Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
Medical cannabis sales kicked off in Arkansas last Friday as the first dispensary opened its doors.
Governor Jay Inslee (D) of Washington signed legislation into law to allow individuals with prior low-level cannabis convictions to apply to the sentencing court to have their record vacated.
Governor Kevin Stitt (R) of Oklahoma signed legislation into law to permit the retail sale of hemp and hemp-derived CBD products.
Governor Kim Reynolds (R) of Iowa signed industrial hemp production legislation into law.
A New Hampshire House-passed legalization bill was held in a Senate committee for further study.
At a more local level, New York City lawmakers have successfully passed a pair of municipal bills limiting situations where those seeking employment or on probation may be drug tested for past cannabis exposure. The two measures became law absent Mayor DeBlasio’s signature.
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
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.
Legislation is pending, AB 1465, that would allow licensing of cannabis consumption cafés and lounges in California.
Update: AB 1465 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 34, which 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 34 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16/19.
Legislation is pending, AB 286, to temporarily reduce tax rates imposed on the retail sale and commercial cultivation of cannabis.
Update: AB 286 was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/16/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 51, to assist financial institutions in safely conducting transactions with licensed cannabis businesses.
Update: SB 51 was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/13/19 and 5/16.
HB 110 has been introduced to legalize and regulate marijuana.
Similar legislation in 2017 was voted out of Committee but then stalled as lawmakers elected to approve a resolution establishing a marijuana legalization task force, of which Delaware NORRML Director Cyn Ferguson was appointed to.
Legislation is pending, The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (an amendment to SB 7), to regulate the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of adult-use marijuana.
Update: SB 7 was heard in the Senate Executive Committee on 5/15/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 358, to give qualified patients the option to inhale cannabis for medical purposes through vaporization.
Update: HB 358 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/14/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 59, to reduce marijuana possession penalties for first time offenders.
The measure removes the threat of jail time for first-time offenders who possess no more than 14 grams of marijuana (about half an ounce).
Update: HB 59 was approved by the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice on 5/14/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 507, to exempt “marijuana recommended for therapeutic use” from state and local sales and use taxes.
Update: HB 507 was approved by the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs on 5/13/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 138, to remove hemp and “cannabidiol when contained in a drug product approved by the FDA,” from the list of controlled substances.
Update: HB 138 was approved by the House of Representatives on 5/13/19.
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 work sessions in the House Committee on Judiciary on 5/16/19 at 1:30pm in room 438.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 824, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: HB 824 was approved by the Senate on 5/15/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
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 was heard in Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on 5/15/19.
Legislation is pending, SB 430, that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.
The measure would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with anxiety, autism, opioid addiction or dependence, anorexia nervosa, among others.
Update: SB 430 was heard in the Assembly Health and Human Services Committee on 5/13/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 399, to permit those convicted of past marijuana offenses to seek an expungement of their criminal records.
If passed, HB 399 would allow individuals to file a petition with the court requesting that the court annul any past marijuana violations involving the possession of up to ¾ of an ounce of marijuana.
Update: HB 399 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 5/14/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 459, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: HB 459 was approved by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on 5/14/19.
Assembly Bill 10 facilitates the expansion of additional medical cannabis growers and providers, while also expanding the amount of cannabis a patient may legally purchase and possess. It further expands the pool of licensed health professional who may recommend medical cannabis, and shields registered patients from employment discrimination and the loss of child custody. It also phases out retail sales taxes on medical cannabis, amongst other changes.
Update: A10 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on 5/20/19.
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: SB 970 was approved by the House Human Services and Housing Committee on 5/10/19.
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 approved by the House of Representatives on 5/14/19, and will now head to the governor’s desk.