Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries are reintroducing the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, which would legalize marijuana nationwide. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this bill to pass though. Although many Democrats have indicated their support for legalization, Republicans generally and Senator Mitch McConnell specifically control the Senate, and they are not so favorably inclined.
Turning our attention abroad, the Netherlands is going to test out commercial cultivation of adult-use marijuana. Coffee shops offer marijuana to the public, but supplying the shops is illegal. This new system would resolve that dilemma.
Italy, however, is a different story. Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has promised to close shops selling “cannabis light” (cannabis with THC levels below 0.2%). The move may be more for show in the upcoming European Parliament elections, and industry leaders reacted with more disdain than dismay.
This week brought news on the medical marijuana front from a variety of states. In Wisconsin, the Finance Committee has rejected the governor’s proposal to legalize medical marijuana. In Alabama, on the other hand, the full state Senate has approved a medical cannabis bill. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives.
Even Nebraska, one of the most restrictive states as regards marijuana, is making a move to allow medical cannabis. The Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that now moves to the full legislature. Fun fact: Nebraska has the country’s only unicameral legislature, so one vote will suffice to pass this bill.
From Missouri, we have both banking and medical marijuana news. Triad Bank will offer services to cannabusinesses. And the state’s comment period for medical marijuana rules closed this week. Final rules are scheduled for early June.
In New Jersey, full legalization stalled earlier this year, and the governor promised to expand medical marijuana by May. And Gov. Murphy kept that promise. Meanwhile, the legislature has now abandoned its legalization efforts, so adult-use will have to wait until a 2020 referendum.
In North Dakota, the governor has signed a bill that lessens the penalties for cannabis possession. Note: it’s important not to mix up your Dakotas – you’ll recall that South Dakota recently declined to legalize hemp.
See you next week!