[author: Susan Ryan]
Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Let’s start off with a look at Joe Biden – what’s the campaign’s view on cannabis legalization? How is the FDA handling the mislabeling of CBD products? Will Pennsylvania legalize marijuana? Will Oklahoma enforce their medical cannabis rules? What’s the latest on the Idaho ballot? And finally, did you know the marijuana industry is worth more than the NBA?
WHERE DO THE CANDIDATES STAND ON MARIJUANA?
Vice President Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders formed a “Unity Task Force” in an effort to bring the party together on various issues. One of them is cannabis. The task force report discusses marijuana on pages 9 and 59. The recommendation is for federal decriminalization of recreational use, federal legalization of medical use and expungement of all past convictions for use and possession. Basically, it’s Biden’s long-time position.
The Food and Drug Administration reported to Congress on rampant mislabeling in the CBD industry. Spoiler alert: those labels are not as accurate as one would like. Hemp Industry Daily reports: “Of the 102 products tested this year that were labeled as having CBD, 18 had less than 80% of the amount indicated, while another 46 were within 20% of the amount advertised. Thirty-eight products had more than 120% of the CBD indicated.”
Moving on to the states, Pennsylvania’s Lt. Governor and a group of Senate Democrats are in favor of full legalization. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman thinks it will bring in tax revenue. Read the Senators’ letter to the governor and legislative leaders here.
To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, nothing focuses the mind like impending litigation. Oklahoma’s assistant solicitor general indicated that the state will not enforce its regulations governing residency requirements and location limitations for medical marijuana dispensaries. The regulations could have forced some stores out of business.
As regular readers will doubtless recall, efforts to put medical marijuana legalization on the ballot in Idaho have been met with difficulty. The pandemic forced them to stop collecting signatures. The deadline to turn them in passed while a stay-at-home order was still in effect. However, a school funding group was able to continue their campaign online. Surely, the same process would apply to the Idaho Cannabis Coalition, right? It may take a lawsuit to find out.
Retail sales of cannabis in 2019 (both recreational and medical) surpassed the revenue of the NBA. Projections for 2024 show more money spent on legal marijuana than on craft beer. The times they are a-changin’ for sure.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!