Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
The New Hampshire House passed an adult-use legalization bill. Several South Dakota legislators introduced adult-use legalization measures. Medical marijuana is still on the table in Mississippi. Cannabis advocate Rep. Earl Perlmutter (D-CO) announced his retirement. And finally, in Quebec, if you want your pot, you have to get your shot.
The New Hampshire of Representatives passed an adult-use legalization bill recently. Now, the bill proceeds to the Senate, where previous measures have died. The bill would allow possession and home-grow, but not sales. Governor Chris Sununu is opposed to legalization, so the fact that the bill passed with enough votes to override a veto is significant. Further bulletins as events warrant.
The roller coaster that is South Dakota’s attempt to legalize cannabis continues its journey, as the state’s legislature comes back into session. As we all know, despite significant voter support for adult-use, the successful 2020 ballot initiative met its demise in the state’s Supreme Court. Undeterred by Governor Kristi Noem’s (R) opposition to marijuana, lawmakers introduced 31 bills concerning cannabis. Will any of them garner enough support to override Noem’s certain veto? Again, further bulletins as events warrant.
If you’ve not been following the Magnolia State’s medical marijuana saga, here’s a quick recap: the state passes a ballot initiative in 2020 allowing medical cannabis. Opponents of the measure go to court, saying the initiative is unconstitutional. The measure is struck down. Lawmakers promise to pass a bill to implement medical marijuana in a legislative special session, which is never called. Okay, now you’re up to speed. In an effort to overcome Governor Tate Reeves’s (R) opposition to legalization, Senator Kevin Blackwell (R-Dist. 19) brought 3.5 grams of hemp to the governor’s office, in an effort to show him exactly what the proposed amount of legal cannabis looks like. Further bulletins…well, you know the drill.
One of cannabis banking’s leading advocates announced his retirement this week. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), author of the SAFE Banking Act, has said he will not seek re-election this year. Perhaps his signature bill will become law before he leaves? Not sure I’d count on that.
We’ve reported before on “Joints for Jabs,” a program in DC that gave out free cannabis to those getting COVID vaccines. Think of that as a “carrot” approach to increasing vaccination rates. In Quebec, they’re going the “stick” route. The province’s rule now is: no shot; no pot. Proof of vaccination is now required in order to enter cannabis stores. Although some questioned the efficacy of this plan, appointments for vaccinations have increased from an average of 1,500 per day to 6,000 following the announcement of the policy. Hey, whatever works!
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!