by Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies CoordinatorFebruary 1, 2020

Marijuana Laws and CongressWelcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, advocates in Missouri began collecting signatures to qualify a marijuana legalization initiative for the November 2020 ballot.

City council members in Cleveland, Ohio approved an ordinance by a 15-2 vote to remove jail time for up to 200 grams of marijuana possession. It was signed into law by the mayor a few days later.

City council members in Berkeley, California voted to approve a proposal to allow marijuana consumption spaces

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.

Your Highness,

Carly

Actions to Take

Federal

Chairman’s bill: The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act (HR 3884 / S. 2227) is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus decriminalizing the substance at the federal level and enabling states to set their own policies.

Send a message to your representatives in support of the MORE Act now

Delaware

Legislation is pending, House Bill 243, to permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The measure would permit patients to grow up to six mature plants and six immature plants.

Update: HB 243 was scheduled for public hearing in the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee on 1/29, but it was removed from the agenda due to lack of support to pass it out of committee.

DE resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 170, to expand access to medical cannabis in Delaware.

The bill creates a CBD-rich medical marijuana card so that physicians can recommend medical marijuana to treat anxiety in adults.

DE resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical expansion

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 79, to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of medical cannabis patients in Delaware.

The measure clarifies existing law that would ensure medical cannabis patients are not disqualified from possessing or purchasing a firearm solely due to their patient status under the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act.

Update: SB 79 was approved by the House Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee on 1/29/20. Next, it heads to the floor for a vote.

DE resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of 2nd amendment protections

Florida

Senate Bill 684 / House Bill 565 amends the provision that only allows individuals to expunge a single conviction record every 10 years by granting immediate eligibility to those that have had convictions expunged when they were minors.

Update: HB 565 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee on 2/3/20 at 2pm.

FL resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expungement

Hawaii

Senate Bill 2543 would prohibit an employer from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or condition of employment based on the person’s status as a medical cannabis cardholder or a positive drug test for THC.

Update: SB 2543 was heard by the Senate Labor, Culture and the Arts Committee on 1/30/20. The bill was deferred.

HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 2787, to regulate medical cannabis delivery services.

The bill allows the department of health to issue permits to medical cannabis dispensaries for the delivery of medical cannabis and cannabis products to qualifying patients or primary caregivers if certain conditions are met.

Update: SB 2787 was approved by the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health on 1/31/20.

HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of delivery services

Legislation is pending, HB 583 / SB 527, which would authorize licensed medical cannabis facilities to sell edible products.

Update: HB 583 was heard by the House Health Committee on 1/28/20.

HI resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of edible medical cannabis products

Maryland

Legislation is pending, House Bill 83, to automatically expunge certain prior cannabis convictions.

The bill would require all court records and police records relating to certain charges of possession of marijuana to be automatically expunged if the possession charge is the only charge in the case. If marijuana possession was not the only charge, one must wait four years before becoming eligible for automatic expungement.

Update: HB 83 was heard in the House Judiciary Committee on 1/28/20.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of automatic expungement

Legislation is pending, House Bill 550, to expand the state’s marijuana decriminalization law.

If passed, the bill would amend penalties so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana is classified as a civil rather than a criminal offense, rather than the current threshold of ten grams.

Update: HB 550 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 2/11/20.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expanded decriminalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 331, to allow registered medical cannabis patients to access their medicine while at school.

The bill requires the Department of Education and the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Cannabis Commission jointly to develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to certain students during school hours and school-sponsored after-school activities.

Update: HB 331 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee on 2/5/2020 at 2pm.

MD resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of medical cannabis access in schools

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1648, to remove all criminal and civil penalties for the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by adults.

The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to 3/4 ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to three mature, three immature).

Update: HB 1648 was approved by the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 1/28/20.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of depenalization

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 420, permit qualifying patients to cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis for therapeutic purposes.

The measure would permit patients to grow up to three mature plants and 12 seedlings, and to possess up to eight ounces of home-grown medical cannabis.

Update: SB 420 was approved by the Health and Human Services Committee on 1/30/20.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights

Legislation is pending, House Bill 1663, to allow for the use, possession, and retail sale of marijuana by adults.

The pending measure permits adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and/or up to five grams of concentrate, and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to 3 can be mature).

Update: HB 1663 was scheduled for a public hearing and executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 2/5/20, but it was cancelled.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization

House Bill 1543, “prohibits an employer from using a failed drug test for cannabis use as grounds for terminating the employment of, or to deny promotion to any employee.”

Update: HB 1543 is scheduled for a vote in the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee on 2/5/20 at 1:30pm.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

House Bill 1386 “prohibits an employer from firing an employee solely because the employee has a positive drug test for cannabis if the employee is a qualified patient.”

Update: HB 1386 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Labor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services Committee at 10:00am on 2/5/20 in Legislative Office Building 307.

NH resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

New Mexico

Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 115 / House Bill 160, to permit the use, possession, and retail sale of cannabis for adults 21 and over.

The bill includes provisions for the automatic expungement of prior possession convictions, as well as provisions decriminalizing the home cultivation of up to three mature and six immature plants.

Update: SB 115 was approved by the Senate Public Affairs Committee on 1/28/20.

NM resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of legalization

Tennessee

Legislation is pending, HB 883/SB 686, to allow individuals convicted of certain cannabis-related offenses, upon the completion of their sentence, to petition the court to have their records sealed.

Update: HB 883 was heard in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee at 12pm on 1/28/20 in House Hearing Room III.

TN resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of record sealing

Virginia

For the first time in recent history, there is a clear pathway to advance a decriminalization bill, Senate Bill 2, to the desk of Governor Northam, an issue which is a top priority for him in the 2020 General Assembly.

Update: SB 2 was approved by the Judiciary Committee by a 10-3 vote on 1/29/20.

VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of decriminalization

Legislation is pending, House Bill 32, to allow those with certain past cannabis convictions to get their records cleared.

The measure would allow those convicted of a misdemeanor or nonviolent felony offense to petition the court to expunge their record if at least eight years has passed and the individual has no other convictions on their record.

Update: HB 32 was approved by the House Courts of Justice Committee on 1/31/20.

VA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of expungement

Vermont

Lawmakers are considering senate-approved legislation, S. 54, to establish a regulatory framework for the regulation of a commercial, adult use marijuana market.

Update: S.54 was unanimously approved by a House committee on 1/31/20.

VT resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of retail sales

Washington

Legislation is pending, House Bill 2740, to protect marijuana consumers from employment discrimination.

The bill would prohibit employers from refusing to hire an individual solely because they use marijuana off the job or test positive for THC on a drug test.

Update: HB 2740 is scheduled for a public hearing in the he House Committee on Labor & Workplace Standards at 3:30pm on 1/28/20.

WA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of employment protections

Legislation is pending in the House and Senate, HB 1131 / SB 5155, “Allowing residential marijuana agriculture.”

This bill allows adults to cultivate up to six marijuana plants in their home.

Update: HB 1131 is scheduled for afor public hearing in the House Committee on Appropriations at 3:30pm on 2/5/20

WA resident? Send a message to your lawmakers in support of home cultivation rights