February 8, 2020
Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!
Members of the Las Cruces, New Mexico City Council approved a resolution supporting statewide marijuana legalization, as the legislature considers proposals to regulate the substance in the state.
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.
Actions to Take
Governor Lamont outlined funds within his 2021 budget proposal to prepare for the legalization and regulation of adult use marijuana in the state. The proposal includes the automatic expungement of past convictions and other social justice-focused provisions.
Separate legislation is pending in the legislature to implement the Governor’s budget recommendations with regard to marijuana legalization. It would allow adults to possess up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for personal use. The measure also includes provisions allowing individuals to get past records expunged, facilitating social equity in the industry, and protecting consumers from employment discrimination.
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 is scheduled for a public decision making in the Senate Committee on Labor, Culture and the Artson 2/11/20 at 3:00PM in conference room 224.
Legislation is pending, House Bill 136, to permit physicians to authorize access to medical cannabis for any patient whom they believe would benefit from its therapeutic use.
Update: HB 136 is scheduled for a public hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on 2/12/20.
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.
House Bill 617 / Senate Bill 604 would develop guidelines for public schools regarding the administration of medical cannabis to students
Update: SB 604 is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee on 2/18/20 at12pm.
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 179, to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of medical cannabis patients in Maryland.
The measure prohibits a person from being denied the right to purchase, possess, or carry a firearm solely on the basis that the person is authorized to use medical cannabis.
Update: SB 179 was approved by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.
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 Senate on 2/6/20.
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 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee on 2/13/20.
House Bill 1150 would establish reciprocity, which would allow qualifying patients from out-of-state to purchase medical cannabis from licensed dispensaries in New Hampshire.
Update: HB 1150 is scheduled for an executive session in the House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee on 2/13/20 at 10am.
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 appoved by the House Committee on Ways and Means by a 8-3 vote this week.
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 Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriations by a 12-3 vote on 2/6/20. The House Courts of Justice Committee amended and approved legislation HB 972, the House version.