State by State Cannabis Legislation – What’s Legal Now and Where?

Throughout the country, cannabis regulations are changing every day. Some areas are experiencing more dramatic legislative upgrades than others, but every little step forward still counts. At the moment, there are 5 states that come to mind because, one, they are making big moves, or two, they are conservative states that most people were expecting would hold on to prohibition for much longer.

This week we’re focusing on the East Coast and Deep South, with updates from Connecticut, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. To learn more about cannabis legislation, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, where you will get all the latest news as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.


Connecticut

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D), along with other state lawmakers, just reached a compromise on an adult-use cannabis bill that will likely be implemented in late spring of 2022. The bill would finally lay the groundwork for retail sales to launch in the state. According to estimates from MJBizDaily, the Connecticut recreational market could exceed $250 million in sales in just the first year, and reach a total of roughly $725 million by the fourth year.

NEW: DELTA 10 THC

NEW: Delta-10 THC Tincture
NEW: Delta-10 THC Tincture

Senate Bill 1118 has only just been drafted, however, and it still needs to a pass votes in both the House of Representatives and Senate. Opponents may still try to interfere, which could result in Gov. Lamont calling a special session on the issue this summer. It’s hard to say whether that will also delay the launch of recreational sales or not.

One of the major points in this agreement is offering priority licensing status to social equity applicants. According to the bill text, to qualify as a social equity applicant, the individual will need to have spent the last five out of ten years living in a “disproportionately impacted area, as defined by a jobless rate above 10% or a historically high drug conviction rate. Municipalities would be limited to one marijuana retailer and one micro-cultivator per 25,000 residents until July 1, 2024.”

Tennessee

Tennessee is a relatively conservative state, but the influx of new residents from blue states along the east and west coasts might be having an impact already. Last month, Republican Governor Bill Lee passed a limited medical cannabis bill that would lead to many changes in the way businesses operate within the state.

Once implemented, the bill will legalize possession of CBD oil containing up to 0.9 percent THC for approved medical patients. This is three times higher than the federal government’s cutoff of 0.3 percent. Additionally, the enacted bill would expand on the current list of qualifying conditions by adding the following diseases and disorders: Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, cancer, inflammatory bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease.

People would need to keep proof of their medical conditions with them at any time they are in possession of the cannabis oil. Additionally, there is still nowhere to legally purchase these products in the state. So, although it will be legal to possess now, it will have to be obtained illegally or out of state. Further legislation will be needed to regulate the manufacture and distribution of cannabis products.

Louisiana                    

Louisiana’s medical cannabis program has faced harsh criticism from industry advocates for making it nearly impossible for patients to access product. Over regulation combined with high prices, limited cultivation licenses (only 2 issued statewide) meant that patients numbers were extremely low, and as such, so were profits.

However, the program should see a major jump in registration starting next year, when House Bill 391 is enacted and dispensaries will be permitted to sell smokable flower. In many established markets, flower accounts for roughly 50 percent of total sales and recent surveys show the demand for smokables is high in Louisiana.

As is standard, patients will have a purchasing limit, although it will fairly lenient allowing up to 2.5 ounces (70 grams) every 14 days. Qualifying conditions include cancer, positive status for HIV, AIDS, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, post traumatic disorder, and some symptoms associated with autism spectrum disorder.

Cannabis Legislation – Alabama

Last month, Governor Kay Ivey officially signed into law the medical marijuana bill that we’ve been tracking, making Alabama the 37th state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis. Patients with qualifying health conditions – which include cancer, depression, epilepsy, panic disorder, chronic pain, or any chronic illness – will be permitted to register for the state’s medical program.

After signing Senate Bill 46, Gov. Ivey released this statement: “Signing SB 46 is an important first step. I would like to again thank Sen. Tim Melson and Rep. Mike Ball for their hard work over the last few years and their willingness to address the legitimate concerns. This is certainly a sensitive and emotional issue and something that is continually being studied.”

“On the state level,” he added, “we have had a study group that has looked closely at this issue, and I am interested in the potential good medical cannabis can have for those with chronic illnesses or what it can do to improve the quality of life of those in their final days.”

Mississippi

Interestingly, Mississippi is really where it all began, considering that University of Mississippi won the very first grant to cultivate and study medical cannabis back in 1968. Despite that, the laws for consumers have been less than progressive until recently.

Last week, Senate lawmakers discussed the potential of medical cannabis legalization within the state, but unless Governor Tate Reeves (R) calls a special session. It still seems promising that changes will happen before the end of the year, with Reeves telling Biloxi TV station WLOX that it is “imperative that a medical marijuana law be passed to support the will of the voters.”

The initiate is business friendly but also gives some power to municipalities should they want to utilize zoning restrictions to opt of medical cannabis programs. There is also some opposition to the proposed purchasing limits of 2.5 ounces every 14 days, which some conservatives say is “too generous” and should be lowered.

Cannabis Legislation – Final Thoughts

Progressive legislation has also been moving forward in states which have already legalized or decriminalized cannabis, such as Nevada and New Mexico. There have also been notable changes in some of the nation’s strictest states, like Wyoming, Texas, Idaho and Kansas. For more updates, make sure to subscribe to The CBD Flowers Weekly Newsletter, for all the latest news as well as access to exclusive deals on flowers and other products.

The post State by State Cannabis Legislation – What’s Legal Now and Where? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Friday, April 30, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, April 30, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Key Senate Chair Shifts Stance On Tying Marijuana Banking Bill To Sentencing Reform (Marijuana Moment)

// Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Licensing Bill In Anticipation Of Legalization (Marijuana Moment)

// Louisiana Governor Says He Has ‘Great Interest’ In Marijuana Legalization Bill Advancing In Legislature (Marijuana Moment)


These headlines are brought to you by Agilent, a Fortune 500 company known for providing top-notch testing solutions to cannabis and hemp testing labs worldwide. Are you considering testing your cannabis in-house for potency? Agilent is giving away a FREE 1260 HPLC system for one year! If you are a Cultivator, processor, or cannabis testing lab you may qualify for this giveaway. Open up bitly.com/cannabis-contest to answer a few quick questions to enter to win!


// Canadian Cannabis Sales Grow 74% in February to $263 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Maryland Cannabis Industry Grew By 40 Percent in 2020 (Outlaw Report)

// Legal pot in R.I. ‘inevitable’ but may not happen this year State House leaders say (Providence Journal)

// Ascend Wellness Raises $80 Million in IPO (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Gage Cannabis Turns In Solid Fourth Quarter Fiscal Year (Green Market Report)

// Bipartisan Lawmakers Want Federal Protections For Marijuana States In Next Spending Bill (Marijuana Moment)

// Maine Proposal Would Legalize Psilocybin Mushroom Therapy For Adults No Medical Diagnosis Needed (Marijuana Moment)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Geoff Livingston/Flickr

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Louisiana Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill In Committee (Marijuana Moment)

// Montana Bill To Implement Marijuana Legalization Heads To Governor’s Desk (Marijuana Moment)

// Confirmed: Pennsylvania Is Crushing It In Cannabis (Green Market Report)


These headlines are brought to you by Agilent, a Fortune 500 company known for providing top-notch testing solutions to cannabis and hemp testing labs worldwide. Are you considering testing your cannabis in-house for potency? Agilent is giving away a FREE 1260 HPLC system for one year! If you are a Cultivator, processor, or cannabis testing lab you may qualify for this giveaway. Open up bitly.com/cannabis-contest to answer a few quick questions to enter to win!


// Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Clears Ninth House Committee On Path To Floor (Marijuana Moment)

// Texas Lawmakers Approve Marijuana And Psychedelics Reform Bills (Marijuana Moment)

// Fire & Flower Q4 Revenue Increases 157% to $43.2 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Valens Buys CBD Company In Deal Valued At $60 Million (Green Market Report)

// These License Plates Got the Highest Bids in Colorado’s Cannabis Vanity Plate Auction (Green Entrepreneur)

// Marijuana Packaging Recycling Bill Filed In New York Days After Legalization Takes Effect (Marijuana Moment)

// Seth Rogen Is Making Retro PSAs About How To Safely Consume Marijuana (Bro Bible)

Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Stuart Seeger/Flickr

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, August 11, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Mass. regulators release 619,000 aging marijuana vapes for sale despite lead contamination concerns (Boston Globe)

// Top Senate Democrat Pushes USDA To Delay Hemp Rules Until 2022 (Marijuana Moment)

// A man who was sentenced to life in prison for selling $30 of marijuana will be freed (CNN)


These headlines are brought to you by Natural Order Supply, one of the nation’s premier cannabis cultivation supply companies dedicated to streamlining cultivation and helping industrial hemp farmers calculate their price-per-plant cost. They have everything from lights to harvest supplies to cultivation advice!


// Arizona adult-use marijuana initiative wins key legal battle (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Canopy Growth Still Reporting Elevated Losses (Green Market Report)

// Tilray Q2 Cannabis Revenue Slips 2% From Q1 to $30.2 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Columbia Care Q2 Revenue Increases 8% from Q1 to $28.4 Million (New Cannabis Ventures)

// Vermont Democrats Call For Decriminalizing Drugs And Legalizing Marijuana Sales In Draft 2020 Platform (Marijuana Moment)

// USDA approves hemp plans for Maryland and Lower Sioux tribe (Hemp Industry Daily)

// Former Tribune publisher Tony Hunter to head McClatchy newspaper chain (Robert Feder)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Lindsay Fox/Flickr

Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program Expands

Louisiana’s path to a medical marijuana program has been a tortuous and frustrating one. State lawmakers passed a law instating a limited program in 2015, but cannabis products did not begin to reach patients at the nine approved pharmacies until August of last year. There are still fewer than 4,500 patients registered to access cannabis products under the law.

After what has been an agonizing delay for many patients, Louisiana’s legislature has finally taken moves to expand the program. 

The program will still allow only extracts, tinctures and other such preparations — not actual herbaceous cannabis, either smoked or vaped. And only two “agricultural centers” are permitted to cultivate and process — one at Louisiana State University and one at Southern University, both in Baton Rouge and the latter a historically Black university. LSU, partnering with the private Wellcana Group, finally produced enough cannabis to begin supplying the approved pharmacies a year ago, Associated Press notes. The Advocate, the state’s biggest newspaper, reported the happy news that Southern University, partnering with Ilera Holistic Healthcare, finally shipped out its first tinctures and other products last month.

And now, under a trio of new laws that were passed in June and went into effect Aug. 1, the ability of patients to access these products will be expanded. At last, the program seems poised for growth.

A Trio of New Bills 

The most significant of the new measures, House Bill 819, expands the discretion of physicians to recommend cannabis. Rather than having to conform to the list of conditions named in the 2015 law, doctors can now approve cannabis products for “any condition” that they consider “debilitating to an individual patient,” providing that the condition is one the doctor “is qualified through his [or her] medical education and training to treat.” 

The 2015 law, known as Therapeutic Marijuana A, lists the standard conditions, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

According to the national advocacy group NORML, Louisiana joins a handful of other states — including California, Virginia and Maine — that have enacted similar measures giving physicians the ability to recommend cannabis preparations to any patient they believe may benefit from them. 

When Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill in June, NORML hailed it as meaningful progress. 

“This is common sense legislation that provides physicians, not lawmakers, the ability and discretion to decide what treatment options are best for their patients,” NORML deputy director Paul Armentano said in a statement. Continuuin, he said, “Just as doctors are entrusted to make decisions with regard to the supervised use of opioids and other medicines — many of which pose far greater risks to patients than cannabis — the law should provide doctors with similar flexibility when it comes to recommending cannabis therapy to a bona fide patient.”

Another of the new measures to take effect addresses the question of cannabis use in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. HB 418 provides immunity from prosecution to “any facility that is licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health that has patients in its care using medical marijuana.” HB 211 similarly provides immunity for banks and other financial institutions that provide services to state-licensed cannabis businesses. 

Slowly Moving Towards Social Justice 

As an AP account observes, these three bills were part of a modest wave of progressive legislation passed by Louisiana lawmakers this year. Other measures limit the use of solitary confinement on pregnant prisoners and increase the ways those sent to prison as juveniles can seek parole. 

Local activists feel that progress is long overdue in the Pelican State. In 2016, a “JustSouth” index produced by the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University sought to measure social justice across the Southern states. It ranked Louisiana dead last on measures of poverty, racial disparity and exclusion. The Research Institute’s Jeanie Donovan called it a “a grim picture” in comments to NOLA.com

Low-income families, immigrants and workers of color are worse off in Louisiana than anywhere else in the United States, the report found. The average low-income household in Louisiana earned only $11,156 in 2014. The Research Institute calculated that a two-person family needs to earn “$45,840 a year to afford basic necessities,” Donovan said.

These conditions reflect the region’s history of “slavery, Jim Crow segregation and continuing inequality,” added the Rev. Fred Kammer, director of the Research Institute. 

The other Gulf states ranked almost as poorly. Alabama placed 48th, Texas 49th and Mississippi 50th. Florida had the highest ranking in the region, at 41st place. 

Hardly coincidentally, Louisiana has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the nation.

TELL US, does your state have medical cannabis?

The post Louisiana Medical Marijuana Program Expands appeared first on Cannabis Now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Cannabis, Lies, and Foreign Cash: A Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through the Underground Mask Trade (Pro Publica)

// Tight capital markets – worsened by COVID-19 – derail Schwazze’s cannabis acquisitions (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Black residents made up 97% of marijuana arrests in New York state capital (Leafly (AP))


These headlines are brought to you by Green Worx Consults, a company specializing in project management, workflow mapping and design, and Lean & 6 Sigma process. If you could use help making your business better at business, get in touch with Green Worx Consults.


// Analyzing Congress’s Latest Vote To Protect Legal Marijuana States From Federal Enforcement (Marijuana Moment)

// FDA approves GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis drug for new indication (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Massachusetts Senator Gives Wicked Chill Marijuana Response To Blunt-Smoking Constituent (Marijuana Moment)

// Major Cannabis Companies Shun Oklahoma (Fresh Toast)

// The pandemic is eating away at the illicit marijuana market (Politico)

// Louisiana Law Allowing Medical Marijuana For Any Debilitating Condition To Take Effect (Marijuana Moment)

// Recreational marijuana sales reached almost $61 million in July, setting a record for the third month in a row (Chicago Tribune)


Check out our other projects:Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement. • Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: michael_swan/Flickr

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Marijuana Decriminalization Approved By Virginia Senate And House (Marijuana Moment)

// ‘I really love the vibes’: How Yelp boosts black market pot shops (NBC News)

// After a rough 2019 California’s cannabis industry will bloom in 2020 (Leafly)


These headlines are brought to you by Atlantic Farms, a Maine-based multistate cannabis business with operations in Maine and Massachusetts. Atlantic Farms is looking for people to help it grow and evolve as investors. Open up TheAtlanticFarms.com for more on the company and email info@theatlanticfarms.com to learn about investment opportunities.


// 15 months after legalization, 2.8 million Ontarians live in places where cannabis retail is illegal (Global News)

// The writing is on the wall for Vancouver’s handful of illegal cannabis shops (Globe and Mail)

// Oregon Cannabis 2020: Legislative Forecast and Report (Canna Law Blog)

// Marijuana Patient in Pennsylvania Sues State After Being Denied Public Housing (Merry Jane)

// Another Louisiana grower set for initial medical cannabis harvest (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Weedmaps cracking down on illicit Michigan marijuana ads (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Girl Scouts cash in selling cookies outside Chicago dispensary (WSIL TV 3 ABC)


Check out our other projects:
Marijuana Today— Our flagship title, a weekly podcast examining the world of marijuana business and activism with some of the smartest people in the industry and movement.
Marijuana Media Connect— A service that connects industry insiders in the legal marijuana industry with journalists, bloggers, and writers in need of expert sources for their stories.

Love these headlines? Love our podcast? Support our work with a financial contribution and become a patron.

Photo: Nikita Gavrilovs/Flickr