The Week in Weed: July 2022

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.

Congress removed marijuana banking from the COMPETES Act. In other federal news, a House Appropriations committee passed a cannabis-friendly amendment to a DOJ funding bill. Meanwhile, in Nebraska, signature collecting continues for a ballot initiative. Turning our attention abroad, Switzerland considers changes to its medical marijuana rules. And finally, Major League Baseball welcomes CBD sponsors.


If sponsors of the SAFE Banking Act are feeling like Sisyphus right about now, one can hardly blame them. With each new Congress comes a new introduction of this bill that would allow cannabis businesses to use the banking system. And in each Congress, the bill remains “just a bill.” The most recent defeat for the legislation came late last week, when the provision was dropped from the COMPETES Act. But hey – a new Congress starts in January…


This week, however, brought some more promising news for the cannabis industry. The House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the FY23 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies spending bill prohibiting the agency from using money to prosecute those in cannabis-legal states. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) called the move “critically important.”


Supporters of a medical marijuana ballot initiative in Nebraska have until July 7 to collect signatures, and it looks as if this will come down to the wire. Advocates have gathered approximately 60,000 signatures for each of two initiatives, but need another 50,000 per petition to ensure they can qualify. A 2020 drive gathered sufficient signatures, but was deemed to contain more than one subject and tossed off the ballot.


In other medical cannabis news, the Swiss seem likely to change rules governing their medical marijuana industry. Patients would no longer need a special government permit and could get a prescription from their doctor. Businesses welcome the change, believing that it will allow them to expand their offerings.


If you’re looking to try something other than “peanuts and Cracker Jack” when you head out to the “old ball game,” Major League Baseball (MLB) has news for you. Earlier this month, MLB approved CBD companies as team sponsors. Products must be certified not to have psychoactive levels of THC and be approved by the Commissioner’s office.

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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