1/21/22 – State Policy Update

1/21/22 – State Policy Update

Here is NORML’s weekly update on pending state legislation.

Alaska

UPDATE: A hearing on HB 246 was scheduled for 1/19/22. 

Legislation has been referred to committee to allow for the expungement of certain marijuana convictions. 

HB 246 seals the records of those convicted of certain low-level crimes from nine certain types of criminal history background checks. People with otherwise clean records do not deserve to have the rest of their lives derailed because of a past marijuana conviction that would no longer be prosecuted today.

Send your legislator a message of support. 

Arizona

Legislation has been filed to expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.

HB 2206 allows those with autism spectrum disorder – including agitation, rage attacks or self-injurious behavior – and those military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder – eligible for cannabis therapy.

Send your legislator a message of support. 

Delaware

HB 305 – Delaware’s freshly revised adult-use legalization bill has been filed in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ed Osienski.

After a slew of amendments were introduced days before last year’s scheduled vote on HB 150, Prime Sponsor Rep. Osienski was forced to pull the bill from the House agenda. HB 305 now incorporates several of these bi-partisan amendments, including provisions providing for the establishment of a Justice Reinvestment Fund which will allocate resources back to communities that have been over-enforced and disproportionately impacted by cannabis prohibition.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Florida 

A package of bills is pending to permit the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of marijuana for adults. SB 1696 has been referred to committee and SB 1884 was just recently filed. 

HB 549 and HB 467 allows for the personal possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and for the home cultivation of up to six plants. House Bill 551 would establish the regulations for licensing businesses.

SB 776  allows adults to purchase up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at one time, and to possess no more than four ounces at one time. The measure would also allow those convicted of a possession offense involving up to four ounces of marijuana to have their record expunged.

SB 1696 allows adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and to home cultivate up to six plants. Additionally, it establishes licensing for “Marijuana Consumption Sites.”

SB 1884 also permits adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and to home cultivate up to six plants, while also establishing licensed businesses. 

Send your legislator a message of support.

Legislation has been pre-filed to protect medical cananbis pateints from discrimination. 

SB 740, introduced by Senator Jeff Brandes (R), mandates that “a qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana does not constitute the use of an illicit substance or otherwise disqualify the patient from medical treatment or other medically approved therapies, including, but not limited to, organ transplantation and pain management.”

HB 1247 and SB 1606 prohibit public employers from taking adverse actions against an employee or a job applicant who is a qualified patient solely for his or her use of medical marijuana.

Send your legislator a message of support.

SB 1488 would allow individuals convicted of misdemeanor offenses involving the possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana to petition the court to have their records expunged.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Indiana 

Legislation has been referred to committee legalizing and regulating marijuana in Indiana.

SB 324 legalizes marijuana purchases of up to one ounce per day for those 21 years of age and older.

HB 1311 / SB 414 would legalize marijuana purchases of up to four ounces per day for those 21 years of age and older. The bill also permits for the home cultivation of four plants.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Kentucky

HB 136 creates a medical cannabis program while also exempting cannabis medicine from taxation. Statewide polling data found that 90 percent of respondents favor allowing Kentuckians to legally obtain marijuana for medical use

Send your legislator a message of support.   

Maine

UPDATE: A hearing on LD 1827 was scheduled for 1/19/22. Local news coverage.  

LD 1827 would let marijuana stores in Maine deliver marijuana plants and/or adult-use products to any city or town in the state, as long as the store operates solely as a retailer. Deliveries would be permitted whether that community has approved the operation of marijuana stores or not.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Mississippi

Legislation is pending that seeks to legalize the use, possession and retail sale of marijuana for adults.

HB 746 would all allow the personal possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and the home cultivation of up to six marijuana plants. The legislation also allows for the gifting of up to one ounce of marijuana. 

Send your legislator a message of support.

Separate legislation legalizing medical cannabis access is advancing in the legislature. House members initially approved SB 2095: The Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act by a vote of 47 to 5. Senate members then approved a slightly amended version of the bill by a vote of 104 to 14. The legislation now awaits a concurrence vote by the Senate before advancing to the desk of Republican Gov. Tate Reeves. Here are key provisions of SB 2095.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Legislation has been referred to committee that would depenalize the use and possession of marijuana for adults in Mississippi.

SB 2183 would remove all civil and criminal penalties for the adult possession of marijuana for personal use, but it does not create a legal market or a regulatory structure.

Send your legislator a message of support.

HB 922 authorizes registered medical cannabis patients to petition the courts for the expungement for past marijuana convictions.

Send your legislator a message of support.. 

New Hampshire .

Legislation is pending to remove all criminal and civil penalties for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by adults.

HB 629 permits adults 21 and over to possess up to 3/4 ounce of marijuana and five grams of hashish, and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to three mature, three immature). House members recently passed the measure by a vote of 241 to 113. It now awaits action by the Senate. 

Send your legislator a message of support.

New Jersey 

Legislation to permit the personal cultivation of cannabis for adults has been filed and referred to committee in New Jersey. Under current state law, growing up to five marijuana plants is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

A.1422 legalizes the possession of six or fewer marijuana plants.

S.353 would make it legal for a person aged 21 or over to grow and possess six ounces of marijuana for personal use. Regarding home cultivation, it states:

  • a person aged 21 or older may grow or possess up to six marijuana plants for personal recreational use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household
  • a qualifying patient may grow or possess up to 10 marijuana plants for personal medical use, with a maximum of 12 plants per household.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Legislation is pending to improve the medical cannabis program in New Jersey.

A. 197 expands the list of debilitating medical conditions to include substance use disorder. The bill further removes the current restriction that limits edible forms of medical marijuana to patients who are minors, and specifies that edible forms include oils and liquids, in addition to tablets, capsules, drops and syrups.

A. 997 / S. 342 authorizes the home cultivation of medical cannabis for registered patients and/or their designated caregiver. 

Send your legislator a message of support.

Legislation has been filed to protect medical cananbis pateints from discrimination in the workplace. 

A.1830 prohibits an employer from taking any adverse employment action against an employee based on the employee’s status as a registry identification cardholder or based on a positive test for cannabis, unless the employer establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the lawful use of medical cannabis has impaired the employee’s ability to perform the employee’s job responsibilities.

A.890 provides that a drug test for cannabis shall not be conducted as part of a pre-employment screening, absent a few limited exceptions.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Ohio

Nearly 70 percent of US adults — including majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans — favor the national legalization of marijuana and over 40 percent of the public now reside in a jurisdiction where the adult-use cannabis market is legally regulated.

Legislative efforts are now underway to bring similar policies to Ohio. HB 498 seeks to allow adults 21 and older to purchase and possess up to 50 grams of cannabis and grow up to six plants for personal use. A citizen’s initiative effort is also seeking to compel lawmakers to decide on the issue.

However, Republican Governor Mike DeWine is speaking out against these efforts – most recently saying, “I think it’s ridiculous to add an additional problem.”

Let Governor DeWine know that he is out of step with the majority of voters in Ohio and that he needs to revisit his outdated views on marijuana legalization!

Send him an email today to have your voice heard.

Tennessee 

UPDATE: A hearing on HB 0666 was scheduled for 1/19/22. 

Tennessee passed a medical CBD law allowing for the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC in instances where a physician has recommended such treatment to a patient with a state-qualifying condition.

HB 0666 / SB 1493, known as the “Veterans Medical Cannabis Access Act”, would authorize disabled veterans with quadriplegia or paraplegia to possess and use liquid extract cannabis.

Send a message of support to your legislator.

Utah

Legislation that would strengthen Utah’s medical cannabis program has passed the Senate and is now pending in the House. 

SB 46 strengthens protections for medical cannabis patients, and makes other technical changes to the state’s nascent medical cannabis access program.

The proposed changes repeal a provision allowing courts to discriminate against a parent based solely upon their lawful use of medical cannabis during a custody proceeding, among other changes.

Send a message of support to your legislator. 

Washington

Legislation that would exempt medical marijuana from excise taxes has passed the Senate and is pending in the House. (VOTE: yeas – 40; nays – 8; absent – 0; excused – 1)

SB 5009 and SB 5004 provide for a tax exemption on medical marijuana purchased by registered patients from a licensed dispensary. Patients, many of whom are on disability or fixed income, should not be seen by lawmakers as a viable source of new tax revenue.

Send your legislator a message of support.

UPDATE: A hearing on SB 5517 was scheduled for 1/19/22. 

SB5517 protects marijuana consumers from employment discrimination by prohibiting employers from refusing to hire an individual solely because they use marijuana off the job or test positive for THC on a drug test.

Send your legislator a message of support.

UPDATE: HB 2022 has been assigned to committee and is scheduled for a hearing on 1/28/22.

Legislation is pending, HB 2022, seeking to ensure greater and more diverse participation in the cannabis industry.

The measures establish a Social Equity Program that authorizes the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to issue additional marijuana retail licenses, with priority given to applicants who represent communities of color.

Send your legislator a message of support.

Wisconsin

Legislation has been filed to legalize and regulate marijuana in Wisconsin. 

SB 545 and AB 846 permit adults to legally possess and purchase up to two ounces of marijuana from licensed retail outlets and to grow up to six cannabis plants at home.

It also establishes regulations for the production and retail sale of marijuana to anyone over the age of 21, in addition to establishing a regulated system for qualified medical marijuana patients to access their medicine without having to pay taxes.

The legislation would also facilitate the expungement of certain past marijuana crimes.

Send your legislator a message of support.   


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