Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect

Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect

DOVER, DE — Legislation signed into law last June decriminalizing marijuana possession offenses took effect at midnight Friday.

House Bill 39 reclassifies the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis by those age 21 and over from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a criminal record, to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only — no arrest, and no criminal record.

Those between the ages of 18 and 21 may still face criminal charges, but only if it is their second or subsequent offense.

The new law…

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Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law to Take Effect Friday

Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Law to Take Effect Friday

Adult possession of a small amount of marijuana will become a civil violation punishable by a fine; Delaware will be the 19th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple possession

DOVER, DE — Marijuana decriminalization legislation adopted earlier this year in Delaware will officially take effect on Friday, making it the 19th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession. A 20th state, Missouri, has a similar law on the books that goes into effect in 2017.

“Delaware’s marijuana policy…

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NJ Senate to Hold Hearing on Bill to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients from Job Discrimination

NJ Senate to Hold Hearing on Bill to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients from Job Discrimination

Proposed Legislation Clarifies Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act Patient Protections

TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Legislature is poised to hold the first-ever hearing on legislation clarifying employment protections for medical marijuana patients.

The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 21st at 1PM in the New Jersey State House Annex Committee Room 1. The Legislation, Senate Bill 3162, is sponsored by Senator Nicholas Scutari (DMiddlesex/Somerset/Union) and Senator…

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Georgia Governor Says ‘No’ to Medical Cannabis Production

Georgia Governor Says ‘No’ to Medical Cannabis Production

Advocates: Gov. Deal should look at Medical Cannabis Facts

Last week Georgia Governor Nathan Deal fired a warning shot across the bow of the medical cannabis ship, a warning shot to law makers that he may veto any legislation allowing for in-state cultivation of cannabis for medical use.

This week the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis will host its final hearing to draft a proposal and recommendation to the governor and the general assembly. Over the past two years lawmakers have heard from stakeholders concerning the regulation of…

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New York Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

New York Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Patients and Families Applaud Gov. Cuomo and Call on Health Department to Implement Law Quickly and Get Medicine to Critically Ill Patients

NEW YORK, NY — After months of pressure from patients and advocates, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Wednesday that will expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients in the Empire State.

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the state to establish a program to help…

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Time is Running Out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

Time is Running Out for PA House to Act on Medical Marijuana

It has been almost six months since the Senate passed sensible medical cannabis legislation. Seriously ill patients have been suffering while waiting for the House to take action. They should not have to wait one more day.

HARRISBURG, PA — With very few session days remaining this year, Republican leadership in Pennsylvania still has not introduced medical marijuana legislation in the House. Early reports about the contents of the draft still raise serious concerns — including a 10% THC cap, an explicit prohibition on dried flowers and…

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Patients to Rally at New York Governor’s Office for Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Patients to Rally at New York Governor’s Office for Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana

Bill That Would Provide Faster Relief to Suffering Patients Passed NYS Legislature with Overwhelming Bipartisan Support But Needs Cuomo’s Signature to Become Law

NEW YORK, NY — One day before the deadline for Governor Cuomo to sign or veto a bill that would create emergency access to medical marijuana, patients and advocates will rally outside his office to demand action.

  • When: Tuesday, November 10th, 10:00 AM
  • Where: Outside Governor Cuomo’s NYC Offices; 633 Third Avenue, New York, NY

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not…

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New York: Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill Delivered to Governor’s Desk

New York: Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill Delivered to Governor’s Desk

Advocates: Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana and Four Children Have Died Waiting in the Past 15 Months; Cuomo Must Sign or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

ALBANY, NY — Friday, the New York State Assembly delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo a bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients.  Cuomo now has ten days to sign or veto the bill.

In June, with overwhelming bipartisan support, both houses of the legislature passed A.7060 (Gottfried) / S.5086 (Griffo), directing the…

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Illinois Governor Rejects Additional Medical Marijuana Conditions

Illinois Governor Rejects Additional Medical Marijuana Conditions

SPRINGFIELD, IL — Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill Thursday that would have allowed patients suffering from eleven different conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder, to qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program.

Other conditions that would have been added to the program included chronic post-surgical pain, osteoarthritis and irritable bowel syndrome. The addition of the qualifying conditions had been suggested by the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board earlier this year.

In his veto message, Rauner…

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Oregon Releases Draft Rules for Early Recreational Marijuana Sales

Oregon Releases Draft Rules for Early Recreational Marijuana Sales

SALEM, OR — Limited retail sales of marijuana to adults 21 or older will begin in Oregon on October 1, and this week the government agency that oversees medical marijuana sales in the state released proposed regulations for the early recreational marijuana sales.

Earlier this year, the Oregon legislature passed a measure , Senate Bill 460, to allow recreational marijuana sales to adults beginning October 1.  On Wednesday, the Oregon Health Authority, who oversees the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, issued draft regulations for the…

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Illinois Governor Sends Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to Lawmakers

Illinois Governor Sends Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to Lawmakers

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday issued an amendatory veto to House Bill 218, which seeks to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.

As initially approved by the legislature in May, HB 218 reduced personal use possession penalties (up to 15 grams) from a Class A criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $1,500 fine, and a criminal record, to a petty offense, punishable by a fine only (up to $125.00) – no arrest, and no criminal record.

Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto seeks to decrease the proposed possession limits from 15 grams to 10 grams, whole also seeking to raise fines to $200.00.

Governor Rauner also seeks to lower the state’s proposed per se THC/blood limit from 15ng/ml to 5ng/ml. Under present Illinois law, drivers with any detectable…

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Gov. Rauner’s Amendatory Veto Sends Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to General Assembly for Final Approval

Gov. Rauner’s Amendatory Veto Sends Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to General Assembly for Final Approval

State lawmakers have 15 days from next session date to approve the amended measure, which would make Illinois the 21st state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto Friday of a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amount of marijuana, sending it back to the General Assembly for final approval.

The General Assembly has 15 days from the next session date to approve the amended version of House Bill 218, which needs to receive a simple majority vote in the House and then the Senate to officially become law.

The original version, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23.

Gov….

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New York Announces Five Medical Marijuana Producers

New York Announces Five Medical Marijuana Producers

NEW YORK, NY — The New York State Department of Health (DOH) on Friday announced the five companies that have been awarded the coveted licenses to grow and dispense medical marijuana in New York.

The announcement came after a competitive bidding process through which forty-three industry groups contended for the five licenses.

The five companies awarded licences are PharmaCann LLC; Empire State Health Solutions LLC; Columbia Care NY LLC; Etain, LLC; and Bloomfield Industries Inc.

Each producer is restricted to opening only four dispensaries each, they will only be allowed to produce five strains or brands of medical marijuana, and all products must be in pill, oil or tincture form.

The price of the medicine will be set by the Commissioner of Health.

DOH has said that New York’s medical…

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Recreational Marijuana Sales to Begin October 1 in Oregon

Oregon will have the quickest start of lawful marijuana sales out of the four states that have approved legalization, doing so less than a year after voters approved Measure 91. The bill, Senate Bill 460, was overwhelmingly approved by the legislature at the beginning of July, as possession and limited cultivation of marijuana became legal for adults 21 and older with parts of 2014’s Measure 91 taking effect. The new law is intended to provide adults with legal access to marijuana…

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law Tuesday legislation allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in the state sell recreational cannabis to adults beginning October 1.

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NY Sen. Schumer Throws Weight Behind Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

NY Sen. Schumer Throws Weight Behind Federal Medical Marijuana Bill

Senator Schumer Joins NY Senator Gillibrand in Sponsoring the CARERS Act, a Bill that Would End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana

NEW YORK, NY — New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added his name to the Senate’s sweeping medical marijuana bill on Tuesday.

The CARERS Act, introduced in March by Senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Booker (D-NJ), and Paul (R-KY) would end federal prohibition of medical marijuana, and remove barriers for research, veterans, and banking.

The move comes just days before New York State is expected to announce the names of five companies that will be allowed to produce medical marijuana in New York. New York’s medical marijuana is expected to become fully operational in January 2016.

New York patients have expressed their gratitude for Senator Schumer’s…

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Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Law Falls Short

Georgia’s Medical Marijuana Law Falls Short

ATLANTA, GA — While some patients in Georgia have benefited from the new low-THC / high-CBD law, others are no closer to medical access than before the law was enacted. Better legislation is needed.

It was reported last week that just over 50 patients have registered and received a medical marijuana card which provides some immunity from prosecution for some patients, while other patients are having difficulty getting access.

According to public reports to Georgia C.A.R.E. Project, patients who qualify under the new law say their doctors are refusing to participate in the program leaving them searching for help. Some doctors have even threatened their patients with denial of medical services if the patient test positive for cannabis.

According to Georgia C.A.R.E. director James Bell,…

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Senate Appropriations Committee Allows Marijuana Legalization to Move Forward in Nation’s Capital

Senate Appropriations Committee Allows Marijuana Legalization to Move Forward in Nation’s Capital

Also Votes to Allow Banks to Provide Services to State-Legalized Marijuana Stores

WASHINGTON, DC — A key Senate committee passed a bill today allowing the nation’s capital to establish regulated marijuana stores and to let banks provide financial services to state-legalized marijuana dispensaries.

These are just two of several marijuana reforms advancing in Congress.  Meanwhile, sentencing reform is gaining steam, and the U.S. is shifting towards treating drug use as a health issue instead of a criminal justice issue.

“The stage has been set to end the federal government’s failed war on marijuana,” said Michael Collins, policy manager at Drug Policy Alliance’s Office of National Affairs. “A bi-partisan consensus has emerged in favor of reform.”

Last November nearly 72% of…

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Senate Committee Approves Measure to Ensure Marijuana Businesses Have Access to Banking Services

Senate Committee Approves Measure to Ensure Marijuana Businesses Have Access to Banking Services

Amendment to appropriations bill would prohibit the Treasury Department from using funds to punish banks that provide financial services to state-legal marijuana businesses

WASHINGTON, DC — The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a measure Thursday (16-14) that is intended to ensure marijuana businesses have access to banking services.

The amendment, offered by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, would prohibit the Treasury Department and its enforcement arm, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN, from using federal funds to punish banks that provide financial services to marijuana businesses that are operating legally under state laws.

Many banks are currently unwilling to provide depository and other basic…

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US Senate Committee Votes In Favor of Marijuana Banking Bill

US Senate Committee Votes In Favor of Marijuana Banking Bill

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 16-14 Thursday in favor of an amendment to allow state-compliant marijuana businesses to engage in relationships with financial institutions.

Sponsored by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D) of Oregon and Patty Murray (D) of Washington, the amendment to the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill prohibits the US Treasury Department from using federal funds to take punitive actions against banks that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses that are operating legally under state laws.

Presently, most major financial institutions refuse to provide services to state-compliant operators in the marijuana industry out of fear of federal repercussions. Their refusal to do so presents an…

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North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Improving CBD Law

North Carolina Governor Signs Bill Improving CBD Law

RALEIGH, NC — North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed into law House Bill 766 late last week, giving final approval to a bill that makes significant changes to a law enacted last year allowing the use of some medical marijuana extracts to treat seizures associated with epilepsy.

House Bill 766, the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, was approved by the legislature earlier this month.  The new law, which takes effect August 1, amends the exemption for the use or possession of some medical marijuana extracts containing high amounts of cannabidiol, and allows neurologists to use the extracts to treat intractable epilepsy without being required to participate in a research study.

Last year, lawmakers in North Carolina approved the Hope 4 Haley and Friends…

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Entering the Home Stretch for Medical Marijuana in California

Entering the Home Stretch for Medical Marijuana in California

The California legislature has a full plate this year when it comes to medical cannabis

SACRAMENTO, CA — The California State Legislature will adjourn for their summer recess Friday, following a flurry of activity surrounding medical cannabis.

Legislative policy committees have approved at least eight bills that touch on almost every aspect of the issue. These bills are both good and bad for patients, providers, and others. However, they all share one common trait: they are moving easily through the process. After failing to adopt a significant medical cannabis bill since the Medical Marijuana Program Act in 2003 (SB 420), lawmakers are determined to pass bills this year.

Most of bills have passed easily through committee votes so far – some with no opposition at all.

Lawmakers will…

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Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Hawaii Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

— Nearly 15 years after medical marijuana became legal in Hawaii, Governor David Ige has signed into law a bill that for the first time will establish a system of state regulated medical marijuana dispensaries.

Governor Ige signed the bill into law on Wednesday.

“I support the establishment of dispensaries to ensure that qualified patients can legally and safely access medical marijuana,” said Gov. Ige. “We know that our challenge going forward will be to adopt rules that are fair, cost effective and easy to monitor. The bill sets a timeline. We will make a good faith effort to create a fair process that will help the people most in need.”

Medical marijuana has been legal in Hawaii for nearly 15 years, and now the state’s first dispensaries could open as soon…

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Hawaii Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Becomes Law

Hawaii Bill to Allow Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Becomes Law

Legislation to establish a system of medical dispensaries for the state’s nearly 14,000 medical marijuana patients has become law.

Governor David Ige signed the measure Wednesday, stating:

“I support the establishment of dispensaries to ensure that qualified patients can legally and safely access medical marijuana. We know that our challenge going forward will be to adopt rules that are fair, cost effective and easy to monitor. The bill sets a timeline. We will make a good faith effort to create a fair process that will help the people most in need.”

House Bill 321 permits the state “to issue eight dispensary licenses statewide; provided that three dispensary licenses shall be issued for the city and county of Honolulu, two dispensary licenses each shall be issued for the county of…

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North Carolina Approves Changes to Limited Medical Marijuana Law

North Carolina Approves Changes to Limited Medical Marijuana Law

RALEIGH, NC — Lawmakers in North Carolina Senate have passed a bill that would make significant changes to a law enacted last year that allows the use of some medical marijuana extracts to treat seizures associated with epilepsy, sending the measure to Governor Pat McCrory for final approval.

The bill, House Bill 766, the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, was approved by the Senate in a 15-0 vote earlier this month.  The House previously approved the bill in April, but several changes made in the Senate required a final vote in the House.

On Tuesday, the House voted 112-2 to approve those changes.  The bill now heads to the desk of Governor Pat McCrory, who is expected to sign the measure into law.

Last year, lawmakers in North Carolina approved the Hope 4 Haley…

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Who Are the Next States Likely to Legalize Medical Marijuana?

Who Are the Next States Likely to Legalize Medical Marijuana?

State Advocates Push for Medical Marijuana Across The Country

Currently 40 states have at least some type of legal protection for medical use of marijuana.  23 States, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive medical marijuana legislation. 17 more states have passed restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) focused  legislation.

While the progress has been impressive activists in several states that don’t have medical marijuana (or have only highly restrictive access) have continued to push at the state level. These activists are showing they’re in it for the long haul, fighting for medical marijuana no matter how long it takes.

Pennsylvania

By far the closest state to joining the list of medical marijuana states is Pennsylvania. Under the leadership of Sen. Mike Folmer…

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Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Federal Marijuana Banking Bill

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce Federal Marijuana Banking Bill

Marijuana Businesses Currently Operate as Cash-only Causing Huge Public Safety Concerns; Legislation Would Allow Marijuana Businesses Access to Financial Services

WASHINGTON, DC — Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) on Thursday introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, a bill that would allow banks to provide depository and other financial services to state-legal marijuana businesses.

Currently, because marijuana is illegal under federal law, both medical and non-medical marijuana businesses are unable to access banking services like any other business.

Consequently, many marijuana businesses operate on a cash-only basis, leading to huge public safety issues as businesses become the target of…

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Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

Federal Marijuana Banking Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

WASHINGTON, DC – In a much-needed move to allow legitimate marijuana businesses to conduct legal financial operations, US Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Rand Paul (R-KY), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act on Thursday.

While the move sounds like a minor regulatory matter, the lack of clear financial guidelines represents the single greatest obstacle to state-legal marijuana businesses operating safely and profitably.

Currently, dispensaries and other businesses in states that have legalized medical marijuana or that allow adult use must operate cash-only businesses because banking services fall under federal, rather than state law.

“Right now, it’s the Wild West for marijuana businesses,” said…

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One Year Later, Patients & Families Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana in New York

One Year Later, Patients & Families Demand Emergency Access to Medical Marijuana in New York

Not One Patient Has Yet Received Medical Marijuana; Gov. Cuomo Must Sign a Emergency Access Bill or Take Other Action to Provide Relief to Suffering Patients

NEW YORK, NY — On the one year anniversary of the signing of New York’s medical marijuana law, patients and families gathered in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City Office to urge him to sign a new bill to expedite access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients.

Since the medical marijuana law passed a year ago, not one patient in New York has been able to access medical marijuana, and at least four children, who could have likely benefited from it, have died while waiting to obtain this much-needed medicine.

“It’s a year and a half since Governor Cuomo announced in the State of the State message that he…

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California Gov. Signs Law Expanding Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

California Gov. Signs Law Expanding Medical Marijuana Patients’ Rights

SACRAMENTO, CA — On Monday, Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation, Assembly Bill 258, to allow medical marijuana patients to receive organ transplants.

Hospitals in California and elsewhere have denied patients from receiving organ transplants solely based on their status as medicinal marijuana consumers.

Assembly Bill 258 reads:

“A hospital, physician and surgeon, procurement organization, or other person shall not determine the ultimate recipient of an anatomical gift based solely upon a potential recipient’s status as a qualified patient, as defined in Section 711362.7, or based solely upon a positive test for the use of medical marijuana by a potential recipient who is a qualified patient.”

Passage of AB 258 ends these discriminatory practices in California.

The new law…

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Oregon Passes Bill to Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales by Medical Dispensaries Starting Oct. 1

Oregon Passes Bill to Allow Recreational Marijuana Sales by Medical Dispensaries Starting Oct. 1

SALEM, OR — Lawmakers in both chambers of the Oregon legislature voted this week to approve a bill that will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell marijuana to anyone 21 or older starting October 1st.

The bill, Senate Bill 460, was passed 23-6 by the Senate on Tuesday, followed by a 40-19 approval in the House on Thursday.  On Wednesday, possession and limited cultivation of marijuana became legal for adults 21 and older, as 2014’s Measure 91 took effect.

Senate Bill 460 is intended to provide legal access for adults while the state crafts the rules and regulations for recreational marijuana sales to adults, which are expected to begin in the summer of 2016.

Meanwhile, the bill will allow adults 21 and older to purchase up to a quarter ounce of marijuana per day (dried…

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North Carolina Senate Approves Changes to State’s CBD Law

North Carolina Senate Approves Changes to State’s CBD Law

RALEIGH, NC — Lawmakers in the North Carolina Senate have passed a bill that would make significant changes to a law enacted last year that allows the use of some medical marijuana extracts to treat seizures associated with epilepsy.

House Bill 766, the North Carolina Epilepsy Alternative Treatment Act, was approved by the Senate in a 15-0 vote Wednesday.  The House previously approved the bill in April, but several changes made in the Senate will require approval by the House before the bill can be sent to Governor Pat McCrory for final approval.

Last year, lawmakers in North Carolina approved the Hope 4 Haley and Friends Act, allowing limited use of medical marijuana extracts containing high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) but only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).  The…

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Understanding Connecticut’s Pending Hemp Legalization Act

Understanding Connecticut’s Pending Hemp Legalization Act

HARTFORD, CT — Last month, lawmakers in Connecticut passed a little known bill without much fanfare or opposition to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in the state, but there seems to be a lot of confusion as to what the bill actually does.

That bill, House Bill 5780, awaits the signature of Governor Dannel Malloy, who has until the end of this week to sign or veto the bill, or it becomes law automatically.  Under Connecticut law, the Governor has five days to sign a bill into law, unless the legislature has adjourned for the session.  Because the Connecticut legislature adjourned on June 3, the Governor has 15 days, excluding Sundays, to sign or veto the bill.  The bill was transmitted to the Governor on June 18.

The bill, which makes a minor change to the definition…

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Louisiana Governor Enacts Marijuana Sentencing Reform Measure

Louisiana Governor Enacts Marijuana Sentencing Reform Measure

BATON ROUGE, LA — Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed legislation late Monday significantly reducing criminal penalties for marijuana possession offenses.

House Bill 149, which took effect upon signing, amends the state’s toughest-in-the-nation repeat offender laws for marijuana possession offenses.

Under the previous law, second-time possession offenders faced up to five years of hard labor in prison. Third-time offenders faced up to 20 years hard labor in prison.

Under the revised law, two-time marijuana possession offenders face a maximum sentence of six-months in prison. Three-time offenders face a maximum sentence of two-years in prison. Those convicted of marijuana possession for a fourth time face up to eight years in prison.

First-time offenders found in the possession of 14…

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Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal Signs Marijuana Reform Bills

BATON ROUGE, LA — As expected, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal on Monday signed into law two marijuana reform bills that were passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Of the two bill signed by Jindal, one is aimed at reducing Louisiana’s harsh penalties for marijuana possession, and the other is intended to provide access to medical marijuana 24 years after the state authorized its use.

PENALTY REDUCTION

While not a full marijuana decriminalization bill, House Bill 149 reduces some of the state’s draconian penalties for marijuana possession.  Currently, Louisiana is home to some of the harshest penalties for marijuana convictions in the country, with misdemeanor penalties for first time marijuana offenses for even the smallest amount (up to 60 pounds) of marijuana punishable…

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Moved to Rules Committee

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Moved to Rules Committee

HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania State House Health Committee voted unanimously on Friday to reassign Senate Bill 3, which would allow seriously ill Pennsylvanians to access medical marijuana with recommendations from their doctors. The committee voted to re-refer the bill to the House Rules Committee for further consideration.

The vote follows the filing of a discharge petition by Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park) that would have removed SB 3 from the Health Committee where it had stalled and put it before the full House for a vote.  Only 25 signatures from lawmakers were needed, and the petition was closed with 40 signatures — at which point additional representatives weren’t allowed to sign on.

Rep. Miccarelli rose to call the petition, but in a surprising move, Health…

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Rhode Island Lawmakers Recess Legislative Session; Widely Supported Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Remains on the Table

Rhode Island Lawmakers Recess Legislative Session; Widely Supported Bill to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Remains on the Table

The Marijuana Regulation, Control, and Taxation Act had bipartisan backing in both chambers, and an April poll found 57% of Rhode Island voters in favor of such a measure

PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island state lawmakers recessed the legislative session late Thursday leaving hundreds of bills, including a widely supported proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol, pending action.

Legislative leaders have indicated they may call a special session in the fall to finish their agenda.

“Lawmakers’ decision to recess without voting on this widely supported legislation is disappointing, to say the least,” said Regulate Rhode Island Director Jared Moffat. “We believe we have the votes needed to pass the measure this session, and we’re optimistic that…

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Pennsylvania House May See Vote on Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania House May See Vote on Medical Marijuana

Planned discharge petition would remove SB 3 from House Health Committee where it has stalled and permit a vote in the full House of Representatives

HARRISBURG, PA — Pennsylvania State Rep. Nick Miccarelli (R-Ridley Park) will file a discharge petition in the House of Representatives on Friday to remove a medical marijuana bill from the House Health Committee and bring it to the full floor for a vote.

Senate Bill 3 would allow seriously ill Pennsylvanians to access medical marijuana with recommendations from their doctors. Rep. Matthew Baker (R-Wellsboro), who chairs the Health Committee, has stated that he will not call the bill for a vote there.  The bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 40-7 earlier this year.

“There is no reason this compassionate legislation should not get…

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Delaware Becomes 20th State to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Delaware Becomes 20th State to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession

Last week, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed HB 39 into law, making it the 20th state to decriminalize — or in four cases, legalize — possession of personal use amounts of marijuana.

The Senate approved the bill less than an hour earlier in a 12-9 vote.

Introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley, HB 39 will make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine with no possibility of jail. Possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is currently a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $575 fine and up to three months in jail.

HB 39 goes into effect six months after enactment.

Please thank the governor for his leadership! You can call him at (302) 744-4101 or send him a message on social media or by webmail here.

In other Delaware news, the first medical…

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Markell Signs Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Markell Signs Delaware Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Into Law

Delaware becomes 20th state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession

DOVER — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed a bill into law Thursday night that will remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for adult possession of a small amount of marijuana. The Delaware Senate approved the bill 12-9 earlier in the evening.

The new law will take effect in six months.

House Bill 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) in the Senate, will replace criminal penalties for adult marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket. Under current Delaware law, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum…

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Delaware Legislature Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Delaware Legislature Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

DOVER, DE — The Delaware Senate approved a bill 12-9 on Thursday that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for adult possession of a small amount of marijuana.

The measure, which was approved in the House earlier this month, will now be sent to Gov. Jack Markell (D), who is expected to sign it into law. In a March letter to the editor of The New York Times, Gov. Markell said he is “hopeful that [his] state will decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.”

House Bill 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington East) in the Senate, would replace criminal penalties for adult marijuana possession with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket.

Under…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

Delaware Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Minor Marijuana Possession Offenses

DOVER, DE — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed legislation Thursday decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses.

Members of the Senate voted 12 to 9 in favor of the measure, House Bill 39, Thursday afternoon. The Governor signed the measure into law later in the evening.

House and Senate members approved the measure despite vocal opposition from law enforcement and Republicans. No Republican lawmakers voted in favor of the bill.

Under state law, the possession of personal use quantities of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $575 fine, and a criminal record. House Bill 39 reduces penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a civil violation punishable by a $100 fine only — no arrest, and no criminal…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

(Another) Poll Finds Nearly All Pennsylvania Voters Support Medical Marijuana

(Another) Poll Finds Nearly All Pennsylvania Voters Support Medical Marijuana

LANCASTER, PA — Yet another poll has found that nearly all Pennsylvania voters support legalizing medical marijuana in the Keystone State, while a bill that would do just that has been blocked in the House by a single state representative who disagrees.

The latest poll, conducted by the Floyd Institute’s Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall College and released Thursday, finds 87% of Pennsylvania voters favor the legalization of medical marijuana in the state.  Among those polled that support medical marijuana, 67% said they “strongly favor” it.

“We’re talking a majority of people in both parties, male or female,” said political science professor G. Terry Madonna, who conducted the poll. “Virtually every demographic, every region of the state. You can’t…

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Pennsylvania Libertarians Condemn Matt Baker’s Attempts to Block Medical Marijuana Bill

Pennsylvania Libertarians Condemn Matt Baker’s Attempts to Block Medical Marijuana Bill

Denying Pennsylvanians access to medical cannabis is cruel punishment for those suffering from a variety of illnesses

In response to actions by Pennsylvania State Representative Matt Baker (R-68th District) blocking a vote on Senate Bill 3 – which would legalize the use of cannabis for medical purposes  – Matthew Schutter, Chairman of the Lehigh County Libertarian Party and candidate for Carbon County Sheriff, issued the following statement on behalf of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania:

“Citizens in 23 states plus the District of Columbia have access, with a doctor’s prescription, to medical cannabis. This substance provides them with relief from symptoms associated with chemotherapy, AIDS, PTSD, glaucoma, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and other conditions. For many medical…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Delaware Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

Delaware Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

The full Senate will now consider HB 39, which would replace potential jail time with a civil fine for possession of a small amount of marijuana by adults; the House approved the measure earlier this month

DOVER, DE — The Delaware Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill 4-2 on Wednesday that would remove criminal penalties and potential jail time for simple adult marijuana possession and replace them with a civil fine similar to a traffic ticket.

The measure will now be considered by the full Senate.

House Bill 39, introduced by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington South) in the House and sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chair Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilimington East) in the Senate, would make possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an adult a civil violation punishable by a $100…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

New York Passes Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

New York Passes Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Patients and Families Demand Governor Sign the Bill into Law Immediately

ALBANY, NY — Monday night, in an unusual show of bipartisan support, the New York Senate voted 50 to 12 in favor of a bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Griffo, that directs the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.

The Assembly version, sponsored by Assemblyman Dick Gottfried, passed last week by an overwhelming majority (130-18). The bill now goes to Governor Cuomo for his signature or veto.

The passage of this bill comes almost exactly one year after the legislature passed New York’s medical marijuana law and almost ten months after the Governor urged the Health Commissioner to do everything in his power to get medical…

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Action Alert: New York Needs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

Action Alert: New York Needs Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

ALBANY, NY — Nearly a year ago, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a medical cannabis bill into law after insisting on significant revisions. As a result, patients with several serious medical conditions were excluded and protections for patients waiting for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn were removed.

At least four children who could have benefited from medical cannabis have died since the bill became law, and no patients have received access to cannabis.

The Assembly has already passed this important bill  in a 130-18 vote. But if the Senate does not act this week, patients will be left in the lurch for many more months.

The Department of Health is moving forward slowly with…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

New York Assembly Passes Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

New York Assembly Passes Medical Marijuana Emergency Access Bill

ALBANY, NY — Lawmakers in the New York Assembly have voted to approve a bill that would create a program providing emergency access to medical marijuana for patients with the most urgent needs, including children suffering from severe epilepsy.

Assembly Bill 7060, and its identical companion legislation in the Senate (Senate Bill 5086), would direct the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical marijuana as soon as possible.  The bill was introduced by Assembly Health Committee…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Nevada Governor Signs Hemp Research; Cultivation Bill

Nevada Governor Signs Hemp Research; Cultivation Bill

CARSON CITY, NV — Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval on Thursday signed into law legislation that will allow hemp cultivation in the state under current federal guidelines.

The State Board of Agriculture can now begin adopting regulations regarding the licencing and oversight of hemp cultivation.  Hemp cultivation can begin as early as January 2016, once the regulations are in place.

Sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom (D-Las Vegas), Senate Bill 305 won unanimous approval in both chambers of the legislature, passing the…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Louisiana House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana House voted Thursday to approve a bill that would give patients suffering from some serious conditions access to medical marijuana.

The House approved Senate Bill 143 by a floor vote of 70 to 29.  The bill now returns to the Senate to approve changes made to the bill in the House.

Last week, the House Committee on Health and Welfare made a few minor, but significant, changes to the bill before voting 16-0 to send Senate Bill 143 — which was approved earlier this month by the Senate — to a third…

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Source: The Daily Chronic

Texas Governor Signs ‘Unworkable’ Medical Marijuana Bill

Texas Governor Signs ‘Unworkable’ Medical Marijuana Bill

AUSTIN, TX — As expected, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 339 into law on Monday, a measure aimed at allowing individuals with intractable epilepsy access to cannabidiol (CBD oil) to treat seizures, although advocates say the bill is ‘unworkable’ as enacted.

“There is currently no cure for intractable epilepsy and many patients have had little to no success with currently approved drugs,” Abbott said in a signing statement issued Monday. “However, we have seen promising results from CBD oil testing and with the…

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