Current 2013 legislative session the busiest in recent memory.
It is not hyperbole to state that the 2013 legislative session has been the busiest in recent memory for marijuana law reform legislation. Below is a brief summary of some of the more significant statewide reform bills that have: a) been enacted into law, b) are awaiting final passage from the Governor’s office, or c) are pending floor votes within the coming days.
A full summary of pending state and federal reform measures is available at: http://www.norml.org/act.
Colorado – HB 1317, HB 1318 Summary: Establishes regulations regarding the commercial production and retail sales of cannabis to those over age 21; proposes excise tax and sales tax rates for commercial production and retail sales of cannabis; tax rates must be approved by voters Status: Both measures signed into law on May 28 http://blog.norml.org/2013/05/31/colorado-governor-signs-historic-measures-creating-legal-and-regulated-marijuana-market/
Kentucky – SB 50 Summary: Encourages state-sponsored hemp research; establishes regulations regarding the licensed production of hemp as an agricultural commodity Status: Became law without the Governor’s signature on April 5 http://norml.org/news/2013/04/11/kentucky-hemp-research-measure-becomes-law
Maryland – HB 1011 Summary: Establishes an independent, 12-member medical marijuana commission within the state Department of Health; the commission will request applications from Maryland academic medical centers to operate ‘medical marijuana compassionate use programs. Status: Signed into law on May 2 http://norml.org/news/2013/04/11/maryland-lawmakers-approve-measure-to-establish-medical-marijuana-compassionate-use-programs-2
LEGISLATION APPROVED BUT PENDING GOVERNOR’S SIGNATURE
Colorado – SB 241 Summary: Creates a program within the Department of Agriculture to regulate the commercial production of industrial hemp Status: pending Governor’s signature http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2013a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont/4524325568A5A7F987257AF5007B9CD6?Open&target=/clics/clics2013a/csl.nsf/billsummary/2C316B9A31392E8A87257AF500797603?opendocument
Hawaii – HB 668, SB 642 Summary: Transfers the administration of the state’s medicinal cannabis program from the Department of Public Safety to the Department of Public Health; increases the quantity of medical cannabis that may be possessed by qualified patients from three ounces to four ounces; increases the number of mature plants that a patient may cultivate from 3 to 7 Status: Pending Governor’s signature http://norml.org/news/2013/04/30/hawaii-medical-marijuana-measures-approved-by-house
Illinois – HB 01 Summary: Establishes a pilot program regulating the state-licensed production and dispensing of therapeutic cannabis to qualified patients. Status: Pending Governor’s signature http://norml.org/news/2013/05/23/illinois-lawmakers-authorize-medical-marijuana-pilot-program
Nevada – SB 374 Summary: Establishes rules and regulations for the establishment of up to 66 not-for-profit medical marijuana dispensaries Status: Pending Governor’s signature http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046//p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9850
Oregon – SB 281 Summary: Expands the state’s existing medical marijuana program to include post-traumatic stress as a state-qualified illness Status: pending Governor’s signature http://blog.norml.org/2013/06/02/oregon-legislature-approves-ptsd-as-qualifying-condition-for-medical-marijuana/
Vermont – HB 200 Summary: Amends the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine. Status: Pending Governor’s signature http://norml.org/news/2013/05/16/vermont-lawmakers-approve-marijuana-decriminalization-measure
New Hampshire – HB 573 Summary: Establishes a statewide medical marijuana program and state-licensed dispensary system Status: Awaits action in Conference Committee http://norml.org/news/2013/05/24/medical-marijuana-legislation-in-new-hampshire
Hawaii – SB 472 Summary: Amends the penalty for the possession of one ounce of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine. Status: Approved by Senate; Voted ‘recommit’ by House; pending further action in 2014 http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046//p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9826
Maine – LD 1229 Summary: Asks for a statewide referendum on legalizing marijuana for adults Status: Pending House floor vote this week http://blog.norml.org/2013/06/04/portland-likely-to-vote-on-marijuana-legalization-maine-lawmakers-to-vote-on-statewide-initiative/
New Jersey – A. 1465 Summary: Amends the penalty for the possession of 15 grams of marijuana by a person 21 years of age or older from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine Status: Approved by state Assembly; awaits Senate action http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046//p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9848
New York – A. 6716-A Summary: Equalizes marijuana possession penalties to a civil offense Status: Approved by state Assembly; awaits Senate action http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046//p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9852
New York – A. 6357 Summary: Establishes a statewide medical marijuana program and state-licensed dispensary system Status: Approved by state Assembly; awaits Senate action http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046//p/dia/action3/common/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9851
Louisiana – HB 103 Summary: Significantly reduces penalties for repeat marijuana possession offenders Status: Approved by House, awaiting Senate floor vote this week http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51046/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=10026
Deputy Director NORML | NORML Foundation