Ohio’s medical marijuana sales may reach $400M this year; South Dakota Gov. wants to limit current medical cannabis program; New Mexico Gov. pushes for adult-use cannabis legalization; and more.
By Nina Zdinjak
Kansas House Passes Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill, Sends It For A Floor Vote
After many meetings held to review a plethora of amendments to a medical cannabis legalization bill, a Kansas House Committee passed the overall measure on Monday in a 13 to 8 vote, writes Marijuana Moment.
After the House’s approval, the bill is now going to a floor vote.
Separately, lawmakers in the Sunflower State voted for a procedural motion to include the measure’s language into an unrelated Senate proposal to accelerate its discussion in the two chambers, reports the outlet.
The original bill was introduced in the committee in February and would establish a medical cannabis program for qualified patients. Among 21 conditions that would qualify patients for medical cannabis therapy were PTSD, HIV, and chronic pain. An amendment to expand the list was approved on Monday as well.
New Mexico Governor Calls For Special Legislative Session To Push For Adult-Use Cannabis Bill
The New Mexico State House approved a recreational cannabis bill, HB 12, in a 39 to 31 vote. The bill also passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and was sent over to the full Senate for discussion and a vote.
The expected Senate floor vote, however, was postponed past the deadline.
Now, as expected, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is calling for a special legislative session to try to push for an adult-use cannabis legalization bill, according to Marijuana Business Daily.
The special session is scheduled for March 30.
Previously, Lujan Grisham has advocated for cannabis legalization in an effort to end New Mexico’s dependency on oil and gas revenues.
Rhode Island Lawmakers Presented With A Bill To Decriminalize All Drugs
Last week, during a Rhode Island Senate panel, legislation on ending criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of drugs was presented, writes Marijuana Moment.
The bill proposes a $100 fine instead, and it is of many drug-related measures currently proposed in the state, including a cannabis legalization measure supported by the governor and the top lawmakers.
Two measures were heard during last week’s panel: S. 604, which is sponsored by Senator Tiara Mack, and S. 188, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey.
S.604 would reduce felony charges for simple drug possessions, while S. 188 would make possession of small amounts of controlled substances a misdemeanor, reports the outlet.
Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Sales May Come To $400 Million This Year
Ohio’s medical marijuana market had a prolonged start, with legalization happening back in 2016, but sales commencing early 2019.
In spite of a lagging development, medical cannabis sales in the Buckeye State are now growing at a fast pace. From weekly sales of around $2.5 million prior to the start of the global pandemic, numbers are now hitting $5 to $6 million, reports Marijuana Business Daily.
According to the “Marijuana Business Factbook,” Ohio medical marijuana sales could amount to $350 to $400 million this year. This compares to $221.5 million in 2020.
The number of registered patients almost doubled from the prior year hitting 176,387 on March 19.
“It’s a potential $400 million market this year, and there’s plenty of growth in sight,” said Nate Reid, vice president of commercial strategy for Illinois-based Cresco Labs (OTC:CRLBF), which owns cultivation, processing and dispensary licenses in the state.
South Dakota Gov. Wants To Limit Current Medical Cannabis Program
South Dakota Governor, Kristi Noem, known for her passionate anti-cannabis stance, is working towards limiting the existing medical cannabis program in the state, writes Marijuana Business Daily.
Currently, she is pushing to ban people younger than 21 to smoke or vape medical cannabis. She is also trying to limit the number of plants medical marijuana patients are allowed to grow at home.
A few months ago, Noem was unhesitant to challenge the voter-approved adult-use cannabis measure, claiming it is unconstitutional. Circuit judge Christina Klinger supported that view, but the case has been appealed to the state Supreme Court.