Why The Senate, And Not The Presidency, Is The Race To Watch This Election Year For Major Cannabis Legislation

As the country slowly opens up and returns to a semblance of normalcy, many Americans may struggle to remember that this year is also an election year—and unsurprisingly a pivotal one at that. Beyond the important matters of protecting the lives of our citizens and rebuilding the economy, the future of the cannabis industry will also be determined in this year’s election, although not in the branch of government that many might expect. 

Virginia governor signs bill decriminalizing marijuana

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation on decriminalising marijuana possession in the state.

The new law goes into effect 1 July.

Governor Northam, a Democrat, signed two identical bills, Senate Bill 2 and House Bill 972, creating a civil penalty of no more than $25 for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, with no jail time.

Medical marijuana expansion sailing through Louisiana Legislature

A bill that would allow any condition to be treated with medical marijuana and any doctor in good standing to recommend it continued to build momentum in the Louisiana Legislature Wednesday with little resistance.

Members of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved House Bill 819 by Rep. Larry Bagley, R-Stonewall, to expand treatable conditions.

The bill has already secured full approval in the House and now heads to the full Senate for debate.

Biden’s opposition to marijuana legalization is at odds with most Americans’ views

A majority of Americans, especially Democrats, support legalization. Biden doesn’t.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, still opposes federal marijuana legalization — putting him at odds not just with the majority of Democrats but also Americans overall.

Coronavirus spells doom for federal cannabis legislation

Politics and impeachment already had slowed things down.

Rep. Earl Blumenauer's (D-Ore.) road map for the current Congress ended in full legalization by the end of 2019.

But instead of a complete overhaul of the nation's cannabis laws in the 116th Congress, one chamber passed one cannabis bill on one issue. Impeachment killed the remaining momentum, and the coronavirus then changed the course entirely, torching the chances of any standalone cannabis legislation passing Congress this year.

Few impressed with Biden’s weak new marijuana decriminalization plan

Those who thought former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden might be forced to evolve on cannabis by the far-left Bernie Sanders coalition: You may now exhale. Uncle Joe ain’t budging.

On Monday, the Biden campaign released a six-part policy manifesto: “Lift Every Voice: The Biden Plan for Black America.” In it, Joe Biden describes his administration’s plan to “advance the economic mobility of African Americans and close the racial and wealth and income gaps.”

Florida justices consider recreational marijuana ballot amendment

The political committee Make It Legal Florida is seeking to put a pot measure on the 2022 ballot but needs the Supreme Court to sign off on the ballot title and summary.

With Attorney General Ashley Moody, lawmakers and groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce trying to block the measure, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments about a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow people to use recreational marijuana.

House Majority Leader introduces adult-use cannabis legislation for Minnesota

Tuesday, Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, introduced legislation that would legalize the adult-use of cannabis.

According to the Minnesota House of Representatives, the legislation is the result of months of public discussions on how to responsibly legalize and regulate cannabis. 

Recreational marijuana businesses plead with Mass. lawmakers for state loan program amid pandemic

It took almost two years for Massachusetts marijuana company T. Bear, Inc., to receive approval to commence operations, which finally came down on March 20, recounted owner and CEO Angela Brown.

That approval authorized the East Wareham company to start operations on March 24, which happened to end up being the day an order from the governor shut down businesses deemed non-essential, including marijuana companies.