This week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act, marking the first time a congressional committee has approved legislation to federally decriminalize cannabis. Elsewhere, Michigan regulators awarded the state’s first five adult-use cannabis business licenses ahead of a Dec. 1 start date for adult-use sales.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: The House Judiciary Committee approved the MORE Act Nov. 20, marking the first time a congressional committee has approved a piece of legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition. The legislation, introduced in July by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), would decriminalize cannabis federally by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. Read more
- Maryland: Under a new Medical Cannabis Commission bulletin, all cannabis vape products in the state must be tested for vitamin E acetate and any vapes containing the substance cannot be sold. The screening is mandatory for all vape cartridges and disposable vape pens prior to the products being released to a licensed dispensary, and vape products currently available for sale will be placed on an “administrative hold” until the additional testing is completed. Read more
- Ohio: Medical cannabis regulators have issued a mandatory product recall on Pineapple Express Rosin, Boi Z7 and Afghani #1 rosins produced by One Orijin. While there have been no adverse effects reported, the plant material the product was made from contains unspecified types of microbials, Read more
- California: Los Angeles will halt its latest round of social equity cannabis licensing until the process undergoes a third-party audit. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti called for the audit last week to investigate the application process and to determine whether the top 100 applicants are eligible for further processing. Read more
- New Jersey: After a cannabis legalization bill stalled in the New Jersey Legislature earlier this year, lawmakers have decided to kick the issue over to voters. Legislators introduced a resolution Nov. 18 that would place an adult-use legalization question on the November 2020 ballot. Read more
- Washington: The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) has released a bulletin announcing a ban on the production and sale of vape products that contain vitamin E acetate, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has linked to the national outbreak of vape-related lung injuries. Cannabis licensees must implement a recall plan for any vape products containing vitamin E acetate, according to the bulletin, and all products available for sale must have documentation available that lists all ingredients. Read more
- West Virginia: Regulators have announced the start of the state’s medical cannabis business licensing process, an important step toward implementing the program, which was slated to launch this past July. Businesses seeking cultivation, processing, distribution and laboratory licenses can apply with the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis starting Dec. 19, and the application window will stay open for 60 days before regulators issue licenses, Read more
- Minnesota: Lawmakers are readying a proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis ahead of the next legislative session, which kicks off in February. House Majority Leader Rep. Ryan Winkler has been hosting a series of 15 “Be Heard on Cannabis” discussions throughout the state to gather public input on adult-use legalization and regulation, and has also been meeting with members of Gov. Tim Walz’s administration and lawmakers on the issue, Read more
- Michigan: The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued its first five adult-use cannabis business licenses Nov. 19, taking another step toward launching adult-use sales Dec. 1. The first licenses were awarded to Elusive Brands in Ann Arbor, which received permits for a cultivation operation, a processing facility and a dispensary; PSI Labs in Ann Arbor, which received a license for a cannabis testing facility; and Real Leaf Solutions in Kalkaska, which received an event organizer permit. Read more
- Massachusetts: The Boston City Council has approved a bill aimed at making the city’s cannabis industry more inclusive for historically disadvantaged applicants seeking dispensary licenses. The proposal, which passed Nov. 20, creates the Boston Cannabis Board, a regulatory body charged with licensing eligible applicants. Read more