This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended rescheduling cannabis in regard to international drug treaties and trade, a move that United Nations member countries will vote on. Elsewhere, in the U.S. Congress, the House Financial Services Committee is expected to take up a draft of the SAFE Banking Act, which would allow banks and credit unions to work freely with state-legal cannabis businesses.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- International: In an unreleased World Health Organization (WHO) internal letter, the global organization is reportedly poised to recommend rescheduling cannabis for the purposes of international drug treaties and trade. The move will require a vote from United Nations member countries, and if approved, the long-term impact on worldwide cannabis reform could be quite significant. Read more
- Federal: The House Financial Services Committee is expected to take up a draft of the SAFE Banking Act Feb. 13. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Ed Perlmutter and Denny Heck, would allow banks and credit unions to work freely with state-legal cannabis businesses (even as the plant remains illegal on the federal level). Read more
- Oregon: Oregon’s regulated cannabis industry is so overstocked with product that it could meet consumer demand for the next six and a half years, according to the state’s analysis of the market. The report, based on data from three years of production and more than two years of legal sales, was submitted to lawmakers last week. Read more
- Michigan: More than 50 pounds of medical cannabis products have been recalled in Michigan this year, and state regulators reported that the majority of those batches were sourced from caregivers. As the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) continues to issue licenses to medical marijuana businesses, the state is allowing licensed dispensaries to purchase products from caregivers. Read more
- Florida: A high-profile effort to repeal the state’s ban on smokable medical marijuana has morphed into legislation that, according to the proposal’s author, Sen. Jeff Brandes, would be worse for patients than doing nothing at all. Gov. Ron DeSantis has given state lawmakers until March 15—10 days after the 2019 legislative session begins—to address the smoking ban, which was included in a sweeping 2017 law aimed at implementing a constitutional amendment broadly legalizing medical marijuana. Read more
- Siding with Florida’s largest cannabis operator, a circuit judge for the second time struck down a law capping the number of dispensaries medical marijuana businesses can run. The limit on the number of retail storefronts was also included in the 2017 law that implemented the constitutional amendment that legalized medical marijuana in the state. Read more
- Pennsylvania: State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced HB50 to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Sen. Sharif Street, who also supports the legislation, said that it’s “time for us to join the new age and enter the cannabis economy.” Read more
- Nebraska: Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, a campaign committee working to reform the state’s marijuana laws, has submitted its proposed medical marijuana initiative to the Nebraska Secretary of State for official review. The initiative, if approved by voters in the November 2020 election, would amend Nebraska’s state constitution to protect the right of Nebraskans with serious medical conditions to access medical marijuana. Read more
- Tennessee: Sen. Sara has sponsored a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. “My whole point of bringing a bill to have marijuana available just like any alcohol is available is to have the discussion,” said Kyle. Read more
- Maryland: State lawmakers in both chambers filed legislation Wednesday that would end cannabis prohibition in Maryland. SB0771, sponsored by Sen. William C. Smith, Jr., and HB0656, sponsored by Del. Eric Luedtke, would make cannabis legal for adults 21 and older and establish a system in which cannabis is regulated and taxed for adult use. Read more