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.
Georgia: Legislation that would increase participation in Georgia’s medical cannabis program in an effort to resolve lawsuits filed by losing bidders sailed through the state House of Representatives Monday.
House Bill 196, which passed 170-2, would increase the number of medical cannabis production licenses the state awards to 15, up from the current six. That would allow the nine companies that went to court after they were denied licenses a new opportunity to compete. The bill also would allow the commission to increase the number of dispensaries that sell medical cannabis as the number of Georgia patients eligible for cannabis oil increases. For every 5,000 patients added to the state registry, an additional Class 2 license could be awarded. An additional Class 1 license would be authorized for every 10,000 additional patients.
The bill now moves to the state Senate.
Indiana: House Bill 1248 and Senate Bill 336 seek to establish a regulated market for the adult-use of cannabis in the state of Indiana. If passed, this bill would allow adults to posses up to 4 ounces of dried cannabis flower, 25 mg of concentrates and cultivate up to four plants in their home. There are also provision of equity in licensing.
Senate Bill 0308 seeks to permits adults 21 years and older to possess cannabis. The bill allows adults to purchase one ounce of cannabis or five grams of cannabis concentrate per day, with home delivery being allowed. Additionally there are licensing equity provisions for those that are minorities or veterans.
Senate Bill 377 seeks to permit the use of cannabis by people at least 21 years of age, or someone with a medical condition and a referral from their physician. Adults would be able to possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis flower. Patients cannot cultivate more than six (6) plants, and cannabis from the plant can be used only for the patient’s personal use.
Kentucky: Legislation calling for state regulation of hemp-derived delta-8 THC products won overwhelming passage in the Kentucky House last Thursday. House Bill 544 cleared the House on a 97-0 vote to advance to the Senate. The vote was praised by the U.S. Hemp Roundtable, a national advocacy group for the hemp industry. The measure sets guidelines for those regulations — including banning the sale of delta-8 products to anyone younger than 21. Those guidelines also call for keeping the products behind retail counters and requiring that the ingredients be clearly shown on product labels.
Texas: A Texas House of Representatives legislative panel this week unanimously approved a bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The measure, House Bill 218, was approved by the House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee with a vote of 9-0 on Tuesday.
If passed, the legislation would remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or cannabis concentrate. Such possession would be reclassified as a Class C misdemeanor, a citable offense not subject to arrest and carrying a fine of up to $500.
Delaware: Delaware lawmakers took another step towards legalizing recreational marijuana sales Thursday afternoon. State representatives voted 27 to 13 in favor of a bill that would create the framework for the state’s marijuana marketplace and tax structure.
The vote came just two days after House members passed legislation legalizing personal use and possession of small amounts of marijuana. According to the bill’s synopsis, the Delaware Marijuana Control Act “regulates and taxes marijuana for recreational use in much the same manner as alcohol.” That includes licensing for approved sellers, restrictions on sales to minors, and restrictions on driving while under the influence.
It would create 30 retail store licenses. Fifteen of those would be reserved for “social equity applicants,” defined in the legislation as someone who has lived for at least five years in an area “disproportionately impacted” by the state’s enforcement of marijuana laws. Social equity applicants would also include anyone convicted for marijuana-related offenses, with some exceptions.
Hawaii: Last tuesday, the Hawaii Senate voted in favor (22-3) of SB 669, a cannabis legalization bill sponsored by Sen. Stanley Chang (D), Sen. Jarrett Keohokalole (D), Sen. Angus McKelvey (D), and Sen. Joy San Buenaventura (D). f enacted, SB 669 would legalize possession of 30 grams, reduce penalties for unlicensed cultivation and sales, allow adults to cultivate no more than six plants within their residence, and expunge records for possession and gifting of cannabis of 30 grams. Additionally, the bill would establish a Hawaii Cannabis Authority and require medical licensees to present a medical preservation plan before they are allowed to convert to dual use businesses. You can check out a summary of the latest version of SB 669 here.
SB 669 will now proceed to the House where there will be more opportunities for improvements to be made. If passed, SB 669 would legalize the possession, transfer and transportation of up to 30 grams (about one ounce) of cannabis by adults aged 21 and older. The legislation also legalizes the home cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, including not more than three mature, flowering plants. The bill also has provisions allowing for the expungement of some marijuana-related convictions and reduces the penalties for unlicensed cannabis cultivation and sales.
Minnesota: A bill to legalize marijuana in Minnesota has been approved in its 12th House committee, with more still to come as a Senate companion version also continues to advance.
The House Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee passed the legislation from Rep. Zack Stephenson (D) in a 7-5 vote on Wednesday. Last week, the companion bill from Sen. Lindsey Port (D) advanced through a ninth committee in that chamber. The next stop for the bill is the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee. Gifting up to two ounces of marijuana without remuneration between adults would be permitted.
It would promote social equity, in part by ensuring that diverse licensing by scoring equity applicants higher. Prior marijuana records would also be automatically expunged. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension would be responsible for identifying people who are eligible for relief and process the expungements. In addition to creating a system of licensed cannabis businesses, municipalities and counties could own and operate government dispensaries.
Oklahoma: Oklahoma voters on Tuesday rejected the legalization of recreational marijuana, following a late blitz of opposition from faith leaders, law enforcement and prosecutors.
Oklahoma would have become the 22nd state to legalize adult use of cannabis and join conservative states like Montana and Missouri that have approved similar proposals in recent years. Many conservative states have also rejected the idea, including Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota last year.
Pennsylvania: A few bills going through Harrisburg call for the recreational use of marijuana in the state, but how it would be sold is something that will be up for debate.
One bill proposes selling recreational marijuana in state stores, but advocates for cannabis say this is a plan they can’t get behind. As many bills are circulating about whether Pennsylvania should legalize the recreational use of marijuana and how to do so, a House representative introduced a co-sponsorship memorandum suggesting legalizing it for adult use through the Pa. state store system.
Pa. House Rep. David Delloso of Delaware County proposed the legislation as a way to not only legalize recreational marijuana in Pa., but also expunge low level cannabis convictions and permit people to grow it. He stated if this type of legislation were to pass it would free law enforcement to focus on community issues and reduce the racial disparity in the criminal justice system related to cannabis convictions. This will be the third time this particular legislation is introduced and Rep. Delloso is hopeful that this time around the bill is passed.
South Dakota: By a vote of 36 to 32, Senate Bill 1 passed through the South Dakota House of Representatives on Monday.
This potential expanded access comes 853 days after South Dakotans voted to make medical marijuana legal in the state. South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws has been advocating for this bill along its path through the legislature. Those afflicted with cancer, epilepsy, MS, ALS, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, aids, and HIV would be eligible for medical marijuana cards if the bill competes it’s journey into becoming law.
Illinois: Illinois regulators have extended the deadline for craft cannabis growers to have their operations up and running.
The operational extension for 2021 license holders has been pushed from March 1, 2023, to Feb. 1. 2024, the state Department of Agriculture announced in a news release. The extension for 2022 license holders was extended to Dec. 1, 2024.
Operators will have to show “good cause” for such extensions, which have been granted over the years for a variety of factors including COVID-19 impacts and supply-chain issues.
Maryland: The Maryland House voted Friday for a measure that would create a legal framework and tax structure to enable recreational marijuana to be sold in stores as soon as July 1. The House voted 103-32 for the bill, sending it to the Senate, which is moving forward with a separate measure.
Although Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment in November to legalize recreational marijuana, lawmakers left details about implementation to be decided this session. The measure that passed Friday would enable existing medical cannabis dispensaries to have dual licenses to sell recreational marijuana.
Lawmakers also focused on including an equity component to allow new licenses to grow, process or dispense cannabis. Priority will be given to minority owners in communities that have been disproportionately negatively affected by past marijuana laws.