Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
At the state level, the North Dakota House of Representatives defeated a decriminalization bill on the House floor by a narrow 43-47 vote. On the same day, LegalizeND announced that they will try again with a 2020 legalization ballot initiative.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation into law this week permitting the production of industrial hemp in accordance with the new federal regulations.
Delaware prosecutors will no longer be encouraged to pursue criminal charges against those who possess marijuana for personal use, according to guidelines issued by the state’s new Attorney General.
Regulators in Iowa added two new medical cannabis qualifying conditions to the current list, ulcerative colitis (effective immediately), and severe pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors (effective 4/2/19).
New Jersey lawmakers have come to an agreement with Governor Murphy regarding retail marijuana tax rates, settling on charging sales tax by weight as opposed to a specific percentage.
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.
Actions to Take
Regulate Nationally: The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2019 (HR 420) seeks to deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2149, to amend the definition of “cannabis” under the 2010 voter-approved medical marijuana law.
The bill clarifies that products made from the resin of the cannabis plant are legal for medical purposes under state law, including extracts, concentrates, oils, tinctures, and edible products, amongst others.
Passage of this legislation is important because the Arizona Court of Appeals recently ruled that patients who rely on these products are not protected under the law and could face felony penalties for simply using their medicine.
Update: HB 2149 was approved by the Public Safety Committee on 2/20
Senate Bill 1003 / House Bill 2273 to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: SB 1003 was unanimously approved by the House and Senate earlier this month, and was awaits transmitted to the Governor for his signature or veto on 2/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 305, to permit qualified patients the ability to access medical cannabis preparations while in health care facilities.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 8, as well as Senate Bill 598, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: Both bills are scheduled for a public hearing in the Joint Committee on Environment on 3/1.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 372, Senate Bill 182, and House Bill 7015, and another House version PCB HHS 19-01, to re-legalize the inhalation of herbal cannabis formulations for medical purposes.
Update: The Senate Rules Committee Committee unanimously approved an amended version of S182 on 2/20, only requiring a second opinion for terminally ill patients under 18, and also allowing treatment centers to sell paraphernalia. The bill will go to the Senate floor for a vote next.
Update #2: The House Appropriations Committee approved H7015 by a 28-1 vote, removing the provision requiring pre-rolled marijuana cigarettes to have a filter. The bill will go to the House floor for a vote next.
House Bill 324 would expand and facilitate patients’ access to medical cannabidiol (CBD) products.
The pending legislation seeks to establish a regulatory framework to permit the retail sale of medical CBD products to registered patients.
Update: HB 324 was heard by the House Regulated Industries Low Thc Oil Access Subcommittee on 2/22.
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Legislation is pending, House Bill 2980, 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.
Senate File 1012 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: A subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee approved SF 1012 on 2/21. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the full committee on 2/25.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 864, to protect registered medical cannabis patients and their caregivers from employment discrimination.
If passed, this measures would prohibit employers from arbitrarily discriminating against qualifying patients who legally consume cannabis off-the-job.
Update: SB 864 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate on 2/26.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 862, to protect state-sanctioned medical cannabis patients and their caregivers from housing discrimination.
The measure would prohibit landlords from arbitrarily refusing to provide housing access to an individual based solely on their possession or consumption of medical cannabis.
Update: SB 864 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate on 2/26.
Senate Bill 176 seeks to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: SB 176 was approved by the full Senate on 2/18, and now awaits action in the House.
Legislation is pending, AB 132, to protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination.
This measure prohibits employers from arbitrarily discriminating against prospective employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.
Update: AB 132 was heard by the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee on 2/20, but no further action was taken.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 366, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid addiction, misuse, or abuse.
Update: The Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee will hold a Work Session on HB 366 at 10am on 2/26/2019, Legislative Office Building 104.
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 two mature plants and 12 seedings, and to possess up to six ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.
Update: The Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee will hold a Work Session on HB 364 at 10am on 2/26/2019, Legislative Office Building 104.
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: The Environment and Agriculture Committee will hold a Public Hearing on HB 459 at 10am on 2/26/2019, Legislative Office Building 203.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 356, to permit the use, possession, and retail sale of cannabis for adults 21 and over.
A separate proposal is also pending to permit adult use marijuana sales, Senate Bill 577, with retail stores being regulated and operated by the state government as opposed to being privately operated.
Update: HB 356 is scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on 2/23/2019. SB 577 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 2/23/2019, Room 321.
Senate Bill 204, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.
The measure permits children with serious conditions for which medical marijuana has been recommended to have their medicine administered to them while on school property.
Update: SB 204 was approved by the full Senate on 2/19, and now awaits action in the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Senate Bill 323 removes the threat of jail time as a penalty for first time offenders convicted of possessing up to one half an ounces of marijuana.
Update: SB 323 was heard and approved by the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 2/19.
Senate Bill 408 reduces the penalty for the possession of marijuana from a felony to a misdemeanor, but does not remove the threat of jail time.
Update: SB 408 was heard and approved by the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 2/15.
Senate Bill 477, to protect the rights of parents and guardians who participate in the state’s medical cannabis access program.
The measure states that an individual’s status as a medical cannabis patient “shall not in itself constitute grounds for intervention, removal or placement into state custody of a child in that individual’s care.”
Update: SB 477 was heard and approved by the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 2/19.
Senate Bill 406:
- Allows medical practitioners to use their discretion to recommend medical cannabis to any patient for whom they believe will benefit from cannabis therapy;
- Allows primary caregivers to obtain a license to grow medical cannabis;
- Removes medical cannabis use as a violation of probation or parole;
- Protects patients who require organ transplants
Update: SB 406 was heard by the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 2/19 and 2/21.
Several pieces of legislation are pending to expand patient access to medical cannabis in North Dakota.
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: All four bills were overwhelmingly approved by the full House on 2/18, and now await action from the Senate Human Services Committee.
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: The Senate Committee On Agriculture & Wildlife will hold a hearing on SB 868 at 10am on 2/25/2019, Room 511-A.
S. 366: The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act is pending to 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 a Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee at 10:30am on 2/27/2019, Gressette Room 105
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 will be considered by the full Senate on 2/25/2019. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing on HB 844 at 12pm on 2/26/2019, House Hearing Room II.
S. 54 seeks to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.
Update: S. 54 was approved by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 2/19. The bill was then heard and approved by the Committee on Finance on 2/22.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2538, to allow the State Treasurer to select financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses. The bill was already approved by the full House.
This legislation is important because no industry can operate safely, transparently, or effectively without access to banks or other financial institutions.
House Bill 171 seeks to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: HB 171 was heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee on 2/20/2019.
That’s all for this week!
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Author: Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator