This week’s update highlights legislative developments in Delaware, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Massachusetts!
AB 2188, which protects the employment rights of cannabis consumers, heads to the assembly floor. The bill bans employers from denying jobs or firing employees based solely upon a positive drug test for inactive metabolites of THC.
House Bill 372, the Delaware Marijuana Control Act, provides for commercial production and sale of marijuana by state-licensed entities.
Update: On Thursday, the bill’s sponsor engaged in a procedural effort that allows the bill to be put back on the agenda at a later date. The House floor is now expected to address the issue again in June, after their break. Read more.
Complementary legislation, HB 371, depenalizing the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adults and allowing for adults to transfer cannabis among themselves within the possession limits and without remuneration, has passed both chambers and now awaits action from Democratic Gov. John Carney. A spokesman for the Governor has said that he will review the bill, but that the Governor remains largely opposed to legalization. He has until May 31 to act on it.
House Bill 137 provides reciprocity for out-of-state patients.
Update: HB 137 passed the House by a vote of 67 to 25. It passed out of the Senate committee and is scheduled to be debated on the Senate floor on May 23rd, 2022.
House Bill 774 facilitates the process for those seeking to have their past marijuana convictions expunged.
Update: HB 774 passed the House floor by a vote of 78 to 19. It now advances to the Senate.
House Bill 988 offers employment protections to patients who lawfully consume medical marijuana while away from their jobs. This provision does not alter existing law regarding the consumption of cannabis while at work, which is strictly prohibited.
Update: HB 988 was passed unanimously by members of the House Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations, where it was amended. It now advances to the House floor.
Senate Bill 2823 outlines social equity provisions for the state’s cannabis industry as well as expectations for the establishment of new businesses. If passed, the bill would mandate that a portion of retail profits from social equity marijuana businesses be reinvested in the community that the business serves. It also requires that host communities encourage local individuals that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and enforcement to participate in the industry.
Update: SB 2823 has passed the House (153 to 2) and the Senate (39 to 0). It now heads to the Governor’s desk.
Currently under state law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of cannabis, but no limits on detectable levels have been established as they do not indicate an individual’s level of impairment. THC may be detectable in an individual for periods of time extending beyond any reasonable period where they could be considered ‘under the influence’ of THC.
NORML opposes legislation, Senate Bill 2616, to impose arbitrary ‘per se’ limits for those who operate a motor vehicle with trace levels of THC in their blood– regardless of whether they are behaviorally impaired.
Legislation is pending, S 9218, which seeks to provide reciprocity between New York’s medical cannabis program and those of other states. It also seeks to promulgate regulations for the approval of pre-roll products in New York’s medical cannabis program.
If passed, those who are not a New York state resident but are medical cannabis patients in their home state may purchase and possess medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in accordance with local laws and regulations.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 9217, to allow for the personal cultivation of cannabis in licensed facilities by individuals who can lawfully cultivate and consume cannabis under state law.
If passed, this bill would ensure that individuals lacking a residence suitable for cannabis cultivation, such as urban community dwellers, still have an opportunity to exercise their right for personal cultivation in a safe setting. Under current law, the personal cultivation of cannabis is limited to an individual’s private residence.
Current law in Rhode Island penalizes possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by a person age 18 years or older as a civil violation, punishable by a $150 fine.
The Act would allow adult Rhode Islanders age 21 and up to possess, home-cultivate, and purchase limited amounts of cannabis. It also facilitates the automatic review and expungement of past criminal records. The Act also includes provisions for re-investing tax revenue from cannabis sales into those communities that were previously most harmed by prohibition, as well as programs to aid social equity applicants seeking to enter the market.
Update: S 2430 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 9 to 1. H 7593 passed the House Finance Committee by a vote of 12 to 2. Both bills were amended and advanced to their chamber’s floors. S 2430 is currently scheduled to be debated on the Senate floor on May 24th, 2022.