This week’s update highlights important legalization advancements in Delaware and in Pennsylvania as well as updates on several other important bills moving forward across the country.
Legislation is pending to expedite the expungement of the records of tens of thousands of Californians with past marijuana convictions. Assembly Bill 1706 (Bonta) gives the courts until January 1, 2023 to update their case records and transmit them to the DOJ, which maintains the state criminal history database and responds to background checks.
Update: AB 1706 passes unanimously out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee. It next heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
Legislation (HB 305) to regulate the adult-use cannabis market in Delaware failed today in the House of Representatives. Despite a majority of lawmakers who participated in the vote deciding in favor of the measure, it failed to garner the required 3/5 supermajority to advance to the Senate. (Because the measure also involves tax-related issues, it required support from 60 percent of lawmakers.)
Delaware NORML’s Executive Director, Laura Sharer, said: “I am outraged that the House of Representatives voted against the interests of a common sense, citizen-led movement supported by 61 percent of Delawareans. Our coalition has been working on this measure for nearly a decade, and there’s been majority support for this legislation the entire time.”
Legislation is currently pending , House Bill 4116, to protect cannabis consumers from employment discrimination. It mandates that an employer may not refuse to hire an individual or discipline an employee because results of an individual’s drug test indicate the presence of THC on the part of that individual.
Update: HB 4115 passed the House with a vote of 61 – 41. It now heads to the Senate.
HB 136 creates a medical cannabis program while also exempting cannabis medicine from taxation. Statewide polling data found that 90 percent of respondents favor allowing Kentuckians to legally obtain marijuana for medical use.
Update: The House Judiciary Committee voted to advance HB 136. It now heads to the House Floor.
Pennsylvania: Informal Hearing on Legalization Scheduled for Monday
Pennsylvania State Sen. Mike Regan, a Republican, is seeking co-sponsors for a bill to legalize the use of cannabis for those 21 and older and use projected revenue to fund State Police and community programs. The full proposal is outlined in this memo. Senator Regan will hold a hearing on this plan next week.
Watch the hearing on Monday, March 14th at 1 PM.
Lawmakers in conference committee have advanced a final version of SB 24 to Gov. Noem. The amended language of the bill permits qualified patients to home cultivate up to four cannabis plants (two mature, two immature) for their own personal medical use.
It is imperative that the home cultivation language be kept in the legislation!
Send a message to Governor Noem requesting they maintain patients’ home-cultivation rights!
Legislation is currently pending, Senate File 3857, to amend the definition of a small amount of marijuana and authorize expungements in certain instances.
Under current law, possession of a “small amount” of marijuana of 42.5 grams or less is a petty misdemeanor and requires participation in a drug education program. If passed, non-flower marijuana mixtures weighing eight grams or less would not be considered in determining the 42.5 gram limit and would remove the requirement for participation in a drug education program. Those with marijuana convictions prior to August 1, 2021 may participate in an expungement process. The bill also facilitates the sealing of records and ends driver’s license revocations for persons who commit low-level marijuana offenses.
Legislation is pending to protect families and parents from discrimination based solely on medical cannabis use. Senate Bill 794 mandates that a “family court shall not prohibit a family court participant from participating in the state’s medical marijuana program, including as a term or condition of successful completion of the family court program.”
Update: SB 794 passed the Senate’s Seniors, Families, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee. It now advances to the Senate floor.
Tennessee passed a medical CBD law allowing for the use of cannabis extracts that are high in CBD and low in THC in instances where a physician has recommended such treatment to a patient with a state-qualifying condition.
House Joint Resolution 0472 seeks to propose an amendment to the state Constitution to establish a medical cannabis program. HB1747 adds quadriplegia as a qualifying medical condition for the lawful possession of cannabis oil.
Update: Both bills will be heard by the House Health Subcommittee on Tuesday, March 15 at noon.
Wyoming NORML is calling upon legislators to include medical cannabis as a study topic when creating interim committees. Joint interim committees study topics assigned by the Management Committee. Current state law only allows for the administration of medical cannabidiol containing less than 0.3 percent THC.