Changes are afoot among the rules and regulations governing cannabis in several states this year. Weed laws are evolving in 11 states thanks to voter-drive ballot initiatives, new laws introduced in state legislatures, and executive orders enacted by state governors.
So, what’s happening? Cannawayz.com has a quick rundown of new laws, rules, and regulations, broken down state by state:
Taxes are going up (already one of the most heavily taxed weed markets), which is a huge bummer! But at the same time, medium and large growing licenses are now available. A rule revision that promises to increase production and, in turn, drive prices down.
AB 1954 forbids discrimination in medical treatment for patients using legally prescribed medical cannabis. Specifically, the new laws states: “A physician and surgeon shall not automatically deny treatment or medication to a qualified patient based solely on a positive drug screen for THC or report of medical cannabis use without first completing a case-by-case evaluation of the patient that includes, but is not limited to, a determination that the qualified patient’s use of medical cannabis is medically significant to the treatment or medication.”
AB 2595 requires social workers to treat parents identified as cannabis users in the same manner as those noted for using alcohol or prescription medication. And Proposition 64 expands rights for medical cannabis patients with children.
SB 988 grants terminally ill patients the right to self-administer cannabinoids while in hospice care. The bill requires healthcare facilities to “develop and disseminate written guidelines for the use and disposal of medicinal cannabis.”
AB1706 aims to expedite expunging the criminal records of qualifying “cannabis offenders.”
AB 2210 allows bars to host “cannabis events.”
AB 2568 formally stipulates that insurance providers are NOT breaking the law by insuring cannabis businesses.
AB 1885 empowers vets to suggest cannabinoid-based treatments for qualifying pets.
Dispensaries will officially open in New York, the country’s second-largest cannabis market, in January.
Oregon retailers can now offer “half-off” and other discount programs on cannabis sales.
Cannabis deliveries can now legally cross county lines.
And walk-up services at dispensaries are fully legal, and drive-thru dispensaries are officially authorized.
Medical marijuana patients can now more easily transfer to the adult-use recreational status.
Recreational cannabis officially takes effect this year. And the state will begin expunging criminal records for those convicted for possession of fewer than 4 ounces of cannabis between the years of 2000 and 2015.
Recreational cannabis sales will begin this year.
Possession of up to 1.5 ounces of weed is now officially de-criminalized. And fully legalized recreational sales will launch later this year.
In a roll-back rather than advancement of rights, the state’s pandemic prompted the curbside dispensary pickup allowance expired on January 1st.
Medical cannabis patients convicted for possession (of up to 8 ounces) are now eligible for a pardon on related criminal charges.
The state is holding a special election in March to decide on recreational cannabis use.
The typically liberal state of Vermont has been somewhat slow to the cannabis legalization party. But with 25 recreational dispensaries open statewide, things are trending in the right direction in the Green Mountain State. Additionally, regulators may also be lifting a cap on THC content that prohibits the distribution of cannabis flower that tests higher than 30% and concentrate that tests higher than 60%.
And There’s More to Come!
Minnesota Governor Tim Waltz, a staunch weed advocate, is pushing for recreational cannabis legalization. Delaware may be on the verge of a voter-driven ballot initiative to legalize recreational weed. The Kansas state legislature is entertaining a bill to legalize recreational and medical cannabis. And North Carolina Governor Ray Copper is lobbying stridently for decriminalizing cannabis possession. (Full Story)