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.

Marijuana businesses have had real problems finding banking services, but that task may get easier in California.

In order to keep up with the state’s marijuana industry, the California State Senate approves of a measure that would create a bank for the newly legal economy.

The California Senate has advanced Senate Bill 930 — a.k.a. the Cannabis Limited Charter Banking and Credit Union Law — which seeks to establish new rules allowing California banks to serve businesses who are denied banking services due to their involvement in the still federally prohibited cannabis industry.

In other California news, finding insurance coverage may get easier as well.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones unveiled a program to provide property and liability coverage for marijuana dispensaries, storage facilities, processors, manufacturers, distributors, and other cannabis-related businesses operating in California.

Could North Carolina be the next state to legalize recreational marijuana?

North Carolina’s legislature is considering a pair of bills that would make it legal to possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use.

A Forsyth County legislator is sponsoring a Senate bill that would make it legal to possess up to four ounces of marijuana for personal use.