This week’s update highlights legislative advancement in Alaska, California, Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, and in several other states.
HB 246 seals the records of those with low-level convictions from nine certain types of criminal history background checks. People with otherwise clean records do not deserve to have the rest of their lives derailed because of a past marijuana conviction that would no longer be prosecuted today.
Update: HB 249 has passed the House and now advances to the Senate.
A pair of bills sponsored by California NORML’s two advanced out of committees this week.
Pain patients rights legislation, AB 1954, passed 18-0 through the Assembly Business and Professions committee on 4/19 and now heads to the Appropriations committee.
Employment rights legislation, AB 2188, passed through the Assembly Labor Committee on 4/20 and is scheduled to be heard by the Judiciary Committee on 4/26.
“On this day, when so many are celebrating 4/20, they should not be fearful of losing their job, especially for something that can linger in their system and not be related to impairment,” said Assemblymember Alex Lee.
Legislation is currently pending in Colorado, Senate Bill 099, which seeks to streamline the existing automatic record sealing process for marijuana offenders and extend it to all offenses including civil infractions. If passed, this bill would also provide employment and tenant protections for those with sealed criminal records.
Update: SB 099 has passed the Senate and now heads to the House.
Update: HB 137 passed favorably from the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice. HB 135 passed favorably from the House Committee on Health and Welfare. Both bills now advance to the House Floor
House Bill 190 authorizes nurse practitioners with prescriptive authority to recommend medical marijuana to patients.
Update: HB 190 was passed favorably by the House Committee on Health and Welfare and now advances to the House floor.
Senate Bill 2823 outlines social equity provisions for the state’s cannabis industry as well as expectations for the establishment of new businesses. The bill also allows localities and municipalities to put questions specific to the establishment of local marijuana businesses to a public vote.
House Bill 4699 prohibits employment discrimination based on one’s lawful consumption of cannabis. The bill also ensures that pre-employment screening is restricted so that only prospective employees with a job offer can be asked to perform a marijuana drug test.
HB 2704 makes the following changes to state law. It allows adults 21 and older to purchase and possess cannabis from licensed retailers. It allows adults to cultivate up to 12 plants for personal use. It contains expungement and resentencing provisions so that those on probation or parole would be allowed to use marijuana. It prohibits police from using the odor of marijuana alone to conduct a warrantless search of a person’s private property. It stipulates that cannabis can not be used “as a factor in family court proceedings.” It stipulates that medical cannabis patient information cannot be shared with federal authorities.
Update: HB 2704 cleared a second House Committee on Tuesday, sending the proposal to the floor with just weeks to go before the legislative session ends.
House Bill 1598 sought to legalize the possession of cannabis by adults and establish a system for retail sales though state-owned stores.
Update: The Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on the bill on 4/20 before determining it “inexpedient to legislate” – thereby likely killing the bill for this session.
House Bill 629 permits adults 21 and over to legally possess up to 3/4 ounce of marijuana and five grams of hashish, and to grow up to six marijuana plants (up to three mature, three immature). Statewide polling data shows that 68 percent of New Hampshire adults support “legalizing [the] possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use.”
UPDATE: The Senate floor debated HB 629 and special ordered the bill to the next Senate session, which is anticipated to take place within several weeks.
Current state law has partially decriminalized marijuana use and possession. Although there is no threat of jail time, limited personal possession is still considered a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $150 fine.
House Bill 628 seeks to legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis so that adults age 21 and older can possess up to two and a half ounces of cannabis and/or up to 15 grams of concentrated products. Adults would be able to cultivate no more than six plants per person, with a maximum allowance of 12 plants per household. The bill establishes the Division of Cannabis Control to oversee regulation and licensing, ensure social equity measures are taken, and prioritize licensing for existing medical cannabis businesses.
Current state law in Vermont provides a THC cap of 30 percent for cannabis flower and 60 percent in solid concentrates for adult-use products.
HB 548 allows solid concentrate cannabis products over 60 percent THC and oil-based cannabis products, with exceptions, to be removed from the prohibited products list. This bill would also exempt solid concentrates, oils, and tinctures from the 50 mg THC limit, per package, further expanding adults’ access to regulated cannabis products.
Update: HB 548 has passed the House. The Senate Judiciary Committee has reported it favorably with proposed amendments. The bill now advances to the Senate floor.