The Week in Weed: June 2021

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[author: Susan Ryan]

Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.

Yet another federal legalization bill begins its journey. Amazon endorses legal cannabis and stops testing its employees for marijuana. We have an update on the Mississippi situation. Bad news emerges for legal sales in the District of Columbia. And finally, we have a look at how the cannabis industry hopes to get its workforce vaccinated.

FEDERAL LEGALIZATION

Here we go again: Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NJ) introduced the MORE Act, as he did in the last Congress. See our reporting on that bill here. Some things have changed since that earlier bill went down to defeat in the then Republican-controlled Senate. Several states legalized cannabis, either at the ballot box or in the legislature. Support for legalization is at an all-time high. Could this time be the charm? Further bulletins as events warrant.

AMAZON

Speaking of the MORE Act, it got a boost this week from the world of business. Amazon, the nation’s second largest company, announced it would no longer test its employees for cannabis use, except for those positions mandated by federal regulations. The company also stated in a blog post that its public policy team would be actively supporting the MORE Act, and urged other businesses to do so.

MISSISSIPPI

As promised, here’s the latest on the goings-on in the Magnolia State. The Secretary of State, Michael Watson, stated that he won’t ask the state’s Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling striking down the medical marijuana ballot initiative. Instead, he favors a special session of the legislature to deal with the ballot initiative issue. Supporters of medical cannabis want the high court to reverse its ruling and are making their views known. Prize for best use of poetry on a sign goes to the lady in the flowered dress. No word yet on the legislature reconvening; yet again, further bulletins as events warrant.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Washington DC legalized adult-use marijuana back in 2014. It still has no legal market for sales, due to a budget rider that prevents them. See our description of the DC landscape here. (And if you have a spare 17 minutes, that John Oliver video we linked to still works and is both hilarious and informative.) The hope for those looking to set up a cannabis market was that this year, with a Democratic President and Democrats controlling Congress, the budget rider would disappear. So far, no such luck. The city’s representative, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) hopes to change that.

AND FINALLY

Marijuana companies want their employees to get their COVID shots, so they’re looking at incentives to encourage that. Big parties, cash payments, and paid time off to get vaccinated and deal with any side effects are all on offer.

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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