Loading

NORML Blog

  • by NORML May 31, 2019

    Washington, DC: Today the US Food and Drug Administration is taking in-person public testimony with regard to the “manufacturing, product quality, marketing, labeling, and sale” of CBD-infused retail products.

    “The rapidly evolving hemp-derived CBD marketplace sadly includes a number of bad faith actors selling the equivalent of modern day snake-oil,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “With states rapidly legalizing the distribution of these products, consumers require certainty and consistency when it comes what they ingest.”

    NORML has submitted written comments to the FDA ahead of Friday’s scheduled hearing on the regulation of CBD-infused products.

    In its written testimony, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano encourages the agency to act expeditiously to clarify confusion among both consumers and regulators with regard to the legality of specific CBD products. It further recommends that the FDA provide regulatory guidelines governing product manufacturing, standardization, and quality.

    NORML’s testimony concluded: “For years, producers of these products have navigated in a grey area of the law — manufacturing products of variable and sometimes questionable quality and safety. Now it is time for the FDA to craft benchmark safety and quality standards for hemp-derived CBD products in order to increase consumer satisfaction and confidence as this nascent industry transitions and matures into a legal marketplace.”

    Currently, commercially marketed CBD-infused products are not subject to explicit federal regulations. As a result, third-party lab testing has frequently revealed inconsistencies between the percentage of CBD advertised and the amount actually contained in the product. In many cases, actual quantities of CBD in the product is far lower than advertised. In other cases, testing has revealed the presence of THC, which may put consumers in jeopardy for legal ramifications – such as arrest or the loss of employment (due to a drug test failure). Some commercial products have also been identified to contain unwanted and potentially dangerous adulterantsas well as heavy metals and solvents.

    You can read the NORML Fact Sheet on CBD here: https://norml.org/marijuana/fact-sheets/item/faqs-about-cannabidiol-cbd

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 30, 2019

    Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed multiple bills into law amending the state’s marijuana laws.

    House Bill 1234 establishes regulations for the delivery of cannabis products from state-licensed retailers. Under the plan, deliveries are limited to one per day per household, and are only permitted in municipalities that explicitly allow for such activities. Deliveries to college campuses are prohibited. The delivery of medical cannabis products would begin on January 2, 2020, while retail cannabis sales would begin on January 2, 2021.

    House Bill 1230 establishes regulations for the licensing of “marijuana hospitality spaces.” Under the measure, licensed dispensaries and retailers could apply for on-site consumption permits. Hotels, restaurants and other private business would also be permitted to apply for similar licensing. At indoor facilities, marijuana smoking will be permitted unless prohibited by local rules. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2020. Colorado is only the second state to regulate social use marijuana spaces.

    House Bill 1263 reduces criminal penalties for the possession of large quantities of cannabis. It reduces penalties for the possession of over six ounces of marijuana and/or three ounces of marijuana concentrate from a level 4 felony to level 1 misdemeanor. It also mandates that police may not arrest a defendant for violations involving the possession of between one and two ounces of cannabis. The measure further reduces penalties for the low-level possession of other controlled substances from felonies to misdemeanors. The new penalties take effect on March 1, 2020.

  • by NORML May 29, 2019

    Illinois poised to become the first state to legislatively legalize and regulate cannabis

    Legalize MarijuanaSpringfield, IL: For more than 40 years, NORML has been committed to the mission of ending cannabis prohibition, and after decades of hard work by dedicated volunteers and activists from coast-to-coast that mission is one step closer to fruition following the passage of the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (HB1438-SFA2) by the Illinois Senate.

    This bill accomplishes many of NORML’s key goals. Most importantly, it removes cannabis from the hands of unregulated illicit marketers and ushers in a system where the product is tested, taxed, and otherwise regulated. It also takes important steps toward the goal of dealing with the disproportionate impact of the “War on Drugs” by giving those individuals and communities that have been impacted a fair chance to participate in this new industry. NORML is committed to social justice and equity and we are proud that the bill intends to prioritize those issues. The Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker have heard the voices of the vast majority of citizens across the state that support this important change and we applaud them for their efforts.

    “This is just one step of many in ending cannabis prohibition. Even after this bill passes there will still be work to do to give adults in Illinois access to cannabis without having to purchase it from a limited amount of stores and cultivators,” said Dan Linn, Executive Director of Illinois NORML.

    Follow Illinois NORML on Facebook and Twitter and support their work at their website.

    This bill has been a part of a long legislative process over several years, and we applaud the sponsors especially Senator Heather Steans and Representative Kelly Cassidy for all their hard work to get this legislative goal accomplished. Any bill dealing with an issue of this size and complexity necessarily requires listening to stakeholders and compromise. Despite all of the positive changes the bill makes, it is still concerning the degree to which the negotiations on this bill represent “politics as usual” in Illinois. This includes concessions restricting home cultivation to patients made to stakeholders who have consistently and without remorse misrepresented facts and promoted outright propaganda, even in the face of growing public antipathy to their position. It also includes business-licensing restrictions that virtually guarantee that consumers will experience product shortages, high prices, and plenty of incentive to stay in the illicit market even after legal sales begin. And in spite of the stated concerns of the sponsors that the current Illinois business landscape lacks diversity, those licensing provisions will assuredly lead to an adult-use ownership structure that is just as lacking in diversity.

    “The barriers to entry into this marketplace will only continue to expand the problems of the wealthy being able to profit from this new opportunity while others with fewer resources are unable to move from the illegal to the legal marketplace in terms of growing and selling this product,” Linn emphasized.

    NORML has spent over 40 years with the facts on its side, independent of any false claims made by Courts, Legislatures, and Executive branch officials on the Federal, State, and Local level across the USA, and the passage of today’s bill only reaffirms that. We stand ready to work with the Governor’s office and the Legislature to deal with the problems stated above as they become apparent, just as we have with every piece of cannabis and hemp legislation in Illinois going back more than a decade. We are proud that Illinois has taken this step forward and we plan to continue taking more steps forward as we bring the cannabis plant back to its rightful legal place in our society.

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 28, 2019

    Marijuana LawsManufacturing and possessing concentrated forms of cannabis are legally protected activities under the state’s medical cannabis access law, according to a unanimous decision issued today by the Arizona Supreme Court. The decision reverses a 2018 ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals.

    Writing for the Court, justices opined: “AMMA (the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act) defines ‘marijuana’ as ‘all parts of [the] plant.’ The word ‘all,’ one of the most comprehensive words in the English language, means exactly that. Taken together, ‘all parts’ refers to all constituent elements of the marijuana plant, and the fact the resin must first be extracted from the plant reflects that it is part of the plant.”

    They added: “Proposition 203 was intended to allow the use of marijuana in connection with a wide array of debilitating medical conditions. … It is implausible that voters intended to allow patients with these conditions to use marijuana only if they could consume it in dried-leaf/flower form. Such an interpretation would preclude the use of marijuana as an option for those for whom smoking or consuming those parts of the marijuana plants would be ineffective or impossible. Consistent with voter intent, our interpretation enables patients to use medical marijuana to treat their debilitating medical conditions, in whatever form best suits them, so long as they do not possess more than the allowable amount.”

    The ruling vacates the conviction of Rodney Jones, a state-registered patient, who was sentenced two-and-one-half years in prison for the possession of 0.05 ounces of hashish.

    NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean filed an amicus brief in the case.

    The case is State v Jones (No. CR-18-0370-PR).

  • by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator May 24, 2019

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

    An activist group in North Dakota filed paperwork to begin petitioning for another adult use marijuana legalization ballot initiative in 2020. The group then withdrew the measure so they can amend the language.

    Members of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission have decided to advance plans to regulate social marijuana use facilities.

    Governor Jared Polis (D) of Colorado signed legislation into law that allows physicians to recommend medical cannabis for any condition for which an opiate would otherwise be prescribed.

    Legislation that would have removed the threat of jail time for low-level possession in Louisiana was defeated on the House floor this week.

    Legislation that would have significantly expanded patient access to medical cannabis in Rhode Island was held in a senate committee for further study, ultimately killing the bill.

    At a more local level, county commissioners of Macon-Bibb County, Georgia approved an ordinance that removes the threat of jail time for low-level marijuana possession.

    Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

    Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress. 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 would 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

    Alabama

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 236, to allow qualifying patients with certain debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis.

    Update: A substitute version of SB 236 that would create a commission to study the use of medical CBD is scheduled for a hearing and vote in the House Committee on Health on 5/28/19.

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

    California

    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 approved by the Senate on 5/20/19, and now heads to the Assembly.

    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 was approved by the Senate on 5/20/19, and now heads to the Assembly.

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

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

    Update: SB 51 was approved by the Senate on 5/21/19, and now heads to the Assembly.

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

    Illinois

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 455, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.

    Update: SB 455 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/21/19, and now heads to the governor.

    IL resident? Click here to email your governor in support of medical cannabis access in schools

    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 heard in the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare on 5/22/19.

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

    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

    House Bill 491 would regulate industrial hemp production as well as allow the production and retail sale of hemp-derived CBD products.

    Update: HB 491 was approved by the Senate Committee on Finance on 5/23/19.

    LA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of regulating hemp and CBD

    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 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 5/28/19.

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

    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 Senate Judiciary Committee on 5/20/19, and was then unanimously approved by the Senate on 5/21/19. The bill now heads to the governor.

    NV resident? Click here to email your governor in support of vacating 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 Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on 5/20/19 and was amended on the Senate floor on 5/21.

    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 approved by the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee on 5/21/19.

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

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 347, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Separately, Senate Bill 209 would establish testing standards for industrial hemp products.

    Update: SB 209 was heard by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on 5/21/19.

    NV resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp testing standards

    New Hampshire

    Legislation is pending, House Bill 335, to expand access to medical cannabis in New Hampshire.

    The measure would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to authorize additional dispensary licenses in certain geographic areas of the state.

    Update: HB 335 was approved by the Senate Executive Departments and Administration Committee on 5/22/19.

    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 was approved by the Senate on 5/23/19, and now heads to the governor.

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

    New Jersey

    S3205 / A4498 would make more crimes eligible for expungement — including offenses involving controlled dangerous substances — and cut the wait time down to five years. It also includes a “clean slate” process that will wipe away all offenses at once for anyone who has a clean record for 10 years after their last offense.

    Update: A4498 was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/20/19.

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

    Senate Bill 10 and Assembly Bill 10 would expand patients’ access to medical cannabis.

    The measure 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 was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/20/19, and was then approved by the full Assembly on 5/23. The bill now heads to the Senate.

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

    North Carolina

    Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 315, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

    Update: S. 315 was heard by the Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee on 5/23/19, and is scheduled for another hearing in the same committee on 5/30.

    NC 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: The House Judiciary Committee held several hearings and work sessions on SB 420 this week.

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

    Texas

    Legislation is pending, HB 3703, to expand access to medical CBD in Texas.

    The measure expands qualifying conditions to include all epilepsy and seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, terminal cancer, incurable neurological disorders (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, etc.), autism, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

    Update: HB 3703 was approved by the Senate on 5/22/19, and will now go back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.

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

Page 6 of 587« First...45678...203040...Last »