Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
At the state level, a bill to allow licensed social consumption spaces in Oregon was defeated for this year.
A bill to allow patients to use medical cannabis while on probation or parole died in Montana’s state Senate.
At a more local level, the city council of New York City approved a pair of municipal bills this week limiting situations where those seeking employment or on probation may be drug tested for past cannabis use.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list, and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and U.S. Congress. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.
Actions to Take
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.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 19-1230, to allow the social consumption of cannabis by adults in licensed and regulated establishments.
The measure would establish a license permit process for hospitality spaces to allow cannabis products to be legally purchased and consumed on site.
Update: HB 19-1230 was approved by the House Committee on Finance on 4/8/19 with amendments, and now awaits action rom the Committee on Appropriations.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 19-1234, to allow licensed marijuana businesses to deliver both medical and adult use marijuana to private residences.
The measure would establish a licensing system for such delivery services and also require training for delivery permit holders.
Update: HB 19-1234 was approved by the House Committee on Finance on 4/8/19 with amendments, and now awaits action from the Committee on Appropriations.
Senate Bill 1085 permits those age 21 and over to purchase and possess up to one and one half ounces of marijuana. The measure would also allow those with past marijuana possession convictions to petition the court to have their record expunged.
Update: SB 1085 was heard and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/8/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 24, to expand access to medical cannabis in the state.
The measure would give doctors the discretion to recommend medical cannabis to any patient for whom they believe will benefit from its therapeutic use.
This bill would also remove the requirement that only certain specialists may certify the use of medical cannabis for those under 18.
Update: SB 24 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health & Social Services Committee on 4/17/19.
Senate Bill 37 would reform the expungement processes for individuals convicted of non-violent marijuana-related offenses.
If enacted, the bill would expand the pool of those eligible to seek expungement to include those convicted of a single misdemeanor or felony charge related to marijuana.
Update: SB 37 was approved by the Senate Judicial Committee on 4/9/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 45, to amend certain marijuana penalties for juvenile offenders.
Under state law, adults face civil penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses. Senate Bill 45 would make this policy consistent for juvenile offenders.
Update: SB 45 was approved by the Senate Health & Social Services Committee on 4/10/19.
Legislation has been approved by members of the House Health and Human Services Committee to arbitrarily cap the potency of cannabis flowers at ten percent THC.
Update: HB 7117 was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on 4/9/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 673 / Senate Bill 1430, to expand medical cannabis access.
The measure would protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination by prohibiting employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.
Update: HB 673 was unanimously approved by the Senate on 4/9/19, and now goes back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 1383, that would decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.
The bill would impose a civil penalty for the possession of up to three grams of marijuana, punishable by a $30 fine. The measure would also establish a system to expunge certain past cannabis convictions.
Update: HB 1383 was approved by the Senate on 4/9/19, and will now be transmitted back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
House Bill 300 would allow Idaho to regulate industrial hemp production in addition to allowing for the transportation of hemp throughout the state.
Update: HB 300 was heard by the House Transportation & Defense Committee on 4/11/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 516, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: SB 516 was approved by the House on 4/9/19, with an amendment to allow the smoking of hemp flower. The House disagreed with the Senate’s amendments, so the bill will now go to a conference committee for reconciliation.
Legislation is pending, HF 754 and SF 599, to establish an industrial hemp program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: HF 754 was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on 4/10/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 509, to regulate adult use marijuana.
The measure would permit the use, possession, and retail sale of cannabis for adults 21 and over.
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).
Legislation is pending, House Bill 1095, reduce marijuana offense penalties in Missouri.
This measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana or marijuana concentrate from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction.
Update: HB 1095 was heard and approved by the Special Committee on Criminal Justice on 4/11/19.
Legislation is pending, SB 430, that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.
The measure would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with anxiety, autism, opioid addiction or dependence, anorexia nervosa, among others.
Update: SB 430 was heard in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/8/19, and again on 4/10.
Legislation is pending, AB 346, to remove the prohibition on those convicted of certain marijuana related offenses from participating in childcare or healthcare related activities and employment positions.
The measure also establishes a process to allow individuals to have their records set aside when determining eligibility to serve in such capacities
Update: AB 346 was approved by the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services on 4/12/19.
Legislation is pending, HB 350, to expand medical cannabis access.
The measure expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants to issue recommendations to their patients.
Update: HB 350 was approved by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on 4/11/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 168, to expand the state’s medical CBD exemption law.
The measure expands the pool of individuals eligible for a medical CBD exemption to include those diagnosed with autism, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and Mitochondrial disease.
Update: S. 168 was heard by the Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate on 4/9/19, and was then approved by the full Senate on 4/10. The bill now heads to the House.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2614, to amend the possession penalties for individuals who use cannabis for a qualifying condition, but are not in possession of a medical marijuana identification card.
The measure would reduce the penalty for this offense from a criminal misdemeanor to a citation, punishable by a maximum fine of $400.
Update: HB 2614 was approved by the Senate Committee On Health And Human Services on 4/8/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 305, to protect registered medical cannabis patients from employment discrimination.
The measure would prohibit employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume medical cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.
Update: SB 305 was heard in the House Rules Committee on 4/11/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 868 / House Bill 2628, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: SB 868 was approved by the House on 4/11/19, and will now be transmitted to the Governor.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2655 / Senate Bill 379, to protect responsible adult cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.
Update: The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 379 on 4/8/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, to expand upon Oregon’s expungement law.
The measure would direct the Department of Justice to automatically conduct a review of past misdemeanor cannabis convictions, and to “set aside” offenses that are no longer a crime under state law.
Update: The Senate Judiciary Committee held a work session SB 420 on 4/9/19.
Legislation is pending, HB 1365, to provide qualified patients in Texas with access to medical cannabis.
Update: HB 1365 was heard in a Medical Cannabis Subcommittee on 4/11/19.
S. 54 is pending to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.
Update: S. 54 was heard by theHouse Committees on General, Housing, and Military Affairs; Government Operations; and Judiciary this week.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 58, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: S. 58 was heard in the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry on 4/10/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 5276, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: The House Committee on Appropriations held an executive session on SB 5276 on 4/8/19.
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Author: Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator