Stay up to date with the latest legalization and cannabis news with the C.B. 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.
Kansas: Kansas lawmakers on Thursday voted to form a dedicated committee to work on medical marijuana issues this summer in the hopes that reform legislation will be ready to pass when the legislature returns for business early in 2023.
The bicameral Legislative Coordinating Council voted to create several committees for various issues, including one that will focus on medical cannabis. The 2022 legislative session ended last month, leaving advocates disappointed that they could not get a bill to the governor’s desk despite considerable momentum over the past two years.
But a key Senate committee chairman said legislators would be working over the summer to prepare reform legislation for the 2023 session. And now, the House-Senate Council has formalized that plan by approving three days of panel discussions on medical marijuana this summer.
Nebraska: A federal judge gave the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Nebraska a second wind on Monday, siding with the activists in a lawsuit over the state’s signature-gathering requirements for ballot measures.
With about three weeks left before the July 7 deadline to turn in enough valid petitions to qualify a pair of reform measures for the ballot, U.S. District Judge Joh Gerrard issued a preliminary injunction against the state, barring officials from enforcing a requirement that activists collect signatures from a minimum of five percent of voters in at least 38 counties across the state.
Kentucky: Gov. Andy Beshear could potentially use his executive power to legalize medical marijuana. While that process is being sorted out, Beshear appointed members to the “Team Kentucky Medical Cannabis Advisory Committee,” meeting for the first time Monday.
This group will travel the state and hear directly from Kentuckians to understand how people throughout the state feel about medical marijuana.
There are 17 members on the committee, ranging from those in the criminal justice and medical field to parents of children who utilize medical marijuana.
North Carolina: North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed three bills into law yesterday, June 14, including one that legalizes FDA-approved THC medications. S.B. 448 outlines amendments to Schedule VI of the Controlled Substances Act that would allow prescription drugs containing marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinols, or THC, to be sold and used in North Carolina only if the FDA approves the drug. The House passed the bill Wednesday, June 8, with a vote of 92-9.
A separate bill, Senate Bill 711, passed by the Senate Monday, June 6, legalizing medical marijuana, could be dead on arrival in the House.
The Senate approved to legalize of the use of medical marijuana in the state under The Compassionate Care Act (S.B. 711), regardless of FDA approval. It lays out a system with a limited number of licensed producers, distributors who must be associated with those producers, and two boards to regulate the new arena made up of representatives from the law enforcement sector and the N.C. Department of Agriculture, plus the cannabis industry experts, doctors, and pharmacists, all appointed by N.C. lawmakers and the governor.
Mississippi: Starting July 1, Mississippi will officially have a medical marijuana program, more than a year and a half after the voters overwhelmingly approved it, only to be struck down in court months later. Senate Bill 2095 was primarily a response to that decision, enshrining medical marijuana legalization into state law.
More than two dozen conditions and symptoms — including cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism, and seizures — will allow Mississippians to qualify for a medical marijuana card.
The state Department of Health began accepting applications on June 1 through their online portal, and more than 1,800 people had registered for accounts in the first six days. Department officials also said it would likely be months before businesses are licensed to sell marijuana and have had enough time to grow and test their products. The Department of Revenue will begin reviewing business applications to operate as dispensaries on July 1.
California: Doctors and lawmakers in California want cannabis producers to warn consumers of this and other health risks on their packaging labels and in advertising, similar to requirements for cigarettes. They also want sellers to distribute health brochures to first-time customers outlining the risks cannabis poses to youths, drivers, and those who are pregnant, especially for pot that has high concentrations of THC, the chemical primarily responsible for marijuana’s mental effects.
Opponents of the proposed warning labels say the requirements are excessive and expensive, especially since marketing to children is already prohibited in California and people must be 21 to buy.
Illinois: An Illinois judge cleared the way for 88 craft marijuana growers to prepare to plant after reversing a restraining order he issued on behalf of a dozen cultivation applicants who lost cannabis license bids.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Stephen Balogh’s decision Wednesday to lift the restraining order effectively means the 88 social equity applicants can start prepping their businesses to join the legal adult-use marijuana supply chain.
The growers had been in limbo for weeks. Still, Balogh’s decision states that those would-be growers suing over the licensing process must follow a new administrative review law protocol to challenge the outcomes rather than suing.
Montana: The Michigan House of Representatives Regulatory Reform Committee heard testimony on Tuesday about allowing people as young as 18 to work in the marijuana industry.
Right now, recreational dispensaries and grow facilities workers need to be 21 years old or older. State Rep. Kevin Coleman, a Westland Democrat, wants to change that.
“People have to be 21 to work in cannabis, and that doesn’t matter if it is on the science aspect, cultivation, marketing, sales, so House Bill 6061 is simple, what it does is it would lower the age from 21 to 18,” Rep. Coleman said during his testimony.
Coleman argued that since there is such a shortage of workers in the industry, lowering the acceptable age will help businesses. Plus, it’ll help kick start the careers of younger people who want to work with marijuana.
New York: On June 8, 2022, the New York Office of Cannabis Management (OCM), under its authority under the New York Cannabis Law, proposed additions to Title 9 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations that would regulate the home cultivation of cannabis for certified medical cannabis patients (the Proposed Regulations). The proposed legislation seeks to advance patient access to cannabis while also delineating minimum safety standards for such access. Interested parties may submit comments on the Proposed Regulations until July 23, 2022, after which they will become effective upon publication of a Notice of Adoption in the State Register.
The Proposed Regulations apply only to certified medical patients, not to the general public. The OCM will be issuing regulations relating to the personal cultivation of cannabis for regular consumers no later than 18 months after the first authorized retail sale of cannabis. After that, persons over 21 will be eligible to (i) store up to five pounds of cannabis in their private residences; and (ii) grow up to three mature and three immature cannabis plants at a time.