Wisconsin Republican lawmakers tussle over medical marijuana, Delaware lawmakers move to expand that state's medical marijuana system, and more.Delaware
Delaware House Committee Advances Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill Ahead of Adult Use Sales Launch. The House Health and Human Development Committee on Wednesday approved a bill to significantly expand the state's medical marijuana program. The measure is House Bill 285, from Rep. Ed Osienski (D).
The bill would make a series of changes to Delaware's medical marijuana program, including removing limitations for patient eligibility based on a specific set of qualifying health conditions. Instead, doctors could issue marijuana recommendations for any condition they see fit.
Osienski, who also led the successful push for adult use legalization, said this bill would allow the state's medical marijuana program "to be more successful as the state moves forward with recreational sales, and to make it less expensive and easier for patients to access medical marijuana."
Georgia Bill Would Raise Age for Medical Marijuana. Lawmakers have just filed legislation that would raise the age to buy medical marijuana products from 18 to 21.
The state only allows low-THC cannabis and hemp products under the rubric of medical marijuana.
The bill has yet to appear on the legislative web site.
Iowa Bill Would Expand State Low-THC Medical Marijuana Program to Include Flower. A bill that would change the state's definition of "medical cannabidiol" to include forms of oral, topical, and inhalable cannabis, including raw flowers advanced in a subcommittee vote Tuesday. House Study Bill 532 now goes to the full Committee on Public Safety.
Current state law requires medical cannabis products to be extracts, but proponents of the bill say that process is costly and allowing the use of other forms of the drug would lower costs for patients.
"We are the only state really left in the country that is requiring extracts in their products," said industry lobbyist Dane Schumann. "The reason other states have moved away from requiring that is because of what I just described, it's very expensive to make patients have to buy that."
South Dakota House Committee Approves Bill Requiring Notice That Medical Marijuana Cardholders Cannot Legally Own Firearms. The House Judiciary Committee has approved House Bill 1024, which would "require that an application for a medical marijuana registry identification card include a notice and acknowledgement of federal law regarding firearms and the unlawful use of a controlled substance."
The committee also approved a companion bill, House Bill 1036, which would "require that a dispensary post notice of the federal law regarding possession of a firearm and the use of marijuana and to provide a civil penalty."
Gun safety and concealed pistol permit instructor Rep. Kevin Jensen (R) sponsored both bills.
"The bill (HB 1024) only requires an additional statement on the medical marijuana card about firearms," Jensen said. "It's just an acknowledgment. Then it is up to the consumer."
The two bills now head for a House floor vote.
South Dakota House Approves Bills Warning Medical Marijuana Patients They Cannot Legally Buy Guns. The House on Tuesday approved House Bill 1024, which would "require that an application for a medical marijuana registry identification card include a notice and acknowledgement of federal law regarding firearms and the unlawful use of a controlled substance."
"All this bill (HB1024) would require on the application for a medical marijuana card is the same language used on the federal form (to purchase a firearm)," Jensen said.
The House also approved a companion bill, House Bill 1036, which would "require that a dispensary post notice of the federal law regarding possession of a firearm and the use of marijuana and to provide a civil penalty." HB1036 would require a marijuana dispensary to post language similar to the federal firearm application that a medical cannabis cardholder cannot purchase a gun.
Jensen said to comply, all a dispensary would need to do is print out the language on a sheet of paper and post it near the cash register or the door.
The bills now head to the Senate.
Wisconsin Republicans Appear to Be at Impasse over Medical Marijuana Plan. Prospects for legalizing medical marijuana dimmed this week after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said Tuesday he would not compromise with Senate Republicans who oppose his proposal to create state-run dispensaries.
Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) said last week that the state-run dispensaries were "a non-starter."
But Vos countered that "months and months of negotiation" had resulted in a "very detailed bill" that has the votes to pass among Republicans.
"Taking and renegotiating the bill means we probably lose votes in our caucus," Vos said. "So I'd rather get us through to keep the promise we made, which is to have a comprehensive bill that can actually become law as opposed to an ethereal idea that maybe somebody could support someday but it never actually makes it anywhere."
Vos's bill is highly restrictive. It limits medical marijuana to people with a specified list of qualifying conditions, does not allow the use of smokeable marijuana, and would limit the number of dispensaries to five.
Wisconsin is one of only a dozen states that have yet to legalize medical marijuana.