Topic: Legislation

Update: Vermont Officially Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Sales

Yesterday, Vermont became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana sales and the second to do so via legislation (Illinois was the first in 2019). The State House of Representatives and State Senate previously approved a compromise bill legalizing marijuana sales and establishing a framework to regulate it, as we wrote about here.

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Vermont Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sales Passes General Assembly, Heads to Governor Scott

While possessing and growing small amounts of marijuana has been legal in Vermont since 2018, it is still illegal to sell marijuana. A legal retail market may be on the horizon though, as the State House of Representatives and State Senate have approved a compromise bill that would legalize marijuana sales. The bill sets up a new Cannabis Control Board that would be responsible for regulating the cannabis market, including issuing licenses. Under the bill, cannabis products would be charged a 14% excise tax in addition to the state’s standard 6% sales tax.

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Proposed House Bill Would Legalize CBD in Dietary Supplements and Reduce Uncertainty Surrounding CBD

Last Friday, a bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would legalize cannabidiol (CBD) and other hemp-derived products for use in dietary supplements. The bill—H.R. 8179—was co-sponsored by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and is referred to as the “Hemp and Hemp-Derived CBD Consumer Protection and Market Stabilization Act of 2020.”

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Shaky Dominos: Pennsylvania Eyes Recreational Legislation and Voters in Montana, Mississippi and South Dakota Will See Marijuana Ballot Initiatives in November

In a recent post we explored where things stood at the federal level with respect to marijuana decriminalization and legalization. The takeaway was that the focus on criminal justice reform and economic variables continue to propel cannabis to the forefront of a national discussion.

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IDFPR Tiebreaking Rules Are Finalized, Paving the Way to Issue Dispensary Licenses in Illinois

Good news for those awaiting the issuance of cannabis dispensary licenses by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR): the department’s tiebreaking rules are now finalized, which clears what seems to be the last remaining hurdle before issuance. As we discussed previously, the IDFPR’s emergency rules for breaking ties on applicant scoring expired before the department was able to issue licenses. Without a tiebreaking mechanism in place, the IDFPR has not issued any of the 75 new dispensary licenses.

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Latest Senate Coronavirus Relief Bill Omits Cannabis Banking Protection

Once again, the Senate appears to be punting on much-needed banking and insurance reform for the cannabis industry.  The SAFE Banking Act would allow banks and insurance companies to offer their services to marijuana-related businesses without violating federal law. As we discussed here, it’s had solid support in the House—a standalone bill passed the House with bipartisan support last year and the text of the bill was included in the House’s proposed stimulus package in May 2020.

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Where’s the Money At? Industry Cash Crunch Exacerbated by the Pandemic

If you’ve been following the cannabis industry in 2020, you’ve likely heard the term “cash is king” more than once. This has become the industry consensus as stocks (mostly traded in Canada) began to slide after some disappointing earning numbers in the middle of 2019. That, in turn, resulted in decreased valuations and a reduction in investment capital.

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