Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
This week, the DEA put Epidiolex in Schedule V, the least restrictive category of the Controlled Substances Act. This does not apply to CBD or other non-FDA-approved extracts.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection released an official statement confirming the federal government’s policy of banning Canadians who work or invest in the marijuana industry from entering the country.
The U.S. House Rules Committee blocked another marijuana measure from being considered, this time it was an amendment concerning the 280E tax penalty on marijuana businesses.
At the state level, Pennsylvania state Rep. Jake Wheatley filed a bill that would permit the use, possession, and retail sale of adult use marijuana and also expunge some marijuana convictions.
New Jersey lawmakers are expected to vote on a marijuana legalization bill on October 29. The bill still has yet to be introduced.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) of New York announced two new listening sessions marijuana legalizing implementation. These are in addition to the 15 that had already been scheduled. See the full list of sessions here. Cuomo also signed a bill into law adding acute pain management to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana can be recommended in place of opioids.
Governor Jerry Brown (D) of California vetoed a bill to expand and facilitate marijuana research. But he signed bills allowing local governments to allow temporary marijuana events, and to create a grant program to assist with the implementation of local measures to ensure equity in the cannabis industry, and others.
At a more local level, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) announced that some arrests for public use of marijuana will result in citations, rather than people being taken into custody.
Seattle, Washington municipal court judges have agreed to vacate convictions and dismiss charges for misdemeanor marijuana possession stemming from before legalization.
Oklahoma City approved a measure to decriminalize marijuana possession. Kingsland, Georgia also approved a measure to remove jail time for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. And similarly, Lancaster, Pennsylvania approved a measure to decriminalize marijuana.
Following are the bills we’ve tracked still sitting on the desk of California Governor Jerry Brown, and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.
Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.
Decriminalize Cannabis: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is sponsoring the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.
Assembly Bill 1793 seeks to allow automatic expungement or reduction of a prior cannabis conviction for an act that is not a crime as of January 1, 2017, or for a crime that as of that date subject to a lesser sentence. The bill was approved by the Senate last week.
Update: AB 1793 awaits action from Governor Brown.
Senate Bill 1127 would help students with severe medical disabilities attend school by allowing a parent or guardian to come on school grounds to administer medical cannabis to them in non-smoking and non-vaping forms. The bill was already approved by the Senate earlier this year.
Update: After failing to gain enough votes for passage in the Assembly on 8/23, a motion to reconsider was granted and on 8/27, SB 1127 was approved by the Assembly with a 42-29 vote. The bill now awaits action from Governor Brown.
Senate Bill 829 would exempt compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions.
Update: SB 829 was approved by the full Assembly with a 65-2 vote on 8/29. The bill now goes back to the Senate for concurrence since it was amended in the Assembly. SB 829 is being heard by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Friday 8/31, and then will go to the Senate floor for a vote.
That’s all for this week!