2016 Enacted Legislation

Alabama: House Bill 61
Summary: The measure, known as ‘Leni’s Law’, will allow qualified patients to possess CBD preparations containing up to three percent THC. The measure passed in the Senate by a vote of 29 to 3 and in the House in a 95 to 4 vote. While existing state law permits qualified patients to use CBD if they are part of state-sponsored clinical trial, this measure will legally protect qualified patients who possess the substance outside of a clinical trial environment.

Alabama: House Bill 393
Authorizes the Department of Agriculture and Industries to administer an industrial hemp research program. Allows the department or an institution of higher learning to apply for a permit or waiver to grow industrial hemp for the manufacture of hemp products. Revises the definition of marijuana in the controlled substances law to exclude industrial hemp.

California: Assembly Bill 21
Summary: A
mends a drafting error in the The Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act by removing an apparent March 1, 2016 deadline for localities to establish their own cultivation regulations or else forfeit that authority to the state. It also removes objectionable language authorizing local governments to prohibit patients from cultivating, storing, donating, or processing marijuana for their own personal use, and by doing so, reaffirms that qualified patients have the right under state law to engage in personal cultivation absent a city or state license. 

Colorado: House Bill 1373
Summary: A primary caregiver may administer non-inhalable formulations of medical cannabis to a qualifying patient while that patient is on the grounds of a pre-school, primary, or secondary school in which the student is enrolled. Medical marijuana patients may not be denied eligibility to attend school because of their cannabis use.

Connecticut: House Bill 5450
Summary: P
ermits qualifying patients under the age of 18 to possess and consume medical cannabis preparations. The proposal also expands the list of qualifying illnesses eligible for cannabis therapy to include:  ”uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder,” ”irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity,” “cerebral palsy,” “cystic fibrosis,” or “terminal illness requiring end-of-life care.”

Delaware: Senate Bill 181
Summary: Permits designated caregivers to possess and administer non-smoked medical marijuana formulations (e.g. oils/extracts) to qualifying patients "in a school bus and on the ground or property of the preschool, or primary, or secondary school in which a minor qualifying patient is enrolled."

Florida: House Bill 307
Summary: P
ermits medical marijuana access to people diagnosed with terminal illnesses. House members overwhelmingly voted on Thursday, March 3, in favor of the measure. Senate lawmakers approved the bill by a vote of 28 to 11 on Monday, March 7.

Hawaii: House Bill 2707
Summary: The measure expands the pool of practitioners who may legally recommend cannabis therapy to include advanced nurse practitioners. Separate provisions in the bill removes the prohibition on Sunday dispensary sales and on the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia by qualified patients.Other language in the bill permits the transportation of medical marijuana across islands for the purposes of laboratory testing, but maintains existing prohibitions banning individual patients from engaging in inter-island travel with their medicine. 

Illinois: Senate Bill 2228
Summary: Reduces the penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine) to a civil fine of no more than $200 — no arrest and no criminal record. It also decriminalizes related offenses involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

Illinois: Senate Bill 10
Summary: Extends the state’s medical cannabis program to 2020. Legislation initiating the program was set to expire in 2018. Other changes to the program include: Adding post-traumatic stress and any terminal illness as qualifying medical conditions; Extending the lifespan of state-issued registry cards from one year to three years in duration; Amending the requirement that physicians must explicitly recommend cannabis therapy. Instead, physicians will only be required to certify that there exists a bona fide doctor-patient relationship and that the patient possesses a qualifying, debilitating medical condition. 

Kansas: House Bill 2462
Summary: Reduces criminal penalties for first-time marijuana possession offenses from a Class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to one year incarceration and a $2,500 fine) to a Class B misdemeanor (punishable by no more than six months in jail and a $1,000 fine). Second convictions will no longer be classified as a felony offense.

Louisiana: Senate Bill 271
Summary: Permits physicians to ‘recommend’ rather than ‘prescribe’ medical cannabis therapy. The change allows doctors to authorize cannabis without running afoul of federal law, which prohibits the prescription of a schedule I controlled substance. The measure also expands the pool of conditions eligible for cannabis therapy.

Maine: Legislative Document 726
Summary: Permits qualified patients to use medical marijuana while admitted in Maine hospitals. This measure does not require hospital staff to administer medical marijuana to a patient and will only allow for patients to consume cannabis preparations in a smokeless form. The law also establishes licensing protocols for marijuana testing facilities and the labeling of medical cannabis products.

Maryland: Senate Bill 517
Summary: A
mends existing criminal penalties regarding the possession of marijuana-related paraphernalia from a misdemeanor, punishable by possible jail time, to a civil violation. However, amended language also includes a provision establishing a civil fine of up to $500 for offenses involving the use of marijuana in public. 

Maryland: House Bill 443
Permits the Department of Agriculture to authorize institutions of higher education to cultivate industrial hemp for academic research purposes. Members of the Senate voted 45 to zero in favor of the bill. House members voted 136 to zero in favor of the measure.

Maryland: House Bill 104
Expands the pool of medical professionals who can provide written recommendations for marijuana to qualifying patients. Passage of this legislation allows nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, among other medical professionals, who are in good standing with the state to provide written certifications to qualifying patients. 

Michigan: HB 4209, HB 4210, HB 4827, SB 141, and SB 1014 
Summary: The measures seek to clarify and expand various aspects of the state’s medical cannabis law. Specifically, the measures provide qualified patients for the first time with legal protections for their possession and use of non-smoked cannabis derived topicals and edibles, as well as cannabis-based extract products. The measures also license and regulate above-ground, safe access facilities where state-qualified patients may legally obtain medical marijuana.

Missouri: Senate Bills 588, 603, 942
Summary: Expands the number of offenses eligible for expungement from roughly a half dozen to more than 100 non-violent and non-sexual crimes. It also allows people to expunge their records sooner, shortening the waiting period to three years for misdemeanors and to seven years following a felony offense.

New Hampshire: Senate Bill 498
Summary: Reduces the penalty for first-time possession of marijuana offenses from a Class A offense to an unspecified misdemeanor.

New Jersey: Assembly Bill 457
Summary: Adds PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions eligible for medical marijuana therapy. 

Ohio: House Bill 523
Summary: Establishes regulations for the licensed production and dispensing of medical cannabis formulations to qualified patients.

Ohio: Senate Bill 204
Summary: Amends law so that certain drug offenses are no longer punishable by a mandatory loss of one’s driver’s license. Under previous law, any drug conviction carried a mandatory driver's license suspension of at least six months, even in cases where the possession offense did not take place in a vehicle. Senate Bill 204 makes such suspensions discretionary rather than mandatory.

Oklahoma: House Bill 2479
Summary: Reduces sentencing guidelines involving a second marijuana related offense from a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison to no more than five. It also reduces the existing mandatory minimum penalty from two years in prison to one year.

Oklahoma: House Bill 2835
Summary: Extends existing legal protections to the following patients: those with “spasticity due to multiple sclerosis or due to paraplegia, intractable nausea and vomiting, appetite stimulation with chronic wasting diseases.” The measure also removes the age requirement limitation from existing law so that adults with various forms of epilepsy are eligible for CBD therapy.

Oregon: Senate Bill 1511
Summary: Allows adults 21 and older to immediately become eligible to purchase marijuana extracts and marijuana infused edibles from Oregon dispensaries. Under the new law, dispensary operators may sell a single low-dose unit of an edible and the equivalent of a vaporizer pen containing a marijuana extract to any person 21 and older. Dispensaries may also legally sell non-psychoactive products intended for use on a person's hair or skin.

Oregon: House Bill 4094
Summary: Exempts financial institutions that provide financial services to marijuana related businesses, researchers and laboratories from any criminal law of this state” if it can be substantiated that their clients are engaging in state-compliant behavior.

Pennsylvania: House Bill 967
Summary: The bill allows for registered individuals to grow, cultivate, and/or market industrial hemp. Agencies, colleges, and universities are permitted to grow industrial hemp for research purposes. It also creates the Hemp Research Board, which is responsible for developing regulations, applications for registration, inspections, a database of registered persons, registration fees, and guidelines for labeling and testing.

Pennsylvania: Senate Bill 3
Summary: Permits regulators to license up to 25 marijuana cultivators and processors, and up to 150 dispensary locations to provide cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a recommendation from select physicians. 

Rhode Island: House Bill 7142
Summary: Makes post-traumatic stress patients eligible for medical cannabis treatment and accelerates access to those patients in hospice care. 

Rhode Island: House Bill 8232
Summary: Creates the "Hemp Growth Act" to treat hemp as an agricultural product that may be legally produced, possessed, distributed and commercially traded. The Department of Business Regulation will be responsible for establishing rules and regulations for the licensing and regulation of hemp growers and processors. The Department is also authorized to certify any higher educational institution in Rhode Island to grow or handle or assist in growing or handling industrial hemp for the purpose of agricultural or academic research.

Tennessee: House Bill 2032
Summary: Permits for the licensed cultivation of industrial hemp when “grown by an institution of higher education in this state that offers a baccalaureate or post-graduate level program of study in agricultural sciences.”

Tennessee: House Bill 1478
Summary: Amends third-time marijuana possession offenses from a Class E felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, to a misdemeanor offense, punishable by no more than one year in jail.

Vermont: Senate Bill 14
Summary: Permits patients with glaucoma and ‘chronic pain’ and/or those in hospice care to be eligible for cannabis therapy; it eliminates the requirement that patients must have previously tried other conventional treatments “without success” prior to being eligible for medical cannabis; it amends existing doctor/patient relationship requirements in a manner that expedites certain patients eligibility to receive cannabis treatment; and it authorizes naturopaths to make medicinal cannabis recommendations.

Virginia: Senate Bill 701
Summary: Establishes regulations governing the in-state production of therapeutic oils high in cannabdiol and/or THC-A (THC acid). It also requires the Board of Pharmacy to adopt regulations establishing health, safety, and security requirements for pharmaceutical processors of oils high in CBD and/or THC-A. 

Washington: Senate Bill 6206
Summary: Authorizes “the growing of industrial hemp as a legal agricultural activity” in accordance with federal legislation permitting such activity as part of a state-authorized program.