The Week in Weed: October 2020 #5

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 York releases new CBD regulations, and Governor Cuomo supports legal cannabis. The Montana Supreme Court denied a ballot initiative challenge, and some in the medical marijuana industry oppose the measure. Oregon Senators voice their opposition to the DEA’s hemp rule. Five states have marijuana on the ballot this year. In South Dakota, medical cannabis has support; adult-use less so, and the Governor is against both measures. And finally, service members stationed in Japan, should not drink the hemp-laced Coke.


New York State released proposed rules for hemp extracts in food, drinks and vapes this week. These rules run counter to federal law prohibiting the use of hemp in food. The public comment period runs from November 10, 2020 through January 11, 2021. In other New York news, Governor Cuomo came out in support of legalizing recreational cannabis yet again, and a new poll shows the majority of New Yorkers agree.


We reported last week that an anti-legalization group filed suit to block the state’s marijuana ballot initiative. The state’s Supreme Court dismissed the suit, so the vote will go forward. Not everyone in the medical marijuana industry supports the measure. Polling shows the vote could go either way – we’ll know next week!


Two weeks ago, we reported that the hemp industry was unhappy with the DEA’s new hemp rule. Oregon’s two Senators joined in the condemnation this week. In a letter to the agency, they state that continued DEA oversight of the industry runs counter to their intent in drafting the Hemp Farming Act of 2018.


So next Tuesday is Election Day! We at The Blunt Truth urge you to vote and stay safe doing so. Five states have marijuana measures on the ballot, and several of our news sources look at the legalization landscape. See write-ups from Marijuana Business Daily, Rolling Stone, Forbes, and Roll Call.


One of the states with cannabis on the ballot is South Dakota. Polling shows that voters strongly support medical marijuana legalization, but are more evenly split over recreational use. Governor Noem, long an opponent of all forms of cannabis, opposes both measures.


If you’re a service member stationed in Japan, do not relax with Coca-Cola’s Chill Out beverage. It contains a hemp extract, which the Department of Defense prohibits military personnel from consuming.

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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