The Week in Weed: March 2021 #2

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.

The new federal hemp rules take effect March 22. The Idaho House voted in favor of industrial hemp. Rhode Island Senators introduced a bill to legalize cannabis. Support for adult-use marijuana grows in Maryland. The situation in South Dakota grows more complicated by the day. Mexico could legalize any day now. And finally, if you’re in the market for a new car, consider one made of hemp.


The US Department of Agriculture announced this week that federal hemp rules will go into effect on March 22, with no changes or additional delay. We looked at what the new rules will mean here.


Idaho is the only state where hemp is still illegal. That may be about to change. The state House passed a bill allowing farmers to grow the crop, with a limit of 0.3% THC. The next stop for the legislation is the state Senate.


With Massachusetts and its legal market on one side, and Connecticut making noises about legalizing on the other, it seems inevitable that Rhode Island would join its New England neighbors in allowing adult-use cannabis. Two state Senators introduced a bill this week to do just that. Further bulletins as events warrant.


Another state feeling pressure from events close by is Maryland. Virginia will have a legal market, and DC may allow sales (depending on Congress, of course). And there’s talk of legalizing in Delaware. So how do Marylanders feel about adult-use in their state? They’re strongly in favor. Two-thirds of those asked in a recent poll indicated they supported legalization, the largest percentage recorded.


As long-time (long-suffering?) readers are well aware, South Dakota passed two ballot initiatives last November, one legalizing medical marijuana and one legalizing adult-use marijuana. Although Arizona’s legal market is already up and running, and New Jersey finally managed to pass implementing legislation, the Mount Rushmore State is still mired in debate. This week’s news: the state Senate passed a bill that will delay a medical marijuana program, but decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis in the meantime. It may be in for rough sailing in the state House, which has so far shared Governor Noem’s opposition to any legalization.


The House failed to pass the Senate version of the legalization bill, which means the ballot initiative goes into effect as written.


Shifting our attention south, we see that Mexico is moving towards adult-use legalization. The Chamber of Deputies (the lower House in the country’s legislature) just passed a legalization bill. The legislation now goes back to the country’s Senate for a final vote. The country legalized medical marijuana earlier this year.


Are you looking to purchase a new car? Are you looking for a model that’s both environmentally friendly and contains cannabis? Have we got the vehicle for you! Aptera Motors is taking orders for a solar-powered car made with hemp, with production to start at the end of the year.

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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