Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/1/18

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

In Congress this week Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), along with Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA), introduced The Marijuana Justice Act of 2019, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and incentivize states to end the racially disparate criminalization of marijuana consumers.

At the state level, North Dakota state Rep. Roers Jones, who sponsored the recently defeated decriminalization bill, is trying to get her language inserted as a part of separate legislation.

As New Jersey lawmakers and Governor Phil Murphy continue to work out details of a marijuana legalization bill, two anti-legalization lawmakers in the state introduced a proposal that would let the voters decide on the issue with a 2020 ballot question.

Activists in Missouri gathered at the state capital alongside Missouri NORML chapters earlier this week for their second lobby day of the session!

At a more local level, San Francisco County became the nation’s first county to complete an automatic expungement process, as the District Attorney expunged the conviction records of over 9,600 individuals in total for offenses that are no longer a crime in California.

Denver, Colorado’s marijuana social use law is here to stay, as the city council voted this week to remove the “sunset” provision which made it a temporary four year program.

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 440, to prohibit the availability of cannabis-infused food and drink products for qualified patients.

Update: SB 440 was heard by the Senate Agriculture, Forestry & Economic Development Committee, but no action has been taken yet.

AR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in opposition to a ban on edibles

Colorado

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 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Health & Insurance Committee for 3/6/2019 at 1:30pm, room 0107.

House Bill 19-1028 would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

Update: HB 19-1028 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health & Human Services Committee at 1:30pm on 3/14/2019, Room LSB-B.

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

Georgia

House Bill 324 seeks to 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: The House Regulated Industries Low Thc Oil Access Subcommittee held another hearing on HB 324 on 2/27/2019, then the bill was approved by the full committee on 3/1/2019.

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

Legislation is pending, House Bill 213, to establish an industrial hemp program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 213 was approved by the full House on 2/27/2019, and will now be transmitted to the Senate.

GA 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 proposed changes:

  • Expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants to issue recommendations to their patients;
  • Allows licensed dispensaries to possess up to two additional manufacturing or processing facilities separate from their production facilities; and
  • Allows licensed dispensaries to sell edible cannabis and cannabidiol products

Update: HB 673 was approved by the House Committee on Finance on 2/27/2019, and will now go before the full House for a vote.

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

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 full Senate on 2/25 and will now be transmitted to the House.

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

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 Judiciary Committee on 2/26.

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

Maryland

House Bill 656 would permit adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to cultivate up to four marijuana plants in their home.

House Bill 632 would amend the state’s constitution by putting a question before voters on the 2020 ballot regarding whether or not the state should regulate marijuana sales. If approved by voters, adults 21 and over would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to six marijuana plants in their home.

Update: Both bills will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on 3/6/2019.

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

Minnesota

Legislation is pending, SF 1768, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opiate addiction.

MN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of cannabis as an alternative to opioids

Legislation is pending, HF 1660 / SF 1204 to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HF 1660 is scheduled for a hearing at 9:45am on 3/7/2019, 200 State Office Building.

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

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 was approved by the House of Representatives by a 209-147 vote on 2/27.

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

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: HB 364 was heard and approved by the House Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 2/26

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

Legislation is pending, HB 350, to expand 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 Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 2/27.

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

Legislation is pending, House Bill 335, to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to authorize additional dispensary licenses in certain geographic areas of the state. Under existing law, only a handful of licensed dispensaries are permitted in the state. This means that some patients must travel long distances and pay exorbitant prices to obtain their medicine.

Update: HB 335 was approved by the Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 2/27.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of additional dispensary locations

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 held a public hearing on HB 459 on 2/26/2019. The committee is scheduled to hold an executive session on the bill on 3/5/2019.

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

New Mexico

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: A substitute version of HB 356 was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on 2/23/2019. SB 577 was approved by the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 2/23/2019.

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

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 2/26, and then voted to pass a substitute version of the bill.

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

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.

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: Both bills are scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee for 3/1/2019.

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

Senate Bill 204 seeks 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 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Health & Human Services Committee for 8:00am on 3/4/2019, Room 315.

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

Legislation is pending, House Bill 581, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 581 was approved by the House Agriculture & Water Resources Committee on 2/27, and the bill was then heard by the House State Government, Elections & Indian Affairs Committee on the same day.

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

Nevada

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 228, to expand Nevada’s medical cannabis access program.

The proposed changes:

  • Allows wellness service providers such as massage therapists, reflexologists, and structural integration practitioners to recommend and administer cannabis and hemp infused products for therapeutic purposes;
  • Prohibits a practitioner from refusing to prescribe a controlled substance to a patient solely because the patient uses marijuana; and
  • Establishes a Cannabis Control Commission to oversee the state’s medical marijuana access program.

Update: The Senate Health and Human Services will hold a hearing on SB 228 at 4:00pm on 3/4/2019.

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

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 minor.

Update: All four bills are scheduled for a hearing in the House Human Services Committee on 3/5/2019.

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

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1349, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with new federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 1349 is scheduled for a hearing in the Agriculture Committee at 9:30am on 3/7/2019.

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

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 Rules Committee heard HB 2614 on 2/26, then approved a substitute version of the bill.

OK resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of amending medical cannabis possession 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: The Senate Committee On Agriculture & Wildlife held a hearing on SB 868 on 2/25/2019, then approved the bill. It was also approved by the Appropriations Committee on 2/27.

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

Oregon

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 639, to allow the social consumption of cannabis by adults in licensed and regulated establishments.

The bill allows the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to issue licenses for permanent cannabis consumption venues as well as cannabis events.

Update: SB 639 was heard by the Senate Business and General Government Committee on 2/28, but no action was taken on the bill yet.

OR resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of social consumption sites

South Carolina

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1191, to establish an industrial hemp pilot program that will operate in compliance with newly enacted federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 1191 was approved by the full House on 2/22, and was heard by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on 2/28/2019.

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

South Dakota

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1191, to establish an industrial hemp pilot program that will operate in compliance with newly enacted federal hemp regulations.

Update: HB 1191 was approved by the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee on 2/28.

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

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 will be considered by the full Senate on 3/4/2019. The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee heard HB 844 on 2/26/2019. The subcommittee deferred action on HB 844 until 3/5/2019.

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

Texas

House Bill 63 would reduce the possession penalties for small amounts of marijuana.

Update: HB 63 will be heard in the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee on 3/4/2019 at 2:00pm.

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

Vermont

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 full Senate by a 23-5 vote on 2/28/2019. The bill will get voted on one more time before being transmitted to the House.

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 approved by the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on 2/26 at 1:30pm, and was then sent to the Rules Committee.

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

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: A substitute version of SB 5276 was approved by the Senate Committee on Ways & Means on 2/25, and the bill was then sent to the Rules Committee.

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

Wyoming

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 approved by the full Senate on 2/25/2019, then approved by the House again for concurrence, and will now be transmitted to the Governor.

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

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Author: Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator
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