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Weekly Legislative Roundup 4/5/19

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator April 5, 2019

    NORML's Legislative US MapWelcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

    U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), have reintroduced The STATES Act of 2019. This Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the number of instances in which federal law enforcement agencies could carry out legal actions against state-licensed cannabis businesses or other related enterprises.

    Governor Gary Herbert (R) of Utah signed legislation into law to allow those with certain misdemeanor cannabis convictions to have their records automatically expunged.

    Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) of New Mexico signed cannabis decriminalization legislation into law. She also signed bills to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients while at school, and a broader medical expansion bill that adds several new qualifying conditions and patient protections.

    Governor Jared Polis (D) of Colorado signed legislation into law to add autism as a medical cannabis qualifying condition.

    Governor Leon Guerrero (D) of Guam signed cannabis legalization legislation into law.

    Governor Janet Mills (D) of Maine signed legislation into law to allow the production and retail sale of hemp-derived CBD products.

    Governors Doug Burgum (R) of North Dakota and Henry McMaster (R) of South Carolina signed industrial hemp production legislation into law.

    An Arkansas House committee defeated a decriminalization bill this week to send it to study.

    Six municipalities in Wisconsin voted on non-binding marijuana related ballot questions, with 5 out of 6 passing. Wood County approved a medical cannabis question, but rejected an adult use tax and regulate question.

    At a more local level, prosecutors in Los Angeles and San Joaquin Counties, California announced that they’ll begin a process to automatically expunge approximately 54,000 prior cannabis conviction records.

    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

    Arkansas

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 661, to amend marijuana possession penalties.

    The measure would remove the threat of jail time as a penalty for first time offenders for the possession of up to four ounces of marijuana and reduces the maximum fine from $2,500 to $1,000.

    Update: SB 661 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/5/19.

    AR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of first-time penalty reductions

    California

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

    Update: AB 286 will be heard by the Assembly Business And Professions Committee on 4/9/19 at 9:30am in State Capitol Room 4202.

    CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of reducing tax rates

    Legislation is pending, AB 1530, to give local governments the ability to restrict or ban cannabis deliveries made into their jurisdictional boundaries by state-licensed delivery services.

    Update: AB 1530 will be heard by the Assembly Business And Professions Committee on 4/9/19 at 9:30am in State Capitol Room 4202.

    CA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in opposition to restricting delivery services

    Legislation has been reintroduced from last year, 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 was approved by the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee on 4/3/19.

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

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 305, to permit qualified patients the ability to access medical cannabis preparations while in health care facilities.

    Update: SB 305 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health on 4/10/19.

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

    Colorado

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

    Update: HB 19-1230 was approved by the House Committee on Business Affairs & Labor on 4/2/19.

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

    Connecticut

    House Bill 7371 would establish a regulatory framework for the licensed retail sale of adult-use marijuana.

    Update: HB 7371 is scheduled for consideration by the Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis on 4/9/19 at 5pm.

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

    Delaware

    Senate Bill 24 would give doctors the discretion to recommend medical cannabis to any patient whom they believe will benefit from its therapeutic use. It would also remove the requirement that only certain specialists may certify the use of medical cannabis for those under 18.

    Update: SB 24 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Social Services Committee on 4/10/19.

    DE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of letting doctors, not politicians, decide

    Senate Bill 59 would expand the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants and nurse practitioners to issue recommendations to their patients.

    Update: SB 59 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Social Services Committee on 4/10/19.

    Send a DE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

    Senate Bill 45 would amend certain marijuana penalties for juvenile offenders.

    Under state law, adults face civil penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses. Senate Bill 45 would make this policy consistent for juvenile offenders.

    Update: SB 59 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Social Services Committee on 4/10/19.

    DE resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of amending juvenile penalties

    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.

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

    Florida

    Legislation has been approved by members of the House Health and Human Services Committee to arbitrarily cap the potency of cannabis flowers at ten percent THC.

    FL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in opposition to capping THC levels

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

    Update: H. 333 was unanimously approved by the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee on 4/2.

    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 approved by the Senate Committees on Judiciary and Ways and Means on 4/3/19 with amendments.

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

    Idaho

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 122, to establish an industrial hemp program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: H.122 was approved by the Senate on 4/1, and will now be transmitted back to the House for concurrence.

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

    Illinois

    Senate Bill 7 is pending, a placeholder bill for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults.

    Update: SB 7 was approved by the Senate Executive Committee on 4/3/19.

    IL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers 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 Senate on 4/4/19, and will now be transmitted to the House.

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

    Iowa

    Senate File 378 reduces criminal penalties for first time offenders for the possession of 5 grams of marijuana or less from a serious misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000, to a simple misdemeanor, punishable by no more than 30 days in jail and/or a $625 fine.

    Update: SF 378 was approved by the Senate on 4/1/19, and will now be transmitted to the House.

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

    HF 732 would remove the cap on allowable THC, and allow physicians assistants and advanced registered nurses to recommend medical cannabis to patients.

    Update: HF 732 was approved by a Judiciary Subcommittee on 4/1/19, then approved by the full committee on 4/4. The bill was amended to remove the provision lifting the THC cap on medical CBD.

    IA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion, and in opposition to this amendment

    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: HF 754 was heard in the House Appropriations Committee on 4/4/19.

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

    Indiana

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 516, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 516 was heard by the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on 4/2/19.

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

    Maine

    Legislation is pending, LD 1402 (HP 1017), which seeks to facilitate banks and other financial institutions to safely conduct transactions with licensed marijuana businesses.

    The measure would allow “state-chartered credit unions to procure private insurance in lieu of share insurance from the National Credit Union Administration to facilitate the provision of financial services to registered dispensaries or registered caregivers.”

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

    Montana

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 176, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Senate Bill 177 also modifies industrial hemp provisions, such as removing the requirement for a criminal background check prior to obtaining a license to grow the plant.

    Update: SB 176 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Appropriations Committee on 4/8/19 at 3pm in room 102. SB 177 was approved by the House and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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

    Nevada

    Legislation is pending, AB 409, to allow the social consumption of cannabis by adults in licensed and regulated establishments.

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

    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 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/8/19.

    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.

    Update: HB 481 was approved by the House Ways and Means Committee on 4/4/19, and now heads to the Senate.

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

    New York

    S.4117 would prohibit the eviction of tenants for using medical marijuana for a certified medical use.

    Update: S.4117 was approved by the Senate on 4/1/19, and will now be transmitted to the Assembly.

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

    North Carolina

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 168, to expand the state’s medical CBD exemption law.

    The measure expands the pool of individuals eligible for a medical CBD exemption to include those diagnosed with autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and Mitochondrial disease.

    Update: S168 was heard and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/3/19.

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

    North Dakota

    Senate legislators have revived marijuana decriminalization efforts by attaching an amendment to House Bill 1050. The amendment, which was approved in the Senate’s version of the bill, reduces the penalty for possessing up to a half-ounce of marijuana from a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $1,500 to a noncriminal fine of $250.

    Update: HB 1050 was approved by the Senate on 4/4/19, and will now be transmitted back to the House for concurrence on the amendment.

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

    House Bill 1417 allows physicians to explicitly authorize patients diagnosed with cancer to legally possess greater quantities of cannabis than are generally allowed under the law.

    Separately, House Bill 1519 would permit providers to recommend medical cannabis to those diagnosed with 13 additional conditions, including anorexia nervosa, anxiety, opioid use disorder or withdrawal, and autism.

    A third measure, House Bill 1283, would allow physicians assistants to recommend medical cannabis to their patients.

    And a separate measure, House Bill 1364, would permit edible medical cannabis products, as long as they do not appeal to minors.

    Update: The House and Senate disagreed on amendments to HB 1417 and HB 1519, so the bills now go to a conference committee for reconciliation. HB 1364 failed to pass the Senate with the needed 2/3 majority, killing the bill.

    ND 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: HB 2614 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee On Health And Human Services on 4/8/19.

    OK resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of reduced penalties

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 868 / House Bill 2628, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 868 was approved by the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on 4/1, and HB 2628 was approved by the Senate Committee On Agriculture & Wildlife on 4/1.

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

    Oregon

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2655 / Senate Bill 379, to protect responsible adult cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.

    Update: SB 379 is scheduled for a work session in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/8/19 at 8am.

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

    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 379 is scheduled for a work session in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/8/19 at 8am.

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

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 3169, which seeks to allow licensed cannabis businesses to safely conduct transactions with financial institutions.

    If passed, this legislation would allow banking institutions and credit unions to organize as limited charter cannabis financial institutions.

    Update: HB 3169 is scheduled for a work session in the House Economic Development Committee on 4/8/19 at 1pm.

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

    Pennsylvania

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 465, to establish the Cannabis Banking Commission to develop strategies to encourage and facilitate banks and other financial institutions to safely conduct transactions with licensed marijuana businesses.

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

    South Carolina

    H. 3660 / S. 366: The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, would regulate medical cannabis distribution and access, but it prohibits the inhalation or smoking of herbal medical cannabis.

    Update: S. 366 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs on 4/11/19.

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

    Tennessee

    Legislation is pending, SB 357 / HB 844, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 357 was approved by the House on 3/28, and will now be transmitted to the Governor.

    TN resident? Click here to email your governor 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 Committee on Government Operations every day the committee met this week.

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

    Washington

    Legislation is pending, SB 5605 / HB 1500, to allow individuals with prior misdemeanor cannabis convictions to apply to the sentencing court to have their record vacated.

    Update: SB 5605 was heard in the House Committee on Appropriations on 4/5/19 at 1:30pm.

    WA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of vacating past records

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1095 / Senate Bill 5442, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.

    Update: HB 1095 was approved by the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education on 4/1.

    WA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of allowing medical cannabis in schools

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