Here is NORML’s weekly update on state legislative activity.
Washington: Legislation to Establish Equity Within the Cannabis Industry
Legislation is pending, HB 2022, to ensure greater and more diverse participation in the state-licensed cannabis industry. The measures establish a Social Equity Program that authorizes the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to issue additional marijuana retail licenses, with priority given to applicants who represent communities of color.
Update: HB 2022 passed out of the House Committee on Appropriations with a majority vote on Friday, January 28th.
South Carolina: Medical Access Bill Advances
For the first time ever, the South Carolina State Senate has advanced medical cannabis access legislation, the bipartisan Compassionate Care Act. By a vote of nearly 2 to 1, members approved the measure, sending it for further debate in the House of Representatives. (Learn more.)
NORML’s Political Associate Jacob McMaster said, “While some of the more restrictive provisions in the Compassionate Care Act may not be entirely ideal, this is nonetheless a welcomed step forward for cannabis reform in South Carolina. The access provided by this program will greatly increase the quality of life for qualifying patients, providing a safe alternative to many of the addictive prescription medications currently in use.”
Maine: Legislation to Authorize Cannabis Delivery Services
LD 1827 authorizes marijuana retailers to deliver marijuana plants and adult-use marijuana products anywhere in the state.. Stores would have to get all delivery products from tier 1 cultivation facilities. Delivery would be allowed to any municipality in the state, whether or not that community has approved the operation of marijuana stores.
Update: This bill had a hearing on Friday, February 4th, 2022 where it was voted on with a divided report, which includes majority and minority reports on the bill but are not yet available.
Iowa: Allow Government-Funded Care Facilities to Administer Medical CBD
Legislation has been introduced, Senate Concurrent Resolution 102 (formerly SCR 101), urging the DEA to allow for the possession and administration of medical cannabidiol at educational and long-term care facilities without those policies resulting in a consequential loss of federal funding. As of 2021, Iowa’s medical CBD program has nearly 8,000 registered patients who rely on the medicinal properties of cannabidiol.
Update: This legislation had a hearing on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 where it passed 13 to 2. The bill now advances to the next step in the process.
Illinois: Expand Access to Limited Personal Cultivation of Marijuana
Legislation is pending in Illinois, House Bill 4799, to allow Illinois adults to cultivate cannabis plants with a limit of 5 plants over 5 inches tall per household. It would also allow those individuals to purchase cannabis seeds from a licensed dispensary.
Current law restricts this access to registered, qualifying medical marijuana patients in the state, and penalizes the cultivation of up to 5 plants by non medical patients with a fine of $200.
Update: This bill is scheduled for a hearing on Wednesday, February 16th, 2022.
Hawaii: Medical Marijuana Efforts
Legislation is pending in Hawaii, House Bill 2261, to authorize a non-registered qualifying patient to engage in the medical use of cannabis for a period of one year from the date of the issuance of a medical provider’s certification letter.
Update: This bill had a hearing on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 where it was deferred to an unspecified time in the future.
Senate Bill 2718 aims to amend the definition of “qualifying patient” in order to make it easier for seniors – anyone age 65 or older – to access the state’s established medical cannabis program.
Update: SB 2718 was heard on Monday, February 7th, 2022 where it was deferred until Monday, February 14th, 2022.
House Bill 2053 authorizes medical cannabis dispensaries to distribute cannabis propagules and cuttings to individuals authorized to cultivate cannabis plants for medical use.
Update: HB 2053 was heard on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 and was passed unanimously.
NORML Opposes the following legislation to restrict the number of plants a patient can cultivate at home.
Current state law allows for doctors to make recommendations regarding the number of plants a patient may cultivate based on their individual medical needs.
Legislation has been recently filed, Senate Bill 116, to restrict this ability. This would severely limit a patient’s ability to maintain an adequate supply of medicine.
Update: This legislation had a hearing on Friday, February 4th, 2022 where it passed unanimously. The bill now advances to the Senate floor.
Legislation is currently pending in Iowa, Senate File 2225, to reduce the penalty for the possession of five grams or less of marijuana to a simple misdemeanor, punishable by up to an $855 fine or 30 days in jail. Current state law criminalizes any amount of possession as a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If passed, the bill would exclude minor possession offenders from facing stricter penalties for subsequent offenses.
Legislation is currently pending in Iowa, Senate Bill 3112, to allow schools and long-term care facilities to administer medical CBD to registered qualifying patients. If passed, the bill would permit the state to issue a medical cannabidiol registration card to educational institutions and long-term care facilities.
Update: This legislation was referred to a subcommittee which has recommended its passage.
Legislation is currently pending in Iowa, House File 2307, to allow medical dispensaries to provide combustible dry flower to qualified adult medical patients.
Legislation is pending in Colorado, House Bill 1152, to prohibit employers from taking adverse action against an employee, including an applicant for employment, who engages in the use of marijuana while away from the workplace. The measure also includes language that would accommodate qualified patients to use their medicine during work hours in certain circumstances.
Current state law allows employers to enforce policies that sanction employees for any past cannabis exposure, regardless of whether or not an employee is under the influence. ,