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

The big news on the federal level was the reintroduction of the SAFE Banking Act, by sponsor Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat from Colorado.  Lest you think this is strictly a measure supported by Democrats from states with legal recreational marijuana, know that several Republicans and legislators from states that have not yet legalized are also co-sponsors.

As for the states, there was lots of movement this week on the legalization front.  In New Mexico, the House passed a compromise bill that would allow adult use; now it goes to the Senate.  Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the governor and Democratic legislators have reached an agreement in principle to legalize recreational cannabis.

What about New York? Well, it looks as if it won’t be the next state to legalize.  Gov. Cuomo is walking back expectations that a deal will happen in the next couple of weeks.  To continue with our survey of activity in the “New” states, the New Hampshire House has passed a bill to allow medical marijuana patients the ability to grow cannabis at home.

And the NFL is thinking of changing its policies around marijuana in the next collective bargaining agreement.  Does that mean that teams in states that have legalized cannabis would have an advantage in keeping or attracting players?

And finally, in a bit of generational irony, it turns out that the generation least likely to support legal marijuana is Boomers.  Clearly, we are a long way from Woodstock.

See you next week!

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

Starting off in the international sphere, the European Parliament has passed a resolution recommending the descheduling of cannabis.  The hope is that this could lead to the establishment of bloc-wide medical marijuana laws.

In South Korea, medical marijuana will be legalized in March.

Among the states moving towards legalization of cannabis or medical cannabis are: Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Vermont (which currently has a “DC-style” system: you can grow it and you can use it, but you can’t buy it or sell it).

New Jersey’s move to legalize had been held up by tax considerations.  Now that those have been worked out, look for a bill to be introduced in the legislature in the near future.

The New Mexico Senate has approved a bill allowing the use of medical marijuana in schools.  The legislation now moves to the House.

Lawmakers from Maryland have formed a bipartisan group to study legalizing recreational cannabis in 2020.  The state currently allows the use of medical marijuana, which has generated $100 million in sales in its first year.

And speaking of sales, Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program brought in $132 million in its first year.

One of the difficulties facing cannabis businesses  is the lack of access to financial services.  Alaska’s Credit Union 1 seeks to change that next month.

The United Parcel Service is less than happy over the logo used by United Pot Smokers.  The first UPS is suing the second UPS in federal court for trademark infringement.  If High Times suggests it’s time to drop the “sassy parody brands,” it probably is…

Finally, from the “I Could Have Told You That” files, researches have discovered a correlation between recreational marijuana laws and junk food sales.

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

In what may become another continuing feature, another “red” state appears poised to being the marijuana legalization process.  Member of the Nebraska legislature are looking to put medical cannabis on the 2020 ballot.

Meanwhile, if there were an award for best name of a marijuana store, the Gas N’ Grass in Portland, ME would win, hands down.

The fact that Michigan has legalized cannabis, but not the sale of cannabis is not problem for one entrepreneur, who has embraced a “gifting” model.

Although New Jersey is on our “states to watch” list, adult use legalization is not going to happen this year.  We’ll see what 2019 brings.

We reported last week that Minnesota was considering marijuana legalization.  For more info and some great analysis, see this blog post from the Minneapolis Criminal Law News.

Andrew Cuomo has appeared before in our “politicians coming around on marijuana” segment.  He’s now fully in support of full legalization.

In international news, New Zealand will have a binding referendum on cannabis legalization in 2020.  We promise to follow this news and report back in a future Week in Weed.

Sometimes it seems as if everyone is in favor of legal cannabis.  This is not true.  Take New Hampshire’s governor.

See you next Friday!

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, at least on the federal level, is that hemp legalization appears to be coming sooner rather than later.  Nothing like having an important Senator on your side to smooth the way.

In state news, marijuana stores in Massachusetts opened last week (after WIW went to press) with many customers eager to purchase their wares.  Remember, Massachusetts voters opted to legalize cannabis in 2016.  Voters in Michigan may want to keep that timeframe for stores to open in mind, as legalization takes effect there December 6.  Possession and home cultivation will be legal next week, but it will probably be a while before shops open.

Remember when it seemed as if New Jersey was the last place you thought would legalize cannabis?  Times have changed!  Granted, this newest proposal may not go anywhere, but these bills are no longer dead on arrival.

And add North Carolina to the list of states considering legalization.  Theirs is an interesting idea, that I’ve not seen before, where each county would be able to decide to legalize or not.  Like wet and dry counties, but with cannabis rather than alcohol.

And in our continuing series on politicians who have changed their mind on marijuana, Joe Kennedy III has now joined this club.

In international news,  South Korea has legalized medical marijuana, the first country in East Asia to do so.

And finally, for our Chicagoland readers, please join us at our Chicago Willis Tower office on Thursday, December 6th, for breakfast along with a Seyfarth Legal Forum and Continuing Legal Education (CLE): 2018 Highlights and a Look Ahead to 2019.  Among the topics under discussion is cannabis in Illinois.

While there is no cost to attend, registration is required and space is limited.  If you have any questions, please contact Fiona Carlon at fcarlon@seyfarth.com and reference this event.

See you next week!

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

Things in New Jersey have changed considerably with the end of Chris Christie’s term as governor, especially as concerns marijuana.

New Jersey’s top lawmaker has set a new date for at least one house of the state Legislature to vote legalizing recreational marijuana in the Garden State: Oct. 29.

Banking issues are a constant theme of this email, as the lack of financial services impedes the industry’s growth and states call on the federal government to step up.

Hawaii’s top banking regulator joined the growing chorus of state leaders urging Congress to consider banking solutions for the cannabis industry.

Meanwhile, in California, expungement is about to get much easier.

Hailed by advocates as a chance for people to “reclaim their lives,” a new California law will soon make it easier for people with past marijuana convictions to get their records expunged completely, or their sentences significantly reduced.

And finally, if you’re intrigued at the thought of a marijuana/beer mashup, you won’t be able to try it in Michigan.

Legislation that would prohibit the use, possession or sale of cannabis-infused beer, wine, liquor and mixed drinks in Michigan was approved by the state House on Tuesday by a 101-4 vote.

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.  Happily, this week was less tumultuous than last, but there’s still some news to digest.

Despite the news coming from the Justice Department last week, some states are moving to legalize weed use.

(Reuters) – Vermont’s senate on Wednesday passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana use, which would make the state the first in the nation to do so through the legislative process rather than a ballot initiative.

The marijuana movement is charging ahead. To date eight states — California, Colorado, Nevada to name a few — have legalized weed for recreational use since 2012. And the trend continues. 

Continue Reading The Week in Weed: January 12, 2018

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

BudTrader.com, the world’s largest medical marijuana website, announced today that it has received its trademark from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office after a year and a half of legal wrangling.

Tech titan IBM is pitching blockchain technology as a supply-management tool for British Columbia’s recreational and medical cannabis industry, a possible sign that Big Blue is eyeing Canada as a way to enter the marijuana sector.

Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana in New Jersey say Phil Murphy’s win Tuesday night will pave the way for cannabis legislation.

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

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

Marijuana payment service PayQwick, which brands itself as the PayPal of marijuana, has secured a $2.86 million raise.

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the state must reconsider marijuana’s Schedule I drug classification because of the substance’s “abundant and glaringly apparent” health benefits.

Constellation Brands will take a 9.9% stake in Canadian marijuana company Canopy Growth, as alcoholic drinks firms position themselves for pot legalization.

You’ve doubtless heard the Las Vegas tagline, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”  This is a variation on that theme – when it comes to marijuana, what you have in California needs to stay in California.

The PSA reads “Cannabis is legal, traveling with it is not. Leave it in California.”

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

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

Some states that have legalized marijuana are encouraging minorities to enter the growing cannabis industry after years of drug enforcement that had a disproportionate effect on black and Hispanic communities.

First Trust Portfolios, an Illinois-based fund manager that oversees more than $100 billion, has filed paperwork to establish an investment vehicle containing medical marijuana stocks.

The real surprise is what this bill wouldn’t legalize, if approved.

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