Marijuana reform legislation continues to advance in several states. This week’s update highlights legislative developments in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Texas.
Update: HB 286 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and is pending a vote.
House Bill 286 allows those with marijuana possession misdemeanor offense charges to file a motion for expungement of records ninety days after their conviction. First-time offenders may be exempt from the payment of processing fees.
Update: HB 460 awaits a vote by the Health and Welfare Committee.
House Bill 460 would allow current licensed medical marijuana pharmacies in regions with at least 3,500 active patients to apply for new locations as the patient population grows. If existing pharmacies do not apply to expand, this bill also provides more licenses to new upcoming medical marijuana pharmacies to support the population growth of active medical consumers. These new licensing regulations will provide a more equitable geographic distribution of marijuana pharmacies across the state.
Update: SB 3 was heard by the House Health Committee on 5/30/23, but members failed to take any further action.
Senate Bill 3, also known as the North Carolina Compassionate Care Act, creates a medical cannabis access and distribution program for authorized patients.
Update: SB 302 has crossed over and is awaiting to be heard by the Assembly.
SB 302 expands the existing Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act, or Ryan’s Law, to allow more patients in California healthcare facilities the option to use medical cannabis. The bill would expand current law, which protects only terminally ill patients, to include individuals of at least 65 years of age who struggle with a chronic disease.
Update: SB 285 awaits a hearing in the Business and Professions Committee, as well as the Committee on Governmental Organization.
Currently, cannabis retailers that provide spaces for their customers to consume cannabis are not permitted to prepare or sell non-cannabis food or beverages to be consumed on the premises. Senate Bill 285 authorizes a local jurisdiction to allow for the preparation or sale of non-cannabis food or beverage products, by a licensed retailer or microbusiness in the area where the consumption of cannabis is allowed.
Legislative Document 1880 allows cannabis social clubs to be established in Maine for residents over 21 years of age, as long as the cannabis products are being sold on site. Under the outlined regulations, these social clubs would be licensed to sell cannabis products and have cannabis consumption allowed on the property.
HF 100 was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz. Adult-use marijuana possession and home cultivation become legal on August 1, with licensed commercial sales expected in 12-18 months.
The newly enacted legislation 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.
House Bill 1071 was enacted into law absent the Governor’s signature.
The bill prohibits the odor of cannabis, the suspicion of the possession of cannabis, or the presence of money near cannabis from being probable cause to search a person’s vehicle.
Legislative Document 1646 sought to facilitate the expungement of certain marijuana-related convictions.
HB 1805 sought to amend the Texas Compassionate Use Program so that physicians may recommend certain products containing fixed levels of THC to patients with “a condition that causes chronic pain, for which a physician would otherwise prescribe an opioid,” among other changes to the law.
HB 218 sought to reduce the penalties for possession of 1 oz or less of cannabis flower or cannabis concentrates while also instructing officers to no longer make arrests for the possession of related paraphernalia.
House Bill 3652 sought to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis and cannabis products for those age 21 or older.