The Week in Weed: April 2021 #3

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.

The big news this week is that New Mexico legalized adult-use marijuana. Mississippi’s medical cannabis program faces a state Supreme Court challenge. And South Dakota’s program is also having its day in court. Idaho may legalize hemp. And finally, Uber may get into the marijuana delivery business.


New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed a bill legalizing adult-use cannabis this week. This brings the total to 21 states and territories where marijuana is fully legal. Possession of up to two ounces and home grow will be allowed as of June 29, with sales to begin in April 2022.


Not that legalization will necessarily lead to smooth sailing. In fact, sometimes it lands you in court. Take Mississippi, for example. Medical marijuana won support from 70% of the voters in November, a hefty majority. So what’s the problem? Due to the legislature’s failure to update the state’s ballot initiative rules, opponents of the bill make the argument that the initiative is invalid. The state’s Supreme Court promised to rule soon – further bulletins as events warrant.


And it’s not just Mississippi. The South Dakota Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a challenge to the state’s adult-use ballot initiative later this month. Opponents claim that the initiative covered two topics: legalization and setting up a way to legalize. This, they argue, violates the law requiring ballot initiatives to cover one topic only.


Remember when the federal government legalized hemp? Did you think the states would have legalized the crop by now? Well, if you did, you’d be mostly right. But there’s always one in a crowd, and when it comes to hemp, Idaho is that one. That could be about to change. This week, the legislature passed a bill allowing hemp, which is on its way to the governor’s desk.


After more than a year of COVID, we’re all gotten pretty used to having things delivered. But what about cannabis? Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi says the company would start bringing cannabis products to your doorstep, if federal regulations permitted.

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!

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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