In a whirlwind week for the cannabis industry, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced his resignation at the request of President Donald Trump. Elsewhere, Michigan legalized adult-use cannabis and Missouri and Iowa passed medical marijuana initiatives in the Nov. 6 election.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted a letter of resignation to President Donald Trump Nov. 7, at Trump’s request. Matthew Whitaker, Sessions’ chief of staff, will serve as acting attorney general.
- Iowa: Next month, Iowa’s five medical cannabidiol dispensaries will open for business and offer gel capsules, tincture and cream forms of medical CBD to Iowans with a valid patient or caregiver registration card. The five dispensaries are located in Council Bluffs, Davenport, Sioux City, Windsor Heights and Waterloo.
- New Mexico: Nicole Sena, a medical cannabis caregiver to her infant daughter with a rare form of epilepsy, and medical marijuana provider Ultra Health prevailed in the lawsuit they jointly filed against the New Mexico Department of Health to secure an adequate supply of medical cannabis. Santa Fe District Court Judge David K. Thomson issued a 60-page ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, stating the NMDOH regulatory 450 plant count is arbitrary and capricious.
- California: The Bureau of Cannabis Control has approved the issuance of its first annual licenses for 12 commercial cannabis businesses in California. The businesses must first pay their licensing fee before their annual license will be issued and active, and annual licenses issued by the Bureau are effective for 12 months.
- Washington: The state of Washington has recourse to apply liquidated damages to its cannabis traceability provider, MJ Freeway, after the company missed a Nov. 6 deadline to implement its second Leaf Data Systems software release. The 1.37.5 release was largely focused on bug fixes, and the WSLCB has been in constant communication with MJ Freeway during the project.
- Michigan: Michigan voters approved Proposition 1 in the Nov. 6 election, legalizing recreational cannabis by a neat 56-44 margin. The voter approval marks Michigan as the first state in the Midwest to legalize adult-use cannabis—and the 10th state in the country to do so.
- North Dakota: Despite favorable poll numbers, North Dakota’s Issue 3, an adult-use cannabis legalization ballot measure, failed Nov. 6. Voters shot the issue down by a wide margin of 60 to 40.
- Missouri: Missouri voters approved Amendment 2—one of the three medical marijuana ballot initiatives in the state—in the midterm election. The initiative, sponsored by New Approach Missouri, outlines a medical marijuana program that will be regulated and licensed by the Missouri Department of Health.
- Utah: Utah has become the 32nd state to legalize medical marijuana with the passage of Prop. 2 in the Nov. 6 midterm election. The measure, backed by the Utah Patients Coalition, will establish a law to allow patients with qualifying conditions access to medical cannabis with a recommendation from their doctor.
- Massachusetts: Recreational marijuana sales in Massachusetts are likely just days away, after state regulators said they had cleared two licensed cannabis testing laboratories to officially begin operations. The move is a critical step toward the state’s first recreational sales, since retail marijuana shops can only sell products that have been tested by a licensed lab.