Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
This week, the Appropriations Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has for the first time included limited protections for cannabis businesses engaged in the legal marketplaces in 33 states.
Governor Steve Sisolak (D) of Nevada signed legislation into law that prohibits certain employers from refusing to hire a worker because he or she tested positive for cannabis, as well as legislation encouraging financial institutions to work with licensed marijuana businesses and to process financial transactions and separate legislation to allow industrial hemp production.
Governor Kate Brown (D) of Oregon signed legislation into law that prohibits landlords from arbitrarily refusing to provide housing access to an individual based solely on their status as a medical cannabis patient, or based solely on an individual’s prior cannabis conviction.
Governor John Bel Edwards (D) of Louisiana signed legislation into law to allow the production of industrial hemp and hemp-derived CBD products.
Nebraska activists are almost 1,400 signatures deep in hopes of qualifying a 2020 medical cannabis ballot initiative.
Connecticut physicians can now recommend medical cannabis to those with five additional conditions, after the Board of Physicians recommended adding interstitial cystitis; medial arcuate ligament syndrome, or MALS syndrome; and vulvodynia and vulvar burning; Tourette syndrome; and intractable neuropathic pain that is unresponsive to standard medical treatments.
Similarly, New Mexico’s Department of Health added Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder, Friedreich’s Ataxia, Lewy Body Disease, and Spinal muscular atrophy to the state’s list of medical cannabis qualifying conditions.
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 U.S. Congress. Another great way to stay up to date is Marijuana Moment’s daily newsletter, which you can subscribe to HERE.
Actions to Take
The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act would remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and to provide funding for the expungement of criminal records for those with past marijuana convictions.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 223, to allow medical cannabis to be administered to patients at school.
The measure permits a parent or guardian to administer medical cannabis to their child patient on school grounds in a non-smoking and non-vaping form.
Update: SB 223 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee on 6/19/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 34, which would exempt compassionate care programs from paying state cannabis taxes when they are providing free medical cannabis to financially disadvantaged people living with serious health conditions.
Update: SB 34 is scheduled for a hearing in the Assembly Business And Professions Committee on 6/11/2019 at 9:30am in the State Capitol, room 4202.
Lawmakers in Delaware are considering legislation, House Bill 110, to legalize and regulate adult marijuana use.
Update: HB 110 was approved by the House Revenue and Finance Committee on 6/5/19.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 358, to give qualified patients the option to inhale cannabis for medical purposes through vaporization.
Update: HB 358 was approved by the Senate on 6/3/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 507, to exempt “marijuana recommended for therapeutic use” from state and local sales and use taxes.
Update: HB 507 was approved by the Senate an House on 6/4/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 138, to remove hemp and “cannabidiol when contained in a drug product approved by the FDA,” from the list of controlled substances.
Update: HB 138 was approved by the Senate on 6/3/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 315, to amend the state’s existing industrial hemp law to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: S. 315 was approved by the Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources Committee on 6/6/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 57, to establish an industrial hemp pilot program to be in compliance with the new federal hemp regulations.
Update: SB 57 was heard and approved by the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee on 6/4/19.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, to expand upon Oregon’s expungement law.
The measure would direct the Department of Justice to automatically conduct a review of past misdemeanor cannabis convictions, and to “set aside” offenses that are no longer a crime under state law.
Update: SB 420 was approved by the House of Representatives on 6/3/19, and now heads to the governor’s desk.