Marijuana-related reform legislation continues to advance in several states. This week’s update highlights legislative developments in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
Senate Bill 846 legalizes the adult use of marijuana, permitting those ages 21 and older to possess and purchase up to 30 grams of cannabis. The bill would also allow registered medical marijuana patients to home cultivate their own cannabis. (Home cultivation for adult use purposes would remain prohibited.) In addition, the bill would establish the Cannabis Regulatory Control Board and the Cannabis Business Development Fund, creating regulations for cannabis businesses, including licensing, advertising, and distribution. It also contains provisions facilitating the expungement of past marijuana convictions and ensuring social equity for future cannabis-related businesses.
Assembly Bill 7795 permits pharmacists to act as practitioners, certifying them to consult and recommend medical marijuana treatment options to new patients within the dispensing facility they work for.
Assembly Bill 7826 establishes reciprocity for out-of-state medical cannabis patients, allowing qualified patients from other states to participate in New York’s medical cannabis program. Visiting patients with valid medical cannabis recommendations will be allowed to purchase medical cannabis from dispensaries within the state, and may use their medicine in accordance with local laws.
Update: SB 835 and 538 both passed the Senate Law and Justice Committee by votes of 10-1. The bills have been re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senate Bill 835 removes the list of specific qualifying conditions so that a doctor may recommend medical cannabis to any patient at his/her discretion.
Senate Bill 538 expands the Pennsylvania medical cannabis program to include edible cannabis medications beyond the currently allowed pills, tinctures, and liquids.
Update: SB 51 has passed the Committee on Business and Professions by a vote of 17-0, and will now be heard and put up for a vote in the Appropriations Committee.
Senate Bill 51 authorizes the Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) to issue a provisional license for local cannabis equity applicants for retail activities for up to five years, if the applicant meets the requirements of the Department.
Update: HB 114 will be up for a hearing and vote in the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy on 7/18/2023.
House Bill 114 protects the employment and workers’ rights of medical cannabis patients in the state of Massachusetts. This bill prohibits anyone from being discharged, otherwise disciplined, or in any manner discriminated against solely due to their use of medical marijuana outside of the workplace.
Update: LD 1880 has passed the Senate, and now heads back to the House for concurrence.
Legislative Document 1880 allows cannabis social clubs to be established in Maine for residents over 21 years of age, as long as the cannabis products are being sold on site. Under the outlined regulations, these social clubs would be licensed to sell cannabis products and have cannabis consumption allowed on the property.
Assembly Bill 5323 permits certain tax deductions related to the sale, production, or distribution of cannabis products in an effort to offset increased tax burdens placed upon dispensaries by Section 280E of the federal tax code.
Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has signed Assembly Bill 128 into law, which grants state regulators the authority to license Cannabis Event Organizers. Organizers are defined under the law as “a licensee authorizing onsite cannabis sales to, and consumption by, persons 21 years of age or older at a county fair event, district agricultural association event, or at another venue expressly approved by a local jurisdiction.”