Medical Marijuana Update

Bills to fold medical marijuana into the legal marijuana system advance in Oregon and become law in Washington, Florida gears up for another initiative campaign after the legislature fails to act, the Oklahoma legislature passes a CBD cannabis oil bill, and more.

Alabama

Last Wednesday, a medical marijuana bill won a committee vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill on a 4-3 vote. The measure is Senate Bill 326, sponsored by Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro).

California

On Monday, opponents of Yuba County's new cultivation ordinance rallied in Marysville. The ordinance approved last month banned outdoor grows and limited indoor ones to a dozen plants in an accessory building.

On Tuesday, a proposed Vacaville ordinance to ban medical marijuana grows died on a tie vote. The council had unanimously approved a draft ordinance banning grows last November, but relented in the face of opposition from local citizens.

Colorado

On Monday a bill allowing probationers and parolees to use medical marijuana passed the legislature. The bill, House Bill 1267, passed the Senate on a 34-1 vote Monday and has already passed the House.

Florida

On Tuesday, the legislative session ended and the 2016 medical marijuana initiative campaign began. The session ended Tuesday without any action on pending medical marijuana legislation, and the United for Care campaign, which led the defeated 2014 initiative (it got 58% of the vote, but needed 60% because it was a constitutional amendment), immediately announced it was aiming to get back on the ballot next year.

Iowa

On Monday, the House speaker reitereated that he will block a medical marijuana bill. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) has repeated that he will not allow a medical marijuana bill to be considered this year. Sen. Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City), the sponsor of Senate File 484, had said Monday that the House had a "moral obligation" to consider the bill, which has already passed the Senate. But Paulsen said he didn't understand what Bolkcom meant and that the carefully drawn bill was "virtually a recreational use bill." The session ends May 1.

New York

Last Thursday the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana licenses. The state Department of Health announced that it is accepting applications from entities that want to register to grow or distribute medical marijuana. The state expects to announce the companies selected by July.

On Wednesday, a bill to expedite the state's medical marijuana program was filed. Assemblymen Richard Gottfried (D) and Brian Kolb (R) today filed Assembly Bill 7060, which would direct the state to establish a program to help patients get access to medical marijuana as soon as possible. Gottfried is head of the Assembly Health Committee and Kolb is the Assembly Minority Leader. The bill comes 10 months after Gov. Cuomo signed the state's limited medical marijuana bill into law, but no Empire State patient has yet to receive legal medical marijuana.

Oklahoma

On Monday, a CBD cannabis oil study bill passed the legislature. The bill, House Bill 2154, passed the House 85-5 today for final approval after it had been modified in the Senate. Now, it's up to Gov. Mary Fallin (R) to sign it.

Oregon

On Monday, a bill to regulate medical marijuana advanced. A bill that puts new limits on medical marijuana growers is moving. The measure, an amendment to Senate Bill 844, is expected to be approved a House-Senate marijuana committee tomorrow. It would limit current growers to 96 plants, new growers to 48 plants. It would limit current residential growers to 24 plants and new ones to 12 plants. But it would also bar cities and counties from banning dispensaries and growing and processing operations.

Texas

On Tuesday, a trio of medical marijuana bills got a hearing, but no action. The House Committee on Public Health heard emotional testimony Tuesday night from patients, parents, and veterans seeking access to medical marijuana or CBD cannabis oil. Despite the hours of testimony, the committee took no action on any of the bills. Click on the link to read testimony details.

Washington

Last Friday, the governor signed a bill folding medical marijuana into the legal marijuana system. Gov. Jay Inslee (D) last Friday signed into law Senate Bill 5052, which attempts to regulate the state's previously unregulated medical marijuana system and bring it into harmony with its legal marijuana system. The bill creates a voluntary registry system for patients that would allow them to possess more marijuana than others and face lower taxes. It will also eliminate the "collective gardens" that currently supply thousands of patients, although it will allow "cooperative gardens" for no more than four patients. Some collective gardens will be allowed to continue; they will be given priority in licensing if they have been good citizens.

[For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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