Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what's happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we look at what officials in Ohio are saying about the ballot initiative. We check in on the Alabama licensing situation. We note that there's been a settlement in the New York licensing lawsuit. We have some information on a nationwide poll of public sentiment on cannabis. And finally, we see Wisconsin has something to say to Ohio.
Last week, the big news was that Ohio voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing adult-use cannabis. Regular readers will recall we wondered how lawmakers might implement the initiative, especially since some of them were not in favor of legalization. This week, the picture is becoming a bit clearer. Notably, Ohio's Governor Mike DeWine (R), an opponent of the initiative, has said he's focused on the details of the law.
I don't think there's any surprises out there. I don't think any of the things that I have suggested that we do really flies in the face of the spirit of what people were voting for. I truly believe that most people went in (to voting booths) and the issue was, are we gonna have legal marijuana or we're not going to have legal marijuana? And the details – I'm not sure people got focused on it. I have to focus on it because we have to administer it. We have to make sure it actually does in fact work.
Governor Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Alabama's medical marijuana rollout continues to experience problems. We reported two weeks ago that the awards from the first two attempts at licensing have been rescinded and the state Medical Cannabis Commission would issue licenses in December. Well, maybe not. Several unsuccessful applicants filed suit in Alabama Circuit Court protesting the scoring method the commission used. When that Court declined to prohibit the Commission from using procedures the plaintiffs believe violate the Alabama Administrative Procedures Act, the applicants appealed. Since settlement talks appear to have stalled, it's now up to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Further bulletins as events warrant.
Speaking of states experiencing issue with cannabis licensing, let's check in on New York. When we last reported on the Empire State, an application window had just been opened, and licenses were expected in early 2024. This week, we note that a lawsuit preventing conditional adult-use retail dispensary licensees from opening dispensaries has now been settled. Granted, the settlement must still be finalized by all parties, but perhaps the Empire State is on its way to a more functional market.
Gallup just released the results of a new poll on cannabis. Support for legalization now stands at 70%, higher than it's ever been. To be blunt, lawmakers should take note of the grassroots support for marijuana.
Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Ben Wikler had some thoughts on Ohio's legalization.
We'll be off next week for Thanksgiving. Wishing you all a happy holiday, and we'll see you on December 1.
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