The Week in Weed: April 2021 #2

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

[author: Susan Ryan]

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

Federal legislation to legalize cannabis is under consideration. In state news, Virginia moved up its timeline to legalize possession and home grow. New York launched a cannabis control website. We take a look at what’s happening in Montana. South Carolina probably won’t legalize medical marijuana. And finally, only cannabis could unite Snoop Dogg and Charles Koch.


Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) supports federal decriminalization that would allow states to legalize. Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) are working with Schumer to draft a bill. So where is the President on this? According to Vice President Kamala Harris, the administration has been too busy to give the matter much attention. Seems like Congress needs to do the heavy lifting, if they want a bill enacted.


The Virginia legislature agreed to Governor Ralph Northam’s changes to its marijuana bill on Wednesday, moving up the timeline for legalization. This means that possession and home cultivation of small amounts of cannabis become legal on July 1 of this year. Retail sales, however, won’t begin until 2024.


The Empire State’s Office of Cannabis Management website is up and running. The governor’s office announced the website launch late last week. It educates the public on state regulations, and provides information on both medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis licensure.


Regular readers doubtless recall that Montana was one of several states to legalize marijuana in November. So how’s the implementation going in Big Sky Country? It’s complicated. The House of Representatives passed three different bills this week that would tax sales at different rates and use the money raised for different purposes. Now the bills move onto the Senate. Further bulletins as event warrant.


The prospects for medical marijuana legalization in South Carolina look bleak. So what’s the holdup? Sen. Greg Hembree (R-Myrtle Beach), who opposes the bill, announced this week that he will block the legislation. Rules require a three-fifths vote to override this move, and the bill’s backers are doubtful they can muster that much support.


Snoop Dogg’s work with Martha Stewart is well known to fans of cooking shows and The Puppy Bowl. But that unlikely pairing is nothing in comparison to his latest strange bedfellow. The rapper started the Cannabis Freedom Alliance with Charles Koch, the libertarian billionaire known for opposing environmental regulation. On marijuana however, the Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries is all green. The third member of the founding group is criminal justice reform advocate Weldon Angelos, head of the Weldon Project.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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