Cannabis legalization is steaming ahead, but restrictions still vary from state to state. Some states which coin themselves as “medically legal” means limited access to CBD is sufficient, while others allow full recreational use of all THC-rich products for users over the age of 21.
Here’s a quick update on what has been going on recently nationwide.
Illinois lawmakers passed a bill last week which legalized the possession and commercial sale of cannabis in the state. Illinois will be the first state to legalize marijuana sales through the state legislature — rather than a ballot initiative. On the national level, Illinois is now the 11th state to legalize marijuana.
The new bill contains a sweeping criminal justice provision, expunging the records of potentially hundreds of thousands residents who have previously been convicted for possessing marijuana under previous laws. Up to 770,000 Illinois residents may qualify for expungement, according to ABC News. Similarly, we expect other states to follow suit.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers were unable to come to an agreement on their latest marijuana legalization bill today. The measure would have legalized adult possession of cannabis and set up a state agency to regulate sales. It also would have expunged records of some people convicted of marijuana possession and funneled a portion of marijuana tax revenue for communities disproportionately affected by marijuana prohibition.
New Jersey lawmakers are still working on coming to agreement on a marijuana legislation bill. We expect action to take place in early 2020.
Federal Spending Bill
An amendment that would protect all state-legal cannabis programs from interference by the U.S. Justice Department was submitted for the fiscal year 2020 Commerce-Justice Science spending bill.
The federal funding bill and amendments are scheduled for consideration by the U.S. House Rules Committee.
This spending bill includes a provision that would prohibit the Justice Department from using any funds to interfere with state-legal medical marijuana programs.
The amendment to protect all state lawful cannabis businesses was put forth by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat, and Tom McClintock, a California Republican.