[author: Susan Ryan]
Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Illinois’ license lottery has some ups and downs. There’s talk of a referendum on marijuana legalization in Maryland. Lawmakers introduced a legalization bill in Ohio. On the federal level, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy opined on decriminalization. And finally, if cannabis newsletters were movie characters, which characters would they be?
It’s been a while since we’ve discussed Illinois’ lottery program for dispensary licenses, but the program is back in the news this week. First, lotteries will begin next week – there will be three total. Also, the state passed a law providing more licenses to minority applicants. But, there’s a lawsuit over the process (stop me if this sounds familiar), so who knows how this will all play out. Stay tuned…
Medical cannabis is legal in Maryland, and adult-use is not. But there’s significant support for full legalization; it’s just a matter of how and when. House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D) would like to see a referendum on the 2022 ballot. Senate President Bill Ferguson (D) favors legislation that would go into effect sooner than that. One thinks the prospect of legal sales in neighboring Virginia might lead to quicker action.
When one thinks of states most likely to legalize adult-use marijuana, Ohio doesn’t leap to mind. Two state representatives, Casey Weinstein (D-Hudson) and Terrence Upchurch (D-Cleveland) look to change that. Their bill would allow both personal and commercial cultivation and regulate sales. Chances for passage don’t look great in the Republican controlled legislature.
Usually when the Surgeon General is in the news, it’s because of COVID. In what must have been a welcome change, Dr. Murthy spoke out on cannabis this week. When asked about a new federal decriminalization bill on CNN, he said, “When it comes to decriminalization, I don’t think that there is value to individuals or to society to lock people up for marijuana use.”
A shot from the new movie, “The French Dispatch” has become a meme. Tom Angell, of Marijuana Moment, has joined in the fun, identifying each character as a cannabis news outlet. As a regular reader of all of these, I think he’s got them pegged pretty well.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!