Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what’s happening in the world of legalized marijuana.
This week, we see Missouri proposing an ambitious timeline to begin cannabis sales. New York is having trouble with licensing. Could Minnesota legalize marijuana, now that the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party controls the State Senate? Kentucky’s governor takes a step towards allowing medical cannabis. Law360 publishes a piece by our own Jen Mora. And finally, two boxing rivals join together to sell edibles.
One thing we’ve noticed over the years is that just because a state legalizes marijuana, that doesn’t mean it will be on store shelves immediately. There are a lot of details to be worked out before sales can begin. In Missouri, they’re hoping cash registers will be ringing up sales in just a few months. Regulators published proposed rules for the industry 48 hours after voters approved adult-use. Medical cannabis dispensaries can apply for a license to sell to both medical and adult-use markets on December 8, and with a 60-day deadline for regulators to approve a license, customers could be lining up in early February. Stay tuned to see if this plan holds up.
Note to Missouri, sometimes, the best-laid plans go awry. Take New York for example. The Empire State legalized adult-use cannabis in March 2021, but dispensaries are not yet open. As we reported last month, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) predicts they will be up and running by the end of the year, but a new lawsuit may impede the state’s efforts. A business based in Michigan has filed a complaint over the state’s requirement that any applicant have a connection to the state and a state marijuana-related conviction. The litigation is holding up a significant number of licenses in five areas.
As we all know, elections have consequences, and cannabis supporters in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are hoping state legalization may be one. No less a source than former Governor Jesse Ventura (Reform Party), is quoted as saying current Governor Tim Walz (DFL) has promised that adult-use marijuana will be one of his first priorities. Efforts to legalize in Minnesota had been stymied by the state’s Republican-led Senate. Now that the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party is in control, things may change. Further reports as events warrant.
Kentucky’s Governor Andy Beshear (D) supports medical marijuana; the Republican legislature does not. So what’s a chief executive to do? Sign an executive order! The measure would allow residents to use cannabis for medical purposes, provided it was purchased legally outside the state and is no more than eight ounces. The order goes into effect on January 1, 2023. Is this everything the Governor wanted? No. Is this something the legislature can support? Also no. It doesn’t require a crystal ball to see the potential for litigation in the future.
If you subscribe to Law360, please check out the piece written by Jen Mora, “Navigating Whether Workers’ Cannabis Use Is Protected.”
Just because someone tries to bite off your ear doesn’t mean you can’t go into business with him. As mature readers will doubtless recall, Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ear in a bout in 1997 (how has this been 25 years ago???). Now Tyson, a cannabis entrepreneur, has released a new product, “Holy Ears,” which are, as you’ve probably already guessed, edibles in the shape of ears.
Programming note: we’ll be off next week – have a very Happy Thanksgiving. We are thankful for you, our readers! We’ll be back on Friday, December 2.