State Policy Weekly Update 5/27/2022

State Policy Weekly Update 5/27/2022

This week’s update highlights legislative developments in Delaware, Rhode Island, California, Louisiana, and North Carolina! 

California 

SB 1186 requires all local governments to permit access to medicinal cannabis via either the establishment of licensed dispensaries or via delivery.

Update: This bill has passed in the state Senate and heads to the Assembly.

Send a message of support to your legislators. 

AB-2691 enables small licensed cannabis producers to obtain a temporary retail license so that they can sell their products at licensed, locally approved cannabis events. The bill would provide a pathway for small producers to establish consumer relationships absent possessing retail space.

Send a message of support to your legislator. 

AB 1281 (as currently written) eliminates the state’s imposed cultivation tax without raising the state excise tax (as other proposals do). AB 1281 reduces the excise tax from 15% to 5%, helping both licensed businesses and consumers.

Send a message of support to your legislator. 

NORML opposes the passage of SB 1097, which requires extensive, badly designed, new label warnings on all cannabis products, boosting cost to the consumer without benefiting public health. 

Update: The bill has passed through the Senate Appropriations committee and is heading to the Senate floor.

Please urge your state Senator to vote no on SB 1097. 

AB 1954 prohibits a physician and surgeon from automatically denying treatment or medication to a qualified patient based solely on a positive drug screen for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). 

Update: AB 1954 has passed the assembly floor and heads to the Senate. 

Send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort. 

AB 2595 protects parental rights of cannabis consumers.

Update: AB 1954 has passed the assembly floor and heads to the Senate. 

Send a message of support to your legislator. 

AB 2188 bans employers from denying workers’ jobs or firing them based on drug tests for inactive metabolites of THC, which can be detected for days or weeks after use, and have no correlation with on-the-job impairment. 

Update: The bill passed the Assembly floor and heads to the Senate. If passed, California would be the 7th state to offer employment protections for recreational users. The others are Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana, and Rhode Island 

Send a message to your legislator today. 

Delaware

Current state law classifies the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana as a civil penalty punishable by up to a $100 fine, but no threat of jail time.

House Bill 371 removes all criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults. Possession above this limit and the public consumption of marijuana would still be classified as a misdemeanor. This legislation would also allow for adults to transfer cannabis among themselves within the possession limits and without remuneration.  

Update: House Bill 371 was advanced by super-majorities in the Delaware House and Senate.​ But Governor Carney has vetoed​ this important legislation, the first Democratic Governor to ever take such action on cannabis policy. The Delaware Legislature now heads for a two-week break before reconvening. Lawmakers would need to have a three-fifths majority to override his veto, but they have historically been reluctant​ to override the governor’s vetoes.​​

Send a message asking the legislature to support any efforts necessary to enact HB 371.

Louisiana

Current state law has partially decriminalized cannabis. While the laws still maintain penalties for cannabis use and possession, limited personal possession carries no threat of jail time.​

House Bill 774 facilitates a process for those seeking to have their past marijuana convictions expunged. 

Update: After passing the House, HB 774 was passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee and heads to the Senate floor.

Send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort.

House Bill 629 prohibits law enforcement from conducting a search of a person’s residence based on the odor of marijuana without first obtaining a warrant

Update: After passing the House, HB 629 was passed in the Senate Judiciary Committee and now heads to the Senate floor.

Send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort.​​

House Bill 988 provides  employment protections to patients who lawfully consume medical marijuana while they are off the job. This measure would not alter existing law regarding the consumption of cannabis while at work, which is strictly prohibited.

Update: HB 988 was the House floor by a vote of 60-32 and now heads to the Senate.

Send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort.

HB 135 permits the dispensing of medical marijuana to certain qualifying patients who are not Louisiana residents.

Update: After passing the House, HB 135 was passed in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee and heads to the Senate floor. 

Send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort. 

North Carolina 

Senate Bill 765 would allow adults to legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana or an equivalent amount of marijuana products, and to grow up to four plants (no more than two mature) for their own personal use. The legislation allows for adults to share their cannabis without remuneration.

Send a message to your lawmakers in support of this effort

Rhode Island 

Democratic Governor Dan McKee signed legislation into law this week legalizing the personal use and licensed retail sale of marijuana to those age 21 or older. Provisions in the law permitting adults to possess and home cultivate marijuana took effect upon signing.

The Rhode Island Cannabis Act allows adult Rhode Islanders age 21 and up to possess (up to one ounce in public or up to 10 ounces at home), home-cultivate (up to six plants, no more than three mature), and purchase limited amounts of cannabis. It also facilitates the automatic review and expungement of past criminal records. Under the measure, records must be vacated no later than by July 1, 2024. The Act also includes provisions for re-investing tax revenue from cannabis sales into those communities that were previously most harmed by prohibition, as well as programs to aid social equity applicants seeking to enter the market. It also protects consumers from facing disciplinary actions in the workplace solely for their off-the-job consumption of cannabis.

Read more.

Rhode Island is the 19th state to legalize marijuana for adults. Voters in several additional states, including Maryland, Missouri, and South Dakota will decide on the issue in November.

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