Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what's happening in the world of legalized marijuana. We have some information on the SAFER Banking Act – will the "R" make all the difference? Nebraska voters may have the opportunity to vote on medical marijuana. There's some upheaval in the Massachusetts cannabis world. And finally, a Wisconsin politician is on a "Grass Routes" tour.
SAFER BANKING ACT
"A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet," says Shakespeare. Does the same hold true for cannabis banking legislation? What has been known for years as the SAFE Banking Act, now retitled the SAFER Banking Act (the R stands for Regulation), is headed for a Senate Committee markup on September 27. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has indicated he's interested in a floor vote sooner rather than later.
"This legislation will improve public safety, protect small businesses, and finally achieve action on cannabis reform. I intend to bring this legislation to the floor with all due speed."
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Of course, that Shakespeare quote is from Romeo & Juliet, and we all know how that turned out.
Advocates in the Cornhusker State have tried twice before to put medical marijuana on the state ballot. In both 2020 and 2022, the campaign went down to defeat. Taking the attitude that when at first (or second) you don't succeed, try try again, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana launched their third campaign last week. Since the measure has never been up for a vote, it's hard to know how it will fare. Supporters think legislative action is a long shot, so the initiative route seems the better strategic choice. We'll keep an eye on the situation and let you know how it all plays out.
Just a year ago, Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg appointed Shannon O'Brien as chair of the state's Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). Now, Goldberg has suspended O'Brien, for reasons at present unknown. Lawmakers, concerned about what seems to be a chaotic situation at the CCC, are calling for greater oversight of the body.
Wisconsin stands alone in the Upper Midwest – it has legalized neither medical nor adult-use cannabis. A doctor can prescribe low THC products, but that's all. Some in the legislature would like to change that. State Senator Melissa Agard (D-16) is setting out on a "Grass Routes" tour.
Be well and we'll see you next week.
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