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Nevada Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

June 3rd

dispensary shelves

CARSON CITY, NV – The Nevada Assembly voted 28-14 Monday to pass a bill establishing marijuana dispensaries.

The bill was passed last week by the Senate by a 17-4 vote and needed swift action by the Assembly as the legislature adjourns for the 2013 session at midnight.

An amendment to the bill by the Assembly needs final approval from the Senate before the bill is sent to the desk of Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has said he will consider the proposal.

Under  Senate Bill 374, which was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in April, and received a favorable “do pass” recommendation from the  Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, the state Board of Pharmacy would be charged with regulating and overseeing medical marijuana dispensaries across the state.

The bill would allow up to 40 medical marijuana dispensaries in the Las Vegas area, 20 in Reno, two in Carson City and one in each of Nevada’s remaining rural counties.

Some senators have expressed that while they do not endorse the use of medical marijuana, which was approved by Nevada voters in. . . . . READ MORE

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New York State Assembly Passes Bill to Fix Marijuana Decriminalization Law

May 30th

nypd-stop-and-frisk

ALBANY, NY —  The New York State Assembly passed a marijuana arrest reform bill Wednesday that could end the state’s racially biased, costly and unlawful marijuana arrest crusade.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 6716,  fixes New York’s 1977 marijuana decriminalization law by making possession of small amounts marijuana in public view a violation punishable by a fine, instead of a criminal arrest.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where a similar measure, Senate Bill 3105, has been sponsored by Sen. Daniel Squadron. Governor Andrew Cuomo has identified this legislation as one of his key priorities for the 2013 legislative session.

New York State decriminalized personal possession of marijuana in 1977, finding that arresting people for small amounts of marijuana “needlessly scars thousands of lives whil. . . . . READ MORE

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The Highs (and Lows) of Colorado’s Recreational Marijuana Laws

May 29th

For the first year, only established medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to offer marijuana to adults.

For the few months, only established medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to offer marijuana to adults.

DENVER, CO — Colorado’s governor signed six marijuana regulatory bills into law Tuesday while the state awaits a federal response to recreational marijuana legalization.

The new laws seek to regulate legalized cannabis and keep it away from children, without being so strict that marijuana sales stay in the black market.

Some highlights from Colorado’s new cannabis laws:

YOU CAN COME BUY IT, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE IT HOME

Visitors to Colorado will have purchasing limits of a quarter-ounce of marijuana in a single transaction. The law doesn’t ban adults over 21 from possessing a full ounce, residents or not. But the purchasing limits w. . . . . READ MORE

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Governor Hickenlooper Signs Bills Regulating Marijuana for Adult Use

May 29th

marijuana money

DENVER— Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed legislation Tuesday that continue the reform of marijuana laws in Colorado, set in motion last November by the voters of the state.

Once voters made it clear that marijuana prohibition must end, Hickenlooper established a task force of various stakeholder communities to provide guidance for the general assembly to enact legislation to implement Amendment 64.  The task force recommendations became the basis of the work of a select legislative committee that devised the bills signed today by the Governor.

“Despite not supporting Amendment 64, our Governor has shown true leadership by ensuring his office and the general assembly implemented the will of the voters,” said Art Way, senior drug policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.  “These implementing pieces of legislation signed by the governor are the beginning of statewide efforts to bring marijuana above ground in a mann. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Gov. to Sign Marijuana Tax and Regulation Bills Today

May 28th

Colorado Amendment 64 victory celebration, November 2012.

Colorado Amendment 64 victory celebration, November 2012.

DENVER, CO —  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign a series of bills Tuesday that will tax and regulate marijuana as approved by voters in Colorado.

The legislature was charged with creating the rules and regulations for the recreational cannabis industry when voters approved the marijuana legalization Amendment 64 last November, and finalized those regulations in early May.

The bills will establish, among other things, the regulations regarding how marijuana should be grown, packaged and sold.  The bills also include a law giving the voters the option of imposing a 25% tax on recreational cannabis, a bill to create new impaired driving limits, and a bill allowing marijuana businesses in Colorado to claim certain business deductions at the state tax level.

The marijuana regulation bills, READ MORE

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New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

May 23rd

medical marijuana bags

NASHUA, NH — The New Hampshire Senate voted 18-6 Thursday to approve a bill that will make New Hampshire the final state in New England to authorize the medical use of marijuana.

The bill is a Senate-amended version of House Bill 573, which a veto-proof majority of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 286-64 in favor of  in March.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can agree to the changes made by the Senate, or ask to negotiate a compromise, before the bill can be sent to the desk of Gov. Maggie Hassan.

In the version passed by the Senate, two key elements were removed from the House-approved bill.  Under the Senate-amended bill, patients will now longer be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, and PTSD was removed from the list of qualifying conditions.

Qualifying medical conditions, according to the Senate amendment, include: severely debilitating or terminal medical conditions, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, musc. . . . . READ MORE

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New Hampshire Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

May 23rd

medical marijuana bags

NASHUA, NH — The New Hampshire Senate voted 18-6 Thursday to approve a bill that will make New Hampshire the final state in New England to authorize the medical use of marijuana.

The bill is a Senate-amended version of House Bill 573, which a veto-proof majority of the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted 286-64 in favor of  in March.

The bill now goes back to the House, which can agree to the changes made by the Senate, or ask to negotiate a compromise, before the bill can be sent to the desk of Gov. Maggie Hassan.

In the version passed by the Senate, two key elements were removed from the House-approved bill.  Under the Senate-amended bill, patients will now longer be allowed to grow their own medical marijuana, and PTSD was removed from the list of qualifying conditions.

Qualifying medical conditions, according to the Senate amendment, include: severely debilitating or terminal medical conditions, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C currently receiving antiviral treatment, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, musc. . . . . READ MORE

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Maine Voters Could Decide on Marijuana Legalization in November

May 22nd

BANGOR, ME — Residents of Maine may get the opportunity to vote on ending their state’s marijuana prohibition this fall, if lawmakers approve of an amended version of LD 1229: An Act to Tax and Regulate Marijuana in the coming weeks.

LD 1229 was introduced earlier in the session by Representative Diane Russell (D-Portland) and 35 co-sponsors. Despite the unprecedented legislative support, the measure faced a challenging work session last week, which initially looked as if it would scuttle the bill entirely.

Legalize Maine 2013Fortunately for supporters of ending prohibition, the fight continues on despite the negative recommendation out of committee. Representative Russell and the bill’s supporters intend to take the fight for legalization to the House floor in the coming weeks and they need our help.

Thanks to amendments offered by Senators Plummer and Wilson, LD 1229 was revised to contain only a simple r. . . . . READ MORE

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New York Senator to Introduce Bill to Tax, Regulate Marijuana

May 21st

marijuana bud and joint

ALBANY, NY — As lawmakers in Albany continue to struggle to fix loopholes in New York’s 35 year old marijuana decriminalization law that result in continued marijuana possession arrests, one State Senator has a better fix: legalize and regulate marijuana for adults.

“It is my intention as a New York State senator to soon introduce a law that would actually decriminalize, regulate and tax marijuana in New York,” State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) said last week at a forum hosted by Baruch College.

Krueger’s “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act,” which has not yet been filed, would allow New Yorkers over the age of 21 to grow up to six mature marijuana plants at home, and would establish a system of retail stores regulated and overseen by the New York State Liquor Authority.

The bill proposes a marijuana tax of $50 per ounce, of which 80% would go to the state’s general fund, with the rest earmarked for substance abuse, criminal re-entry and job training programs.

Cities and towns would be given the option of imposing an additional 5% tax on marijuana sales in their community, or banning. . . . . READ MORE

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Illinois Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

May 17th

medical-marijuana-bottle

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Senate voted Friday to  approve a bill that would allow Illinois residents with serious illnesses to use medical marijuana if their physicians recommend it.

The full  Senate voted 35-21 to approve the measure, which received approval from the full House of Representatives on April 17 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for approval.

If Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signs the bill, Illinois will become the 19th or 20th state to legalize medical marijuana in some capacity. Maryland recently passed a bill to establish a medical marijuana  program, as well.  In addition to Illinois and Maryland, 18 states plus the District of Columbia allow the medical use of marijuana.

If the Illinois bill becomes law, as many as 60 retail establishments will be licensed to sell medical marijuana to patients with cancer, AIDS, and other serious illnesses.  Gov. Quinn has made positive comments about allowing medical marijuana in the state, but has not yet  indicated if he would sign the bill or not.

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