Marijuana Legislation Roundup
With almost 200 active cannabis-related bills, tracking legislation can be daunting. That’s why we’re introducing the BioTrackTHC Marijuana Legislation Roundup – a quick roundup of all the current marijuana-related legislative progress being made in each state. Something we missed? Come back next week for the state’s we didn’t cover here.
Los Angeles voters passed Measure M on Tuesday, March 7, with an overwhelming 71% of voters approving. In summary, this measure opens the door to allow the city, the cannabis industry, and the citizens of LA to work together to help craft their recreational cannabis laws. Measure M will give the residents of LA a voice in writing guidelines such as zoning rules, enforcement, and how they plan to keep cannabis out of the hands of children.
Colorado’s HB 1034 will create a business license structure for medical cannabis operators. Previous regulations limited businesses relocation options if they were interested in leaving their current city or county. Under the new rules, business owners will be allowed to relocate their business anywhere in the state assuming they receive local approval.
Connecticut recently introduced 4 separate bills aimed at establishing a recreational marijuana program. SB 11, HB 4314, HB 5539 and HB 6518 all approach legalized cannabis but emphasize different aspects of the program from how the sale would be taxed, enforced and grown.
Several state regulators in Florida have been attempting to alter the qualifying conditions and patient/physician requirements of Florida’s Medical Cannabis bill, Amendment 2 (linked). Republican Senator Jeff Brandes introduced Senate Bill 0614, which will mandate that Amendment 2 be implemented as written, which was supported by 71% of voters.
Additionally, HB 1397, an act relating to the use of medical marijuana in Florida, is attempting to limit the usable options available to Florida Medical Marijuana patients. This bill would restrict patients from ingesting cannabis as smoke or as edibles, leaving very few options for consumption remaining.
Georgia’s HB 65 serves as an addition to the state’s current medical cannabis program. This bill would add several conditions to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis including Autism, HIV and AIDS
Hawaii’s HCR40 requests that the US Drug Enforcement Administration remove marijuana from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances. Additionally, the bill calls for rescheduling cannabis for the purposes of medically controlled use. Hawaii is currently in the process of implementing their recently passed Medical Cannabis program.
Iowa has multiple active bills aimed at rescheduling cannabis, including tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2, which is still be classified as a jailable offense. HF 199 and SF 205 are set to be heard in the coming weeks.
Indiana’s HB1316 seeks to establish a medical marijuana program that permits caregivers and patients who have received a physician recommendation to possess certain quantities of marijuana for approved conditions. The bill will also create the Department of Marijuana Enforcement (DOME) (link) to oversee the new industry. SB 0255 authorizes DOME to grant research licenses to facilities providing they have a physical presence in Indiana.
Senate Bill 155 would create the Cannabis Compassion and Care Act allowing for medicinal cannabis use for qualifying conditions. The act would also establish the infrastructure for compassion centers and the issuance of identification cards.
Two new pieces of legislation have been presented in Maryland, one designed to protect cannabis businesses and one that will determine the tax obligations for those businesses. SB 928 establishes exemptions from prosecution for using, obtaining, purchasing, transporting, or possessing legal medical cannabis. SB 927 will create an excise tax on cannabis sales while establishing the Cannabis Tax Distribution Fund, a fund to provide supplemental funding for specified programs and purposes.
Minnesota has introduced legislation that will allow individuals 21 and over to consume and use marijuana for personal, recreational use. HF 927 will also establish business license types, develop the fee schedule, and authorize rulemaking.
Last month New Hampshire passed HB640, which aims to decriminalize marijuana possession for personal use of up to one ounce or less of marijuana or marijuana-infused products by a person 21 years of age or older to a violation.
Assembly Bill 726 was recently passed in Wisconsin, which allows the consumption of CBD oil for children suffering from intractable epilepsy. CBD has been proven to reduce epileptic seizures in children and has become highly sought after by many.
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