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

Although most people following AG Nominee William Barr’s hearing before the Senate Judiciary committee may have been listening for his views on the Mueller investigation, those of us with an interest in marijuana were wondering how he feels about legalized cannabis.  In an apparent break from his predecessor, Jeff Sessions, Barr said he would not go after cannabis companies.

In other federal news, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D. – Oregon) has introduced a new bill (H.R. 420, of course) that would legalize marijuana nationwide.

And in yet another sign that marijuana is becoming more mainstream, the Cannabis Trade Federation has hired 15 lobbyists to argue for major new cannabis legislation.  Because you’re not really a legit industry until you have lobbyists.

The governor of New York has a plan for marijuana legalization.  No new legislation has yet been introduced.  Rhode Island, meanwhile, perhaps feeling surrounded by its larger neighbors and their embrace of cannabis, is looking, albeit reluctantly, at legalization as well.

In Midwestern marijuana news, dispensaries have opened in Ohio, the new governor of Wisconsin has announced plans to begin legalizing medical cannabis, and a group in Minnesota is pushing for marijuana legalization there.  The slogan “Fix pot holes with pot taxes” may resonate in an area with long winters.

Finally, a beer company in South Africa is looking to capitalize on the recent legalization of marijuana in that country.  Poison City Brewing is pushing its latest Durban Poison cannabis beer into the market.

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.

Remember when Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed restrictive medical marijuana rules?  Well, times have changed.

Gov. Mary Fallin signed off this week on the do-over in Oklahoma’s emergency medical marijuana regulations – rules that revert to more business-friendly MMJ provisions.

And it looks like New York may be serious about legalizing recreational cannabis.

Weeks after a report he commissioned recommended the legalization of recreational pot in New York, Gov. Cuomo on Thursday announced a work group to come up with legislation to do so.

The first patent infringement lawsuit involving cannabis has now been filed.

Golden-based UCANN’s lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting Pure Hemp from copying its formulas.

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

Last week, we focused on Vermont’s legalization of recreational marijuana; this week we (re)turn our attention to Oklahoma.

Cultivators selected for Oklahoma’s emerging medical marijuana industry may face a challenge in starting up operations, particularly when it comes to obtaining seed.

Hot on the heels of Oklahoma’s successful medical cannabis vote, advocates in the state are collecting signatures to put adult-use legalization on the November ballot, Oklahoma’s News 4 reports.

In other state cannabis legalization news, you may recall the roller coaster ride of marijuana in Maine.  Here’s the latest twist in the story.

Governor LePage has lost this battle.

Banking for the cannabis industry is a major problem, as regular readers of this blog know.  Legislators on both the state and federal level are trying to change that.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed the state’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) to provide guidance to support the safe and sound provision of banking services for medical marijuana and industrial hemp businesses.

For financial institutions interested in banking state-legal marijuana businesses, 2018 has been a rollercoaster.  See our take on the STATES act here.

And in case you feel the need to keep up with the new names for marijuana, the DEA has got your back.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has updated its list of slang terms for 2018, with some amusing results.

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 comes from north of the border, as Canada moves one step closer to cannabis legalization.

In a 52-29 vote on Tuesday afternoon, the Senate advanced bill C-45 for the last time, accepting changes put forward in the House of Commons and sending the bill onwards for Royal Assent.

Recreational marijuana use will soon be legal in Canada after the Senate passed a “historic” bill on Tuesday with a vote of 52-29.

But there was also some news here in the U.S., as New York City changes the way it will handle people smoking marijuana in public and New York State is looking at legalizing recreational use.

By September 1st, the majority of New Yorkers found smoking in public to receive criminal summonses which will help reduce marijuana arrests by about 10,000 per year.

A broad turnaround on the issue by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo could pave the way for New York to join a roster of states that have already legalized the drug, including California and Colorado.

And in our continuing look at politicians who support marijuana, we turn our attention to Texas.

Texas Republicans have come out in support of marijuana decriminalization in their official party platform.

 

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

Last week, we reported on prominent Republicans beginning to support (some form of) cannabis.  This week, we see Democrats upping the ante.

The push to decriminalize marijuana has picked up another high-profile backer — Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — just a week after President Donald Trump endorsed letting states decide how to regulate the drug.

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday became the latest senator to co-sponsor Sen. Cory Booker’s bill that would legalize marijuana.

Now that GOP senators are coming out in support of legalization, Democrats may be playing a game of catch-up that could have consequences at the polls.

And finally, the award for best dispensary name goes to MedMen which recently opened in New York City.

Now that a MedMen dispensary opens in New York City, will New Yorkers have more access to medical marijuana?

Can employers deny employment to people who use cannabis under a medical prescription authorized by state law? In more and more states, the answer is now “No.”

Changes in cannabis laws are creating a new haze for employers. What follows is a quick summary citing some (not all) states that now require employers to think twice before denying employment to individuals because they tested positive for the use of marijuana that they are ingesting for state-authorized medical reasons. Continue Reading Budding Development: States Requiring Employers to Tolerate Medical Cannabis Use

New York state’s Medical Marijuana Program historically has been one of the most restrictive in the United States with strict limitations on the number of licensed producers and various barriers preventing patients from accessing medical cannabis. However, recent expansions to New York’s qualifying conditions and changes to the licensing requirements for medical professionals will allow more patients to participate in the program.   Continue Reading New York Medical Marijuana: Can the Fire Keep Burning?

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, you Friday look at the world of legalized marijuana.

Blumenauer (D-Ore.) wants to reform federal marijuana laws.

The first U.S. drive-through marijuana dispensary is set to open on Thursday in a small town in Colorado, a state that has been at the forefront of pot legalization.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced his renewed commitment to decriminalizing marijuana possession in his State of the State Book, which outlines his agenda for the 2017 Legislative Session.

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

As we enter a new year, and approach the one year anniversary of New York’s Medical Marijuana Program,  we are given an opportunity to look back and reflect on the performance of the program, and what lies ahead.

In some ways, the program has been vastly successful.  As of January 3, 2016, 807 practitioners have registered for the Medical Marijuana Program, and 12,067 patients have been certified by their practitioners.

However, the Medical Marijuana Program has also been criticized for its limited access, high prices, and the regulatory hurdles which have discouraged doctors and patients from participating, and have hurt medical marijuana companies trying to grow their business.  For instance, some patients have to travel upwards of three hours to receive the required medication.  Further, many companies have invested in large grow spaces, but due to the restrictive nature of the law, demand has remained low.  Consequently, these companies are using only a marginal fraction of their overall capacity for growth.

Continue Reading New York is Lighting A Fire Under its Budding Cannabis Industry