This week, President Donald Trump announced the resignation of Attorney General William Barr, who is expected to officially step down next week. Elsewhere, in New Jersey, the state legislature sent a bill to Gov. Phil Murphy to implement the state’s adult-use cannabis program.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: President Donald Trump announced the resignation of Attorney General William Barr Dec. 14, while simultaneously announcing that Barr’s current deputy attorney general, Jeffrey Rosen, will become acting attorney general when Barr officially steps down next week. Rosen will fill the role of attorney general until President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn into office Jan. 20, although Biden has not yet chosen an attorney general. Read more
- South Dakota: South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the group behind Amendment A, the state’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis legalization measure, has filed a response to a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the ballot initiative. The group argues in its court filing that the case should be dismissed because voiding Amendment A would overturn the will of the people. Read more
- Kentucky: Rep. Jason Nemes has announced plans to reintroduce a medical cannabis legalization bill in the upcoming legislative session. The Kentucky House of Representatives passed House Bill 136 in February, marking the first time a bill to legalize medical cannabis has received a full House vote in the state, and Nemes says support in the House has only increased since then. Read more
- South Carolina: Lawmakers have pre-filed bills in both the House and the Senate to legalize medical cannabis. The bills, both called the “South Carolina Compassionate Care Act,” mirror legislation that was considered during the 2019 legislative session, when the Senate ultimately voted to table to legislation. Read more
- Arizona: The Arizona Department of Health Services has announced draft rules for the state’s forthcoming adult-use cannabis market. The draft regulations largely mirror the framework of the state’s medical cannabis program, and Arizona’s existing medical cannabis operators can seek licenses in the adult-use market beginning in January. Read more
- California: Columbia Care has closed its acquisition of Project Cannabis—a vertically integrated business based in California. The transaction comprises $52.5 million in Columbia Care stock and another $16.5 million that’s expected to come from the sale of Project Cannabis’s real estate assets. Read more
- New Jersey: Members of the New Jersey state Assembly and Senate have given final approval to legislation permitting the possession of marijuana by adults and regulating its commercial production and retail sales. Each of the measures now awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy. Read more
- Vermont: Gov. Phil Scott is calling for applicants for the new, three-member Cannabis Control Board that will establish and regulate an adult-use cannabis industry in the state. The board will be comprised of one chair and two members, which will be appointed by the governor after being vetted by the Cannabis Control Board Nominating Committee. Read more
- Canada: Aphria and Tilray announced this week that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine their businesses and create the world’s largest global cannabis company based on pro forma revenue. Following the completion of the arrangement, the combined company will have principal offices in the United States (New York and Seattle), Canada (Toronto, Leamington and Vancouver Island), Portugal and Germany, and it will operate under the Tilray corporate name with shares trading on NASDAQ under ticker symbol “TLRY.” Read more
- International: The Chamber of Deputies, Mexico’s lower house of Congress, has received an extension on a Supreme Court-imposed Dec. 15 deadline to approve a cannabis legalization bill, again delaying the country’s much-anticipated legalization vote. Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a news conference that lawmakers asked for an extension because they needed more time to make revisions to the bill, and Lopez Obrador now expects approval on the legislation in early 2021. Read more