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.

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.

Protections for medical marijuana programs were included in the recently passed budget bill.

The amendment to protect state-approved medical cannabis programs, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, has been included in the federal omnibus funding package, which would keep the programs safe from federal interference until at least September.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions will be prohibited from going after state medical marijuana growers, retailers, and patients for at least another fiscal year.

Hot on hemp? Senator Mitch McConnell wants to remove it from the controlled substances list.

While in his home state of Kentucky, McConnell announced he will introduce a bill to legalize hemp as an “agricultural commodity.”

The head of the U.S. Senate announced on Monday that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial hemp and allocate federal money for cultivation of the crop.

Thinking of majoring in marijuana in college?  You can do that in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has released application rules for universities and hospitals in the state interested in researching medical marijuana.

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

Massachusetts has promulgated final rules for cannabis regulation.  Look for TBT’s analysis of those new regulations shortly.  Until then, here’s some news coverage:

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission has finalized the regulations for the state’s voter-approved recreational cannabis industry, four months before the program is set to go live, according to a WBUR report.

Massachusetts got closer Tuesday to making recreational marijuana sales in the state a reality this summer after the approval of final regulations for MJ companies.

Massachusetts just got a whole lot closer to welcoming its first-ever recreational marijuana shops, and it looks like they’ll be in business on schedule at the beginning of July.

Continue Reading The Week in Weed: March 9, 2018

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

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania officials said Wednesday that they will begin accepting applications early next year for medical marijuana growers and dispensaries, with a target date of mid-2018 for legal sales to begin in the state.

How can banks in Oregon improve their reputation? Serve cannabis clients. That’s the finding of a survey by Portland-based LT Public Relations and DHM Research that suggests financial institutions could better their public standing by providing financial services to marijuana businesses.

On election day, voters in California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada decided to legalize the use of recreational marijuana, joining Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.  What does this mean for employers?

Okay, we’re going to toot our own horn here, among those interviewed for this article is our editor, Stan Jutkowitz.

Earlier this year, Pennsylvania enacted its Medical Marijuana Act, and had until this autumn to promulgate temporary regulations.  Two sets of such regulations have been published, one set governing growers and producers, and the other involving dispensaries.  These revised rules were promulgated after receiving nearly 1,000 comments from citizens across the state, as well as those involved in the medical marijuana business. Continue Reading Weeding Between the Lines: PA Issues Temporary Regulations for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Growers, and Producers

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission announced yesterday that it will hire a diversity consultant to examine what steps it could take to improve racial diversity in the state’s medical marijuana industry.  The announcement comes after a losing applicant for a medical marijuana license filed a lawsuit against the Commission alleging that its selection process for coveted marijuana growing licenses ignored a statutory mandate to consider the racial diversity of the applicants. The complaint alleges that the Commission was “derelict in its legislatively mandated duty to ‘actively seek to achieve racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity when licensing medical cannabis growers.’”

Maryland’s Legislative Black Caucus has also criticized the lack of racial diversity in the Commission’s licensing process.  Of the 30 business that were cleared for growing and process licenses in 2016, minorities held leadership positions in only two. Continue Reading Racial Diversity in the Spotlight for Cannabis Industry

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

But the margins — in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada — are so small that the races are still up for grabs.

A petition that would legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma will go before voters in a future election after a 10-day period that allowed for challenges over the validity of the signatures expired this week.

On September 21, Governor Snyder signed a package of bills (2016 PA 281-283) that significantly expands the types of medical marijuana facilities permitted under state law.

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.

You would have been hard pressed, just a few years ago, to find investments outside of family-office groups. Then Washington and Colorado legalized.

 

In a move that may encourage Pennsylvania doctors to get certified to recommend medical marijuana, the state’s Department of Health has established a physician working group to help implement its new MMJ law.

 

About half of registered Massachusetts voters oppose a ballot proposal to legalize marijuana for people 21 years of age and older, according to a new poll.

 

And finally, because we’d be “Crazy” not to include this link:

Willie Nelson’s much-hyped marijuana brand Willie’s Reserve will debut in Washington state pot shops this month and in Colorado marijuana stores in August, Nelson’s team told The Cannabist exclusively.

Can a bistro in Pottsville, Pa. fire employees for using medical cannabis?  Not anymore.  On Tuesday, May 17, 2016, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (SB-3) (“MMA”) went into effect, following Governor Tom Wolf’s signature last month (as previously reported here).  Pennsylvania joins 24 other states, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, on the Pineapple Express.  Along the way, employers will learn their ability to discipline employees for consuming medical marijuana on the job, for showing up to work under the influence of medical marijuana, and other unintended consequences that will bud from the law. Continue Reading The “Key-Stoned State”: Employer’s Guide to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law