This week, the New Mexico Legislature approved legislation that would prohibit non-residents from enrolling in the state’s medical cannabis program, sending the bill to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Elsewhere, medical cannabis legalization bills advanced in Alabama and Kentucky, while a bill to legalize the possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults cleared the New Hampshire House and advanced to the Senate for consideration.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- New Mexico: The New Mexico Senate has approved S.B.139, legislation that would prohibit non-residents from enrolling in the state’s medical cannabis program. Supporters of the bill hope to reverse a change in a state law that was enacted last year and that allowed qualified non-residents to obtain medical cannabis ID cards in the state. Read more
- The New Mexico House also approved S.B.139 this week, sending the legislation to the governor. If the legislation is signed into law, the more than 600 out-of-state residents who have enrolled in New Mexico’s medical cannabis program will be able to keep their ID cards until they expire, but then will not be able to renew them. Read more
- Iowa: The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board held its first meeting of the year, where it rejected adding panic disorder and ADHD as new qualifying conditions to the state’s medical cannabis program and upheld its recommendations on placing limits on the amount of THC that patients can purchase. While current state law maintains a 3% THC limit for medical cannabis products, the board has recommended a change that allows patients to access 4.5 grams of THC over a 90-day period. Read more
- Washington: The House approved a bill this week that aims to address racial inequity within the state’s cannabis industry. H.B. 2870 would allow the state to issue additional cannabis retail licenses for social equity purposes, prioritizing applicants representing communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition. Read more
- Vermont: A new poll conducted by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by the Marijuana Policy Project found that 76% of Vermont residents support allowing adults 21 and over to purchase cannabis from regulated, tax-paying small businesses. These results are significant as they come days before the Vermont House is expected to vote on S. 54, a bill that would legalize, regulate and tax cannabis sales in the state. Read more
- Pennsylvania: Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced new legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in the state. House Bill 2050 would establish a licensing process for cannabis growers, processors and dispensaries, and aims to lower the initial application and licensing fees in an effort to make the market more accessible for businesses. Read more
- Utah: The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved legislation Feb. 18 that would make several changes to the state’s medical cannabis program before its March 1 launch. S.B.121, sponsored by Sen. Evan Vickers, contains several amendments to the Utah Medical Cannabis Act, which the legislature approved in December 2018 to make changes to the state’s voter-approved medical cannabis ballot initiative. Read more
- Alabama: The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Feb. 19 to pass legislation that would legalize and regulate medical cannabis in the state. The 8-1 vote advances the bill to a full Senate vote. Read more
- New Hampshire: The House of Representatives approved a bill in a 236-112 vote that would legalize the possession and limited cultivation of cannabis for adults 21 and older in New Hampshire—similar to Vermont’s legalization law. H.B. 1648 now heads to the Senate for consideration. Read more
- Kentucky: The House of Representatives has voted in favor of a bill that would legalize medical cannabis for patients with debilitating medical conditions in the state. This marks the first time a bill to legalize medical cannabis has received a full House vote in Kentucky, and the legislation now proceeds to the Senate for consideration. Read more