Missouri Lawmaker Introduces ‘Cannabis Freedom Act’ to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis
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Missouri Lawmaker Introduces ‘Cannabis Freedom Act’ to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

State Rep. Ron Hicks has filed House Bill 2704 to legalize cannabis, release all non-violent cannabis offenders from prison, and create a system for expungement.

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February 16, 2022

Missouri Rep. Ron Hicks (R-St. Charles) filed legislation Feb. 15 to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state, according to an Ozark Radio News report.

House Bill 2704, called the “Cannabis Freedom Act,” is an omnibus cannabis legalization bill that would allow hospitality operators, such as bars, restaurants and hotels, to offer cannabis consumption spaces, the news outlet reported.

The bill would also release all non-violent cannabis offenders from prison and create a system for individuals to expunge prior cannabis offenses from their records, according to Ozark Radio News.

The legislation includes additional provisions that would allow individuals on probation or parole to legally use cannabis.

H.B. 2704 would also create a tax deduction for applicants denied medical cannabis licenses in Missouri in the amount of application fees paid to the state. The bill creates an additional tax deduction for medical cannabis business operators who are unable to deduct business expenses from federal taxation, according to Ozark Radio News.

The legislation also includes protections for banks that provide services to Missouri's state-legal cannabis businesses, the news outlet reported.

“The Cannabis Freedom Act is the product of input from many different stakeholders including members of law enforcement and those who have endured incarceration for conduct that society now deems acceptable,” Hicks told Ozark Radio News.