Weekly Legislative Roundup 1/11/19

By | January 11, 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

As the first full week of the 116th Congress comes to a close, we have another new federal bill introduced by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). HR 420 (yes, you read that right): The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

Also, the rollout of the new leadership team of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus was announced. Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and David Joyce (R-OH) are joining founding members Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Don Young (R-AK).

At the state level, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington launched a new program and began granting pardons to those with past criminal misdemeanor marijuana-related convictions on their record.

At a more local level, the commonwealth attorney of Norfolk, Virginia will stop prosecuting all misdemeanor cannabis possession cases. And Dayton, Ohio completely decriminalized cannabis possession, as the city commission decided to eliminate the existing $150 possession fine.

Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check NORML’s Action Center for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.

Your Highness,
Carly

Priority Alerts

Regulate Like Alcohol: The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2019 — (HR 420) seeks to deschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

Click here to email your Representative and urge them to support this important legislation

North Dakota

Rep. Shannon Roers Jones (R) introduced legislation, House Bill 1155, to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.

The measure would impose a civil penalty of $200 for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, as well as for the cultivation of up to two marijuana plants.

ND resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 2134, to permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

The measure would permit patients to grow up to nine cannabis plants in a locked, enclosed facility, and to possess up to three ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

Update: SB 2134 will be heard by the Judiciary Committee on 1/16/19 at 10:30am.

ND resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of home cultivation

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1272, to expand access to medical cannabis in North Dakota.

The proposed changes are:

  • Allowing providers to recommend medical cannabis to those diagnosed with Anorexia, bulimia, anxiety, Tourette syndrome, autism, or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome;
  • Allowing physician assistants and naturopaths to recommend medical cannabis to their patients;
  • And allowing for out-of-state medical marijuana cardholders to access medical cannabis while visiting North Dakota.

A separate provision of the bill seeks to eliminate the option for patients to inhale herbal cannabis for therapeutic purposes. NORML opposes this provision.

Update: HB 1272 will be heard by the Human Services Committee on 1/14 at 9:15am.

ND resident? Click here to email your lawmakers and urge them to amend this bill

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, House Bill 399, to permit those convicted of past marijuana offenses to seek an expungement of their criminal records.

If passed, HB 399 would allow individuals to file a petition with the court requesting that the court annul any past marijuana violations involving the possession of up to ¾ of an ounce of marijuana. Lawmakers decriminalized minor marijuana possession offenses in 2017.

Update: The Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hold an executive session for HB 399 on 1/17 at 11am.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of expungement

Legislation is pending, House Bill 364, to permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

The measure would permit patients to grow up to two mature plants and 12 seedings, and to possess up to six ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

Update: The Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee is holding a public hearing on HB 364 on 1/15 at 2pm.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of home cultivation

Legislation is pending, House Bill 366, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid addiction, misuse, or abuse.

Update: The Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee is holding a public hearing on HB 366 on 1/17 at 2:30pm.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of cannabis as an alternative to opioids

Legislation is pending, House Bill 350, to expand medical cannabis access.

The measure expands the pool of medical professionals who are eligible to recommend medical cannabis by permitting physician assistants to issue recommendations to their patients.

Update: The Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee is holding a public hearing on HB 350 on 1/16 at 11am.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Legislation is pending, House Bill 335, to expand access to medical cannabis in New Hampshire.

The measure would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to authorize additional dispensary licenses in certain geographic areas of the state. Under existing law, only a handful of licensed dispensaries are permitted in the state. This means that some patients must travel long distances and pay exorbitant prices to obtain their medicine.

Update: The Health, Human Services, and Elderly Affairs Committee is holding a public hearing on HB 399 on 1/15 at 1pm.

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of additional dispensaries

Kentucky

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 80, to legalize the use, possession, cultivation, and retail sale of cannabis for adults.

The measure would allow adults to possess up to one ounce of cannabis, and cultivate up to 6 mature, and/or 6 immature plants.

KY resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of legalization

State Sen. Jimmy Higdon plans to file legislation in 2019 to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Under existing law, minor marijuana possession offenses are categorized as a criminal misdemeanor — punishable by up to 45 days in jail.

KY resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

Tennessee

Lawmakers will consider legislation in 2019 to allow qualified patients to access marijuana-infused products. While NORML believes this legislation is limited in scope, it is an important first step in legalizing and regulating medical cannabis access in Tennessee.

TN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical access

Virginia

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 1557, to expand the state’s low-THC medical cannabis oil program.

The measure would allow Virginia’s licensed practitioners to recommend and pharmaceutical processors to dispense full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis oil. Under existing state law, medical cannabis oil may contain no more than five percent THC, greatly restricting its therapeutic potential and medical efficacy.

VA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Georgia

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 10, to reduce the penalty for minor marijuana possession offenses.

Under this proposed measure, the possession of up to one half ounce of marijuana would be reduced from an offense punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000 to an offense punishable by a maximum fine of $300. However, the offense would still remain classified as a criminal misdemeanor.

GA resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of penalty reductions

Colorado

Legislation is pending in Colorado that would expand the pool of individuals eligible for medical cannabis.

Senate Bill 19-013 would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy for any condition for which an opiate would otherwise be prescribed.

House Bill 19-1028 would permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

CO resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

New York

Legislation is pending, S. 490, to allow qualified patients the option to inhale herbal cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

NY resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of herbal medical cannabis inhalation

Legislation is pending, S 219, to explicitly permit children and developmentally disabled individuals with serious conditions for which medical marijuana has been recommended to have their medicine administered at schools and other facilities, and require school districts and facilities to create policies for medical marijuana administration.

NY resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of allowing medical cannabis in schools

New Mexico

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 204, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.

The measure permits children with serious conditions for which medical marijuana has been recommended to have their medicine administered to them while on school property.

NM resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of allowing medical cannabis in schools

Indiana

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1130, to protect out-of-state patients who possess medical cannabis while visiting Indiana.

Under this measure, patients who are registered to use medical cannabis in those 33 jurisdictions that permit it may legally bring up to 30 grams of their medicine with them while visiting Indiana.

IN resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of protecting out of state patients

Other Actions to Take

Missouri

Legislation is pending, House Bill 440 / Senate Bill 2, to facilitate equity among those licensed to operate in the medical cannabis industry.

The measure would require the Department of Health and Senior Services to prioritize licensing applications submitted by women and minority owned business applicants.

MO resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of equity within the industry

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, House Bill 459, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

The measure seeks to “establish policy and procedures for growing industrial hemp in new Hampshire so that farmers and other businesses in the New Hampshire agricultural industry can take advantage of this market opportunity.”

NH resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp

South Carolina

Legislation is pending, H 3449, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with new federal hemp regulations.

SC resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp

Connecticut

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 8, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.

The measure seeks to “legalize the production of industrial hemp in the state and to establish rules for such production.”

CT resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp

North Dakota

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1349, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with new federal hemp regulations.

ND resident? Click here to email your lawmakers in support of industrial hemp

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2019/01/11/weekly-legislative-roundup-1-11-19/

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