Cannabis State Policy Weekly Update 2/24/2023

Cannabis law reform legislation is being filed, and some marijuana hearings are being held.

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Legislative Cannabis developments this week include Vermont, Colorado, Georgia, New York, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, California, and Washington.

The Senate Judiciary Committee made changes to the bill. Small amounts of cannabis can be cultivated and used by individuals. The next hearing for HF 100 will be on 2/23/23. The next hearing for SF 73 is scheduled for 2/22-23. Adults over 21 can purchase up to two ounces of Marijuana and cultivate up to eight plants at home. The creation of a system of private retail cannabis businesses, as well as owning and operating government dispensaries, could be done by the governments. 

The records of people with prior marijuana convictions would be erased. On-site consumption lounges and cannabis delivery services are allowed.

The Board of Pharmacy banned the sale of unregulated synthetic cannabinoids last year. Support this effort by sending a message. The House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee made some changes to the bill. After going to the House Ways & Means Committee, the bill will return to the floor and possibly go to the Senate. There will be hearings in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Executive Session on February 17 and 24. You can submit your support here. Adults over 21 can purchase, possess and gift up to four ounces of cannabis. The Liquor and Cannabis Commission would regulate the marijuana market and issue licenses. The meals and rooms tax is levied on sales to adults.

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To be allowed to possess up to 1/3 of an ounce of cannabis, 10 grams of hash, and certain cannabis-infused products, you must be at least 18 years old. 

Three of the six plants can be grown at home. The possession and use of cannabis for people over the age of 21 can be legalized by striking most references to the drug from the Controlled Drugs Act. Support these efforts by sending a message. Senate Bill 211 removes Marijuana from the state's criminal code and oversees its cultivation, sale, and product labels.

Possessing less than one ounce of Marijuana is no longer a crime. No penalty will be imposed on people with less than one ounce of cannabis if the law is passed. Support this effort by sending a message. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will hear the bill on February 2. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on February 2, 1973.

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Personal-use quantities of Marijuana can be decriminalized. Minor cannabis possession offenses will be reduced from criminal misdemeanors to civil violations if these proposals are adopted. 

The bill defines personal-use quantity as one ounce or less of cannabis, five grams or less of cannabis concentrates, and infused products with less than one-thousandth of the active ingredient in Marijuana. House Bill 2430 allows for the sale of cannabis to qualified patients. 

Medical patients could purchase seeds and seedlings from licensed dispensaries instead of getting them from an illegal source. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the amended version of the bill. The North Carolina Compassionate Care Act creates a medical cannabis program for qualified patients. 

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The House passed the bill 86 to six. House Bill 1478 would make it easier for people over the age of 65 to participate in the medical cannabis program.

 An individual 55 years of age or older may submit a cannabis form developed by the Department to identify a diagnosis of a disabling medical condition and other information to establish eligibility. Seniors in North Dakota can't self-certify for medical cannabis.

The House Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing on February 2, 1973. The Senate Judiciary is going to hold a hearing on February 2. A medical cannabis access program would allow for the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower and 2000 grams of cannabis-derived product by qualified patients. Support this effort by sending a message. Senate Bill 71 modifies the state's existing medical access program by expanding the pool of qualified conditions and increasing home cultivation limits for patients and their caregivers.

Local governments can allow for the preparation or sale of non-cannabis food or beverage products in areas where the consumption of cannabis is permitted. Cannabis lounges can sell non-cannabis-infused food and beverages, as well as sell tickets to concerts and other events, thanks to the legislation.

If the local cannabis equity applicants meet the requirements of the Department, they can apply for a license for up to five years

 The Senate Health & Human Services Committee had a death in its record. Senate Bill 81 would have reversed provisions that were put in place to make it difficult to recommend a doctor. All current Georgia citizens and lawful permanent residents convicted of the offense of simple possession of Marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act would be granted a pardon under the bill.

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The bill protects employees who consume cannabis off the job. 

Employers would still be able to refuse to hire someone based on a positive drug test result if the proposal is enacted.

House Bill 980 prohibits revoking a person's release based on their use of cannabis.</p>

The number of licenses state officials can issue to cannabis producers has been capped. The smell of cannabis is not allowed as a reason for police to search a car. Law enforcement officers are not allowed to use a drug-detection dog after a motor vehicle stop if there is a reasonable suspicion of a dangerous controlled substance in the vehicle or on the person.

The House Judiciary Committee passed an amendment to the bill. If the Cannabis Regulation Act had been in effect at the time of the offense, expungement of the criminal records of anyone charged with an offense involving cannabis would have been automatic.

Between January 2, 2004, and June 2012, the New York City police department made marijuana-related arrests, which resulted in the expungement of Marijuana-related convictions. The Senate Judiciary will hold a second hearing on 2/22-23. Those with trace levels of THC in their system can no longer be convicted of operating a motor vehicle under the influence without further evidence. If a person has trace amounts of Marijuana in their blood or urine, they are guilty of a traffic safety violation. The law criminalizes almost anyone who consumes cannabis, and state-authorized medical cannabis patients, especially because both cannabinoids can be detected for days or weeks after cessation of use. 

If you are charged under the statute, you can present evidence in court that you were not impaired and did not pose a traffic safety risk. The limits would not be per se if the change was made. Those who provide evidence that they were not impaired to drive would be found not guilty.

If a person has any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance in his or her blood, he or she is guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Medical cannabis patients will be treated the same as those who use a prescription medication if Senator Bartolotta's bill is passed. The legislation is needed to make sure that patients are not charged with a drunk driving offense for the presence of non-psychoactive metabolites.

The House committee on regulated substances and gaming has passed the bill. There will be a House Committee on Appropriations hearing on February 22. Washingtonians can grow up to six cannabis plants at home. Regardless of the number of people in the home, a single household can have up to fifteen cannabis plants.

The House Economic Matters Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on March 3. Marijuana flower and solid/liquid concentrates are defined by a House Bill. If the bill passes, adults will not be allowed to access any product with more than 15% THC. Banning cannabis products will only perpetuate the unregulated market. The production and sale of these products will be banned. The primary goal of legalization is to disrupt and ultimately replace the underground market with a transparent, regulated marketplace. This result undermines that goal.