This week Germany talks again about legalizing, cannabis leads to empathy, New Jersey makes bad business model and Minnesota has nothing to show you
Time is a precious commodity here at Marijuana Venture, so when it comes to news briefs, we like to run the most impactful stories possible and let the more incremental coverage fall to the wayside — until now. Here is a candid, possibly even antagonistic, recap of the stories from the past week that we didn’t cover in full detail.
Germans still plan to legalize cannabis
We typically shy away from international cannabis news here at Marijuana Venture, at least from the countries that don’t start with a “C” and end with “anada.” But seeing Germany’s approach to legalization has at least been completely boring and uneventful, which is on-brand. It feels like there’s zero momentum to get the fun side of cannabis up and running. The country’s current coalition was elected in 2021 and promised to legalize cannabis shortly thereafter, then they promised to talk about it, then they promised to talk about it seriously. This week, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said cannabis legalization should pass in late February, which, according to the latest plans, would decriminalize the plant, allow home cultivation starting April 1, 2024, and allow retail sales to begin sometime in July this year.
Cannabis may increase empathy
Apparently, some researchers believe cannabis use may increase empathy due to the plant’s suggested ability to lower anxiety. Cool, I guess, but for me, cannabis use only increases anxiety as I drift away from conversation to relive all my past regrets. However, I have found through personal research that speculative headlines and alcohol greatly increase my apathy.
New Jersey approves rules for consumption lounges
Did they get it right? Let’s see … “no tobacco,” okay, duh … “no alcohol,” all right, not really going to stop people from mixing the two, but I can understand taking baby steps … and “no food,” so, in short, no, they did not get it right. But, wait, customers can spend money elsewhere and bring food to the lounges, or they can bring food from home. “Hey sweetheart, let’s bag up these egg-salad sandwiches and take them down to the industrial district so I can smoke a joint at that new lounge by the freeway offramp.”
I have spoken with other operators who have found some success within similar limitations, but all of the operators I spoke with expressed a universal need to allow food service.
And I am sure the servers will love waiting on groups for hours to settle their $10 tabs.
Minnesota not interested in investigating hiring snafu
Back in September 2023, the Minnesota government hired Erin DuPree to be the director of the state’s Office of Cannabis Management and quickly found out that she wasn’t a great fit for the job. A week after she resigned, Governor Tim Waltz even told the press, “We got this one wrong,” and promised to investigate what happened. This week, reports came in that the governor’s office “departed from standard operating procedure” and that what’s done is done, and you really shouldn’t come back here to look, we’ve already cleaned up the mess, there may still be some broken glass. Unfortunately, that’s where the story ends for now.
Least appealing of the week
Here are the stories I happily only had to click on to fill out this opinion piece: Cannabis operators find restrictions limiting; Massachusetts operators don’t like federal prohibition; Maine is considering consumption lounges; and older drivers are worse when they’re high.
So let’s knock these out quick and start the weekend: yes, by definition, restrictions are limiting; hot take Massachusetts, really; Maine is … zzzzz … sorry I dozed off; and, yes, but those kids need to get to school and the bus isn’t going to drive itself.