While the August recess and upcoming November midterm elections continued to put a damper on marijuana reform efforts at the federal level, the last two weeks nonetheless saw a number of important developments. Among the most significant were the submission of signatures to put recreational cannabis on the ballot in Oklahoma, ballot certification for a recreational legalization question in North Dakota, and opposition by California cities to the state’s plan to permit cannabis deliveries. You can learn about all that and more in this week’s Legislative Roundup!
On Wednesday, August 8, a group seeking to legalize recreational cannabis for adults in Oklahoma submitted signature to put the issue to voters in November. However, the fate of this effort is still far from certain because the group, Green the Vote, does not know how many signatures it even submitted, much less how many of those were valid. The Oklahoma Secretary of State will now count the valid signatures and make a determination as to whether the question qualifies for the November midterm election ballot. Green the Vote had announced that it had obtained the more than 124,000 signatures necessary, but later retracted that statement, saying that number was “inflated.”
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That same week, Governor Mary Fallin signed off on a new set of regulations for medical marijuana in the state. The rules, which are among the least restrictive in the United States, come after the state legislature had sought to essentially replace the voter-approved medical marijuana law with a tightly restricted system. Lawmakers were forced to drop that legislation after the state Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
On Monday, August 13, North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced that supporters of recreational cannabis had submitted more than the enough signatures to put a legalization question on the November ballot. Legalize ND submitted 14,637 out of a necessary 13,452 signatures for a proposal to legalize the production, sale, and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older in the state.
In an open letter to state regulators Monday, the League of California Cities denounced recently-released draft regulations on home deliveries pf cannabis products. In the letter, the organization, which represents all municipalities in the state of California, argued that the rules would effectively circumvent the voter-approved cannabis law by allow unlimited home deliveries in localities that have banned marijuana businesses.
California’s most recent set of proposed regulations significantly loosened regulations on deliveries to allow businesses to operate under the so-called “ice cream truck” model, wherein delivery trucks essentially operate as fully-stocked mobile dispensaries, filling orders as they come in, rather than having to stock orders at a store and carry only what was ordered prior to departure.