Progress on marijuana law reform was made last week in three states: Maine, Colorado and New Jersey.
Find out more in our weekly marijuana legislative roundup.
On Wednesday, the Maine Senate passed legislation to modify and implement the recreational marijuana law passed by voters in 2016. The bill was passed by the House one day prior, so it now awaits Governor Paul LePage’s signature. LePage is an outspoken critic of recreational cannabis and vetoed a prior implementation bill last fall. However, lawmakers were able to obtain a veto-proof majority in both chambers, making the prospect of LePage derailing implementation much less likely this time around.
The legislation will allow municipalities to opt-in to allowing recreational cannabis sales and allocate some revenue obtained from taxes on cannabis sales to law enforcement and public awareness initiatives. If enacted, the bill would also ban social-use clubs, reduce the number of plants adults may grow at home from six to three, double the tax on cannabis sales from 10 percent to 20 percent, and outlaw recreational marijuana deliveries and drive-thru windows.
Related Story: Senate Passes Bill To Legalize Marijuana Sales In Maine
On Thursday, the Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow schools to administer medical marijuana treatments to students. If enacted, the legislation would permit school nurses and designated staff members to provide cannabis-based medications to students who possess medical marijuana authorization. Under a law passed last year, parents and caregivers are allowed to go to their child’s school in order to administer such medications. However, this is not always feasible due to parental work schedules. The bill will now go to a vote of the Senate.
A bill under consideration in the New Jersey House of Representatives would dramatically expand the state’s medical marijuana system over a period of two years. If enacted, the legislation would gradually increase the number of medical cannabis dispensary licenses from six to a maximum of 98, while increasing the number of marijuana cultivators from six to 15. Current dispensary operators would be able to open two satellite locations, and the state would accept applications for 40 new dispensary licenses and six new grower licenses.
Related Story: Do You Qualify? NJ Has A New List Of MMJ Conditions
A two-year waiting period would follow to determine whether demand existed for further expansion. The bill, which now faces a vote of the full House, would also allow greater production of edibles and extracts than is permitted under current law.