Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
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.
Actions to Take
The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884 / S. 2227) is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus decriminalizing the substance at the federal level and enabling states to set their own policies.
Senate Bill 8 is pending to seal the convictions of past marijuana possession offenders.
The measure prohibits the release of past records for any marijuana offense that is no longer defined as a crime under state law.
Update: SB 8 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1:30pm on 3/4/20.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 2359, to reduce barriers to employment for those harmed by the War on Drugs.
The bill would prevent applicants from being denied occupational licenses for having previous drug charges, including for cannabis.
Update: HB 2359 was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives on 2/24/20.
A proposal being considered by House lawmakers seeks to arbitrarily cap the potency of cannabis flowers. NORML opposes the passage of this legislation.
Update: Amendment # 850798 by Senator Gayle Harrell (R-25) was filed today on SB 230 to be heard in the Senate Rules Committee Mon. 3/2/20 from 12-6pm.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 268 and House Bill 528, to allow those convicted of simple marijuana possession to petition the court to restrict access to their records.
Update: HB 528 is scheduled for consideration by the Subcommittee of Judiciary on 3/5/20 and 3/6/20.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 2787, to regulate medical cannabis delivery services.
The bill allows the department of health to issue permits to medical cannabis dispensaries for the delivery of medical cannabis and cannabis products to qualifying patients or primary caregivers if certain conditions are met.
Update: SB 2787 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on 2/25/20.
Legislation is pending, HB 2097 / SB 2024, which would authorize licensed medical cannabis facilities to sell edible products.
Update: HB 2097 was approved by the House Finance Committee on 2/27/20, and was then approved by the full House on 2/28/20. The bill now heads to the Senate.
LD 1621 / SP 518 would allow licensed dispensaries to home deliver adult use cannabis to consumers 21 and older, only in jurisdictions that allow delivery services to operate.
Update: LD 1621 is scheduled for a public hearing in the State House on 3/2/20 at 10am.
House Bill 1386 “prohibits an employer from firing an employee solely because the employee has a positive drug test for cannabis if the employee is a qualified patient.”
Update: HB 1386 is scheduled for a executive session in the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee at 1pm on 3/4/2020 in Legislative Office Building 104.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 1343, which seeks to eliminate the possession of marijuana as grounds for the denial of an individual’s pretrial release.
Update: HB 1343 is scheduled for a Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee Executive Session at 1pm on 3/3/20 in Legislative Office Building 204.
H7765 would prevent employers from refusing to hire or discriminating against individuals for marijuana use and positive test results.
H7878 would prohibit employment discrimination by the state of Rhode Island against medical marijuana users. The act also requires reasonable accommodations be provided by the state employer.
Legislation is pending, HB 972, which reduces penalties for offenses involving the possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record.
Update: HB 972 was approved by the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations on 2/25/20.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1015, to make participation in Virginia’s medical cannabis program legal under state law.
Currently, patients, caregivers, agents, pharmaceutical processors and their employees are only afforded an affirmative defense for participating in the state-licensed program.
Update: SB 1015 was approved by the House on 2/27/20. The bill now heads to the governor.
Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.
Update: S.54 was approved by the House. The bill will now go to conference committee to reconcile the changes between the House and Senate versions.
Legislation is pending, S. 114, to expunge the records of those convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses.
The measure also depenalizes activities involving the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana.
Update: S. 114 was heard by the Senate Committee on Judiciary on 2/25/20.
Senate Bill 752 would:
- Permit regulators to enter into reciprocity agreements with other states to allow certain out-of-state patients to use and transport medical marijuana while visiting West Virginia;
- Remove the prohibition on the dispensing of dry leaf medical cannabis;
- Allow accredited colleges, universities, or medical schools to be eligible to participate in marijuana research;
- Add ulcerative colitis to the list of qualifying medical conditions
Update: SB 752 was approved by the Senate on 2/26/20. The bill now heads to the House.