Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
Governor Jay Inslee (D) of Washington signed legislation into law allowing medical cannabis to be accessed by patients on school grounds, and separate legislation allowing the production of industrial hemp in accordance with new federal hemp regulations.
Governor Larry Hogan (R) of Maryland also signed industrial hemp production legislation into law.
At a more local level, members of Las Vegas, Nevada’s city council approved legislation to allow cannabis consumption lounges.
The district attorney for Philadelphia, PA testified during a cannabis legalization hearing that he will not pursue cannabis DUI cases unless “people show active—I repeat active—psychoactive amounts of cannabis in their system.”
The Cedar Park, Texas police department will implement a cite and release program for those caught with possessing up to two ounces of cannabis.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center 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 U.S. Congress. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.
Actions to Take
End Prohibition: 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.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 96 / Senate Bill 98, to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
The measure would reduce the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $6,000, to a non-criminal violation punishable by a maximum fine of $250.
Update: HB 96 was heard in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/1/19. The bill is scheduled to be considered by the Judiciary Committee again on 5/8/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 19-1230, to allow the social consumption of cannabis by adults in licensed and regulated establishments.
The measure would establish a license permit process for hospitality spaces to allow cannabis products to be legally purchased and consumed on site.
Update: HB 19-1230 was approved by the Senate on 5/1/19, and now heads back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 19-1234, to allow licensed marijuana businesses to deliver both medical and adult use marijuana to private residences.
The measure would establish a licensing system for such delivery services and also require training for delivery permit holders.
Update: HB 19-1234 was approved by the Senate on 5/1/19, and will now head to the Governor’s desk.
Senate Bill 19-013 would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy for any condition for which an opiate would otherwise be prescribed.
Update: SB 19-013 got final approval by the Senate on House amendments on 5/1/19. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 19-220, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: SB 19-220 was approved by the House of Representatives on 4/29/19, and will now go back to the Senate for concurrence on House amendments.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 1383, that would decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.
The bill would impose a civil penalty for the possession of up to three grams of marijuana, punishable by a $30 fine.
Update: HB 1383 received final approval from the House and Senate on 4/30/19, and will now head to the Governor’s desk.
HF 732, would remove the cap on allowable THC, and allow physicians assistants and advanced registered nurses to recommend medical cannabis to patients.
Update: HF 732 was approved by the Senate on 4/27/19, and will now be transmitted to the Governor.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 358, to give qualified patients the option to inhale cannabis for medical purposes.
Update: HB 358 was approved by the House Committee on Health & Welfare on 5/1/19.
Legislation is pending to mandate that state agencies review and expunge prior marijuana convictions.
Under LD 846, those convicted of marijuana-related activities that are no longer defined as criminal will have their records automatically sealed and no longer disseminated.
LD 991 also seeks to expunge the records of those convicted of marijuana related offenses that are no longer defined as criminal under state law.
Update: Both LD 846 and LD 991 are scheduled for hearings in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/7/19 at 1:30pm in room 438.
House Bill 238 seeks to prohibit the state government from sharing medical marijuana user or registry information with the federal government.
Update: HB 238 was heard by the House Committee on Downsizing State Government on 5/1/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 364, to permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
The measure would permit patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to two ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.
Update: HB 364 was approved by the Senate on 5/2/19, and now heads back to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Legislation is pending, AB 132, to protect cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.
This measure prohibits employers from arbitrarily discriminating against prospective employees who legally consume cannabis off-the-job in accordance with state law.
Update: AB 132 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor on 5/6/19 at 1:30pm.
Senate Bill 228:
- Allows service providers such as massage therapists and reflexologists to administer hemp and CBD products for therapeutic purposes; and
- Allows veterinarians to administer hemp and CBD products to animals
Update: SB 228 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor on 5/6/19 at 1:30pm.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2614, to amend the possession penalties for individuals who use cannabis for a qualifying condition, but are not in possession of a medical marijuana identification card.
The measure would reduce the penalty for this offense from a criminal misdemeanor to a citation, punishable by a maximum fine of $400.
Update: HB 2614 was approved by the Senate on 4/25/19, and was sent to the House on 4/29 for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 970, to protect state-sanctioned medical cannabis patients, as well as those with prior or pending cannabis convictions, from housing discrimination.
Update: The House Human Services and Housing Committee held a work session on SB 970 on 4/29/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2655 / Senate Bill 379, to protect responsible adult cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.
The measure would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who legally consume marijuana off-the-job in accordance with state law.
Update: SB 379 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 4/29/19.
House Bill 63 is pending to remove the threat of jail time for up to one ounce of cannabis possession.
Update: HB 63 was approved by the House of Representatives on 4/29/19, and will now head to the Senate.
House Bill 1365 is pending to provide qualified patients access to medical cannabis via licensed providers.
Update: HB 1365 is scheduled to be considered on the House floor on 5/6/19.
S. 54 is pending to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.
Update: S. 54 was heard by the House Committees on Government Operations; Human Services; and Judiciary this week. The bill was approved by the Committee on Government Operations on 5/2/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 58, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: S. 58 was heard by theHouse Committee on Ways and Means on 5/1/19 and again on 5/2.
Legislation is pending, B23-0266, to protect adult cannabis consumers from employment discrimination.
This measure prohibits employers from arbitrarily discriminating against employees who legally consume cannabis off-the-job in accordance with the district law, with an exception for those in safety-sensitive positions.