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Weekly Legislative Roundup 1/25/20

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator January 25, 2020

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

    This week, officials with the Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board issued their first-ever permits to retailers who wish to allow customers to consume cannabis on the premises.

    Missouri state regulators began issuing the first of nearly 200 licenses to medical cannabis providers. Licensed dispensaries are expected to be operational in Missouri by this spring.

    At a more local level, city council members in Springfield, Illinois approved the state’s first marijuana consumption space.

    The Austin, Texas city council approved a resolution that will restrict city funds or city personnel from being used to create THC testing protocol and would direct APD to stop citing or arresting individuals for low-level 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.

    Your Highness,
    Carly

    Actions to Take

    Federal

    Chairmain’s bill: The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884 / S. 2227) is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus decriminalizing the substance at the federal level and enabling states to set their own policies.

    Send a message to your representatives in support of the MORE Act now

    Colorado

    House Bill 1089 would prohibit employers terminating an employee for the employee’s lawful off-duty activities that are lawful under state law even if those activities are not lawful under federal law, such as consuming marijuana.

    Update: HB 1089 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Business Affairs & Labor Committee at 1:30 on 2/19/2020 in Room LSB-A.

    CO resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    Georgia

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 550, to remove the threat of jail time for the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana, and instead impose a fine of $300.

    The bill also removes the requirement to fingerprint individuals for misdemeanor marijuana charges.

    GA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions

    Hawaii

    Legislation is pending, HB 583 / SB 527, which would authorize licensed medical cannabis facilities to sell edible products.

    Update: HB 583 is scheduled to be heard by the House Health Committee on 1/28/20 8:35am in House conference room 329.

    HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of edible medical cannabis products

    Maryland

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 331, to allow registered medical cannabis patients to access their medicine while at school.

    The bill requires the Department of Education and the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission jointly to develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to certain students during school hours and school-sponsored after-school activities.

    Update: HB 331 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee on 2/5/2020 at 2pm.

    MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access in schools

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1663, 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 (up to 3 can be mature).

    Update: HB 1663 is scheduled for a public hearing and executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 2/5/20 beginning at 10am.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1648, to remove all criminal and civil penalties for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by adults.

    The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to 3/4 ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to three mature, three immature).

    Update: HB 1648 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 1/28/20 at 10am.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of depenalization

    House Bill 1386 “prohibits an employer from firing an employee solely because the employee has a positive drug test for cannabis if the employee is a qualified patient.”

    Update: HB 1386 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee at 10:00am on 2/5/20 in Legislative Office Building 307.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    House Bill 1614 would reduce the penalties for the possession of large quantities of marijuana from felonies to misdemeanors.

    Update: HB 1614 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 1/28/20 at 10am.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of penalty reduction

    House Bill 1150 would establish reciprocity, which would allow qualifying patients from out-of-state to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire.

    Update: HB 1150 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 1/29/20 at 10am.

    NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity

    Tennessee

    Legislation is pending, HB 883/SB 686, to allow individuals convicted of certain cannabis-related offenses, upon the completion of their sentence, to petition the court to have their records sealed.

    Update: HB 883 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee at 12pm on 1/28/20 in House Hearing Room III.

    TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of 

    SB 1720 is pending, to allow out-of-state patients to possess up to a half-ounce of cannabis while visiting Tennessee.

    TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of reciprocity

    Vermont

    Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

    Update: S.54 was heard by several different House committees this week.

    VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of retail sales

    Virginia

    For the first time in recent history, there is a clear pathway to advance a decriminalization bill, Senate Bill 2, to the desk of Governor Northam, an issue which is a top priority for him in the 2020 General Assembly.

    Update: SB 2 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Criminal Law Subcommittee on 1/23/20.

    VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 212, to protect parents, foster parents, and prospective parents looking to adopt a child.

    The measure would prohibit the denial or restriction of custody or visitation rights based solely on the fact that a parent, foster parent, or prospective parent is registered to use cannabidiol or THC-A oil for therapeutic purposes.

    Update: HB 212 was approved by the House Courts of Justice – Civil Subcommittee on 1/22/20 by a 5-3 vote.

    VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of parental protections

    Washington

    Legislation is pending in the House and Senate, HB 1131 / SB 5155, “Allowing residential marijuana agriculture.”

    This bill allows adults to cultivate up to six marijuana plants in their home.

    Update: HB 1131 was approved by the House Committee on Commerce & Gaming on 1/21/20.

    WA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 2740, to protect marijuana consumers from employment discrimination.

    The bill would prohibit employers from refusing to hire an individual solely because they use marijuana off the job or test positive for THC on a drug test.

    Update: HB 2740 is scheduled for a public hearing in the he House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards at 3:30pm on 1/28/20.

    WA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    Wisconsin

    Assembly Bill 750 / Senate Bill 683 would create a medical marijuana program that tightly regulates the cultivation, processing, testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana to ensure patients have legal, safe, and reliable access to a consistent product without breaking the law to obtain it.

    WI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical marijuana access

    West Virginia

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 4186, which seeks to protect marijuana consumers from employment discrimination.

    The bill would remove marijuana from the list of tested substances that employers must screen for as a requirement of the West Virginia Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act.

    WV resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

    That’s all for this week!

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