Lots of action at the state house on medical marijuana this week, plus Arizona eases up on the rules and the Michigan Supreme Court hands down a bellwether decision in favor of patients. Let's get to it:
On Monday, state officials proposed easing medical marijuana program rules, including a change that would allow additional permit holders to grow their own. Click here to check out the proposed draft rules.
On Tuesday, Butte County supervisors adopted strict new cultivation rules. By a unanimous vote, supervisors approving measures that would limit grows to 50 square feet on lots up to five acres and 100 square feet on lots between five and 10 acres. Opponents of the new rules have already begun the process of petitioning to get them changes.
On Wednesday, Santa Monica will consider allowing delivery services. The planning commission is set to consider a new recommendation by staff to ban dispensaries and replace this with delivery services. The city has never allowed dispensaries, but supporters had hoped to see a proposal to allow one or two. Instead, they got this.
Last Thursday, a new poll had 57% support for the state's medical marijuana initiative. The Gravis Marketing poll had only 31% opposed. But when Gravis asked respondents to consider that marijuana remained illegal under federal law, opposition rose to 54%.
Also last Thursday, a CBD medical marijuana bill was filed. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Shalimar) filed a bill to allow for low-THC, high-CBD strains of marijuana to be used for medical purposes. The bill is House Bill 843.
On Monday, a CBD medical marijuana bill got a hearing in the House. After a three-hour committee hearing Monday, state Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), the sponsor of the bill, House Bill 885, said it needed significant revisions before it could advance in the House. The hearing included searing testimony from parents of children suffering seizures, but also from physicians who said the use of CBD cannabis oils needed more study. Another hearing is set for Thursday.
Last Wednesday, a CBD medical marijuana bill was filed. State Sen. Julie Denton filed Senate Bill 124, which would allow the limited use of CBD cannabis oil to treat children with seizures.
On Tuesday, another medical marijuana bill got a hearing. Legislative Document 1597 would give government officials access to any medical marijuana grow. The industry group Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine thinks the latter bill is too broad.
On Tuesday, the Haverhill city council extended a moratorium on dispensaries amid concerns about "misrepresentations" by Healthy Pharms, Inc., which is seeking to open a facility there. The council extended the moratorium to November 18.
Last Thursday, the state Supreme Court blocked localities from passing ordinances that violate the state's Medical Marihuana Act. The ruling in Ter Beek v. the City of Wyoming means that cities cannot bar patients from growing their own marijuana.
Last Wednesday, the Las Vegas city council directed staff to research plans to allow dispensaries. The move came on a 5-2 vote. The council enacted a six-month dispensary ban last fall and can come back later and vote to allow dispensaries.
Last Thursday, the Phoenix city council dropped a motion to pass an emergency dispensary moratorium. Council members said the proposal was "ridiculous" and unnecessary.
On Tuesday, a bill to allow cities to ban dispensaries was amended in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senate Bill 1531 now only allows cities to regulate them, not ban them.
Last Friday, bills that would tighten rules on patients advanced in the Senate. Senate Bill 5887 and Senate Bill 6178 each passed 6-1 in the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor. They would end collective gardens for patients as part of the state's embrace of marijuana legalization.
On Monday, a bill that would reduce the amount of marijuana patients could have advanced in the House. House Bill 2149 passed out of the House Appropriations Committee.
[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]