Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
This week, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed legislation into law providing financial assistance to social equity applicants seeking to enter the retail marijuana industry.
the Ohio State Medical Board approved requests to allow patients diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, spasticity or severe muscle spasms, and terminal illnesses to access medical cannabis.
Following are new legislative developments from the past week, and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state, and the NORML blog for regular updates.
Don’t forget to sign up for the NORML 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
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, along with Cannabis Caucus co-Chairs Earl Blumenauer and Barbara Lee, and others re-introduced the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act of 2021, better known as The MORE Act. The Act repeals the long-standing federal prohibition of marijuana — thereby ending the existing state/federal conflict in cannabis policies and providing state governments with greater authority to regulate marijuana-related activities.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 311, to permit qualified patients the ability to access medical cannabis preparations while in health care facilities.
Update: SB 311 was unanimously approved by the Assembly Committee on Health on 6/9/21, and will head to the Assembly floor next.
House Bill 1317 seeks to place undue limitations upon patients’ medical cannabis access.
It provides overly burdensome requirements upon physicians issuing medical cannabis recommendations. For the first time ever, it requires physicians to create an explicit dosing regimen for patients. It also requires health care providers to conduct a “full assessment” of the patients’ “mental health history,” even in cases where patients have no pre-existing or underlying mental health issues.
For those patients ages 18 to 20, it requires “two physicians from two different medical practices … to diagnose the patient as having a debilitating or disabling medical condition after an in-person consultation.”
Update: HB 1317 was approved by the House on concurrence on 6/8/21, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
Backed by Governor Lamont, Senate Bill 1118 would legalize and regulate adult use marijuana.
Update: Lawmakers failed to pass SB 1118 before the end of the legislative session on 6/11/21. The bill is likely to be revisited during a special legislative session at a later time.
House Bill 150 is pending to legalize and regulate adult use marijuana in Delaware!
The bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, and also includes provisions expanding expungement eligibility for those with past marijuana related convictions.
Update: HB 150 was scheduled for a House floor vote on 6/10/21, but it was postponed until next week.
Legislation is pending which seeks to reduce penalties for the low-level possession of marijuana.
House Bill 652 would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to 14 grams of marijuana from up to 15 days in jail and a maximum $300 fine, to a $100 fine only.
Update: HB 652 was approved by the Senate on 6/7/21, and now heads to the governor’s desk.