State Policy Weekly Update 4/5/2023

Marijuana reform legislation continues to advance in several states. This week’s update highlights legislative developments in Alaska, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Vermont, and Washington.

LEGALIZATION

Maryland 

Update: Both bills have now passed their chambers of origin. Because lawmakers have made amendments to the legislation, those differences will now need to be addressed in conference committee before finalized language can advance to the Governor’s desk. 

House Bill 556 and Senate Bill 516 regulate cannabis sales for adults 21 and older by allowing select cannabis businesses to serve both medical patients and adults. The bills create an avenue for on-site consumption licenses where consumers over 21 can purchase and consume cannabis in a social setting. Additionally, the legislation institutes certain parental and personal protections for medical and adult-use consumers.

The bills also increase the amount of cannabis registered medical patients may possess up to four ounces of flowers, 36 grams of THC-infused products, and up to four plants for home cultivation.

Under the state’s medical law, patients are not currently allowed to cultivate plants in their homes. 

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MEDICAL ACCESS

Idaho

House Bill 370 creates a medical cannabis access program for qualified patients. 

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Nevada

Assembly Bill 411 allows doctors to administer non-smoked formulations of medical marijuana to patients in certain hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and who are undergoing hospice care.

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Vermont 

UPDATE: HB 270 has been passed by the House and now awaits action in the state Senate.

House Bill 270 increases the maximum allowable THC content in a single edible cannabis product from 50mgs to 100mgs, allows medical patients to grow up to 6 mature and 12 immature plants, expands the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis treatment, increases the number of patients a caregiver may provide services for at once, and remove annual registration fees for qualifying caregivers.

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ADDITIONAL

Alaska 

Senate Bill 100 seals low-level marijuana convictions from public view. 

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Colorado

House Bill 1279 permits residents to purchase marijuana products over the Internet, with the opportunity to pick up their product or have it delivered to their homes.

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Illinois 

UPDATE: SB 125 passed the Senate 33 to 20. It now heads to the House. 

Senate Bill 125 prohibits law enforcement from engaging in a motor vehicle search based solely upon the odor of burnt or raw cannabis.

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Louisiana 

House Bill 351 prevents qualified medical marijuana patients from being disqualified from workers’ compensation or from being denied unemployment compensation.

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House Bill 286 allows those with marijuana possession misdemeanor offense charges to file a motion for the expungement of their records ninety days after their conviction. First-time offenders would be exempt from processing fees.

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Maryland 

Update: HB 232 passed the House by 134 to 1. More recently, it passed the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee. It now heads to the Senate floor.

House Bill 232 seeks to redefine child neglect statutes so that parents’ use of cannabis is no longer per se evidence of a crime.

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Washington

Update: SB 5123 was amended and passed the Senate and Senate. It now heads to the Governor’s desk, who is expected to sign the legislation. 

SB5123 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a job applicant solely based on their off-the-clock cannabis use away from the workplace.

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BILL NORML OPPOSES

Kentucky

Update: SB 228 failed to advance out of the House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 228 sought to define marijuana concentration legal limits in a person’s system when operating a motor vehicle at 5 or fewer nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood taken within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.

Montana

UPDATE: SB546 was tabled in the Senate Business, Labor, and Economic Affairs Committee.

Senate Bill 546 would have dismantled the state’s marijuana industry by banning adult-use retail sales, raising the tax on medical marijuana products from 4% to 20%, and imposing new, lower THC caps on certain extracts and other products.

ENACTED 

Kentucky 

Update: SB 47 passed both chambers. Governor Beshear signed this legislation.

SB47 establishes a medicinal cannabis program by allowing patients with a bona fide practitioner-patient relationship to access medical cannabis if their practitioner deems they could benefit from the use. The legislation institutes a governing body to decide daily THC limits, methods of use, and consumption. Patients will be allowed to have a 30-day supply of their medication at their residence and a 10-day supply on their person. 

The bills provide certain patient and caregiver protections while allowing for the medical use of cannabis at school. Patients are not considered under the influence solely based on THC metabolites being in their system. The legislation does not allow for inhaled cannabis uptake methods nor does it allow for home cultivation.

New Mexico

UPDATE: HB 314 passed both chambers and has been signed by the Governor.

House Bill 314 amends the state’s existing marijuana expungement law by permitting residents with past cannabis convictions “to verify whether automatic expungement has occurred and request expedited automatic expungement if eligible charges have not yet been expunged.”

North Dakota

UPDATE: HB 1478 has passed both chambers and been signed by the Governor. 

House Bill 1478  permits terminally ill patients to use proof of their admittance in hospice care in lieu of a doctor’s written recommendation to register as a medical cannabis patient.

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