Latest Cannabis News: January 5, 2021

Latest Cannabis News: January 5, 2021

Demi
JANUARY 6TH, 2021

Stay up to date with the latest legalization and cannabis news with the CB Advisors. Every week, we will release a snippet of what’s happening with each state in the cannabis industry. Did you miss last week? No worries – click here for last week’s cannabis news.

Dry:

Idaho: Idaho Citizens Coalition is an activist group currently pushing for the legalization of both medical and recreational marijuana use in 2022. They are already preparing to launch an initiative and are asking for the support of registered voters as they await approval to begin collecting signature online.
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CBD:

Alabama: State Senator Tim Melson plans to re-introduce a bill that would allow residents to possess and use medical cannabis under strict regulations. This proposed bill would allow licensed individuals to cultivate, possess, dispense, and transport marijuana. This bill would also propose to create a new board.
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Indiana: There are currently two marijuana efforts being pushed in Indiana. The first Medical Marijuana Effort under House Bill 1026 would allow anyone with a serious medical condition as determined by a physician to purchase up to one ounce of marijuana from state-licensed outlets and cultivate up to six (up to 3 mature) marijuana plants for therapeutic use. The second effort to Decriminalize Marijuana under House Bill 1028 would decriminalize possession for adults with up to 30 grams of marijuana and/or five grams of hashish.
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Kentucky: There are no guarantee Kentucky lawmakers will pass a bill to legalize medical marijuana during the 2021 session that began Tuesday afternoon, but Republican legislative leaders have dismissed a proposal by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear to use it as a revenue generator. State Senate President Robert Stivers and House Speaker David Osborne appeared on KET’s Kentucky Tonight on Monday, along with Democratic legislative leaders, to preview the 30-day session. One of the issues that came up was medical marijuana, which passed the House by a 65-30 margin last year but never got even a committee hearing in the Senate last year.
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Texas: Five years after Texas legalized medical marijuana for people with debilitating illnesses, advocates and industry experts say the state’s strict rules, red tape and burdensome barriers to entry have left the program largely inaccessible to those it was intended to help. Texas lawmakers see an opportunity to fix the state’s medical cannabis program, known as the Compassionate Use Program, by further expanding eligibility and loosening some restrictions so Texas’ laws more closely resemble those of other states that allow the treatment.
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Wisconsin: Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers says cannabis legalization could boost tax revenue for his state as a way to offset struggles brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. The prospect of adult use is up for consideration in Wisconsin’ 2021 budget proposal, but nothing has been decided so far.
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Medical:

Arkansas: River Valley Relief LLC, a licenses cultivator in Fort Smith, is suing the Arkansas medical marijuana commission after the last zone 4 dispensary license was given to 3J investments for a dispensary in Johnson County city of Lamar. River Valley Relief LLC was the 5th highest scoring applicant and 3J investments was the 6th highest scoring applicant. The reason River Valley allegedly did not receive the license is because the business was deemed “dissolved” making them ineligible for the zone 4 dispensary license. It is now being discussed if more dispensary licenses should be given out in Fort Smith.
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Florida: Senator Jeff Brandes passed a new legislation, SB 214, minimizing the required 2 annual examinations patients would need to receive by a state-certified medical marijuana physician down to only 1 annual examination. Also under this bill, disabled veterans would only be subject to biennial exams. The measure will also increase the maximum supply of cannabis that doctors can prescribe, to 350 days, up from the current seven months.
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Maryland: There are currently two effort to expand and legalize marijuana in Maryland. Legislation is pending to legalize marijuana under House bill 32 which would allow adults 21 and older to use and possess cannabis and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. The measure includes automatic expungement for marijuana offenses, home delivery, and on-site (social use) consumption establishments.

Another legislation is also pending for the expansion of the state’s marijuana decriminalization law under House Bill 324. The bill would amend penalties so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is classified as a civil rather than a criminal offense. Under current law, the possession of more than ten grams of marijuana is a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.
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Minnesota: The push to fully legalize marijuana in Minnesota will be up for debate again this legislative session. The issue has gained momentum in the last month, with the House of Representatives passing federal legislation. It still faces opposition in the Senate. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler says he worked with state agencies when drafting the original bill and will continue to push for its hearing and passage. The legislative session is scheduled to begin Jan. 5.
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Missouri: A Missouri lawmaker wants to legalize recreational marijuana in hopes of bringing more revenue to the state and getting rid of the black market. Lawmakers are returning to Capitol later this week to kick off the 2021 legislative session. For the first time ever, a Missouri Republican representative is pushing to legalize recreational marijuana. If it passes, it would even clear the records of those with previous marijuana charges. The 101st General Assembly starts Wednesday.
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New Mexico: A state district judge in New Mexico has ruled that inmates and parolees have a right to use medical marijuana and that correctional institutions must provide access to cannabis to qualified patients, even if they are behind bars.
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New York: New York lawmakers representing nearly a third of the state Senate on Tuesday prefiled a bill to legalize marijuana. Sen. Liz Krueger and 18 cosponsors filed the legislation, which is identical to a bill she sponsored last year and has now been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. It would make it so adults 21 and older would be able to purchase cannabis and cultivate up to six plants for personal use. The push to legalize in New York could also be bolstered by the fact that voters in neighboring New Jersey approved a legalization referendum in November.
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Utah: Under previous law, physicians could recommend the use of cannabis without registering as a qualified medical provider (QMP). Lawmakers want to continue this provision, allowing doctors to continue without the online training. By doing so, lawmakers say they believe it will eliminate one of the biggest hurdles with the current program. Lawmakers plan to present the bill during the 2021 general session, which would allow any doctor to recommend medical marijuana to a maximum of 15 patients.
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Recreational:

California: The state is planning on merging their three regulatory agencies into one, “The Department of Cannabis Control” in 2021. This merge will help businesses more easily navigate regulatory issues as a common complaint was conflicting answers to policy questions and interpretations of state rules from different agency officials. This will allow for a simplification of the complex licensing process. Hundreds more licenses will be issues in LA alone in 2021.
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Michigan: The Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency issued a bulletin that offers guidelines “for the submission and approval of a marijuana-infused beverage.” The new guidelines include rules such that Cannabis-infused drinks can only be sold at MRA-licensed facilities, where alcohol is not allowed. Marijuana-infused beverages must also be shelf-stable and should be produced to ensure it is safe for ingestion and consistent in production. A stricter rule under these new guidelines is that processing facilities producing cannabis-infused beverages must be in the process of receiving Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification. We can expect to see cannabis-infused nonalcoholic beverage appear in Michigan soon.

In other news, the new House Bill 5085 signed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer will allow veterinarians to consult with pet owners about the use of marijuana and industrial hemp for their animals. This sponsored bill by Rep. Greg Markkanen, opens the way for veterinarians to ask pet owners about exposure to marijuana in their animals and to consider the use of THC and CBD products.
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