This week, lawmakers in New Mexico, Virginia and Connecticut set to work considering adult-use cannabis legalization proposals, while a Nebraska lawmaker introduced legislation to legalize medical cannabis. Elsewhere, in Massachusetts, a group of dispensaries has sued the state over its new delivery regulations.
Here, we’ve rounded up the top 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: A diverse group of North America’s cannabis cultivation and manufacturing experts has announced that they have come together to form the Sustainable Cannabis Coalition (SCC). The SCC will work proactively with industry cultivation and manufacturing peers and vendors to promote proven sustainability best practices that can be implemented at scale across the cannabis market. Read more
- Nebraska: Sen. Anna Wishart has introduced legislation to legalize medical cannabis in the state after supporting a medical cannabis ballot initiative that was ultimately rejected by the Nebraska Supreme Court for violating the state’s single subject rule. Wishart has also introduced a constitutional amendment to clarify the single subject rule and help eliminate uncertainty for future ballot initiative campaigns. Read more
- New Mexico: Democrats in the state legislature are planning an adult-use cannabis legalization proposal as the state’s 60-day legislative session kicks off. Although the legislature has failed to pass adult-use legalization bills the past two years, voters did not reelect some more conservative Democrats who opposed the issue in the 2020 election, and lawmakers now see a path forward for policy reform efforts. Read more
- California: Vertically integrated cannabis operator Harborside has announced the departure of Chief Operating Officer Greg Sutton, effective Jan. 15. Peter Bilodeau is now the company’s interim CEO. Read more
- The California Cannabis Industry Association (CCIA), a statewide nonprofit that promotes the growth of a responsible and legitimate cannabis industry, is offering its members exclusive access to banking through the North Bay Credit Union (NBCU). CCIA’s 400 cannabis industry members will qualify for membership in the credit union and access to banking services such as checking accounts, online bill payment, wire transfers and ACH processing, and employees of CCIA members are also welcome to join as individual members of the credit union. Read more
- Arizona: Beginning Jan. 21, the Arizona Marijuana Industry Trade Association (MITA) will offer a free, weekly, virtual course for prospective social equity applicants looking to enter the state’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis industry. MITA’s course will focus on specific aspects of Arizona’s medical cannabis program and the cannabis industry more broadly, while welcoming speakers from in and around the industry. Read more
- Colorado: Colorado-based, cannabis-focused payroll and HR solutions company Wurk has announced the passing of its founder and CEO, Keegan Peterson. “Keegan will be remembered for his fierce advocacy in the cannabis space and the company he built to support the industry that he cared about deeply,” the company’s executive chairman, Scott Kenyon, wrote in a letter announcing Peterson’s death. Read more
- Massachusetts: A group of cannabis dispensaries is suing the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) over the state’s new delivery rules, arguing that the regulations, which allow only social equity applicants to receive cannabis delivery licenses for the first three years, violate state law. The Commonwealth Dispensary Association filed the lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court Jan. 13 to ask the court to declare the regulations invalid. Read more
- Virginia: The Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Subcommittee voted this week to approve an adult-use legalization bill, advancing it to the nest committee for consideration. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin and Senate President Pro Tempore Louise Lucas, and backed by Gov. Ralph Northam. Read more
- Connecticut: Gov. Ned Lamont has introduced a draft bill to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, following an announcement in his Jan. 6 State of the State address that he is making legalization a priority this year. Lamont’s administration is currently seeking feedback on the legislation, and it remains to be seen whether Lamont will incorporate the proposal into his state budget, which is due to lawmakers next month. Read more