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.

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.

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