This week, the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve adult-use cannabis legalization bills, which will receive full floor votes on Monday, March 25. Elsewhere, in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 182, a law that would allow qualified patients to smoke medical marijuana.
Here, we’ve rounded up the 10 headlines you need to know before this week is over.
- Federal: Members of Congress have introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at protecting federal employees who use marijuana in accordance with state law. The legislation, filed by Reps. Charlie Crist and Don Young, seeks to protect federal job applicants and employees from being fired or not hired for using marijuana in line with the laws of the state in which they reside. Read more
- New Mexico: The state’s medical marijuana program has been expanded under legislation approved by the state legislature and sent to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Senate Bill 406 adds more qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use and allows patients to renew their medical cannabis registry identification cards every three years instead of every year as now required. Read more
- Missouri: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released more drafts of rules for the state’s emerging medical marijuana system, including regulations for cultivation facilities, dispensaries, manufacturing facilities and medical marijuana establishments in general. Amendment 2, formally known as Article XIV of the Missouri Constitution, compels DHSS to have all the medical cannabis program's rules finalized by June 4. Read more
- Florida: Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed SB 182, a law that would allow qualified patients to smoke medical marijuana. Additionally, DeSantis filed a joint motion to dismiss People United for Medical Marijuana v. Department of Health and to vacate the lower court decision which had held the prior law to be unconstitutional. Read more
- Pennsylvania: Sens. Daylin Leach and Sharif Street are circulating a recreational marijuana legalization proposal, Senate Bill 350, to colleagues for co-sponsorship. The bill would allow anyone 21 and older to use recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania, and each household could also grow up to six marijuana plants at a time for personal use. Read more
- New Jersey: New Jersey lawmakers have advanced a pair of adult-use legalization bills out of committee, and now the stage is set for full floor votes on March 25. The Assembly Appropriations Committee voted 6-1 to approve what’s been titled the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Modernization Act; the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to approve its version of the bill. Read more
- Arizona: Several Arizona Supreme Court justices appeared to favor medical-marijuana extracts during oral arguments on March 19 in a case that could determine the future of medical marijuana in this state. The case, State of Arizona v. Rodney Christopher Jones, questions the scope of the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act and the issue of whether it includes products containing resin extracted from the marijuana plant. Read more
- Illinois: State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said Monday he supports legislation in the General Assembly that would prohibit state banking regulators from punishing banks or credit unions that provide basic banking services to legitimate cannabis-related businesses. He also said he is joining with other state treasurers around the country in lobbying Congress for changes in federal laws that prohibit banks from doing business with the cannabis industry. Read more
- South Carolina: A key Senate subcommittee has passed the Compassionate Care Act, which legalizes marijuana for medical purposes. The subcommittee, chaired by the bill’s author, State Sen. Tom Davis, voted 5-1 for the bill after adding amendments that Davis and other supporters hope will soften opposition from groups like the State Law Enforcement Division, the S.C. Sheriff’s Association, the S.C. Medical Association and Attorney General Alan Wilson. Read more
- Michigan: The state’s Bureau of Marijuana Regulation plans to have draft rules ready by June for the commercial production and sale of recreational marijuana. Under the recreational marijuana law approved by voters in November, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has until Dec. 6, 2019, to develop administrative rules and begin taking applications. Read more