This week, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf called for adult-use cannabis legalization as part of a broader plan to help combat the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elsewhere, in Nebraska, Secretary of State Bob Evnen approved a medical cannabis legalization measure for the state’s November ballot.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Arkansas: The state’s medical cannabis sales have reached $131 million, with dispensaries selling more than 20,000 pounds of product since the program launched in May 2019. The state has nearly 76,000 registered patients and 28 operational dispensaries, with nine more retailers expected to open. Read more
- Arkansas’ temporary extension of medical cannabis cards is set to expire in September. Earlier this year, the Arkansas Department of Health suspended expiration dates on patients’ medical cannabis registration cards due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but cards with an expiration date on or before Sept. 30 will expire on that date, and patients must complete a renewal application by Sept. 11 to allow for processing time. Read more
- Minnesota: The White Earth Nation, Minnesota’s largest tribal nation, has voted to legalize medical cannabis. Tribal members voted 994-150 to approve the measure, which legalizes the production, regulation and distribution of medical cannabis within the reservation’s borders. Read more
- Vermont: Lawmakers are considering legislation that would expand cannabis expungements in the state by automatically expunging criminal records involving the possession of two ounces or less of cannabis. The move comes as lawmakers in the House and Senate work on a final bill to tax and regulate cannabis sales. Read more
- Colorado: Columbia Care Inc. has announced that it will complete its acquisition of The Green Solution (TGS), one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis operators in Colorado, on Sept. 1. Columbia Care’s fully integrated operating portfolio includes 23 dispensaries and six cultivation and manufacturing facilities. Read more
- A judge determined this week that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear a lawsuit brought against Loveland, Colo., City Clerk Patti Garcia by supporters of a petition for a ballot initiative to allow cannabis dispensaries in the city, but the city clerk’s office has agreed to accept additional signatures collected during the initial 90-day period allotted for signature gathering. Petitioners had 90 days to collect a minimum of 2,888 valid signatures from registered electors to place the issue before voters, and the lawsuit arose following allegations that Garcia provided misinformation to the petition representatives. Read more
- Pennsylvania: Gov. Tom Wolf is calling for adult-use cannabis legalization to help boost the state’s economy amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Wolf says the state could use the tax revenue generated from adult-use cannabis sales to support grants for small businesses and fund restorative justice programs, with 50% of funding earmarked for historically disadvantaged businesses. Read more
- Nevada: The Cannabis Compliance Board is issuing stricter policies for cannabis companies that have past due taxes or licensing renewals. Moving forward, regulators will notify businesses immediately if they miss a deadline and will terminate access to the METRC database until taxes and fees are paid. Read more
- Nebraska: Secretary of State Bob Evnen has approved a medical cannabis legalization measure for the state’s November ballot. Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana submitted enough signatures in July to place the measure before voters this fall, but opponents urged Evnen to reject the proposal, arguing that the measure violates the state constitution. Read more
- International: The Warsaw Zoo will study the effects of CBD-rich cannabis on its three African elephants. The research is meant to gather data on how CBD affects elephants’ stress levels, and the CBD oil will be administered to the elephants through their trunks. Read more