This week, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the future of cannabis regulation, titled “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade.” Elsewhere, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced that adult-use cannabis sales from Jan. 1 through Jan. 12 totaled nearly $20 million.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: On Wednesday, members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on the future of cannabis regulation. Titled “Cannabis Policies for the New Decade,” the meeting included testimony from committee members and three witnesses: Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Nora Volkow, DEA Senior Policy Adviser Matthew Strait and FDA Deputy Director for Regulatory Programs Douglas Throckmorton. Read more
- Missouri: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has started the process of awarding medical cannabis manufacturing licenses to 86 facilities that will be able to manufacture cannabis-infused products such as edibles, tinctures and concentrates. DHSS issued 60 medical cannabis cultivation licenses last month, as well as 10 testing lab licenses, and is expected to issue dispensary licenses and select seed-to-sale tracking systems by the end of the month. Read more
- Illinois: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced that adult-use cannabis sales from Jan. 1 through Jan. 12 totaled nearly $20 million. Dispensaries processed 495,385 transactions and raked in $19,709,345.10 during the first 12 days sales. Read more
- At Cresco Labs’ cannabis cultivation facility in Joliet, Ill., employees voted 58-37 in favor of joining United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881. The vote signals the first successful unionization attempt in Illinois—and just one case in a growing history across the U.S. cannabis industry. Read more
- Montana: New Approach Montana, a statewide campaign working to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana, has submitted two complementary 2020 ballot initiatives to the state government for review. The first is a statutory initiative that would legalize marijuana in Montana for adults aged 21 and over and establish a regulatory framework for cultivation and sales. The second is a constitutional amendment that would allow the legal minimum age for marijuana consumption to be 21. Read more
- Florida: Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-Pinellas County) filed legislation Jan. 13 that would legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. The move comes after two political action committees suspended their efforts to get legalization initiatives on the state’s 2020 ballot. Read more
- Minnesota: An audit of the Minnesota Health Department’s controls and compliance has revealed several ways that the state’s medical cannabis program is not being correctly monitored. Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm submitted a response to the audit, indicating that health officials agree with the findings and that they have made efforts throughout the past year to improve their oversight of the program, and that further improvements may require legislative action. Read more
- New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is renewing her push to legalize adult-use cannabis this year, and has officially added the issue to the state’s 2020 legislative agenda. Grisham announced in March 2019 that she would like to tackle cannabis legalization in this year’s 30-day legislative session, after a legalization proposal stalled in the Senate last year. Read more
- New Jersey: An appeals court in New Jersey has ruled that an employer must reimburse a former employee for the cost of medical cannabis in a move that could have far-reaching effects for the industry. Courts in other states, such as Connecticut, New Hampshire and New Mexico, have also ruled that injured employees must be reimbursed for their medical cannabis costs, but this marks the first ruling that dismisses employer’s arguments about running afoul of federal law. Read more
- Rhode Island: Gov. Gina Raimondo released a state budget plan Jan. 16 that includes a proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis and distribute the products through state-run retailers. This is the second year Raimondo is including adult-use cannabis legalization in the state budget; she introduced a similar proposal last year, which was ultimately unsuccessful. Read more