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CANNABIS CORNER: The Legislative Outlook

Traders Magazine Online News, March 21, 2019

John D'Antona Jr.

So, not sure where and what cannabis legislation is moving through the statehouses and local jurisdictions?

Cowen & Co. shared with Traders Magazine its Cannabis Tracker update - a bi-weekly rolling update on cannabis legislation in individual states.

Here is a summary of the latest report, State Lines by Eric Assaraf of Cowen’s Washington Research Group.

The New Stuff:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) recently signed a bill that eliminates the state's ban on smokable medical cannabis. Source: Bloomberg

A bill to legalize recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey was up for discussion today at legislative hearings in the Assembly Appropriations and Senate Judiciary Committees, setting up a potential final vote as soon as March 25. Source: Marijuana Moment

New Mexico is poised to become the next state to decriminalize marijuana as lawmakers approved legislation to remove criminal penalties for cannabis possession early Saturday morning. The bill now heads to the governor's desk to be signed into law. Source: Marijuana Moment

Alaska

Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer (R) signed new regulations into law on March 12 that will allow Alaska residents to consume cannabis at licensed dispensaries later this year. Some states like California and Colorado allow for on-site consumption in certain locales, but Alaska is the first to do so state-wide. Source: Marijuana Moment

Connecticut

On March 14, legislative leaders announced a plan to legalize recreational use of marijuana via multiple bills rather than comprehensive legislation. Public hearings on the new measures are scheduled for March 22.

Source: Marijuana Moment

Florida

Florida State Reps. Michael Grieco (D) and Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) filed bills in late February related to legalizing and taxing adult use cannabis in the state. The bills would allow adults 21 and older to purchase and use limited amounts of cannabis in their homes or other private places and purchase up to 2.5 ounces at a time. If someone were to smoke cannabis in public, they would face a $100 penalty. The state's House of Representatives also passed a bill March 13 that would eliminate the state's ban on smokable medical cannabis, which now heads to the governor's desk. Source: ABC Action News

Georgia

On March 5, the Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow medical cannabis to be grown, manufactured and distributed in the state. Georgia has previously allowed patients to use medical cannabis for seizures and cancers since 2015. In addition, former Governor Nathan Deal (R) signed a bill last year allowing for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain to use cannabis oil for treatment. However, it has previously been against the law to grow, buy, sell, or transport the drug, leaving patients on the medical cannabis registry with no method of obtaining it. The proposal would also license 60 medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. Source: The Hill

Hawaii

The effort to legalize recreational marijuana in Hawaii stalled after a legalization bill did not meet a March 1 deadline to be considered by the state Senate. The bill made it farther than in past sessions, but the legalization effort is now essentially shelved as a ballot initiative is not an option in Hawaii. Source: Honolulu Star Advertiser

Kentucky

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