NORML’s Legislative Round Up April 8th, 2016

map_leafWe’ve got several legislative updates from around the country this week. Keep reading below to get the latest in marijuana law reform!


Colorado: Denver NORML filed the Responsible Use initiative with the city of Denver. If passed by voters this November, it would legalize the establishment of private marijuana clubs for adults 21 and up. Passage of this ordinance would be a historic first step in moving toward normalizing the responsible, adult consumption of marijuana. The initiative would provide adults with a legally defined space where marijuana could be consumed and shared with other like-minded citizens — a simple, yet necessary accommodation for states that have passed some form of legalization. You can show support for the initiative by liking their page on Facebook.

Florida: On April 1st, the city of Tampa began implementing its new decriminalization law. Under the new ordinance, people caught with 20 grams or less of marijuana will now only face a civil citation rather than a arrest, criminal prosecution, and a criminal record.

Also, The Florida Democratic Party has endorsed Amendment 2, a constitutional amendment to permit the physician-authorized use and state-licensed distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The initiative has also received recent endorsements from the Tallahassee Democrat, the Miami Herald, and the Bradenton Herald. Presently, 16 states explicitly exempt the use of CBD by qualified patients. But, to date, no of these states provide a regulated, in-state supply source for the product.

Maine: A superior court judge today overturned the Secretary of State’s ruling that a citizen petition seeking to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine was invalid. The ruling mandates the Secretary of State to review the disputed signatures to determine whether petitioners submitted enough valid ones to qualify for ballot placement this November.

Missouri: This week, regulators at the Missouri Department of Agriculture granted licenses to two applicants seeking to grow CBD-dominant cannabis. Their products are anticipated to be ready for distribution this fall to state-qualified patients.

Pennsylvania: State lawmakers have unanimously passed separate pieces of legislation to establish “a pilot program to study the growth, cultivation or marketing of industrial hemp.” Members of the Senate voted 49 to zero in March in favor of SB 50. House lawmakers more recently voted 187 to zero in favor of the House companion bill, HB 967. House Bill 967 will now go to the Senate  for concurrence with SB 50 and then to Gov. Tom Wolf, who has expressed support for the legislation. #TakeAction

Members of the Pittsburgh City Council have approved a new ordinance imposing more lenient penalties for minor marijuana possession offenses. Under this ordinance, marijuana-related offenses will now be classified as summary offenses, punishable by a fine of $100 for public smoking or $25 for the possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Virginia: Governor Terry McAuliff has signed legislation, Senate Bill 701, into law to establish regulations governing the in-state production of therapeutic oils high in cannabdiol and/or THC-A (THC acid). Senate Bill 701 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. The measure takes effect on July 1, 2016.

Don’t forget to join us in Washington D.C. May 23rd and 24th for our 2016 Congressional Lobby Day! Whether you are a longtime activist, a young college student, a medical marijuana patient, a social marijuana consumer, or just someone who opposes prohibition, this is an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from across the country and get a glimpse into the Capitol Hill lawmaking process. It is an exhilarating experience for anyone who has taken the time to come to DC to lobby their members of Congress. Get your tickets today!

12 thoughts

  1. In Pennsylvania medical marijuana news Senator Folmer is trying for a “quick” implantation. Quickest you can get is letting people grow their own to avoid the two-year wait that’s been going around, you know, until the state gets handing the cannabis market over to their fat cat friends and relatives and shit. And you should legally be allowed to exchange viable seeds and clones.

    “After over three years of being the leading legislative advocate for medical cannabis, we want to know whatever is passed is able to be quickly and effectively implemented to avoid delays other states have experienced. This is too important and too many people are depending on the General Assembly to get it right.”

    From Pennsylvania Senator Mike Folmer’s web site

    Week of April 11, 2016

    Medical Cannabis Update
    When the Senate overwhelmingly passed my Senate Bill 3 last May, it was a 69-page bill. When the House returned SB 3 to the Senate last month, it was a 154-page bill with extensive changes that have been carefully analyzed the past three weeks.

    The Senate has been weighing two options on SB 3: agree to the House amendments or address the deep concerns that have been identified. Action is planned the week of April 11. After over three years of being the leading legislative advocate for medical cannabis, we want to know whatever is passed is able to be quickly and effectively implemented to avoid delays other states have experienced. This is too important and too many people are depending on the General Assembly to get it right.

      1. I’m amazed that it’s such a hard fight just to get MMJ in Penna. I’ve always thought that state more progressive than that.

        But it is what it is; oftentimes it’s that first step that’s necessary to really get the ball rolling. Best of luck with this.

  2. Wow! The courts sure do move fast in Maine! I sincerely hope that when they discover the fraudulent behavior of the notary that every citizen of Maine who was cheated of their right to petition at least gets to renotarize their petition. And let this be a lesson to the MPP that the cheap always ends up costing more in the long run.

    Great news that Pennsylvania is trained on the hemp wagon. Research is vital, to know what strains grow best and where, how to retain soil and avoid herbicides and pesticides, no matter how frustrating the delay of research may seem.

    So Denver filed the Responsible Use Inititiative… Did anyone else get a warm positive sensation of pride and joy from reading that? It’s gotta be better than the non-violent civil disobedience of toking from the top of the Flamingo Cantina in Austin, Texas. (Life’s little pleasures in protest…)

    Even the smaller advances here like in Virginia deserve credit as more and more state legislatures admit marijuana is medicine. Let the CBD industry ride the wave of quasi prohibition. Every week now were making such incredible progress that I dare say the descheduling of marijuana from the CSAct is inevitable.

    1. Julian,

      Yes, I thought that’s a good plan in Denver. I don’t plan on moving there, alas, but am glad that they’re trying for that. A great step forward.

  3. April 12, 2016 development in Pennsylvania medical marijuana legislation. Senate passes SB3 with minor tweaks. Alas, patients are still not allowed to grow their own, and best I can tell still can’t smoke it. If you can’t buy the plant material you’re forced to buy the vaporizing cartridges. The fix is in. Cronyism rules the day. It’s estimated to take two years until a patient can actually purchase the medicine.

    Better than nothing. Another notch, domino.

    Another state legalizing just before this big UN pow-wow ought to bonk figuratively bonk them over the head.

    1. I second the motion: Congrats!

      Here in NM, we’ve had MMJ for a while, but haven’t been able to move beyond that. But the day will come, as hopefully it will in PA before too long.

  4. Heard about this website at The Bill Press show and thought I would check it out. I read a list of California’s counties banning the sale of marijuana by not allowing the opening of dispensaries. What the list does not say is that in the city of Simi Valley, County of Ventura, CA, they also banned the cultivation, and the delivery of it regardless whether you have a medical permit to do so or not. A petition on is going on right now to reverse the law as city leaders have said they would listen an review if enough signatures were received. Maybe some of your followers may want to check it out and add their signatures if they want. Food for thought.

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