Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has signed into law legislation that legalizes industrial hemp.
House Bill 2034 was signed by Governor Greitens roughly a month after it was passed by the Senate in a 29 to 3 vote, and a little over three months after it initially passed the House of Representatives 141 to 4.
According to its official summary; “This bill exempts industrial hemp, which is defined as Cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than 0.3% THC, from the definition of marijuana and the list of controlled substances. In addition, it is legal for any person who has received an industrial hemp license to grow, harvest, cultivate, and process industrial hemp.”
Earlier today New Approach Missouri submitted over 372,000 signatures for their initiative to legalize medical marijuana, well more than the 168,000 required to place the measure on the November general election ballot.
In a press release sent out today by New Approach Missouri (NAM), they stated that they are “virtually certain to have well in excess of the required signatures to be certified for the November ballot.”
If the initiative is approved by voters in November, it would establish “a statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products”. Patients would be allowed to grow their own cannabis, and “Instead of creating a short and restrictive list of qualifying conditions, this initiative puts power in the hands of a state-licensed physicians, not politicians or bureaucrats, to determine who will benefit from medical cannabis.”
A key legislative committee in Missouri’s House of Representatives has approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana.
The State House Committee on Legislative Oversight voted 7 to 4 today to pass House Bill 1554, reports Eapen Thampy, a medical marijuana lobbyist. The proposed law, filed by Representative James Neely, would expand “the definition of investigational drug, biological product, or device so that it can include medical cannabis.” Under this provision, “a dispensing organization or manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product, or device that has successfully completed phase one of a clinical trial but has not been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and remains under investigation in a clinical trial can be made available to certain eligible patients who have terminal illnesses.”
This bill also “changes the law regarding the use of hemp extract to treat intractable epilepsy to authorize the legal use of medical marijuana to treat terminal illnesses”, and “authorizes the Department of Health and Senior Services to issue medical cannabis registration cards to any Missouri resident, 18 years old or older, who can provide a statement signed by a doctor stating that the individual suffers from a terminal illness and may benefit from treatment with medical cannabis and that the individual has considered all other treatment options currently approved by the FDA and all relevant clinical trials conducted in Missouri.”
Missouri’s Senate has approved a bill to legalize industrial hemp, less than a month after the House passed a similar measure.
Senate Bill 547 was passed yesterday by the Senate in a 29 to 3 vote. A similar measure, House Bill 2034, was passed last month by the House of Representatives in an almost, but not quite unanimous 141 to 4 vote. The two chambers must now reconcile the two bills (or simply pass the measure the other chamber passed) before it can be sent to Governor Eric Greitens for consideration.
According to the official summary of House Bill 2034; “This bill exempts industrial hemp, which is defined as Cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than 0.3% THC, from the definition of marijuana and the list of controlled substances. In addition, it is legal for any person who has received an industrial hemp license to grow, harvest, cultivate, and process industrial hemp.”
Advocates of a Missouri initiative to legalize medical marijuana have collected enough signatures to put the measure on the November general election ballot.
“This Sunday, our petition drive to place medical cannabis on the November ballot surpassed 200k total signatures”, says New Approach Missouri. This surpasses the 160,000 signatures required to put the measure to a vote. However, given that some of the 200,000 signatures may not be valid (such as duplicate signatures or signatures from those not registered to vote in Missouri), the group will be continuing to collect signatures with a goal of reaching 300,000.
If the initiative is placed on the ballot, and approved by voters, “a statewide system for production and sale of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products” would be established, with patients also allowed to grow their own cannabis. “Instead of creating a short and restrictive list of qualifying conditions, this initiative puts power in the hands of a state-licensed physicians, not politicians or bureaucrats, to determine who will benefit from medical cannabis.”
Kansas City voters have passed an initiative to decriminalize marijuana.
Marijuana will soon be decriminalized in Missouri’s most populated city after voters gave approval tonight to Question 5. The initiative decriminalizes the possession of up to 35 grams of cannabis for those 21 and older, making it a simple $25 ticket. Under current law possessing 10 to 35 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail; possessing less than 10 grams is a misdemeanor but with no jail time for a first offense, although subsequent offense can result in up to a year in jail.
Below is the exact ballot question approved by voters:
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has given approval to an initiative that would legalize cannabis for those 21+.
In addition to legalizing cannabis for those 21 and older, the initiative would legalize medical cannabis for minors; given they have a qualifying condition and receive a recommendation from a physician.
The approval gives advocates the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures in an attempt to put the measure to a vote of the people in the 2018 general election. They must collect 82,000 valid signatures by May of next year to accomplish this.
A similar measure fell just 23 signatures short last year of being on the November ballot.
In exactly 100 days – on November 8th – the 2016 general election will take place, and voters in six states will have the opportunity to legalize cannabis for everyone 21 and older; voters in two additional states will be given the ability to legalize medical cannabis.
Here’s a look at these eight initiatives:
Question 2 would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, as well as the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets – supplied by licensed cultivation centers – would also be legalized. (This is all similar to the other state’s initiatives).
Governor Jay Nixon (D) has signed into law a bill that allows for the expungement of most cannabis convictions, both misdemeanors and felonies.
Senate Bill 588 would allow those convicted of cannabis misdemeanors to expunge (remove) it from their record after a three year period; this would mean that the charge would not appear on a criminal background check. Those convicted of felony possession would also be allowed to have the charge expunged, though they would need to wait seven years rather than three. In either instance, fines will need to be paid in full for an expungement to occur.
Members of Congress this week heard testimony on the state of marijuana research, and leading members of the US Senate introduced legislation to potentially reclassify CBD. A medical marijuana initiative in Montana qualified for the November ballot and Governors in three states signed marijuana related bills into law. Keep reading below to get this week’s latest marijuana news and to find out how you can #TakeAction.
On Wednesday, members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, chaired by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a hearing titled, “Researching Marijuana’s Potential Medical Benefits and Risks”. Testimony was provided by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are co-sponsors of the CARERS Act, as well as by officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While several witnesses were asked by the committee whether or not they expected to the DEA to reschedule cannabis, none provided a direct answer. An archive of the hearing is available online here.