Your Weekly Buzz
- The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled police can’t use the smell of weed alone to justify a search without a warrant. The decision grew from a case where state troopers searched a vehicle pulled over for a traffic violation after they smelled cannabis through a window.
- D.C.’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration extended its “Turnaround Thursday” pilot program to speed up registrations for the District’s medical cannabis program. Through April 28, D.C. residents who visit ABRA on a Thursday will be issued a physical and digital copy of their cannabis card on the spot.
- As the deadline for New York municipalities to ban cannabis businesses passed on Friday, a total of 642 cities, towns and villages had opted out of dispensaries, according to a tracker from the Rockefeller Institute of Government. However, many municipalities may have opted out just to buy more time to write local rules.
- Efforts to legalize cannabis in Delaware died last year when lawmakers started arguing over a proposal to create a social equity fund. But Rep. Ed Osienski says he’ll try again this year after spending months tweaking his bill in hopes that it will finally get a vote.
- Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services published its annual report on issues for the state’s upcoming legislative session, including an analysis of the economic, health, criminal justice, and public safety concerns around legalizing cannabis.
- The U.S. Cannabis Council, a national nonprofit started last year to advance federal cannabis reform, launched a new task force that aims to “diversify the cannabis industry and ensure that communities impacted by cannabis prohibition benefit from legalization.” The 28-member group will be chaired by local weed entrepreneur Linda Mercado Greene, who owns D.C.’s Anacostia Organics dispensary.
- || 🏛️ The federal view || A federal court case could become a major setback for proponents of social equity by allowing Big Weed to overturn decisions by state governments to prioritize people harmed by The War On Drugs for cannabis business opportunities.
- || 🌎 Elsewhere in weed world || The New York Times took a deep dive on how Oklahoma – a conservative stronghold where recreational pot use remains illegal – has turned into a mecca for weed growers as officials take a hands-off approach to regulating the state’s medical program.
- Virginia NORML is bringing experts, advocates, legislators and industry leaders together for a chance to mix and mingle at a two-day conference on the future of cannabis policy and regulation in the commonwealth at Delta Hotels in downtown Richmond. (Jan. 22 & 23; $75 – 150.)
- State delegate Jazz Lewis will be the keynote speaker for a “provocative” conversation on social equity in Maryland’s cannabis industry. Sip on a complimentary drink and enjoy live jazz by D.C.’s Eric Scott at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville. (Jan. 5; 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.; $99)
- CannaCon, a major cannabis conference for industry professionals, will host its first event of 2022 at the Javits Center in Manhattan. The two-day event comes as New York regulators are preparing to launch recreational cannabis sales in 2023. (Jan. 7 & 8; $80 – 200.)
- Maryland Marijuana Justice is gearing up for a rally in Annapolis next month to urge state lawmakers to legalize home cultivation and, yes, advocates plan to bring their infamous 51-foot joint. General Assembly leaders say they want to put cannabis legalization to a ballot vote in 2022. (Jan. 12; 9 a.m.)
- Cannabis industry professionals will get a chance to mingle over craft beer, tacos and live music at this networking event hosted by Baltimore’s Full Tilt Brewing. Proceeds go to medical cannabis research and education. (Jan. 19, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., $25)