420DC Weekly Round Up
Headlines from 1/5-1/12
Brought to you by The Outlaw Report
Legislation that legalizes cannabis for recreational use and outlines provisions for recreational cannabis sales in Maryland was pre-filed by Delegate Jazz Lewis before the General Assembly convenes on January 13, indicating the growing likelihood that the legislature will vote on recreational cannabis in 2021.
Cannabis legalization in Virginia is advancing rapidly—two of the latest strategic moves are the Governor’s budget proposal and a letter from the Richmond Mayor. On Dec. 16, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam included funding for legalization in proposed amendments to the 2020–2022 budget, following through on his official statement of support for adult-use legalization.
A closer look at the thousands of pages also reveals plenty of language regarding cannabis and cannabis-related policy. For example, the combination spending/stimulus bill still contains language from the infamous “Harris Rider,” which prohibits the use of local and federal funds to legalize cannabis in Washington D.C.
The Year In Cannabis
The Outlaw Report rounds up the year in cannabis news in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington D.C., catching readers up with all the important stuff that happened in 2020. In Maryland, that news was mostly what didn’t happen as 2020 was a year of deferred and delayed progress with the decriminalization threshold increase stalling, expungement being vetoed, and legalization put on the backburner before the year even began (not to mention, the ongoing chaos of the Cheryl Glenn bribery scandal; in Washington D.C., that was piecemeal policy such as moving medicinal cannabis to ABRA (which will in the long run make it easier for a commercial cannabis industry) and allowing medicinal dispensaries to deliver during COVID-19 (a policy dispensary owners hope will stick around post-pandemic); and Virginia—which decriminalized cannabis, launched its medicinal cannabis program, set the scene for legalization in 2021, and stopped cops from being able to search people’s vehicles for cannabis smell alone—became a leader in what progressive cannabis reform policies could look like.
A Billion Bucks Worth of Weed in Illinois
According to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the state sold a little more than $669 million in recreational cannabis. Along with its medicinal cannabis sales which were at $331 million through November, this puts the 2020 cannabis sales at more than a billion dollars—and counting.