Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
Things don’t look good for medical marijuana in South Carolina. Missouri advocates turn in signatures for their ballot initiative. Delaware gets closer to legalizing cannabis. We have an update on federal legislation. And finally, Senate candidates smoking week in ads is not limited to Louisiana.
To legalize cannabis, it’s not enough to get the substance right; you also have to follow the rules. We’ve seen this in South Dakota, where the adult-use ballot initiative was thrown out because it covered more than one subject. Now, we’re seeing something similar in South Carolina. As we reported last month, the state Senate passed a law creating a market for medical marijuana. The bill looked as if it had a chance of passage in the House, but that’s now gone up in smoke. The Speaker of the House of Representatives ruled the bill unconstitutional, and an appeal was tabled. The legislative session ends this week, so further action looks unlikely.
Legalization advocates in Missouri have gathered twice the number of signatures needed to put a cannabis initiative on the November ballot. Assuming the Secretary of State validates enough of those signatures, approximately 45%, the measure will go on the ballot. There is some resistance from those who believe the measure gives too much power to those already in the industry, so getting on the ballot doesn’t necessarily mean legalization. Stay tuned!
Late last week, the Delaware House passed an adult-use legalization bill. A Senate committee did the same this week, so the measure will move to the floor for a full Senate vote. Note that the Governor has doubts about legalization, so a veto could be coming. Plus, this bill only legalizes; it doesn’t set up a market – that requires a 3/5 vote, as it would create a new tax. A bill to do that is on its way to the House floor. Color this doubtful.
Momentum continues to build for including a cannabis banking provision in the COMPETES Act. Sadly, it’s violence at dispensaries that’s responsible. As Washington State Treasurer Mike Pellicciotti said in an interview. “Robbers go where the cash is.” Again, don’t get your hopes up! As we noted last week, this is a long way from done.
Regular readers will doubtless recall that a U.S. Senate candidate from Louisiana lit up a blunt in a campaign ad. We thought this would be a unique event, but no such thing. Tom McDermott (D), who’s running for the Senate from Indiana, also lights up in an ad.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!