Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) signed legislation into law making Connecticut the 18th state to legalize adult use marijuana, and the fifth to do so just this year.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (D) signed legislation into law repealing the state’s ban on herbal cannabis for medically authorized patients.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis (D) signed legislation into law imposing new rules and restrictions upon physicians who recommend medical cannabis as well as their patients.
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 to regulate medical cannabis for patients in North Carolina.
Senate Bill 711 has the best chance for passage, as it is supported by both Republicans and Democrats. This bill would allow qualifying patients, with a physician’s recommendation, to access a 30-day supply of medical cannabis at a time via licensed retail outlets.
Update: SB 711 was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on 6/23/21.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 1024, which seeks to maintain expanded access for medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania.
If passed, this bill would work to make provisions enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic permanent. These include:
- Increased possession allowances and monthly maximum purchase limits from dispensaries to provide for less frequent visits
- Allowing safe curbside pickup and telemedicine certifications for patients
- Removing limitations on the amount of patients a caregiver may help
Update: The Senate voted on an amendment to the bill that would have allowed medical cannabis patients to grow their medicine at home, but it failed in a vote. Senate members then approved HB 1024, sending it to the governor’s desk.
Legislation is pending to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults in Rhode Island.
S568, which is sponsored by the Senate president and majority leader, would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. It would also facilitate the expungement of certain past marijuana convictions.
Update: S568 was approved by the Senate on 6/22/21. The bill now heads to the House.