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LEGISLATION

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator April 20, 2019

    NORML's Legislative US MapWelcome 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

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator April 12, 2019

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

    At the state level, a bill to allow licensed social consumption spaces in Oregon was defeated for this year.

    A bill to allow patients to use medical cannabis while on probation or parole died in Montana’s state Senate.

    At a more local level, the city council of New York City approved a pair of municipal bills this week limiting situations where those seeking employment or on probation may be drug tested for past cannabis use.

    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

    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 Finance on 4/8/19 with amendments, and now awaits action rom the Committee on Appropriations.

    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 Finance on 4/8/19 with amendments, and now awaits action from the Committee on Appropriations.

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

    Connecticut

    Senate Bill 1085 permits those age 21 and over to purchase and possess up to one and one half ounces of marijuana. The measure would also allow those with past marijuana possession convictions to petition the court to have their record expunged.

    Update: SB 1085 was heard and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/8/19.

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

    Delaware

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 24, to expand access to medical cannabis in the state.

    The measure would give doctors the discretion to recommend medical cannabis to any patient for whom they believe will benefit from its therapeutic use.

    This bill 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 & Social Services Committee on 4/17/19.

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

    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 approved by the Senate Judicial Committee on 4/9/19.

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

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 45, to 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 45 was approved by the Senate Health & Social Services Committee on 4/10/19.

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

    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.

    Update: HB 7117 was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on 4/9/19.

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

    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, and now goes back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

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

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1383, that would decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.

    The bill would impose a civil penalty for the possession of up to three grams of marijuana, punishable by a $30 fine. The measure would also establish a system to expunge certain past cannabis convictions.

    Update: HB 1383 was approved by the Senate on 4/9/19, and will now be transmitted back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

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

    Idaho

    House Bill 300 would allow Idaho to regulate industrial hemp production in addition to allowing for the transportation of hemp throughout the state.

    Update: HB 300 was heard by the House Transportation & Defense Committee on 4/11/19.

    ID 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 approved by the House on 4/9/19, with an amendment to allow the smoking of hemp flower. The House disagreed with the Senate’s amendments, so the bill will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation.

    IN 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: HF 754 was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on 4/10/19.

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

    Louisiana

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 509, to regulate adult use marijuana.

    The measure would permit the use, possession, and retail sale of cannabis for adults 21 and over.

    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).

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

    Missouri

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 1095, reduce marijuana offense penalties in Missouri.

    This measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana or marijuana concentrate from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction.

    Update: HB 1095 was heard and approved by the Special Committee on Criminal Justice on 4/11/19.

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

    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 heard in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/8/19, and again on 4/10.

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

    Legislation is pending, AB 346, to remove the prohibition on those convicted of certain marijuana related offenses from participating in childcare or healthcare related activities and employment positions.

    The measure also establishes a process to allow individuals to have their records set aside when determining eligibility to serve in such capacities

    Update: AB 346 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/12/19.

    NV resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of removing employment restrictions

    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: HB 350 was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 4/11/19.

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

    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: S. 168 was heard by the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate on 4/9/19, and was then approved by the full Senate on 4/10. The bill now heads to the House.

    NC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical CBD 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 was approved by 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 305, to protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination.

    The measure would prohibit employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.

    Update: SB 305 was heard in the House Rules Committee on 4/11/19.

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

    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 on 4/11/19, and will now be transmitted to the Governor.

    OK resident? Click here to email your governor 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: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 379 on 4/8/19.

    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: The Senate Judiciary Committee held a work session SB 420 on 4/9/19.

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

    Texas

    Legislation is pending, HB 1365, to provide qualified patients in Texas with access to medical cannabis.

    Update: HB 1365 was heard in a Medical Cannabis Subcommittee on 4/11/19.

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

    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 theHouse Committees on General, Housing, and Military Affairs; Government Operations; and Judiciary 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 in the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry on 4/10/19.

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

    Washington

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 5276, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: The House Committee on Appropriations held an executive session on SB 5276 on 4/8/19.

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

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director April 11, 2019

    Members of the New York City Council approved a pair of municipal bills this week limiting situations where those seeking employment or on probation may be drug tested for the past use of cannabis.

    Council members overwhelmingly voted in favor of a municipal proposal (No.1445) barring employers from drug testing certain job applicants for the presence of marijuana.

    The proposal 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.” Council members passed the bill by a vote of 40 to 4.

    Under the plan, employees seeking certain safety sensitive positions – such as police officers or commercial drivers – or those positions regulated by federal drug testing guidelines, would be exempt from the municipal law.

    The measure now awaits final approval from City Mayor Bill DeBlasio. The new rules would take effect one-year after being signed into law.

    Studies have identified the presence of the inert carboxy-THC metabolite in the urine of former marijuana consumers for periods of several months following their last exposure.

    Council members also advanced separate legislation (No. 1427) to the Mayor’s office limiting situations in which persons on probation may be drug tested. Once signed, the new rules will take immediate effect.

    A resolution (Res. 641) calling on the New York City officials to expunge the records of all city misdemeanor marijuana convictions is pending. New York City police made over 78,000 marijuana possession arrests between the years 2014 and 2017.

  • 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

  • by NORML April 4, 2019

    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 Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (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.

    “The majority of states now regulate either the medical use or the adult use of marijuana. It is time for the federal government to cease standing in the way of these voter-backed regulatory policies being implemented throughout the country,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Ultimately, however, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act entirely in order to allow those in legal states to ultimately be free from undue federal discrimination and the fear of federal prosecution.”

    Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said: “Forty-seven states have legalized some form of cannabis and the majority of Americans support its legalization. Our outdated laws have ruined lives, devastated communities, and wasted resources for critical medical treatment and research. The STATES Act is the next logical step in a comprehensive blueprint for more rational federal cannabis policy. It’s time for Congress to catch up with the rest of America are and fix a badly broken system.”

    Said Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH): “The current federal policy interferes with the ability of states to implement their own cannabis laws, and the resulting system has stifled important medical research, hurt legitimate businesses and diverted critical law enforcement resources needed elsewhere. It’s past time for Congress to clarify cannabis policy on the federal level and ensure states are free to make their own decisions in the best interest of their constituents. The STATES Act does just that by respecting the will of the states that have legalized cannabis in some form and allowing them to implement their own policies without fear of repercussion from the federal government.”

    The STATES Act joins multiple bills have been filed to amend the Controlled Substances Act to restrict federal enforcement actions against state-legal marijuana businesses.

    They include:

    HR 493: The Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act, introduced by Congressman Lou Correa (D-CA).

    HR 1455: The REFER Act (Restraining Excessive Federal Enforcement & Regulations of Cannabis Act), introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA).

    HR 2012: The Respect States’ and Citizens’ Rights Act, introduced by Congresswoman Diane DeGette (D-CO).

    Supporters of cannabis reform can contact their lawmakers regarding these bills via the NORML Action Center HERE.

     

    General information regarding cannabis reform:

    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 last 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 fifteen 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.

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