In the past week, Maryland announced that its MMJ patients will have to surrender their firearms, Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana through state legislation, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) were appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee, former Alaska Marijuana Control Board Chairman Peter Mlynarik announced his resignation, Massachusetts medical dispensaries were forced to stop accepting debit cards, and more.
- Former Alaska Marijuana Control Board Chairman Peter Mlynarik announced his resignation last week in the wake of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to rescind the Cole Memo, saying that changes in regulations remove the legal foundation for Alaska’s marijuana industry. Read more.
- Maryland announced that medical marijuana patients will be required to surrender their firearms, forcing patients to choose between their right to own a gun or obtaining medicine they may desperately need. Read more.
- The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill to make marijuana legal for adults on Tuesday by a vote of 207-139, only to have House leadership unexpectedly refer the bill to the House Ways & Means Committee. The bill will not advance to the Senate until the House Ways & Means Committee either decides not to hear the bill or until after it has been heard by the committee and receives a second-floor vote. Read more.
- Our staff spoke with Reed Smith’s Michael Sampson about how the DOJ’s reversal of federal cannabis protections could impact private business contracts. Read more.
- Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana through state legislation, rather than through a ballot initiative. The bill will take effect on July 1, 2018 granted Gov. Phil Scott signs the bill into law, which he’s promised to do. The bill does not establish a taxable retail market in the state. Read more.
- Medical marijuana dispensaries were forced to stop accepting debit cards from patients after threats of a federal crackdown prompted a key payment processing company to pull out of the Massachusetts cannabis market. Read more.
- U.S. Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) were appointed to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. The senators bring a firmer pro-marijuana stance to the committee as Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recent announcement casts uncertainty. Read more.
- A new poll shows overwhelming public support for medical marijuana legalization in South Carolina. According to a December 2017 Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll, 61 percent of people surveyed expressed support for a bill that would allow South Carolina doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for specific conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorders. Read more.
- New York lawmakers heard testimony from several experts on Thursday, including the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee, on the potential of allowing regulated cannabis sales and possession in New York. Assembly members were presented with studies which showed that African American and Latino New Yorkers continue to be arrested each year for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Read more.
- After being denied a permit to open a dispensary in San Francisco’s Sunset District, Apothecarium, a dispensary owned by former Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, is suing the city claiming its Board of Supervisors "favors politically connected groups.” Read more.
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