WA: House Judiciary Committee Approves Measure Explicitly Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry

A Washington bill to give explicit permission to financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the state’s House Judiciary Committee.

The bipartisan House Bill 2098 was filed by Representative David Sawyer (D), and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Bick (R), Steve Kirby (D) and Cary Condotta (R). The measure “Provides immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws.”

For purposes of the bill, “financial institution” is defined as “a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business and accept deposits in Washington under state or federal law. Financial institutions are generally regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions.”

Read the rest of this entry »

U.S. House Votes Extend Medical Marijuana and Hemp Protections

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill to avoid a government shutdown, and extend federal protections for state medical marijuana and hemp programs.

The measure was approved by a vote of 230 to 197, which extends government funding through February 16. The approved legislation extends the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment , was was initially passed in 2014. The amendment prohibits the Department of Justice – which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) – from using funds to enforce federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical use.

The legislation also extends an amendment that gives federal protection to state laws that allow for the cultivation of hemp for research purposes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Vermont Governor to Sign Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law Monday

On Monday Vermont will become the 9th state to legalize marijuana, and the first to do so through state lawmakers (all other states with legal marijuana legalized through a citizen initiative).

Governor Phil Scott say he will sign H. 511 into law on Monday, legalizing marijuana for everyone 21 and older. The new law will allow for the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, and the personal cultivation of up to two mature (or four immature) cannabis plants.

Although eight other states have legalized marijuana (Washington, Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts and California), Vermont on Monday will become the first in U.S. history to do so through the legislative process, and not through an initiative approved by voters. Approval of the law comes just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era memo that provided protections to state-legal marijuana businesses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Washington Committee Approves Bill Prohibiting Cities from Banning Medical Marijuana Cooperatives

Legislation that would prohibit cities in Washington State from banning or adding new regulations to medical marijuana cooperatives was passed yesterday through its initial legislative committee.

House Bill 2471 was approved yesterday by the House Commerce and Gaming Committee. The measure, filed by Representative Steve Kirby (D), would make it so that “Counties, cities, and towns are prohibited from enacting any regulations pertaining to medical marijuana cooperatives absent an express grant of authority from the state.”

Under the proposal, state law regarding coops – which allows 10 patients to come together to grow and share cannabis at a share location – preempt all city laws. This is important given that several cities in the state have placed bans or moratoriums on medical marijuana cooperatives.

Read the rest of this entry »

Illinois Judge Orders State to Add Intractable Pain as Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition

In a decision that will significantly expand the pool of people eligible to use medical cannabis in Illinois, a judge has ruled that the state must add intractable pain as a qualifying medical cannabis condition.

In 2016 the Illinois Department of Public Health rejected a petition to add intractable pain to the state’s medical cannabis program. Now, two years later, Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell has ordered the agency to add the condition. Intractable pain is defined as pain that’s resistant to standard treatment options.

The ruling comes from a lawsuit brought forth by Ann Mednick, who often experiences extreme pain associated with osteoarthritis; Mednick uses prescription opioids, but says they fail to control the pain and result in numerous side effects.

Read the rest of this entry »

WA: Bill Prohibiting Use of Public Resources to Assist Federal Marijuana Crackdown Receives Public Hearing

Legislation to protect Washington State’s legal marijuana industry from federal intrusion received a public hearing today in the state’s House Finance Committee.

House Bill 2124 “Prohibits the use of public resources to assist the federal government in any activity that might impede or interfere with revenue to the operating budget pursuant to Washington state’s regulation of marijuana and marijuana-related products as prescribed by the laws of the state of Washington.” The measure “Provides that a public employee who knowingly violates this prohibition may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.”

The measure, filed by Representative David Sawyer (D) along with a bipartisan coalition of six other lawmakers, received a public hearing today in its initial committee. Representative Sawyer spoke in favor of the bill, stating that although a large number of people signed up to speak and express their support, he asked them to withhold from doing so in order to respect the committee member’s time. No one spoke in opposition to the measure.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tennessee Medical Marijuana Bill Passed on First Consideration

A Tennessee medical marijuana measure has been introduced and “passed on first consideration” in the state’s Senate.

Senate Bill 1633, introduced by Senator Jeff Yarbro, “establishes a defense to prosecution for the possession of marijuana in an amount not to exceed one ounce by declaring such possession is justified if possessed for the treatment of certain provable medical conditions.” The measure was filed today in the Tennessee Senate, and quickly passed on first consideration. The legislation must now go through the committee process and be approved by both the House and Senate before it can be sent to Governor Bill Haslam for consideration.

According to the proposal; “The person can prove a medical diagnosis of one (1) of the following:

Read the rest of this entry »

Washington Lawmakers Pass Legislation to Legalize Personal Marijuana Cultivation

Washington State’s House Commerce and Gaming Committee has passed legislation that would allow those 21 and older to grow marijuana for personal use.

House Bill 2559, filed by Representatives Brian Blake (D) and Cary Condotta (R), would authorize “an adult age 21 or over to possess six or less marijuana plants and up to 24-ounces of useable marijuana harvested from the plants”. The measure specifies that “no more than six marijuana plants may be grown or possessed on the premises of a single housing unit under the authorization, regardless of the number of residents living on the premises.”

House Bill 2559 must now pass through a second committee before it can be voted on by the full House of Representatives. If approved by the House it will move to the Senate, where passage would send it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration.

Read the rest of this entry »

WA: New Bipartisan Bill Would Legalize Personal Marijuana Cultivation

Legislation to legalize the personal cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and older has been filed in Washington’s House of Representatives.

Although marijuana has been legal in Washington to purchase and possess for several years now, cultivating marijuana is illegal without being a licensed grower. New legislation filed by Representatives Brian Blake (D) and Cary Condotta (R) would change this, allowing anyone 21 and older to grow marijuana for personal use.

Specifically House Bill 2559Authorizes an adult age 21 or over to possess six or less marijuana plants and up to 24-ounces of useable marijuana harvested from the plants”. The measure specifies that “no more than six marijuana plants may be grown or possessed on the premises of a single housing unit under the authorization, regardless of the number of residents living on the premises.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Medical Cannabis Legalization Associated with Reduced Violent Crimes in States Bordering Mexico

The introduction of laws legalizing medical cannabis is associated with reduced violent crimes in U.S. states bordering Mexico, according to a new study published by The Economic Journal.

“[T]he introduction of medical marijuana laws (MMLs) leads to a decrease in violent crime in states that border Mexico”, states the abstract of the study, titled Is Legal Pot Crippling Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations? The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on US Crime. “The reduction in crime is strongest for counties close to the border (less than 350 kilometres) and for crimes that relate to drug trafficking.”

In addition, researchers found that “MMLs in inland states lead to a reduction in crime in the nearest border state. Our results are consistent with the theory that decriminalisation of the production and distribution of marijuana leads to a reduction in violent crime in markets that are traditionally controlled by Mexican drug trafficking organisations.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Page 1 of 359123...1020...Last Page »