The Cannabis Wire Daily newsletter is sent to C-Wire Plus subscribers every weekday morning at 7 a.m. Excerpts are published here later in the day. Don’t miss the full picture. Subscribe now.
New Mexico governor signs adult use into law.
New Mexico is officially the 18th state with legal adult use cannabis. On Monday, during a ceremony, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed HB 2, the Cannabis Regulation Act, into law.
As Cannabis Wire reported, lawmakers sent the bill to the governor’s desk at the end of March, after she called a special session to “get it done.”
“We are going to increase consumer safety by creating a bona fide industry. We’re going to start righting past wrongs of this country’s failed war on drugs. And we’re going to break new ground in an industry that may well transform New Mexico’s economic future for the better,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement Monday.
A big medical cannabis ruling in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s Supreme Court has ruled that an employer must cover the costs of obtaining medical cannabis for a patient who was injured on the job.
Specifically, Vincent Hager was working at M&K Construction in 2001 when his back was injured as the result of a work-related accident. Hager had surgeries and was prescribed opioids, but, after developing a dependence on the opioids, he became a medical cannabis patient in 2016.
Hager wanted M&K to cover the costs of his medical cannabis, which can be quite steep and are not covered by insurance, and the lower courts agreed with him. M&K, though, argued that the federal Controlled Substances Act, which upholds cannabis prohibition, preempts the state’s medical cannabis law, and that paying for the medical cannabis “would subject it to potential federal criminal liability for aiding-and-abetting or conspiracy,” among other claims detailed in the Supreme Court’s ruling.
The Court ruled: “We conclude that M&K does not fit within the Compassionate Use Act’s limited reimbursement exception. We also find that Hager presented sufficient credible evidence to the compensation court to establish that the prescribed medical marijuana represents, as to him, reasonable and necessary treatment under the WCA.
“Finally, we interpret Congress’s appropriations actions of recent years as suspending application of the CSA to conduct that complies with the Compassionate Use Act. As applied to the Order, we thus find that the Act is not preempted and that M&K does not face a credible threat of federal criminal aiding-and-abetting or conspiracy liability. We therefore affirm the judgment of the Appellate Division.”
Advocates seem cautiously optimistic about Biden DEA pick.
This week, President Joe Biden announced that he has nominated Anne Milgram as the next Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration within the Department of Justice. Milgram is the former Attorney General of New Jersey and, in that role, did not oppose the legalization of medical cannabis in the state at a time, more than a decade ago, when such opposition was common.
On Tuesday, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said in a statement, “During her career, Anne Milgram has demonstrated a priority for data-based decision making and an openness to making important changes to our broken criminal justice system.”
Mississippi Supreme Court hears oral arguments on medical cannabis.
In November, voters in Mississippi passed a ballot measure to legalize medical cannabis use and sales. But, ahead of the vote, the Mayor of Madison, along with other officials, moved forward with a legal challenge against not the substance of the measure but outdated language regarding signature gathering requirements.
On Wednesday, the state’s Supreme Court heard its first oral arguments in the case, and the outcome will determine whether the November vote is tossed or medical cannabis is legalized in the state.
Will medical cannabis shops come to Georgia?
The state’s General Assembly has sent SB 195, which would allow for licensed medical cannabis shops, to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.
While medical cannabis that is low in THC and in oil form has been legal since 2015, there has been no way to obtain it legally in the state. In 2019, Kemp signed a bill to create licenses to allow for cannabis cultivation in the state, though no licenses have yet been awarded.