This week, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and three other representatives who co-sponsored the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act submitted a letter to Senate committee chairman Mike Crapo to address his concerns about the legislation and to urge him to approve the bill. Elsewhere, efforts to legalize adult-use cannabis were launched in New York, New Mexico and New Hampshire.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: Taking its 46-year history in magazine publishing and its 32-year history of running the lauded Cannabis Cup events, High Times is getting into the retail game, announcing that the company will open two cannabis dispensaries in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. These flagship dispensaries will carry a variety of High Times-branded merchandise alongside locally sourced cannabis products that have previously won awards at Cannabis Cup events. Read more
- U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter and three other representatives who co-sponsored the SAFE Banking Act submitted a letter to Senate committee chairman Mike Crapo Jan. 21 to address his concerns about the legislation and to urge him to approve the bill. The House passed the SAFE Banking Act in September in a historic vote of 321-103. The bill would ultimately provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that work with cannabis clients, effectively opening the door to formal banking relationships in the industry. Read more
- Utah: Lawmakers will likely consider legislation in the upcoming legislative session that would make dozens of changes to the state’s medical cannabis law in the months leading up to the program’s launch. Senate Majority Leader Evan Vickers (R-Cedar City) is the main sponsor of the forthcoming legislation, which includes a proposal to expunge the criminal records of patients who were prosecuted in the past for cannabis possession, among other provisions. Read more
- Michigan: The Detroit City Council voted Jan. 21 to extend a moratorium on adult-use cannabis sales in the city. The moratorium was originally set to expire Jan. 31, and the extension is meant to give the city time to draft an ordinance to regulate the industry. Read more
- New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo included a plan to legalize and tax adult-use cannabis in a state budget proposal released Jan. 21. The move comes after Cuomo pledged in his Jan. 8 State of the State address to legalize cannabis this year. Read more
- New Mexico: Lawmakers have unveiled legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham seems eager to sign the bill should it make it through the legislature. NM S.B.115 was put forth in the Senate by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, and a companion bill has been introduced in the House by Rep. Javier Martinez. Read more
- Missouri: The has approved roughly 25,000 medical cannabis cards ahead of the program’s launch. The state has 10 qualifying conditions in its medical cannabis program, and released its applications for patients, caregivers and businesses in June. Read more
- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is in the process of issuing 192 medical cannabis dispensary licenses. The licenses were divided evenly among the state’s eight congressional districts, as required by law. Read more
- South Carolina: Medical cannabis supporters gathered at the South Carolina State House Jan. 22 to urge legislators to approve a medical cannabis program during this year’s legislative session. Last year, Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy introduced the Compassionate Care Act to establish a regulated medical cannabis program in the state, but the legislation was ultimately postponed after undergoing several last-minute amendments in the Senate. This year's version of the bill was scheduled for a Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs (3M) Committee hearing Jan. 22. Read more
- New Hampshire: New Hampshire lawmakers are considering roughly a dozen cannabis-related bills that have been filed for the 2020 session, including one that would allow patients to cultivate medical cannabis at home and two separate adult-use legalization proposals. One legalization bill would allow adults to possess up to 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis and to grow up to six plants at home, but would not create a commercial market in the state. Read more