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Citizen Lobbyists

  • by Josh Kassoff, Nevada NORML May 20, 2019

    Even though cannabis has been recreationally legal in the Battle Born State for nearly two years and Sin City has become a greenish gold mine of legal cannabis, many problems and societal penalties still arise with the use of it; no social consumption lounges being among the most glaring. Yet unlike the consumption lounges, people’s lives are directly being negatively impacted by laws surrounding pre-employment drug testing and previous cannabis convictions in the Prohibition years.

    Assembly Bill 132, a bill still being discussed in the Nevada Legislature, could benefit medical patients across the state from employment discrimination simply because they test positive for cannabis. Whereas a marijuana-positive drug test from an applicant would likely mean more immediate professional rejection than showing up to an interview in a neon bro tank and American flag Chubbies, AB 132 would provide cannabis users with a rebuttal if a pre-employment drug test is failed.

    Quoted exactly, the bill authorizes “an employee to rebut the results of a screening test under certain circumstances; creating a presumption that the ability of an employee to perform his or her job and that the safety of other employees is not adversely affected if an employee has certain levels of certain prohibited substances in his or her blood.”              

    Without exception, The War on Drugs was a bigger critical failure than Fyre Festival could’ve ever dreamed about. Millions now carry harmful convictions for harmless offenses that still haunt their lives and deeply hinder their access to everything from housing, financial assistance and employment opportunities. Even if they aren’t drug-related, a misdemeanor conviction can still have drastic social consequences.

    Partially as a legislative apology for the frivolous and unnecessary wrongs of the War on Drugs and partially to boost possible employment opportunities to past “offenders”, Assembly Bill 192 would create a program for anyone with permanent criminal charges to apply for the records of those crimes to be sealed. While this bill certainly applies to the unfortunately large demographic of people who have low-level cannabis charges, AB 192 applies concurrently to other charges that once were illegal in Nevada but have been decriminalized through either prior or current legislation.

    Medical marijuanaAnother frank reality of medical cannabis in modern America, apart from the increase of Taco Bell consumption, is the mountains of research behind the number of conditions that the plant treats. PTSD, cachexia and muscle spasms are among the nearly never ending list of conditions that cannabis has been proven to treat in most cases. With Nevada Senate Bill 430, the list of qualifying conditions would be expanded dramatically with specific wordings in the bill to define which condition could legally be treated with medical cannabis. With the broadening power of SB 430, conditions from anxiety and AIDS to cancer and opioid dependency would be considered qualifying conditions by the Silver State, greatly expanding the spectrum of conditions eligible for medical cannabis from the currently extremely restrictive list.

    The aforementioned bills could be historic for the constantly debated subject of cannabis patient rights and would have an extremely positive impact for both medical and recreational cannabis users alike and would surely lead to further de-stigmatization and medical cannabis patient reform that is leaps and bounds ahead of states that subscribe to stricter cannabis-related policies.

    As there’s still a small window of time in the Nevada Legislature’s 2019 session, now is the appropriate time to contact your respective representative and let your voice be heard. Please visit NORML’s Action Center at https://norml.org/act for information on specific bills.

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator May 17, 2019

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

    Medical cannabis sales kicked off in Arkansas last Friday as the first dispensary opened its doors.

    Governor Jay Inslee (D) of Washington signed legislation into law to allow individuals with prior low-level cannabis convictions to apply to the sentencing court to have their record vacated.

    Governor Kevin Stitt (R) of Oklahoma signed legislation into law to permit the retail sale of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products.

    Governor Kim Reynolds (R) of Iowa signed industrial hemp production legislation into law.

    A New Hampshire House-passed legalization bill was held in a Senate committee for further study.

    At a more local level, New York 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. The two measures became law absent Mayor DeBlasio’s signature.

    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, to 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

    California

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

    Update: AB 1465 was heard 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 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 heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16/19.

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

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

    Update: AB 286 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16/19.

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

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

    Update: SB 51 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/13/19 and 5/16.

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

    Delaware

    HB 110 has been introduced to legalize and regulate marijuana.

    Similar legislation in 2017 was voted out of Committee but then stalled as lawmakers elected to approve a resolution establishing a marijuana legalization task force, of which Delaware NORRML Director Cyn Ferguson was appointed to.

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

    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.

    Update: SB 7 was heard in the Senate Executive Committee on 5/15/19.

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

    Louisiana

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

    Update: HB 358 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/14/19.

    LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of removing the ban on inhalation

    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 was approved by the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on 5/14/19.

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

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 507, to exempt “marijuana recommended for therapeutic use” from state and local sales and use taxes.

    Update: HB 507 was approved by the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs on 5/13/19.

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

    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 approved by the House of Representatives on 5/13/19.

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

    Maine

    Legislation is pending to mandate that state agencies review and expunge prior marijuana convictions.

    Under LD 846, those convicted of marijuana-related activities that are no longer defined as criminal will have their records automatically sealed and no longer disseminated.

    LD 991 also seeks to expunge the records of those convicted of marijuana related offenses that are no longer defined as criminal under state law.

    Update: Both LD 846 and LD 991 are scheduled for work sessions in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/16/19 at 1:30pm in room 438.

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

    Missouri

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 824, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: HB 824 was approved by the Senate on 5/15/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.

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

    Nevada

    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 heard in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on 5/15/19.

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

    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 Assembly Health and Human Services Committee on 5/13/19.

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

    New Hampshire

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

    If passed, HB 399 would allow individuals to file a petition with the court requesting that the court annul any past marijuana violations involving the possession of up to ¾ of an ounce of marijuana.

    Update: HB 399 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 5/14/19.

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

    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 was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on 5/14/19.

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

    New Jersey

    Assembly Bill 10 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 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/20/19.

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

    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 was approved by the House Human Services and Housing Committee on 5/10/19.

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

    Vermont

    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 approved by the House of Representatives on 5/14/19, and will now head to the governor’s desk.

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

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator May 10, 2019

    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

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator May 3, 2019

    NORML's Legislative Action CenterWelcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

    Governor Jay Inslee (D) of Washington signed legislation into law allowing medical cannabis to be accessed by patients on school grounds, and separate legislation allowing the production of industrial hemp in accordance with new federal hemp regulations.

    Governor Larry Hogan (R) of Maryland also signed industrial hemp production legislation into law.

    At a more local level, members of Las Vegas, Nevada’s city council approved legislation to allow cannabis consumption lounges.

    The district attorney for Philadelphia, PA testified during a cannabis legalization hearing that he will not pursue cannabis DUI cases unless “people show active—I repeat active—psychoactive amounts of cannabis in their system.”

    The Cedar Park, Texas police department will implement a cite and release program for those caught with possessing up to two ounces of cannabis.

    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: HB 96 was heard in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/1/19. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Judiciary Committee again on 5/8/19.

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

    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 Senate on 5/1/19, and now heads back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

    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 Senate on 5/1/19, and will now head to the Governor’s desk.

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

    Senate Bill 19-013 would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy for any condition for which an opiate would otherwise be prescribed.

    Update: SB 19-013 got final approval by the Senate on House amendments on 5/1/19. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

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

    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 19-220 was approved by the House of Representatives on 4/29/19, and will now go back to the Senate for concurrence on House amendments.

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

    Hawaii

    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.

    Update: HB 1383 received final approval from the House and Senate on 4/30/19, and will now head to the Governor’s desk.

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

    Iowa

    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 the Senate on 4/27/19, and will now be transmitted to the Governor.

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

    Louisiana 

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

    Update: HB 358 was approved by the House Committee on Health & Welfare on 5/1/19.

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

    Maine

    Legislation is pending to mandate that state agencies review and expunge prior marijuana convictions.

    Under LD 846, those convicted of marijuana-related activities that are no longer defined as criminal will have their records automatically sealed and no longer disseminated.

    LD 991 also seeks to expunge the records of those convicted of marijuana related offenses that are no longer defined as criminal under state law.

    Update: Both LD 846 and LD 991 are scheduled for hearings in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/7/19 at 1:30pm in room 438.

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

    Missouri

    House Bill 238 seeks to prohibit the state government from sharing medical marijuana user or registry information with the federal government.

    Update: HB 238 was heard by the House Committee on Downsizing State Government on 5/1/19.

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

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 364, to permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

    The measure would permit patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to two ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

    Update: HB 364 was approved by the Senate on 5/2/19, and now heads back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

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

    Nevada

    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 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor on 5/6/19 at 1:30pm.

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

    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 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor on 5/6/19 at 1:30pm.

    NV 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 was approved by the Senate on 4/25/19, and was sent to the House on 4/29 for concurrence on Senate amendments.

    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 4/29/19.

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

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

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

    Update: SB 379 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/29/19.

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

    Texas

    House Bill 63 is pending to remove the threat of jail time for up to one ounce of cannabis possession.

    Update: HB 63 was approved by the House of Representatives on 4/29/19, and will now head to the Senate.

    TX resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of penalty reduction

    House Bill 1365 is pending to provide qualified patients access to medical cannabis via licensed providers.

    Update: HB 1365 is scheduled to be considered on the House floor on 5/6/19.

    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 the House Committees on Government Operations; Human Services; and Judiciary this week. The bill was approved by the Committee on Government Operations on 5/2/19.

    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 theHouse Committee on Ways and Means on 5/1/19 and again on 5/2.

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

    Washington, DC

    Legislation is pending, B23-0266, to protect adult cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.

    This measure prohibits employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume cannabis off-the-job in accordance with the district law, with an exception for those in safety-sensitive positions.

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

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator April 26, 2019

    At the state level, Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota signed a package of bills into law to expand the state’s medical cannabis access program. Among the changes are: allowing physicians assistants to recommend medical cannabis to their patients, adding several new qualifying conditions, and authorizing cancer patients to possess greater quantities of cannabis than typically allowed.

    Republican leaders in Wisconsin’s state legislature said that Governor Evers’ medical cannabis and decriminalization budget proposals will not be passed through the legislature this session.

    Maine 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.

    After Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota vetoed a bill to regulate industrial hemp production last month, the legislature is set to study the topic during the interim session.

    At a more local level, the Jefferson County (population: 658,000) Sheriff’s Office announced that local law enforcement will begin citing, rather than arresting, low-level marijuana offenders. Days later, the Chief Deputy announced that the cite and release program will be put on hold, without further details.

    Nassau County, New York voted to prohibit retail cannabis sales in the county once it becomes legal in New York state. A bill to remove certain restrictions on social cannabis consumption sites was killed in Denver, Colorado’s city council. Meanwhile, members of the Fairbanks, Alaska city council approved an ordinance to allow on-site cannabis consumption at licensed retail outlets.

    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: HB 96 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/1/19 at 1:30pm.

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

    House Bill 243, as well as Senate Bill 236, would provide registered patients with regulated access to medical cannabis via licensed providers.

    Update: SB 236 was approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 4/25/19.

    AL resident? Click here to email your lawmakers 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 heard by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on 4/24/19.

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

    Arizona

    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 Rules Committee on 4/25/19.

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

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

    The measure would establish a licensing scheme for third party testing laboratories.

    Update: SB 1494 was approved by the House Rules Committee on 4/25/19.

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

    California

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

    Update: AB 286 was heard by the Assembly Business And Professions Committee on 4/23/19.

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

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

    Update: Ab 1465 was approved by 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 was heard 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 Senate Finance Committee on 4/25/19.

    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 heard by the Senate Finance Committee on 4/25/19.

    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 19-220 was approved by the House Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs on 4/24/19, and was then approved by the House Committee on Appropriations on 4/25.

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

    Connecticut

    Senate Bill 893 would establish a pilot program for the purpose of studying the growth, cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp.

    Update: SB 893 was approved by the Senate on 4/2519, and will now be transmitted to the House.

    CT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp research

    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: SB 1020 was approved by the Senate on 4/24/19, and now will be transmitted to the House.

    FL 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 4/18/19, and SF 599 was approved by the House of Representatives on 4/23, and will now head back to the Senate for concurrence on House amendments.

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

    Louisiana 

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

    Update: HB 358 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Health & Welfare on 5/1/19 at 9am.

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

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

    Update: HB 138 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Criminal Justice on 5/1/19 at 9am.

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

    House Bill 579 and House Bill 491 seek to regulate the production of industrial hemp in Louisiana, in compliance with new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: HB 491 was approved by the House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development on 4/25/19.

    LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers 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 approved by the Assembly on 4/23/19, and now heads to the Senate.

    NV resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of vacating prior conviction records

    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 4/23/19, and now heads to the Senate.

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

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 364, to permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

    The measure would permit patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to two ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

    Update: HB 364 was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 4/23/19.

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

    Oklahoma

    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: HB 2628 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/15/19, and will now go back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

    OK 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 Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/23/19, and was then approved by the full Senate on 4/25. The bill now heads to the House.

    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 is scheduled for a work session in the House Human Services and Housing Committee on 4/29/19.

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

    Texas

    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.

    Update: HB 63 was debated on the floor of the House of Representatives on 4/25/19.

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

    House Bill 1325 is pending to establish a state-licensed industrial hemp program.

    Update: HB 1325 was approved by the House of Representatives on 4/23/19, and now heads to the Senate.

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

    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 Government Operations; Human Services; 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 by the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry each day the committee met this week.

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

    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 approved by the House and Senate on 4/26/19, and will now be transmitted to the governor.

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

    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 House on a concurrence vote on 4/19/19, and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

    WA resident? Click here to email your governor in support of allowing medical cannabis for patients in schools

    Legislation is pending, HB 1401 / SB 5719, and Senate Bill 5276, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: SB 5276 was approved by the House on 4/23/19 and the Senate for concurrence on 4/24. The bill will now be transmitted to the governor.

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

    Wisconsin

    Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison) introduced LRB 0154, to regulate the use, growing, and distribution of marijuana for both medical and recreational purposes.

    The measure permits adults to possess two ounces of cannabis and grow up to six cannabis plants. It also establishes regulations for the production and retail sale of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21, in addition to establishing a regulated system for medical marijuana production and sales for qualified patients.

    The bill also prohibits employers from discriminating against employees because of their off-the-job use of cannabis, provides for the expungement of prior convictions, and allows insurance providers to provide coverage for patients’ use of medical marijuana.

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

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