This week, the California Senate approved a bill to extend temporary cannabis cultivation licenses through mid-September; the legislation now goes before the Assembly. Elsewhere, in Oregon, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill empowering the governor to enter into agreements with other states for the interstate transfer of marijuana.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: U.S. Attorney General William Barr said April 10 during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that he would prefer the U.S. take an approach to marijuana similar to the one outlined in the states’ rights marijuana bill sponsored by Colorado’s U.S. senators over the current system. Barr’s comments came in response to questions from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is a cosponsor of the STATES Act, which was introduced last week for a second straight year and is cosponsored by Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet, as well as Rep. Joe Neguse. Read more
- California: Dozens of cities are suing the state over its rules that allow cannabis to be delivered in jurisdictions that do not want marijuana in their area. “It is maintaining local control. In the California league of cities, local control is paramount,” said Richard O’Brien, Riverbank’s mayor. Read more
- The California Senate has approved a bill that would enable state officials to extend nearly 7,000 temporary cannabis growing licenses through mid-September. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblyman Jim Wood and supported by more than 200 organizations, passed on a 32-4 vote and now goes before the Assembly. Read more
- New Hampshire: The House of Representatives voted 200-163 to pass a marijuana legalization bill, as amended by the Ways and Means Committee. However, Gov. Chris Sununu remains opposed to legalization. Read more
- New Mexico: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Senate Bill 406 into law, marking the first major statutorial change to the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act since it was enacted in 2007. The legislation made broad changes to the program that range from allowing medical cannabis in schools to allowing licensed manufacturers to process home-grown medical cannabis. Read more
- Lujan Grisham also signed legislation that decreases the penalties for those who are caught with marijuana in their possession. Now if an individual is caught with less than a half-ounce of marijuana, they will face a $50 fine. Read more
- Florida: A bill filed by state Reps. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Michael Grieco that sought to legalize recreational cannabis in Florida has died in the House. HB 1117, which was filed in late February, received neither a hearing nor a vote. Read more
- After fiery exchanges with veterans and patient advocates who accused a legislative leader of relying on faulty research, members of a House committee on Tuesday pushed forward a proposal that would cap the level of euphoria-inducing THC in smokable medical marijuana. The House plan would also give veterans free, state-issued medical marijuana identification cards, a sweetener that angered veterans who lashed out at the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ray Rodrigues, during an emotionally charged House Appropriations Committee meeting. Read more
- Connecticut: The Judiciary Committee approved three bills April 8 that would legalize possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older and expunge prior drug convictions. The vote comes a week after the General Law Committee narrowly approved a separate bill that establishes a regulatory framework for production and sale of marijuana. Read more
- Oregon: State lawmakers are anticipating the federal government legalizing, or at least tolerating, the interstate transfer of marijuana. The Senate Judiciary Committee moved forward a bill this week empowering the governor to enter into agreements with other states for such transactions. The bill, which was completely rewritten in an amendment, goes to the Senate floor for a vote. Read more