This week, Reps. Seth Moulton and Matt Gaetz have teamed up on three bills to help improve veterans’ access to medical marijuana. North of the border, Canada’s industry insiders say supply shortages that have plagued many provinces in the first month of legal cannabis will likely persist for years.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: Rep. Seth Moulton, a Massachusetts Democrat and former Marine Corps officer, announced Wednesday that he has partnered with Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida to introduce a trio of bills that would nudge the VA to better integrate cannabis into the treatment it provides veterans. Millions of American military veterans—more than 1 in 5, according to an American Legion survey—use marijuana to treat a medical ailment, although many of those veterans say the Department of Veterans Affairs, which provides health care to former service members, isn’t responsive to their needs. Read more
- A federal prohibition on marijuana has locked U.S. banks out of an industry surging toward $75 billion in sales. But cannabis banking could take off in the U.S. as women forge a path around the ban. Read more
- Illinois: Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois are hopeful because Governor-Elect JB Pritzker shows interest in making that happen. Chicago lawmaker Kelly Cassidy is the co-sponsor of a cannabis bill she hopes will pass by next spring. Read more
- Texas: Decriminalization of marijuana in Texas is back on the table as nearly a half dozen bills related to the drug’s use were filed on Monday for the 86th legislative session. Recreational and most medical uses of marijuana are still prohibited in the state, the exception being low-THC cannabis for qualifying intractable epilepsy patients under the Texas Compassionate Use Program. Read more
- Washington: The state of Washington is about to hand out its very first cannabis research license to Seattle-based pharmaceutical company Verda Bio. This new license allows companies to grow and process cannabis purely for research purposes. Read more
- California: The cannabis industry is growing in San Luis Obispo County and many people are purchasing products from companies that deliver, but most of those companies do not yet have approval from the state. Out of the hundreds of companies in San Luis Obispo County that deliver cannabis for medicinal use, less than a handful are licensed. Read more
- Utah: On Utah's Capitol Hill, lawmakers are finalizing a bill that would replace Proposition 2, the medical marijuana ballot initiative approved by voters last week. Sponsors of Prop. 2 were meeting with opponents and legislative leadership on Wednesday night to hammer out some final language ahead of a Dec. 3 special session, while a final "compromise" bill is expected to be made public next week. Read more
- Canada: The supply shortages that have plagued many provinces in the first month of legal cannabis will likely persist for years, industry insiders say. Provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have all reported varying degrees of shortages. Read more
- Tilray Inc. is prepared to quickly move into the U.S. cannabis market if a pro-hemp farm bill is passed. Tilray’s $500 million in cash, its Nasdaq-listing and its global reach “gives us advantages to very quickly deploy capital in the U.S.” if Congress passes the farm bill, which would legalize non-intoxicating cannabidiol derived from hemp, Brendan Kennedy said. Read more
- Acreage Holdings, the cannabis startup backed by former Speaker of the House John Boehner, is set to become one of the most valuable companies in the U.S. cannabis industry. The company is the latest U.S. cannabis firm to tap the public markets in Canada, where marijuana is legal, through a reverse takeover. Read more
Top Image: © andreaobzerova | Adobe Stock