Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
This week was a big week for marijuana with Michigan voters approving a measure to regulate the retail sale of marijuana for adults, and Utah and Missouri voting to allow medical marijuana access.
There were also 16 counties and two cities in Wisconsin that approved non-binding marijuana ballot measures, as well as five cities in Ohio that voted to decriminalize marijuana possession. Read more here.
Massachusetts adult use retail sales could begin within days, after being delayed from the original start date of July 1.
Iowa added autism as a medical marijuana qualifying condition, but rejected PTSD, bipolar disorder and ADHD. They also voted to keep the THC cap at 3%. This recommendation now has to be approved by the Iowa Board of Medicine. Also, the state’s first dispensary will begin selling low-THC medical cannabis products on December 1.
Gretchen Whitmer (D), Michigan’s soon to be governor, is considering options to expunge prior marijuana convictions since voters in the state approved a marijuana regulation measure.
A medical cannabis bill is expected to be filed in Tennessee.
Governor Phil Murphy (D) of New Jersey is still negotiating with lawmakers on tax rates for marijuana legalization legislation. They had originally set a date for a vote on the measure for October 29.
A New York state lawmakers wants sealing prior marijuana possession convictions to be a priority for the 2019 legislative session.
At a more local level, Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) of Washington, DC stated that she plans to pursue retail marijuana sales in the city in 2019.
The city council of Green Bay, Wisconsin approved a measure to lower the penalties for marijuana possession and the Santa Fe, New Mexico City Council is debating a resolution calling for “legalization, decriminalization and/or regulation of cannabis and cannabis-related products for recreational use.”
Additionally, a key Mexican senator who will be a member of the new presidential administration filed a bill to tax and regulate marijuana. The move comes less than a week after the country’s Supreme Court struck down the prohibition of cannabis.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week 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.
Penalize States that Maintain Criminalization: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
A11390 seeks to require public health insurance programs to cover medical marijuana related costs.
The measure amends state law so that publicly funded health programs, including the largely-publicly funded Essential Plan, would treat medical cannabis like any other legal prescription drug “for the purposes of coverage under medical assistance.”
Update: Companion legislation, S9189, was introduced on 11/2/18 and referred to the Senate Rules Committee.