Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we’re talking a lot about state ballot initiatives. First, we have an update on the Arkansas situation. Then, we’ll fill you in on what’s happening in North Dakota and Maryland. But there’s also news from states where cannabis is already legal. We have the latest on New York dispensary licenses and on a new Massachusetts law. And finally, if you’re planning a fall getaway, check out the cannabis museum!
Another week, another story about Arkansas. Last week, supporters of adult-use turned to the Supreme Court to get their initiative on the ballot. And they succeeded, kind of. The court issued a preliminary injunction, meaning that initiative will appear on the ballot, and voters will weigh in. The lawsuit brought by Responsible Growth Arkansas will continue, and if the court decides in their favor, the votes will be counted. If the court decides against them, the votes will not be counted. Further bulletins as events warrant.
Voters will decide (and the votes will be counted) on adult-use in North Dakota. New Approach ND collected signatures well in excess of the number needed to put the initiative on the ballot, and the Secretary of State certified the measure. Legalization lost at the ballot box in 2018, so we’ll see how it fares in 2022.
Lawmakers in Maryland see the writing on the wall. Convinced adult-use will pass in November, they’ve already drawn up a framework for the industry. Late last week, election officials certified the initiative language and released a summary of the proposal. Assuming this passes, will that encourage legalization advocates in neighboring Pennsylvania?
If you’re looking to sell cannabis in New York, mark August 25 on your calendar. That’s when the state starts accepting applications for retail licenses. Those previously convicted of marijuana crimes who have business experience will have priority. The Cannabis Control Board also approved additional cultivator and processor licenses.
Governor Charlie Baker (R) signed a major piece of cannabis legislation, vetoing one section. The law seeks to make the cannabis industry more inclusive in Massachusetts, and moves the state closer to allowing social consumption sites. The section Baker rejected dealt with a requirement to study medical marijuana use by K-12 students on school grounds.
Another bit of news from New York – a museum devoted to all things cannabis is opening this fall. Expect three floors of immersive exhibits, but no actual cannabis on site.
Stay safe and be well everyone – we’ll see you next week!