas meanwhile,  there’s discussion of legalizing medical marijuana and decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis.

But the news isn’t all with the states; things are happening on the federal level as well.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising that industrial hemp will appear in the farm bill.  And veterans interested in medical marijuana will be happy to know that proposed legislation to loosen restrictions at the Veterans Administration has been announced.

And for those of you thinking about changing careers, the National Institute on Drug Abuse is looking for some professional joint rollers.

See you next week!

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.

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.

The Democratic candidates hoping to take on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner next year gathered on a debate stage Wednesday for the second time in 12 hours, when most of them agreed they would support legalizing marijuana in Illinois.

During testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he supports “more competition” in cannabis research but that he isn’t inclined to grant permits to everyone who applied for permission to study the plant.

Henderson, Nevada, near Las Vegas has approved the sale of recreational marijuana nearly four months after sales began across the state.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.

A federal judge from the U.S. Northern District of Illinois recently ruled that an Illinois state law banning (i) medical cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries from making campaign contributions to any political committee established to promote a candidate for public office, and (ii) candidates and political committees from receiving such contributions, violated the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  The court took the position that because the law singles out medical cannabis organizations, it is another way of restricting or discriminating against content of speech or a particular viewpoint.  This ruling is timely in that Illinois lawmakers have recently introduced bills in the both the IL House and Senate to make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana for medical or recreational use.  The Marijuana Policy Project, a national advocacy group, believes that “[b]y regulating adult use, the state can generate much-needed revenue for the state budget, replace the underground market with regulated businesses, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crime.” A potential win-win all around.

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

Lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois but say the legislation probably won’t come up for a vote until next year.

There hasn’t been much of an increase of teen marijuana use in the state of Washington in nearly five years.

Cannabis-related companies in Alaska, Oregon and Washington seeking capital may find some investors through the Cannabis Investment Network, an organization launching this week that aims to connect marijuana firms with financial backers.

Something we missed that everyone needs to know?  Give us a shout in the comments.