This week, the Arizona Supreme Court took on Arizona v. Jones, which centers on the legality of cannabis extracts under the state’s medical marijuana law. Elsewhere, on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduced H.R. 420, legislation that would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and roll its regulation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) is getting a jump on 2019 cannabis legislation by introducing H.R. 420, a bill that would remove cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances and roll its regulation into the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Such legislation would open the door to an expansive cannabis market in the U.S., one that allows interstate commerce (like alcohol) and broad investments from the consumer packaged goods industry. Read more
- Vermont: Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe said lawmakers in his chamber will fast-track legislation that would create a retail market for cannabis sales in Vermont, but House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said she isn’t convinced Vermonters are ready for a tax-and-regulate system. Last year, lawmakers legalized possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana, but Ashe said Vermont is still missing out on revenue from cannabis sales. Read more
- South Carolina: State lawmakers have prefiled a bill to legalize and regulate medical marijuana in South Carolina. With the new session just beginning, representatives hope to gain some traction. Read more
- Ohio: The state medical board is reviewing petitions asking that opioid addiction, autism, depression and other conditions be treated with medical marijuana use in Ohio. Cannabis products are becoming available in the state’s dispensaries over the next few months following delays in rolling out the program last year. Read more
- The Ohio Department of Commerce awarded its second round of medical marijuana processor licenses to 13 companies Jan. 9. The state can issue up to 40 provisional licenses for processors; the first round of licenses was awarded in August, and the second round was for applicants who needed to include additional clarifying information on their applications. Read more
- North Dakota: State legislators have drafted a bill setting limits on how much usable marijuana a patient or caregiver may have, even though as of the end of 2018, patients are still waiting for product to become available. Under the proposed law, self-grow would be allowed, but limited; a patient would be able to have no more than three ounces and nine live plants. Read more
- Texas: More than a dozen marijuana bills were filed on day one of the Texas legislative session. Marijuana advocates are focusing their energy on two issues in particular: medical marijuana and decriminalization. Read more
- D.C.: D.C. lawmakers have proposed legislation that would make it legal for people to buy and sell cannabis in the District. Council members have tried to get measures like this passed before but kept hitting a brick wall: the federal government. Read more
- Arizona: The Arizona Supreme Court will take up the open question of cannabis extracts’ status under the state’s medical marijuana law, as Arizona v. Jones heads into its sixth year of civil litigation. According to the Arizona Court of Appeals ruling in July 2018, the state’s medical marijuana law does not permit the use of cannabis extract products, like oil cartridges. Read more
- Florida: In the latest court ruling on Florida’s medical marijuana law, Judge Karen Gievers ruled that the limit on the number of dispensary retail locations allowed per medical marijuana business licenses is unconstitutional. Her order went further, in fact, striking down the entirety of the 48-page law. Read more