Here's the latest batch of cannabis legislation news at the state level: Virginia is on the verge of eliminating the threat of jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana, and the Kentucky House of Representatives appears poised to pass a bill legalizing medical marijuana. Meanwhile, a Senate Judiciary Committee in New Mexico has tabled a bill that would have legalized recreational sales.
2019 was a bit of a mixed bag for the North American marijuana market as companies had to battle through a nationwide vaping crisis, plummeting stock prices and a barrage of other headwinds. Nevertheless, there were plenty of reasons for cannabis entrepreneurs and executives to feel optimistic heading into 2020. Here are 3 storylines to keep an eye on as the new year gets underway.
2019 was a rather tumultuous year for North American cannabis companies. In spite of some of the negative storylines that seemed to plague the industry, there were plenty of reasons to remain optimistic about the future growth of the marijuana market. Here are a few of the headlines that defined the last year in cannabis.
A coalition of cannabis lobbyists has turned up the heat on Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID), calling on the Senator to advance a bill that would protect financial institutions working with state-approved marijuana operations. In a joint letter penned by 33 federal and state cannabis industry groups, Sen. Crapo was urged to pass the Senate version of the SAFE Banking Act.
U.S. lawmakers convened Wednesday to discuss the future of federal cannabis legalization and to question leaders from three government agencies tasked with researching and enforcing America’s drug policies. The session was hosted by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, and billed as an chance to examine six pieces of federal marijuana legislation.
Marijuana advocates in Montana have submitted a pair of 2020 ballot initiatives to state officials that would legalize, regulate and tax cannabis. New Approach Montana is campaigning for a statutory initiative that would legalize adult-use cannabis sales, as well as a constitutional amendment that would allow individuals 21 years and older to purchase, consume or possess marijuana.
California Governor Gavin Newsom has drawn up plans to significantly alter how the state regulates its cannabis industry. Unveiled Friday as part of Newsom’s proposed 2020-21 budget, the changes include consolidating California’s three licensing agencies and changing the state’s cultivation and excise tax collection methods.
In this week’s edition of The Buzz: A congressional committee will meet next week to discuss “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade," the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act moved "one step closer to becoming the first bill to end cannabis prohibition to pass the House of Representatives," and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to legalize adult-use marijuana in 2020.
Leaders from the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) took to Reddit on Wednesday to answer questions about the marijuana industry. Participating in an AMA (ask me anything) session with users on the popular news aggregator and discussion platform was NCIA director of government relations Michael Correia, as well as government relations managers Michelle Rutter and Maddy Grant.
Residents of South Dakota will get a chance to vote for the legalization of adult-use marijuana this November, Secretary of State Steve Barnett’s office announced Monday. According to a press release, Barnett validated and filed a petition that was submitted and would amend the South Dakota Constitution to “legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.”
Los Angeles-based MedMen Enterprises will continue its cost-cutting efforts in the new year as it moves to sell three medical marijuana licenses in Arizona and one cultivation and manufacturing license in Illinois. The transactions are expected to generate a combined $54 million as the company works to improve its financial position in fiscal year 2020.
Speaking to cannabis industry professionals during a panel discussion at last week’s MJBizCon event in Las Vegas, Craft Cannabis Alliance founder Adam Smith made a strong case for the licensed transfer of cannabis between legal markets.