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Updated: 2 hours 59 min ago

Oregon: Lawmakers Advance Marijuana Expungement Measure

6 hours 6 min ago

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have voted in favor of legislation, Senate Bill 420, to facilitate the expungement of past marijuana convictions. Following a concurrence vote by the Senate, the measure will advance to Democratic Gov. Kate Brown – who is anticipated to sign the bill into law.

The measure establishes procedures for persons previously found guilty of low-level (up to one ounce) marijuana possession offenses to file a motion with the court to have their convictions set aside. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within 30 days. The proposal expands upon prior legislation, enacted in 2015, which sought to make it easier for those with past marijuana convictions to have their records expunged.

Once signed, the new law takes effect on January 1, 2019.

The policy is similar to marijuana-related expungement laws recently enacted in a number of states, including Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Washington. California law automatically expunges past marijuana convictions.

For more information on pending marijuana legislation, visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center.’

NORML KC to Kick Off Series of Educational Seminars

6 hours 39 min ago

With the arrival of summer time in Kansas City, we want to welcome everyone to take part in our Summer Seminar Series. All of these FREE events will focus on rules and regulations of Amendment 2, now Article XIV, for patients and caregivers. These events will have a special topic each month and everyone will have time for Q&A. One of our main objectives for these seminars is to ensure patients have free resources and education around the new medical marijuana program.

Donate today to support our efforts!

We will kick off our Summer Seminars with a discussion on how to navigate the finalized rules of Amendment 2/Article XIV from a patient and caregiver perspective, and how to be compliant under the new law. Attendees will also learn how to work with their physicians and clinics to acquire legal MMJ recommendations for qualifying patients, what steps are involved in the process, and what to expect after receiving a recommendation. We will be breaking all of this information down into easy-to-understand steps. Join us at Unity Temple on June 8 from 2pm-5pm! This location is accessible and the general public is welcome to attend.

Special Guest Speakers:
Emily Branch, Director of The Green Clinics
A physician from The Green Clinics
Jana Lappin, Pharmacist and Co-owner of Missouri Cannabis Clinic
Pat Talks Law

Save the Date for our next Summer Seminars on July 20 and August 17!

 We would like to thank everyone that attended the Missouri NORML Spring Conference in April. Our keynote speaker for the event was NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. The day was filled with several additional speakers including Missouri State Representative Brandon Ellington, Director of Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program Lyndall Fraker, and Paul E. Callicoat, M.D. Thank you to Chris Smith for documenting our event and sharing the pictures in this newsletter!

Please support our efforts by making a one-time donation! We’re also looking for volunteers to help move our chapter forward. If you want to help by donating time, your expertise or sponsor an event, please email us at newnormlkc@gmail.com. 

Marijuana policy should be evidence based. Help dispel the myths with NORML’s Fact Sheets! For more information follow NORML KC on Facebook, and visit our website!

Federal Appropriations Bills Include Limited Cannabis Protections

Tue, 06/04/2019 - 17:49

In a change of trajectory, the powerful Appropriations Committee in the House of Representatives has for the first time included limited protections for cannabis businesses engaged in the legal marketplaces in 33 states.

Included in the appropriations package are two sections that address the growing tension between the federal prohibition and criminalization of marijuana and the emerging state legal marketplaces, as well as one deleterious section of language that is currently in effect which is omitted in the new version of the bill.

State Legal Medical Programs

Since 2014, there has been a spending restriction that prevents the Department of Justice from spending one penny or paperclip to take action against state-legal medical cannabis programs. This language was first introduced to the House in 2001 and for the first time in history, it is now included in what is referred to as “the base text,” meaning that its inclusion did not require a vote.

SAFE Banking

As many who live in legal states know, cannabis businesses have a real banking problem – primarily that they do not have bank accounts. This leads to the industry operating on an all-cash basis, proving a difficult and undue burden on both businesses and consumers. This language has been approved by multiple votes yet stripped out during the bicameral conference committees in 2014, 2015, and 2016. This year marks the first time that this language was included in the base text.

DC Legalization Implementation

In 2014, residents of the District of Columbia voted overwhelmingly to end prohibition and criminalization in order to pave the way for the city council to implement a regulated marketplace for adult-use cannabis. Yet the Republican House at the time, led by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), decided to interfere and prevent DC from self-determination on this issue. The only reason why Congress was able to take this action against the city and not similarily against other states that have legalized was due to the disenfranchisement of DC residents stemming from their legal status as a territory and not an independent state. The FY2020 Appropriations Bill marks the first time that this language has not been included in a House appropriations package.

 

We’ll keep you posted as things continue to unfold. In the meantime, please visit our Action Center and contact your federal lawmakers in support of pending reform efforts at NORML.org/ACT.

Nevada: Governor Signs Measure Sealing Past Marijuana Convictions

Mon, 06/03/2019 - 19:36

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak has signed legislation into law facilitating those convicted of past marijuana crimes to have their records sealed.

Assembly Bill 192 permits those convicted of marijuana-specific activities which have since been decriminalized or legalized to submit a written request to the court to have those records sealed. Petitioners may not be charged a fee for submitting such a request, and any objections to the request must be filed within ten judicial days.

The new law takes effect on July 1, 2019.

The measure is similar to newly enacted laws in several other states – including California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington – facilitating either the expungement or the sealing of prior marijuana convictions (or, in some cases, other criminal violations).

The governor separately signed legislation (AB 431) restoring voting rights to felons immediately following their release from prison.

For more information on pending legislation, please visit NORML’s ‘Take Action’ Center.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 5/31/19

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 22:00

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, the US Food and Drug Administration is taking in-person public testimony with regard to the “manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale” of CBD-infused retail products.

Governor Jared Polis (D) of Colorado signed multiple cannabis reform bills into law that regulate cannabis delivery services and social consumption spaces, and reduce criminal penalties for the possession of large quantities of cannabis.

Governor Steve Sisolak (D) of Nevada signed legislation into law this week to allow individuals to get their records vacated for offenses that are no longer a crime in the state.

Members of the New Hampshire Senate voted to delay consideration of a House-passed legalization bill until later this year.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.

Your Highness,
Carly

Actions to Take

Federal

The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.

Send a message to your federal lawmakers in support of this important legislation

Alabama

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 236, to allow qualifying patients with certain debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis.

Update: A substitute version of SB 236 that would create a commission to study the use of medical CBD was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/29/19. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

AL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of medical cannabis access

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 225, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: SB 225 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/29/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

AL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of industrial hemp production

Arizona

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1494, to require the Department of Human Services to establish standards related to testing medical cannabis products.

Update: SB 1494 was approved by the House and Senate on 5/27/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

AZ resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of testing standards

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1286, to expand patient access to medical cannabis in Arizona.

The measure would allow additional dispensaries to operate in unincorporated areas of the state that are not within 25 miles of an existing dispensary.

Update: SB 1286 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/27/19, and now will go to a conference committee to reconcile amendments made to the bill.

AZ resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expanded patient access

Illinois

Legislation is pending, The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act, to regulate the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of adult use marijuana.

Update: The bill was approved by the Senate on 5/29/19, and the House of Representatives on 5/30. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

IL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of legalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 2980 / Senate Bill 2023, to amend the Illinois Banking Act and the Illinois Credit Union Act in a manner that facilitates banks and other financial institutions to safely conduct transactions with licensed marijuana businesses.

Update: SB 2023 was approved by the House Judiciary Criminal Committee on 5/29/19.

IL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of banking access

 Louisiana

Legislation is pending, House Bill 138, to remove hemp and “cannabidiol when contained in a drug product approved by the FDA,” from the list of controlled substances.

Update: HB 138 was heard and approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 5/28/19.

LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of descheduling hemp

Nevada

Legislation is pending, SB 430, that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.

The measure would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with anxiety, autism, opioid addiction or dependence, anorexia nervosa, among others.

Update: SB 430 was approved by the Assembly on a concurrence vote on 5/28/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

NV resident? Click here to email your governor in support of medical expansion

Legislation is pending, AB 132, to protect cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.

This measure prohibits employers from arbitrarily discriminating against prospective employees who legally consume cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.

Update: AB 132 was approved by the Assembly on a concurrence vote on 5/28/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

NV resident? Click here to email your governor in support of employment protections

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, House Bill 399, to permit those convicted of past marijuana offenses to seek an expungement of their criminal records.

Update: HB 335 was approved by the Senate on 5/30/19, and now heads to the governor.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

Legislation is pending, House Bill 335, to expand access to medical cannabis in New Hampshire.

The measure would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to authorize additional dispensary licenses in certain geographic areas of the state.

Update: HB 335 was approved by the Senate on 5/30/19, and now heads to the governor.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

 New Jersey

Senate Bill 10 and Assembly Bill 10 would expand patients’ access to medical cannabis.

The measure facilitates the expansion of additional medical cannabis growers and providers, while also expanding the amount of cannabis a patient may legally purchase and possess. It further expands the pool of licensed health professional who may recommend medical cannabis, and shields registered patients from employment discrimination and the loss of child custody. It also phases out retail sales taxes on medical cannabis, amongst other changes.

Update: A10/S10 was approved by the Senate on 5/30/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

NJ resident? Click here to email your governor in support of medical expansion

North Carolina

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 315, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: S. 3156 was heard by the Senate Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee on 5/30/19, and is scheduled for another hearing in the committee on 6/5.

NC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Oregon

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, to expand upon Oregon’s expungement law.

The measure would direct the Department of Justice to automatically conduct a review of past misdemeanor cannabis convictions, and to “set aside” offenses that are no longer a crime under state law.

Update: SB 420 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on 5/30/19.

OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 970, to protect state-sanctioned medical cannabis patients, as well as those with prior or pending cannabis convictions, from housing discrimination.

Update: SB 970 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/28/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of housing protections

Rhode Island

Legislation is pending to facilitate equity among those licensed to operate in the medical cannabis industry.

H. 6069 would require the Department of Business Regulation to prioritize licensing applications submitted by those who live in communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition, and create an economic opportunity fund to provide loans to qualifying businesses.

H. 6073 and H. 6070 seek to implement policies that would ensure the equitable distribution of medical cannabis business licenses and create an economic opportunity fund to provide loans to qualifying businesses.

H. 5795 would create funds to offer technical assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals who wish to enter into the medical cannabis industry.

Update: All four bills were heard by the House Finance Committee on 5/29/19, and then held for further study, killing the bills for this session.

RI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of equity in the medical cannabis industry

Illinois Legislature Passes the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 19:33

With Governor Pritzker’s Signature, Illinois will become the first state in history to legislatively legalize and regulate cannabis sales

Springfield, IL: Just prior to the closing of the 2019 legislative session, both chambers of the Illinois statehouse passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (HB1438-SFA2) to legalize cannabis and regulate it’s production, manufacture, and distribution.

“Cannabis criminalization in Illinois is coming to an end. While this bill isn’t perfect, it does provide a pathway for adults to legally obtain and consume cannabis. It also expands access and rights for qualified medical patients. Importantly, the bill provides much-needed relief to those most harmed by the legacy of prohibition and emphasizes giving those who have been most harmed by cannabis criminalization preference in establishing a foothold in this new industry,” said Illinois NORML Executive Director Dan Linn. “We are confident that this is the best bill we could get through the legislature at this time, but are adamant that Illinois must enact additional protections in the future, in particular, the right of adults to home grow personal use amounts of cannabis.”

“Today’s outcome is the result of years of volunteers educating the public and lobbying lawmakers in Illinois. This process has not been easy but it does reflect what dedicated citizens can accomplish if they engage in the political process,” concluded Linn.

“We’re going to be able to look back five years from now and see that the quality of life in disadvantaged communities has been made better because of this legislation,” said Chicago NORML Executive Director Edie Moore.

NORML is committed to the mission of ending cannabis prohibition, and after decades of hard work by dedicated volunteers and activists from coast-to-coast that mission is in reach following the passage of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (HB1438-SFA2) by the Illinois Statehouse.

It is expected that Governor Pritzker will sign the legislation.

This bill accomplishes many of NORML’s key goals. Most importantly, it removes cannabis from the hands of unregulated illicit marketers and ushers in a system where the product is tested, taxed, and otherwise regulated. It also takes important steps toward the goal of dealing with the disproportionate impact of the “War on Drugs” by giving those individuals and communities that have been impacted a fair chance to participate in this new industry. NORML is committed to social justice and equity and supportive of the fact that the bill intends to prioritize those issues. The Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker have heard the voices of the vast majority of citizens across the state that support these important changes.

“With this action, Illinois will become the first state to legalize and regulate a commercial cannabis market for responsible adult consumers,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Today is a historic day.”

FDA Hearing On ‘Hemp-Derived CBD’ Today

Fri, 05/31/2019 - 15:49

Washington, DC: Today the US Food and Drug Administration is taking in-person public testimony with regard to the “manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale” of CBD-infused retail products.

“The rapidly evolving hemp-derived CBD marketplace sadly includes a number of bad faith actors selling the equivalent of modern day snake-oil,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “With states rapidly legalizing the distribution of these products, consumers require certainty and consistency when it comes what they ingest.”

NORML has submitted written comments to the FDA ahead of Friday’s scheduled hearing on the regulation of CBD-infused products.

In its written testimony, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano encourages the agency to act expeditiously to clarify confusion among both consumers and regulators with regard to the legality of specific CBD products. It further recommends that the FDA provide regulatory guidelines governing product manufacturing, standardization, and quality.

NORML’s testimony concluded: “For years, producers of these products have navigated in a grey area of the law — manufacturing products of variable and sometimes questionable quality and safety. Now it is time for the FDA to craft benchmark safety and quality standards for hemp-derived CBD products in order to increase consumer satisfaction and confidence as this nascent industry transitions and matures into a legal marketplace.”

Currently, commercially marketed CBD-infused products are not subject to explicit federal regulations. As a result, third-party lab testing has frequently revealed inconsistencies between the percentage of CBD advertised and the amount actually contained in the product. In many cases, actual quantities of CBD in the product is far lower than advertised. In other cases, testing has revealed the presence of THC, which may put consumers in jeopardy for legal ramifications – such as arrest or the loss of employment (due to a drug test failure). Some commercial products have also been identified to contain unwanted and potentially dangerous adulterantsas well as heavy metals and solvents.

You can read the NORML Fact Sheet on CBD here: https://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/faqs-about-cannabidiol-cbd

Colorado: Governor Signs Multiple Marijuana Law Reform Measures

Thu, 05/30/2019 - 19:26

Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed multiple bills into law amending the state’s marijuana laws.

House Bill 1234 establishes regulations for the delivery of cannabis products from state-licensed retailers. Under the plan, deliveries are limited to one per day per household, and are only permitted in municipalities that explicitly allow for such activities. Deliveries to college campuses are prohibited. The delivery of medical cannabis products would begin on January 2, 2020, while retail cannabis sales would begin on January 2, 2021.

House Bill 1230 establishes regulations for the licensing of “marijuana hospitality spaces.” Under the measure, licensed dispensaries and retailers could apply for on-site consumption permits. Hotels, restaurants and other private business would also be permitted to apply for similar licensing. At indoor facilities, marijuana smoking will be permitted unless prohibited by local rules. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020. Colorado is only the second state to regulate social use marijuana spaces.

House Bill 1263 reduces criminal penalties for the possession of large quantities of cannabis. It reduces penalties for the possession of over six ounces of marijuana and/or three ounces of marijuana concentrate from a level 4 felony to level 1 misdemeanor. It also mandates that police may not arrest a defendant for violations involving the possession of between one and two ounces of cannabis. The measure further reduces penalties for the low-level possession of other controlled substances from felonies to misdemeanors. The new penalties take effect on March 1, 2020.

Massachusetts: State Regulators Grant Initial Approval To Social Use Spaces

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 14:32

Members of the state’s Cannabis Control Commission have decided to advance plans to regulate social marijuana use facilities.

Regulators voted 3 to 2 in favor of the proposal, which seeks to establish a pilot program in up to a dozen self-selected cities throughout the state. However, implementing the plan will require additional legislative action from lawmakers.

To date, only Alaska has enacted statewide regulations governing on-site marijuana consumption sites. Similar legislation to establish “marijuana hospitality spaces” is before the Governor of Colorado. Earlier this month, city officials in Las Vegas approved a municipal ordinance to license on-site consumption spaces.

NORML Submits Comments to FDA Ahead of CBD Hearing

Wed, 05/15/2019 - 23:52

NORML has submitted written comments to the US Food and Drug Administration ahead of the agency’s scheduled hearing on the regulation CBD-infused products. The agency will be taking in person public testimony on Friday, May 31, with regard to the “manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale” of CBD-infused retail products.

In its written testimony, NORML encourages the FDA to act expeditiously to clarify confusion among both consumers and regulators with regard to the legality of specific CBD products. It further recommends that the FDA provide regulatory guidelines governing product manufacturing, standardization, and quality.

Currently, commercially marketed CBD-infused products are not subject to explicit federal regulations. As a result, third-party lab testing has frequently revealed inconsistencies between the percentage of CBD advertised and the amount actually contained in the product. In many cases — such as those reported here, here, here, here, and here — actual quantities of CBD in the product is far lower than advertised. In other cases, testing has revealed the presence of THC, which may put consumers in jeopardy for legal ramifications – such as arrest or the loss of employment (due to a drug test failure). Some commercial products have also been identified to contain unwanted and potentially dangerous adulterants – such as 5F-ADB (aka ‘Spice’) or DXM – as well as heavy metals and solvents.

NORML’s testimony concluded: “For years, producers of these products have navigated in a grey area of the law — manufacturing products of variable and sometimes questionable quality and safety. Now it is time for the FDA to craft benchmark safety and quality standards for hemp-derived CBD products in order to increase consumer satisfaction and confidence as this nascent industry transitions and matures into a legal marketplace.”

The FDA is accepting written comments from the public through July 2, 2019.

In December, Congress enacted legislation removing industrial hemp (defined as cannabis containing less than 0.3 percent THC) and products containing cannabinoids derived from hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act. The following day, the FDA stated: “Congress explicitly preserved the agency’s current authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) and section 351 of the Public Health Service Act.” The agency further opined, “[I]t’s unlawful under the FD&C Act to introduce food containing added CBD or THC into interstate commerce, or to market CBD or THC products as, or in, dietary supplements, regardless of whether the substances are hemp-derived.”

In March, outgoing FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb suggested that it may take “years” for the agency to establish rules and regulations governing the marketing of hemp-derived cannabinoid products.

New York City: Municipal Legislation Enacted Prohibiting Drug Testing for Cannabis as a Condition of Employment, Probation

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 19:28

City lawmakers have successfully passed a pair of municipal bills limiting situations where those seeking employment or on probation may be drug tested for past cannabis exposure.

Democratic Mayor Bill DeBlasio on Thursday permitted both bills to become law absent his signature.

Commenting on the new laws, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said: “These reforms protect the civil liberties of New Yorkers and promote fair treatment. There is no reason to treat cannabis consumers as second class citizens. We shouldn’t penalize those who privately use cannabis responsibly from gainful employment, nor should the courts seize upon this behavior as a justification to return someone to jail or prison.”

Bill No. 1427 states, “The department of probation shall not require individuals to submit to marijuana testing unless a determination is made, based on an individuals’ history and circumstances, that abstinence from marijuana is necessary to otherwise lead an otherwise law-abiding life.” The new law takes immediate effect.

Bill No. 1445 states, “[I]t shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols or marijuana in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment.” Exceptions to the new law include those employees seeking certain safety sensitive positions – such as police officers or commercial drivers – or those positions regulated by federal drug testing guidelines. The law take effect in one year.

Additional information is available from the NORML fact-sheet, “Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace,” online here.

Washington: Governor Signs Marijuana Expungement Bill Into Law

Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:42

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has signed legislation, Senate Bill 5605, facilitating the expungement of past low-level marijuana convictions.

The measure states: “Every person convicted of a misdemeanor marijuana offenses, who was 21 years of age or older at the time of the offense, may apply to the sentencing court for a vacation of the applicant’s record of conviction for the offense. … If an applicant qualifies under this subsection, the court shall vacate the record of conviction.”

Governor Inslee said: “This is a matter of fairness and justice. We should not be punishing people for something that is no longer illegal in this state.”

The new law takes effect on July 27, 2019.

Additional information on pending marijuana legislation is available from NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

Arkansas: Licensed Medical Cannabis Sales Begin

Mon, 05/13/2019 - 16:56

Qualified patients now have limited access to medical cannabis products, after the state’s first licensed dispensaries began making sales this week. Voters initially approved medical cannabis access by passing a statewide initiative in November 2016.

Under the law, qualified patients may obtain both herbal preparations of cannabis and infused cannabis products from state-licensed dispensaries. Products must be derived from plants harvested by one of five state-licensed cultivators. To date, only one cultivator is operational. Two additional cultivators are expecting to harvest their initial crops this summer.

Nearly 12,000 patients are licensed in the state to participate in the medical cannabis access program.

Arkansas is one of 33 states that permits medical cannabis access.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 5/10/19

Fri, 05/10/2019 - 22:36

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries announced their intentions to introduce legislation known as the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), thus ending the nearly century-long federal policy of criminalization and prohibition.

Governor Doug Bergum (R) of North Dakota signed a bill into law that will remove the threat of jail time for the possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana.

Governor Kevin Stitt (R) of Oklahoma signed legislation into law to permit osteopaths to recommend medical cannabis to their patients.

Governor Eric Holcomb (R) of Indiana and Governor Ned Lamont (D) of Connecticut signed industrial hemp legislation into law.

A campaign committee called Smart and Safe Arizona is preparing to launch a campaign to qualify a 2020 adult use marijuana legalization ballot initiative in the state.

Members of an Ohio medical board committee recommended that autism and anxiety be added to the state’s medical cannabis qualifying conditions list, but rejected petitions to add depression, insomnia, and opioid addiction.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.

Your Highness,
Carly

Actions to Take

Federal

End Prohibition: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

Send a message to your federal lawmakers in support of this important legislation

Alabama

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 236, to allow qualifying patients with certain debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis.

Update: SB 236 was approved by the Senate on 5/9/19,  and now heads to the House.

AL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access

Legislation is pending, House Bill 96 / Senate Bill 98, to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $6,000, to a non-criminal violation punishable by a maximum fine of $250.

Update: HB 96 was defeated in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/8/19 by a 6-5 vote.

AL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

California

Legislation is pending, AB 1465, that would allow licensing of cannabis consumption cafés and lounges in California.

Update: AB 1465 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16/19.

CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of cannabis consumption lounges

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 51, to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

Update: SB 51 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/13/19 at 10am in the John L. Burton Hearing Room.

CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of banking access

Colorado

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 19-220, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Separately, SB 19-240 would create a working group to study industrial hemp and also allow localities within the state to adopt ordinances to regulate hemp products.

Update: Both SB 220 and SB 240 were approved by the House of Representatives on 4/30/19, and will now be delivered to the governor.

CO resident? Click here to email your governor in support of industrial hemp production

Connecticut

A package of bills, soon to be combined into one omnibus bill, to permit the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of marijuana for adults 21 and over is pending.

Update: Lawmakers in the state’s legislature are confident that the ‘yes’ votes are there to pass the legislation through the House of Representatives, but remain unsure about the bill’s future in the Senate.

CT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of legalization

Delaware

Bipartisan legislation is pending, SB 37, that would reform the expungement processes for individuals convicted of non-violent marijuana-related offenses.

If enacted, the bill would expand the pool of those eligible to seek expungement to include those convicted of a single misdemeanor or felony charge related to marijuana.

Update: SB 37 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on 5/8/19.

DE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement expansion

Iowa

Legislation is pending, HF 754 and SF 599, to establish an industrial hemp program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: SF 599 was delivered to the Governor’s desk on 5/6/19.

IA resident? Click here to email your governor in support of this effort

Illinois

Legislation is pending, The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (an amendment to SB 7), to regulate the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of adult use marijuana.

The measure would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to 30 grams of marijuana and cultivate up to 5 marijuana plants in the home.

The proposal also includes provisions facilitating the automatic expungement of certain prior convictions as well as equity within the industry.

IL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of efforts to regulate adult use marijuana and level the playing field for social equity applicants to receive a fair opportunity to compete in the legal market

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 455, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.

Update: SB 455 was approved by the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee on 5/8/19.

IL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access in schools

Louisiana

House Bill 509 would allow adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, and permit the Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the state Board of Pharmacy to issue the licenses for production and sale, respectively.

House Bill 462 would amend the Louisiana constitution to allow municipalities within the state to hold referendums on whether or not to allow the use, possession, and retail sale of adult use cannabis in their jurisdictions.

House Bill 564 seeks to regulate adult use cannabis. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture and Forestry to issue up to 15 cannabis production licenses. Retailer licenses would be issued by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control to sell up to one ounce per customer per day. This measure would also allow adults to obtain a permit to grow personal use quantities of cannabis at home.

Update: Both HB 509 and HB 462 are scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on 5/14/19 at 9am in room 6. HB 564 was heard in the House Committee on Agriculture on 5/8/2019, and the committee reported the bill without action. The bill will be recommitted to the Committee on Judiciary.

LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of legalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 59, to reduce marijuana possession penalties for first time offenders.

The measure removes the threat of jail time for first-time offenders who possess no more than 14 grams of marijuana (about half an ounce).

Update: HB 59 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on 5/14/19 at 9am in room 6.

LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 358, to give qualified patients the option to inhale cannabis for medical purposes through vaporization.

The measure would also allow doctors to recommend medical cannabis to any patient whom they believe will benefit from its therapeutic use.

Update: HB 358 is scheduled to be considered on the House floor on 5/14/9.

LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis inhalation rights

House Bill 491 would regulate industrial hemp production in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 491 was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on 5/7/19. The bill was amended to include provisions regulating the production and retail sale of hemp-derived CBD products.

LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Nebraska

LB 110 is pending to allow qualifying patients with certain debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis via licensed providers.

Update: LB 110 was approved by the Judiciary Committee on 5/10/19, and is set to be considered on the floor of the unicameral legislature next week.

NE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access

Legislation is pending, LB 657, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: LB 657 was approved by the legislature on 5/2/19, and now awaits action from the governor.

NE resident? Click here to email your governor in support of industrial hemp production

Nevada

Legislation is pending, Assembly Bill 192, to allow individuals to get their records vacated for offenses that are no longer a crime in Nevada.

Update: AB 192 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 5/6/19 and again on 5/10.

NV resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, HB 350, to expand medical cannabis access.

The measure expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants to issue recommendations to their patients.

Update: The House concurred with Senate amendments on 5/3/19, and the bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Oklahoma

Legislation is pending, House Bill 2614, to amend the possession penalties for individuals who use cannabis for a qualifying condition, but are not in possession of a medical marijuana identification card.

The measure would reduce the penalty for this offense from a criminal misdemeanor to a citation, punishable by a maximum fine of $400.

Update: The House disagreed with the Senate’s amendments to HB 2614, so the bill will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation.

OK resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions

Oregon

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 970, to protect state-sanctioned medical cannabis patients, as well as those with prior or pending cannabis convictions, from housing discrimination.

Update: The House Human Services and Housing Committee held a work session on SB 970 on 5/6/19.

OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of housing protections

Texas

Legislation is pending, HB 1365, to expand medical cannabis access in Texas by allowing doctors to recommend it to those with several additional conditions.

Update: HB 1365 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/6/19, and now heads to the Senate.

TX resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access

Legislation is pending, HB 1325, to regulate the production of industrial hemp in Texas.

Update: HB 1325 was approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee on 5/7/19.

TX resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Vermont

S. 54 is pending to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

Update: S. 54 was heard by the House Committees on Ways and Means and Appropriations this week.

VT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of regulation

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 58, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: S. 58 was heard by the House Committee on Appropriations on 5/7/19.

VT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Washington

Senate Bill 5605, to allow individuals with prior misdemeanor cannabis convictions to apply to the sentencing court to have their record vacated, is awaiting action from Governor Inslee.

Update: Gov. Inslee stated that he intends to sign the bill into law.

WA resident? Click here to email your governor in support of expungement

Sen. Schumer And Rep. Jeffries To Introduce Comprehensive Marijuana Reform Legislation

Thu, 05/09/2019 - 17:15

Today, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries announced their intentions to introduce legislation known as the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), thus ending the nearly century-long federal policy of criminalization and prohibition.

Send a message to your elected officials in support of this legislation now.

NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said,

“The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act is comprehensive legislation that would end our nation’s failed 80-year prohibition of marijuana and allow states to implement reforms free from the threat of federal interference.”

“This bill is part of the continued shift of Democratic Party leadership. At a time when 68 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization, including outright majorities of Democrats (77 percent), Independents (62 percent), and Republicans (57 percent), it is time for ending federal prohibition to become a truly bipartisan issue in the eyes of voters.”

“Legislative relief must come sooner rather than later. Over 650,000 Americans, disproportionately black, brown, young, and poor, are arrested for violating marijuana laws annually. Those without the means to defend themselves from the state bear the greatest burden and lifelong consequences of this ongoing failed federal policy. It is time for Congressional leaders to take a stand to right these past wrongs.”

“The importance of this bill’s emphasis on facilitating the expunging of individual criminal records for marijuana possession cannot be overstated. Millions of Americans have suffered from the lifelong collateral consequences of criminal prohibition, making it harder for them to find a job, obtain housing, and access higher education.”

“As states dial back their war on marijuana consumers, it is important that those who were impacted by this oppressive prohibition are able to see previous harms remedied, and be provided the opportunity to participate in the benefits that come along with legalization and regulation.”

At the time of introduction, the bill sponsors said:

“It’s time to decriminalize marijuana, and this bill is a critical first step,” said Leader Charles E.  Schumer (D-NY). “The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would give states the right to make their own choices when it comes to regulation; better equip all Americans, particularly communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana’s criminalization, to participate in the growing marijuana economy; and, by incentivizing sealing and expungement programs, provide Americans with low-level marijuana convictions the opportunity to move forward.”

“For far too long, the impact of America’s repressive, archaic marijuana laws has been felt most heavily by people of color,” said Representative Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08). “This critical effort works to correct that injustice by providing $100 million toward expungement programs and creating an investment fund for people of color and female entrepreneurs who wish to enter the lucrative legal cannabis industry.”

Send a message in support of the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act to your Senators and Representative in just one click here. 

 

According to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, police made 659,700 arrests for marijuana-related violations in 2017. That total is more than 21 percent higher than the total number of persons arrests for the commission of violent crimes (518,617) in 2017. Of those arrested for marijuana crimes, just under 91 percent (599,000) were arrested for marijuana possession offenses, a slight increase over the previous year’s annual totals. Total marijuana arrests in 2017 increased for the second straight year, after having fallen for nearly a decade.

Thirty-three states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted legislation specific to the physician-authorized use of cannabis. Moreover, an estimated 73 million Americans now reside in the ten states where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. An additional thirteen states have passed laws specific to the possession of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for therapeutic purposes.

Sixty-eight percent of registered voters “support the legalization of marijuana,” according to 2018 national polling data compiled by the Center for American Progress. The percentage is the highest level of support for legalization ever reported in a nationwide, scientific poll.

Majorities of Democrats (77 percent), Independents (62 percent), and Republicans (57 percent) back legalization. The results of a 2017 nationwide Gallup poll similarly found majority support among all three groups.

To date, these statewide regulatory programs are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and created hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue.

Specifically, a 2019 report estimates that over 211,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.

North Dakota: Governor Signs Law Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties

Wed, 05/08/2019 - 21:52

Republican Gov. Doug Burgum has signed legislation into law reducing marijuana possession penalties.

House Bill 1050 reclassifies the possession of up to one-half ounce (14.175 grams) of cannabis and/or the personal possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia for a first-time offender from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, to a criminal infraction – punishable by a fine but no possibility of jail time. Those charged with subsequent infractions over the course of a calendar year may face the possibility of misdemeanor charges.

In 2016, North Dakota ranked sixth in the nation in per capita marijuana possession arrests.

Separate provisions in the measure reduce penalties for the possession of up to 500 grams of cannabis from a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, to a class B misdemeanor. Penalties for the possession of greater amounts are amended from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

The new penalties will take effect on August 1, 2019.

For additional information on pending legislative reforms, visit NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.

Texas: Marijuana Decriminalization Bill to be Considered on House Floor

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 18:46

On Thursday, April 25, members of the Texas House of Representatives are scheduled to consider a marijuana decriminalization bill.

House Bill 63 would reduce penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a class B misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail, to a civil offense punishable by a $250 fine only.

The bill was approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee last month by a 5-2 vote.

Thursday will be the first time in decades that marijuana decriminalization will be discussed on the House Floor. It is essential to continue to build momentum behind this important piece of legislation so that minor marijuana possession offenders, many of them young people, are no longer saddled with a criminal record and the lifelong penalties and stigma associated with it.

Click here to send a message to your Texas state representatives now in support of decriminalization, and urge them to co-author HB 63

The consideration of HB 63 on the House floor comes just days after the state’s House of Representatives approved an industrial hemp production bill, and after a separate House committee approved a bill to expand access to medical cannabis for Texas patients.

Governor Greg Abbott (R) has expressed his opposition to legalizing adult use marijuana, but has also stated that he is open to reducing low-level marijuana possession penalties.

For additional information on marijuana reform efforts in Texas, visit the Texas NORML website.

Maine: Regulators Moving Forward With Rules to Govern Retail Marijuana Sales

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 17:30

After multiple delays, regulators are finally moving forward with draft regulations to implement the state’s 2016 voter-approved initiative legalizing the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana.

Regulators are now deliberating over a 73-page draft of rules governing the adult use marijuana market. The rules will not be finalized until regulators receive input from the public and they are approved by a majority of lawmakers.

Under the proposed rules, commercial licenses will only be granted initially to state residents. Those with a felony drug conviction within the past ten years will be ineligible for a license.

The proposed regulations also impose limits with regard to THC content and the appearance of cannabis-infused edible products. Retailers will not be permitted to sell customers more than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and/or five grams of concentrate in a single day. Retailers will need to first receive local approval prior to applying for a state operators license.

Maine voters initially approved the legalization of cannabis sales in November 2016, but lawmakers – led by former Republican Gov. Paul LePage – have repeatedly taken steps to delay the law’s implementation.

Newly elected Gov. Janet Mills (D) is on record stating that lawmakers “must follow the will of the people [and] implement the [voter-initiated marijuana] law.”

Alabama: Jefferson County Police To Cite, Rather Than Prosecute, Minor Marijuana Violators

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 19:11

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County (population: 658,000) Sheriff’s Office announced today that local law enforcement will begin citing, rather than arresting, low-level marijuana offenders.

Under the new policy, police will issue a summons to those who possess personal amounts of marijuana or cannabis-related paraphernalia. Offenders will no longer be arrested or booked. Those cited and released will still have to either pay a fine or appear in court at a later date. Those with prior cannabis violations will still be eligible to receive a summons.

Under state law, marijuana possession is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $6,000 fine.

Similar cite and release programs are in place in other cities and counties around the country, including in Palm Beach County, Florida and in Harris County (Houston), Texas.

Additional information is available from NORML’s ‘Local Decriminalization’ report, online here.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 4/20/19

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 20:20

Welcome to the 4/20 edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup! I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Holidaze, and remember to consume responsibly!

At the state level, Governor Brian Kemp (R) signed legislation into law to facilitate regulations governing the licensed production and distribution of oils and other products containing limited amounts of plant-derived THC.

Governor Laura Kelly (D) of Kansas signed industrial hemp production legislation into law.

A decriminalization bill was defeated in the Missouri House of Representatives this week.

At a more local level, The city commissioners of Daytona Beach voted to decriminalize up to 20 grams of marijuana possession.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.

Your Highness,
Carly

Actions to Take

Federal

End Prohibition: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.

Send a message to your federal lawmakers in support of this important legislation

Alabama

Legislation is pending, House Bill 96 / Senate Bill 98, to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $6,000, to a non-criminal violation punishable by a maximum fine of $250.

Update: SB 98 was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/17/18.

AL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

California

Legislation is pending, AB 286, to temporarily reduce tax rates imposed on the retail sale and commercial cultivation of cannabis.

Update: AB 286 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Business And Professions Committee on 4/23/19

CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of lower taxes

Senate Bill 34, which would exempt compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions.

Update: SB 34 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 4/22/19.

CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of compassionate care programs

AB 1465 (Bloom) would allow licensing of cannabis consumption cafés and lounges in California.

Update: Ab 1465 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Business And Professions Committee on 4/23/19.

CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of social consumption lounges

SB 51 seeks to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.

Update: SB 51 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on 4/24/19.

CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of banking access

Colorado

Legislation is pending, House Bill 19-1230, to allow the social consumption of cannabis by adults in licensed and regulated establishments.

The measure would establish a license permit process for hospitality spaces to allow cannabis products to be legally purchased and consumed on site.

Update: HB 19-1230 was approved by the House Committee on Appropriations on 4/16/19, and was then approved by the House of Representatives on 4/18. The bill now heads to the Senate.

CO resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of social consumption sites

Legislation is pending, House Bill 19-1234, to allow licensed marijuana businesses to deliver both medical and adult use marijuana to private residences.

The measure would establish a licensing system for such delivery services and also require training for delivery permit holders.

Update: HB 19-1234 was approved by the House Committee on Appropriations on 4/16/19. and was then approved by the House of Representatives on 4/18. The bill now heads to the Senate.

CO resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of cannabis delivery services

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 19-220, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: SB -220 was approved by the Senate on 4/15, and will now be transmitted to the House.

CO resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Delaware

Senate Bill 37 would reform the expungement processes for individuals convicted of non-violent marijuana-related offenses.

If enacted, the bill would expand the pool of those eligible to seek expungement to include those convicted of a single misdemeanor or felony charge related to marijuana.

Update: SB 37 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/17/19, and now awaits action in the House.

DE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

Florida

Legislation is pending, H. 333, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Separately, SB 1020 would also regulate industrial hemp production, and a third measure, SB 7102 would allow for the retail sale of hemp extracts.

Update: H. 333 was unanimously approved by the House State Affairs Committee on 4/18/19, SB 7102 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 4/18.

FL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Hawaii

Legislation is pending, House Bill 673 / Senate Bill 1430, to expand medical cannabis access.

The measure would protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination by prohibiting employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.

Update: HB 673 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/9/19, but the House disagreed with the Senate amendments, so the bill will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation.

HI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1353, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 1353 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/9/19, but the House disagreed with the Senate amendments, so the bill will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation.

HI resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Iowa

Legislation is pending, HF 754 and SF 599, to establish an industrial hemp program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: SF 599 was approved by the Senate on 4/15/19, and was then heard in the House Appropriations Committee on 4/18/19.

IA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Nebraska

Legislation is pending, LB 657, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: LB 657 was approved by the Senate on 4/15/19.

NE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

Nevada

Legislation is pending, SB 430, that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.

The measure would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with anxiety, autism, opioid addiction or dependence, anorexia, among others.

Update: SB 430 was approved by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/16/19, and was then approved by the Senate on 4/18.

NV resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Senate Bill 228:

  • Allows service providers such as massage therapists and reflexologists to administer hemp and CBD products for therapeutic purposes; and
  • Allows veterinarians to administer hemp and CBD products to animals

Update: SB 228 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/16/19, and now awaits action in the Assembly. The bill was amended to remove provisions concerning prohibiting a practitioner from refusing to prescribe a controlled substance to a patient solely because the patient uses marijuana and establishing a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee the state’s medical marijuana access program. Provisions allowing veterinarians to administer hemp and CBD products to animals.

NV resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, House Bill 481, to allow for the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana by adults.

The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or up to five grams of concentrate, and to grow up to six marijuana plants.

Update: HB 481 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/23/19.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of legalization

Legislation is pending, HB 350, to expand medical cannabis access.

The measure expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants to issue recommendations to their patients.

Update: HB 350 was approved by the Senate on a voice vote on 4/18/19, and now awaits action from the Governor.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Legislation is pending, House Bill 459, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 459 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on 4/23/19.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production

North Carolina

Legislation is pending, S. 58 / H. 766, to expand upon the state’s decriminalization law and also to provide for the expungement of certain prior cannabis convictions.

Under current law, the possession of 1.5 ounces of cannabis is classified as a misdemeanor. These proposals raise that threshold to four ounces. The bill would also allow those with past marijuana possession convictions to petition the court to expunge their record.

NC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expanded decriminalization

Oregon

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 970, to protect state-sanctioned medical cannabis patients, as well as those with prior or pending cannabis convictions, from housing discrimination.

Update: SB 970 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Human Services and Housing Committee on 4/22/19.

OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of housing protections

Tennessee

Legislation is pending, SB 256/HB 235, to decriminalize the possession small amounts of marijuana in Tennessee.

The measure would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana.

Update: SB 256 is scheduled for consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/23/19.

TN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

Legislation is pending, SB 260/HB 234, to allow out-of-state medical cannabis patients to legally possess their medicine while visiting Tennessee.

Under this measure, patients who are registered to use medical cannabis in those 33 jurisdictions that permit its therapeutic use may legally possess up to a half-ounce of cannabis while visiting Tennessee.

Update: SB 260 is scheduled for consideration in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/23/19.

TN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of out-of-state protections

Vermont

S. 54 is pending to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

Update: S. 54 was heard by the House Committee on S. 54 was heard by the House Committees on Government Operations; Judiciary; and Commerce and Economic Development this week.

VT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of regulation

Washington

Legislation is pending, HB 1401 / SB 5719, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 1401 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/15/19. The bill will now head back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

WA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp production