The Week in Weed: October 2020

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.

We have an update on the Vermont situation. Four members of Congress introduced a bill allowing the marijuana industry to access relief funds. Cannabis banking appears in the Democrats’ new stimulus bill. The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in favor of CBD sellers in the state. New Jersey may decriminalize cannabis. Marijuana is off the ballot in Oklahoma. And finally, marijuana makes a great gift in Mexico.


As we reported last week, the Vermont legislature passed a bill allowing for retail sale of cannabis. Gov. Scott (R) has not yet acted. He recently indicated he might veto the legislation due to racial equity concerns. Once again, further bulletins as events warrant.


Four members of Oregon’s Congressional delegation recently introduced a bill to allow those in the marijuana industry to access federal relief funds. Hit hard by both the pandemic and the wildfires, cannabis businesses have so far been deemed ineligible for federal aid. The Small Business Disaster Relief Equity Act seeks to change that. We’ll follow the bill’s progress with interest.


In other federal news, Democrats included the SAFE Banking Act in its latest stimulus bill. Could this be a bargaining chip that doesn’t appear in any final legislation? Only time will tell.


Marijuana is off the November ballot, but the Cornhusker State continues to make cannabis news. The state’s Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of CBD sellers facing criminal charges. The state initially filed charges against the owners of DJ’s Vapes after a 2017 raid, and refiled them twice in 2018. A 2019 law legalized products below 0.3% THC, and the Supreme Court ruled 7-0 that the items in question did not violate state law.


Adult-use legalization is on the ballot in New Jersey, but should decriminalization happen before the election? Advocates say it will prevent people from being arrested on pot charges even after a “yes” vote. Detractors voice concerns that it will distract from the push to legalize. Yet another continuing saga.


Cannabis will not appear on the 2020 ballot in Oklahoma. The state’s Supreme Court ruled that the question was invalid, as the gist of it is misleading. Look for this initiative to resurface in 2022.


Nothing says “Thanks for being such a great wo-worker” like marijuana. Just look at the boom in cannabis gifts in the Mexican Congress.

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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