It was an eventful week for cannabis reform on several fronts, with Alaska and Oregon considering legalizing marijuana consumption lounges, Denver licensing its second social-use venue, and legalization failing to make the November ballot in Oklahoma. You can read about all that and more in this week’s roundup!
A state lawmaker in the lower house of the Oregon legislature announced last week that he is preparing legislation to allow social-use lounges statewide, though no language has yet been released. So far, no state has yet legalized such social consumption venues, though Denver has licensed one venue under a pilot program last year and such measures are under consideration in a number of states including Alaska, Washington, and California.
Meanwhile, Oregon regulators last week temporarily reduced the amount of medical cannabis that can be purchased at a time by around 96 percent in response to suspiciously large purchases and an ongoing issue with black market marijuana resulting from a glut of legally-produced cannabis. The previous limit was 24 ounces for licensed medical marijuana patients.
Regulators in Alaska last week released draft regulations that would allow social-use marijuana at certain licensed establishments. Under the draft rules, recreational cannabis retailers would be permitted apply for licenses to sell up to one gram of cannabis or 10mg of cannabis-infused edibles to customers to consume on the premises per person per day. A similar measure was rejected last year but municipalities across the state have urged regulators to implement such a measure to reduce the amount of public consumption.
The Secretary of State announced last week that supporter of recreational cannabis had failed to reach the number of signatures needed to place recreational cannabis legalization on the ballot this year. Supporters of the measure came up short by 20,000 signatures out of a total of 124,000, having turned in just over 100,000 valid signatures. The announcement came as little surprise, since the group that was sponsoring the ballot drive had said it was unsure how many signatures it was even handing in at the time.
Officials in the city of Denver last week licensed the second social-use venue under a restrictive pilot program approved by voters in 2015. Smoking remains illegal statewide and the rules are so onerous that few businesses have stepped forward to apply, though it is nonetheless the first program of its kind in the country.