A handful of key states are poised to advance adult use marijuana legalization proposals this week. Here’s a quick breakdown:
State lawmakers failed to approve an adult use marijuana legalization proposal before the end of the 2021 regular session, which adjourned on March 20. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has called for a special legislative session to convene on Tuesday March 30 in order to send a marijuana legalization proposal to her desk. The special session is expected to last about two days, with the possibility of separate forthcoming competing proposals.
A new draft of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) has just been released after longstanding negotiations between legislative leaders and Governor Andrew Cuomo. Committee hearings and potential votes have already been scheduled in the Assembly Codes Committee and the Senate Finance Committee for Tuesday March 30. The new proposal includes provisions on home cultivation rights, automatic expungement, social equity, on-site consumption, and more.
Lawmakers have already sent marijuana legalization legislation to Governor Ralph Northam’s desk, which would not take effect until 2024. Gov. Northam is considering moving up that timeline to this summer. The governor must submit proposed amendments to lawmakers by March 31, and lawmakers are scheduled to consider and vote on any proposed changes on April 7.
Two competing adult use marijuana legalization proposals have been introduced, one by Governor Dan McKee and a separate proposal by legislative leaders. The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider S. 568 on April 1, which would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use.