New Hampshire Cannabis Legalization, MMJ In GA, Paraphernalia In ME, WA, Hawaii And More

February 8, 2023 · Benzinga

Marijuana Legalization Plan In New Hampshire

New Hampshire lawmakers, seeking to legalize a marijuana measure, are working on a plan to advance reform this session, Marijuana Moment first reported.

The plan is to remove provisions allowing home cultivation and annulling past marijuana convictions. “To pass that bill as is, it’s got too many warts on it,” said chairman John Hunt (R), who promoted the amendment.

Sponsored by Majority Leader Jason Osborne (R) and Minority Leader Matt Wilhelm (D), Bill HB 639 would allow adults over 21 to buy, possess and gift up to four ounces of cannabis and also grow up to six plants. A governor-appointed Cannabis Commission would be established to regulate the market and issue cannabis business licenses.

Medical Cannabis Regulation In Georgia

In Georgia, state Rep. Alan Powell (R), qualified the state’s Hope Act (which allows patients to access medical cannabis oil with no more than 5% THC) as inefficient and poorly written, reported a local media news outlet. Just six firms (of 69) were awarded licenses to dispense the marijuana extract to patients across the state.

Powell, who recently introduced Bill HB 196 said the measure would make “the workings of the Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission more subject to oversight, more efficient, and subject to the state’s Open Records Act provisions, but still, protect trade secrets of companies bidding for the lucrative licenses.” 

Joy Ramsingh, an attorney representing the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, said, “There’s kind of been a misunderstanding from the whole get-go about what we want and what the people want versus what the companies want to keep secret (…) Nobody wants their trade secrets (…) Nobody’s trying to compete with them, that’s not what we do.” Ramsingh, also added that they’re “trying to do is just get information about the government’s handling of this, as opposed to what the companies have to hide.”

Cannabis Paraphernalia In Maine

In Maine, the legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs passed a bill seeking to protect marijuana caregivers and patients.

LD 83, which clarifies the meaning of the term “cannabis paraphernalia” with the definition of tobacco products in Maine statute is sponsored by Democratic State Senator Craig Hickman of Winthrop.

“The bill passed unanimously through the committee and is a response to a previous update from the Maine Office of Cannabis Policy, and now faces votes in the Senate and House,” per Fox 22 WFVX Bangor.

A Bill To Create A Cannabis Commission In Washington State

In a recent public hearing which took place in Olympia, lawmakers debated introducing a bill seeking to create a marijuana commission in Washington state.

This movement would help cannabis growers and producers compete nationally “if or when federal restrictions are finally loosened, and the entire U.S. market opens up,” reported Fox 13 Seattle. “That would be self-funded by the industry, kind of a mandatory fee,” said Republican Rep. Kelly Chambers.

HB 1581, would include cannabis research, advertising government agencies, reviewing market metrics, educating and advising producers, advancing knowledge and practice and limiting youth access.

Regulation Of Medical Cannabis Products Is Needed In Hawaii

In Hawaii, the proliferation of Delta 8 THC hemp edibles is happening without any state law or regulation to protect consumers, reported Hawaii News Now.

Lawmakers understand that hemp product control is needed before legalizing recreational marijuana. “We are very concerned that all of these products are dangerous to children. That is what the House is going to be focused on,” said House Health and Homelessness chair Della Belatti.

“Because the Delta 8 product is an untested product that is sold at gas stations and hemp stores there could be long-range damaging effects,” said Tai Cheng of Aloha Green Holdings, Hawaii’s largest medical dispensary operator.

Virginia: A Bill To Allow Adult-use Cannabis Sales

The Virginia Senate approved a bill to begin adult-use cannabis sales in the state. Sponsored by State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D), the measure, received a 24-16 vote in a Democratic-controlled chamber, reported Marijuana Moment.

Once the legislation is enacted, it would allow recreational cannabis sales to begin on January 1, 2024. It also seeks to establish regulations for hemp-derived cannabinoid products such as delta-8 THC, including testing and labeling requirements.

“This bill fixes a major public health, consumer safety, and public safety issue—and it does what more than 60 percent of Virginia voters want us to do: Regulate these products, ensure they’re safe for consumers, and also generates hundreds of millions of dollars from revenue for the Commonwealth,” Ebbin said. (Full Story)

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