This week, adult-use cannabis legalization measures officially qualified for the ballots in Arizona and Montana, sending the issue before voters this November. Elsewhere, in Vermont, lawmakers appear poised to consider legislation to legalize cannabis sales during an upcoming budget session.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Michigan: The Michigan Regulatory Agency has issued a recall for nearly 3,200 pre-rolls processed in a Bay City facility after a processing plant employee was accused of licking the product. The recall includes various brands, and the affected pre-rolls were sold through medical and adult-use retailers in Bay City, Hazel Park, Detroit, Traverse City, Ann Arbor, Lansing, River Rouge, Ferndale, Quincy, Lowell, Negaunee and Lapeer between June and Aug. 3. Read more
- Arizona: Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Smith has rejected claims that the 100-word summary on an initiative to place an adult-use cannabis legalization measure on Arizona’s 2020 ballot was misleading, meaning the issue can be placed before voters this November. Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy filed a lawsuit last month to keep the measure off the state’s ballot, claiming that the initiative’s description misled people into signing the petition to put the issue before voters this fall through its definition of “marijuana” and how the law might impact impaired driving in the state. Read more
- Oklahoma: The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) has appointed a new director as former director Travis Kirkpatrick was recently named deputy commissioner of prevention and preparedness at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Kirkpatrick, who will oversee the OMMA from his new position, chose Kelly Williams as the OMMA’s new director. Read more
- Ohio: The state’s medical cannabis sales have reached $100 million so far this year, doubling the sales figures from last year, the program’s first year in operation. As of July 20, the state’s licensed dispensaries had sold more than $156 million worth of cannabis products since the first sales launched in January 2019, an increase from the cumulative $56 million in sales as of December. Read more
- California: A long-running dispute between a slate of California cities and the state itself landed in trial Aug. 6, with a Superior Court judge seeming to underscore that state law will prevail over local rule. At issue: whether cannabis delivery services may operate in jurisdictions that have otherwise banned commercial cannabis activity. Read more
- Massachusetts: The state’s updated medical cannabis regulations allow caregivers to support more patients, but the new rules sparked controversy among industry stakeholders at a public hearing last week. At an Aug. 3 hearing, officials from the Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance (MPAA) voiced opposition to the Cannabis Control Commission’s new rules, which would allow caregivers to support up to 10 medical cannabis patients each. Read more
- Pennsylvania: The state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board held a virtual meeting this week to discuss permanently adopting temporary regulations that were established earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The possible changes include allowing dispensaries to permanently provide curbside service to deliver medical cannabis to vehicles, as well as removing a rule that one caregiver may only support a maximum of five patients. Read more
- Illinois: The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has established a tiebreaker process for awarding 75 conditional adult-use cannabis dispensary licenses. The permanent rules were filed in June and approved by a legislative rules committee this week, which will allow the state to issue the conditional licenses in the coming weeks. Read more
- Vermont: Lawmakers are hoping to consider legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis sales in a budget session that begins Aug. 25. Earlier this year, both the House and Senate approved versions of a bill that would establish a taxed-and-regulated system for legal cannabis sales, but both chambers had to work out the differences in their legislation before sending a final bill to Gov. Phil Scott, an effort that was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more
- Montana: The Secretary of State has certified an adult-use cannabis legalization measure for the state’s November ballot, verifying that New Approach Montana’s two complementary initiatives have gathered enough signatures to appear before voters this year. Statutory Initiative 190 would establish a system to regulate and tax cannabis for adult use, and Constitutional Initiative 118 would authorize the state to set the legal age for consumption at 21. Read more
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