The Week in Weed: November 2020 #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.

New Jersey is working its way through decriminalization and tax bills. Virginia’s governor comes out in favor of legalization. Other states showed some interest in getting on the bandwagon. State cannabis regulators formed a group. Mexico took a step towards legalizing. Israel did too. And finally, Andrew Yang thinks states that legalized are cool.


The New Jersey Senate approved a decriminalization measure earlier this week. The Assembly, however, has issues with psilocybin mushrooms. And it appears that the governor and the President of the state Senate have agreed on taxes.


Not to be left out of the legalizing storm, Virginia Governor Northam (D) announced his support for legal marijuana. Don’t expect to buy cannabis there anytime soon. The process is expected to take at least 18 months.


The Rhode Island Senate Finance Committee met this week to discuss the Governor’s budget proposal. They focused particularly on a provision to legalize cannabis, through state-run stores. As for Hawai’i, the state’s attorney general put together a team to advise lawmakers on how the state could legalize marijuana in 2021. The idea has support among legislators, but faces strong opposition from law enforcement.


With legalization on the rise, representatives from 19 states have joined the Cannabis Regulators Association (CANNRA). The non-partisan group is designed to develop best practices and support consistent regulatory actions. The group hopes that a formal organization will facilitate information sharing that has gone on informally between legalizing states for years.


Turning our attention to our southern neighbor, Mexico made some progress this week on legalizing marijuana. A group of Senators gathered (virtually) and hammered out an agreement on industrial hemp and adult-use cannabis. The legislation now needs to clear the full Senate.


Israel has long been known as a leader in medical marijuana research. Now, they’re looking at legalizing recreational cannabis. Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn said earlier this week that Israel would have legal marijuana in 9 months. Further bulletins as events warrant.


Former Democratic Presidential candidate Andrew Yang is optimistic about the possibility of marijuana legalization under the Biden administration. “I think every time we have an election, there are going to be more states that want to join the ever-growing, cool states club.”

Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll be off next week, so have a Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you again on December 4.

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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