This week, the U.S. House voted 321-103 to pass the SAFE Banking Act in the first major floor vote in Washington, D.C., for any cannabis reform legislation. Elsewhere, in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and announced a four-month ban on vape sales statewide, including cannabis vape cartridges sold in licensed dispensaries.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: In an effort to increase educational awareness around growing public interest in the CBD-based products now proliferating markets across the U.S., the Arthritis Foundation has released the first guidance to inform consumers and medical practitioners alike seeking out CBD’s potential to treat inflammatory pain. The Arthritis Foundation consulted with leading experts in cannabis and arthritic pain management to convey best practices for CBD sourcing, usage and dosing. Read more
- District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine led a bipartisan coalition of 21 state attorneys general in urging Congress to pass the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act or similar legislation that would allow legal cannabis businesses to access the banking system. The coalition sent a letter to Congress Sept. 23. Read more
- The U.S. House voted 321-103 to pass the SAFE Banking Act on Sept. 25, the first major floor vote in Washington, D.C., for any cannabis reform legislation. H.R. 1595 will provide a safe harbor for financial institutions that work with cannabis business clients, effectively opening the door to formal banking relationships in the fragmented, federally illegal cannabis industry. Read more
- Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert has signed the state’s revised medical cannabis law, which lawmakers approved Sept. 16 during a special session of the legislature. The amendments to the law eliminated Utah’s original plan for state-run dispensaries, instead taking the traditional route of licensing private businesses for cannabis sales, and also increased the number of “cannabis pharmacy” licenses to 14. Read more
- Massachusetts: Gov. Charlie Baker declared a public health emergency and announced a four-month ban on vape sales statewide. This includes cannabis vape cartridges sold in licensed dispensaries. Read more
- South Dakota: A newly formed political campaign, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, has launched an effort to pass two marijuana reform ballot initiatives in South Dakota next year. The first ballot initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment, would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older and direct the legislature to enact laws regulating the cultivation and sale of hemp. The second ballot initiative, a proposed statutory amendment, would establish a medical marijuana law for qualifying patients. Read more
- New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to discuss cannabis legalization with governors in the neighboring states of Connecticut and New Jersey to ensure the administrations are all aligned on the issue. Cuomo planned to discuss the issue with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont Sept. 25 and with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy at a later date. Read more
- Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced their support for adult-use legalization in their state in a Sept. 25 press conference that marked a turning point for a state that’s actively engaged a wide-ranging public policy conversation on cannabis over the past year. “We are calling for the General Assembly to seriously debate marijuana legalization,” Wolf said. Read more
- New Mexico: The New Mexico Department of Health must begin issuing medical cannabis cards to qualifying non-residents following a judge’s ruling that upholds an elimination of the program’s residency requirements. Santa Fe District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid’s order addressed confusion over the state’s medical cannabis law earlier this year. Read more
- International: Canberra, Australia’s capital city, has become the first part of the country to legalize adult-use cannabis possession and cultivation after the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly voted to legalize possession of up to 50 grams and the home cultivation of two plants. The new law goes into effect Jan. 31, 2020 and applies to adults age 18 and older. Read more