Weekly Legislative Roundup 2/16/18

by Carly Wolf, NORML Political AssociateFebruary 16, 2018

Welcome to this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

First, I’d like to highlight a key development at the federal level pertaining to established marijuana businesses and consumers.
Representative Lou Correa (D-CA) has introduced the Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act which would basically codify the protections that were outlined in the now-rescinded Cole Memo. Essentially, the Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act would give peace of mind to lawmakers, regulators, 149,000 workers, and the millions of patients and consumers who are dependent on the normalization of lawful marijuana markets. The most essential component in creating a stable business environment to meet consumer demand is certainty and that is what states would have with Rep. Correa’s legislation to protect state-lawful programs from militant marijuana prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Also, earlier this week, bestselling guidebook author and travel host Rick Steves held two briefings on Capitol Hill to address marijuana prohibition to a gathering of members of Congress and their staff. Steves serves as a member of the board of NORML and has advocated extensively in support of the successful legalization efforts in Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and his home state of Washington.

At the state level, the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee voted unanimously to pass HB 1251, to expand the state’s medical CBD law, amended to include a new emergency enactment clause requested by Governor Ralph Northam, and will now go into effect immediately upon his signature. Enactment of this historic legislation would make Virginia the first state with a hyper-restrictive program to adopt such a broad expansion.

Also, Pennsylvania medical cannabis sales began on Thursday as the state’s first dispensary opened its doors.
Following are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.

Your highness,

Priority Alerts


End Prohibition: Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1227, to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.

The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.

Click here to e-mail your Representative and urge them to support this important legislation


Democratic Representative James Albis, along with over 20 co-sponsors, has introduced legislation — HB 5112 and HB 5111 — to regulate and tax the retail sale of marijuana to adults.

The tax revenue raised by commercial retail sales would be used to fund substance abuse treatment, prevention, education and awareness programs.

CT resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of legalization

West Virginia

Legislation is pending, House Bill 3035, to regulate the adult use and retail sale of marijuana.

The bill states that “In the interest of allowing law-enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom, the Legislature of the State of West Virginia finds that the use of marijuana should be legal for a person twenty-one years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.”

Update: Similar legislation has also been introduced to regulate the adult use and retail sale of marijuana, House Bill 4491.

WV resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of legalization

New Mexico

Legislation is pending, HM 67 and SM 55, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy as an alternative to opioid treatment.

Update: HM 67 was approved unanimously by the House, and SM 55 was approved by the Senate with a 36-1 vote.

NM resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of this effort


Legislation is pending, HCR2037, to put the issue of legalizing the adult use of marijuana before voters this November.

The resolution seeks to place a question on the 2018 ballot regarding the adult use, possession, and retail sale of cannabis.

AZ resident? Click here to email your elected officials and tell them to leave it up to the voters


Legislation is pending, HB 268 and SB 181, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid abuse or dependence.

Update: A hearing was held on February 15 on SB 181.

MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of this effort


Legislation is pending, HB 1893, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid abuse or dependence.

Update: HB 1893 was heard by the Health and Human Services Committee on February 15.

HI resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of this effort

Additional Actions to Take

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, HB 1477, to permit those convicted of past marijuana convictions to seek expungement.

If passed, HB 1477 would allow individuals to file a petition with the court requesting that the court annul any past marijuana violations involving the possession of up to ¾ of an ounce of marijuana.

Update: HB 1477 was approved by The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee by a vote of 14-4.

NH resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of expunging past marijuana convictions


Newly proposed legislation, The Marijuana Consumer Employment Discrimination Protection Bill, seeks to protect medical marijuana patients from employment discrimination.

This bill would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees solely because of their status as a medical cannabis patient, or due to testing positive for medical marijuana use on a workplace drug test. It would also require employers to provide objective evidence that an employee is unable to perform their job adequately because of marijuana use prior to taking any punitive action.

CO resident?  Click here to email your elected officials in support of employment protections for patients


Senator Tom Begich has introduced legislation, SB 184, to seal the convictions of past marijuana possession offenders.

Senate Bill 184 prohibits the release of past records for any marijuana offense that is no longer defined as a crime under state law. The bill’s intent is to reduce barriers to employment for people who have been convicted of low-level marijuana possession crimes that would be legal under today’s laws, and to make it more likely that people convicted of only low-level crimes will become contributing members of society.

AK resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of sealing past marijuana convictions


Legislation is pending, House Bill 698 to expand the state’s nascent industrial hemp pilot program.

The bill seeks to “authorize and facilitate the research of industrial hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes.”

Update: A hearing was held for HB 698 on February 14.

MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of expanding the industrial hemp program


Legislation is pending, HB 197, “to ensure the cultivation and processing of cannabis in the state for academic or medical research purposes.”

If passed, this bill mandates the Department of Agriculture to engage in the cultivation, processing, and distribution of marijuana for the purposes of engaging in academic or medical research.

Update: HB197 was passed by the House by a vote of 38-32 on February 13, after it died on a narrow vote last week and was resurrected on Tuesday. It now goes to the Senate for consideration




New Federal Legislation To Protect Legal Marijuana States And…

Representative Lou Correa (D-CA) has introduced the Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act which would essentially codify the protections that were outlined in the now-rescinded Cole Memo.

Rep. Correa

Upon the introduction, Rep. Correa said, “To date, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis, and twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, representing more than half of the American population, have enacted legislation to permit the use of cannabis. Attorney General Sessions’ decision to rescind the “Cole Memo” created great uncertainty for these states and legal cannabis businesses, and put citizens in jeopardy for following their state laws.

In my state of California, voters want legal cannabis. It boosts our economy and is a strong medical tool. By 2020, revenues from cannabis sales taxes could reach $1 billion annually for California. This bill will protect California and other states from federal overreach and ensure the will of the American voter is respected.”

Essentially, the Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act would give peace of mind to lawmakers, regulators, 149,000 workers, and the millions of patients and consumers who are dependent on the normalization of lawful marijuana markets. The most essential component in creating a stable business environment to meet consumer demand is certainty and that is what states would have with Reps. Correa’s legislation to protect state-lawful programs from militant marijuana prohibitionist Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Sorgente: New Federal Legislation To Protect Legal Marijuana States And…

Grecia: la produzione di cannabis medica per rivitalizzare un’economia disastrata – DolceVita

Una produzione nazionale di cannabis medica per risollevare la difficile situazione economica in Grecia. Il progetto di legge “Disposizioni per la produzione di prodotti finali di cannabis farmaceutica” è stato presentato al Parlamento greco mercoledì 7 febbraio, al fine di creare un quadro di riferimento per la produzione di prodotti farmaceuticiderivati dalla cannabis ed il coinvolgimento di diverse professionalità in questo settore. Secondo il governo il crescente interesse per il settore da parte degli investitori potrebbe essere la chiave per aiutare il paese a risollevarsi dopo anni di crisi.

In un’intervista congiunta all’Unione dei Giornalisti di Atene, il ministro della Salute Andreas Xanthos, il ministro dell’ Economia e dello Sviluppo Dimitris Papadimitriou, ed il ministro dello Sviluppo Rurale e dell’Alimentazione Evangelos Apostolou, hanno sottolineato l’aspetto positivo che rappresenterebbe per l’economia del paese facilitando allo stesso tempo l’accesso per i pazienti alla loro medicina.

Nel progetto di legge presentato nei giorni scorsi viene chiarito che le persone fisiche o giuridiche riceveranno l’approvazione alla produzione di cannabis con THC superiore allo 0,2%, solo per la fabbricazione di prodotti derivati dalla cannabis a scopo medico per la fornitura del monopolio statale e di conseguenza dei pazienti oppure per l’esportazione. La votazione della legge è prevista per la fine di febbraio. Secondo il progetto di legge, i coltivatori devono avere almeno 21 anni, non devono aver subito condanne per droga e devono avere almeno 1 acro di terra disponibile (circa 4mila metri quadrati) per realizzare le attività necessarie dagli impianti dello stabilimento alla coltivazione.

Secondo la proposta di legge, i benefici sono numerosi e includono un facile accesso per i pazienti alla cannabis farmaceutica, la possibilità di creare nuovi posti di lavoro che contribuiranno allo sviluppo del paese, di avere benefici economici per lo Stato dall’esportazione di prodotti finiti a base di cannabis in un mercato embrionale in cui l’offerta è inferiore alla forte domanda in tutto il mondo. Ed infine espandere la base produttiva per gli agricoltori greci, introducendo la filosofia dell’investimento verde.

La Grecia ha permesso l’uso di prodotti a base di cannabis medica dal 2017, ma

Sorgente: Grecia: la produzione di cannabis medica per rivitalizzare un’economia disastrata – DolceVita

Maine becomes first state to protect marijuana use outside of work

U.S. Marijuana Party Kentucky


Valerie Bolden-Barrett


Feb. 1, 2018

Dive Brief:
  • Beginning today, employers in Maine are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their marijuana or marijuana byproduct use outside of work, attorneys at Littler Mendelson report. Maine’s Labor Department also removed the drug from the list of substances for which employers may test applicants.
  • The law prohibits employers from disciplining or refusing to hire workers age 21 or older based on their off-site marijuana use. Employers are still free to prohibit its use and possession in the workplace and can discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace. According to Littler, a spokesperson for the state labor department says that a positive test result won’t be enough to prove that an employee was under the influence.
  • Littler says Maine’s law doesn’t affect compliance with federally mandated testing for marijuana, like that required by U.S. Department…

View original post 133 altre parole

Bill Extending Medical Marijuana to Opioid Users Passes Illinois Senate Committee

A bill that would allow people who have been prescribed opioids to apply for a temporary medical marijuana card passed a Senate committee Wednesday.

The measure, SB336, passed the Senate Executive Committee 16-1, with Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, casting the lone no vote.

If signed into law, it would amend the medical marijuana program to allow those prescribed opioids to apply for medical marijuana instead.

Sorgente: Bill Extending Medical Marijuana to Opioid Users Passes Illinois Senate Committee

Test Results: 25.439% THC | 28.343% THCa | 0.061% CBD | 0.028% CBN | Indica-Dominant Hybrid | Tested By: DigiPath Labs

XXX OG by Virtue Las Vegas
Virtue has released another fire strain with their XXX OG! This indica sports a blue-green color with small golden threads poking out; the tight buds are so frosty, they might as well be singing “Let It Go.” The smell is something like a forest after rain—a mixture of pine and greenery.

XXX OG has a good level of myrcene (16.9 mg/g) and packs in a fair amount of limonene as well. Perhaps the latter terpene has something to do with XXX OG’s high, which is curiously cerebral for an indica. You’ll remain reasonably active and focused after smoking, but the indica is definitely present in its calming properties—it’s chill, but not a “couch-lock” chill.



With the widespread press on families in the United States who have successfully used CBD as a successful treatment of a variety of medical conditions in their children, such as epilepsy (and other seizure disorders), autism and ADHD the UK is launching a research study to determine if CBD can help in the reduction of children’s brain tumors.

CBD is the non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis and is also called cannabidiol. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high. This study is researching cannabidiol (CBD) and doesn’t make the children high at all.

The United Kingdom is taking the success a step further by developing a new research study in what is the first of its kind. Researchers will be studying the effects of medical cannabis on children with brain tumors.

Professor Richard Grundy of Nottingham University

Professor Richard Grundy of Nottingham University is the lead in the study and his observation shows that in the past six months there has been a significant increase in parents inquiring about medical marijuana as a treatment for their children suffering from a variety of ailments, including brain tumors. Previous research has shown that cannabis can shrink cancer tumors. His hope is that the groundbreaking research could help those children suffering from brain tumors.
New ways to treat childhood brain tumors are urgently needed to extend and improve the quality of life in malignant brain tumor patients, so we are excited at the prospect of testing the effect of cannabidiol on brain tumor cells,” Grundy said.

Researchers will conduct tests on cells taken from brain tumors, and they will closely watch how the cells divide or die off to determine the effectiveness of CBD in reducing the size of the tumors.

“We expect the cells—brain tumor and normal brain—grown in our standard conditions to be healthy and actively dividing,” Grundy stated. “We expect that normal brain cells grown in cannabidiol will remain healthy. However, we expect the brain tumor cells grown in cannabidiol to stop growing and die.”


William Frost was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor in 2014 – and after surgery and chemotherapy, parents Steve and Hilary were told last year that he was dying.

William’s parents, Steve and Hillary, exhausted all other options for treatment and were desperate to find a life saving solution for William. After learning about new research on CBD treatments by experts at Nottingham’s Children’s Brain Tumor Research Center, they decided to see if William could participate in the research.
‘We couldn’t bear to accept there were no more options for William” Steve said.

‘We were desperate and willing to try anything – when we read the research on cannabis and tumors it gave us hope.

A private clinic prescribed cannabidiol (CBD) – a cannabis product which does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical which produces the ‘high’.

A few months later, William’tumorur has shrunk by two-thirds, and William was able to return to school.
According to The Guardian, an estimated 1,750 children (under the age of 18) are diagnosed with cancer annually, and 400 of those individuals suffer from cancer in their brain or spinal cord.



Trump Pressured Netanyahu to Stop Israeli Cannabis Exports, Reports Say

number of media outlets in Israel are reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a halt to the country’s ambitious cannabis export program. The program, which had not yet begun exporting product, would have made Israel the second nation to legally move cannabis across international borders, after Canada.

Netanyahu’s decision came on Sunday night in a cabinet meeting with the nation’s ministers of agriculture, health, and finance. According to reports in the Jerusalem Post and on Channel 2 News, Netanyahu said US President Donald Trump had called him and made clear his “general attitude” against cannabis exports.

“Netanyahu told the ministers that it would not be wise to be the vanguard in this field, noting that Canada is the only country so far that has authorized the export of cannabis,” reported the Post.

‘Israel Should Not Be the Pioneer’

Channel 2 news anchor Dana Weiss reported on Wednesday:

“Netanyahu made it clear to the ministers that Israel should not be the pioneer in this context, since besides Canada there is no country in the world that exports the drug,” she said. “At this stage, the Treasury will remind the participants that any confrontation can be avoided if the government chooses not to export cannabis to the United States, but Netanyahu reiterated the administration’s position in Washington, stressing that it would not necessarily serve Israel’s interests. At the end of the discussion, Netanyahu ordered a freeze on the move until the completion of economic tests and an examination with the Health Ministry. “

Then: 300 Farms. Now: 3

An earlier report, by Oren Lebovich in Israel’s Cannabis Magazine, noted that the government could reduce the number of allowed cannabis farms from 300 to only two or three.

The idea of exporting cannabis from Israel is an idea that’s been around, and generally accepted, in many quarters of the government. In 2014, Netanyahu met with the health minister of the Czech Republic and spoke about the possibility of exporting Israeli cannabis to that European nation. The program has not received official approval from the government, though, due in part to opposition from Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister for public security and strategic affairs.