Weekly Legislative Roundup 10/19/18
Some news from across the border to start off, this week Canada became the second nation to explicitly legalize the social use, possession, cultivation, and retail production and sale of cannabis. The new law will also include pardons of all criminal possession charges of less than 30 grams.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is seeking public comments specific to whether changes ought to be recommended regarding the international classification of cannabis as a controlled substance. Members of the public have until October 31, 2018 to submit their comments to the FDA for consideration. They’ve already gotten at least 2,000 submissions.
In Congress this week, the Senate bill to encourage the Department of Veterans affairs to study medical cannabis (VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act) got one new cosponsor, for a total of six.
The House bill to increase military veterans’ access to medical cannabis (Veterans Equal Access Act) got one new cosponsor, for a total of 29.
At the state level, four New York Assembly committees held a joint hearing in Manhattan on marijuana legalization proposals.
Utah Democratic lawmakers will hold a town hall meeting on medical cannabis next Wednesday 10/24. They’ll discuss the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, Proposition 2, and the medical cannabis landscape more broadly.
Rhode Island regulators added autism spectrum disorders as medical cannabis qualifying conditions, and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation into law prohibiting marijuana-infused alcoholic beverages.
At a more local level, the mayor of Ocean Springs, Mississippi is helping to collect signatures for the state’s proposed 2020 medical cannabis ballot measure.
A draft Seattle, Washington 2019 legislative agenda says the city supports state legislation to allow marijuana delivery services and cannabis vaping lounges, as well as expunging misdemeanor convictions.
Following are the bills that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.
Penalize States that Maintain Criminalization: The Marijuana Justice Act would (1) remove marijuana from the US Controlled Substances Act, thereby ending the federal criminalization of cannabis; (2) incentivize states to mitigate existing and ongoing racial disparities in state-level marijuana arrests; (3) expunge federal convictions specific to marijuana possession; (4) allow individuals currently serving time in federal prison for marijuana-related violations to petition the court for resentencing; (5) and create a community reinvestment fund to invest in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
A4510 seeks to create a state bank to provide financial services to licensed marijuana business operating in accordance with state law.
The measure would permit the bank to make loans to, and accept deposits from, any marijuana-related business. Currently, many financial institutions are discouraged from interacting with the cannabis industry because of the plant’s illegal federal status.
That’s all for this week!