Welcome back to The Week in Weed, your Friday look at what's happening in the world of legalized marijuana. This week, we have an update on South Dakota's ballot initiative. We note the introduction of the Stop Pot Act on the federal level. Maryland sets out qualifications for social equity licenses. New Hampshire has a commission to study legalization. And finally, could we have a new slang term for cannabis?

SOUTH DAKOTA

This week, South Dakota's Attorney General released a final explanation of the adult-use cannabis legalization measure. The draft explanation received several comments, which were reviewed prior to drafting the final measure. This action allows proponents of the measure to begin collecting signatures. If they are successful, the measure would appear on the November 2024 ballot, and a simple majority would be required for passage.

STOP POT ACT

So much of our coverage of federal issues centers around attempts to legalize cannabis or at least allow the cannabis industry to operate more like other industries. The lack of progress on these bills shows that not everyone on Capitol Hill favors legalization. Take for example, Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC) who introduced a bill last Friday called the Stop Pot Act. This bill would withhold a portion of federal funding to states and tribes who have legalized cannabis for adult-use. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are set to vote on legalization, which prompted Mr. Edwards' bill.

I proudly consider the tribe my friends, and I respect their tribal sovereignty. But there are times when friends disagree, and I must do so regarding this question of legalizing recreational marijuana. The tribe's rights should not infringe on the overall laws of our nation.

Rep. Chuck Edwards (R-NC) editorial in Cherokee One Feather

Members of the tribe see the issue differently.

In my estimation, Rep. Edwards has overstepped his authority and has made a major political blunder as a federal Representative; a non-Indian, elected official telling a sovereign tribal nation how they ought to handle their business.

Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed, letter published in Cherokee One Feather

MARYLAND

As states legalize cannabis, they grapple with the question of how to deal with social equity issues. Maryland, one of the latest states to legalize marijuana for adult-use, has just issued its criteria for determining who is eligible to be a social equity applicant for the upcoming cannabis license application period. Since this round of applications is limited to social equity applicants, gaining this designation is necessary to move forward in setting up a new business.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

As we've reported before, New Hampshire is heading in the direction of legalizing cannabis. The first meeting of the Commission to Study with the Purpose of Proposing Legislation, State-Controlled Sales of Cannabis and Cannabis Products (that's a mouthful) will be held today. A final report of the Commission's findings is due by December 1 of this year.

AND FINALLY

Grass, weed, pot – there are lots of slang terms for cannabis. Could "waffles" be a new one? A man from Ontario was charged with attempting to smuggle marijuana into the U.S. at Niagara Falls. His manifest said the cargo was frozen waffles intended for a Georgia grocery store. He's facing a big fine and prison time.

Be well and we'll see you next week.

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