Marijuana reform legislation continues to advance in several states. This week’s update highlights legislative developments in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Vermont
UPDATE: HF 100 passed the House 71 to 59. SF 73 passed the Senate 34 to 33. Lawmakers have resolved differences between House-backed and Senate-backed marijuana legalization measures. The finalized measure now goes back to both chambers for floor votes, which could take place as soon as today. Once re-approved by both chambers, the bill will be advanced to Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, who intends to sign it into law.
HF 100/SF73 permits adults to purchase (up to two ounces from state-licensed retailers, as well as lesser quantities of concentrates and/or edibles), home-cultivate (up to eight plants, no more than four of which can be mature), and possess cannabis (up to 2 pounds in private). The bill also facilitates the automatic review and expungement of records for those previously convicted of certain marijuana-related violations. On-site consumption will be allowed at certain permitted events. Municipal officials will be able to impose regulations regarding the total number of cannabis businesses and their locations, but they may not prohibit their operations.
Minnesota is poised to be the 23rd legal marijuana state.
UPDATE: SB 302 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously. It is now scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/18/23.
SB 302 expands the current law requiring specific types of healthcare facilities to allow for a terminally ill patient’s use of medicinal cannabis within the healthcare facility. The legislation expands the law to provide access to those patients at least 65 years of age who struggle with a chronic disease.
UPDATE: HB 270 has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate. It now awaits action from the Governor.
House Bill 270 increases the number of plants that patients may cultivate at home, allowing for six mature and 12 immature plants. The bill increases the maximum allowable THC content in a single edible cannabis product from 50 to 100 mg, increases the number of patients for whom a caregiver may provide services, and removes annual registration fees for qualifying caregivers.
UPDATE: SB 51 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee on 5/18/23.
SB 51 authorizes the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to issue a provisional retail license for local cannabis equity applicants for up to five years if the applicant meets the requirements of the Department.
UPDATE: HB 286 is scheduled for a hearing in the Criminal Justice Committee on 5/17/23.
House Bill 286 allows those with marijuana possession misdemeanor offense charges to file a motion for the expungement of their records ninety days following their conviction. First-time offenders would be exempt from processing fees.
UPDATE: HB 351 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Labor & Industry on 5/18/23.
House Bill 351 prevents qualified medical marijuana patients from being disqualified from workers’ compensation or from being denied unemployment compensation.
House Bill 232 redefines child neglect statutes so that parents’ use of cannabis is no longer considered to be prima facie evidence of a crime. The new law states, “Neglect does not include the use of cannabis by any parent or individual who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of the child unless, as a result of the use of cannabis: the child’s health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm, or the child has suffered mental injury or has been placed at substantial risk of mental injury.”
UPDATE: HB 639 and HB 360 were both previously passed members of the House of Representatives. However, they failed in the Senate, 14 to 10 largely along party lines, with all but one of the Senate Democrats voting ‘yes’ and all but one of the Senate Republicans voting ‘no.’ Both bills sought to legalize the adult use of marijuana and establish a state-licensed marketplace.
After the vote, Governor Sununu issued a statement saying reversing his past opposition to adult-use legalization, but indicating that he only supported a system that allows for the retail sale of cannabis products in state-run stores. He said: “NH is the only state in New England where recreational use is not legal. Knowing that a majority of our residents support legalization, it is reasonable to assume change is inevitable. To ignore this reality would be shortsighted and harmful. That is why, with the right policy and framework in place, I stand ready to sign a legalization bill that puts the State of NH in the drivers seat, focusing on harm reduction—not profits. Similar to our Liquor sales, this path helps to keep substances away from kids by ensuring the State of New Hampshire retains control of marketing, sales, and distribution—eliminating any need for additional taxes. As such, the bill that was defeated in NH this session was not the right path for our state.”