[author: Susan Ryan]
Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
State and local news dominates this week. Los Angeles will change its cannabis licensing program. Colorado’s governor signed a law that allows pardons for minor marijuana offenses. A school funding initiative’s court battles may have implications for marijuana in Idaho. Medical marijuana patients in New Jersey now have home delivery as an option. There was federal news as well. A group of senators has added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would promote cannabis research. FinCen released new guidance on hemp banking. Will Vice President Biden support marijuana legalization? And finally, we have a look at the dogs of cannabis.
The Los Angeles City Council approved changes to its marijuana licensing program, in an effort to expand opportunities for victims of the war on drugs. Opponents of the previous program said that it was riddled with loopholes that allowed wealthy, well-connected people to obtain licenses.
Governor Jared Polis signed a bill this week allowing the pardon of thousands of citizens convicted of minor cannabis offenses. The bill also establishes a system for social equity licenses; the state is seeking to bring more diverse people into the cannabis industry, which is currently 75% white.
Supporters of an Idaho school funding ballot initiative have won a victory in federal district court that could have implications for marijuana in the state. The state’s stay-at-home order stopped signature gathering and was not lifted until after the deadline for submitting signatures passed. The court mandated that the state either certify the question immediately or allow supporters more time to gather signatures. The Idaho Cannabis Coalition hopes the decision will apply to them as well.
New Jersey medical marijuana dispensaries may now deliver cannabis to their patients’ homes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dispensaries need to submit a plan to the Department of Health before beginning deliveries.
We don’t discuss defense spending much in this column, but this year’s National Defense Authorization Act is different. A bipartisan group of Senators introduced an amendment to promote cannabis research. It would also protect doctors who discuss marijuana with their patients, and encourage FDA-approved cannabinoid drugs
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) released guidance on Monday for banks wishing to serve hemp-related businesses. Banks need not file Suspicious Activity Reports because hemp is federally legal and no longer on the controlled substances list. Hemp businesses should be treated like any other business.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN
Vice President Joe Biden has called for the decriminalization of marijuana on the federal level, but has so far stopped short of supporting legalization. Could his position change as concerns about the disparate impact of the war on drugs on communities of color take center stage?
June 26 was National Take Your Dog to Work Day, and “Hemp Industry Daily” published a slideshow of the “top dogs” of marijuana. Of course, this year, everyday is Take Your Dog to Work Day here at the editorial offices of The Week in Weed. Sherlock takes a keen interest in all things related to cannabis news.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!